Skyrim is a sprawling and expansive RPG with hundreds of hours of gameplay and miles of terrain to explore. The game is over a decade old now, but it’s constantly receiving new ports and updates that keep it relevant. Leveling up certain skills in Tamriel’s frozen north can be a bit of a slog, though, which might be leaving you asking how to level up your skills fast in Skyrim.
Gaining experience is a little different in Skyrim than most other games. You gain character levels by leveling up individual abilities. You then follow a skill tree that gives you a point each time you gain a character level, and can invest those points in the individual abilities you’ve been leveling (as long as the skill level is high enough). Leveling up sword and bow skills is pretty straight forward, but sometimes you just want to get that Dragon Bone armor as soon as possible. Some skills are also just much easier to level up than others. That’s why we at High Ground Gaming decided to make this guide to help you level up fast in Skyrim.
How to Level Up Fast in Skyrim: 8 Methods Ranked Simple to Most Time Consuming
Want to strap on your armor and go hunt some dragons? It’s time to learn how to level up fast in Skyrim!
Mage, Thief, Warrior, and Lover Stones
Standing stones are pillars associated with each month in the game’s fictional calendar. Each of them grants your character a special passive ability, but you can only have one active at a time. Right in the beginning of the game, as you are following either Ralof or Hadvar to Riverwood from the wreckage of Helgen, you will pass three stones; The Warrior, the Thief, and the Mage. Choosing whichever of these applies to the skillset you want to learn will grant you bonus experience in all skills under the umbrella of that class’s category. The Warrior makes combat skills increase 20% faster, the Thief makes stealth skills increase 20% faster, and the Mage makes magic skills increase 20% faster.
Alternatively, there is another stone for those who don’t want to be shoehorned into the skillset of a specific class. The Lover stone grants a blanket 15% increase to all skills. Grabbing any of these is a quick and easy way help you increase your skills quickly and start racking up those levels.
Get Some Shut Eye
Sleep is one of those things it’s easy to forget about in Skyrim. You don’t really need to sleep since you don’t suffer any kind of exhaustion if you don’t, but there are bonuses for getting a good night’s rest. Players receive a bonus 5% to experience for eight hours when you sleep in a stranger’s bed and a bonus 10% for sleeping in one you own. It goes all the way up to 15% if you sleep in bed with a spouse. This also stacks with the standing stone bonuses as well, meaning you can have as much as a 35% bonus to skills for the day! Using these two in tandem will make everything else on this list work even faster.
Gold for Skills
Mo’ money doesn’t necessarily mean mo’ problems. If you find yourself flush with cash you don’t need, you should know that there’s a way to turn that gold into sweet EXP. There are several NPCs, including a bunch of followers, who can train you in certain skills. Want to learn Archery? Aela the Huntress can help you out. Looking to boost your One-Handed skill? Athis is your man. How about Conjuration? Talvas has your back.
Keep in mind that the cost is scaled to your current level. That means lower levels are cheap while higher levels cost a pretty penny. You should also be aware that most trainers have a level cap, meaning they won’t be able to help you once your past a certain level in that skill. Each of them can also only help you go up a maximum of five levels in a given skill. Still, it’s much faster than having to grind those five levels out.
Rogues: Sneak, Pickpocket, Illusion
Sneak is the bread and butter of any good rogue. It’s kind of the one skill that the entire class is based around. Filling the Sneak perk tree will not only increase your bow and one-handed weapon damage exponentially, but it will also make it possible for you to steal and pickpocket.
It is possible for you to crouch your character in a corner, tape down your joystick, and let your character sneak against a wall near a Whiterun guard for a few hours until your Sneak levels up to 100. If you want to take a more active role, however, you can sneak, use the Muffle spell, and pickpocket NPCs all at the same time. Doing this will quickly help raise your character’s stats in three essential Rogue skills at once, which will in turn help you level up quickly. You might get caught a few times at before you have enough perks to be good at pickpocketing, but hey — no risk, no reward.
Warriors: Blocking, Heavy Armor, Restoration
Part of being a warrior is being able to take a hit. Unfortunately, the only way to upgrade Armor and Blocking is to get hit… a lot. This method can be a little tricky since you need to find an enemy who is strong enough to help you level up as quickly as possible, but not so strong that they whittle away your health faster than you can heal it. Once you’ve found your perfect candidate, put up your shield and let them hit you. Then activate a healing spell in your free hand in order to keep your health from getting too low. It will still take some time to get all of these abilities up where you want them, but having all three of them working in tandem will keep the levels rolling in while you gain important skills to your class. Depending on your character’s race, you might have some unique powers like Histskin or Berserker Rage that would help keep you alive here as well.
