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The following hints may help newer players navigate the world of Daggerfall and its idiosyncrasies more easily. The Daggerfall Cheats page also contains hints closer to cheating.

For quest-specific help, see Quest Related Hints. For potentially helpful mechanics which may not have been intended by the developers, see Exploits.

General Gameplay Tips[edit]

SAVE OFTEN: the most important tip. Save before and after quests, before entering dungeons, frequently while in dungeons, and after any significant event like gaining a level, finding a magic item, making a large bank deposit, etc. It's also a good idea to maintain a structure to saving games: alternate between several primary saves for every 10-15 minutes of gameplay, and use the other save slots as long-term backups in case something goes wrong during dungeon exploration, such as whenever you are in town or not on a quest. Some players also back up their save files, which are located in Daggerfall's file directory inside the DAGGER folder, as folders named SAVE0 through SAVE5.

Traveling: when fast traveling, use the option to travel cautiously most of the time, as this will allow you to be fully rested before arriving at a dungeon. Since you will arrive with full fatigue and magicka, you can spend some time before traveling to practice spells or physical exercise before leaving. Joining a knightly order will allow you to stay at inns for free within that order's region, and attaining rank 4 of any knightly order will allow you to stay at all inns everywhere for free. When time is of the essence, traveling recklessly will get you to your destination much faster, although you may arrive after nightfall, which might require scaling a city's walls to enter.

Recall: take advantage of the Recall spell often. Casting a Recall anchor just inside the dungeon entrance will allow for a quick exit if you find the quest item, or if you simply need to load up your wagon with items you have found. After teleporting, don't forget to recast the anchor if you plan to explore the dungeon further. Depending on your goals, it may be less beneficial to set the anchor outside the dungeon, since this will reset its interior and cause you to forget the portion of the map you have already explored.

Exploring dungeons: the large, mazelike structure of Daggerfall's dungeons makes exploration difficult and confusing for many players. The following suggestions may help in navigating them:

  1. Follow the "right hand wall method:" explore the dungeon by following the right hand wall, as if you were keeping one hand on it as you walk. Make note of teleporters, shafts, underwater areas, and other hazards but try to leave their investigation for later. Enter any doors on the right side of corridors and continue following the right wall beyond them, leaving the doors open as a sign that you have been there (though keep in mind that many enemies can open doors as well). Remain committed to sticking to the right wall, and while you may not explore the entire dungeon this way, it should invariably lead you back to the entrance eventually.
  2. As you explore, drop "breadcrumbs" of cheap items like ingredients to create loot piles on the ground, which you can use as markers to remind yourself to explore dungeon features further at specific spots, such as shafts that lead up or down.
  3. The right hand wall method will still leave many areas unexplored. After making your way back to the entrance, switch and follow the left hand wall instead. Check your map often, so that you will notice unexplored areas and secret doors.
  4. After exhausting the above methods, there may still be some shafts, underwater areas, and teleporters around your "breadcrumbs" left unexplored. Investigate these next, following similar rules as above.
  5. If you still haven't found your quest objective, Check the map carefully for unexplored passages and secret doors.
  6. If you become frustrated after several hours of exploring, take a break, but to avoid becoming hopelessly lost, it may be best to return to the entrance first if you are able.

Horse and Wagon: it is beneficial to purchase these as soon as possible. Wagons are inexpensive and easy to purchase at the start of the game, but horses may require saving up some gold first. A wagon is a nearly essential asset, due to greatly increasing the amount of loot and gear that you can access at a moment's notice. Keep in mind that all wagons come with a "horse" that will be ridden when choosing to ride your wagon, and though its travel speed is slower than a purchased horse, it will still save you the fatigue of running around on foot.

Wagon Selling: be very careful not to sell your wagon. If you do so, you will lose everything it contains, and any new wagon you purchase will start out empty again. There is little purpose in selling a wagon, but nonetheless take care not to select it by accident when selling items in bulk.

Switches and Levers: dungeons contain a variety of switches, levers, and miscellaneous objects that can open or close doors and raise or lower elevators. Some such objects can be surprising and not-entirely-obvious. For example, a common type of switch is a sprite of a fanged, catlike skull affixed to the wall, which can be interacted with to move it up and down. Not all switches have a purpose, but even ones which don't appear to do anything can trigger a mechanism elsewhere in the dungeon. Players are advised to attempt to interact with many types of objects and flip any switches they come across. Some switches and levers may not be visible from certain angles, so inspect the walls of rooms carefully. Also keep an eye out for bright red brick walls, which are often teleporters to other parts of the dungeon.

