Yes, we realize that Skyrim came out seemingly forever ago and this information could be categorized as "old news." However, there are a few points that can be made to argue the other side of that statement. Firstly, it's only actually been five years since the game was released. More importantly, we know you're all still playing it anyways so you may as well check into the article and find a few ways to make a few extra coins in the game. Filling your coin purse in Skyrim is most difficult when you start the game. After the initial attack on Helgen at the start of the game, your character escapes the fiery jaws of the dragon with barely anything to their name. You walk into Riverwood with nothing but the rags on your back and the scant amount of loot you could accrue while sneaking away through the labyrinth of catacombs and caves below the tiny town. How are you supposed to survive your long journeys to Riverwood and Whiterun with no developed skills, no adept weaponry or armor, no money, and no companion? It's certainly a tricky task.
While the struggle for coins is glaringly difficult at the beginning, it's not the only time you might find yourself strapped for cash. Occasions that cause you to lose your finances occur all the time, such as imprisonment and bounty payoffs. Maybe you're smart enough to sneak well or play by Skyrim laws to avoid such misfortunes but even in such cases, it only takes building a house or buying a really fancy weapon to deplete all of your cash. In these cases, there's a lot you can do to get money fast. Sure, you could cheat, but we're going to give you 15 easy ways to get money fast without breaking the rules (sort of). So, prepare to fill your coin purses, and make the most out of all the add-ons in Skyrim.
15 Good Old Fashioned Hard Labor
Just like in real life, the best way to get money quickly is by working hard for it. If you're in a bind and need a bit of money fast, you can get it by picking up some tools and putting your back into it. If you're looking to make a lot of money, in efforts to save up to buy an awesome weapon or to purchase land on which to build a home, then this is absolutely the wrong method for you to try to save up. However, if you are ten gold pieces away from being able to purchase the best enchanted helmet you've ever seen or just need a bit more lumber to add an addition to your home, this is a great way to make money fast. Chopping wood, mining for ore, and hunting wildlife are completely innocent and potentially lucrative ways to make money. All it takes is a little bit of time (a few minutes our time, tops) to accumulate a well-stocked inventory of wood, ore, or pelts to sell to the highest bidder.
14 Level Up
It seems like something that shouldn't matter to this problem, doesn't it? What does leveling up have to do with making money? A lot, actually. Did you know that every time you level up, you increase your post-quest earning power? It's true! As you increase in levels, your rewards for completing missions and quest-lines increase as well. The same is true for other perks (both literal and figurative) you get from leveling up, including decreasing the likelihood that you'll die in battle and the ability to learn new abilities. If for some reason you're not leveling up as soon as your character is able to, you're completely suppressing your character's potential (and it's also very possible that you don't understand how this game works). The only excuse you ever have to not level up immediately after being given the opportunity is to save that level up until you're health is lowered in battle. Once you level up and increase your magic and stamina, your health will be boosted back to its maximum levels.
13 Get Married
Firstly, YES! You can get married in Skyrim! You can marry pretty much anyone in Skyrim, no matter your gender or race. If you're a male Imperial, you could still marry a male Argonian. Thanks to the game writers for being open-minded and being one of the first games to let you marry whoever you so choose. So how does marriage make you money? Isn't that kind of contrary to popular culture jokes? If you marry, try to marry someone that owns or runs a shop. Once you are married, go and take a nap (rest somewhere) and wait 24 hours. Soon after, when you speak to your new wife or husband, you should be able to ask about the shop they run. Every time you ask about it, they'll give you some of the store's profits to prove everything is going well. This amounts to 100 gold pieces each time. So, it seems like it truly does pay to follow your heart!
12 Pickpocket Everybody
Yes, it seems pretty obvious, we know. Yet, you're probably not pick-pocketing everyone you come across. Pick-pocketing is a hard skill to develop. In the beginning, you're going to find it a bit tricky and pretty much anyone you attempt to steal from is going to notice you and you're going to get in trouble. However, once you're able to build up your skill levels a bit more (or, if you're really impatient and have the money, just find a mentor to learn the skill set more expeditiously), pick-pocketing is one of the best and easiest ways to make money quickly. Simply follow townsfolk of whatever city you choose around town. Once you're out of sight, just sneak in real close, browse their inventory, and take all the wonderful and high-resale value items you can find. Just know in advance, of course, that you'll need to find a buyer who doesn't care where you got your inventory from.
