Skyrim - using no magic / only magic


New member
Apr 16, 2009
TizzytheTormentor said:
I found Magic to be pretty gimped in all the games, the fact that it needs to regenerate and If you haven't got Magic replenishing potions or are specialized in one weapon type, you are fucked.
I did something in the College of Winterhold, i think it was a sidequest to find anomalies and ended up getting a massive, MASSIVE regen boost to my magicka. I wasn't specced for anything of the sort and ended up being able to channel Healing and still gain mana.

Only lasted a while though :<


Fell off the Alligator.
Jun 24, 2009
Welcome to the Escapist!

[small](Please don't feed the trolls.)[/small]

I played a Khajit with the intent to avoid magic, once. Mostly just stealth and archery was my build, only using enchanted items that I find/am awarded. Moved to daggers when my stealth was high enough to help me hide in shadows. The Daedra are your friends, in this case. Spellbreaker (the shield) is unparalleledly useful, if you're a shield-using build. The Mace of Molag Bal fills soul gems, if you need those, but don't want to cast spells for them.

I've never gone no magic whatsoever, so I can't comment on that. I usually have too much fun being an arcane warrior, casting spells and bashing in skulls whenever possible, decked out in the most powerful armor I can make.


New member
Feb 18, 2010
I tried mage only first, got to level 30 and then everything managed to kill me. I figured I'd messed up my build but I've never had any great motivation to make another mage character.
Instead I have done a pure two handed melee, sword and shield, dual swords, sneak archers and assassins. In all of those playthroughs I did not use alchemy or enchanting. I have to say that sneak archer becomes overpowered at the endgame even against dragons. But it is surprisingly fun to play.
So it is doable to be purely non-magic and I don't doubt that pure mage is doable either. You just have to get a build that works for you and most importantly, is fun for you to play.


New member
Jan 27, 2011
Stealth all the way. I only used magic to con my way into the Mages' College so I could take their stuff, or if there's a bunch of oil on the floor and I can get a few laughs by setting everyone on fire. I am leveling up my enchanting though, as being a vampire Wood Elf means that fire kicks my ass, so I need all the fire resistance I can get my hands on.


New member
Sep 20, 2012
Thanks all - great to be here.

My 'no magic' build is based along the lines of Eclectic's more extreme option: nothing that doesn't obey the laws of physics is allowed. Unfortunately that includes found and given items, except where there's no choice but to use a magical item (or shout) to complete a quest. My character's like a magical luddite, shunning everything not practical. I thought that'd suit Skyrim (OT he'd also be a stormcloak if they weren't all such massive cocks).

In trying this stealth and archery gives the best shot; as soon as magical characters know you're there it's trouble. Charging in got me paralysed, frozen, cooked and frazzled far, far too often. Probably as people have suggested alchemy and/or being a Breton is the answer. I just find alchemy a bit dull, although it helps for assassin types.

Like the idea of trying out Khajit claws against a dragon like Torrasque, gets me back close to my unarmoured, hand-to-hand specialist who once terrorised a different territory hundreds of years previously... Those were the days


New member
Feb 27, 2012
For just about all of Skyrim I played a classic Nord. No magic except enchantments needed, its just much easier to cut someones throat out. Finally i learned a spell to illuminate caves because screw darkness.


New member
Aug 21, 2011
I played a khajiit thief and i never used magic or shouts...archery and stealth all the way. You can actually get sneak upto level 100 before leaving the first room and then basically you are invisible for the rest of the game. The boss fights can get tough on expert but the terrible pathing of the AI means you can lead them to a safe area where you can't lose. Thats only until level 30 though where you can basically kill anything without trying. Ahh i do like broken levelling systems :)


New member
Feb 10, 2011
A pure mage build is probably the single most powerful build if you know what to do. The key focus is to grind enchanting until you reach 100, you can also grind alchemy to 100 but I've always found it unnecessary. The key things to pick up from the enchanting tree are the general enchanting buffs (plus X to all enchantments) and the passive bonus buff (plus X to all passive enchantments). If you combine these with enchantments to reduce the magic cost of a certain school (say, destruction) you can easily eliminate the entire magic cost of one school (such as destruction) and reduce the cost of a second school by about half (such as restoration). When combined with the Impact skill in destruction, you become an unstoppable god of death and destruction. Even on the highest difficulty I was able to spam a high-level destruction spell to stun lock multiple high level dragons and kill them all without getting a scratch on me.

A pure warrior build is probably the hardest, as you loose out on useful healing magics. Also, if you refuse to pick up a bow, you will have an extremely hard time dealing with dragons until you learn that one shout that automatically grounds them. But again, it is doable, you just have to be a bit more careful with your resource management, and you'll probably spend the majority of your gold on potions.


New member
Dec 4, 2008
MouseyB said:
Firstly 'hello', I'm new here.

I've tried to play through Skyrim with no magic, but always cave and end up enchanting my armour. Even apprentice mages get me with that pesky frost magic, it's not long before I'm gathering soul gems to stay alive.

Anyone played through using no magic at all? Is it possible / worth it? All tips are welcome.

Secondly, I've never tried this because being nord-brained I distrust everything in a robe, but anyone used only magic? I mean no armour, no weapons? That kind of appeals too.

Ps I'm playing expert level and don't really want to come down.
main hand dagger
offhand sword
do the dark brotherhood quest and get the (ancient shrouded gloves) + +
= OP as hell

the only spells I cast(excluding power leveling) were for the mage guild when there needed and mage light to unlock doors in the soul Cairn. Except for enchanting because one hand damage lets me destroy Legendary dragons in one power attack.

Magic is a bit hardder I found as you do no were near the damage as a thief build but I have made a cloth mage work

basicly pour about 4 to 5 levels into magica and then 1 into health.
This will do two things
Let you cast higher level spells(as they need more mana) and will raise your magica regen(as you regen 3% of your total every seccond you are not casting)

Atronach-will give you basically an unlimited mana supply from Guardian Circle and a good bit from Blizzard

Mage skin is not as needed as you think it is as Dragon hide gives you the maxim armor in the game but it is nice to have for before that. The Magic resist is a must however and a Breton is recommend for this build(darkelf also works highelf is not recomended)

Atromancy- is not needed Master level Conjuration spells are untill they die

Get Become Ethereal Dragon shout
Learn to love it for casting Master level spells(as there is a channeling time on all of them)

keep your summoned creature and your Alteration armor buff on all the time while walking as it will level them as you walk past wolves and such.

Midgame sucks for a mage Endgame it is funny


The Last Albino
Aug 30, 2010
My first play though was with a 'MANLY MAN...I LIKE AXES AND TWO SWORDS' type...
She did pretty well against magic, as long as I kept my 'resit x' or HP potion stocked up.

Magic can be VERY annoying, but as long as you've got some health potions, or whatever, you should be fine.