‘Skyrim’ perk trees and racial abilities revealed

Attendees of the Eurogamer Expo 2011 were in for a lengthy hands on with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Not only have we been treated to new screens and gameplay videos, but users have also been posting the racial abilities and perk trees throughout forums. Sammuthegreat went to great lengths to post the following list on the official Bethesda forums.

Racial Abilities

  • ORCS: Beserker
  • REDGUARDS: Adrenaline Rush
  • WOOD ELF: Resist poison, resisit disease, command animals
  • NORD: Battlecry
  • KHAJIIT: Night-eye, claw attacks
  • IMPERIAL: Voice of the Emperor, find more coins when looting
  • HIGH ELF: Regenerate Magicka more quickly
  • DARK ELF: Ancestor’s Wrath (surround self in fire), resist fire
  • BRETON: Dragonskin (absorb spells), resist shock
  • ARGONIANS: Histskin (regenerate health quickly), resist disease, breathe underwater

This has long been a staple in the Elder Scrolls universe, along with each race starting with their own unique bonuses (Argonians have +25 to lockpicking, Orcs have +25 to heavy armor, etc.). It looks as if a few of the races have undergone a much needed makeover, though. For instance the Imperials used to have the “Star of the West” skill which was questionable in its usefulness. Maybe it’s just the game miser in me, but +coins is always preferable to “absorb fatigue.”

skyrimeuroexpo2011 3 570x305 Skyrim perk trees and racial abilities revealed

The level of detail on the mobs is awesome.

On the other hand, I was always partial to Oblivion’s “Eye of Fear” for the Khajit, which demoralized your enemy. Granted at the higher levels this wasn’t as handy, but I just enjoyed the heck out of it in the early times. Of course it wouldn’t be an ES game if the Argonians couldn’t breathe under water (a talent that is handy for we exploration nerds), and their resistance to disease. It makes vampirism a challenge!

What hasn’t been said (or at least, I’ve not seen) is whether or not the abilities will still be a once-per-day ordeal.

Perk Trees


  • Buying and selling price 10% better (5 ranks)
  • 10% price buying from opposite sex
  • Invest in shops and increase available gold permanently in invested stores
  • Master Trader – every merchant in world gains 1000 gold for bartering
  • Buy and sell from any merchant regardless of what they normally buy and sell
  • Intimidation attempts twice as successful
  • Persuasion attempts more likely successful

I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that I have never much liked the Speech trait. It’s just never seemed very fitting for a reclusive assassin to have a silver tongue. However, the ability to invest in shops ala Fable is very intriguing. Part of me likes being the slum lord …

  • Potions 20% stronger (5 ranks)
  • Potions for restore health, magicka or stamina are 25% more powerful (maybe ranked)
  • Poisons 25% more effective (maybe ranked)
  • Poisons last for twice as many hits
  • Two ingredients are gathered from plants
  • 50% resistance to all poisons
  • All negative effects removed from potions and all positive removed from poisons
  • 2 effects of an ingredient are revealed when testing it for the first time (instead of just one)


  • Dual casting overcharges effect for more powerful spell
  • Cast Novice spells for 50% less magicka
  • Cast Apprentice spells for 50% less magicka
  • Cast Adept, Expert, Master etc spells for 50% less magicka (more levels this time around)
  • Spells work on higher level animals
  • Spells work on higher level people
  • All spellcasting (from ANY school) is done silently
  • Spells work on undead, daedra and automatons
  • Fear spells work on higher level enemies

It’s good to see them addressing the uselessness of Fear at higher levels. Also, I’m intrigued by spells working on previously unspellable (yeah, I did that) creatures.

