Dark Souls vs. Skyrim: Which Game Should You Play?

Dark souls vs Skyrim

Both Dark Souls and Skyrim are extremely popular and both market themselves as action-role-playing games. But this is pretty much where similarities end. For players looking to jump into the world of role-playing games, we’ve prepared a special guide today. We’ve decided to compare two games that are hailed among the best in the genre and hopefully by the end of this post you’re going to have a better idea about what game to choose. When it comes to differences and similarities between Dark Souls and Skyrim, which game is better, and what game should you play? 

Both games cater to different types of players however, Skyrim might appeal to more players due to its sandbox features, story, and highly variable combat. This makes Skyrim a better choice for most players. If however, you are looking for a challenge and sense of accomplishment with less focus on the story, in that case, Dark Souls might be a better choice for you.

Now that you have the short answer it’s time to analyze both games in more depth. In the next part of our guide, we’re going to compare the world, gameplay, story, and replayability of both games in general. If you’re interested, stay with us and keep reading!

Skyrim vs. Dark Souls: Gameplay 

We start our analysis with gameplay. While both games are marketed as being action-RPG both games have likewise different approaches to gameplay. This is something that’s hard to compare in a “which is better sense” since different types of gameplay appeal to different types of players. 

Having said that Skyrim is a story-driven sandbox game that allows you to interact with the environment in numerous ways. You are able to create your own unique character and approach the game in any way you want.

Dark Souls doesn’t allow for that kind of freedom, you are able to choose between different preset classes and while you have moderate freedom in how to orient your gameplay, the fact stays that the game is heavily combat-oriented and not taking “predetermined” paths to reach certain goals puts your whole experience in the risk. 

Since gameplay as a variable depends on tastes, there are players out there who enjoy both story-driven and combat-driven games, both games get a point in this category. 

Dark Souls 1: Skyrim 1 

Dark Souls vs Skyrim: Open world & Exploration

When it comes to Skyrim and Dark Souls both games are marketed as open-world games but only Skyrim is truly open-worldDark Souls is an interconnected semi-open world and allows for much less freedom than Skyrim. 

That doesn’t mean that the world built for Dark Souls is small and unexplorable, it’s quite the opposite. When you are focused on a single zone you tend to explore every nook and cranny. When you have an area as large as Skyrim’s, you tend to skip some fine details in favor of exploring as many locations as you possibly can. 

Boreal valley

I often read about, and hear about complaints that Skyrim’s dungeons and ruins are repetitive and that might be true depending on how you look at it. I hold with those who consider repetitiveness to be necessary in order to develop a game as large as Skyrim in a reasonable time. 


Dark Souls zones/locations/dungeons are handcrafted mostly yes, but there are considerably fewer of those when you compare it with Skyrim. 

When it comes to the open world segment, it’s obvious that the winner here is Skyrim as it offers you unparalleled freedom set in a huge open world that you can explore in however way you want. 

Dark Souls 1: Skyrim 2 


Fallout 4 Map vs. Skyrim Map: Which One Is Bigger? (& More Interesting)


It would be an understatement to say that story is not the main focus of Dark Souls. The story in all three games is hidden and the player needs to piece it together by exploring and interacting with the world. Dark Souls has incredibly rich lore and only a fragment of it is actually revealed to the player, but considering the number of players that have absolutely no idea what Dark Souls is about, this is not always such a good thing. 

Skyrim’s story on the other hand is right in your face the whole time, you are aware of what you are supposed to be doing and what’s your place in the world. Skyrim also has incredibly detailed and rich lore which you are also able to learn about as you listen to the NPCs, read the books, and interact with the environment in general. Skyrim’s story is much more noob and player-friendly, the game educates you every step of the way.

It’s just that both games took the wrong approach when delivering the story. 

In Skyrim, when it comes to the main story you go from zero to hero in less than a few quests, in Dark Souls you are able to finish the whole game without even knowing what the hell is going on. The quality of the story itself cannot be objectively measured as it comes to personal preferences, due to that both games get a point. 

