Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Content Type: Gaming Guides
Do you want to be a Ranger in Skyrim? Well, you’re not alone! Rangers are a common archetype in fantasy literature and games, and are commonly known for their hunting prowess, woodsmanship, and wisdom. A good Ranger is at home in the wilderness and a survivalist by nature, living off the land, but never despoiling it. Rangers are caretakers of the forest — guardians of the Wild. They are skilled with the bow and the art of concealment, using stealth to move quickly and quietly along hidden paths through the deep underbrush.
Besides hunting and stealth, Rangers are also adept in the healing arts. Their knowledge of natural remedies is second to none, and they mix potions and poultices from the herbs and plants that grow wild in the hidden places of the forest. Often they can be seen in the company of animals, for Rangers are skilled in speaking the languages of all wild creatures.
History of Rangers in Fantasy and Gaming
Probably the best known Ranger in fantasy literature is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. Before Aragorn was crowned King of Gondor, he was known as Strider — a Ranger in the North. As Strider helps Frodo in his quest to destroy the One Ring, he aptly demonstrates the tracking, hunting, and healing skills associated with the Ranger.
Influenced by Tolkien’s writing, the Ranger became a character class in the early days of RPGs when Dungeons and Dragons was released. With the specialized skillset possessed by Rangers, a party could benefit greatly in many situations — especially overland campaigns through the wilderness.
After Tolkien and D&D, the Ranger was established as an iconic figure in fantasy gaming, and has been featured in several popular games including Final Fantasy, Guild Wars, and others.
Be a Ranger in Skyrim
If you’re looking for something different, you might want to be a Ranger in Skyrim. Just like the Dwarf character build we wrote about last month, the Ranger isn’t a Skyrim class per se, but with the game’s robust character creation system you’ll be a Ranger in no time.
Race: Khajiit, Redguard, or Wood Elf
Primary Skills: Archery, Sneak
Secondary Skills: Alchemy, Restoration, One-Handed
Statistic Focus: Stamina 40% / Magicka 30% / Health 30%
Weapons: Bow, One-Handed Sword, Dagger
Essential Perks: Overdraw, Eagle Eye, Steady Hand, Power Shot, Ranger, Stealth, Muffled Movement, Armsman, Alchemist, Regeneration, Apprentice Restoration
Advice: To be a Ranger in Skyrim means that you need to be good with a bow, proficient in sneaking, skilled in arms, and have good healing abilities. Either the Khajiit, Redguard, or Wood Elf races make excellent Rangers due to their Archery bonuses (20, 20, and 25 respectively). The Khajiit and Wood Elf have an advantage over the Redguard insofar as they receive additional bonuses in Sneak (25 and 20), but the Redguard more than makes up for the deficiency with a 25 bonus in One-Handed.
When playing the Ranger, you’ll want to improve your Archery skills as quickly as possible (refer to the Skyrim Fansite article Increase Your Skyrim Archery for helpful tips). You’ll want to spend time adventuring in the Wild, becoming familiar with the lands outside Skyrim’s cities as you explore. Use your Archery and Sneak skills to hunt wild game to earn your coin, and forgo magic with the exception of Restoration spells.
For companions, travel with either Faendal or Aela The Huntress (fellow archers), and perhaps one of Skyrim’s dogs to mimic a Ranger’s animal friendship abilities (see How to Get a Dog as a Skyrim Companion). Train yourself to become a master hunter and healer, and you’ll be a Ranger in Skyrim.
Ranger Friendly Mods
PC gamers can further immerse themselves in the Ranger experience through the use of mods. Here are seven essential mods that every would-be Ranger should use:
- (Yet Another) Ranger Mod by A_Gun allows you to craft a complete set of Ranger armor, including a forest green cloak and hood (players can also craft a set of white winter armor for adventuring in the snow). In addition, you can use the mod to forge a specialized Ranger longbow, short sword, and dagger.
- Camping Kite of the Northern Ranger by The Northern Ranger is a portable camping mod that allows you set up a campsite anywhere in the wilderness. Your campsite is completely customizable, and there are two different tent styles you can set up. Fortify you camp with a barricade, read a book, or play a musical instrument next to a roaring fire — there are lots of camping choices.
- The Hunting Game by TheGreyLight is a mod that makes hunting much more profitable. The mod increases the price of pelts and the number of animal drops (antlers, meat, claws, etc.) to better reflect a true hunting experience. With the vanilla game, it’s difficult to earn a living off the land, but this game gives players who want to be a Ranger in Skyrim a monetary incentive to hunt.
- Elk Hunting by Stripedown increases the number of both male and female Elk in Skyrim. The mod shortens the respawn time from 10 days to 1 day, thus providing ample game for a Ranger to hunt.
- Falkreath Scenic Cottage by MannyGT adds a cottage in the woods outside of Falkreath. The cottage is a great hunter’s getaway, with scenic views, tanning rack, alchemy lab, etc. — a perfect rustic abode for a Ranger tired of camping in the wilderness.
- Dense Vegetation by Galle improves the density of all grass varieties in the wild, giving Skyrim a more realistic, natural look.
- Sounds of Skyrim – The Wilds by Cliffworms adds 115 new sound effects in the wilderness. Everything from the sounds of rustling branches, scampering animals, howling wolves, and the call of loons. The purpose of the mod is to create a more immersive, audible experience.
Playing a Ranger in Skyrim is both rewarding and challenging. Whether hunting animals, roughing it in the Wild, or simply improving your Archery, Sneak, and Restoration skills, a Ranger character build is unique and a lot of fun to play.
So what do you think? Would you want to be a Ranger in Skyrim? Share your opinions in the Speak Your Mind section, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Skyrim Fansite. We always welcome new fans and Skyrim enthusiasts. Until next time fellow travelers!