  • Novice for 50% magicka etc (up to Master)
  • Dual casting overcharges –> greater spell effect
  • Bound weapons do more damage
  • Bound weapons cast Soul Trap on target
  • Bound weapons banish certain creatures
  • Reanimate undead with 100 more health
  • Summon 2 Atronachs or reanimated zombies
  • Summon Atronachs at twice the distance
  • Summoned Atronachs twice as strong


  • More damage for each school (fire, frost and shock) – ranked
  • Novice for 50% magicka etc.
  • Shock damage chance to disintegrate targets if their health is under 10%
  • Frost damage chance to paralyse targets if health low
  • Fire damage chance to make low health enemies flee
  • Place runes 5x farther away


  • Healing spells also restore stamina
  • Novice for 50% less magicka etc
  • Healing spells do 50% more healing
  • Recharging healing spells
  • More is recharged with each hit with healing spells (unclear)
  • Spells more effective against undead
  • Once a day chance to autocast 250HP restoration when health drops low
  • Magicka regenerates 25% faster


  • Novice for 50% less etc
  • Alteration spells have greater duration (ranked)
  • Absorb 30% magicka that hits you


  • Enchants are 20% stronger (ranked)
  • Enchanted armour 25% stronger
  • Death blows to creatures but not people trap souls for weapon recharge
  • Health, magicka and stamina enchants stronger
  • Extra effect on already-enchanted weapon can be applied
  • Shock, Frost and Fire enchants 25% stronger

And here is the skill I am most concerned about. I have, on multiple occasions, lamented about how easy it was to break Oblivion and Morrowind at the later levels. I’ll be interested in seeing how to plays out, as nothing here tells me they are addressing that…

SpiderHero 570x320 Skyrim perk trees and racial abilities revealed

Hello, Mr. Spider! Lovely weather we're having.

Heavy Armor

  • Increase armor rating 20% (5 ranks)
  • Unarmed attacks with heavy armor gauntlets – damage increased by gauntlets’ armour rating
  • Half fall damage if all in heavy armor
  • Heavy armor weighs nothing and doesn’t slow you at all
  • Additional 25% armor if in matching set
  • 25% armor bonus if all in heavy armour
  • 50% less stagger if all in heavy armor
  • 10% damage reflected back to enemy if all in heavy armor

Rumor has it that the 25% armor bonus will be regardless of you wearing a matching set. That means you can totally combine your Daedric with your iron. Though that’s the Elder Scrolls equivalent of wearing stripes and polka dots.
2-handed weapons

  • 2h weapons do 20% more damage (5 ranks)
  • Attacks with warhammers ignore 25% armour (ranked)
  • Attacks with battleaxes do extra bleeding damage (ranked)
  • Attacks with greatswords do extra critical damage (ranked)
  • Power attacks cost 25% less stamina
  • Standing power attacks do 25% bonus damage, chance to decapitate
  • Sprinting power attacks do double (critical) damage
  • Sideways power attacks hit all targets
  • Backwards power attacks have 25% chance of paralysis


  • Bows do 25% more damage
  • Zoom in
  • Zooming slows time
  • 10% crit chance
  • Move faster with drawn bow
  • Recover twice as many arrows from dead bodies
  • 50% chance of paralyzing for few seconds
  • Draw bow 30% faster


  • 20% harder to detect (ranked)
  • Sneak attacks do 6x damage with 1h weapons
  • Sneak attacks with bows do 3x damage
  • Sneak attacks with daggers do 15x damage (end perk on skill tree)
  • Noise from armor reduced 50%
  • No longer activate pressure plates
  • Sprinting while sneaking performs silent forward roll
  • Running does not affect detection chance
  • Crouching can make hostile enemies lose sight of you and search for a target

Keep in mind that while this seems to be feasible, this list appears to be taken from a series of notes and hands-on impressions, so it is all subject to skepticism and change. However, in the meantime, you can grab a piece of paper and pencil and start planning your character old school style.

About Jen Bosier

Jen lives with her husband, daughter and super-villain cats. If she's not reading comics or engrossed in a WH40k novel, she's probably telling you which horror games you should be playing. She's a recovering member of the PC Master Race, and a reluctant Xbox fangirl. You can also find her on the Furious Fourcast.


  1. ElMuchoGrandeMexican says:

    What about the blocking, light armor, and 1h swords perk tree? Those are the only trees missing that i can think of.

  2. You could invest in shops in Oblivion as well…

  3. Connorpeay says:


                                                                                                                                                    woah :)

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