Giants are among the most formidable enemies in Skyrim, especially when you’re at the beginning of your journey at a low level. Just one blow from giant’s club can launch you so far up in the sky you’re going to be able to touch Masser and Secunda, and don’t even get me started on Mammoths, who will most likely join the fight on the side of their masters. Due to this, we’ve decided to put together this guide and bring you the best strategies to deal with giants, both on low levels and later in the game.
If you’re going up against giant at the start of the game, run
Generally, fighting giants at lower levels is not a good idea, and it has everything to do with leveling. Giants don’t scale like most of the enemies you might encounter in Skyrim, and they are always level 32, mammoths being level 38. Due to this, your chances of defeating one early in the game are slim at best.
If you encounter a giant early on, your best strategy is to be a coward and run. If you are an experienced player looking for a challenge, you won’t be reading this guide.
If you’re a player who wants to test his abilities, then your best bet is to avoid the giant’s blows. Yes, I know, this is the general idea when it comes to all types of combat against all types of enemies in the game, but Giants have one “giant” weakness, they are rather slow, so you don’t have to be particularly skilled and dodging to simply avoid the club.
Giants are afraid of water, use this to your advantage
Giants can be found in almost all corners of Skyrim, but they usually like to stick where the climate is nicest, with plenty of tall grasses for their mammoths to feed on. One place you will never encounter a giant, however, is water. If you manage to position yourself correctly in the water, you might keep the giant’s aggro long enough to deal the killing blow to it, and at the same time, you should be out of the giant’s reach. Please keep in mind, however, that staying in water far enough or long enough will result in the giant simply going away, losing aggro, so it’s important to position yourself correctly.
It’s difficult to rag-doll giants, but not impossible.
We’ve already mentioned that giants are slow, so every single spell or shout that you can use to your advantage will help. Giants are especially slow when they are recovering from being rag-dolled, giving you enough time to land a couple of good well-timed blows. Use the Unrelenting Force shout or the Cyclone shout added by Dragonborn expansion. The more words you have in every shout, the better your odds of ragdolling a giant are.
Use ice-based magic to slow down giants even further
One of the most successful strategies when it comes to dealing with giants is to kite them and deal them damage while they are trying to reach you. Due to this, ice-based spells might come in handy due to their known effect on slowing down targets.
A mage can position himself just far enough from the giant to kite him successfully and slow him down further with the use of spells like Frostbite, Freeze, Frost Rune, and the like.
If you have a Deep Freeze perk active, there are some additional chances to paralyze or knock down the giant completely and slow him down even further. Mages are squishy, yes, and the giant is probably able to one-shot them, depending on the player’s level, but mages are also among the most well-equipped characters in the game to deal with giants due to their relatively long range and a plethora of spells and effects that will slow down giants even further.
Turn the mammoths against giants
Giants and mammoths can often be seen around each other, which makes this encounter even deadlier. Mammoths are capped at level 38 and, in some instances, can be proven to be deadlier than giants themselves. If you attack a giant, there’s only a small chance that the mammoth will not attack you back since they have a tendency to aid their masters in combat and can, in some instances, be aggressive toward you even if the giant is not around. There are spells that allow you to take command of certain NPCs and creatures. Sadly, they don’t work on them due to relatively high mammoth levels. What works, however, is Animal Allegiance shout.
You can use Animal Allegiance to turn mammoths against giants for a time once you use mammoths to defeat giants and dispatch them quickly. Now, when the shout wears off, you can deal with the mammoth alone, or run away, whatever suits you best.
Use the terrain against giants
Due to their big size and slow movements, there are some areas of the map that are inaccessible to giants. We’ve already mentioned kiting the giants. It’s an extremely easy strategy to take them down if you utilize high rocks and nearby cliffs. You can likewise use doorways and tunnel entrances to kite them since those areas are physically too small to fit a giant through, and you can mostly focus on lowering their health, no matter how long it takes since they can’t reach you.
Vampires and Werewolves are equipped to deal with giants
No matter whether you prefer being a Vampire Lord or a werewolf, both forms are well-equipped to deal with giants. A werewolf can use their moving and sprinting power attacks to rag-doll giants. In some instances, even a single sprinting power attack might prove lethal for a giant on lower levels than you would have expected.
Vampire Lords can utilize the Vampiric Grip spell to pull giants, incapacitate them and choke them from a distance. However, there is a perk requirement for Vampiric Grip, and it’s Power of the Grave perk. Still, the spell is highly effective against giants, even at lower levels.