Ladders: many players don't realize that ladders inside buildings can be climbed. Certain types of buildings will feature a large attic with a 3D-modeled ladder leading up to it. They cannot be climbed by running into them or jumping, and players often give up and climb the wall next to them. Instead, target the ladder in the center of your screen and click to interact with it, and you will be teleported up into the attic. This can take multiple tries, as it requires interacting with the physical model of the ladder itself and not the space between the rungs.

Character Creation[edit]

There is much to consider when selecting Primary, Major and Minor skills during character creation. Some players may desire to level up as quickly as possible, to grow in power rapidly, gain higher tiers of equipment, and reach requisite levels to progress in the main quest quickly. Others may want to intentionally keep their level low, so as not to be overpowered by strong enemies before they are ready, or simply to exercise more control over their growth during the game. Various skills are suited to different styles of play, and the advice below may help in choosing your skillset.

Weapon Skills: these skills are all tied to the use of a specific type of weapon, such as Long Blades or Blunt Weapons. Using a weapon often in combat will increase its skill reasonably quickly. These skills also do not have to be developed until the player chooses to use that type of weapon, meaning players have ultimate control over the skills' growth. All weapon skills are good choices for players who want to level up at a moderate pace while also retaining control.

Magic Skills: these skills are tied to the use of a specific school of magic, such as Destruction or Restoration. Skill growth is tied to how often a player casts associated spells, which is often heavily limited by spell points. The class advantage Increased Magery 3x is crucial for any character who wishes to cast spells often. Even with such an advantage, it is difficult for these skills to grow organically over time; rather, players will often create "training spells" which are cheap to cast and can be used repeatedly before resting. Even for characters who consider themselves mages, magic skills will tend to increase slowly, and are easily controlled by players who don't wish to level too quickly. Keep in mind that spells from the schools of Restoration and Mysticism provide many conveniences and may tend to be used more often than other schools.

Running: Running is a skill which most players will use constantly and increases rapidly. It is likely the single easiest skill to improve. Players who wish to level quickly can include this among their selected skills, while those who wish to control their levels carefully should avoid this skill. For even faster leveling, set Running as a Minor skill so it begins lower and has further to increase before maxing out.

Other Physical Skills: Jumping, Climbing, and Swimming are the other skills used in navigating physical space. They can be trained quickly through regular use, or largely foregone entirely by the use of Levitate spells. The fact that they can be controlled this way makes them decent candidates for most skillsets. Jumping in particular has several associated exploits that can aid in leveling the skill quickly.

Backstabbing: a difficult skill to train without taking advantage of specific mechanics or exploits. Not recommended for most players, except those who may wish to carefully control their rate of advancement.

Thieving Skills: Pickpocket and Lockpicking are both of little practical use during gameplay and will therefore level slowly unless intentionally trained. Both may be difficult to improve unless taking advantage of exploits. Not recommended for most players, except those who may wish to carefully control their rate of advancement.

Passive Skills: these skills are improved nearly automatically while adventuring, requiring little input from the player. Skills in this category include Critical Strike, Dodging, Stealth, and Medical. All of these require specific circumstances to train, but such circumstances are practically unavoidable. All will improve steadily except for Medical, which at higher levels will require hundreds of hours of rest to improve by a single point. All of these skills are poor choices for players who want to manage their leveling carefully, since they inevitably increase during normal gameplay. Critical Strike and Dodging may be good choices for players who wish to level quickly.

Conversational Skills: since Etiquette and Streetwise are only used when intentionally interacting with NPCs in towns, their rate of growth is fully under player control. They can increase reasonably quickly when used often, making them a decent choice for most players.

Mercantile: Mercantile can be increased fairly quickly and is mostly under player control, but given how common it is for most players to shop at stores and sleep at inns, it will generally rise slowly during the course of normal gameplay. This is a reasonably good skill for players who want to level at a moderate pace, but players who wish to control their leveling carefully may find this skill rising inadvertently.

Language Skills: these skills are used to pacify various creatures such as Centaurs and Spriggans. Not only do they require encountering specific enemies to level, but they train incredibly slowly even in their presence. At high levels these skills require encountering hundreds of such enemies to gain a single skill point. Additionally, a number of enemies like Centaurs and Spriggans eventually "go extinct" from dungeons as the player's level increases, making them vanishingly rare to encounter. Avoid placing these skills among your Primary/Major/Minor skills at all costs unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Earning Money and Equipment[edit]


When first starting out, the only dungeons known to a new character are public cemeteries which dot the landscape. These are easy opportunities for making money early on.