Dark Souls 2: Skyrim 3

Combat & Difficulty 

I was seriously postponing writing this part as long as I could, no matter what I write It’s going to generate a certain backlash. But, here we go. Let’s analyze Dark Souls combat first.

If one thing Dark Souls franchise is known for, it’s “epic boss battles”. The game is hard, it’s not noob friendly at all, and mechanics are stripped down to what appears to be “trial and error”. You die a few times, and then you figure out the boss’s rhythm, and then you manage to beat it. And that’s it. That’s all. I don’t consider this to be a mechanic, I consider this to be grinding and low-effort entertainment. However, it’s important to note that beating Dark Souls in general leads to a much greater sense of accomplishment.

Dark souls 3 combat

Skyrim’s combat is nothing praise-worthy as well, it generally revolves around swinging/casting your spell in the general direction of the enemy until you lower its health to zero. Skyrim has several difficulties, from laughably easy to legendary, requiring you to get a bit creative in your approach to enemies. We’ve covered Skyrim’s legendary difficulty extensively in the past, and you can read all about it if you’re interested. 

backstab power attack 1

With everything said Skyrim’s combat is much more varied, there are tons of approaches to a single boss fight, and it’s much more noob friendly and adaptable for players who just want to have some fun. Skyrim is also not limited to pre-set classes and a wide range of extra abilities, magical and non-magical alike offer more freedom in fights. The combat point goes to Skyrim due to being suitable for a wider range of players. 

Dark Souls 2: Skyrim 4

Replayability and mods 

This is a category that I believe a few games can win a point in when compared to Skyrim. Skyrim has an incredibly active and dedicated modding community, bound to improve every single aspect of the game. A large reason why Skyrim is still played today, 11 years after its release are mods. 

Mudcraf with tophat

Even though Dark Souls has support for mods as well its modding community is not as active. When you compare the number of mods on Nexus mods for both games, you can see that Skyrim is the winner through and through in this category.

Great support and availability of mods give the game extra replayability and life span hence this point goes to Skyrim as mods are what keep the game alive after all this time. 

Dark Souls 2: Skyrim 5 


Will Skyrim Mods Work with Special Edition?


Some of you won’t like this answer but if we look at this comparison through the lenses of casual gamers (and the vast majority of people consider themselves casual) Skyrim is a better game. Its world, difficulty, story, and combat are more suited to a wider range of people. Dark Souls is an incredible game tailored for a smaller percentage of people that value a sense of accomplishment over other glaring downsides that Dark Souls has compared to any other RPG game. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal tastes.

If you value difficulty over relaxation, a linear story over a non-linear open world go for Dark Souls. If you value story-driven RPGs built for masters and casuals alike, go for Skyrim. No matter how you look at it you will have fun and enjoy the experience. 

Starfield Beats Skyrim’s “Concurrent Players Record,” but the Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Starfield surpasses Skyrims concurrent player count

Bethesda’s most recent launch of Starfield promised to be the largest in the company’s history, just like the massive game itself. Even though the developers were criticized for some exploration aspects of the game, to put it plainly, lack of things to do on some planets and lack of diversity on the planets in general, the launch did manage to surpass another legendary game from Bethesda’s repertoire, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim turns 12 years old in just a few short months, and around 12 years ago, it registered the peak concurrent players count of 287,411, according to SteamDB. Starfield managed to surpass that number a few times now, as 13 hours ago, the game registered a peak concurrent player count of 330,723 players in the game. 

Starfield playercount

Although the peak seems humble when compared to some other games, it’s important to note that Steam is not the only platform on which the game was released on. Due to lucrative deals, many players instead opted out to try out the game on Microsoft’s Game Pass, so what we’re seeing on Steam is a far cry from the real number of players. 

Starfield also hadn’t managed to dethrone Bethesda’s other giant, Fallout 4. At one point 8 years ago, the game registered an all-time peak of 472,962 concurrent players, as the interest in the game was enormous.

