It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the release of Skyrim, but here we are. Skyrim: Anniversary Edition includes everything from the Special Edition and improves upon it by adding some Creation Club content, such as Fishing, Rare Curios, the Saints & Seducers questline, and Survival Mode.
Survival Mode takes everything you know about Skyrim and flips it on its head. Not only does Survival Mode reduce your maximum carry weight and get rid of fast travel, but you now have to keep an eye on your fatigue, hunger and comfort levels. There’s a lot to be aware of while playing Survival Mode, so here are some tips and tricks to make your life easier.
Carry Food At All Times
It’s important to make sure you always have some food on you in Survival Mode because it’s in your best interest to avoid getting hungry. Your stamina and weapon skills will suffer if you do, so it’s best to keep around 10 percent of your carry weight dedicated to food since you don't have much space to work with.
There’s also no health regeneration in Survival Mode. The only way you can heal is through food, potions and restoration spells so you better level up your restoration stat if you want to learn some of the best healing spells out there. It's worth the grind.
Grab A Bow And Arrow Immediately
The best way to get meat in Survival Mode is by hunting game, so make sure you have a bow and a fair amount of arrows before you leave Helgen. It shouldn’t be too hard since most enemies at the beginning carry arrows and you’ll likely have a bow by the time you encounter the bear as you escape Helgen.
You have to learn to be self-sufficient in Survival Mode so getting your own meat is a must. The ultimate goal is to end up with one of the best bows in the game and you’ll get there eventually.
Map Out Your Journey
Seeing as there’s no fast travel in Survival Mode, you should plan your journey ahead of time. It’s best to stick to main roads as you make your way around Skyrim since they will eventually lead to a town or inn.
In fact, Bethesda released an official survival map of Skyrim, so make sure you have one printed out and by your side at all times. The map not only shows the location of major cities and towns, it even includes temperatures, campfires and cooking pots. It’s a very useful tool to have.
Make Sure You Wake Up Well-Rested
When your character gets tired in Survival Mode, it’s time to find a place to sleep because fatigue reduces your total magic. That being said, not just any bed will do the trick. It’s best to get that well-rested bonus by sleeping in an owned bed or an inn. Doing so will reset your tiredness and give you 10 percent more experience for eight in-game hours.
It’s important to note that you can’t level up in Survival Mode unless you sleep. Luckily, there are plenty of great player houses you can purchase in Skyrim, so getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be a problem.
Cook Vegetable Soup
You’ll quickly notice that most cooked meals require a whole lot of salt. While it’s a good idea to buy as many salt piles from merchants as possible, another option is to just avoid salt altogether and solely eat vegetable soup.
Sure, it may not be the best diet, but vegetable soup is all you need in Survival Mode. It requires no salt at all, restores 300 health and gives you passive health regeneration for five minutes. You can even find its ingredients very early on as there are plenty of leeks, potatoes and cabbage in Riverwood and the farms around Whiterun.
Wear Light Armor
Light armor is going to be your best friend in Survival Mode because of how lightweight it is. If you want to wear heavy armor, you will be over-encumbered in no time, so you almost have no choice but to go with light armor.
Make sure you work your way towards the Unhindered perk as it makes light armor weigh absolutely nothing. It’s one of the most useful perks in all of Survival Mode. If you’re worried about your armor rating, don’t be. Light armor is a fine choice because you’ll still be able to easily hit the armor cap of 567 through some smithing perks.
Carry Fur Armor For The Cold
If you’re worried about staying warm in the cold and blustery land of Skyrim, make sure to grab some fur armor. It can’t be crafted, but the armor is worn by bandits and Hold Guards, so it won’t be long before you have all four pieces.
Fur armor is perfect for staying warm in the cold areas of Skyrim, such as the Pale, Winterhold and Eastmarch. Just know that, even though fur armor can be improved, it’s not affected by smithing perks. This means it can’t be improved further than flawless without boosting the smithing skill over 100.
Stay Around Fire
If you ever find yourself getting dangerously cold to the point of freezing in Survival Mode, make sure to get as close to fire as you can. Simply taking out a torch will warm your character up. You could also stand near a fire or eat some hot stew to feel warm.
Even the Dark Elf's racial ability, Ancestor’s Wrath, helps with warmth since it surrounds you with fire. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to deal with the cold in Skyrim – you just have to get creative.
Be Mindful Of Diseases
Normally, if you contract a disease in Skyrim, it’s not a big deal. All you have to do is pray at a shrine of Talos or use a potion of cure disease and you’re good to go. That hasn’t changed in Survival Mode, but diseases are much more debilitating this time around.
If left untreated, diseases in Survival can progress to severe and even crippling, making their negative effects much more pronounced. It’s important to constantly check your active effects to make sure you’re not dealing with a disease. Argonians and Wood Elves have 50 percent disease resistance, which makes them a good choice for Survival Mode.
Increase The Difficulty
If you’re playing Survival Mode, it’s very likely that you’re a hardcore Skyrim player who isn’t playing the game for the first time. Survival mode is all about giving yourself a challenge, so why not make the game even tougher by setting the difficulty to adept or higher?
On top of that, you might as well download some mods to help with immersion. It’s going to make the experience even better. Playing Survival Mode on Skyrim: Anniversary Edition with these mods might be the best way to play the game.
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