Best Skyrim perks – your opinions

By Posted 18 Nov 2011, 15:50

Even if you are an experienced Elder Scrolls gamer you will probably be struggling to decide which perks to choose as you level-up throughout your journey. Despite enjoying Oblivion I would still class myself as a bit of a noob, therefore I thought I would carry out some research to help determine which are Skyrim’s best perks.

Before we get started we must quickly state that different perks suit different types of gamers, so our best advice to avoid being a “jack of all trades, master of none”. This old adage basically means if you rank up everything equally you will be average at everything, instead there should be some attributes that you concentrate on more than others. For example: If you don’t plan on using the bow and arrow too much, don’t unlock many of the Archery perks, likewise if you like to obliterate the enemy with heavy two-handed weapons you should concentrate on the Two Handed perk tree.

With all that said you should not completely ignore some skills / perks, what’s the point of being able to dish out damage if you can’t take damage? The Block and Heavy Armor perk trees can’t be ignored! You can see a full list of Skyrim perk trees here, it is worth thinking about the way you are going to play the game before play so study the perk trees for 10 minutes – it may pay off.

A discussion over at GameSpot titled ‘Best perks in Skyrim?’ is well worth checking out, one gamer suggests that you should not waste valuable skill points on lockpicking (unless you really suck at it), instead buy lots of lockpicks and once you level up and your technique improves a little locks get much easier to pick. If you plan on using the bow and arrow a lot the Steady Hand perks are great, they slow down time. Also it is well-worth unlocking Steady Hand as it lets you zoom in on your target.

You can check out this GameSpot discussion here and it may well prove to be a very valuable read, also while we are here we thought we would link you to a GameFaqs thread titled ‘Your Favourite Perks?’ – this shows three pages of opinions.

The important thing to remember is that opinions differ, so what is useful to one person is useless to another, before we leave you we will quickly mention one thing: Apparently during your Skyrim journey you will be told that “Illusion is the most underappreciated school” – this suggests that Illusion could turn out to be a valuable asset during your journey, what do you think?

We would love to hear your opinions on Skyrim perks in the comments section below, therefore feel free to answer either (or both) of the following questions:

What are your favorite Skyrim perks?
Which perks are a waste of time?

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  • Dynasty2021

    Playing a thief character; all stealthy, assassin-like, striking from the dark with a bow or from behind with a knife, I’m surprised at the stealth gear ‘bonuses’ that actually suggest what perks your character should be getting.

    Let me explain, well, try to, without spoilers.

    As a thief, you naturally want to join the thieves guild. Completing it, as always, nets you some great loot, and in this case, gear (easily the top 5 best looking armour in the game), .

    Suffice to say, this gear gives you bonuses related to thievery, such as increased pickpocketing %age chance of success, lockpicking being easier, increasing your carrying capacity, making you harder to detect, increased %age of difficulty for the enemy to spot you while you’re stealthed etc.

    But the better thief gear you get as you progress adds things like muffled footsteps while running, but then increase your resistances to frost (wtf?), increases your one-handed damage (getting better), and then most curiously, increases the effect (I think it’s effect) of illusionary spells.

    So…is the best thief gear in the game subtely telling me I should be doing illusionary spells?

    Joining the dark brotherhood gives you a pair of gloves, right off the bat, that doubles your backstabbing damage while stealthed.

    So, if you progress the ‘Sneak’ tree, you increase your backstabbing damage, with the Assassin perk, by x15.  So take your dagger/sword/mace damage and times it by 15…then double it.  Some serious, serious damage from behind while sneaked, to the point where you can, literally, kill a dragon in 2 hits from behind before it can even react as you strike twice so quickly (especiially with a dagger).  Some have posted even 1-shotting a dragon.  WHich is insane.

  • BLSKing

    If you are like me and just have to loot everthing u see (i mean everything i had like 67 roll of paper at 1 time) the pickpoceting tree offer 100 carry space which is like leveling up your stamin 20 times also if your good at pickpoketing and part of the thief guiled you can make so much money beware of hired thug ther hard to deal with as there really hard to remane hidden from also read what dynasty said i thing he has found a loop hole in the game

  • BLSKing

    If you are like me and just have to loot everthing u see (i mean everything i had like 67 roll of paper at 1 time) the pickpoceting tree offer 100 carry space which is like leveling up your stamin 20 times also if your good at pickpoketing and part of the thief guiled you can make so much money beware of hired thug ther hard to deal with as there really hard to remane hidden from also read what dynasty said i thing he has found a loop hole in the game

  • i_aint_done_nothin

    Avoid light armor perks; they’re a waste of time.  Heavy armor is the best in the end hands down. Plus smithing is a must, and in order to get the strongest weapons you have to go the heavy armor route anyways.  Also max out enchanting; once you do you can enchant an entire set of clothing/armor that improves smithing(in combination with a potion to increase enchantment).  Once you’ve done that take an elixer of blacksmithing(or make your own if you can make one that’s stronger), and upgrade all of your weapons and armor.  That should seriously beef them up, then if you increase your one-handed/2h/bow etc on your normal equipment, you can easily be doing 300-400 dmg per hit(yeah it’s that sick)

    If magic is your thing, enchant your armor/clothing with the reduce dest/alt/illus/conj/rest cost 100% and it will literally cost nothing to cast magic.  If you get the 2 enchantment perk you could literally make it so you don’t have to spend a thing to use two types of magic(like destruction and restoration for example).  It’s also a great leveling up tip.

