Standard ClassesCustom ClassesPreferred AttributesFighterMageThiefCustom ClassesHybrid and Alternative Classes

Specialization Edit

There are three schools of skills: Combat, Magic, and Stealth. Each school has seven associated skills; when you select a school to be your class' specialization, all seven skills receive an initial +5 level bonus. These skills also increase more rapidly than other skills.

Character Specialization Recommended Attributes Recommended Skills Recommend Birthsign
Thief Agility, Speed, Personality Acrobatics, Hand to Hand, Light Armor, Marksman, Mercantile, Short Blade, Security, Sneak, Speechcraft The Thief, The Tower, The Shadow
Warrior Strength, Endurance, Speed Armorer, Athletics, Axe, Block, Blunt, Heavy Armor, Long Blade, Medium Armor, Spear The Warrior, The Lord, The Lady
Mage Intelligence, Willpower, Personality Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchant, Illusion, Mysticism, Restoration, Unarmored The Mage, The Atronach, The Apprentice

Standard Classes Edit

The game comes with 21 predefined standard classes, which provide a quick way for players to set up a character, and one that the developers created as added content, so there are roleplaying benefits to them also. There are 5460 different character combinations without making a custom class.

However, there are in fact no standard classes that exactly match the prototype character types presented below for fighters or thieves. Players for whom Efficient Leveling is a top priority will not find any suitable standard classes. Custom classes are necessary to provide complete control over the character creation process.

Preferred Attributes Edit

Two attributes are assigned to Standard classes, and can be chosen as custom class attributes; these attributes each receive an initial +5 bonus.

In general, these attribute bonuses are most useful early in the game; a +5 bonus to two or three attributes is possible each time you Level, if you level efficiently, so the initial custom class attribute bonus can be considered equivalent to an initial one level bonus. The maximum value of any attribute is 100, regardless of whether it received any initial bonuses.

Two attributes, however, do behave slightly differently:

  • Luck can only be increased by +1 each level, so an initial +5 bonus in luck is more comparable to a five-level bonus than a one-level bonus. Also, luck is a particularly useful attribute early in the game, so investing in a luck bonus can be very advantageous, especially to well-rounded characters. Note, though, that Luck has little effect on the endgame, when other attributes are at or near 100, as its primary effect is to give a working bonus to other attributes, the maximum bonus of which cannot exceed 100.
  • Endurance determines your total Health: base health is two times endurance; in addition, each time you level up, your health increases by an amount dependent upon your endurance. The health bonus each time you level is not retroactively increased if you later increase your endurance. Therefore, increasing your endurance early on is important in giving your character the maximum possible health.

One attribute that in general should not be chosen for your class attribute is Personality. Personality is a particularly weak attribute. Of the three skills it governs, two provide no benefit in combat or survival (Mercantile and Speechcraft) and the third (Illusion) is not improved in any way by increased personality. Only those who plan on roleplaying their character with a strong personality should pick this.

Fighter Edit

The fighter relies upon melee combat to attack enemies, and prefers to charge into face-to-face combat. The fighter expects to receive a lot of damage in combat, and relies upon high health, full armor, and blocking skills to survive the damage


All three of the following races provide: good combat-related greater powers; good Strength and Endurance; and, many combat-related skill bonuses.

  • Nord: Frost Damage and Shield are good but conservative greater powers.
  • Orc: Berserk is an aggressive greater power, with great bonuses but also some drawbacks.
  • Redguard: Adrenaline Rush provides multiple bonuses without any drawbacks.
  • Warrior: +10 Strength and +10 Endurance are useful to any fighter.
  • Lover: Lover's Kiss provides a very useful paralyze ability.
  • Atronach: The 50% Spell Absorption effect basically renders impotent half the spells cast against you. Very handy when rushing towards mages to break their frail bodies. The stunted magicka isn't as major of an impediment as it is on any more magically inclined class.
  • Lord: Provides a powerful healing spell, which can be used multiple times; very useful in combat situations. If you're not handy with magic, it will take a very long time before you have the ability to cast an equivalent healing spell.
  • Lady: The Fortify Endurance and Willpower is very useful, the increased health is great especially at early levels
Standard Classes
  • Strength: Maximize damage dealt with melee weapons. Provide enough Encumbrance to be able to carry a full suit of heavy armor.
  • Endurance: Maximize Health so you can survive enemy attacks. Also improves Fatigue
  • Blade or Blunt: Choose one of these two to be your primary weapon for attack. Most characters will only need to specialize in one.
  • Heavy Armor: A full suit of heavy armor provides the maximum armor rating and also provides the most durable armor (it will break down less quickly during combat, and therefore provide the maximum armor rating for longer).
  • Block: Extra defense.
  • Armorer: Your weapons and armor will sustain major damage; being able to repair them in the field is vital.
  • Restoration: Even with armor and blocking, you will be taking a lot of damage. You might as well put to use what Magicka you have to heal yourself.


