The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim puts players into the horned helmet of the Dovahkiin hero and sets them off on a quest to save the world from an ancient and powerful dragon-- and they got to that eventually.
However, there are many diversions that play against the urgency of the main mission. Legend says that the villain, Alduin, already ended the world once, and he plans to do it again.
The plan involves resurrecting the long-dormant race of dragons and enlisting them to help him burn everything. However apparently, all of that can wait until after our heroes have spend scores of hours doing everything but trying to stop this from happening.
This is just one of the ways that fans have pointed out that the game doesn't consistently make sense.
Do an internet search for "Skyrim logic," and you'll turn up dozens of memes and forum posts providing good-natured jabs at the title's glitches, leaps in reasoning, and straight-up impossibilities.
However, from what we can tell, nobody's complaining.
They're just having a laugh between battles with massive spiders and reanimated skeletons. In fact, they're having several laughs because it's a huge game and weirdness is going to happen.
None of this means that Skyrim is bad, however. Like any other game, it has its issues.
Here are the 25 Things About Skyrim That Make No Sense.
25 Improving at smithing
Skyrim’s skills system is different from the usual for role-playing games. You level up your abilities by using them, which is a cool, more realistic take on the process.
This means that you improve your defense by blocking attacks and your weapon skills by using them. It’s clever, but it doesn’t always make sense.
You also get better at smithing by making stuff at a forge. However, this applies to anything.
So you can get really good at this skill by crafting several hundred small daggers, for example. This gets the numbers up and opens up more options.
However, in our world, that would probably just mean you could make daggers really well.
24 Every guard used to be an adventurer
The most famous line of dialogue in the game, even more so than “Fus Roh Da” is the one you hear from just about every guard you meet.
Of course we mean the endless meme seed, “I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee.”
The developers provide this as some flavor text to make the game more immersive and interesting.
However, basically every guard you meet in your adventure used to have your job, which is more than a little improbable.
As a side note, we don’t know why a career-ending knee injury would still qualify a person for guard duty, but that’s a whole other thing.
23 The consequences of stealing
We aren’t advocating theft in any form here, but Skyrim’s legal system has a few issues in it.
Every crime you commit receives the same general response-- the only difference is the size of the fine that the guards hit you with if they catch up to you.
That response, in short, is this: you immediately become the most wanted person in the area.
Everyone who was just quietly patrolling and talking about their bad knees is suddenly sprinting after you, even if all you did was swipe a blank sheet of paper off of a counter.
22 Dragons landing during fights
Revenge of the Sith taught us all the value of the high ground. If you have it, a fight is immediately over if the other person wants to keep their non-robot parts.
However, apparently, the dragons of Skryim never saw Star Wars: Episode III.
Fighting an air lizard usually involves avoiding their gouts of flame from the sky, waiting for them to land, and then wailing on them with everything you have until the battle ends.
It makes for good gameplay, but a bad tactic.
If we were the dragon, and the guy we were fighting was still standing when our wings started to get tired, we’d just come back later.
21 Carrying large amounts of items
We have trouble understanding the inventory systems of most video games, especially action ones.
Heroes can carry unbelievable loads of weapons, items, and ammo with no problem. In this case, we’re not talking about weight (yet). It’s more a matter of storage.
As long as you stay under your carry limit, you can lug around all kinds of items with no penalties. However, we have no idea where the Dragonborn is keeping it.
It’s just there, all the time, and it’s always right at hand.
Because food items weigh very little, you can have hundreds of them on you at all times... somehow
20 Eating food mid-battle
If a fight isn’t going your way in Skyrim, the standard cure for injuries is a potion.
However, sometimes you adventure so long between trips into town that you run out, and that’s when all that food comes in handy.
A potato only restores a single health point, but if you eat enough of them, you’ll be okay.
You can also do this whenever the need arises. It all happens in your menu, too. While that’s open, time freezes in the Skyrim world.
THis is weird enough, but we can’t even get our minds behind the mechanics or feasibility of eating five-score potatoes in a sitting.
19 Tiny chests, infinite volume
Many of your supplies playing Skyrim come from looting chests and cupboards that you find during your travels.
Sometimes, they’re empty and that’s a bummer, but other times, they’re entirely too full.
It’s just weird when we open a tiny box the size of a cinder block and find a sword, some jewels, and, probably, a few potatoes in there.
It’s possible that the same person who made those vessels also created Dovahkiin’s pockets.
They probably also had a hand in the TARDIS from Doctor Who and the infinitely spaced bag that Mary Poppins carries around.
Sometimes you even find lit torches in boxes underwater, and what is that?
18 Things you craft weigh more than the materials
While you’re making those hundreds of knives to get your skills up, you might notice something weird about the “ingredients"-- specifically, they weigh less than what you end up with.
