Skyrim: 15 Choices That Really Don't Matter

Skyrim was released in November 2011 and is the fifth instalment of Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series. The story revolves around you, the player, travelling through the land of Skyrim on a journey of self discovery as the Dovahkiin. As the Dovahkiin you must hunt and defeat Alduin, the first dragon and the harbringer of the apocalypse. This all sounds pretty heavy, but take it from this writer, it's very fun. The major downfall of this amazing open-world game is the fact none of the choices you make have much consequence. For a game that offers so many choices and such an epic story-line, you can pretty much do whatever you want without much ramification.

The game itself is amazing and runs pretty well on most systems even after all these years. You get into some pretty deep places and meet some interesting characters who ask you to do a multitude of things, some of which you may feel conflicted about. If you are on the quest to acquire all the trophies, some of the choices you have to make to earn the Oblivion Walker trophy are pretty nefarious. This doesn't ruin the game, in fact sometimes it makes it more enjoyable and at times hilarious. Although there are at least 100 useless choices you can make in Skyrim, here are 15 choices we rounded up.

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15 Hadvar or Ralof

At the very beginning of the game you're given the choice to follow either Hadvar or Ralof. You might be wondering who to follow as the first choice affects the rest of the game. Just kidding, it literally doesn't matter. Whoever you follow, you will end up in the same town on the same story path. The differences are minor, as you get to grab three swords and iron ingots by following the Imperial soldier, although you will probably sell or drop these items immediately.

Anything you pick up from running with either of these guys you will probably drop right away.

They are literally the lowest level armour. The only other difference is that you get to find the Stormcloak or Imperial questline first, but you can find both of them by talking to anyone associated with either. The important thing here is to get away from Alduin, who is currently burning down the village you were about to get executed in.

14 Allowing Roggvir To Escape

Ah, Roggvir. This poor man lived his whole life in Solitude and was on guard during the murder of High King Torygg. The problem is that he was the one who allowed Ulfric Stormcloak to escape the city after the murder. This is a tense issue in Skyrim as half the people believe Ulfric is a hero and half a coward. No matter how you feel about Ulfric, or even the Stormcloaks, you probably feel bad for this guy.

As soon as you enter Solitude, you are greeted with the sight of his impending execution. As you walk through the gates of this city for the first time, a crowd is gathering around the small stage. There stands Roggvir, hands tied and about to be beheaded. You might be inclined to help this poor soul and you can if you want. It might not be worth it though, as every time you go back to Solitude everyone acts as though the execution happened and speak of Roggvir in the past tense, who by the way, you never see again.

13 Using Shields

Some may disagree with this, as it could come down to your play style. Shields in Skyrim vary in aesthetic and strength, but in all honesty they are absolutely not worth it. The main reason for this is that, even though they may look really good, it's gonna weigh you down, a lot. In games like Skyrim, being weighed down is the pretty much the last thing you want.

With a shield, you can't fast travel, you can't pick anything else up, and you definitely can't fight anyone or run from a bear.

Most of the shields weigh around 14 points and, while perks for light and heavy armour don't affect it, that's still a lot of space to take up. They can be pretty useful when fighting dragons, especially if they have a resistance perk, but most players find it easier to have healing or something like fire in their hand instead.

12 The Faction Dilemma

This is one of the main focuses in Skyrim; whose side are you on? Almost everyone you meet is associated with either the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legion, and most of the those people will tell you their side is the righteous and true side. You do meet a few, including a helpful Jarl, who are not really bothered with either side and only concerned with their people or homes. This is fair enough since the two factions have caused havoc and war all over the land for years.

You get an achievement for joining both sides, so you might as well do that.

If you feel conflicted about which side is actually the good side, the answer is neither and both. The Stormclaok rebellion started out as any other would, a group of people who were sick of being ruled by an outsider, especially one that banned the practice of their chief religion. Don't be fooled though, the Stormcloaks are usually unapologetically racist and are really only looking out for themselves, with some exceptions. The Legion is there to stop the Dominion from taking over Skyrim, so in reality they are trying to help. The problem is that they go about it in the wrong way, as they act much like the Romans did, wanting democracy for everyone but on their terms. In the end, none of this matter because you are an outsider and both sides would kill you in a heartbeat.

