Skyrim: Legendary Difficulty Guide
The new Legendary difficulty will challenge even the most hardcore Dovahkiin in Skyrim. That’s why we’ve put together a guide in honor of Bethesda’s Legendary Edition re-release, containing all three major DLC add-ons to their open-ended RPG opus. See what’s different in this difficulty level, how to exploit it, and how to survive with our guide below.
For even more Elder Scrolls awesomeness, check out the Skyrim Survival Guide, featuring every easter egg, exploit, and glitch on Game Front. If it’s step-by-step help with every story quest you’re looking for, browse our Skyrim, Dawnguard, or the Dragonborn walkthroughs.
Legendary Difficulty Guide
Legendary Difficulty Modifiers: Three times (3x) more damage received, one-quarter (1/4) damage output.
Legendary Difficulty, in essence, is twice as difficult as Skyrim’s previous highest difficulty level. Enemies’ attacks deal three times more damage, while the Dragonborn’s attack damage is cut down to one-quarter it’s original amount.
Example: An enemy hits for 25 damage, and the Dragonborn attacks for 40 damage. On Legendary difficulty, enemies will hit for 75 damage, while the Dragonborn will attack for 10 damage.
Difficulty can be changed at any time (out of combat) in the options menu. If Legendary is too challenging, there’s no penalty for lowering the difficulty settings.
The Benefits & Drawbacks of Legendary Difficulty
Combat skill growth sees a vast increase compared to certain other skills. Weapon skills (one-handed, two-handed, archery) and some mage skills will improve at a faster.
Enemies require many more strikes to take down. Your combat skills will improve faster, because they’ll require more use for each battle.
But, because enemies are so much more powerful, evading will save the Dragonborn earlier on until you’re able to acquire some of the unique armor sets found in the links below.
Combat skills will improve, but armor skills will flounder. Other skills (sneak, speech, etc) won’t be effected by the increased combat difficulty.
Legendary difficulty goes hand-in-hand with the new Legendary skills (learn all about Legendary Skills here). One way to quickly farm skill points is by altering the difficulty. Earn the best gear in the game, then turn up the difficulty — your combat skills will rank up much faster, making farming easier.
This can be exploited; turning the difficulty up to Legendary during the Greybeard training sequence and attacking your trainer, or by sneak-attacking Ralof in Helgen Keep at the beginning of the game.
Inversely, by lowering the difficulty the Dragonborn can stand still and allow weak enemies to attack him or her, earning quick and easy armor perk points over time.
Surviving Legendary Difficulty
Damage is modified with Legendary difficulty, but nothing else is changed. The best weapons and gear are still great. Instead of making the Dragonborn incredibly powerful, unique items are required to survive.
Check out more of our guides to get the best weapons, gear, and spells in Skyrim:
- Crafting: Best Possible Equipment Guide / Dragonborn Armor Blacksmithing / Dragonborn Weapon Crafting
- Spells & Powers: Free Spell Tomes Locations / Dragon Shout Locations / Dawnguard Dragon Shout Locations / Dragonborn Dragon Aspect Location