Survival mode beginner tips you need to know

With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition Now out, new life has been blown into the game. Even though it has been out for ten years, fans still love the game and now there are many new things to do in the game.

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One thing that players can do now is change the gameplay to Survival Mode. This mode makes the game a lot more challenging in ways the player never imagined. From having to sleep to keep warm, the game becomes a lot more immersive. Because there are a lot of changes compared to the traditional Skyrim, there are some things players should know when playing this mode.

Choose your character’s race very carefully

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Nord female

The first decision a player has to make is race selection for their character. In vanilla Skyrim, all races have their own racial characteristics and give a slight advantage. With Survival Mode, things work out in an interesting way. Not only do races still have their passive abilities from the vanilla version, but now come with a disadvantage. For example, the Argonians still have disease resistance and water resistance, but they can now eat raw food without worrying about food poisoning and get cold 25% faster than other races.

Some races come with different pros and cons, so players will have to carefully decide what race they want to be. This can make the journey easier or a little more difficult.


Keep warm and delicious

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Flame Cloak

The Province of Skyrim is known to be very cold and unforgiving towards anyone who isn’t ready, and Survival Mode has this in mind. It is easy to freeze to death in colder regions. Winterhold is practically a death sentence for unprepared players. Entire hold covered in snow and sunlight is practically non-existent.

Players must keep their characters warm so they can move around better and not freeze to death. This also depends on the character’s race. Nords, Orcs and Khajiits will fare much better in cold weather than other races. However, if the player goes to build a mage and chooses Dark Elf, Breton, or High Elf, they can use Flame Cloak to keep warm. Another way to stay warm is to use a torch. It will provide some heat, but not much.

The best armor doesn’t mean the warmest

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Fur Armor

If keeping warm isn’t a challenge, players may have to bring one some special armor to help keep them warm. Especially early in the game, keeping warm will prove to be a challenge. Some armors provide better warmth than others. You can find Fur Armor with sleeves early on and give some of the best Warmth even later in the game.

Some armor may not be suitable for certain areas, so it’s best to bring some armor with a high Warmth rating just in case. Especially when traveling in the Dawnstar, Winterhold and Windhelm regions, which have more freezing climates than the rest of Skyrim.

Don’t be a hoarder

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Imperial Armor

Picking up items wasn’t really an issue before since the player has a pretty high weight. Survival Mode cuts the carry-on weight in half at the start, and this limits players on what they carry with them. This will force the player to think about where the nearest merchant is and whether it is worth carrying so much, especially if the merchant is far away.

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Players should only bring essentials and choose only what is most valuable and light items. So be prepared to bring lots of jewelry and gems as these always sell for a decent amount of gold.

Heal during and after battle

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Quick Healing Spell

Health Recovery has been a huge hit in Survival Mode. Health will no longer be restored if the player is just standing around after the battle. Players will now need to heal with healing spells or use potions to get a healing spell. To recover over time, you should eat regenerative food or take regenerative medicine.

Players can also enchant their armor to help restore health. This can take some time as learning spells can be a bit difficult as well as leveling up the enchanting skill line.

Get a backpack or have a follower/pet

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Mages Backpack

If the player wants to pick up more items in his journey, it’s best to get a backpack. There are different types of backpacks, but they all increase the amount a player can carry. Some will even provide other bonuses like increasing bow damage, making left locking easier, or maxing out Magicka. These backpacks can be made at a forge or can be purchased from merchants. It is very useful and players should get it as soon as possible to be able to hold more items they may need.

Another way to carry some items is have followers or pets. They can also carry some items and will make collecting items a little easier. They won’t be able to carry much, but at least players can carry a little more.

Don’t eat raw meat

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Venison Raw Horse Meat

Eat raw food didn’t do anything to the player in vanilla Skyrim, but it has some consequences with Survival Mode. If the player eats raw meat, chances are their character will get food poisoning. This will reduce magic power and stamina recovery by 50%. Food will not be able to restore health for the next three days. Considering that food is needed to survive, this would be a big deal.

One surefire way to avoid food poisoning is to become a Khajiit or an Argonian. However, players also need to be aware if they want the disadvantages that these races encounter when traveling throughout Skyrim.

Let the illness last with consequences

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Healing Potion

The plague wasn’t really a threat before, but Survival Mode has taken it to the next level. Instead of being just a minor nuisance and posing no overall danger, Survival Mode illnesses will progress from worse to worse. Players will have to bring Medicine for them whenever they travel or if they are near a shrine to one of the Nine Divines, pay 100 gold. Periodically check Active Effects to make sure all is well and clear as there are new diseases the player can contract.

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To lessen the hit, the player can choose to play as an Argonian or a Wood Elf. Both races have a constant disease resistance effect at 50%. This will halve the chance of getting sick and the player won’t have to carry multiple Healing Potions with them.

Plan the right itinerary

Skyrim Anniversary Edition map in game

Players can kiss the quick tour goodbye once Survival Mode is activated. To get anywhere, on foot, by horse, or paying for a carriage is the only way to go. If the player intends to go on foot or on horseback, they will have to plan their journey. Taking into account feelings of hunger, fatigue and other problems, from Richestre to Markarth may not be possible in one go.

It’s best to hold back to see what quests are close to the character and do them when the player gets to the destination they really want to go to.

Make food and salty about it

Skyrim Anniversary Edition Fire Salt Hot Cabbage Soup

Eating food is an essential part of survival in Survival Mode. If the character is hungry, it will affect the total stamina and the player will only lose more stamina as the hunger persists. So players will have to regularly feed their characters and bring food to make sure they don’t get hungry. Keep some small food on hand like apples, carrots, etc. to help curb hunger until the player can get a proper meal.

Players should also have Salt Piles available because lots of recipes request it. Another item that players should keep are Fire Salts. This will warm up the soup to its “Hot” version and give the characters a bit of Warmth.

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