Ah, Skyrim… so much to do, and so little time to do it in. I don’t know how many hours I’ve logged playing this wonderful game, but suffice it to say, it’s been a lot. I’ve joined the Companions, the College of Winterhold, and have explored countless dungeons, ruins, and bandit hideouts. It’s been two years, and despite all the mileage I’ve put on this game, I still haven’t seen and done everything…
One thing I’ve learned though, is that the “save” feature is your friend. There’s nothing more frustrating than being deep in a dark dungeon, and being killed in the midst of your adventure. Being killed is part of the game, but to my shame I’ve discovered that there truly are dumb ways to die in Skyrim.
Dumb Ways To Die In Skyrim #1
Falling off mountains is a really dumb way to die in Skyrim. Tamriel’s northern province is full of picturesque mountain landscapes and rock formations. As pretty as these mountains are, they can be a pain to traverse on foot. When questing or exploring, sometimes you need to get from “point A” to “point B.” Sounds easy enough, but things can get treacherous in the mountains if you’re not paying attention. Accidents typically happen when climbing down from the rocky heights. One misstep and you’re toast. As they say, it’s not the fall that kills you… it’s the landing.
Solution: Watch your footing and achieve the Become Ethereal Shout as soon as possible. With Become Ethereal you take on a ghost-like form and can’t be hurt when jumping (or falling) from heights.
Dumb Ways To Die In Skyrim #2
Speaking of Shouts, hitting the wrong button at the wrong time is another dumb way to die in Skyrim (I’m talking primarily to console gamers here). Take for instance my last visit to Markarth’s Silver-Blood Inn. There I was, chatting with the inn’s proprietor, when I inadvertently pressed the RB button on the Xbox 360 controller. Instead of calling up my inventory like I had wanted, I ended up using my Shout power against poor, defenseless Kleppr, freezing him solid in a block of ice. Needless to say, the inn’s patrons and Hold guards weren’t too happy with my mistake. Without being given a chance to explain my actions, I was soon cut to ribbons by the mob.
Solution: Pay better attention and know your controller button layout. Also consider “turning off” destructive Shouts when venturing into cities.
Dumb Ways To Die In Skyrim #3
Another dumb way to die in Skyrim is fighting Hold guards. As my misadventure in Markarth illustrates, you really can’t get away with fighting the Man. Hold guards fight in organized groups — while some engage in hand-to-hand combat, others feather you with arrows from a distance. Even if you kill the guards, more respawn and keep coming at you until you’re either dead, or you flee the city. If you happen to survive a fight by fleeing, Hold guards will attack onsite if you ever come back — obviously a huge inconvenience if you ever need to do business in that Hold again.
Solution: Be respectful. If the guards come after you for a crime, sheathe your weapon and you may be given an opportunity to surrender, pay your fines, etc.
Dumb Ways To Die In Skyrim #4
Picking a fight with a mastadon is a dumb way to die in Skyrim. By their very nature, mastadons are gentle beasts. A fight with a mastadon truly is avoidable — if you give ’em a wide enough berth, the big shaggy creatures will never bother you. If you happen to kill a mastadon, a search of the body typically reveals worthless treasure, and there’s much easier prey to hunt if you need meat or souls. Also, remember that mastadons are friends with giants. If you see a mastadon and a giant together, you’re in for double-trouble if you start a throw down.
Solution: Don’t start a fight in the first place. If you need to fight a mastadon for some reason, stick with ranged attacks and keep on the move to avoid being trampled.
Dumb Ways To Die In Skyrim #5
The final dumb way to die in Skyrim is bull rushing a dragon when it lands on the ground. Once a dragon is wounded and earthbound, it’s tempting to charge right in and start hacking and slashing. As you can see from our Skyrim Fansite video below, this isn’t always a good idea. If a dragon can sink its teeth into you, you’re as good as dead. A dragon will chomp and shake your hapless body like a rag doll.
Solution: Avoid charging headlong into battle. Use ranged attacks if possible. If you must get up close and personal, consider using a shield as some measure of defense. For more on fighting dragons checkout the Skyrim Fansite Dragons Guide.