The mage relies upon magical attacks. Because armor negatively affects spell efficiency, the archetypal mage will not wear any armor. Instead, the mage will try to avoid the center of combat, use decoys to detract attention, and generally avoid taking any damage.

  • Breton: enhanced Magicka; good Intelligence and Willpower; good magical skill bonuses.
  • Altmer: enhanced Magicka; good Intelligence and Willpower; good magical skill bonuses. Compared to the Breton, Altmer has better Magicka balanced by more weaknesses, making it the less conservative choice.
  • Dunmer: summon ghost greater power; moderate Intelligence; some magical skill bonuses. Not the best choice for a pure mage, but can be good for more well-rounded mages.
  • Argonian: Female Argonians start off with good Intelligence and both genders have a bonus in some of the magic skills such as Mysticism(+5) and Illusion(+5).
  • Mage: +50 Magicka. Without any negatives, this is the most conservative choice for a mage.
  • Apprentice: +100 Magicka, balanced by 100% Weakness to Magic. This is a more aggressive choice for a mage. Best paired with the Breton race, to reduce some of the weakness to magic.
  • Atronach: +150 Magicka and 50% Spell Absorption, balanced by Stunted Magicka. An Atronach character can be very powerful, but it requires many specialized strategies to be effective.
Standard Classes
  • Intelligence: Maximize Magicka, enabling more powerful spells and more back-to-back spells.
  • Willpower: Maximize Magicka regeneration rate, enabling more spells to be cast in a short period of time (not very valuable for players born under the Atronach birthsign, as their Magicka won't self-regenerate).
  • Destruction: The primary attack skill for a mage.
  • Conjuration: Summon monsters to distract your enemies, deal additional harm, and prevent them from attacking you.
  • Alteration: Shield spells provide a replacement for armor; open spells and feather spells are also valuable to compensate for mage weaknesses.
  • Illusion: An often overlooked school, illusion provides many alternatives to direct attack upon enemies.
  • Mysticism: Reflect Damage is an alternative or addition to armor. Spell Absorption and Reflect Spell similarly ameliorate damage.


The thief relies upon sneak attacks and avoids face-to-face combat as much as possible. Sniping from hidden corners, often using a poisoned bow, is a primary means of attack.

  • Thief: +10 Agility is very useful for thieves; the +10 Luck and +10 Speed are added attractions.
  • Shadow: Invisibility greater power.
  • Steed: Extra speed is highly useful.
Standard Classes
  • Agility: Maximize damage from bow and arrow; maximize your ability to sneak and lockpick
  • Speed: Makes it easier to keep out of melee range when attacking with a bow and arrow, also good for diving in quickly with melee attacks and then getting out of range before your enemy can retaliate.
  • Sneak: The primary skill for avoiding combat, getting sneak attack bonuses, and generally being undetected.
  • Marksman: Generally the primary combat skill for thieves, allowing targets to be killed from a distance.
  • Blade: You probably won't be able to get by on just Marksman in some cases, particularly with faster opponents and in close quarters, so it's good to have a melee attack handy. Short blades, such as daggers, are very fast, and melee strikes receive a better sneak attack bonus than a bow.
  • Alchemy: Create powerful poisons to increase the potency of your attacks.
  • Light Armor: Light armor is the traditional armor type for thieves. However, the primary disadvantage of heavy armor is its weight (heavy boots are also a disadvantage for low-level sneaking); if your character is strong enough, heavy armor can also be a good choice.
  • Security: Break into houses and other places with loot. (Alteration, providing Open spells, can be considered as an alternative).
  • Illusion: Invisibility/Chameleon will help you remain unseen, and Command/Calm/Demoralize spells will keep you out of face-to-face combat.

Custom Classes Edit

See Character Creation

Hybrid and Alternative Classes Edit

Most characters will not fall strictly into one of the above three archetypes. In some cases a few skills from one specialization will be added amongst another, but a more extensive merging of different specializations can be done.

Rather than expend Magicka by using spells to directly attack an opponent, characters can cast spells to augment your melee-fighting skills in a variety of ways.

  • Restoration spells can absorb enemies' skill in Blunt, Blade, or Hand to Hand, which enhances characters' combat damage while weakening their opponents.
  • Destruction spells can make an opponent more vulnerable to elemental or poisoned attacks delivered by an enchanted melee weapon, shortening the melee battle. The defining principle is to use your magic skills to make your 'good' melee skills even greater, rather than switching between two merely 'good' specializations.
A mage who makes himself more resilient through the use of Armor and Endurance can cast spells at Touch range; spells that are Cast on Touch rather than Cast on Target are more Magicka-efficient. Weapons can be enchanted with something like Absorb Magicka or Weakness to Magic, and equipped for this sole purpose, if the only means of attack is to be spells.