Shadow of Mordor vs. Skyrim: Which Game Is Better?

Shadow of Mordor vs. Skyrim Which Game Is Better

When discussing immersive open-world adventures, it’s hard not to think about The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Both games are critically acclaimed with a massive following, and both are among the best in the genre. However, players looking to get into open-world games might have trouble deciding between the two. This is why we’ve decided to compare both games, to answer the eternally burning question. Shadow or Mordor or Skyrim, which game is better?

Shadow of Mordor will be better suited for players looking for a fast-paced action adventure with great emphasis on combat and little emphasis on world immersion and exploration. At the same time, Skyrim is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It will appeal most to players who love exploring and creating open-ended gameplay and combat tactics. Skyrim is an absolute winner in terms of sandbox features, exploration, and crafting, but it falls short in terms of combat & story. At the end of the day, it’s up to your individual tastes. 

Now that we’ve answered which game is more suited to an average gamer, it’s time to analyze why. We’re going to compare the gameplay, combat, visuals, and story of both games so you can see why we came to our conclusion. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

Skyrim vs. Shadow of Mordor: Gameplay 

We’re gonna start out the comparison with the gameplay portion since it’s objectively the most important thing. 

Skyrim is an action RPG that puts great emphasis on the sandbox features of the world. You are able to explore every nook and cranny while distracted by numerous quests, both important and unimportant in nature.

The game has an incredibly open-ended combat system that focuses on no play style in particular and gives you absolute freedom in terms of how you will customize and level your character. It features a nonlinear narrative structure that allows players to choose their own path and shape their character’s destiny. Players can engage in real-time combat using a variety of weapons, magic spells, and ranged attacks. 

Cant absorb dragon soul skyrim

The best part about Skyrim and why it’s played all these years after release is that it allows you to tailor your adventure. You have absolute freedom to play however you want. 


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On the other hand, Shadow of Mordor is s an action-adventure game. And while it’s set in an open world, the world has many more constraints than Skyrim’s. The game blends stealth, combat, and exploration elements to deliver an immersive gameplay experience.

Players assume the role of Talion, a ranger with a tragic past who is bound to an elf wraith named Celebrimbor. Together, they seek revenge against Sauron and his forces that have taken over Mordor. The game offers much less freedom than Skyrim, but for some players, this is irrelevant. 

Shadow of mordor gameplay

Shadow of Mordor combines third-person melee combat, stealth takedowns, and ranged attacks. Players have access to a wide array of abilities, weapons, and supernatural powers granted by Celebrimbor, which can be upgraded and customized as the game progresses. Combat encounters are fluid and fast-paced, with players using a combination of swordplay, counter-attacks, archery, and magical abilities to take down enemies and execute impressive finishing moves. 

Since gameplay is not something that can be, in large part, objectively judged, both games will get the point here. Some players might feel overwhelmed by Skyrim’s scope and open-ended nature and might opt out for a more “closed” experience that SoM offers, and vice versa. This is why both games are winners in this category. 

Shadow of Mordor 1: Skyrim 1 

Open World & Exploration 

If one thing Skyrim is famous for, it’s the massive map. Skyrim is the perfect sandbox open world that allows you to discover over a hundred locations ranging from Nordic ruins to abandoned Dwemer underground cities. However, there are a plethora of unmarked locations as well, hiding secrets, easter eggs, and treasures in general. Skyrim likewise has incredibly diverse biomes ranging from snow-capped mountains to ice-covered seas and wide plains. There are countless hidden locations, side quests, and points of interest scattered throughout the world, waiting to be discovered.

Skyrim variations

Skyrim offers a variety of exploration-based activities, such as hunting wildlife, gathering resources, and engaging in random encounters with creatures and NPCs. 

Shadow of Mordor’s open world is not as large and extensive as Skyrim’s. The game offers much fewer locations to discover, and the diversity of biomes is not as obvious as in Skyrim. The exploration aspect of the game may feel somewhat limited when compared to other massive open-world games. Still, you are able to roam freely and uncover hidden collectibles, side quests, and challenges. Expansive exploration was never the primary goal of SoM, and it shows. 

Shadow of mordor map

Skyrim’s map is clearly bigger, with more things to explore. Due to that, the point goes to Skyrim. 

