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How To Play Skyrim Like A Professional

Playing video games for a living allows you to hone your skills in ways most players will never achieve. In this feature I'll give you some invaluable tips to help you play Skyrim more like a professional.

Below you'll find a list of some of the tricky situations you may encounter in Skyrim (don't worry, they're spoiler-free), along with an example of how an amateur gamer might respond to them. If these descriptions sound familiar, don't fret – we were all amateurs at one point or another.

After the amateur description is where things really get good. The professional entries are how I personally handled each of these situations – feel free to study them closely and take notes so you can be more like me.

Situation: You've entered a crypt full of fearsome Draugr enemies laying in wait for foolish adventurers.
How an amateur handles it: Use a combination of magic and arrows to fight these terrifying foes from a distance.
How a pro handles it: Sneak your way through the entire crypt, not realizing the dormant corpses are actually enemies. Clumsily make your way through a swinging blade trap, then accidentally trigger a Draugr attack by using your restoration spell. Get scared at the sudden presence of mummified enemies, then backpedal into said swinging blade traps. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger (or at least raises your heavy armor skill).

Situation: What's that sticky-looking red puddle on the ground?
How an amateur handles it: Ignore the puddle and focus on the archers shooting arrows into your head from afar.
How a pro handles it: Forget the archers – that's what your helmet is for. Instead, use your fire spell to illuminate the mysterious puddle while standing in it. Get horribly burned as you realize it's an explosively flammable liquid.

Situation: What's that switch on the floor do?
How an amateur handles it: Avoid it.
How a pro handles it: Deftly make your way around the suspicious switch, then stop in your tracks when you reach the door. Return to the trap and trigger out of curiosity, only to get hit by the swinging spike wall that you totally didn't see was there the entire time. Super pros will forget to save before doing all of this.

Situation: You've stumbled upon a pack of bandits that will require a multitude of techniques to take down.
How an amateur handles it: Crouch down and take a few shots with your bow. When the bandits approach, switch to your shield and melee weapon. Use a few magic spells to finish off the remaining stragglers, then heal with your restoration spell.
How a pro handles it: Map your trusty mace and fire spell to your quick switch buttons. Start with your shield and fire spell, attempting to burn your approaching enemies while they're still too far out to hit. Then switch to your mace, accidentally replacing your shield with your fire spell instead. Pause the game by going into the favorite menu just before the first bandit attacks. Equip your shield and your mace to the correct hands, then unequip your shield by trying to block too early while exiting the menu. Get hit in the head.

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