To find cemeteries, open the fast travel map and click on Homes, Temples and Towns to hide them from view. The remaining dots on your map will all be cemeteries.

Every cemetery contains a large mausoleum with an entrance, which leads to crypts below. These crypts tend to only contain a few rooms and two or three enemies guarding two to seven piles of loot. It's common to find hundreds of gold in these piles, alongside various weapons, ingredients, books and other miscellaneous items that can be sold. Crypts can even be re-entered immediately after leaving to reset their contents and gather more loot.

The primary advantage of exploring cemeteries is how quickly and easily they can be explored; no quest required, no winding maze to get lost in, just a bit of combat and treasure.


Many stores can be burglarized by entering them after they close for the night.

The traditional way to rob a shop is to loiter in town until after dark, then either pick the lock of the front door or cast an Open spell on it. Once inside, all items on the shelves will be free for the taking. Be careful not to pillage containers which pop up a warning about "private property;" looting these will always summon guards inside the building, and escaping them can prove difficult.

The best stores to rob are those which stock the highest-quality goods, and these can be identified by the messages which appear when entering the shop normally.

Many of the more convenient methods associated with burglary could be considered exploits -- see the Exploits page for more information.

The Thieves Guild[edit]

Thieves Guild quests can be a good method for earning gold. While likely a slower source of income than other methods like looting cemeteries, they can provide a welcome change of pace from other types of quests and are a good starting point for engaging with Daggerfall's guilds.

See the Thieves Guild page for information about joining the organization. All Thieves Guild quests award gold and/or reputation, and none of them require dungeon crawling. Most involve breaking into a house or temple to steal a specific item, and some are about meeting a fellow contact to exchange stolen goods.

Humanoid Enemies[edit]

Battling humanoid enemies is a good source of equipment, since they equip themselves similarly to the way players do.

While plenty of dungeons may be full of such enemies, the easiest way to encounter many of them at once is to explore the interiors of palaces like the back corridors of Castle Daggerfall and Castle Wayrest. There are eventually quests to explore these locations, but they can be entered at any time. As usual, be sure to set a Recall anchor before delving.

Leveling Skills[edit]

Guild Training[edit]

Trainers in guildhalls are able to improve the player's skills for a modest fee -- see the Training page for more information.

Joining a variety of guilds as well as a temple will immediately make most skills available for training. To train repeatedly, players can loiter for 3 hours 3 times in a row right in front of trainers, and their services will be available again.

Considering that training is cheaper the lower the player's level is, it is optimal to pay for as much training as possible earlier in the game, particularly for Miscellaneous skills, which won't contribute to gaining levels and increase the cost of training.

Given the ease of training, using "natural" methods to level skills with fewer than 51 points could be considered wasteful, since any progress gained toward those skills could instead be going toward those same skills post-level-51, at which point they can not be improved so easily. Training repeatedly can be quite boring, however.

Overall, it is recommended to pay for training whenever possible, but to balance this with other activities.

Sorcerer Magic Leveling[edit]

Sorcerers, along with any character class with the Inability to Regen Spell Points disadvantage, face particular difficulties in leveling their magic skills.

Fortunately, Mages Guild members who provide services will refill these player's spell points for free -- ONLY for those who are unable to regenerate spell points on their own. Simply ask for their services like training or buying spells and your spell points will be refilled.

This can be used to practice spells rapidly, by casting cheap "training spells" until your magicka is empty and refilling again. Remember that 6 hours of downtime is required between each skill increase before it can be leveled again.

Language Skill Leveling[edit]

Language skills are very difficult to level, and generally considered not worth the effort in comparison to more commonly-used skills. However, for those who wish to go out of their way to level them, there are some strategies that can help.

While it is not necessary to sheathe your weapon or successfully pacify enemies in order to gain language experience, it is thought that successful pacifications grant more experience.(?) As such, keep your weapon sheathed, and cast a Comprehend Languages spell as powerful as you are able to cast (created at the Spell Maker). Naturally this goes hand-in-hand with having a high Mysticism skill. A high Speed is also recommended to run through dungeons and encounter more enemies quickly.

The first step in exercising language skills should be a long stint with trainers, raising each language skill to the training cap of 51. Note that if any of these skills are Primary, Major, or Minor for the character, they may gain character levels during this process, which can make finding certain enemies more difficult. This is why it is not recommended to make any language skills a core part of a build.

After raising these skills as much as possible at trainers, consult the Enemy Spawn Locations page to learn where each type of enemy can be found at various levels. For example, the only dungeon type where Spriggans spawn is Spider Nests from level 1 to 8. Try to explore the specific dungeon types where these enemies are found -- dungeon type can be determined by the messages that appear outside each dungeon. Alternatively, consult the links in the dungeon locations by area table to learn the names and types of each dungeon.

