Bloodsuckers have always plagued the lands of Tamriel, all the way back since the Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. And once again, these night-dwellers return in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, both in the base game and Dawnguard expansion.
Whether contracted through Sanguinare Vampiris, or bestowed by Harkon or Serana, the condition positively affects some peoples more than others. Not all races equally benefit from being vampires, so these are the five best and worst peoples to play under the condition.
10 Avoid – Argonian
The condition of vampirism has many perks, like 100% disease and poison immunity, and increased frost resistance. Likewise, they also have the drawbacks of fire weakness and non-regenerating stats during daylight. While the Argonian ability of Histskin can slightly counterbalance non-regenerative health, they’re still at a great disadvantage with the condition. Most vampiric abilities, after all, are forms of Destruction or Illusion spells, neither of which Argonians are adept in. If players do choose to be a vampiric Argonian, it’s not the worst or most difficult path. But it’s still one of many struggles, and best left unexplored.
9 Play – Redguard
Redguards already boast a naturally increased poison resistance, but the total immunity of vampirism is still nice. Likewise, their ability of Adrenaline Rush can combat the lack of stamina regeneration during the day, though they’ll still face the major weakness against fire damage. While not adept in any Illusion magic, they do have decent stats regarding Destruction spells, which can pair nicely with Vampiric Drain and other base vampiric abilities. So definitely consider playing as Hammerfell’s native peoples. They can surprisingly do well as creatures of the night.
8 Avoid – Orsimer/Orc
Orcs can definitely benefit from the heightened resistances bestowed by vampirism. Unfortunately, though, they’re also greatly affected by the many weaknesses of the conditions. Their Berserker Rage falls flat, when health cannot naturally regenerate, nor stamina for power attacks. Almost all of their natural strengths fall under the status of warrior, which are completely unaffected and unrelated to most vampiric abilities. The biggest benefit lays in their Enchanting skills, which can be used to circumvent the weakness to fire. But it’s a very minor benefit, and compared to all the drawbacks, it’s simply best to not try out an Orcish vampire.
7 Play – Imperial
Imperials are a sort-of mixed bag when it comes to vampirism. On one hand, none of their racial abilities stack upon the condition’s benefits, nor do they belay its weaknesses. However, their Voice of the Emperor ability can be useful in pacifying prey, especially when as a blood-starved vampire, which is supposed to make NPCs automatically hostile. This also works to more roleplaying elements, as, afterall, vampires are supposed to be naturally seductive creatures, bending thralls to their will and all. And of course, they have some decent stats in Destruction magic, giving them a slight edge on their basic vampiric abilities. So, an Imperial vampire is a definite must to try!
6 Avoid – Nord
Given that Dawnguard takes place in Skyrim, it only makes sense that most of the vampires in-game, namely those of the Volkihar clan, are Nords. And yet, this only adds onto the irony, as Nords are among the worst races to play as a vampire. They do benefit from the increased frost resistance, which makes them, specifically, completely immune.
But like many other races, they’re completely vulnerable to the added fire weakness, and don’t have any abilities to make up for the negative effects of daylight. They’re also one of Tamriel’s peoples without any magical prowess to bolster their Vampiric abilities either, and even their racial ability of Battle Cry has little use to playing a vampire. Even with such iconic characters like Serana or Harkon, it’s best for players to pass up playing a Nordic vampire, themselves.
5 Play – Altmer/High Elf
High Elves are among the most adept of Tamriel’s peoples, regarding their magical abilities. Their highest stats in Illusion magic will be invaluable to blending into the night and stalking, or seducing, prey and thralls. And their adept abilities in Destruction spells will also come in handy to dealing vampiric damage. Unfortunately, they too suffer from the increased weakness to fire damage, and are also vulnerable to most of the effects of daylight. Though, their Highborn racial ability can circumvent day’s effect on magica, which will, again, be extremely important to dealing damage or stalking in the night. And, of course, any Altmer vampires will find some kinship in the Volkihar clan, so definitely consider a High Elf to play as these blood suckers.
4 Avoid – Khajiit
Ever heard of vampire bats? Well, Skyrim has the option for vampire cats! And it’s an option to best be avoided, as the catfolk of Elsweyr aren’t exactly cut out to be blood suckers. Their racial abilities of higher unarmed attacks and Night vision are useless, considering the condition offers better versions of both. They also lack any magical abilities, meaning they’ll be at a disadvantage when it comes to Vampiric spells, as well as the weaknesses to fire and daylight. So, it’s ultimately best to pass up on playing as a cat-bat, and consider some of the other races instead.
3 Play – Breton
The people of High Rock have many magical abilities, making them especially apt for the many powers that come with being a Vampire. They do, unfortunately, lack particular skills in Destruction magic, but what they lack in overt offensive abilities, they can more than make up for in their racial abilities. Indeed, they boast a natural resistance to all types of magic, which can help against the fire weakness, and bolster the increased frost resistance. They still suffer a slight weakness to daylight, but their Dragonskin ability can help circumvent some of that drawback. And, of course, there are a few fellow vampiric Bretons, like Babette among others, littered about Skyrim. So definitely consider playing as this people, when following the path of the blood sucker.
2 Avoid – Bosmer/Wood Elves
The people of Valenwood are one of the elven races not adept in any sort of magic, meaning they’ll be at a disadvantage when it comes to many basic Vampiric abilities and powers. Of course, their natural stealthiness can come into play when hunting or stalking prey, but in direct combat they’ll be lacking. And, of course, they also have nothing to combat the many weaknesses that come alongside the condition. They have no method to counteract the fire weakness or drained strength in daylight. Their racial ability to Command Animals has no use to be exploited by a Vampire, and their natural resistances to disease and poison are paltry, compared to complete Vampiric immunity. Bosmer have little benefits gained from Vampirism, and it’s best to avoid playing as one on the path of the blood sucker.
1 Play – Dunmer/Dark Elf
The people of Morrowind are, fortunately, skilled in many types of magic. This includes the Illusion and Destruction schools — with Dark Elves being especially gifted in the latter — meaning they’ll fare quite well with the most basic to advanced of Vampiric powers. Their natural resistance to fire damage can easily counterbalance the natural weakness that comes with the condition, though they’ll still be at a slight disadvantage in daylight. But Dark Elves are also as stealthy as they are magical, making them perfect hunters of the night. And it’s without a doubt that they’re among the best, if not the best, races to play as a Vampire.
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