After several playthroughs I decided to make a tutorial on how to gear up with very high-end equipment, at only level 1!
All you'll need to do is following the steps written down below. It will gain you a starting gear makes a new playthrough a lot easier. The items you will obtain are non-leveled: this means that even at level 1, the same items will ALWAYS appear at the same place.
- Note: The focus of this tutorial is on creating a Warrior character, because the only unleveled high-end items that appear from the start are aimed at tanking or damage-per-second gameplay. High-end light armours are lacking and not obtainable at level 1.
- You'll need gold to travel and pay off some fines, so take what you can from Helgen to sell later.
- Lockpicking is a must. Be sure you have some prior experience with using a lockpick wisely.
- Sneaking comes in handy, but is not nescesary. It makes it easier to obtain all items though. A good sneak can get all the items without suffering a single bounty (well, except at Markarth maybe).
- Try to stay at level 1, so do NOT level up by going to the skill menu. Certain events and places will be more difficult to sneak by when you (and your opponents) have grown stronger.
- Do NOT fight back when attacked. It only increases your bounty. Do NOT kill anyone, you may need those NPC's later on in your quests.
- NEVER run away when caught until you have all the items you need. When you pick a lock while being attacked, the game pauses automatically, so guards won't attack during lockpicking.
- Use your lockpicks wisely: don't hold the buttons, but tap them repeatedly, so that the moment you hear a bad click you can release the button and adjust the pick. You can spare many lockpicks this way.
- Do NOT pay a fine while you have stolen items with you, as the moment you pay that fine the guard will take ALL of the stolen items away from you. Put the stolen items inside a barrel first and then retrieve the items from the barrel again after the fine is paid.
- Check every merchant for lockpicks, you'll need plenty of them!
- The armour you will obtain:
- The equipment you will obtain:
Any new game starts at Helgen. You'll need to hog any item of value here. We're going to sell them later on to have some pocket money for traveling with a carriage and paying off some fines. Some tips on what to loot:
- Pick up armour and weapons, they always sell well.
- Pick up potions and wine, both sell well.
Do NOT pick any cages or doors with a lockpick, or if you feel you're skilled enough to not break a lockpick open only the cage with the dead mage: his robe, hood and book are worth quite a few septims. You'll want to save up as many lockpicks as you can! When you are done at Helgen, follow Ralof or Hadvar to the town of Riverwood.
Sell everything you picked up at Helgen to the merchants in Riverwood. Sell the weapons and armour you took to Alvor, while selling all other items (except for your healing potions, you may need them if you're attacked) to Lucan Valerius at the Riverwood Trader. Do NOT take any quests in Riverwood: the lower you keep your level for now, the more the obtained gear will benefit you in comparison.
When you sold all your items, head straight to Whiterun. Talk your way into city, but don't bribe the guard. You'll need the money.
Run straight up to Dragonsreach, do NOT bother with doing anything else. You'll get the usual conversation with the Jarl and his Housecarl. Exit the conversation as soon as possible, we don't want the main quest yet. Walk up the stairs on the right and enter the door to the Dragonsreach Jarl's Quarters.
When you are through this door, you'll see display cases containing items. The case you'll want to pick is the first one immediately on your left. It contains an Elven Sword: at 11 damage it is better than any other sword you can get anytime soon. Be sure to crouch first and try to remain unseen by the guard! If you are caught, run away and out of Dragonsreach, then store the sword inside a random barrel. You can now pay your fine, because the guard can't remove the Elven Sword from your inventory now. Take the sword out of the barrel when the fine is paid, but make sure nobody sees you doing so.
Head to Jorrvaskr next, the hall of the Companions. We're going to be very bold, because we'll be stealing an item in plain sight here! When inside Jorrvaskr take the stairs down to the Jorrvaskr Living Quarters. In the quarters, turn right until you are at a cross-section and take a turn left. You'll see two doors here, take the door on your left: this is the room of Aela the Huntress. We'll want her Elven Bow, so close the door behind you and sneak to the display case. Pick the lock after making sure no-one is in the room with you and take the bow. Leave the room again.
Now at the cross-section turn left, into the room of Kodlak White-Mane. Don't bother with talking to him or Vilkas, we just want Kodlak's Elven Warhammer, which is in the first display case on your right. This is where you'll need some guts! As soon as the lock is picked, grab the hammer and RUN: you'll have all of the companions coming after you! Avoid getting hit and flee out of Jorrvaskr, then flee out of Whiterun city. Shake off all the attackers and put all your stolen items inside a random barrel at the stables. Pay off your fine and retrieve the content from the barrel again, undetected. Now take a carriage to Riften.
