Best Mage Races In Skyrim [Ultimate Guide]

A race can be better than the other in Skyrim, but it all comes down to your playing style!

In Skyrim, you will come across different sorts of races that you can select to play with. Each race has its own strength and weakness. However, it is not necessary that the strength of one race will be useful in Skyrim overall. In total, there are ten races in Skyrim, and some of them are Imperials, Nords, and Redguards. Once you know their specialty in Skyrim, then only you will be able to find out the best race among them.

Key Highlights
  • There are a total of ten races in Skyrim, and they include Orcs, Altmer, and Bosmer.
  • Each race has its own special ability, such as Wood Elf’s Beast Tongue, Imperial’s Voice of the Emperor, and Orcs’ Berserker Rage.

  1. Khajiit: Skilled in sneaking, +10 Sneak, Night Eye for dark vision.
  2. Wood Elf: Agile, +10 Archery, 50% poison/disease resistance, Beast Tongue to command animals.
  3. Argonian: Lockpicking experts, +10 Lockpicking, 50% disease resistance, Hitskin for fast healing, underwater breathing.
  4. Imperial: Diplomatic, +10 Restoration, Voice of the Emperor for calming conversations.
  5. Dark Elf: Fire-resistant (50%), +10 Destruction, Ancestor Guardian summons spirit.
  6. Orc (Orsimer): Aggressive, +10 Heavy Armor, Berserker Rage for heightened aggression.
  7. Redguard: Skilled in close combat, +10 One-Handed, Adrenaline Rush for increased stamina, 50% poison resistance.
  8. Nord: Cold-resistant (50%), +10 Two-Handed, Battle Cry intimidates enemies.
  9. High Elf (Altmer): Magic-focused, +10 Illusion, The Highborn regenerates Magicka quickly.
  10. Breton: Magic-resistant (25%), +10 Conjuration, Dragon Skin increases magic resistance temporarily.

BEST Mage Races In Skyrim Compared

No.RacesResidenceUnique AbilityResistanceSkill Bonus +10Skill Bonus +5
10KhajitElsweyrNight EyeTo DiseaseSneakArchery, Pickpocket, One-Handed, Alchemy, Lockpicking
9Wood ElfValenwoodBeast Tongue50% to Disease and PoisonArcheryLight Armor, Alchemy, Sneak, Pickpocket, Lockpicking
8ArgonianBlack MarshHistskin50% to DiseaseLockpickingAlteration, Sneak, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Restoration
7ImperialTamriel EmpireVoice of the Emperor-RestorationDestruction, Block, One-Handed, Heavy Armor, Enchanting
6DunmerMorrowindAncestor Guardian50% to FireDestructionAlchemy, Sneak, Light Armor, Alteration, Illusion
5OrsimerWrothgarianBerserker Rage-Heavy ArmorEnchanting, Block, Two-Handed, One-Handed, Smithing
4RedguardHammerfellAdrenaline Rush50% to PoisonOne-HandedArchery, Alteration, Destruction, Smithing, Block
3NordSnowy TundrasBattle Cry50% to ColdTwo-HandedBlock, Smithing, Light Armor, One-Handed, Speech
2High ElfSummerset IsleThe Highborn-IllusionConjuration, Alteration, Restoration, Enchanting, Destruction
1BretonHigh RockDragon Skin25% to MagicConjurationAlteration, Alchemy, Speech, Restoration, Illusion

10. Khajit

Skyrim: The Khajit Race
The Khajit Race in Skyrim [Image Captured by eXputer]
The Khajiits are a race who reside in the province of Elsweyr. They are most useful because of their stealth, agility, and natural resistance to disease. Not only that but they are also known for their unique racial ability, which is the Night Eye. It allows them to see in the dark as if it were daylight.

The skill bonuses that you get as a Khajit are:

  • +10 Sneak
  • +5 Archery
  • +5 Pickpocket
  • +5 One-Handed
  • +5 Alchemy
  • +5 Lockpicking

Apart from that, many of the Khajits you see will be merchants, traders, and thieves. Unfortunately, they have involved themselves in addictive substances, which include moon sugar and skooma. Other than that, some Khajiits are also known for their involvement in the illegal trade of such substances.

