- **Active Power: .**
- **Passive Effect:**


Orsimer (Orc)

Second fastest race.

Orcs have, by far, the strongest Active Power in the game. It doesn't affect spells or weapon enchantments but taking half damage for 60 seconds is great for any build (even casters).

A-Tier The Best Races


Bretons are the best race for min/maxers -- with careful planning, you can achieve 85% Magic Resistance and 80% Spell Absorption, making you effectively immune to Magic damage.

High Elf (Altmer)

The fastest race and the +50 bonus Magicka essentially gives them a 5 level lead over every other race in the game. Their passive and active ability isn't good after committing enough resources to Enchanting but for any player that doesn't focus on reducing spell costs to zero, these skills are welcome.


Dunmer (Dark Elf)

Dunmer offset the side effects from Vampirism the best out of all of the races, so it's a niche pick if you know you want to be a vampire.


Another niche build but for Unarmed combat this time. If you decide to make an Unarmed build, commit to leveling the One-Handed skill as that will increase your damage despite not being able to level up with unarmed attacks (each skill level increases your damage by 0.5%). Khajiit essentially start with an Ebony Greatsword but the damage will eventually fall off as players invest in blacksmithing and/or enchanting.



The third fastest race in the game (Altmer and Orsimer), the extra Frost Resistance is nice since you are in a game where Frost damage is relatively common.


Poison resistance can be nice if you don't plan on becoming a vampire and you invest in Alchemy. The stamina regeneration can be nice at lower levels or during general gameplay where you don't put any effort into Alchemy or cooking. Redguards have a slight incentive to wear Heavy Armor over Light Armor for this reason but it's probably not worth factoring in.

Bosmer (Wood Elf)

The best Archers in the game and a fantastic pick if you're looking to control your leveling through the game (as in, level slower than normal).

Same thing as Redguard but their passive ability is slightly worse/more situational.

Note: Disease Resistance has almost no value in Skyrim. You can find Shrines that will remove diseases for no cost and you'll almost assuradely wind up being either a werewolf or a vampire, which both offer disease immunity.

The "Best" Fair Races (Blindplay Races)

Altmer or Bosmer.

A fan-favorite build in most Elder Scroll games are the Sneak Attack Archer and Wood Elf (Bosmer) have a significant head start for that style of play.

For High Elves (Altmer), it's hard to argue with being the fastest race in the game and having a 5 level stat headstart due to the +50 Magicka and being trained in all Magic Skills.

Honorable Mention: Redguard

Redguard probably have the best general spread of skills in the game -- as close to a jack of all trades starting race.

Don't Overthink Race Choice Too Much

For the most part, choosing a race has very little impact on the game. If you pick a race that has no bonus training in skills you plan to use, you're going to be able to level up faster and the inverse is true as well -- picking a race that aligns with how you plan on playing the game will slow down the leveling process for you. Both methods of play have their pros and cons