In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, leveling is completely dependent on getting skill points, so the faster you can get skill points the faster you can level up.
Some skills level up a lot faster than others, especially if you know how to do it right.
Remember to distribute your perk points into plenty of offensive and defensive skills, otherwise you’ll have a high level character that can’t kill anything.
Skill Trainer and Pickpocketing Trick
This one is probably my personal favorite!
Any time you spend money on a skill trainer, the money they take from you goes directly into their inventory. Yes, that means that you can pickpocket the money back from them to get five free skill points every level, until you can no longer pickpocket the money back.
Make sure you know your pickpocketing limits, because at 51 skill points the cost increases dramatically, so you’ll want to pay close attention and most likely pickpocket after every skill point purchased. This is very important to pay attention to, because if you buy too many skill points and can’t pickpocket the money back, then your money may be lost for good unless the trainer is a merchant as well, which we’ll get to shortly.
This trick should work until fairly high skill point levels, as long as you keep putting some points into the pickpocket skill.
This trick is best used on those harder to get skill points, like melee, armor, and block skills.
Make sure to save your game before your pickpocketing attempts so you don’t end up going to jail.
Merchant Skill Trainer Trick
This trick is especially good once you can no longer pickpocket your money back using the first tip.
There are a handful of trainers out there that are also merchants. These are the best trainers out there, because the money you give them for training goes into their available merchant money, which means you can sell some of your stuff to get your money back.
Most of the trainers in the College of Winterhold are merchants, so that’s a great place to start.
I always keep stacks of enchanted weapons on me, primarily cheap daggers with the Banish enchant on them, but if you don’t have the Banish enchant yet then any decent enchant will do.
Check out my other guide for more details about making money from enchanting if you’re unsure what I’m talking about. Using this method, you’ll end up with more gold than you’ll ever be able to spend.
Cheap / Free Magicka Trick
One trick I like to use, especially at higher levels when things take a lot longer to level up efficiently, is to use enchanting to create cheap or zero cost magicka items. This allows you to continually cast a school of magic with very little or no waiting, allowing you to level up extremely fast.
Each school of magic has an enchantment that reduces the cost of magicka required to cast that line of spells, so if you have a decent enchantment skill, you can create a set of items that can make it really cheap, or make it completely free.
The first thing you need to do is find one item in the school of magic you’re interested in that says something like “Ring of Major Illusion” or something to that effect. The effect just reads that it reduces the cost of that school of magic. Don’t confuse this with the chest piece only items that reduce a school of magic and speed up magicka regen.
Once you have found said item, disenchant it so you have it in your Enchanting table.
This type of enchantment can only be enchanted onto a head piece, chest piece, ring, or necklace, so make a set of all four. You’re trying to get each piece to 25% so that your casting for that school of magic is completely free, so drink an enchanting potion if you don’t have the skill to get them to 25% yet.
Once you have your set of cheap or free magicka items for the school of magic you wanted, go casting crazy and watch your skill points fly. Keep in mind that this works best on spells that don’t require enemies around, like Muffle in the Illusion line, Detect Life in the Alteration line (just requires npc’s, so works well in towns), etc. It can be done with Destruction spells, however you’ll have to use them when fighting enemies so you may want to turn down your difficulty a notch since you’ll be sacrificing other stats for your reduced cost magicka stats.
I highly suggest investing points to boost your Enchanting effectiveness if you haven’t yet, because this skill more than pays for itself.
I also like to name my items sets that I create for these so I can find them easily. I name these types of sets “Training Hat Illusion” and “Training Neck Illusion” or something like that. It’s not necessary, but it’s definitely easier to find in your list of inventory, especially if you’re a pack rat like myself.
This trick is especially nice once you get to 100 skill points in Enchanting and are able to purchase the perk that allows you to put two enchants on one item. I have full sets of apparel for two lines of magic so I can cast two different lines of magic for free and level them both up really fast and really easy.
Check out my other guide for more tips on leveling enchanting fast.
Muffle and Sneaking Trick
Muffle is an Illusion based magic, and it’s fairly expensive magicka wise, so every time you cast it up until the low 20’s it will give you a skill point in Illusion. Find a populated area, like a pub or a market area, get out of sight and start sneaking and casting Muffle every chance you get.
You have to move to get Sneak points, so just move forward and back to get your sneak skill going. When you’re out adventuring, keep Muffle equipped so you can cast it and gain those points instead of wasting your capped out magicka.
Smithing and Selling Trick
Every major city has an armory with a forge nearby. Buy up all of the Iron Ingot, Leather, and Leather Strips that they have, then go to the forge and create as many Iron Daggers and Leather Bracers as you can, since they require the least amount of materials. Sell these back to recover some of your costs, and repeat the process.
With this trick, you’ll also be gaining quite a few speech skill points with all of the buying and selling you’ll be doing.
Also, make sure to keep any pelts you gain while you’re out killing stuff, since these can be made into leathers. You can also buy or mine Iron Ore so you can smelt your own Iron Ingots if you’r strapped for cash.
If you’re following my guide to make money from enchanting though, you should never be strapped for cash.