15 Quickest Ways to Make Money in Skyrim

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy
A person playing Skyrim game

Embarking on your journey in Skyrim can be both thrilling and daunting, as you step into a world teeming with adventure, magic, and opportunities.

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In this epic open-world game, your character’s adventures are not limited to battling dragons and saving the realm; you can also delve into various money-making endeavors to amass wealth and resources.

Whether you’re a novice adventurer looking to make a quick septim or a seasoned Dragonborn seeking to maximize your earnings, Skyrim offers a plethora of avenues to pad your coin purse.

From crafting and trading to treasure hunting and enchanting, we’ll explore the quickest and most lucrative ways to make money in the land of the Nords.

How to Play the Game

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play Skyrim:

1. Choose Your Race and Character (Character Creation)

Character creation in Skyrim is the first step on your epic journey. 

You’ll select your character’s race, gender, appearance, and skills. 

Each race possesses unique racial abilities and starting skill bonuses, which can significantly impact your gameplay. 

For example, choosing the Khajiit race grants you night vision, while the Orcs have a Berserker Rage power.

Your character’s appearance may seem cosmetic, but it influences how NPCs perceive and interact with you. 

Furthermore, your choice of skills will shape your character’s strengths and abilities. 

Plan your character carefully, aligning their traits with your preferred playstyle—whether it’s a warrior, mage, or thief.

2. Complete the Tutorial (Unbound Quest)

After character creation, you’ll find yourself in Helgen, where you’ll experience the “Unbound” quest. 

This serves as both the game’s tutorial and the starting point of your adventure. Here, you’ll learn the basics of movement, combat, and interaction.

The tutorial is crucial for newcomers, but even experienced players can benefit from refreshing their memory or mastering the game’s mechanics. 

As the story unfolds, you’ll also witness the dragon Alduin’s destructive power, setting the stage for your role as the Dragonborn.

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3. Follow the Main Questline (The Way of the Voice)

The main questline, initiated by the “The Way of the Voice” quest, propels you into Skyrim’s overarching narrative. 

As the Dragonborn, your destiny is intertwined with the return of dragons to the land.

Following the main quest will lead you to various locations and characters, unveiling the mysteries of your unique abilities and the dragon crisis. 

This journey provides structure to your adventure, introduces key characters, and unravels the lore of Skyrim. 

However, remember that Skyrim encourages exploration, and you’re free to temporarily diverge from the main quest at any time.

4. Explore the Open World (Freedom and Exploration)

One of Skyrim’s defining features is its vast, open world. It’s a land filled with diverse landscapes, cities, villages, and hidden secrets. 

Exploring this world is an integral part of the Skyrim experience.

You can venture off the beaten path, stumble upon ancient ruins, discover hidden treasure chests, and engage in spontaneous encounters. 

Exploration rewards you with valuable loot, new quests, and a deep immersion in the game’s lore. 

Don’t rush through the main quest; take the time to savor the beauty and intricacies of Skyrim’s open world.

5. Level Up Your Skills (Skill Progression and Perks)

As you engage in various activities in Skyrim, your character’s skills will naturally improve. 

These skills include combat abilities like one-handed weapons or archery, magic schools such as destruction or restoration, and utility skills like lockpicking or speech.

Leveling up your skills is essential for character development. As you gain experience in a skill, you’ll level up. 

With each level, you gain a skill point, which can be invested in perks specific to that skill. 

Perks enhance your abilities and can be crucial to your chosen playstyle. 

Plan your skill progression carefully to maximize your character’s effectiveness in combat, magic, or stealth.

6. Manage Your Inventory (Carrying Capacity and Item Management)

As you explore Skyrim and acquire items, managing your inventory becomes crucial. 

Each item has a weight value, and your character can only carry so much before becoming encumbered and unable to run.

To optimize your inventory, regularly sell or store items you don’t need. 

Consider using followers or horses to carry excess weight. 

Prioritize items based on their value and usefulness. 

Managing your gear, weapons, and potions efficiently ensures you’re always prepared for whatever challenges Skyrim throws your way.

7. Join Factions and Guilds (Faction Questlines)

Skyrim boasts a variety of factions and guilds, each offering its own unique questline and benefits. 

Joining these organizations provides a deep dive into specific aspects of the game.

For instance, the Thieves Guild focuses on stealth and thievery, while the Mage’s College delves into magic and mysteries. 

Your choices can impact the story and grant access to exclusive quests, perks, and items. 

