The Races and Faces of Skyrim

Long hair. Short hair. No hair. Dirty faces. Dirty beards. War Paint. Crazy eyes. Argonian eyes.

Like Bubba from Forrest Gump, we could go on for days talking about the different customization options you’ll have with Skyrim. But instead, we decided to share the preset options you’ll have when you start your adventure. Above is a sampling of choices you can make for the men and women of Skyrim… the Nords.

Check out the other nine races after the break (or by visiting our Flickr page).



Dark Elf





Wood Elf

High Elf

Reader Comments

      • The argonians look less humanoid, and the different kind of horns remind me of the sarnak in everquest 1/2. Which is amazing. I hope you can change the skin color so they aren’t just colorful in the face. That and if you can have different skins for the kajiit. I would absolutely love to be a kajiit that looks like a snow leopard.

  1. I don’t like the appearance of the female khajiit either… way too delicate and emaciated… the neck looks half again longer than it should be.

  2. i love the woodelfs πŸ˜€ they actually look like elfs and their skin tone is like the colour of trees o:

  3. amazing details on the faces, but i wonder about one small thing, since the Argonians have horns and all that good stuff, will they be able to use normal helmets?? the horns arent able to fit under a normal helmet, so i was just wondering.

  4. I really like the look of the faces.
    However, I have to say that I can see the pixels of the noses and the lips a little bit too clearly. Ofcourse, overall it’s a huge improvement compared to Oblivion.

    I love the Orcs; they’re no too human, but more believable in my opinion. In Oblivion they were looking kinda dumb.

    The Argonians are now sort of smaller versions of dragons, which I like πŸ˜›
    Look at the necks! So much detail! (I hope the noses and lips of all races would have as much detail :P)

    So far, I really like what I’ve seen about Skyrim, except the AI of the game. I think the AI is the least upgraded from Oblivion (for example the wolf during the live playthrough by Todd Howard on Quakecon; that one was really behaving unnatural, even Todd lost that wolf xD)

    Well, first I have to play Skyrim for myself, but I know I will love it πŸ˜›

    And about the AI, I’m sure in The Elder Scrolls VI Todd and his team will fix this πŸ˜›

  5. These pictures are badass. BUT!! the wood elves need less eyeliner, i mean, their elves in the forest,their not supposed to be emo! lol. And the Altmer need to be more pale. Their to close to the color of the long-dead Ayleids (unoffical ES wiki has a source on “not as dark as a Dunmer, but not as pale as the Altmer, perhaps a gold/dark brown complexion.[9]”

    this is just for the sake of lore, THEY STILL LOOK AWESOME

  6. these look really awesome there i a DRASTIC CHANGE in the khajiit they actually look scary now and really really good not like the common house cat like in oblivion anyway cant wait this game is gonna be ahmazingg!!!!

  7. Will the body features be coustomiseable like the heigth and muscular build i reealy hope so i could make some awsome lookin chars.

  8. I am so pumbed to be a bosmer in this game. in oblivion i winded up looking like elrond from lotr, i am so pumped to look like an actual badass while shooting my arrows. πŸ˜€

  9. I don’t know what it is but there’s something about all the human and elf females they all seem old, too muscular and dirty looking, almost not feminine enough.(Does anyone else agree? This isn’t just me right?)

    • your right! I really hope you can adjust age like in oblivion. But if what we are seeing here are people in their 20’s, then Skyrim is going to look like a retirement home. πŸ™

  10. I really want to know how the voice acting will be this time Bethesda. Will it be 13 people doing all the voices again? Will an NPC say one thing in one voice and then another thing in a different voice? Will there be NPCs saying “hold on let me try that again” again? Like the voice actors audio files were sometimes left with two takes in one file with Oblivion? Please PLAY TEST AND GET MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE PLAY TESTING AND ALSO PLAY TEST A LITTLE BIT BEFORE RELEASE PLEASE!!!! …and also if you could play test the game a little more than you did with the last installment that would be great thanks!

    • Haha ok no more posts sorry! Pass it on to fix the not enough polygons on noses thing and the weird female Kahjiit neck thing please! There’s still time… I know I can be a jerk but I would love to be a beta tester for Bethesda’s future games. And as much as I’m excited for Skyrim I’m also scared it will be bug/glitch-ridden. Thanks for adding the Orcs! =)

    • Sorry to intrude, but these bethesda* comments get more attention, so I will make the best of it.

      Well, seeing that you guys are reading, I’ll make a request: if it’s possible (even if the differences occur only in TES VI), to change the nature of the missions. I see a great difference between Morrowind’s missions and Oblivion’s. In Morrowind, we had to think more about them, and to find intelligent solutions to problems (not in all cases, obliviously). Besides, almost all the guilds in Oblivion offer missions like “go in there and kill everyone!”. I think you guys do an incredibly good job, and all my critiques are made with caution and care, to help improve your games.

      I think you are capable of doing a game with violence and thinking on it, cause it pleases a lot of people. In Oblivion (ironically), only in Dark Brotherhood I’ve seen some of that.

