I'm sure you're all familiar with the fact that iron daggers are - or were - the quickest route to become a master blacksmith in record time. Similarly, allowing a a giant to pound away at your shield can help you become a veteran of the block skill in mere minutes. Skyrim is filled with little tricks like these, but one player managed to take things to the extreme - nearly breaking the game in the process.
One of the more recently discovered exploits in Skyrim can be tried out before you've even left the game's tutorial area. During your escape from Helgen, it's possible to sneak behind your companion, Hadvar, and constantly attack them. They won't fight back or take any damage because it's a tutorial, but your sneak skill and overall level will continue to tick up while you hack away at your invincible friend.
This has become a pretty popular exploit for people who want to start Skyrim as powerful as possible before they've even left the caves underneath Helgen, but it turns out it has its limits.
A player by the name of Sinclair explained over on the Skyrim subreddit that they took it too far back in 2016. It took a lot of patience, but over the course of a few weeks of grinding, Sinclair was able to chip at Hadvar until they finally reached the maximum possible level. With both the sneak and one-handed skills at full capacity, they became a force to be reckoned with - but this power came at a price.
The unfortunate reality is that enemies in Skyrim level with your character, which meant that when Sinclair finally left the tutorial and started the game properly, they were in a position where most of the enemies were easily able to overpower a drastically unbalanced character.
"I died when I tried to leave the tutorial. A lot," they wrote. "Having the 100 one-handed helped, but having the most basic weapons and armor made some of those enemies VERY risky!"
There you have it. Proceed at your own risk.
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