Joining factions aligns your character with like-minded individuals and presents opportunities to master particular skills or abilities.

8. Enhance Your Weapons and Armor (Smithing and Crafting)

To survive the challenges of Skyrim, you must continually improve your gear. 

Crafting stations, such as forges and workbenches, allow you to enhance weapons and armor.

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Smithing lets you create and upgrade weapons and armor, while enchanting and alchemy enable you to add magical properties to your gear or brew powerful potions. 

Customizing your equipment not only boosts your combat prowess but also adds a personal touch to your character’s style. 

Master these crafting skills to become a formidable force in the land of Skyrim.

9. Explore Shouts (Dragon Shouts and Word Walls)

As the Dragonborn, you possess a unique ability: Dragon Shouts. 

These powerful shouts are acquired by finding Word Walls scattered throughout Skyrim.

When you absorb a Dragon Soul, you can unlock and use shouts. 

Each shout has different effects, ranging from unleashing elemental attacks to manipulating time itself. 

Word Walls not only contribute to character development but also reveal the rich lore of the Dragonborn and dragons in the world of Skyrim. 

Keep an eye out for these ancient inscriptions to unlock new abilities and unleash their potential.

10. Engage in Side Quests (Miscellaneous Quests)

While the main quest is captivating, don’t overlook the numerous side quests and miscellaneous tasks in Skyrim. 

These quests are often initiated by talking to NPCs, reading notes, or simply exploring.

Side quests vary in complexity and can lead to unexpected adventures, unique rewards, or intriguing stories. 

They also add depth to the world by showcasing the diverse characters and conflicts you’ll encounter throughout your journey. 

Completing side quests is an excellent way to gain experience, accumulate wealth, and immerse yourself in the game’s rich lore.

11. Manage Your Allegiances (Choices and Consequences)

Throughout your adventures, you’ll make choices that influence your allegiances in Skyrim. 

These choices can affect how NPCs perceive and interact with you, as well as alter the course of certain quests and storylines.

Your character’s moral compass and personal preferences will shape these decisions. 

Be prepared for the consequences of your choices, as they can lead to alliances with powerful factions, alter the political landscape, and ultimately define your character’s legacy in the world of Skyrim.

12. Survive the Wilderness (Survival and Exploration)

Skyrim’s wilderness is both beautiful and perilous. It’s essential to hone your survival skills as you traverse the rugged terrain.

Consider utilizing fast travel when needed to save time, but also embrace the wilderness by setting up campfires, hunting for food, and cooking meals. 

These activities enhance immersion and ensure your character remains well-fed and well-rested during your adventures. 

Survival in Skyrim’s wilderness is not just about combat; it’s about thriving in a harsh, untamed environment.

Quickest Ways to Make Money in Skyrim

There are various money-making avenues in Skyrim. Here are the top ones: 

1. Alchemy (Brewing Potions for Profit)

Alchemy is a lucrative skill in Skyrim. 

To get started, gather ingredients from the wilderness or purchase them from alchemy shops. 

Experiment with different combinations to create valuable potions and poisons. 

Some rare ingredients, like Giant’s Toe and Glowing Mushrooms, result in high-value concoctions. 

Sell your potions to alchemy vendors or general traders to turn a tidy profit.

2. Enchanting (Crafting Enchanted Treasures)

Enchanting is another profitable skill. 

Disenchant magical items to learn their enchantments, then use an enchanting table to imbue weapons, armor, and jewelry with these properties. 

Items with powerful enchantments, like Fortify Smithing or Fortify Alchemy, fetch high prices. 

Sell these enchanted items to traders, especially those specializing in enchanted goods.

3. Smithing (Crafting Weapons and Armor)

Mastering Smithing allows you to craft weapons and armor for profit. 

Collect raw materials like iron ingots and leather, then use blacksmithing stations to create valuable gear. 

Improve your crafted items at grindstones and workbenches to increase their value. 

Advanced materials like Ebony and Daedric produce the most profitable items. 

Selling these high-quality weapons and armor can bring in substantial gold.

4. Thieving (The Art of Stealing)

Joining the Thieves Guild opens up opportunities for theft. 

Steal valuable items like jewelry, gems, and enchanted weapons from NPCs, homes, and businesses. 

Once you’ve acquired stolen goods, sell them to fences like Tonilia in the Ragged Flagon. 

Improve your pickpocketing and lockpicking skills to access even more valuable loot throughout Skyrim’s cities.

