Home / Articles / Every Unplayable Race in The Elder Scrolls (And Why They Can't Be Played)

Every Unplayable Race in The Elder Scrolls (And Why They Can't Be Played)

Every Unplayable Race in The Elder Scrolls (And Why They Can't Be Played) Image
  • Posted on 01st Oct, 2022 09:10 AM

The ten commonly playable races in The Elder Scrolls are far from the only races found in Tamriel or Nirn at large, and here's a complete breakdown.

p>The Elder Scrolls commonly has ten playable races for players to choose from in-game. These tend to be the most dominant races of the continent of Tamriel, the location of all Elder Scrolls games, but there are more all over the world of Nirn. Indeed, there are plenty more races out there, though they are unplayable for many reasons.

Some beastfolk, for example, would be too OP or hard to play as PCs. Many are extinct, and some do not appear in Tamriel. Some are really out there too, which could push a player’s suspension of disbelief, and that’s not counting god or god-like beings relate to the Aedra or Daedra. Sometimes, it's a mechanical reason, while other times it's likely a lore reason. Still, there are many interesting unplayable races and civilizations in The Elder Scrolls universe, which can be fun to learn about.

RELATED: Skyrim Mod Mocks GPU Crisis By Placing Nvidia RTX 3080 In Game World

The Elder Scrolls – Lost, Unplayable Races of Men

Akaviri - A race of men who heavily influenced the Blades and invaders who were stopped by Reman Cyrodiil, who they claimed to be Dragonborn. They are unplayable because they are extinct, and no real records prove why – the most common theories are that they simply died out, were eat by the Tsaesci, or were in fact the Tsaesci themselves.

Atmoran – An ancient race of men and ancestors to the Nords, subsequently to the Imperials, Bretons, and possible Nedes. Atmora, their home continent, fell to the Frost Fall where the continent became far colder and inhospitable, even in comparison to Skyrim. Scholars presume those who remained on Atmora during this time perished long ago.

Nedes – An ancient Tribe of Men who are ancestors to Nords and Imperials in The Elder Scrolls, their presence around Tamriel slowly shrank due to various invasions, particularly by the Redguard.

Orma – A sightless Tribe of Men who once lived in Black Marsh, the Orma died out due to unknown circumstances.

The Elder Scrolls – Lost, Unplayable Races of Elves

Aldmer – The original Elves of Tamriel, they considered themselves “Pure” Elves and tried to maintain this through careful breeding and eugenics. They disappeared around the Merethic Era of The Elder Scrolls with no explanation given, but it’s possible their numbers dwindled due to their selective breeding.

Ayleids – Otherwise known as the Heartland High Elves, Heartland Elves, Saliache, or Wild Elves, they ruled over the country of Cyrodiil in the First Era. They ranged from light tanned to bronze, just lighter than the Dunmer. Their civilization weakened and was eventually toppled, due to their blind worship of the Daedra—making them overconfident as they formed pacts with them—and slave results. By the end of the First Era, they were decimated to the point of near extinction; by the Third Era, following an attempt to rebuild, they completely died off.

Chimer – Ancestors of the Dunmer, the Chimer were an offshoot of the Altmer. After the Dwemer disappeared in the Battle of Red Mountain, the Chimer Sotha, Vivec, and Almalexia used the Heart of Lorkhan to become gods—betraying Azura to become the Tribunal. Azura cursed the Chimer, changing their appearance into that of modern Dunmer.

Dwemer – An advanced race and civilization, Dwemer were known as the Under Elves or Dwarves. Conflicting lore paints them as an evil race or honorable one, depending on the stories players choose to believe. They are at the heart of The Elder Scrolls’ biggest mystery, having disappeared completely as a race–except for the Dwemer Yagrum Bagarn–during the battle of Red Mountain. The most common belief is that Chief Tonal Architect Kagrenac was trying to bring immortality to his people, resulting in this disappearance somehow.

Falmer (Snow Elves) – Their empire crumbled in war with the Atmorans, causing them to flee and ask the Dwemer for protection. The Dwemer did not trust the Snow Elves and supposedly forced them to eat tainted Fungi. Living underground and eating said Fungi turned the once illustrious Snow Elves (of whom few still exit) into the blind, twisted, mad, and warped Falmer. Despite centuries like this, it seems the Falmer are slowly regaining their intelligence. Perhaps old Snow Elvers or Falmer could be playable in an Elder Scrolls game someday as a result, but due to their mental depreciation, they have been unplayable thus far.

Maormer – A race of Elves otherwise known as Tropical, Sea, or Fish Elves, their skin and eyes are clear, pale, and/or milky-white. Their flesh is believed to be made of white limpid Jelly. They still exist in Nirn, but are isolated to the continent Pyandonea south of Summerset. Their isolation here is the likeliest explanation for the unplayability thus far.

