In Skyrim, you have just three main attributes. Each is represented by a colored bar that appears at the bottom of the screen whenever the attribute is at less than 100%.
- The total damage you can take before dying, which occurs at Health 0.
- Represented by a red bar at the bottom center of the screen.
- Regenerates 0.70% of your maximum health each second outside of combat and 0.49% inside combat.
- The magical energy used to cast spells; while at 0 magicka, you can only cast spells which cost 0 magicka.
- Represented by a blue bar at the bottom left of the screen.
- Regenerates 3.00% of your maximum magicka each second outside of combat and 0.99% inside combat.
- Your physical energy, used for sprinting and making power attacks (among other things).
- The only attribute of the three which can go negative (which is not visible on the bar), as a result of which, the only attribute which is no longer spendable when below 0.
- Your Stamina regeneration functions differently when negative; see the main article for details.
- Represented by a green bar at the bottom right of the screen.
- Regenerates 5.00% of your maximum stamina each second outside of combat and 1.75% inside combat.
All attributes start at 100 points. Note that the two attributes you can actively spend on doing things, magicka and stamina, do not passively regenerate while being spent; see the specific articles on other sources of replenishing them.[nb1] Each time you level up, you can choose to increase one attribute by ten points; doing so restores all three attributes to full. You must increase an attribute when you level up; you cannot save up attribute increases (although you may postpone increases by not opening the skills menu). If you never make any skills legendary, the highest achievable level is 81, meaning you get 80 attribute increases - leading to a maximum value in any attribute of 900, if you put all 80 levels into the one. If you do make skills legendary, there is no actual maximum, but if you choose to stop leveling when you run out of buyable perks (note that this will happen after you run out of useful perks, as many perks either can't be used at the same time (light armor vs heavy armor) or otherwise become useless late-game (alchemy has 3 perks for letting you more easily discover ingredient effects, which stop functioning once you know every effect of every ingredient), the "maximum" level becomes 252, or 251 attribute increases, i.e. a maximum of 2610 in any one attribute.
The following values are derived from your main attributes:
- Carry Weight (a.k.a. Encumbrance): the total weight of items that you can carry. Choosing to increase stamina upon leveling up will also increase your total carrying capacity by 5. Carry Weight is derived from your base stamina, and as such, anything that boosts your stamina will not increase your carry weight.
- The attributes from previous Elder Scrolls games (i.e., Strength, Intelligence, etc.) do not exist in Skyrim.
- Unlike Morrowind and Oblivion, the skills that you increase have no effect on attribute increases.
- The regeneration rate of the three attributes is a percentage of your maximum health, magicka or stamina. This means that the amount of health, magicka or stamina that you regenerate per second becomes larger as you increase an attribute. This means boosts to the attribute and fortify attribute regeneration should be equally weighted for maximum absolute rate of regeneration.
- The only Standing Stone that provides an attribute increase is the Atronach Stone.