Some games feel like they’re made for cheaters. For example, few people play The Sims because it’s fun to simulate an ordinary life where ordinary avatars live boring days similar to those of the gamers; most Sims gamers use cheats and modifications to torture their Sims, giving a whole different vibe to the game than producers had intended! Some games just aren’t fun if you play them exactly the way they are intended.
Skyrim is not one of these games. Many (dare we say, most) Skyrim gamers don’t really use cheats when navigating the game. Some gamers even consider some of the basic aids in the game, such as fast travel options, stealing, and training, to be cheating! Skyrim is typically a game for dedicated and committed gamers who are willing to spend hours upon hours engulfed in the game to level up, conquer quests, and defeat foes.
If you’ve been playing Skyrim this way since it released back in 2011, we totally understand. Actually, we applaud you: you are one hardcore, bad-ass gamer we would not want to stumble upon in Oblivion. However, you’ve been missing out on some hidden goodies! While you’ve been chopping wood to earn some extra coin in order to work on your persuasion skills at the market, those unabashedly cheating have breezed past your skill level in no time at all! Now that it’s been over five years since the game released, let’s tweak with it and play with the loopholes. Whether you play on a console or PC, here are fifteen Skyrim cheats that will revolutionize your gameplay.
15. Find Skill Books- But Wait to Read Them
First of all, we should specify that you ought not to buy skill books. Buying skill books is like buying arrows- sure, you can waste your money if you want. But why buy something you can find lying all around Skyrim? Save your money and find used books while adventuring, raiding abandoned hideouts, and completing quests.
If you’ve ever found a skill book before, you know what happens when you read them: you gain a skill point. Hooray, reading creates knowledge and knowledge is power! But make this power even more powerful by saving these books for the opportune moment. Leveling up your skills when you’re a novice is easy: a few well strung arrows boosts archery, a successful transaction boosts persuasion. However, when you’re more experienced, skills become harder and harder to learn. Make it easy to become an expert by saving skill books until you are advanced in your craft. Maybe it’s not the coolest cheat in the world, but you’ll thank us later for all the time saved.
14. Get a Free Horse
It might seem like a silly thing to use a cheat for but anyone that doesn’t have their own stable, yet prefers travel by horseback, knows just how frustrating it can be to have to pay to rent a horse each time they want to take a road trip. Horseback travel is wonderful because it gets you to your destination quickly without missing the opportunities the Skyrim countryside has to offer. It also gives you an easy way home if you become encumbered on your journeys.
To get this free horse, you’ll want to travel southeast of Winterhold. Near the coast, there is an abandoned (and apparently raided) camp where a horse is just chilling, as if he’s waiting for you to come and find him. Without stealing him, you’ll be able to ride him into the sunset! You’ll even be able to fast travel away and the horse will follow you.
13. Use Said Horse to Boost Your Conjuration Skill
Alright, let’s start messing with the hacks and loopholes of the game. If you have a horse, you already have an advantage over novice gamers. With this horse, you now have a quick, easy, safe, and accessible way to boost your conjuration skills. Want to know more? Here’s what you do: step one, get a horse. You can buy your own or steal one, it doesn’t matter all too much so long as that horse is yours. Step two: you have to go out of your way to learn one spell ahead of time- the soul trap spell. The magic really begins with step three: use the soul trap spell on your horse. Strangely enough, it won’t hurt your horse but your conjuration skill will increase! If you’ve got all the time in the world to repeat the spell on your pony, you’ll be an expert in conjuration before you know it.
12. Free Archery Lessons With Faendal
Another quick and easy hack you can utilize to boost your skills is found with one of our favorite followers: Faendal of Riverwood. There is a free and easy way for you to learn plenty about archery from Faendal without going too far out of your way or hacking into the programming of the game. It’s incredibly easy. First, you’ll need to travel to Faendal’s hometown of Riverwood. Don’t ask for training but, rather, lend a hand in his quest to gain the hand of the coveted maiden Camilla. If you oblige his simple requests, he will offer his services as a follower and accompany you in your journeys around Skyrim. Once he acquiesces to following you, ask him to train you in archery. All the gold you pay him you can immediately take back by asking him to “carry something for you;” simply reach into his inventory and take his money!