11 'With Friends Like These' Quest

After you take out the mean old lady at the orphanage, a member of the Dark Brotherhood will kidnap you. You awaken in a small cabin with three people tied up in front of you. Your kidnapper informs you that because you performed an assassination that was meant for the Brotherhood, you must now become a member or die. The issue is that you have to kill one of three people in front of you. Again, you may feel conflicted and look to the internet to tell you which of the three is the bad guy, but again it doesn't really matter.

All three of them have committed some sort of misdeed and all three of them could have a contract on them.

The kidnapper informs you that someone has to die before you can leave, so you can actually choose to get her too. The point is that it doesn't matter who you choose, the kidnapper will take out the other two anyway. This quest acts as if you have a choice between the three, but in reality it's all the same, so you might as well take out all of them.

10 Unusual Gems

The 'No Stone Unturned' quest can be started almost immediately in a new game. All you have to do is find an unusually gem and take it to someone. This may seem easy but you actually have to search all of Skyrim and find 24 unusual gems. These gems can be found in one of 25 locations in the game, so you literally have to traverse the entire map of Skyrim and you also have to become a full member of the worst faction in Skyrim - the Thieves Guild.

This five-step quest may seem like it would yield a nice reward since it's pretty tedious and annoying, but you would be wrong.

The reward for crossing the land and back with the stones is a trip to collect a very nice crown, which you do not get to keep. Instead you have to return the crown to someone and in exchange they give you the gift of Prowler's Profit, which increases the chance of finding gems on your adventures.

9 Feeding As A Vampire

Being a vampire in any game is pretty cool and that's no different in Skyrim. That is, if you ignore the fact that your health and stamina don't regenerate during the day. As the days pass and your vampire powers grow, you can gain the ability to feed on people.

This may seem pretty cool, as who doesn't want to stalk around in the night feeding on unsuspecting victims? Unfortunately, it's pretty pointless.

The only thing you gain from this is sun damage reduction, which would seem helpful considering the aforementioned regeneration problem, but it also takes away your other more useful powers, such as night vision and flying (if you become a Vampire Lord). This ability is made especially useless if you get the Ring of Namira, which basically gives you the same ability but it actually regenerates your health and stamina. On top of that, it doesn't matter it the victim is dead or alive since your a cannibal.

8 Buying A Horse

This is one of the first things most people want to do in Skyrim. You roam the land, fighting monsters and completing quests, just so you can save up enough money to buy a horse. This handsome companion can indeed accompany you to pretty much anywhere, help you fast travel, and is an all around good friend.

The only problem is that the horses of Skyrim are brave, but sometimes a little too brave.

If you happen to run into a dragon or a group of bandits while travelling on your horse, do not get off it. If you do, it won't run away in fear like a normal horse, it will get right into the middle of battle and start kicking away. This is great if you need a distraction to get away, but your horse will fight until the death. Usually the horse will lose the battle and not only have you lost your dear friend, but you have to go and buy another one. This writer is currently on the third horse.

7 Escaping With Madanach

In 'No One Escapes Cidhna Mine' you meet the "oppressed" Foresworn leader Madanach. The quest gives you at least three options and one of those options is escaping with Madanach. After being moved by his story of desire to help his people after being attacked by the Nords, you will probably be inclined to help him. If you do, you get the Old Gods armour, a full set of Forsworn armour, which is pretty cool but not very powerful.

The main reason that this is pointless is because, even though you saved their leader, the Foresworn will still treat you with the same hostility and won't let you play in their fort.

You don't really ever see Madanach after the escape and you have to kill a poor, unlucky, old man, although you will probably be more sympathetic to the Forsworn after completing the quest.

6 Character Customization

The ability to create your very own character to play as is always a really exciting part of any game. Skyrim is no different, as you will probably spend at least an hour or two going through the sliders to make your character just right. You can choose between all the different races in Skyrim, as well as tattoos and scars. It's all very cool and something that should never be removed from Elder Scrolls.