9. Wood Elf (Bosmer)

Best Race in Skyrim: Wood Eld Bosmer
The Wood Elf (Bosmer) Race in Skyrim [Image Credit Copyright: eXputer]
The Wood Elves belonging to Valenwood are not only known for their agility and stealth but for their unique abilities related to nature and the forest as well. The main ability of the Wood Elves is the Beast Tongue power. It allows them to command and tame the wild animals. So, if you have a stealthy playstyle, you can use tame animals to distract or take down enemies without being spotted.

The Wood Elves have 50% resistance to both disease and poison, which makes them a good candidate for defense. Their skill bonuses include:

  • +10 Archery
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Alchemy
  • +5 Sneak
  • +5 Pickpocket
  • +5 Lockpicking

8. Argonian

The Argonian Race in the Game
The Argonian Race in Skyrim [Image Credit: eXputer]
The Argonians reside in Black Marsh and are known for their 50% natural resistance to disease and their ability to breathe underwater for an infinite amount of time. Their strongest ability is the Histskin power which allows them to quickly heal themselves while in a battle.

The Argonians start off with the following skills:

  • +10 Lockpicking
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Sneak
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Pickpocket
  • +5 Restoration

Moreover, as an Argonian, you will experience their mastery in adaptability and resilience. They have a unique relationship with Hist Trees, which they consider to be sacred. The Hist Trees are the reason for Argonian’s ability to heal quickly. Other than that, they are also famous for their intelligence and their skills in infiltration and thievery

7. Imperial

Skyrim's best race: The Imperials
The Imperial Race in Skyrim [Image Captured by eXputer]
If you are the type of player who prefers a diplomatic playstyle, then you should definitely go for the Imperial Race in Skyrim, which reigns over the Tamriel Empire. In Skyrim, the Imperials are known for their skill in both magic and combat.

One of their most notable abilities is the Voice of the Emperor’s power. The ability allows you to pacify people in conversation. Not only can you use the ability for a better diplomatic playstyle, but it can allow you to defuse tense situations and, in some cases, even avoid combat.

The skills bonuses you get as an Imperial are:

  • +10 Restoration
  • +5 Destruction
  • +5 Block
  • +5 One-Handed
  • +5 Heavy Armor
  • +5 Enchanting

6. Dunmer (Dark Elf)

Dunmer (Dark Elf) Race in the Game
The Dunmer (Dark Elves) Race in Skyrim [Image Credit Copyright: eXputer]
It is possible that you are one of those players who hate to fight alone. If that is the case, then you will love choosing the race of Morrowind called the Dunmer (The Dark Elves). In Skyrim, the Dark Elves are famous for their proficiency in magic and their 50% resistance to fire.

Moreover, the signature ability of the Dark Elves is the Ancestor Guardian power. It will allow you to summon an ancestor spirit to aid you in battle. Most of the time, it will be a significant advantage for you, as it allows you to have an extra ally in combat.

The skill bonuses of Dark Elf are:

  • +10 Destruction
  • +5 Alchemy
  • +5 Sneak
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Illusion

5. Orsimer (Orcs)

The Orcs in the Game
The Orcs Race in Skyrim [Image Credit: eXputer]
Since Skyrim is a detailed story game, it can take up to 100 hours to complete. However, if you are one of those who prefer aggressive gameplay or want to end the fights quickly, then the Orcs can be the best race for you in Skyrim. The reason for that is strength and ferocity in combat, along with mastery of heavy armor and two-handed weapons.

The skill bonuses of Orcs include:

  • +10 Heavy Armor
  • +5 Enchanting
  • +5 Block
  • +5 Two-Handed
  • +5 One-Handed
  • +5 Smithing

When it comes to strength, the Berserker Rage power is the main ability of the Orcs. The ability allows the Orcs to enter combat effectiveness with a state of heightened aggression. Moreover, it can bring a significant advantage for you if you prefer a more offensive playstyle. Not only will it allow you to deal more damage, but it will also let you take on more difficult challenges.

