While the new Elder Scrolls game is proving more popular than any other game in the series many have trouble getting past the early stages of Bethesda’s epic adventures. I’ve heard so many gamers say that they played till they got out of the first dungeon or in Fallout 3 till they left the vault only to be completely overwhelmed by the hugeness of the world and the untethered freedom to do whatever they wanted. They didn’t know what they wanted so they switched it off and never went back. Some with more patience still fell at the first hurdle as they headed off in the wrong direction, only to get squashed by the first big human squasher they met. Some stuck with these games, forging their way through a dungeon for hours only to get killed and find they hadn’t saved recently and lost heart. These gamers know that everyone who went on to master the ways of Bethesda’s sprawling RPGs adored their experience but rather than spur them on to have another go most just felt all the more bitter that their experience hadn’t been so sweet. The truth is, though, that it will take just a few simple guidelines to make Skyrim work for you. So if you’ve been put off in the past follow these pointers in the early part of the game and soon you’ll be saving the world from dragons with the rest of us.
- Save immediately after you escape the initial dungeon and find yourself free to roam.
- Go into your menu and learn how to use your map and quest log.
- Speak to everyone in the first town, picking up missions that will be listed in your quest log.
- Work through some local missions methodically, fast traveling from the map back to town for your rewards.
- Save often.
- Begin to specialise in weapon and magic types that suits your favoured style of combat.
- Decide between using light or heavy armour and then stick with your choice.
- Working towards abilities such as lockpicking, persuasion and invisibility will prove useful later in the game.
- Once you’ve rinsed a town of local quests move to the next closest town and do the same again.
- Only follow main mission quests that can be done from nearby areas as you move through the game world.
- Early on sell armour and weapons you don’t use and potions and scrolls that don’t heal your health or magicka.
- Once you have 5000 gold buy the house in Whiterun.
- Store all your non essential materials at home, to alleviate over-encumbrance problems.
- Dragons are not hard to kill. Use your Unrelenting Force shout early on in the game.
- Store dragon materials at your house. They’re too heavy to carry around.
Following these rules should make it easier to get into the swing of things. It’s difficult, though, because there are so many distractions and other ways to play. Once you’ve leveled up a bit, have a good weapon, spells and armour, somewhere safe to dump your loot and are more accustomed to the map and quest log you can strike out and play your own way. It really takes about 10 hours of methodical, patient, disciplined play before wandering off into the great unknown won’t end in frustration and disheartening failure. It’s this that has put off many gamers. Trust me, though, after those first 10 hours there’s another hundred of complete freedom to explore one of the most beautiful and diverse game worlds ever made. Okay, off you go.