Skyrim: Races

For those unfamiliar, or without a copy of Skyrim in their grubby little hands, some might be curious how the races have changed between Oblivion and Skyrim. There are some changes, with newly re-balanced skills and new special abilities available to these familiar races. The full list of abilities, powers, spells, and skill bonuses are just down the page, so keep scrolling to get the low-down.

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Altmer (High Elves)

  • Abilities: +50 Magicka
  • Power: Highborn – Magicka regenerates ten times faster for 60 seconds, usable once per day.
  • Spell: High Elves start with the spell Fury.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Illusion, +5 Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Restoration.


  • Abilities: Resist Disease 50%, Water Breathing – Argonians can breath underwater indefinately.
  • Power: Histskin – Health regenerates ten times faster for 60 seconds, usable once per day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Lockpicking, +5 Alteration, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Restoration, Sneak.

Bosmer (Wood Elves)

  • Abilities: Resist Poison 50%, Resist Disease 50%
  • Power: Command Animal – Forces an animal to be your ally for 60 seconds, once per day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Archery, +5 Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak.


  • Abilities: Resist Magic 25%
  • Power: Dragonskin – Absorbs 50% of the magicka from enemy spells for 60 seconds, usable once per days.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Conjuration, _+5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Restoration, Speech.

Dunmer (Dark Elves)

  • Abilities: Resist Fire 50%
  • Power: Ancestor’s Wrath – Surrounds yourself with fire for 60 seconds, usable one per day. Any enemy that touches the fire shield will take 8 points of fire damage per second.
  • Spell: Dark Elves start with the spell Sparks.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Destruction, +5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Light Armor, Sneak.


  • Abilities: Imperial Luck – Increased gold from containers.
  • Power: Voice of the Emperor – Calms enemies for 60 seconds, usable once a day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Restoration, +5 Block, Destruction, Enchanting, Heavy Armor, One-Handed.


  • Abilities: Claw Attacks – Bonus damage with melee hand-to-hand attacks.
  • Power: Eye of Night – Improves your night vision for 60 seconds, usable as many times as you want a day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Sneak, +5 Alchemy, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, One-handed.


  • Abilities: Resist Frost 50%
  • Power: Battlecry – Forces the target to flee for 30 seconds, usable once per day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Two-handed, +5 Block, Light Armor, One-handed, Smithing, Speech

Orsimer (Orc)

  • Abilities: NONE.
  • Power: Berserk – Deal twice the damage while taking half the damage for 60 seconds, once per day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 Heavy Armor, +5 Block, Enchanting, One-handed, Smithing, Two-handed.


  • Abilities: Resist Poison 50%
  • Power: Adrenaline Rush – Multiplies stamina regenation by 10 for 60 seconds, usable once per day.
  • Skill Bonuses: +10 One-handed, +5 Alteration, Archery, Block, Destruction, Smithing.

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