Crafting an iron dagger takes an iron ingot and a leather strip. The two components combined have a weight of 1.1. However, the finished dagger has a weight of 2, and that’s just ignoring conservation of mass.
The Daedric Sword is another big offender. It’s the largest sword you can craft.
While it weighs 16, its components only weigh 2.6. Also, one of those things is a heart, which raises all kinds of other questions.
17 The price of 'just one more'
New players probably start out grabbing everything they can pick up without the guards coming out of them, and the cost of doing so is becoming overburdened.
It’s a status in which you walk more slowly and can’t use the fast travel ability.
The point is to keep players from snatching everything up and hopping immediately into town to rake in the gold.
It’s a practical hindrance that prevents exploits and game-breaking, and it happens suddenly.
While a normal person would lose speed progressively as they added to their pack, the Dragonborn is fine... until they suddenly aren’t anymore.
Their speed from carrying nothing to the threshold is constant, and then they immediately start crawling.
16 Dragon men can jump
As we know, you can’t run or fast travel when you’re carrying too much stuff. In fact, you can barely even walk, but the condition doesn’t affect your vertical game at all.
Even if you’re toting a thousand pounds of gear and potatoes, you can jump just as high as if you had nothing in your pockets at all.
That's just the one dimension that the developers neglected to hobble, but it doesn’t really matter.
Jumping isn’t a way around stuff weighing you around. You can’t just hop around all you want to overcome it because, of course, your forward movement is almost nothing.
However, you can hop straight up just fine, and that’s odd.
15 Unbreakable wooden doors
Part of the appeal of narrative games like Skyrim is that they let players inhabit a story and pretend to have amazing powers and abilities.
However, the developers have to put limits on those to avoid making things too easy.
That’s why all locked doors require keys or lockpicks to open them, and that’s the case even if they’re just wooden.
The Dragonborn can do all kinds of wacky stuff after you put some time in. These feats include powerful “shout” attacks that blast away everything in front of them and fire spells. That’s even ignoring the giant axes they might pick up.
Those doors shouldn’t be an obstacle, but for some reason they are.
14 Lit candles in ancient ruins
While we’re talking about architecture, we have to mention the super-creepy thing that happens every time we go into some ruins in Skyrim.
Despite the fact that they’re typically underground and haven’t had living, human inhabitants for possibly centuries, the candles and torches scattered around are usually lit when we get there.
It’s not just this game that does it, either. It’s a staple of both this medium and adventure movies.
We understand the reasoning. If you want give an audience a good show, it’s not the best idea to spend a lot of time turning the lights on. However, it still doesn't make any sense.
13 The Perfect Touch Perk
If someone wants to play Skyrim as a sneaky thief type, they’re going to spend a lot of time picking people’s pockets.
Their successes will make them better at it and let them purloin more impressive loot-- and that’s when it gets ridiculous.
The ultimate thieving skill is the Perfect Touch perk.
Not only does it let you snatch a sword right out of someone’s hand without them noticing, but you can also steal the actual clothes off of their backs.
A character that’s sufficiently leveled up can come up behind someone, remove all of their armor, and then get away undetected.
It probably looks ridiculous to other people.
12 The one-ring problem
We’re going to ignore the part where you can enchant a ring that you’re wearing and suddenly get better at bartering. Skyrim takes place in a world of magic and dragons, and you just have to accept some things.
However, here’s where rings lose us: you can only wear them on your right index finger, like most characters in the Lord of the Rings movies. We aren’t going to pretend that doesn’t look pretty cool.
If we had the ability to create magical jewelry that made us better at things, we’d wear as many as possible.
We’d keep stacking them up until we couldn’t hold a sword-- and, at that point, we wouldn’t need to.
11 Relative weight values
We aren’t going to pretend that it’s easy to come up with statistics for every item in a sprawling, virtual, fantasy world.
Even deciding what’s going to be in every cabinet or tiny box is a big enough job without factoring in that each has a weight, value, and different effects. We don’t envy the people who had to sort all of that out.
However, some of their decisions about how much everything weighs were a little weird.
They made concessions to keep things simple and manageable, but some weirdness happens once you start comparing them.
A steel ingot, for example, weighs only ten times as much as a feather quill, and that’s just bizarre.
10 Gold weighs nothing
The carrying system has enough for players and the developers to keep track of without getting too realistic.
So the creators of Skyrim sacrificed some verisimilitude to keep their game playable.
The main, weight-related one is that food items are incredibly and improbably light to let you carry a bunch of them for emergencies.
However, the most head-scratching creative decision has to do with the gold pieces that you can exchange for goods. Those don’t weigh anything.
This was a practical decision-- obviously you should never have to decide between carrying gear and having money.
However, gold ingots have weight, so it doesn't make sense that it loses that once it’s pressed into coins.