11. Unlimited Free Arrows
What good is Faendal’s cheap training in archery if you don’t have the materials to show off your great talent? If you’re constantly running out of arrows in Skyrim, you probably feel tired of paying money for something that seems so simple to find around treasure troves and abandoned camps. End that problem for good by using this quick hack for unlimited, quality arrows.
Head somewhere where guards shoot for target practice, such as the Solitude training yard or even the Thieves Guild training area. You’ll want to pickpocket this guard, but don’t take anything! Instead, put in their inventory one of your favorite arrows. If you’re a very adept pickpocket, go ahead and steal from them the arrows they were shooting (if you’re not, wait until that guard goes to sleep). When they resume target practice they’ll be shooting your favorite arrows! Steal them off the target as they’re shot.
10. Prevent Fall Damage
If you don’t prefer fast travel or horseback travel and often find yourself running vaguely in the direction of your way-point marker, going off-roading and braving rough terrain, you’re familiar with this sort of problem. When travelling across the map, you’ll sometimes find yourself suddenly at the top of a mountain with seemingly no safe route down to the bottom. So what’s your strategy? Inching slowly down a steep cliff face and hoping you don’t fall to your death! Is it a foolproof plan? No, not at all- but it’s what we’ve got! To lessen your chances of falling to your death, tread carefully and, if you do slip, try toggling quickly in and out of sneak mode. You may fare well and land with soft knees, cushioning your blow. It’s not a guaranteed-to-work cheat but it may just be the cheat that saves your life! Whether you’re falling towards crags and rocks or a pond or creek, it can’t hurt to try!
9. Punch Your First Ally in the Face
Think back to the beginning of the game. You started the game as a prisoner of the Empire, trapped in a wooden cart with other prisoners on their way to execution. Just in time, you’re saved by a dragon attacking the small town of Helgen, giving you a chance to make a break for it! When escaping the fiery clutches of the dragon you’re given the choice to follow either Hadvar, an Imperial soldier that might have been your executioner, or Ralof, a Stormcloak soldier who was set to be executed with you. Whoever you follow, follow their directions closely until you’re asked to either kill or sneak past a bear. Instead of doing this, turn around and punch your NPC! Wail away on them- they can’t do anything about it (such as complain, turn against you, or even die). With a little patience, you can get your levels pretty high on this alone!
8. Sneak Up on the Greybeards
The Greybeards are fine guys, don’t get us wrong. But they’re not terribly useful, are they? They train you in how to use the Thume early in the game when you’re first identified as the Dragonborn, but they don’t do a whole lot beyond that except walk slowly and grump about how you use your gifts as Dragonborn. Let us explain how you can make more use of these grumpy old men! They are handy in that you can attack them and they will pretty much forgive you for it; they won’t fight back nor will you have a bounty on your head for the brash behavior. However, for even better use of these old farts, sneak up behind one of them and wait to go undetected- then, punch them in the back! Your sneak skills will increase as well as your levels. Sure, it’s not really nice- but it’s one more way these old coots can help!
7. Steal Anything From Under a Shopkeeper’s Nose
Sometimes the coolest and most coveted stuff in a shop isn’t in the tradesman’s or merchant’s inventory posted for sale. Instead, some of the best items (or popular items) can just be found lying around the merchant’s shop! But you can’t just grab whatever you feel like. Even if you’re a wonderful sneak or burglar, you’re likely to be seen and caught at some point. Suddenly, you’ll have a bounty on your head and the shopkeepers might even start trying to hit you. Take the easier route and consider this situation carefully- shop-keeps can’t watch you steal things if you cover their eyes! By holding down a button (varies depending on the console you play on) and dragging, you can move something to put over the merchant’s’ eyes, like a pot or basket, and they’ll just stand there none the wiser while you rob them blind.
6. God Mode
Sorry, gamers that play exclusively on XBox or PlayStation. We know it’s not really fair to include a cheat that only applies to PC gamers but it’s just so awesome that we couldn’t resist!
God Mode is pretty damn amazing, if you’ve never played in it before. In fact, we recommend playing Skyrim on PC for the sole reason of using this cheat! In God Mode, you are made to be invincible. No more status ailments, no more mortal wounds, no more falling to your death, no more dying! You are now as immortal as the Gods. That may seem like a slight modification- would it really change your gameplay that much? YES! When you can do anything in Skyrim knowing fully well that you cannot die, you’ll do everything with such reckless abandon that you’ll become a berserk gamer drunk with power! Just be careful when going back to living like us mortals- it’s easy to forget you’ll once again bleed.
