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How Long Does It Take To Beat The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is like so many RPGs, in that you can play through main story without seeing all there is to see, or you can really invest in the game and spend an absurd amount of time in its world. But how much time slaying dragons is that, exactly? How long does it take to beat The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?


You'd better have a lot of empty spaces on your calendar; especially if you plan on picking up the DLC.

According to How Long to Beat, the main story campaign of Skyrim takes most people around 33 hours to complete from start to finish. That entails sticking to the main questline and not deviating from that path. To be honest, we're not sure why you'd play a game like Skyrim and not wander off occasionally, but if you just want to see the end credits roll, you can do so in that shorter amount of time.

If you can't fight the urge to explore, however, this game will suck you in and keep you occupied for quite a while. Even if you do just some of the side quests available and spend time off the beaten path, you can easily add another 70 or so hours to the game. And if you want to go for 100% completion, well, make sure you have some water and some snacks around; it'll take you roughly 223 hours to do everything Skyrim has to offer.


And that's not even counting the DLC. DawnguardDragonborn, and Hearthfire each add 7 hours, 6 hours, and 2 hours to the story campaign, respectively. So you could end up with a story-only run that takes 48 hours. And if you want to be a completionist for all of those, too, expect your total on that end to reach even higher: 249 hours for a 100% complete save in Skyrim and all three of its DLC expansions.

It's safe to say that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is not for people who like short games. But there's a reason this one is beloved, and why it's been ported to just about anything that can run a video game at this point. Its world is like nothing else, and by the end, you might feel that 249 hours in it just wasn't enough.