The downside is that Skyrim was made to be played in first-person.

Whenever you want an accurate hit or the feeling of being immersed in the game, you play first-person. The only time most people play in third person is when they are being hoarded and need to see around them, or to check out the cool armour they just found. However, if you're a fan of the Dark Souls series, you probably won't mind playing third-person since it plays kind of like that, wall hits included.

5 Buying Ingredients

This is probably one of the most wasteful choices you could make. Everywhere you go in Skyrim is abundant in flowers, meats, and herbs, so it's just a straight waste to spend money on something you can pick. This might not be worth it if they weighed a lot, but they really don't. Another benefit is that your alchemy skill will go up a lot faster since you'll be making most of your potions. You can also eat the ingredients if you are short on health and stamina potions, or if you just want to know what it's for.

Gold coins are not exactly hard to come by in Skyrim, but large amounts of them are.

Your gold is much better spent on fortifying your amour and weapons than buying ingredients you can pick outside the shop.

If you can't find the ingredients for certain potions, you might as well buy the potions but again, you can find those bad boys everywhere.

4 The Entire Thieves Guild Questline

The reason this questline is a waste of time is because you don't really have to do any of the quests to complete it. There are so many ways around doing what the Thieves Guild actually wants you to do. The first assignment they give you is stealing a ring and planting it in another person's pocket. The person you are meant to take from is actually a really nice person and it's better to not steal from them.

If you fail this step or just refuse to complete it all together, Brynjolf will still accept you into the Guild.

Most of the other quests are pretty boring until it intertwines with the Brotherhood.. Regardless of all of this, not many people even want to be a part of the Thieves Guild. They will try to convince you that they are justified in what they do, but the way they act and the things they have you do suggests they are no more than thugs. Most people who know of them don't like them, with good reason since a lot of the members are not very nice.

3 Becoming A Werewolf

One of the more interesting factions is the Companions. These warriors have been around since Skyrim was founded. Although they have been leaderless since the death of Ysgramor, the Companions hold quite a position in Skyrim, most prominently in Whiterun. The trick to becoming a full Companion is being accepted into the secret Circle.

The Circle consists of members who are Werewolves. In order to fully complete this quest you must make the decision to accept the transformation. This ability allows you to become a werewolf once a day and it will last as long as you feed or kill people, which results in immediate hostile attention. The reason this is pointless is because almost immediately afterwards two of the main Companions cure their lycanthropy. The pros are outweighed by the cons by far, but if you want to finish the quest you have to do it.

2 Paying Off Guards Who Recognize You

One good thing about Skyrim's bounty system is that your bounty doesn't carry over to every hold. This can be really handy, especially if you are trying to escape an area in which you are high on the wanted list. Sometimes though, you can get a general bounty for all over Skyrim for deeds you commit out in the wild. If it's low enough, you won't necessarily be arrested on sight, but you might be stopped.

Guards will begin to recognize you as your bounty grows across multiple holds.

As you are walking along the street, they will begin to stare at you and when you move closer to the gates, you may hear "Hey, I recognize you." If you're close enough, the guard will stop you and ask why they shouldn't turn you in, at which point you can bribe them. Although paying them off will help you, it's only temporary since the next time you see them they will either arrest you or demand a higher bribe.

1 Wearing Light Armour To Improve Perks

Skyrim has a very unique ranking system in terms or aesthetic. Fitting with the game, you unlock constellation stars that form the perk trees. Light armour is one of those perks and it can be both good and bad in the wild.

This type of armour doesn't weigh you down very much, obviously, but it doesn't offer nearly as much protection as some heavy armour.

The obvious suggestion is to only wear the most powerful light armour, but if you are really intent on ranking up the light armour perk you don't need to sacrifice the heavier stuff. A much easier way is to wear a necklace, diadem, or ring that increases your light armour perk on top of both types of armour. If you can't find any, you can definitely buy some at the store. Mixing and matching the heavy and light is your best bet of survival in the turbulent terrains of Skyrim.


Which of these frustrated you most? Let us know in the comments!

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