      I’d be very happy if I contribute for a better game. I think my request is not only a personal request, it is everyone’s request.

      I hope you will read this.

  11. i gone play again whith Imperial women
    i onli hoope u not changed the stats on
    them , where good balanced race πŸ™‚

  12. Its a small thing to be happy about, however Im Very Happy about the chooses for eye color, even in the races that normally did not have more than one choose before…

  13. These are PRESETS guys. I’m sure you can customize them to your liking. We should praise Bethesda for giving us all these options to work with. I think we all are just exited about the upcoming release. Let’s hold our opinions till then.

    • Well considering thats how they are supposed to look anyways, and the fact that they dont look like disney characters anymmore, i would say it is a good thing.

  14. these races look pretty awesome compared to oblivion(never played Morrowind :p) i really hope they dont have the same voices as they did on oblivion, like the elves are all same voice, same with the nords and orcs, I really hope to see the new armor types in skyrim as well as weapons ;]

  15. I can’t sleep at night because Im SO excited.
    I have a huge calander with a count down and I stay up and at midnight every night I mark off the previous day!

    I am totally diggin the presets and can’t wait to play around with the character creation. I love FO3’s c.c. but Oblivions was kind of weak so HUGE step up. Good job Bethesda!!!!
    Im also excited to see all the different NPC’s…assuming they aren’t like oblivion and pretty much the same people under different names and maybe a different voice. πŸ˜›

    Anyone have any idea on the voice overs?…Hopefully more than three actors this time. πŸ˜‰

  16. Also the dark elf with the skull paint is totally sinister. Thanks so much for all these options that will make this game re-playable for many many years!

  17. my question is why do the elfs look so mean and they were nicer looking in oblivion? like i know that its skyrim but they all don’t have to look thugish.

  18. Am I the only one who is upset that skyrim does not have the dungeons and dragons option of being an actual dragon in human form, that realy upset me after they said your caracter is A DRAGON BORN? Just wondering.

  19. As i read down the list of all the comments i noticed many of them were about people having problems with how some of the features look on the characters. But if you read at the top of the page it says these are just the “presets” you probably will be able to change many of the features your self.

    • What that means is THESE are the types of faces you’ll see as you play the game. Presets are very important. What’s the point of fixing my character’s body/facial structure if all others still have the weird looks that I tried to “fix”? I will spent almost the entire game looking at NPCs similar to these presets not ones that look more like me with say, a better more proportionate body/facial structure that I changed like many people keep pointing out you can do. We all know that! The people like me with problems with these “presets” have problems with these “presets”, not with what we already assume we can change about our own character.

  20. This game looks so awesome the trailers are great!!! I cant wait for this game to come out me and my friends talk about it everyday at School. Im a big fan of your work Beth keep it up!!!

    PS- Whoever reads this… your my hero

  21. Absolutely love the characters, they have definitely come a long way compared to Oblivion. I’m actually interested in being a human race this time around,I love the argonians, they turned out amazing. But I think the female khajits look too much like domestic house cats where as the males look a lot more similar to lions or wild cats. The female argonias also look more like a lizard and the males look like dragons almost. I think the females in these races could use a little more work but they are all absolutely amazing and I look forward to playing. One other note, I don’t think male orcs should be able to have beards. It makes them too similar to humans other than their teeth, unless some things are changed to show the difference better.

  22. I would like to say what an amazing job Bethesda has done in the past, I play various types and genres of games on many platforms for over 25 years now. The Fallout and Elder Scrolls series are by far and away the most complex, absorbing and detailed games I have EVER played.
    I would like to commend you for not releasing too much information about the game despite media and public demand, I have told myself not to look for titbits of information but cannot help myself, luckily I can’t find much and i’ve trawled the net for months now… It would ruin the suprise, as for other players not finding out about the game due to MW3 and Battlefield 3??? I severely doubt it.
    As for the charecter models? OK I have to concede, the Khajit necks look a little spindly and overly long. As for the rest… Jawdropping! Especially when you consider how massive the game is… People you are complaining about a few polygons in a nose, when the game contains masses and masses of other information that more than make up for it. And to be honest, how often do you see your charecters face in ANY Elder Scrolls or Fallout game?
    Seeing as some people have used this forum to add some of their wish lists I might as well add a few of mine… I liked elements of Fable 2, such as having multiple relationships and a family, it adds a level of depth to the game, especially for older gamers (a friend of mine had a white character, didn’t see his white in-game wife for months, only to come back to find a black baby – what a side quest that could lead to?), pets (like the dog in Fallout, but more useful, maybe like an English Mastiff or a hunting Falcon). I love having a home (or two) to stash all my loot, I would just love to customise it a little more. One of my all time favourite games is a RPG called Suikoden 2, in the game you collect an army of 99 characters and lead the army against the main enemy. You built a castle and populated it with your army who gave added benefits.
    My last and final wishlist item would be more fantasy creatures and playable races… I’m not sure how this fits in to “Elder Scrolls LAW”, i’ve never been a stickler for law myself and if something benefits if a law is overlooked or removed then i’m happy to overlook it myself. I’m talking Dwarves, Halflings, Mixed races (half level benefits of each race?), mermaids, head hunters, pygmys, unicorns, minotaurs, cycolps, medusa, griffons, phoenix, werewolves, werebears, ratmen, dogmen, trolls, ogres, gremlins, swampthings, wolverines, honeybadgers, grizzlybears, Kodiak bears, Siberian tigers, Anacondas, Titans etc. OK granted not all are fantasy and not all would be playable in anyway shape or form, but could be included as NPC’s.
    Oh one last niggle… Would it be possible to make different reptillian versions of Argonians and different species available for Khajits… I see their is an effort made as far as the Khajit are concerned, tiger stripes, spots etc. I was thinking lion manes, lynx ears, leopard spots, cheetah physique (thinner). And Argonians could have cocrodillian, chameleon, bearded dragon, komodo dragon etc.
    I don’t expect any of this to make it into any game, for a variety of reasons and I wouldn’t be dissapointed if that was the case, just amazed if anyone agreed and put it in at some stage.
    Anyway thanks a lot Bethesda for not waiting for the next-gen console to come out before giving us another episode of the Elder Scrolls.