Given the sheer number of dungeons in the game, it is nearly impossible to target specific dungeons for training language skills legitimately. Players who don't wish to cheat are advised to perform many quests for a variety of guilds and check the inventory of slain enemies for maps leading to new dungeons. Players not averse to cheating may use the Ctrl+F1 cheat added by version 1.07.212 the Official Daggerfall Patch, which reveals all dungeons on the fast travel map and allows travel to any of them by name.

The speed at which you are able to train language skills is dependent upon how quickly you are able to encounter enemies using those languages. As such, the fastest methods will involve entering a dungeon with many of those enemies near the entrance, encountering them, leaving, and repeating the process. Since the enemies found in dungeons are somewhat deterministic, it's possible to predict which enemies are found near the entrance of each dungeon at a specific player level. Some dungeon blocks are are more ideal for this than others. In particular, dungeons which start in block N0000052 present the player with a "prison" room directly in front of them, with 7 doors each containing the same kind of enemy, perfect for training language skills. As a bonus, enemies which are able to open doors will stand still and leave their doors shut if pacified, letting you know the language check succeeded.

The following chart contains the names, locations and levels of specific dungeons which are ideal for training:

Enemy Type Player Level Region Dungeon Name Starting Block Enemies Near Entrance World Coordinates Nearest Town
Centaur 3 Daggerfall Ruins of Old Barbona's Place N0000013 4 (8340276,10961117) ENE from The Laughing Pit Hostel
Harpy 3 Dwynnen Ruins of Ashton Hall N0000052 7 (17875082,12010728) ESE from The Ashston Farmstead
Imp 4 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall
Orc 4 Wrothgarian Mountains Ruins of Yeoming Palace N0000052 7 (20134667,15515799) N from The Coppercroft Cabin
Nymph 5 Dwynnen Ruins of Ashton Hall N0000052 7 (17875082,12010728) ESE from The Ashston Farmstead
Orc 5 Dragontail Mountains Gromegon N0000013 4 (20988450,4637425) SSW from Infinite Omen of Arkay
Orc Sergeant 5 Wrothgarian Mountains Ruins of Yeoming Palace N0000052 7 (20134667,15515799) N from The Coppercroft Cabin
Giant 6 Wrothgarian Mountains Ruins of Yeoming Palace N0000052 7 (20134667,15515799) N from The Coppercroft Cabin
Centaur 6 Mournoth The Conclave of Gherk-i N0000052 7 (31014854,5947402) NNE from The Bat and Chasm Pub
Spriggan 8 Daggerfall Ruins of Gaersley's Hold N0000052 7 (5816301,9683706) N from The Woodwing Plantation
Harpy 9 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall
Nymph 9 Dwynnen Ruins of Ashton Hall N0000052 7 (17875082,12010728) ESE from The Ashston Farmstead
Daedroth 10 Dwynnen Ruins of Ashton Hall N0000052 7 (17875082,12010728) ESE from The Ashston Farmstead
Orc Sergeant 11 Dragontail Mountains Gromegon N0000013 4 (20988450,4637425) SSW from Infinite Omen of Arkay
Orc Warlord 12 Dragontail Mountains Gromegon N0000013 4 (20988450,4637425) SSW from Infinite Omen of Arkay
Nymph 12 Daggerfall Ruins of Old Barbona's Place N0000013 4 (8340276,10961117) ENE from The Laughing Pit Hostel
Daedra Seducer 13 Dwynnen Ruins of Ashton Hall N0000052 7 (17875082,12010728) ESE from The Ashston Farmstead
Orc Shaman 13 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall
Gargoyle 14 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall
Daedra Lord 14-21+ Totambu The Balilasivah Manse N0000052 7 (30686924,5489634) E from Caurm Palace
Dragonling 15 Alik'r Desert The Tower of Churhten N0000013 4 above, 3 below (10468826,179948) W from Pheono-Thar
Daedroth 16 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall
Daedra Seducer 17 Glenpoint Ruins of Castle Kingwing N0000052 7 (4832739,12238023) SSE from Yeomwing Hall


Effective Enchantments[edit]

The Vampiric Effect: When Strikes enchantment is quite beneficial in melee combat, often draining enemy health as quickly as they're able to dish out damage. Cast When Strikes: Energy Leech is also an effective enchantment, restoring fatigue and requiring less rest during exploration. Players with access to the Mages Guild's Item Maker could benefit from trying out these enchantments.