9 X-ray pocket eyes
We’ve already covered one of the weirder parts of pickpocketing with the Perfect Touch perk. However, the whole process is uncanny from beginning to end.
It starts when you hit the pickpocketing button in the first place. By doing so, you can somehow know what’s in someone's pocket.
We assume that this represents the Dragonborn peeking in there to seeing what they can pilfer, but it looks like either a psychic ability or x-ray vision.
Leveling up pickpocketing lets you find better stuff in people’s pockets. So this implies that you’re actually just rummaging around in there without the owner of the pocket noticing.
8 Crouching = stealth
Stealth is a big part of playing Skyrim. You’re outnumbered all of the time, so it's important to have a strategic advantage by taking out a few enemies before the rest even know you’re there.
It’s a powerful tool that can be the line between continuing your adventure or looking like the place that bandits store their spare arrows.
How do you unleash this tactical move? You crouch... that’s it.
It helps if you squat down in a dark spot, of course. However, as long as nobody else is looking, you can hunker down behind someone in the middle of town in broad daylight and empty their pockets.
7 Enemies have this 'condition'
Any Skyrim player will tell you that the enemies seem to have the same brain ailment as the main character in Memento.
They don’t seem to be able to create new memories. If they catch you skulking around, all you have to do is break line of sight and crouch down again, and they’ll forget you were ever there.
They’ll return to their post or patrol with a casual, “I guess it was just my imagination.”
This gets especially funny if the thing that tipped them off to your location was you lodging an arrow into their forehead.
It doesn’t really seem to bother them once they forget you were there.
6 Eating plants to find out what you can make with them
Skyrim is all about exploring the world, learning about it, and using the environment to your advantage. It’s also about fighting a bunch of dragons, but partly that other thing.
Part of this theme is that while you can harvest a bunch of herbs and plants out in the wilderness to use for crafting, you don’t know right away what they’re good for.
The game has a simple fix for that, however. You can identify your ingredients by eating them.
That’s great and immersive, but we have to make a face when this includes chomping down on plants like the Deathbell, which is used for poisons since you just ate poison, Dovahkiin.
5 Defeating enemies with potions
Once your sneaky, pickpocketing fingers reach level 40, you can access a perk called “Poisoned.”
This gives you a devious way to weaken enemies-- or just anyone, if you’re that kind of player.
It works by doing the opposite of theft and surreptitiously placing something in your victim’s pocket.
In this case, it’s poison, and it starts eating away at their health immediately. Nothing about this transaction makes any sense.
Are you putting a vial in there or just dumping the contents in? If it’s the second one, how does the toxin get into their system? If it’s the first one, wasn’t that poison just in your pocket?
4 NPCs know which items are stolen
We already know that you might as well just reload your most recent save if anyone catches you stealing, since odds are that the situation will immediately escalate into a fight against every guard in town.
However, even if that doesn’t happen, the authorities have a supernatural knack that makes every TV detective in history look like an amateur.
That gift is knowing, despite the lack of any witnesses to your crime, exactly which items in your inventory were in someone else’s house a minute ago.
Also, if “all” you took was a single, gold coin, they can spot it in your purse among the thousands of others.
3 Your reputation as Dragonborn means nothing
By the time you’ve finished Skyrim, you’ve slain hundreds of bandits, returned dangerous dragons to extinction, and solved dozens of people’s minor problems through side quests.
You’re famous, and everyone should love you-- except the surviving bandits.
However, saving the world only gets you so far, it seems.
We’re not saying that your good deeds and reputation should let you get away with any crime you feel like committing. It’s just that it would be nice to get the benefit of the doubt when a sweetroll goes missing.
Although to be fair, we absolutely stole that sweetroll, and then we ate the evidence. It was the perfect crime.
2 Hitting a chicken is the worst thing you can do
Believe it or not, but worse indiscretions exist than making off with delicious baked goods and stationery.
While your adventures may take you to both sides of the law, only one being is untouchable without the most severe consequences.
That being is the common chicken, whose contributions of protein to its friends and neighbors make it the most valuable member of its community. At least, that’s what it looks like.
If you damage one of these humble creatures every citizen will immediately try to destroy you.
It doesn’t even have to be a fatal blow, but apparently the first law of Skyrim is that you simply do not mess with breakfast.
1 Horses can climb any cliff
Probably the most famous “glitch” in all of Skryim is a horse’s unnatural ability to scale any mountain, no matter how steep.
On foot, you risk getting stuck or falling. However, the horses of the land are like spiders plus goats, and they can make that climb.
This is a handy exploit because it doesn’t matter how many obvious paths sit between the player and their objective, they always know that the best way to get there is straight over the mountain.
Rumors say that paths up these peaks exist, so it’s possible to scale them without the weird physics. However, those are but whispers in the wind because everyone just takes the spider-horses.
Can you think of any other aspects of Skyrim that don't make any sense? Sound off in the comments!