5. Bounty Quests (Hunting Criminals for Gold)

Jarls and stewards in various holds offer bounty quests to eliminate criminals. 

Completing these quests not only brings justice to Skyrim but also rewards you with gold. 

Look for notice boards in towns or ask the local jarl or steward for available bounties. 

Each hold usually has its own set of criminals to track down, offering a continuous source of income.

6. Merchant Investing (Boosting Merchant Gold)

Investing in the stores of Riverwood, Whiterun, and Solitude can help you sell your items more profitably. 

By selling items to their respective traders, you increase their available gold for transactions. 

Visit these cities regularly to trade your goods and make use of the boosted merchant gold to maximize your earnings.

7. Dungeon Delving (Looting Ancient Ruins)

Venture into dungeons, caves, and ancient ruins to discover valuable loot. 

High-level dungeons often contain chests with gold, gems, and rare weapons or armor. 

Be prepared for combat, as these locations are typically guarded by creatures or bandits. 

Exploring these hidden treasures is not only exciting but also an effective way to accumulate wealth.

8. Dragon Hunting (Selling Dragon Loot)

Defeating dragons is not only a heroic feat but also a lucrative one. 

Dragons drop dragon bones and scales upon death, which can be sold to vendors for substantial amounts of gold. 

As you progress through the main questline, you’ll encounter more dragons across Skyrim. 

Collect their remains and sell them to merchants to pad your coffers.

9. Gem Mining (Harvesting Valuable Gemstones)

Keep an eye out for mining locations throughout Skyrim. 

You can find valuable gemstones like amethysts, sapphires, and emeralds while mining. 

These gems can be sold to gem traders or used for crafting valuable jewelry. 

Mining is not only profitable but also a relaxing activity that complements your adventures.

10. Speech Skill (Mastering the Art of Persuasion)

Investing in the Speech skill tree can boost your profits. 

As you advance in this skill, you can buy and sell items for better prices, making your transactions more profitable. 

Additionally, you can invest in merchants’ stores, allowing you to sell more of your goods to them. 

Improving your Speech skill is a long-term investment that pays off by maximizing your earnings.

11. Joining the Dark Brotherhood (Assassination Contracts)

Joining the Dark Brotherhood opens up opportunities for assassinations. 

Completing assassination contracts often comes with substantial gold rewards. 

These contracts involve eliminating specific targets discreetly, adding an element of intrigue to your money-making endeavors. 

As you progress through the Dark Brotherhood questline, you’ll gain access to more lucrative contracts.

12. Invest in Properties (Homeownership and Profit)

Acquiring properties like houses not only provides a place to rest and store your items but also opportunities for profit. 

Decorate your homes with valuable items and unique treasures. 

Some houses, like Proudspire Manor in Solitude, even have secret treasure rooms that you can use to display your riches. 

Additionally, consider investing in property upgrades to enhance the value of your homes.

13. Fishing (Catch Valuable Items)

Modded versions of Skyrim introduce fishing as an activity. 

Using a fishing rod, you can catch fish and other valuable items in various bodies of water. 

Fishing can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to supplement your income while exploring Skyrim’s scenic landscapes.

14. Gambling (Games of Chance in Taverns)

Taverns and inns in Skyrim offer games of chance where you can bet gold and potentially win more. 

Participate in brawls, betting on arena fights, or card games like “Nim,” “Dragon’s Breath,” or “High Card.” 

Winning these games can add a bit of fun and extra gold to your adventures. 

Be cautious not to wager more than you can afford to lose.

15. Trainer Quests (Teaching for Gold)

Certain trainers in Skyrim offer training sessions to improve your skills. 

Completing trainer quests often provides gold as payment. 

Seek out trainers for skills you want to develop, and perform their quests to both enhance your abilities and earn some extra coin.

Wrap Up

In the land of Skyrim, wealth awaits those who dare to explore its vast landscapes and hone their skills. 

Whether you choose the path of alchemy, enchanting, smithing, or thieving, the opportunities to amass riches are boundless. 

Engaging in bounty quests, investing in merchant stores, and exploring dungeons reveal countless treasures.

Through cunning, combat, and craftsmanship, you’ll carve a legacy as a formidable Dragonborn with gold in abundance. 

Skyrim’s economy thrives on your endeavors, and your wealth is a testament to your resilience and resourcefulness in this epic world of adventure and opportunity.

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