15 Hardest Quests To Complete in SkyrimThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Some of the quests in Skyrim prove to be way more difficult than others.
So it’s a good idea to know which is which to make sure you’re up for the task.
I’ve compiled a list of the 15 most difficult quests in Skyrim to give you a general idea of when the game gets problematic and to keep you mentally ready for the challenge!
15. Elder Knowledge
This quest is the only one on this list that is included within the base game’s questline.
There’s a good reason for it: The quest is extremely long, and it takes you through two different Dwemer ruins, where you’ll risk your life against many enemies to find the Elder Scroll in Alftand.
14. The Lost Expedition
The Lost Expedition takes place inside a set of Dwemer ruins.
You know what that means: You’ll be facing ancient machinery that’s main purpose is to kill you.
You’ll have to recover the notes of the researchers who you were sent to find (though, you’ll find them dead by the time you get there).
13. Blood on the Ice
Blood on the Ice is a quest to find the serial killer who has been running rampant in the city of Windhelm.
The quest will allow you to investigate the killer by yourself; although finding some clues can prove to be tricky and the quest itself feels a bit long.
12. Bleak Falls Barrow
This quest is part of the main questline of base game Skyrim, and it is given to you by the Jarl of Whiterun at the beginning of the story.
The dungeon that you’ll have to clear is very difficult, seeing as the Dragonborn isn’t leveled up at all. There, you’ll face countless undead, Draugr, and even bandits on your way to the end.
After finally clearing the dungeon, you’ll obtain the word “Fus” from the Unrelenting Force shout, which is a very fitting reward for the trouble you’ve gone through thus far.
11. The Thieves Guild Radiant Quests
These mini-quests of the Thieves Guild can be annoying.
They’re relatively easy, but the number of quests that you’ll have to complete in order to fully finish the Radiant missions are irritating.
10. The Black Star
In this quest you’ll embark on a mission to restore the ancient power of the Star of Azura, which has been desecrated by Necromancers.
This means that the star itself is filled with corruption and getting rid of it is quite troublesome. In fact, you’ll actually have to enter the star by asking Azura to take you to its core.
There, you’ll need to defeat a variety of foes in order to cleanse the star of all evil.
The rewards of the quest aren’t as good as you think, but the trouble that you have to go through to finish it would suggest otherwise!
9. The Break of Dawn
The Break of Dawn is a quest given to you by Meridia when you visit her beacon.
You will need to kill the Necromancer known as Melkoran who is holding the Dawnbreaker at the end of the dungeon.
In order to free it, you will need to guide Meridia’s light to the Dawnbreaker by using the various mirrors and reflective items scattered across the dungeon.
8. The Wolf Queen Awakened
The Wolf Queen Awakened might not be a high-level quest, but it sure is a difficult one to take at lower levels.
You only need a Level 10 to receive it, and you’ll have to complete the “Man Who Cried Wolf” first.
This quest will require you to go through Potema’s Catacombs. In general, you’ll have to fight a ton of Draugrs in order to finish, which can be challenging at low levels.
The smartest thing to do? Level up to 20 before embarking on this mission.
7. Summoning Karstaag
Karstaag makes his triumphant return. But this time, since Karstaag is dead, you’ll have to summon him from the other world to fight.
The only problem is that he’s tough to defeat and considered one of the most difficult enemies in the game—even if you’re on the lower ends of the difficulty spectrum.
There are rewards to be reaped if you manage to slay the spirit of the mighty Karstaag, however; you’ll be able to summon him whenever you need him in battle.
It takes some time to kill him though, so be sure to save your game beforehand!
6. A Return to Your Roots
This quest is most likely going to turn you off of herbalism as soon as you discover just how annoying it is to complete.
It is a sequel to Oblivion’s “Seeking Your Roots”, and it requires you to gather 30 Crimson Nirnroots and bring them to Avrusa Sarethi.
As you can imagine, Crimson Nirnroots are extremely difficult to find, and you’ll need to explore the depths of Skyrim to obtain them all.
5. No Stone Unturned
Arguably the most infuriating quest in Skyrim, No Stone Unturned is a mission which requires you to collect 24 different stones.
The problem is that none of these stones show up on the map, so you’ll have to manually look for them; it can take a long time if you don’t use an online guide.
Try to keep notes of where you’ve found the stones to ensure you don’t visit the same locations twice.
4. The Ebony Warrior
The Ebony Warrior is a quest you can’t obtain manually.
You will be approached by a man wearing enchanted, full ebony armor once you hit level 80; at this point, you’ll have the choice to face him in a 1-on-1 fight at his camp.
The Ebony Warrior is a tough mission, but it can be cleared with a good ole’ Fus-Ro-Dah near the edge of the cliff where the fight occurs.
The Unearthed quest will put you head-to-head with the Dragon Priest known as Ahzidal—said to be the first human in history to master the arcane arts of destruction.
He has strength worthy of legend, and not wearing any magicka-resistant gear will turn this enemy into a scarier foe than any other NPC in the game.
Fear not—highly leveled players should do fine on this quest.
However don’t attempt to go through this mission if you aren’t at least level 40. It’s a toughie.
2. At the Summit of Apocrypha
This is it. The final quest of the Dragonborn DLC, where you face Miraak—the first Dragonborn.
This quest is considered by many to be the true, final fight (and one of the most difficult). Miraak is an extremely tough opponent, and he will try anything to strike you down.
In fact, Miraak has the ability to keep regenerating himself, which means you’ll have to put him near the brink of death at least three times before you can finally kill him.
This quest is the last one in the questline of the Dragonborn DLC, and it’s much more difficult than the fight against Alduin.
1. Lost to the Ages
Lost to the Ages is a multi-part quest that requires you to learn about the Aetherium before you can begin.
You’ll need to find the four parts of solid Aetherium and defeat countless Dwemer creations along the way; during that time you’ll also encounter the almighty Forgemaster, one of the strongest enemies in the game.
The quest is long and difficult as you look for the missing shards of Aetherium.
But completing it allows you to use the Aetherium Forge which is the perfect reward for this difficult mission!