    But whether magic is your thing or if your like me and you like to be in your opponents face and massacre them.  Get that magic resistance perk that’s located in alteration; it will provide you with a total of 30% magic resistance which is useful to any type of character.

    Oh and if you are into melee don’t get that backwards power attack perk that allows you to paralyze your opponent; it’s a waste of a perk since you can enchant your weapon(s) to do the same thing, but instead you can use your standing power attack; which if you dual wield, and you acquired the appropriate perks you can do an additional 75% damage

    • i_aint_done_nothin

      Side Note: Silence is by far the best perk with stealth, and if you do my enchanting/smithing trick in order to make your equipment incredibly powerful; you really don’t need to get those attack bonuses perks.  The 2x damage with the bow, and the 3x damage with the one-handed weapons will pretty much kill just about anything in the game especially if you dual wield, and you do the double-smack hit(which levels up your stealth quicker when you do that fyi)

    • Anonymous

      “Avoid light armor perks; they’re a waste of time. Heavy armor is the best in the end hands down. Plus smithing is a must, and in order to get the strongest weapons you have to go the heavy armor route anyways”

      Um. How terribly misinformed.

      Armor value is capped in Skyrim at 567. This can be hit with Dragonscale Armor (Legendary), which is a Light Armor.

      Further, you can make both Dragonscale and Dragonplate no matter which side of the smithing tree you choose – so you can still take the heavy armor side, have your Daedric weapons, AND your armor -capped yet much more mobile Dragonscale light armor.

      The general consensus is that it’s Heavy Armor that is a complete waste of time, given the weight and movement restrictions it imposes for protection no better than properly improved Dragonscale.

      And why would you take the silence perk fro Stealth? Waste of a Perk point, especially if you have 100 Enchanting. Just toss Muffle on your boots for a full 100% silence while sneaking. You’ll still have 11 enchantment “Slots” to work with for your resistance and damage bonuses, and you’ll never have to worry about whether you’re going to be detected, like you still do with the 50% muffle perk.

  • Kasar_odatruh

    Right off the bat, there are a total of 80 possible perk points (levels 1-81).

    This being said, perks are completely and totally up to the player – whether to fill a tree completely, or pick and choose, and how the perks fit into the player’s style.

    I play an assassin-style character, with my goals being mobility and damage output. This leaves me at a disadvantage when it comes to dragon fights – most dragons aren’t going to sit there and let me sneak attack them (although, some will. Their loss.). To compensate, a few points into the Archery tree (for 2x normal bow damage and a chance to critically strike) as well as some poison-boosting perks allow me to bring down any enemy (including dragons) quickly.

    My top 5 list:
    5. Critical Shot – The extra damage is fairly consistent and always welcome
    4. Dual Flurry – Faster attack speed on my daggers? Yes please!
    3. Dual Savagery – All of my power attacks do more damage, things die faster. ‘Nuff said.
    2. Deadly Aim/Assassin’s Blade – Sneak isn’t as versatile against outdoor critters, but a well placed arrow in a barrow or a slice in the right direction while sneaking means death to most enemies.
    1. Extra Effect – Enchanting in this game is stupid good; this skill makes it even better. Extra bow damage plus health? Two enchantments on each of my weapons? Now I can soul trap everything that I wreck with my lifesteal.

    These are simply my favorites, but there are far more perks that add utility – especially in Poison and Smithing. Build your character as you’d like, and keep in mind that you may not be able to get EVERY perk that looks good, so get the ones that best suit you!

  • tesladd

    the shadow warrior perk basically gives you sneak kills on every target. one hit finisher moves like all the time

  • tesladd

    the shadow warrior perk basically gives you sneak kills on every target. one hit finisher moves like all the time

  • samuel sugi

    Shadow warrior + Assassin = OHKO all over enemy. Sneak is rubbish, use muffle to your boots.
    Equip your DBrotherhood gloves, move over your enemy (it doesn’t matter if they spotted/attack you), duck, and quickly attack, and you will see this message:”sneaking attack x 30″.

    Blacksmith+Alchemy+Enchanting = Best armor/weapons in the game.
    Want to see your character spamming fire like a badass? Learn Enchanting ASAP (and alchemy for creating fortify enchanting potions). Enchant 25% less spell cost to all 4 pieces of your equips and trigger happy with your magic.

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