Starfield’s number look humble, at least on Steam, but it’s important to take into account that the franchise is also rather new, and players really don’t know what to expect considering an overwhelming amount of both positive reviews and criticism of some of the game aspect’s that were supposedly overhyped. 


15 Best Two-Handed Weapon Mods for Skyrim Barbarians

In any case, we don’t expect Starfield to fall off the radar anytime soon. The developers have announced the release of modding tools, scheduled to launch sometime in 2024. Even in the absence of official modding tools, its modding community is thriving, with thousands of mods already uploaded and ready to improve the game in several aspects that the players found lacking.

One thing that ensures the longevity of most Bethesda games is its modding fanbase, and we have no doubt that Starfield will see some drastic unofficial upgrades in the next several months and, due to them, perhaps even dethrone Fallout 4. 

The Elder Scrolls VI Is Still 5+ Years Away & Might Not Be Available on PlayStation, Says Microsoft’s Mike Spencer

The Elder Scrolls VI Is Still 5 Years Away Might Not Be Available on PlayStation Says Microsofots Mike Spencer

It’s been 11 and a half years since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released, and despite the game being re-released numerous times and content being added both officially and through the modding community, fans are eagerly awaiting tidbits of news regarding the so-far unnamed sixth installment in the franchise.

Bad news came last week when during the Activision Blizzard FTC Trial, Microsoft’s Mike Spencer announced that the game might still be 5+ years away. 

In December of last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its intention to block Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a deal worth $68.7 billion. Recently, a federal court in California issued a temporary restraining order, as requested by the FTC, which effectively halts the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal for the time being.

Last week, the FTC was seeking a preliminary injunction against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. If successful, it would prevent the completion of the acquisition while the FTC conducts its review of the transaction’s compliance with U.S. antitrust laws.


Skyrim on Console vs. PC: Which Version Should You Get?

The granting of a preliminary injunction would have a significant impact on Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s plans, potentially even jeopardizing the deal. The acquisition was initially expected to close by July 18, 2023. If the injunction is imposed, the parties would either have to renegotiate or face the possibility of the deal falling through.

An evidentiary hearing between Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, and the FTC is scheduled for August 2, which is after the upcoming deadline in July.

During the hearing, Mike Spencer mentioned the probable Elder Scrolls VI release window 

“It’s many years away, but it’s a game we have announced we would begin working on. “I think we’ve been a little unclear on what platforms it will launch on, given how far out the game is. It’s difficult for us right now to nail down exactly what platforms that game will launch on.”


“As I said with Elder Scrolls 6, it’s so far out it’s hard to understand what the platforms will even be at this point. It’s the same team that’s finishing Starfield, which comes out this September. So we’re talking about it being likely five-plus years away.”

Spencer’s words did little to quell the worry that Bethesda’s most famous franchise won’t be available on Play Station, and the fans that once welcomed healthy competition in the form of PS exclusives are now calling for fairer release practices. 

In any case, considering everything we’ve heard, there’s going to be quite some time before we hear & see anything solid related to Elder Scrolls VI. 

Bethesda is usually delaying its flagship IP as long as possible to ensure the best experience possible for fans, and considering the probable scope of the game and technologies involved in making it; it’s not surprising that the game is taking so long. 

How Do You Use the Investor Perk in Skyrim?

how to use investor perk in Skyrim

A significant part of Skyrim’s gameplay revolves around its economy, and economy, in turn, is mostly influenced by your speech skill that can, when raised enough, help you accumulate quite the wealth. One of the most important speechcraft perks you can acquire is the so-called “Investor” perk, but some players have trouble utilizing this perk to the fullest due to the various bugs. So, we created this guide to explain how to use the “Investor” perk effectively in Skyrim. 

Investor perk will allow you to invest 500 gold in merchants to raise their overall gold available for bartering by 500 gold. All you need to do is navigate to the “I want to invest in your business” option while you are navigating through the dialogue options. However, You should consider that some merchants are affected by a bug that allows you to invest in their store for an infinite amount of times without ever remembering that you already invested in them. Their overall gold, however, will never increase. 

