Elder Scrolls

Orsimer (Skyrim)

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SK Orsimer Race

Some of Various Orc faces

"Orcs, also known as Orsimer, are natives of Orsinium, a small mountain kingdom between Hammerfell and Skyrim. It has been sacked and rebuilt many times."
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Orsimer (more commonly known as Orcs), are the native people of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains. Despite historical misconceptions, they are in fact a variant of elves or mer, hence the name Orsimer, meaning "Pariah Folk". Following in the footsteps of Trinimac, and subsequently Malacath, Orcs have consistently held a standard as a race as some of Tamriel's greatest warriors and smiths.


Most orcs are found in strongholds throughout Skyrim, though some are seen in major cities such as Morthal and Markarth. The Dragonborn may enter, but cannot have conversation with the Orcs inside. Once you near an Orc Stronghold, a guard will tell you to stay away. You are allowed to enter the stronghold, but the Orcs dislike it. Thus making conversation impossible until you complete the quest the guard gives you. This quest varies per Stronghold. If the Dragonborn is an Orc, they will be accepted and may enter and engage in conversations without the need for prerequisite quests, though they will still treat the Dragonborn as an "outlander". However, if you are an Orc, as well as a vampire, then there will be a prerequisite quest. Orc strongholds tend to have a mine and blacksmith tools, which are usable regardless of whether the associated quest has been completed.


The Orsimer (Orcs) are the second tallest playable race in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, standing slightly shorter than Altmer (High Elves),  at a scale of 1.0450.

Character creation

Skill bonuses

Starting spells

Special abilities

  • Berserker Rage - Take half damage and do double damage for 60 seconds. This does not apply to damage dealt by spells; however, it does stack with other physical damage buffs. While Berserker Rage is active, the screen turns red and a little blurry while sound dulls a bit.

Popular usage and unique gameplay

Orcs excel above and beyond in warrior roles. Their natural abilities fall under the warrior banner with the exception to enchanting, but this isn't outside of the realm of the warrior. With proper training this can easily give any Orc player character a needed boost in the game. The variety and extent of their skill bonuses make Orcs arguably the best pure warriors in the game. Two popular game play roles are as Tank or Blademaster, obviously focusing on use of heavy armor and respectively on shields and dual wielding over an Archer, Assassin or Mage-type role. Tie this into their racial Berserker Rage, and a tidy warrior is complete.

It is interesting to note that Orcs are the warriors of the Mer bloodlines. They alone excel under the warrior constellation focusing more on brute strength over cunning, speed and magic like the rest of the Mer. Oddly, an Orsimer is head of the Arcanium at the College of Winterhold.

Notable Orsimer



See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Orsimer (Skyrim)

  • Best "Warrior" class?

    11 messages
    • Hm, the Redguards have the Stamina Rush power, which can be useful too.
    • I would agree that Orc's are the best warrior classes, second Redguard, third Nord
  • Orcs or Altmers?

    39 messages
    • I tend to go with Imperial, hardly bother with racial powers (Imperial's passive powers let you find more $), and my character is a warr...
    • Orc battlemage is quite useful as you deal twice the damage with your weapon and take half. Making it possible to get away with little armor ...

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