4. Redguard

Redguard Race in the Game
The Redguard Race in Skyrim [Image Captured by eXputer]
The race of Redguard residing in Hammerfell is for players who enjoy close-range combats, especially with swords. The Redguards excel in combat, particularly with one-handed weapons and shields. Not only that, poison has 50% less effect on them.

Moreover, the Adrenaline Rush power is the distinct ability of Redguards. It will increase your stamina regeneration for a short period of time. Additionally, it is super useful for players who prefer a more active playstyle, as it allows them to perform more actions and maintain a sustained level of combat effectiveness. Therefore, if you want to keep on going in a fight, you should think about picking Redguard.

The skill bonuses include:

  • +10 One-Handed
  • +5 Archery
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Destruction
  • +5 Smithing
  • +5 Block

3. Nord

Nords in the Game
The Nords Race in Skyrim [Image Credit Copyright: eXputer]
If you want to keep on exploring the snowy areas of Skyrim but also want to fight some enemies, then you should be going for the Nords. You will find them in the Snowy Tundras of Skyrim. Apart from mastering two-handed weapons and heavy armor, they can withstand freezing temperatures like no other race in Skyrim, as they have 50% resistance to cold.

The skill bonuses that you will get as a Nord are:

  • +10 Two-Handed
  • +5 Block
  • +5 Smithing
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 One-Handed
  • +5 Speech

Apart from that, Nords can get quite dangerous once they use their Battle Cry power. It allows them to intimidate nearby enemies, which makes them flee or become less effective in battle. So, if you feel a bit more aggressive in the middle of the fight, don’t hesitate to use it. The Battle Cry will allow you to gain control on the battlefield and take on more difficult challenges.

2. High Elf (Altmer)

High Elves (Altmer) in the Game
The High Elf (Altmer) Race in Skyrim [Image Credit: eXputer]
One of the best races in Skyrim is High Elf (Altmer), as it will provide you with a different fighting experience. The High Elves have a magic-based playstyle, and it is totally different playstyle when compared to other races except for Breton. They excel in magic, particularly in the field of Destruction and Restoration. Other than that, The Highborn power allows them to regenerate their Magicka quickly.

The skills of a High Elf include:

  • +10 Illusion
  • +5 Conjuration
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Restoration
  • +5 Enchanting
  • +5 Destruction

1. Breton

Skyrim Best Race: Breton
The Breton Race in Skyrim [Image Captured by eXputer]
In case you are not satisfied with the magic-based playstyle of High Elves, then perhaps you should go for Breton. Bretons also have a magic-based playstyle, but it is more advanced than the High Elves. Apart from magic, the Bretons have excellence in the schools of Alteration, Conjuration, Illusion, and Restoration.

Moreover, they are also known for their 25% natural resistance to magic. On the loading screen, you might see 50% resistance, but actually, it is only 25%. The skill bonuses of Bretons include:

  • +10 Conjuration
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Alchemy
  • +5 Speech
  • +5 Restoration
  • Illusion: +5

Moreover, the Bretons’ signature ability is the Dragon Skin power, which allows them to temporarily increase their resistance to magic.

Final Words

All in all, there are ten races, and the best one in Skyrim V depends on your playstyle. However, in most cases, if not all, you will find Breton and High Elves dominate the battlefield with the help of their magic. Since magic is not the only tactic in Skyrim, you can even use Khajits to defeat an enemy through perfect sneak.

Apart from the fights and races, you should also take a look into Making Gold With The Transmute Spell and Skyrim Alchemy Recipes so you can understand the game mechanics well. Moreover, Here Are All The Black Book Locations In Skyrim that will help you complete the Black Book Quest. 

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Hammad Ijaz

Hammad Ijaz is a Guides Writer on eXputer who is into all sorts of gaming genres. He has this pure passion for enjoying games to the fullest and then reflecting that passion back into his writing. Along with a gaming experience of 10+ years, he has many years of writing experience as well. Hammad further solidifies his status as a true gamer by showcasing 200+ hours of game time on Warframe, Witcher 3, and Elden Ring. Feel free to explore his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism || Published 150+ Guides 

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