Now that we’ve covered how to use the investor perks, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in how to unlock the perk and how to utilize it the best, stay with us and keep reading!

What speech level do you need to be to unlock Investor perk? 

Generally, you will level speech every time you trade with the merchants or interact with other NPCs via special dialogue options such as bribe, threaten, etc., and it shouldn’t be too hard to max out speech in the mid-game, as there are various effective guides on how to do it. But luckily for you, you don’t have to be a master level in speech to unlock the Investor Perk. You just need to spend a lot of points in the skill tree and be fairly proficient at it. 

investor perk skyrim


Which Merchant Has the Most Gold in Skyrim? Top 5 Revealed

You can unlock the Investor perk as soon as you hit level 70 in speech, and if you’ve previously unlocked the “Merchant” perk, that allows you to sell any type of item to any kind of merchant. This is among the most useful perks in the tree, so generally, everybody who decides to orient their character to, well, the speech will strive to get this perk as soon as possible. It makes flipping goods faster than usual, but it also causes your “go-to” merchants to be drained of funds relatively quickly, and this is where the Investor perk comes on. 

What does Investor perk do & how to use it? 

Investor perk allows you to invest 500 gold in merchants that can be found all over Skyrim. The perk is not limited to a type of merchant since you can invest in alchemists, smiths, or general merchants. It really doesn’t matter as long as the merchant in question is not affected by a bug. You can find a list of all investable merchants here, but keep in mind that the bugs that affect various merchants can be fixed with the Unofficial Skyrim Patch at any given time.

As soon as you activate the perk, the first time you wander into a shop and activate the dialogue with the merchant, you will get the following choice “I would like to invest in your business.” As soon as you click on that line, the money will be subtracted from your inventory immediately, and the merchant’s gold will be raised by that amount (500 gold). 

It’s a pretty useful perk to have, but most people are just not willing to invest in it early on in the game. Luckily the legendary skills allow you to acquire all perks eventually if you’re persistent enough and willing to grind. 

You can invest only once in any given merchant.

Bugs that affect the Investor perk 

Most of the players get confused by the perk since the option to invest is not present for at least 1/3 of the game’s merchants, and it’s mostly due to random bugs affecting them. So if the option to invest is missing, there is a really large chance that the merchant in question is simply “un-investable” due to a bug and not by design. You can resolve most of those issues by using various unofficial patches. 

Some bugs are more bizarre in nature, like the one affecting Angeline Morrard in Angeline’s Aromatics. This apothecary will allow you to invest in its store endlessly; as long as you have the funds, the merchant seemingly forgets about it, but, there’s a catch, her base gold will never rise. It will always stay at the pre-investment levels, which results in all your investments being lost forever.


Most Valuable Enchantments in Skyrim (Ranked)

It’s probably best to avoid investing in Angeline if you don’t plan on installing the Unofficial Patch. 

Ghorza gra-Bagol, an orc smith that can be found near Understone Keep, has the option to invest in her, but the only dialogue option is to refuse the investment making it impossible to raise her standard gold by 500. 

You can install Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch to fix this bug, or you can simply “dispose” of Ghorza and wait for her apprentice, Tacitus Sallustius, to take over the store. In this case, you should be able to invest in the store without any issues. 

What is the difference between the Investor perk and Master Trader perk? 

Both the Investor perk and Master Trader perk allow you to raise the standard gold of merchants in Skyrim by 500 and 1000 gold, respectively, but there are some differences between the two perks. Namely, the Master Trader perk is significantly harder to acquire because it requires you to be level 100 in speech and it requires you to have almost all other prior perks activated. 

master trader perk skyrim

Master Trader perk will also add 1000 gold to all merchants, but it doesn’t require you to invest your own gold in traders. The game does it automatically, meaning it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a useful perk to have, and it will allow you to accumulate wealth rapidly, but it might take some time for you to get there, and most players don’t want to prioritize speech in early or mid-game.

And by the time you are ready to invest all those points in speech, you might already be rich beyond your wildest dreams, so the perk might appear to be useless.