    • About your “People you are complaining about a few polygons in a nose, when the game contains masses and masses of other information that more than make up for it. And to be honest, how often do you see your charecters face in ANY Elder Scrolls or Fallout game?”

      You’re right that we don’t see the face of our own character that often, but the main reason why lots of people are complaining is because we do look at the faces of lots of characters in the game. It’s a RPG, which mostly has a lot of characters. So you do look at the faces and from the pictures right here, it’s obvious that a lot of people (if not everybody) will see that polygons of the noses and lips.

  23. There seems to be a whole lotta people saying this will be the best game of 2011 and others saying what they need to improve… How about letting them release the game, then criticize…?

  24. All of the female heads look proportionately too small…Also noticed the lack of green/orcishness of the orcs. The Wood/High Elves look pretty much the same. They look too feral imo. Otherwise great job…though I have seen many misspellings (My pet peeve) in Skyrim things. On the X360 feed, the announcement says “The Eldar Scrolls: Skyrim” Eldar. Nu-uh. Also, while filing through the screenshots on the main page, the Orc Knight is titled Orc Night. But its clearly day.
    Sorry for my pickiness…but these things need to get fixed.

  25. For the most part I really like what I see, however, as an Argonian player I do have one concern. The eyes seem to ‘face’ just a bit too straight forward to me. Especially with the round pupils I just can’t help, but think “E.T. go home!”. That may just be the camera angle giving that illusion though. I would like to see the profiles of the races.

    Just one question… Are the Argonians going to have hocked legs like the Morrowind Argonians or are they still going to have knees?

    • I don’t meant that in aggressive way ,they already look amazing,but I was just wondering if the small pixilation was there to stay or if these were just rough drafts and they will be more developed.

        • I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I think Bethesda thinks that most people won’t get that close to NPCs faces so the nose problem doesn’t warrant a fix. And if you choose to play a character with the nose polygon problem then too bad. Seriously though I hope they fix it.

          • I hope people will stop picking apart these wonderful creations and focusing on things that effect the gameplay in absolutely zero ways. seriously, do you have nothing better to do? You know what, YOU make a better way to show characters on a 360 then complain about bethesda not keeping up. until then who are you to say they need to fix it.

  26. You can’t please everyone. They didn’t really HAVE to make this game so why judge so harshly? They did very good work in the past, revolutionized RPGs as we know it. Personally, I trust they’ll do just fine with this one and this game will be absolutely amazing. The people judging about the faces and whatnot should really stop complaining, you know you’re gonna play it and you know you’re gonna enjoy it. I’m not trying to troll or flame anything/one.

  27. Remember people these are SAMPLES, you can always change neck height or brow shape when ever you want once game is out. Yes ok the characters could be tweeked here and there but end of the day its been years of nothing, to all of a sudden Skyrim!

    If you look over Oblivion character faces to now, they have done a great deal and done a good job with the talent they have. Don’t judge this game by using other designers & game makers work, judge it by previous work they have done and the hours of game play you sat playing it.

    Example : World of Warcraft graphics are shit but look how many hours people play it for!

    Play it for the game not always how it looks. P.S most people will be 1st person and will never truly see the face they made, others will be in the new animated 3rd person but still not always looking at the face, more back of head.

    • Why does everyone keep saying that you can just tweak your face if you don’t like these. That only changes MY face not the other 99.7 percent of the worlds characters that I will be staring at. You’re right it’s been a loooong time since Obivion. So of course it’s going to be a big step up. However that means that they had THAT much more time to decide how the races would look. Why can’t I judge this game by the quality games coming out lately? What’s wrong with wanting it to surpass all the others in the RPG genre? And by the way, WOW didn’t only suck in the graphics department.