How long is Skyrim? Breakdown of playtime in Elder Scrolls V

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The Elder Scrolls games have held the attention of fans for a very long time. From the very first game through Morrowind and all the way to Skyrim, anyone who enjoys the series will know all too well how the lore all ties in together. Fans have paid special attention to Skyrim, however, and all the extra content it has. So let’s suppose you were to get into the game… How long does it take to beat Skyrim? And what about the DLCs? Just how long is Skyrim?

Join us as we find out all that and explore the longest, best segments of everyone’s favorite Elder Scrolls game! We hope it’ll help with the anticipation of Elder Scrolls VI, even though we’ve been waiting on it for so long. If that’s not enough, maybe your Dragonborn can start thinking about marriage…?

First, we have to take into account how much content there actually is in Skyrim. The original game came out in 2011 and caused a boom in the gaming world. It only took a year for Bethesda to ride the hype train and release three DLCs that expand upon the main game – Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. Already, we have 4 releases’ worth of content to go through. With that, we can be sure to enjoy Skyrim for a very long time.

Of course, there’s also an abundance of mods to make the game richer. While some are purely cosmetic and others may even be comical, there are mods such as Moonpath to Elsweyr that add even more content to the game. If you happen to run out of content to go through in the game, you can turn to mods such as these that will add to your playtime!

When it comes to the base game, it’s important to note that it will probably be the one you’ll be spending the most time on. If you think about it, there are about five to six factions’ worth of quests to solve in addition to the main quest. Some of them are longer than others, of course. 

Without further ado, let’s get started.

How long is Skyrim’s main game? 

The main questline, which deals with the revelation that the player character is the Dragonborn as well as the return of the dragons, clocks in at 5.5 to 12 hours. While some may expect it to be the longest of the questlines, we’ll soon see that this is the average for most questlines in the game.

The Dark Brotherhood itself can take anywhere from around 3 to around 12 hours to complete, which is comparable with the main quest. Of course, this all depends on whether or not you’re a casual player or someone who likes to power through the quests. Additionally, it’s important to note that there is a quest in this faction that constantly repeats, “The Dark Brotherhood Forever”.

The Companions questline is a bit shorter at about 3 to 7 hours. This is one of the more disappointingly short questlines, as it’s great fun and emotional all in the same package. The College of Winterhold questline is even shorter at 2 and a half to 4 and a half hours. Your Skyrim playtime for the Thieves Guild should clock in at about 4 to 9 hours. The Daedric quests also take around 4 hours. 

The Civil War questline becomes a bit more convoluted as you can choose two sides. The Imperials take a little under 2 hours to complete, while the Stormcloaks take a little over 2 hours. Either way, you’ll spend 2 hours on this questline, give or take.

After that, we have nine Holds in Skyrim, each with its own quests. We’ll group that in with the rest of the Miscellaneous quests.

So, overall, how long is Skyrim if you’re only playing through the main game? Well, you can expect to clock in at about 125 hours on average depending on your playstyle. 

What if you include the DLCs and Extras? 

But how long is Skyrim when you take into account the aforementioned DLCs? Let’s discuss.

As we’ve already said, Skyrim has three DLCs. Dawnguard should take you about 10 hours to complete, on average. Hearthfire comes in at a bit shorter playtime with only 5 hours. 

This makes sense, though, when you remember that Hearthfire really only gives you the option to build a house and adopt some kids. Still, gathering all the materials for your houses and finding all the children to adopt should take some time. That’s why we can excuse the rather long playtime of 5 hours for a simple add-on. 

Finally, you can expect to clear the Dragonborn DLC in about 12 hours. Not bad for getting rid of a returned dragon priest on a quest to relieve the Dragonborn of their life.

Now we add all this to Skyrim’s main game playtime. After that, we get a hefty number of 152 hours. Now, we know that some of you may have already exclaimed “that’s a very low playtime for the entire game”. Relax, that means you’re probably a completionist. 

How many hours do you need for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim if you’re a completionist?

Completionists, of course, aren’t simply pleased with the bare minimum. Finishing Skyrim in its entirety, without a single quest on the map left, a single feature uncompleted, is no mean feat. 

If you think about it, the main game itself has faction quests, dungeon quests, miscellaneous quests, and bounty quests. It’s natural that you’ll spend most of your time in Skyrim finishing up these questlines first. After that, you have Dawnguard’s main story and side quests, which should take up about 20 hours of your time. We’ve already talked about the Hearthfire quests and what they entail, giving it a completionist playtime of 6 hours. 

Finally, the main quests, Black Book quests, side quests, and miscellaneous quests in Dragonborn rack up to a whopping 24 hours. That’s pretty impressive for what’s supposed to be a simple DLC. 

If you’re the type to want to 100% complete the game, be ready to spend around 232 hours on the main game. With an added 50 hours to 100% complete all the DLCs, you can boast to your friends with a total Skyrim playtime of 282 hours! 

So there you have it, the answer to the popular question of how long Skyrim is. Now get out there and be the best Dragonborn you can be!

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