When entering Riften, the guards will ask you to pay a one-time fee to be allowed into the city. We're not going to pay that fee. Instead, walk to the lake and the docks and swim to the back entrance of the Black-Briar Meadery. Enter the meadery and walk through it until you reach the other exit, which leads right into town. You won't have to pay a fee when you enter the main gate from now on. Walk to the Jarl's keep straight away, it's named Mistveil Keep.
Inside the Jarl's keep, don't bother talking to anyone. Just walk past the Jarl's thrown into the hallway and take the stairs up. Pick the lock of the door while sneaking and don't get noticed. This door takes you to the Jarl's quarters.
Inside the quarters, go up the stairs further and head to the door straight in front of you. Go through it and close it behind you. At the other side of the bed is a display case, above it is an Elven Greatsword on a plaque. Steal that sword and try not to get caught as usual. Leave the Jarl's quarters again.
Turn right the moment you are down the stairs inside the keep and go into the hallway. At the end turn right again, past the large map and go through the door into the bedroom. Close the door behind you, sneak and look around the room for an Elven War Axe, hanging on plaque on the wall. Take it and leave the Keep. If you were caught stealing, trespassing or picking a lock: put all stolen items inside a barrel and pay off your fine. Exit Riften through the south gate and follow the road, you'll be going to the Orc Stronghold of Largashbur next.
If you did as I said, you should be way below level 10. This means that Largashbur's gate will be locked, needing a key, while all it's inhabitants remain in the large house. To get through the gate, we walk along the fence to the left until we reach the corner and a mountain. Start jumping against this mountain towards the left until you can reach a higher point, then walk across the mountain until you can either jump or drop yourself at the other side of the fence. In the middle of the stronghold is a large rock with on top of it the Orcish Helmet and Orcish Armor you'll want. Do not bother with the battleaxe and boots as you'll get better items for those elsewhere. Since everybody in Largashbur has remained inside the longhouse, you can take the items without anyone intervening. Now walk to the wooden fence again and walk up the small stairs. This time you can just jump over the fence from the scaffolding at the end of the stairs. Return to Riften's stables.
If you did not do as I said and kept leveling up through questing or battle, a giant will be attacking Largashbur. Quickly enter through the main gate and skip any conversation the Orcs start. They'll probably say that you're unwelcome, but they will not attack you. In the middle of the stronghold is a large rock with on top of it the Orcish Helmet and Orcish Armor you'll want. Do not bother with the battleaxe and boots as you'll get better items for those elsewhere. As soon as you steal the items, RUN out of the outpost as fast as you can. If the orcs catch you, they will take the items you stole from their outpost back from you without a warning. Depending on if the giant has died yet or not, you may have to shake off the attacking orcs. Head back to the Riften stables.
At the Riften stables. Take a carriage to Windhelm (stables).
Do not bother with entering Windhelm as we don't need to go there. From the stables, head south-east and stick to the mountains until you find another Orc Stronghold on your map. This is the stronghold of Narzulbur.
The orcs here will be very angry for your actions back at Largashbur and may attack you outright. Yield and pay the fine, because unlike town guards, the orcs will not take stolen items away from you. Walk into the outpost and to the last shed before the bridge, pick the lock while sneaking and try to remain unseen. Inside the shed you'll find a pair of Ebony Boots. If you can't find the boots inside shed, look outside the shed instead: they spawn inside the wooden wall, which sometimes makes them fall outside of the shed. Inside the shed you will also find two Ebony Arrows. While two Ebony Arrows aren't many, they are still very useful against powerful bosses because of their much greater damage than the iron and steel arrows you'll find at your level. Leave the stronghold again and head back to Windhelm's stables. If the orcs have noticed you stole their items, run away as fast as you can: they will take back the boots and arrows you just took from you without a warning. Take a carriage to Markarth when you are at the stables again.
From the stables, head to Markarth. When inside the city, stop the Forsworn attacker if you wish or head straight to Understone Keep. Inside the keep, turn right immediately and go up the stairs. A guard will tell you that you are not allowed into the museum. Ignore him and run to the door, open it with a lockpick and go inside. Be aware that the guards will be hostile now!
Inside the museum, run up to the Dwemer Centurion statue and turn around. You'll see four display cases, the Dwarven Gauntlets are in the third. Run to the case, pick the lock, grab the gauntlets and run out of the museum again. Now exit the keep and put all your stolen items inside a random barrel. Pay off your fine and retrieve the items once again. You are now VERY well equiped for a level 1 adventurer: no more arrows to the knee!
Remember to never pay a fine while those items are still in your inventory, because the guards will take all your items away when you do. Still, the stolen items should be very useful at your level. Any dungeon or quest you face now will be very easy to complete.
Head back to Riverwood or Whiterun and start your quests as you normally would, enjoy the headstart!