Sinistral Elves – An Elven race found on Yokuda, it seems their entire race was destroyed by the Redguard, and any survivors died when the continent of Yokuda was sunk.

RELATED: The Elder Scrolls 6: The Redguard's Religion Will Be Completely Different From Skyrim's

The Elder Scrolls – Barbaric Races

Reachmen – Native, barbarian-like race of men native to the Reach, they share a lot of similar traits with Bretons. Many of them have given up “The Old Ways” by the Fourth Era, and the likeliest explanation for their exclusive from The Elder Scrolls’ playable races are due to their general similarities with Bretons and Nords, despite their culture being different.

Other “Barbaric” races found on Tamriel include the Ashlanders of Morrowind (who are similar to Dunmer), the Ket Keptu of Hammerfell, and the Kothringi of Black Marsh. Ashlanders still exist, though it is uncertain of the Ket Keptu. The Kothringi, who are the most “unique” barbaric race due to their metallic skin and reflective faces, died to the Knahaten Flu in the Second Era.

The Elder Scrolls – Unique or Beastfolk Races

Giant – Giants are a nomadic race of Large Men (considered Beastfolk) in Tamriel, native to Skyrim, High Rock, and possibly others. Though they are still plenty and fairly intelligent, they remain unplayable as their size would likely be game-breaking for players.

Goblin – Some consider Goblin to be beastfolk, while others consider them to be related to Elves. They are short, warlike, and tribal, though their race has indicated that there are some who are capable of higher thinking. The likely explanation for them being unplayable is likely the “evil” stigma associated with Goblins, as well as their short statures from a gameplay perspective.

Riekling – Rieklings are blue Goblin-like creatures found in Solstheim. Some believe they are further degraded Falmer, but either way, their unplayability is likely due to the same reason as Goblins.

Hollows – A “beastfolk” race made by the Wilderking in Valenwood, the Hollows are sentient stone beings made from the earth and corpses. Their general lack of free will – save for one Hollow – is likely why they are unplayable.

Imga – Beastfolk who share commonalities with Apes, they worshipped the Altmer and tried to have a refined society. They had traveled to the Walking city of Valenwood in the Second Era to wait out the Planemeld and Alliance War, with the Imga and city disappearing around this time.

RELATED: The Elder Scrolls' White-Gold Concordat Explained

Sload – A race of slug-like beastfolk known for their mastery of Necromancy and tendency to terrorize other races, including their sometimes-allies in the Maormer, they live on Thras in the Abecean sea found southwest of High Rock and Hammerfell and northwest of the Summerset Isles. While Sloads still exist, their cultural tendencies, overall isolation, and physiology are likely reasons they will never be playable.

Dragons – A “unique” race of Akaviri beings who went slowly disappeared following the Dragon War and their subsequent hunting by the Blades, they return in the fourth era as part of Skyrim’s plot. The reason Dragons aren’t playable is somewhat obvious, but they share similarities with Skyrim’s Dragonborn, which is close enough.

The Elder Scrolls – Races of Akavir

Tsaesci – A mysterious race (if the most well-known race) hailing from the equally mysterious continent of Akavir, their exact appearance and anatomy are unknown. Conflicting reports believe they were snake-like beastfolk or men, which is why many believe the Akaviri were Tsaesci. The three most common theories for the Tsaesci are that they are entirely human, entirely snake, or were two races of beings, one human and one snake-like depending on culture and if humans were eaten by the Tsaesci, as some believe. One noted Tsaesci lived across two eras, though some think his lifespan was extended by magic, and others believe the Tsaesci were immortal. Reports indicate they are still alive on Akavir

Tang Mo – A race of monkey-like Beastfolk from the Thousand Monkey Isles of Akavir, their main enemies are the Kamal. However, they have had to defend their home and people from being enslaved multiple times. Their unplayability is likely connected to their residence in Akavir, like most other Akavir-based races.

Ka Po' Tun – A beastfolk race based on cats not unlike the Khajiit, they believe themselves capable of transforming into dragons. Only their leader, Tosh Raka, is believed to have discovered how they. They are currently believed to be stronger than the Tsaesci, to be allied with the Tang Mo, and to have the desire to invade Tamriel after defeating the Tsaesci.

Kamal – A race from Akavir thought to be demons. They invaded Tamriel once, though most of their attacks were against the Tang Mo. The Kamal “thawed out” once every year to launch attacks.

Lilmothiit – A beastfolk race only mentioned in name and thought to be fox-like. Their fate is unknown.

The Elder Scrolls 6 is in development.

MORE: Skyrim Player Wedding Attended by 'Torture Victim'

Every Unplayable Race in The Elder Scrolls (And Why They Can't Be Played) View Story