11 Work On Your Smithing Skills
Smithing, which is the skill of taking raw mined metals and working them into wares and weapons, is a very difficult profession in the world of Skyrim. Smiths spend hours slaving over fiery forges, tanning racks, workbenches, and grinding stones, trying to perfect their goods for sale. As a young smith (or a newcomer to the game), your ability will be limited to steel and iron weapons and armors. Can this make you money? Sure, but not enough to really make it worth your while. If you want to make some quick money while working at a forge, you've got to level up your abilities (either through hard work or expensive training) to earn the capabilities to make glass, ebony, daedric, and dragon armor/weapons, which takes some time. To grow your skills and make money doing it, focus on making jewelry with gems and stones you "liberate" while foraging through dungeons and caves.
10 Raid Everyone's Home
No, it's not very nice to creep into someone's home while they're either asleep or not around and ransack their family heirlooms and precious keepsakes so that you can make a quick buck. Then again, we never promised that this list would be nice. We guaranteed only quick ways to make money, and there are assuredly few quicker ways than ransacking a house to make some money. Sure, you could just pick any house at random and go to town but you'll likely make more money if you do some research and plan ahead. When visiting cities, pick houses that belong to some of the wealthiest citizens, like the Black-Briars in Riften or Silver-Bloods in Markarth. Also, if you refer back to a previously published TheRichest article about the secrets of Skyrim, you'll learn about Shadowmarks which are quick tell-tale signs to know if a house is worth the trouble or not.
9 Get Political
Of course getting in good with the Jarl will help you get rich fast! Just like in real life (again, kudos to the game writers), having political leverage and finding a buddy in the guy in charge will guarantee you financial prosperity. Basically, you're just going to have to brown nose a bit to do it. The easiest Jarl to get friendly with is Jarl Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun. If you follow the main storyline of Skyrim, the quests will lead you straight to his throne within the first few objectives. If you help keep Whiterun safe and simply reveal that you are indeed, Dragonborn, he'll pretty much throw all the help at you as he can (his mage's support, a follower, property in Whiterun). If you choose to pick a side in the war, you can get Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak from Windhelm in your corner easily, and there are a few other Jarls that merely request you complete tiny quests in return for their love. Once you have it, you can take most items from the hold and sell them without consequence.
8 Work On Your Speech Skills
The speech skill is frequently and commonly underestimated in Skyrim. When you have so many really cool and enticing options to train, like one-handed wielding, sneak, and conjuration, it's hard to want to level up in something that reminds you of your high school public speaking class. We understand, but we strongly urge you to reconsider. The speech skill is vital to getting the best deals (and earning the most money) when you buy and sell at stores around Skyrim. The easiest and cheapest way to level up the speech skill is to be as loquacious as you can be. Talk to every single person you come across, from tradesmen to bandits to seemingly meaningless NPCs. If you don't have the patience to talk to everyone you come across, you might want to seek out a tutor in speech. Either way, it certainly behooves you to attend to this skill.
7 Get In On Bar Brawls
While this sounds like terrible advice, we'd like to blatantly state that we don't advocate such behavior in real life, so don't start walking into bars and causing trouble because "we told you to." Please don't get in bar fights in real life, it will give you more problems than it is worth. However, Skyrim is very different from real life! At many bars across Skyrim, you'll bump into gluttons and drunkards who have had their fill of arrogance and liquid courage. Find some of these inebriated fools and initiate a conversation, which will lead to many challenging you to a duel of fisticuffs. Whoever triumphs the brawl will win the pot of money you stake on the mini battle. Some of these fights are a little tougher, especially since you are relying on the strength of your fists alone and not your skill with magic, a sword, or a bow. Nonetheless, most are easily won and earn you money and more!
