Skyrim player explains how levelling exploit broke their whole game

(Image credit: Bethesda)

A Skyrim player has explained how they managed to boost themselves to level 241 without leaving the tutorial dungeon - almost breaking the game in the process.

In a post on the game's subreddit, user Harlen_Sinclair referenced some players' recent discovery of a reasonably well-known levelling trick. In the game's first dungeon, during the section where you sneak past the bear, you can turn your weapon of choice on the NPC assisting you in journeying through the cave. Doing so won't fatally harm them, but it'll level both your sneak and one-handed skills extremely quickly.

Sinclair says that a few years ago, they pushed the exploit to its absolute limit, driving both stats to their maximum value and elevating their character to level 100 despite having barely ventured beyond Helgen. The feat took some determination - grinding the stats up "happened over the course of a few weeks" in stints of a couple of hours at a time - and the hardest parts were getting Hadvar into a spot from which he couldn't escape and making sure not to knock him out.

Unfortunately, Sinclair goes on to explain that this doesn't make the game as much fun as you might think. Skyrim's enemies level with your character, and Sinclair says that as a result "I died when I tried to leave the tutorial. A lot. Having the 100 one-handed helped, but having the most basic weapons and armor made some of those enemies VERY risky!" 

Being level 100 does offer the opportunity for plenty of extra health, of course, and that helped "decently," but this particular version of the Dragonborn still saw themselves battered around quite a bit. Sinclair complained that they couldn't even craft better weapons or armor for themselves, as their smithing skill remained low, and the game doesn't tend to leave high-level weaponry lying around its starter areas.

While Harlen_Sinclair's trick has been around for a while, Skyrim players are still finding new ways to enjoy the game. Recently, one player who'd been role-playing a guard for years finally made it to High Hrothgar, while a developer hinted at how the game's iconic opening was nearly ruined by a single, unstoppable bee.

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Ali Jones
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I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.