Skyrim | The Most Useful and Useless Perks
In Skyrim, you are given the option to pick whichever perks you want each level. The max level is 81, so that’s the maximum amount of perks you will be allowed to choose, but most players don’t nearly make it to that level. Also, there are a total of 251 perks from 18 skills. Therefore, through your 50 or so levels in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’ll have to pick your perks carefully. Here are the most useful and useless perks in the game.
Note: I’m not going to include most of the combat perks, because picking which are useful and useless in those is largely subjective. Also, I’ll go a lot more in-depth with the “Useless” perks, because most, if not all, of the “Useful” perks are self-explanatory.
The Most Useful Perks
- Respite (Restoration 40) – Restore stamina with healing spells? Very useful for most builds, if you use restoration spells, of course. Even if you don’t regularly use healing, you can use it to get you from place to place faster.
- Recovery (Restoration 30) – A 25/50% increase in Magicka regeneration! I always love passive abilities like this, and if you even use a tiny bit of magicka, this perk is worth it.
- Green Thumb (Alchemy 70) – This perk helps you collect far more ingredients from plants, and if you invest into the alchemy tree, it adds up very quickly.
- Extra Pockets (Pickpocket 50) – Increasing your carrying capacity by 100 is awesome, it’s helpful in basically any situation.
- Wind Walker (Light Armor 60) – The main reason why I prefer light armor over heavy armor – there isn’t a useless perk in the tree.
- Merchant (Speech 50) – This one’s purely for convenience’s sake, you can sell all your gear to anyone.
The Most Useless Perks
- Fists of Steel (Heavy Armor 30) – Who uses unarmed attacks, especially while using heavy armor?
- Cushioned (Heavy Armor 50) – Halve damage from falling if wearing all heavy armor… This may help you if you accidentally fall down a large bridge that’s at the perfect height where it won’t kill you, and at the bottom is a large amount of enemies, all while you’re out of potions. Basically, these two Heavy armor perks are only useful for getting the Conditioning perk, so you should decide beforehand if Conditioning is worth choosing Heavy Armor over the Light Armor perk path.
- Master Locks (Lockpicking 100) – Most of the lockpicking skill tree is actually completely unnecessary. Locks in this game are very easy to pick compared to the Fallout games. I’ve picked many Expert locks in Skyrim and I haven’t put a single point into the skill tree. The only point to investing into them is to get Treasure Hunter (50% greater chance of finding special treasure) and Unbreakable (Lockpicks don’t break). If you aren’t ever short on lockpicks and don’t find most of the lockpicking perks attractive, just skip the skill altogether.
- Catpurse (Pickpocket 40) – Pickpocketing gold is already very easy, why do you need to spend a whole perk point on increasing it? Pickpocketing is capped at 90%, and if you invest into Light Fingers, many things, including gold, should already be at that cap. It does lead to Misdirection and Perfect Touch (pickpocket equipped weapons and items), but they’re only marginally useful perks.
- Light Foot (Sneak 40) – Traps barely do any damage anyway, and if you’re at all perceptive, you’ll be able to avoid many of them.
- Intimidation (Speech 70) – Intimidation only being twice as successful for a level 70 perk… not worth it at all. Especially since there’s usually more ways to bypass the intimidation check, like using money or just beating up/killing the person.