5. Armor Duplication
Some of us Skyrim gamers have a favorite set of armor. We love the sets of armor that we’ve gotten from completing quest lines with groups like the Nightingales, the Thieves Guild, and the Dark Brotherhood. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wear your favorite armor but also be able to put it up on a mannequin in your home? Or perhaps you’ve stumbled upon some very nice and expensive armor that you’d like to sell over and over again for some nice coin? Have we got the cheat for you!
There are just a few quick and easy steps to this cheat. Assuming you have the Hearthfire DLC, it’s simple. Just go home, put the armor in question on a mannequin. Take back the items promptly without closing the item inventory. Then go outside of your home and reenter. When you come back in, the armor will still be on the mannequin and you’ll still have your set in your inventory!
4. The Invincible Dog
Who doesn’t want a doggie to follow them around in Skyrim?! Followers in Skyrim can be so annoying, constantly blocking your way out of locations, standing right in your shot when you’re trying to aim your arrows, failing to sneak up on foes as quietly as you do, talking too much when you really just wish they’d shut up! There are just as many disadvantages to having a follower as there are advantages! That is, of course, unless you find the best follower of them all- the invincible pup.
You don’t have to cheat so much to get this dog as much as you need to know how to take full advantage of the game (aka, hack it a little bit). Go to Falkreath and talk to Lod, who will ask you to find his missing dog. Once you find Barbas the dog, he’ll lead you to the shrine of Clavicus Vile. After that, the dog will follow you until you finish the quest. So… don’t finish the quest. The dog will fight by your side with the fervor of any follower and is just about un-killable, since he’s part of the quest. Plus, you can recruit another follower to accompany the both of you as well! What’s not to love?
3. Easy Money (Follower’s Gold)
We touched on this tiny hack earlier in the article but it’s so often and easily forgotten that we feel it’s really important to remind you just how much you’re missing out. Once someone in Skyrim becomes your follower, you have the ability to “ask them to carry something.” If you take advantage of this option, you can indeed have them carry as much as you’d like (even to the point of encumbering them) but you can also rummage through their inventory and take whatever you want from them without consequence- including their cash money! If you’re really struggling to find money, one of the easiest ways to make money fast is to get a follower (whether you find them or pay them) and then take their money. And remember- even if you pay someone to be your follower, you can just take that money right back again once they’re hired.
2. Try an Alternate Start
Alright, sorry again console gamers- this is another tidbit just for PC gamers. However, this is an amazing, wonderful, awesome reason for everyone to play Skyrim on PC! This simple mod created by fans and players of the game lets you start Skyrim in a completely different way! You still get to choose your race, as you would if you chose to start in Helgen as you normally would have, but you get so much more choice as to your character’s history. It’s an amazing way to play the game if you’re a character driven person.
If you seek out this mod, you’ll start your game in an abandoned prison cell. When you speak to the statue of Mara in the cell with you, you’ll be given options on how to start your new life, as if the Divinity is giving you the ability to choose how you will be reincarnated. Some of the options you can choose include “I was attacked and left for dead;” “I am a necromancer in a secret location;” and “I’m an outlaw in the wilds.” Once you choose how you will start again, you’ll be respawned in a different place in Skyrim.
1. The Dawnstar Chest
One of the absolute coolest cheats/hacks you can use in Skyrim is discovering and making use of the hidden, invisible Dawnstar chest. It takes a little while to discover but is totally worth it, as it holds amazing and expensive treasures. It’s also a great place for you to hide your lovely treasures, if you’re not willing to invest in real estate or a home base.
To find this chest, you need to visit Dawnstar and walk down the road until you find a shelter with a wheel barrow. Nearby, you’ll see two rocks and a bush (akin to the picture above). You’ll have to be crouching in sneak mode to find the chest. Don’t be surprised or frustrated when you find you have the option to open a chest but can’t see a chest- remember, IT’S INVISIBLE. And it’ll always be there! Feel free to hide your personal goodies there for future use!