Learning to Crawl
Now that you’ve selected a class and background, let’s talk a bit more about how your character will progress. When you exit the Realm of Lorkhan, you’ll be severely underprepared for the challenges you’re about to face. Your character will barely be able to fight a bandit or two face-to-face. To make that easier, you should begin your playthrough by preparing carefully for the challenges you’re about to face.
In order, you should try to accomplish the following tasks:
- Start planning your character’s build. You can play any build you want, but you want to have an idea of what you’re going to do to make the following steps easier.
- Remember that Experience changes how you level up. You’ll only get XP from quests, clearing dungeons, and exploring. Your skills will also be capped (indicated by a red XP bar under that skill in your perk trees) based on your character’s overall level.
- Acquire at least two different types of melee weapon. One bladed and one blunt should be acceptable. Different enemies and armors are vulnerable to different kinds of damage.
- Explore the hold you started in, making sure to pick up all major (and most minor) map markers. You get XP from map markers and will likely gain your first level or two just from exploring.
- Get at least one follower. There are plenty all over the world and having someone to act as a meat-shield will be invaluable.
- You’re now probably ready to start fighting enemies. Small groups of bandits are your best bet while you’re still starting out. Once you’ve defeated your first dungeon (usually Embershard Mine or Redoran’s Retreat), you’ve got a bunch of things to do.
- Go shopping (both in the “spend gold, get items” sense and the “loot your enemies” sense). Here’s a shopping list depending on the category of build you’re going for:
|Weapons||Two different types of melee (one bladed, one blunt)||Bow/arrows and two different melee (bladed/blunt)||None|
|Armor||full set of heavy armor (whatever you can find)||full set of light armor (whatever you can find)||Enchanted robes (increased magicka regeneration/reduced spell cost)|
|Spells||none||Spells that enhance stealth||Whatever your build calls for and one each of fire/lightning/cold|
|Other||Amulet/ring to increase health/stamina||Amulet/ring to increase stamina/health/stealth||Amulet/ring to increase magicka/health|
- Invest in perks that make your chosen combat style more effective. Better armor perks, more efficient spells, better stealth, etc. Other perk trees like Enchanting, Smithing, and Security can wait until you’re more established.
- Do some sidequests and missives. These are usually easy, short, and valuable in terms of XP. You’ll also likely get some gold for doing them.
- Keep exploring! Remember you get XP for finding map markers, so you’ll constantly get XP as long as you’re exploring.
- Avoid starting any major questlines (especially the main story) until you’re around level 10.
Now that you’ve got yourself established with a follower or two, a solid set of equipment, and some levels under your belt, it’s time for the next steps:
- Start a faction questline related to your build - The Companions for warriors, Thieves’ Guild for thieves, and the Mage’s College for mages. You should be able to complete at least the first quest in each of these questlines at this point.
- Keep in mind that undead, Falmer, Forsworn, and Dwemer are much stronger than you. If you’re not at least level 10, you should avoid fighting these enemies.
- You might be able to take on some of the larger bandit camps like Silent Moons Camp at this point. Come with a lot of potions and be prepared to run away if you get overwhelmed.
- You should be able to start branching out of the Riverwood/Whiterun area at this point and taking on dungeons near Windhelm, Solitude, and Markarth.
- When you’re about level 15, you can start the main story by speaking with Jarl Balgruuf. After speaking with him, you’ll be able to progress the quest by talking to Farengar. Be forewarned, though, that the first dragon is going to be at least level 40 so you really need to come prepared for that fight.
After this, you should be pretty well ready to handle anything LS4 can throw at you. If you get stuck or aren’t sure how something works, be sure to check the “How Do I…?” page to see if your question has already been answered. If not, feel free to hop on the Discord server to ask for more help or guidance.
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