Mages: Restoration, Alteration, Illusion
A common question asked by Skyrim players is how to level up their Conjuration, Destruction, or Restoration skills fast. Magic skills are famously some of the most difficult to level up. There are also so many different schools of magic that you will likely not be an expert in all of them until you attain an extremely high level. There are a few tricks for leveling up some of the schools of magic quickly, however.
Dual casting the Alteration spell Equilibrium with a simultaneous healing spell from the Restoration school creates kind of a leveling feedback loop. Healing spells drain your magika while feeding your health pool. Equilibrium drains your health pool while feeding your magic pool. You’ll have to be careful that one doesn’t accidentally outpace the other, but using them in tandem is a great way to level up both at the same time. You can also use the Detect Life spell in cities like Whiterun and Riften to rapidly boost your Alteration, since this spell grants more XP the more people you detect with it.
Like with the rogue, you can also passively upgrade your Illusion magic simply by casting Muffle any time you’re in a crowded area. This means you can keep the skill tree going up, even while you’re just wandering around between adventures. Another trick is to cast the Rally spell when you’re surrounded by NPCs. They get to be full of confidence, and you get a big boost to Illusion magic. Win-win!
Forge Hardened Skill Tree
A little tedious? Maybe. But forging is the only way to get some of the best light armor, the best heavy armor, and the best weapons in Skyrim. How do you level Smithing up fast in Skyrim? There’s a great trick for leveling it up quickly and it’s one of the oldest in the game. First stock up on animal furs, leather, leather straps, iron ore, and iron ingots. These things are everywhere, especially if you’ve been doing your part to keep Skyrim’s overpopulated wildlife under control.
Smelt the ore into ingots, tan the hides into leather, turn some of the leather into strips, then go to the forge and make a ton of iron daggers and leather bracers. It might take a while, but this will give your character a significant boost to your Smithing stat and you’ll see the levels start creeping up as well. Once you’ve made all you can, sell them and use the money to buy more iron ingots and leather, then do it again!
You can also start collecting soul gems if you’d like to boost Enchanting at the same time. Use an enchanting table to enchant as many daggers and bracers as you can (the type of enchantment doesn’t matter). This boosts your skills and also makes the items more valuable for when you sell them. You should also consider either getting the Soul Trap spell or a weapon with the Soul Trap enchantment, like the Mace of Molag Bol. This help you fill soul gems, which are not only useful for making even more enchantments, but also for recharging the enchantments on your weapons (both of which boost your enchanting skill).
Battling Big Bads
It might seem like common sense, but one of the best ways to improve your fighting skills in Skyrim is to fight enemies. The bigger the better. You get a lot more points for battling creatures like Giants and Dragons than you do for wolves and mudcrabs, so you should seek these beasties out once you’re confident you can handle them. Don’t try to take them on right out of the gate, though. You need some good gear and a decent health pool or that giant’s club will launch you into space like Sputnik. Maybe wait till you’ve climbed a few leveling mole-hills before jumping to Mt. Everest.
Any skills you use will improve much faster than they would against normal enemies, meaning that this method is the most useful for all classes. This is one of the best ways to boost things like Destruction magic and weapon attacks. This can also be a great way to quickly level up Blocking, Armor, and Restoration skills if you’re willing to sit there and let them hit you. It’s a lot more dangerous however, so be sure to keep plenty of potions on hand and for the love of all that’s holy, save beforehand!
Bonus: The Absolute Fastest Way? Console Commands
Obviously, the fastest and most efficient way to level up is to cheat, but you wouldn’t do that. Would you?
Gamers playing on PC can easily access the games console commands and jump through levels without doing any of the grinding. It might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually fairly simple. Hit the tilde key (~) in order to turn on the console screen.
You can simply use the command “player.advlevel” to raise your level, but this doesn’t raise any of your skill levels. It’s much better to raise the skills you’re interested in and let the character level go up on its own. To do this, use the command formula player.AdvSkill <skill> <#> and replace the word ‘skill’ with whichever skill you want to raise and the ‘#’ with the value you wish to raise it by. You can find a full list of commands and values on the Elder Scrolls Fandom Wiki.
Become a High Grounder
Thank you for reading our guide on how to level up fast in Skyrim. We hope it helps you to build your Dovahkiin into a force of nature that makes the Greybeards proud. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for lists, reviews and more guides like this one.