6 Work On Your Alchemy And Enchanting Skills
The dark arts aren't vilified in the world of Skyrim. In fact, alchemy and enchantments are common practices employed by the most domestic of townsfolk and their shops are located in every major city. Many use these skills to simply protect their farms or cure mild maladies and poisons on the go. A rarer and tougher few require them for elaborate enchantments of deadly weapons and to save them from the brink of death while in battle. In any case, alchemy and enchantment are skills that all citizens of Skyrim value. Show your worth and devote some time to these practices. Many potions can sell for wild amounts of money. For example, the simple combination of wheat, giant's toe, and creep cluster can earn you upwards of 1,000 gold coins. Likewise, finely forged weaponry enchanted with desirable qualities can bring in loads of cash. Take some time to experiment with the alchemy and enchantment tables, and you'll find it a lucrative endeavor.
5 Be A Particular Looter
Not everything is worth saving. If you're a longtime player of Skyrim, you've already discovered that this is one of the most valuable lessons to learn in the game. When we started playing Skyrim we would pick up everything we saw, from the iron shield the dead man once carried to the branch of thistle we passed on the road. Our inventories filled at such a rate that we'd become overburdened in the middle of quests and need to drop items just to make it out of the catacombs. We learned that some things, like linen wrappings and charcoal, were useless while other things, like iron swords and ancient nordic bows, were pointless in collecting. Be very particular and selective when rummaging through chests and raiding the deceased bodies of foes and the like. Not everything is worth saving for resale. Instead, save that inventory space for nice weaponry, gems, shields, and armor. Trust us, you don't need to keep those books or the millions of keys you've collected.
4 The Transmute Spell
If you haven't taken an interest in the magical aspects of Skyrim, we urge you to reconsider. Skyrim is home to some very strong and powerful magic, and there are many quests and adventures to be had for the willing and skilled witch or wizard. Magic can provide you with opportunities and powers that make your life easier (such as healing spells and spells to lighten up darkened corridors) as well as with the chances to make financially advantageous opportunities for yourself. The transmute is one such spell that can be easily learned from the Whiterun hold mage, who lives in Dragonsreach. For the spell to work, you need to only have iron or silver ore in your inventory. Ore can be mined from deposits all over Skyrim. Once you have the ore, cast the spell and your iron will turn to silver and your silver to gold. This should definitely make you interested in pursuing magic.
3 Be An Assassin
If you have few scruples or concerns about how you get your money in Skyrim, you truly ought to join the Dark Brotherhood. Even if you do fret over the fate of your fellow Skyrim citizens, you might find it reasonable to join this elite group. The Brotherhood is home to a legion of assassins who are called to kill by ancient rituals. They ask few questions, preferring to shoot first. While it is, surely, a bit heartless and cold, the group is rife with opportunity for a financially interested fighter like yourself. For each murderous hit you complete, you are paid and you are given the opportunity to loot the corpses you kill as well as their surroundings (so long as you kill them in a quiet and secretive manner). Some of your targets will be quite prominent members of the Skyrim society as well and will yield quite sizable treats.
2 Be A Guild Thief
Joining the Thieves Guild is just as profitable than joining the Dark Brotherhood, if not more. Forget about The Stormcloaks, forget about The Companions, and forget about various colleges you can attend. The guild, which is infamously located in the underground of Riften, is one of the most lucrative groups you can join. Not only are each of your missions based around stealing, pick-pocketing, and raiding your way across Skyrim, but each opportunity given to you by the Thieves Guild presents you with further opportunities to steal. For example, one mission might require you to steal an item from a home. What's to stop you from stealing everything else that you want along the way? Joining the Thieves Guild, though perhaps not entirely admirable, will be one of the wisest choices you can make in the game. If you're still unconvinced, perhaps it would help to know that the final mission is the highest paying in the game.
1 Be Vex Or Delvin's Lackey
While The Thieves Guild is indeed one of the most lucrative quest lines in all of Skyrim, there are many opportunities to make money outside of its primary missions. Get to know your fellow thieves, for they have good work for you. There are three, in particular, that you ought to always know the names of. Tonilia is the fence that will buy all of your stolen goods that encumber you when other stores question their origin. Vex and Delvin are the others, and they are essential to know because they will offer you some of the simplest work for a significant reward. Vex offers you a plethora of work in burglaries, heists, sweeps, and shill jobs. Delvin will give you opportunities in "Bedlam" jobs (stealing 500 coins or more from an establishment), fishing jobs, and number jobs. All of these jobs have high earning power ranging from 50 to 800 coins, depending on the difficulty.
Sources: Quora, Game FAQS
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