How does the difficulty level affect the gameplay in Skyrim?

There are six difficulty settings in Skyrim:

  1. Novice
  2. Apprentice
  3. Adept
  4. Expert
  5. Master
  6. Legendary

How do these affect the gameplay?

Answer

According to the UESP, the difficulty level affects the damage you deal and the damage you receive:

Difficulty | Damage Dealt | Damage Taken
-----------------------------------------
Novice     | x2           | x0.5
Apprentice | x1.5         | x0.75
Adept      | x1           | x1
Expert     | x0.75        | x1.5
Master     | x0.5         | x2
Legendary  | x0.25        | x3

Based on this, there are a few things you can extrapolate as the difficulty level increases:

  • Skills based on damage increase more slowly, and in turn, the slower you level up (thanks yx.)
  • Followers can be knocked out, and in turn, killed, more easily
  • Your effective health decreases
  • Enemies’ effective health increases

Possible note: Weapon Skills aren’t based on final damage; they are based on base damage of the weapon, which is unaffected by difficulty. Increasing the difficulty means that you have to hit each enemy more times, which speeds up skill growth. This is very noticeable when you increase the difficulty as my one-handed increased about 6 levels after 2 dungeons.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : theorise , Answer Author : Nelson

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