Which perks pack the most punch for your hard-earned skill points in Skyrim? We’re ranking the best of them to see.
Perks are a relatively new system in The Elder Scrolls franchise that was introduced in Skyrim. In place of attributes and skill bonuses on level up, you instead get a perk point when leveling up that can be spent on any skill tree.
Some of Skyrim’s perks are game-changing, allowing you to summon multiple creatures at once, deal increased damage, or create the strongest gear in the game. With how many perks exist in Skyrim, choosing the best ones can save a lot of time and resources. Here are the ten best perks you can use in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
10 Twin Souls (Conjuration)
Twin Souls is a Master-tier Conjuration perk that allows you to have two conjured creatures up simultaneously. These can be in the form of Dremora, Atronachs, or resurrected foes. This effectively doubles a summoner’s damage output in combat and allows for additional utility in the form of another Atronach. Since summoned creatures are not affected by difficulty damage modifiers, consider playing a summoner on your next Legendary Skyrim playthrough.
9 Quiet Casting (Illusion)
Quiet Casting is a much stronger perk than it sounds. Its perk description states that it makes every spell in the game will be silent to others when cast. This is invaluable for Illusion spells since it allows players to cast Muffle or Invisibility without alerting enemies.
Where this perk truly shines is in its application with other schools of magic. Casting Destruction-based runes or planting traps is much more practical with this perk. Better yet, Quiet Casting affects Shouts! Using Whirlwind Sprint or Bend Will will no longer cause nearby enemies to become alerted. For stealth builds, this is a must.
8 Armsman, Barbarian, Overdraw (One-Handed, Two-Handed, Archery)
Three perks were included here since they virtually do the same thing. Armsman, Barbarian, and Overdraw grant 20% increased damage for their respective skill trees—One-Handed, Two-Handed, and Archery respectively. Considering these perks can be invested into every 20 levels into a skill, these perks become the foundation of many builds that can defeat Skyrim’s greatest foes.
7 Impact (Destruction)
Available rather early for Destruction mages, Impact causes spells that are dual cast to stagger targets. Low damage spells such as Spark and Flames will not trigger this perk on tougher opponents.
Fortunately, Ice Spike and Firebolt deal enough damage to trigger Impact on giants and dragons. Alternate casts in each hand to stunlock virtually every enemy to death. Few perks come close to impacting a playstyle as much as Impact does for mages.
6 Power Shot (Archery)
Every Archery perk in Skyrim is a top-tier choice due to their potency, yet there is one that is slightly stronger than the rest. Power Shot is a perk that gives every arrow shot a 50% chance to stagger a target. Unlike Impact, Power Shot doesn’t have any sort of damage threshold it needs to meet.
In other words, every arrow fired has a chance of stopping the enemy dead in their tracks. Use this on melee opponents to build some breathing room or fire a flurry of arrows at a dragon to practically disable its AI.
5 Assassin’s Blade (Sneak)
It shouldn’t take much explanation to understand why Assassin’s Blade is such a good perk. This perk grants daggers a 15x sneak attack bonus, which can stack with other sneak attack and damage bonuses. Combine this perk with the Shrouded Gloves enchantment to instantly kill most targets.
4 Deadly Aim (Sneak)
Deadly Aim is similar to Assassin’s Blade in that it grants a stealth damage multiplier. Unlike Assassin’s Blade, Deadly Aim grants a 3x damage bonus to bows. While that sounds objectively worse, bows deal substantially more damage than daggers thanks to Archery perks and their higher base damage. This perk is a large contributor to the popularity of stealth archers in Skyrim.
3 Necromage (Restoration)
Necromage is a Restoration perk that causes all spells to be 30% more effective against undead. This is a solid perk for those that run Restoration-related spells frequently, but Necromage has a hidden synergy with vampires.
Since vampires are considered undead in Skyrim, vampire characters with the Necromage perk gain a 30% increased effect of every magical effect in the game! This includes enchantments, skill perks, and even Standing Stones. When combined with the Atronach Stone and the Atronach Alteration perk, you can achieve 100% spell absorption at all times, making you immune to all spells in the game! Necromage is the ultimate perk for vampire characters.
2 Quick Reflexes (Block)
Block is one of the most underrated skills in Skyrim. Perks related to blocking allow you to disarm targets, deal a large chunk of damage through bashes, and run into targets to knock them on the ground.
Arguably the best perk from this tree is Quick Reflexes, which causes time to slow down if you are blocking an enemy’s power attack. The time slow begins immediately, and it lingers for a couple of seconds. This gives you ample time to attack the enemy a few times, dodge the incoming attack, or unleash a Shout. Quick Reflexes is an on-command Slow Time Shout with no cooldown. To prevent bugs related to this perk, make sure to install the Unofficial Skyrim Patch mod.
1 Extra Effect (Enchanting)
Every crafting profession in Skyrim is overpowered, letting the Dragonborn become practically immortal if they can craft and enchant hundreds of iron daggers or dwarven bows. Out of every crafting skill, Enchanting stands above the others due to how powerful enchantments are.
Extra Effect takes this to the next level by allowing enchanted gear to have two effects on it at once. Instead of having to choose between damage or defense with an armor enchant, you can choose both if you have this perk. Every build in Skyrim can do the hardest content as long as you use enchanted gear supported with this perk.
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