Desirable Homes[edit]

The Iliac Bay region is massive, and players are not tied down to any one location during their adventuring. However, due to the thousands of options for rest, shopping and questing, some areas are naturally better-appointed than others, and make for convenient "home bases" to return to when between quests.

Caution: when treating a specific area as a home base, be sure you aren't on any quests with a time limit, as taking weeks to travel to and from your home base can add up over time.

Chesterwark, Daggerfall[edit]

Chesterwark has a north-central shopping district which is conveniently very close to most guilds, including the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood. The only services which require a short walk are the Temple of Kynareth to the southwest, the bank to the south, and the Knights of the Dragon to the southeast. More importantly, the shopping district contains a highest-quality armorer and weapon smith, both ideal for finding higher tiers of equipment for sale.

Chesterwark is also only a short distance from the town of Newtower, which features a worst-quality pawnshop in the northwest, ideal for selling nearly anything at maximum profit.


The county of Antiphyllos is uniquely sparse in dungeons, hosting only four standard-sized ones and four small cemeteries. Operating out of any city in Antiphyllos will mean that most quests which send you into dungeons will choose among these four, meaning that after a few excursions, players will familiarize themselves with them and memorize their layouts. Additionally, these dungeons are often forgiving, with potential quest target locations not far from the entrance.

Guilds and Questing[edit]

Accepting Easier Quests[edit]

Many of Daggerfall's quests take place in its large, labyrinthine dungeons and can take hours to solve. However, some quests focus on urban work in houses and guildhalls and are faster and easier to complete.

When asking for a quest, the quest-giver will offer a brief introduction and allow the player to accept or refuse. Refusing their quest will result in admonishment from the quest-giver, but there are no ill effects or reputation penalties for doing this. As such, you can ask repeatedly for new quests until offered a specific one you'd prefer.

Mages Guild: the quests Guard the Guild and Protect an Honored Mage both take place within the same building that the quest is being offered and can be completed by loitering for a few hours. They award just as much reputation as other quests and are a fast way to rank up within the organization.

Fighters Guild: all of the quests offered prior to joining the guild (e.g. A Rat Infestation) are simple kill quests taking place in a local building within the same town. These can be repeated before joining in order to enter the guild with a high reputation and potentially rise in rank quickly. After joining the guild, a number of non-dungeon quests are always offered such as Hunt for Giant Rodents.

Thieves Guild: no Thieves Guild quests take place in dungeons and all are generally convenient to complete. However, most of them require travel to other towns. Only the quest Antique Ivory (added by the CompUSA Special Edition) takes place within the same town.

Dark Brotherhood: the earliest urban quest from the Dark Brotherhood is Contract on a Mage, which requires achieving rank 3 in the organization. Prior to this, six or more dungeon quests will need to be completed first.

Knightly Orders: the only Knightly Order quest which does not take place in a dungeon is one that's only available prior to officially joining an order: The Infested House. It is highly recommended to complete this quest multiple times to be able to join an order with a high reputation already and potentially rise in rank quickly.

Temples: all of the quests offered prior to joining a temple (e.g. An Errand) are town-based quests which don't require dungeon delving. These can be repeated before joining in order to build reputation early. After joining, a number of quests continue to be offered that only require travel between towns, such as The Haunted House.

Temple Benefits[edit]

Certain Temples offer unique benefits to members, detailed on the Temples page. Many are inconsequential, but a few can have a bigger impact on gameplay.

Akatosh members receive a 5-14% reduction in travel times. This may not sound like much, but for cross-country quests with time limits, this can offer a lot more leeway to take frequent rests in dungeons without risking running out of time. Every week's worth of travel can become up to one day shorter, giving the opportunity for three extra 8-hour rests if necessary. The time saved will also add up to less reputation lost due to the passage of time (see Reputation Loss). Temples to Akatosh are mainly found in Wayrest and Bergama.

Stendarr members receive a 0-18% chance of surviving damage that would otherwise kill them (except for drowning). This is an otherwise-unobtainable effect that can turn the tide of battle. The chance of survival never becomes high enough to rely on, but over the course of the game it is bound to help any player numerous times. Temples to Stendarr are found in Alik'r and Mournoth, among others.

In comparing these benefits, Stendarr suits a playstyle that rushes into battle and sometimes trusts to luck in order to survive, while Akatosh suits a playstyle that rests more often and avoids taking the risk of fighting while injured. However, sometimes resting is not possible, and it also carries its own risks of a surprise attack. Ultimately, both temples offer powerful benefits that any player ought to consider.