Skyrim: Paladin Build Guide

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  • Strategy and role-playing
  • Skills, Perks, and Traits

Thanks go Skyrim’s A flexible character building system makes it easier than ever to assemble interesting hybrid characters in a medieval fantasy RPG set in a rich, immersive open world. The game offers you a wide variety of skills to choose from, which are roughly divided into three different specific categories (Wizard, Thief, and Warrior); sky is the limit.

Related: Skyrim: How to earn the Oblivion Walker achievement

Paladin has become one of the more niche builds in Skyrim, with an emphasis on roleplaying. If you’re a fan of Paladins in other games and would like to try it in Skyrim, this guide will help you get started.

Updated May 10, 2023 by Jerel Levy: When looking at Skyrim builds, Paladin is one of the more fun options to play. Whether it’s roleplaying or an affinity for delving into restorative options or defensive assets, the Paladin build is unique in its versatility. With the Skyrim Paladin Anniversary here and many of the best Paladin Skyrim builds available, we’ve updated this list for design and readability to make sure you can easily find the best builds for your Paladin in Skyrim.


Strategy and role-playing

Skyrim Female Paladin Character

Paladin is not a difficult craft. It actually builds on some of Skyrim’s best features. Paladins will usually be one-handed brawlers that are pretty resistant to damage. You will want to invest in Heavy armor (as good as One handed) to ensure your longevity in combat.

They are similar to enchanted swords in those Paladins specializing in one or two schools of magic. At least they are specialists for Restoration.

Most of their spells will deal with the undead, but they can also have powerful healing spells to help them last longer in combat.

For defensive skillsyou can choose either Change or block skill for extra stamina.

Skyrim Meridias statue with active beacon

In roleplaying terms, Paladins are the definition of virtue. They never associate themselves with dark forces or evil factions, nor do they practice necromancy.

The role playing will make you want to stay away from the daedric princes sideexcept for Meridia, which is actually perfect for Paladins.

TThe best factions to join if you want to maintain a lore-friendly sensibility are the Companions and the Dawnguard.

RELATED: Skyrim: How to easily increase the power of every skill

Suggested races

Skyrim Imperial character in character creation screen

Two races in particular are well suited to the Paladin build. First, there it is imperialwhich can use Voice of the Emperor to calm all creatures around him for 30 seconds.

Imperials will also find more gold in loot, which can be useful when crafting their own gear, as it is an essential part of this particular Paladin build.

Second, you can opt for the Nord. Nords can use their Battle Cry ability to force enemies to flee for 30 seconds once per daywhich works well with the Paladin build.

They get too a massive 50% resistance to Frostwhich is great since the Paladin build focuses a lot on protection from physical damage and not so much on magic.

With the Nord’s good bonus, you might be wondering why we would even suggest an Imperial.

It’s simply role-playing; Paladins as a concept feel more at home in Cyrodiil than in Skyrim. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a Paladin Nord. Strange things have happened.

If you’d rather choose something different, you can also theoretically make an Orsimer into a Paladin.

However, this is not the best option from the point of view of “default” payment of deposits. The Orismers worship Malacath, a Daedric prince who fights against the ideals of the Paladin.

However, their innate combat bonuses in Heavy Armor and One-Handed make them excellent choices.

Berserker Ragealso their unique ability deals double damage while taking half damage.

Furthermore being the exception to the rule allows for fun role-playing; An Orc Paladin would definitely be paying attention.

Even though we’re talking about roleplaying, we realize that there’s a good chance you’re not interested in that aspect. The reason we’ve highlighted this is because the Paladin build isn’t quite competitive with some others like the Two-Handed and Stealth Archer builds.

It’s pretty safe to assume that due to the story’s fame, there are quite a few Paladin players in it.

Skills, Perks, and Traits

Skyrim Skill Tree Nebula Wallpaper


When it comes to attributes, remember this A paladin is a warrior first and a mage second. Stamina isn’t a priority, as the Heavy Armor perks will help you go lighter as you unlock them.

  • First priority: health – to increase your health fund and become tankers.
  • Second priority: Magicka – to allow you to cast more expensive restoration and alteration spells.
  • Third priority: Endurance – to make sure you can power attack more easily and move faster despite your heavy armor.

Skills and perks

Skyrim One Handed Glass Sword

One-handed is your primary way of dealing damage, up close and personal. Focus on perks that allow you to deal more damage or lower the cost of powerful attacks.

Paladins will be fighting in front of the enemy, so you will need adequate protection, which only the Heavy Armor skill can provide. Restoration is an essential part of the Paladin’s kit. Your build will focus on a few healing spells and take advantage of undead warding spells.

Skyrim Mage using a spell

Smithing is not only great for grinding levels as a paladin, but it also allows you to craft powerful sets of heavy armor. Avoid crafting Ebony and Daedric gear if you’re considering roleplaying angles. For more help with Smithing, you can check out this comprehensive guide.

to have Fascinating Skill level is also crucial as it allows you to craft gear that is more suited to your needs.

You can choose Alteration and Block as an optional defensive skill.

Blocking allows you to hit enemies and deal extra stun and damage. however you will have no recovery spells equipped by default upon entering combat.

A change it’s nice because it is you will benefit from investing in your Magicka for recovery spells. The downside is that it is it takes away Magicka that could be used to cast restorative spells.

If you’ve upgraded your copy of Skyrim to the Anniversary Edition, check out the additional armor sets added via the Creation Club. There’s more choice than ever, so don’t feel so limited by sticking to more ‘lightweight’ gear sets.

Skill tree

Recommended benefits

One handed

  • a gunsmith
  • Fighting stance
  • Bladesman
  • Savage Strike
  • Critical charge

Heavy armor

  • Juggernaut
  • Well equipped
  • Upholstered
  • Tower of Power
  • Conditioning


  • Regeneration
  • Restoration
  • Rest
  • Necromage
  • Recommended Spells: Fast Healing, Sealing Wounds, Turning Lesser Undead, Banishing Lesser Undead, Stendarr’s Aura, Turning Undead, Vampire Doom, Circle of Protection, Banishing Undead, Turning Greater Undead, Banishing Undead, Circle of Guardians


  • All perks must be unlocked


  • All perks must be unlocked
  • Recommended Enchantments: Boost Heavy Armor, Boost One-Handed, Boost Health, Boost Recovery, Turn Undead

Block (optional defensive skill)

  • Shield wall
  • Quick reflexes
  • Deflect the arrows
  • Power Bash
  • Basic protection
  • Block Runner

Change (optional defensive skill)

  • Magic Resistance
  • Atronach
  • Recommended Spells: Oak Flesh, Stone Flesh, Iron Flesh, Ebony Flesh, Dragon Skin

Skyrim One Hand Enchanted Steel Sword

There aren’t that many great armor sets for Paladins in the game.

This is the reason why Smithing and Enchanting are essential to the Paladin buildas you will need to craft the best heavy armor.

Avoid armor if you’re roleplaying questionable factions such as Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhoodand never equip daedric items.

As far as unique swords go in Skyrim, there are a few pieces that are both lore-friendly and useful. And remember, the anniversary edition may have added things that are faster.

NEXT: Skyrim: Sword and Shield Building Guide

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