Elder Scrolls

Altmer (Skyrim)

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Altmer in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

For other uses, see Altmer.

Known as "Altmer" in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the High Elves are the most gifted in the arcane arts of all the races. They can call upon their Highborn power to regenerate Magicka quickly.

Altmer are one of the ten playable races in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Due to their magical affinities, the Altmer excel at mage-based classes. Characterized by their yellowish skin and amber-colored eyes, the Altmer are subjected to racism and discrimination due to their affiliation with the Third Aldmeri Dominion and the Thalmor.


Altmer in Fine Raiment

A female and male Altmer.

As a race, the Altmer strive to maintain the appearance of their ancestor race, the Aldmer, primarily through highly selective traditions surrounding marriage and reproduction. They are among the tallest of the humanoid races, taller than most humans and much taller than other mer. Their skin maintains a very pale gold hue, not quite the pale white of the northern human races such as Nords or Bretons but far lighter than the Bosmer. They are slender, with prominently pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes that can be amber, green, or yellow. On average, Altmer are of smaller build than humans, and thus generally not as strong. Their tall stature also makes them less agile than their Bosmeri cousins. However, Altmer are among the most intelligent and magically-inclined races on Nirn, surpassing even the Bretons in magical aptitude. Altmer are received poorly amongst the Nords, the Stormcloaks especially, ever since the Thalmor, the ruling political group of the Altmer, outlawed the worship of Talos in Skyrim. High Elves are well known for their noble countenance and are arrogant or disdainful more often than not when addressing humans. The Altmer are the tallest race in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, standing at a scale of 1.08. However, as with all races, when in first-person mode, the camera height is 1.00.

Fourth Era historyEdit

Thalmor Wizard

Thalmor Wizard.

The Great WarEdit

Between the Oblivion Crisis and Dragon Crisis, the Mede Empire is attacked by the Aldmeri Dominion, an alliance of Elves, comprised mainly of the Altmer and their Bosmer allies. The Empire saved itself only by negotiating the White-Gold Concordat, a treaty which seems to heavily favor the Dominion. The Elves' ruling government, the Thalmor, are Elven supremacists determined to end the dominance of man and the Empire as a whole. Forebodingly, they call the Great War the "First War with the Empire".[1]

White-Gold ConcordatEdit

The White-Gold Concordat enables the Thalmor to move freely throughout the Empire and to suppress the worship of the Man-God Talos. Resentment toward the Altmer, and toward the Empire for surrendering to them, runs rampant in the proud Nords of Skyrim. The Thalmor are encountered several times in Skyrim, in particular in the Thalmor Embassy located to west of Solitude. Thalmor are almost always antagonistic, using veiled hostility if not outright aggression when encountered. In Skyrim there is one mere quest where the Dragonborn has interactions with the Thalmor that isn't hostile. Tasked by the Thalmor Justiciar Ondolemar, the Dragonborn must track down and unveil a Talos worshipper and present proof to Ondolemar. Once this interaction is complete, Ondolemar greets the Dragonborn as a friend.

Presence in SkyrimEdit

Many of the Altmer encountered emigrated from the Summerset Isles to become Alchemists and Enchanters in Skyrim. Others became members of the College of Winterhold, due to their innate magical abilities. Another potential possibility is that during the rise of the Thalmor many Altmer with strong loyalty to the Empire fled the Summerset Isles to escape the new Aldmeri Dominion. Even so, the Stormcloaks still show prejudice to the Altmer, though on a much lesser scale than their Dunmeri cousins from Morrowind. The Empire, too, do not look highly towards the so-called "High Elves" – and many Altmer outside of the Thalmor live as second class citizens compared to the Cyrodilic population of Altmer during the Third Era

After the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, Altmeri presence in Skyrim have increased considerably, mostly in the form of Thalmor soldiers and "investigators". They explicitly outlaw the worship of Talos and thus, have angered a majority of Skyrim's denizens. The fact that people are being taken out of their homes or off the streets by the Thalmor with little to no evidence of actual Talos worship indicates that the reason of stamping out Talos worship may just be a front, with the real intention of sabotage and/or demoralization. Major antagonists in side quests and faction questlines are Altmeri for this reason.


Highly resistant to the Thalmor in Skyrim, Stormcloaks and other Nords exude prejudices to Altmeri peoples, tending to lump them together with the Thalmor.


Origins and identityEdit

The Altmer are one of the oldest races on Tamriel, one of the earliest descendants of the original mer race of Aldmer, and from there, through the Ehlnofey to the divine et'Ada themselves. As a race, they are extremely proud of their Aldmeri heritage, and make a concerted effort to maintain their genetic lineage. Their name translates from the Aldmeri language as High Ones or Cultured Ones, a name which is often interpreted to mean "tall", or more often, "snobbish". For their part, the Altmer argue that they are the first true culture on Tamriel, and still the most civilized race, an argument that even human scholars find difficult to refute.



A map of Summerset Isle

The Altmer primarily live in the province of Summerset Isle, a large island off the southwest coast of Tamriel, which shares a border with Valenwood. According to their histories, their Aldmeri ancestors arrived on Summerset Isle after fleeing the catastrophic sinking of their original home continent, Aldmeris. From here, splinter groups of Aldmer spread throughout Tamriel, but the Altmer remained on the Isles, acting as the nominal head of the empire of meri nations on Tamriel. For most of the Merethic Era, the other races of elves on Tamriel acknowledged the Altmeri king as their own ruler, a practice which persisted until the founding of the Camoran Dynasty in Valenwood marked the start of the First Era and the beginning of the decline of Altmer-dominated Tamriel. Their influence is still felt across the continent, however, as their culture forms the basis for the religion, language, and even architecture of the Cyrodiilic Empire.

Character creationEdit

Altmer normal

Altmer in Skyrim.

Skill bonusesEdit

Starting spellsEdit

Special abilitiesEdit

  • Highborn: Regenerate magicka faster for 60 seconds, once a day.
  • Fortify Magicka: Passive increase in magicka by 50 points. If the player is a vampire and the Necromage perk is taken from the Restoration perk tree, this will increase by 25% to 62 points.

Unique gameplayEdit

Altmer Daedra

An Altmer woman with her conjured Atronach.

Due to their increased magicka and magicka regeneration traits the Altmer make good starting mages. While other characters can gain bonuses rivaling these through enchanted items these inherent bonuses allow the player to focus on other things instead during the starting levels.

The bonus of +50 magicka also allows the player to use five levels on boosting health or stamina instead of magicka, if they so choose, without any major problems. If the player chooses this route, the Altmer can possibly fit the role of battle- or thief-mage.

Thalmor soldiers are less likely to attack an Altmeri Dragonborn.

Notable AltmerEdit


  • There is only one Altmer available for marriage in Skyrim, Taarie, in Solitude.


See alsoEdit



Start a Discussion Discussions about Altmer (Skyrim)

  • What style can use if you want to play a High Elf other than a Mage?

    6 messages
    • Just an example of a non heavy magic build for a high elf, I just recently started playing a high elf who uses one handed and archery for offe...
    • I sort of mixed some things up when I started playing an Altmer. I went for the usual Spellsword build up, but I also decided to kick things u...
  • Why Hate Mer?

    186 messages
    • Thu'umBurper wrote: Why do loads of people hate Mer, Altmer may be bad but why so much hatred for Bosmer and Dunmer (Bosmer the best)??? ...
    • There are many friendly and helpful Mer out there, be they Bosmer, Dunmer, or Altmer. I believe people judge the Mer races based on the Thalmo...

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