Skyrim: Legendary Skills (Purpose / Benefit / Difficulty)

Written by Muqadas Wattoo | Last modified on:

If you haven’t been playing Skyrim for a long while there are several features of the game that are rather ambiguous. One such feature is getting Skyrim legendary skills. If you didn’t already know skills are incredibly important in Skyrim. There are 18 different abilities you can upgrade and improve in Skyrim. As you level up in one certain skill you unlock perks.

Leveling up your character earns you points, you can use these points to activate the perks of your choice.

Skyrim Console Commands:

Each perk that you choose will significantly impact your gameplay within the game. The 18 different skillsets fall under three different class categories. These categories are; the mage, the warrior, and the thief respectively. After that short refresher in what exactly skills in the game are let’s talk about what exactly are Skyrim legendary skills, how do you get them and what advantages/disadvantages you face by making a skill legendary.

What Are Legendary Skills?

The legendary skill mechanic was not part of the original release of Skyrim. The mechanic came with the official Skyrim patch 1.9. Before the introduction of this patch, there were no legendary skills. Once a specific skill of your character reaches level 100, you get the option to make it a legendary skill.

Level 100 in Skyrim Legendary Skill

Once in the perks Menu, move over to the skill that is on level 100. You’ll see the option to press “triangle” with legendary written next to it. Upon pressing triangle, a menu asking you to confirm your choice of making your skill legendary will greet you. Accepting will revert that skill back to level 100 and give you back all the perk points you invest in that skill tree. Once made legendary the skill reverts back to level 15 and is upgradable once again. The ability you have made legendary will feature the Skyrim emblem.

It’s understandable if at first, you don’t understand the impact of legendary skills in Skyrim. Don’t worry this article will discuss all aspects of legendary skills and why people choose to revert their skills back to level 15.

Why Make Your Skills Legendary?

Making an ability legendary in Skyrim is no simple task. It’ll require the player to put in a lot of time and effort in the process. However, for a lot of people that effort is worthwhile.

Before the introduction of the legendary skill mechanic the highest level a player could reach was level 81. With every ability in the game maxing out at 100, there was no way for players to gain any more levels.

Not being able to gain more levels or use all the perks available in the game was a major let down for players of the elder scrolls series. With the introduction of the mechanic of the legendary skill, the level cap was effectively out of place. As you make a skill legendary you reset all the perk points and the skill reverts back to 15. Once it reverts back to 15 you can level it up again.

Leveling it up again will add experience to your player and the level 81 cap will be broken. Your character will now be able to improve past level 81. No ceiling for character upgrades exists after the introduction of the legendary skill Skyrim mechanic. Theoretically, players could now enjoy the game with no end game in sight. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the player. We know there are people out there willing to put in thousand plus hours into the game.

Advantages Of Making Your Skills Legendary

Like anything in life making your skills legendary in Skyrim will have its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s talk about the advantages of making your skills legendary first.

No Level Cap

As the article mentions above, making a skill legendary completely eliminates the level cap. Allowing you to upgrade your character infinitely. The main benefit of this is that you can play the game to your heart’s desire. Once you reach the maximum level in a certain game it has a psychological impact. The level of motivation a player has decreased. With the removal of the level, cap players will continue to play and earn perks.

Adding more to your playing time is something gamers ask from all of their developers and with legendary skill mechanic, they seem to have done just that.

Get All The Skyrim Legendary Perks

Without the introduction of the mechanic of the legendary skill, it was impossible to get all the perks. There are a total of 251 perks in the game, without the mechanic of the legendary skill the level cap is 81. You could only activate 81 perks initially, however allowing you to reset all the perks you invest and the removal of the level cap means you can upgrade to your heart’s content.

Now it isn’t necessary to get all the perks in the game. The objective is to get all the perks in the primary skills you use. Upgrading your primary combat perks to the max can lead to the creation of the ultimate character. There’s nothing stopping you from getting all the perks in the game. Except for the difficulty of the task itself. Leveling up certain abilities like speech over and over again can be debilitating but there are certain sacrifices you just have to make to reach god mode.

Altering Your Play Style

Rather just overpowering your character, legendary skills allow you a range of flexibility as well. If you have a certain ability at a high enough level, you can make it your primary ability easily. After leveling up your existing core ability to the legendary status you can get the perks back by making it a legendary skill.

Say for example you play through the game as a one-handed warrior. Along the way, you consistently make use of archery leveling it up but not investing any perks into it. By making the one-hand warrior skill legendary you can get back all the perks you invest. You can then invest these skills into archery to make it your primary means of combat.

Changing the abilities, you make use of the most can help freshen up your current save. There’s only so much to do in the game, playing it in a completely different manner can help make it exciting again. Going from a two-hand tank to stealth using assassin can be incredibly refreshing.

Combining Different Abilities

Once you make a skill legendary, you can reinvest the perk points into other skills. Using this effectively can lead to you being able to use 2-3 abilities as your primary means of combat. After getting all the perks in the destruction ability you can target the one hand ability to become unstoppable.

You can easily delve into classes that you never use before. Create a unique combination of classes. You can make use of several combat mechanics that you never knew you could before.

No Need To Invest In Other Skills

It’s not entirely unlikely that there are certain abilities in the game that you don’t upgrade or invest in. Skills like lock picking arguably make the game easier but it’s arguable whether you need to invest perks into the ability.

Before the inception of the legendary mechanic, players had to upgrade all skills to reach maximum level. The level cap was set at 81 and that was the maximum number of perks players could receive as well. After upgrading to legendary skills, there’s no need to level up skills that are a hassle to level up.