Shadow of Mordor 1: Skyrim 2 


Both Skyrim and Shadow of Mordor have truly detailed lore, but only Shadow of Mordor is inspired by the great works of J.R.R. Tolkien. 

You play Shadow of Mordor as Talion, a ranger stationed at the Black Gate of Mordor. The game is set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Talion’s peaceful life is ruined when Sauron’s forces attack the Black Gate, led by the Black Hand of Sauron and a group of powerful captains known as the Black Captains. Talion is brutally murdered along with his family but is mysteriously resurrected by a wraith named Celebrimbor, a long-dead Elf Lord. 

Throughout the game, you will encounter various factions, including Uruk captains and war chiefs who serve as Sauron’s commanders. The Nemesis System plays a central role in the story, as Talion’s actions shape the hierarchy and dynamics among these enemies, leading to personal vendettas and rivalries. It’s an overall great story made even better if you’re a fan of the books behind the game.

Skyrim, on the other hand, has a story, but most players criticized it for its lack of depth and length. In Skyrim, you take on the role of the prophecized Dragonborn, who is supposed to stop an ancient evil from resurrecting and quite literally devouring the world. However, the main story is only a fraction of Skyrim’s quest as you will be able to work with various factions, you will be able to take part in the Civil War and take part in treasure hunts that involve malevolent Daedric Lords. 

Skyrim’s main story is short and shallow overall, offering little excitement compared to the previous installments in the franchise. This is a shame since Skyrim has enough lore to cover dozens of installments. 

Due to a better story and more focus on it, Shadow of Mordor gets the point here. 

Shadow of Mordor 2: Skyrim 2 


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Combat & Difficulty 

Skyrim has open-ended combat, which means that you are not limited to a single class. Instead, you level skills that you deem important. A vast combination of builds is available with three major archetypes, such as in other similar games, mage, warrior, and stealth archer. Players can choose from a wide range of weapons, including swords, axes, bows, and magic staves, each with its own unique feel and playstyle. 

Different weapon types offer varied attack speeds, damage outputs, and special abilities. Magic spells cover a broad spectrum of elements and effects, enabling players to unleash destructive fireballs, summon creatures, heal themselves, or utilize utility spells.

backstab power attack 1

Still, Skyrim’s combat is criticized for being flat, as there are no combos that you can build upon, as in other action RPGs. In terms of difficulty, you can adjust it at any time choosing from 5 major settings ranging from very easy to legendary. The overall difficulty of combat encounters in Skyrim can vary depending on several factors, such as the player’s character build, equipment, and enemy scaling. 

Shadow of Mordor’s combat is fast-paced, action-oriented, and heavily focused on melee combat with a variety of weapons, including swords, daggers, and bows. One of the standout features of Shadow of Mordor’s combat is the so-called “Freeflow” system, which draws inspiration from games like the Batman: Arkham series. It allows you to seamlessly move between enemies, unleashing a flurry of attacks, counters, and dodges.  

One more important system that needs to be mentioned is Nemesis System. The game generates a hierarchy of enemy captains and war chiefs, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits requiring players to learn their individual weaknesses, exploit their vulnerabilities, and strategize their approach to defeat them successfully.

Shadow of mordor

In terms of combat difficulty, it’s adjustable and can depend on several factors, including your own skills and your build. It can be challenging at times. Luckily there are plenty of leveling options available, so you can always be on equal grounds. 

I’m certain that while Skyrim’s combat system offers more freedom, many players enjoy fact-paced actions with combos more, so this point goes to Shadow of Mordor. 

Shadow of Mordor 3: Skyrim 2 

Replayability and mods 

This is a category where Skyrim will objectively always be an absolute winner. It has among the biggest and most active modding communities in the world, offering a variety of mods suited to change, modify & improve almost any aspect of the game. From quests to mechanics to items and graphics, there are no limits. This is what extended Skyrim’s lifespan for so long, and the game is still actively played almost 12 years after it was released. 

Shadow of Mordor does have a modding community too, but it’s much smaller in scale with limited mods. It has great replayability but is nowhere near that of Skyrim. 


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Shadow of Mordor vs. Skyrim: What to Choose? 

It’s simple, if you’re looking for an immersive action RPG oriented toward exploration with absolute freedom on how to play and what to play, go for Skyrim. Especially if the story is not important to you, if you’re looking for fast-paced action with several refined combat systems, go for Shadow Of Mordor.

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. 


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.