You can simply upgrade the abilities you use over and over again in order to level your character up. There’s no need to invest time doing stuff you don’t enjoy doing in the game anymore.

As is evident, there are several advantages to making a Skyrim skill legendary. However, there are certain disadvantages that you have to face as well. These disadvantages can have a significant impact on your gameplay, making it imperative that you consider everything before making a skill legendary.

Disadvantages Of Making A Skill Legendary

There’s no such thing as a free dinner, everything comes at a cost. Similarly making a skill legendary has a lot of disadvantages as well. Here’s everything you need to consider before you make a skill legendary.

Resets The Skill Completely

The purpose of making a skill legendary is getting back all the perks you invest and taking the skill back to ground zero. Sadly, ground zero means that your skill is at a novice level. Making one of your primary skills legendary can have a significant negative impact on your play style.

Take for example a player that is primarily a warrior that uses one-handed weapons. If the player reaches level 100 in the ability and makes it legendary the skill goes back to the novice. The effectiveness of the one-handed weapon in combat falls completely. Essentially losing all your perks creates a multitude of problems. High-level enemies become almost impossible to eliminate with a novice rankability.

Messing up and recovering becomes exceptionally hard as well, as leveling up your combat skills can be a pain. Before you make a skill legendary, make sure you don’t use it primarily.

Ignores Race Buffs

When you make your in-game character you’ll notice that certain races have specific buffs. For example, the orcs start with a higher level of heavy armor skill when comparing them to other races. When you make the same skill legendary no race buffs apply.

Each skill falls back to the novice level regardless of your race buffs. It becomes particularly annoying when you select a race specifically for its ability buffs. Ignoring specific buffs is a glaring omission in the mechanic of the legendary skill.

No Legendary Perks

Making a skill legendary sounds much cooler than it actually is honestly. Making skills legendary eliminates the level cap and allows you to get more perks, but is there any more? The answer is no. Making a skill legendary doesn’t essentially change your ability in any way. You don’t get any additional perks that make upgrading the respective ability again any easier.

Adding in a Skyrim legendary perks would greatly help alleviate this disadvantage. However, with the amount of time Skyrim has been out, it’s unlikely that it’ll get a patch to change anything soon. However, adding in legendary perks could have been a great addition to the legendary mechanics’ system.


Leveling up a specific ability in Skyrim is no simple task. Sure if the ability is a core aspect of the way you play the game it’ll level up fast. However, leveling up an ability that you don’t use regularly can be incredibly time-consuming. Not to mention that to gain every perk in the game you’ll have to make a few skills legendary multiple times.

Additionally, the matter is made worse by the fact that none of the ability books are reset. Once you read an ability book in Skyrim you upgrade that ability. The books are an easy way to improve skills once they’re at higher levels. Not reverting back any of the skill books makes leveling up again.


Legendary skills don’t inherently cause glitches within the game. However, if you make a skill legendary one too many times it can start causing problems within the game. From making the game crash to certain perks not performing their specific abilities, a lot of problems can arise if you make your skills legendary too many time.

These problems start arising when you make a skill legendary for more than 25 times. Nothing should interfere with your gameplay if you don’t go above this level.

In spite of the fact that legendary skills allow you to create an incredibly powerful character, there are some costs involved. Making a skill legendary is a big decision to make. You need to carefully evaluate the entire process. A lot of factors go into the choice. Make sure you consider every single aspect before making your skill legendary. There are several strategies and guidelines you can follow to make sure you take advantage of the legendary skills mechanic.

Strategy To Get Legendary Skills

Leveling up a specific ability to the absolute maximum in Skyrim can be difficult. Combine that with the fact that it’s inadvisable to make primary skills legendary and you have a real problem. How do you make use of the legendary mechanic if it weakens a skill so much? No need to worry though, there are several ways to move around this entire problem.

Enchanting and Smithing are two skills you can easily improve and make them legendary without any major consequences. Once your enchanting and smithing are at a high enough level, you can craft all the god-like armor in the game you want. Once you have every piece of armor you want you can make the skills legendary and start power-leveling.

Reaching level 100 in Smithing is quite simple if you follow this strategy. Simply start by accumulating a lot of Gold. You’re going to use this gold to smith gold rings. Each ring takes about two gold ingots to make so be sure to stock up.

Naturally making more valuable items will increase smithing faster if you’re in a hurry. However, if you have a little more time just go ahead and craft gold rings. Repeat the process however many times you want to get all the perks you need.

Additionally, reaching level 100 enchanting is similarly easy. As is the case with smithing, simply go to an enchanting table and start enchanting items. The more items you enchant, the more you gain experience and improve your enchantment. Using these strategies, you can easily make two skills legendary and earn perk points to invest in other skills. By consistently making those skills legendary that isn’t a vital part of your combat you experience no drop off in performance.

Be sure to keep in mind that you set your combat skills at high level when following the strategies. As you power-level enemies around you will also improve at the same pace. If your combat is not up to scratch you’ll be in for a world of trouble.

However, if you want to make one of the combat skills legendary and still get it back to a high enough easily, there’s a way. Regardless of what form of combat you use, you can make it legendary and get it up to speed in no time.


Look for an NPC that has incredibly high health or does not take damage. “Shadowmere” the horse is perfect for this role. Simply start attacking the NPC using your respective combat skill, eventually, you’ll reach back to a level 100. These strategies may seem cheap but you can mess up heavily if you don’t understand the legendary system mechanic.

Knowing that there’s no level cap in the game after making legendary skills, what level is in your sights now? To get all the perks in the game you theoretically need to reach level 252. If you have the time and dedication to do so you have my respect. If you want to create an absolute tank in the game, then the mechanic of the legendary skill is going to help you out a lot.