Here is a complete breakdown of all the best Factions you can join in Skyrim in 2023.
One of the most incredible aspects of Skyrim is its focus on world-building. Throughout your adventure, you will encounter various characters with interesting stories. And more often than not, they belong to some Guild or Faction trying to establish its presence in the world.
Naturally, these factions are one of the major features contributing to Skyrim’s world-building, as they are designed to elevate your roleplaying adventure to the next level. Each of these factions comes with its own storyline that will shape the course of your adventure.
Moreover, allying with these factions will come with several perks. For instance, you can rise through the faction ranks and build a reputation among your guild members. Furthermore, you will meet guild-specific trainers that can teach you how to master various skills. Additionally, you will also get access to unique armor and weapons and learn skills exclusive to your faction.
Read More: Skyrim: All Guilds and Factions
Having said that, not every faction stands equal when it comes to power and influence. And the perks of joining one faction can outweigh that of another. To ensure you form the most rewarding alliances, we have prepared this extensive guide listing the best Factions in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition as of 2023.
Top 10 Best Factions in Skyrim
Below are all the best joinable factions in Skyrim as of 2023.
10. The Blades
To start off this list, we have The Blades. They were once a group of famed dragon hunters who also served as the Emperor’s shield. However, their influence and existence had been nearly reduced to dust by the Thalmor during the Great War.
After the death of Acilius, the sole survivor from Thalmor’s siege on the Cloud Ruler Temple, Delphine and Esbern remained the only surviving members of the Blades. If you decide to join the two, Delphine will also accept your followers as recruits.
The questline for the Blades may not be all too interesting, but they unlock the locations of various dragons within the world map. The only real reason you’d want to join them is if you like going on dragon hunts.
9. Imperial Legion and Stormcloakes
It might make sense to side with the Empire during a rebellion simply because the other side lacks political influence. Moreover, you’ll be allied with highly trained soldiers and have access to imperial armor, which is far better than what you’d get from the Stormcloakes.
However, it might make more sense for some to side with the Stormcloakes from a roleplaying perspective. As the Dragonborn, you get to join rebel forces who are trying to overthrow the Emperor because they believe the Empire to be nothing more than the Thalmor’s puppet.
Having said that, Imperial Legion and Stormcloakes are tied in this list because they offer the same questline from opposite perspectives. Moreover, they offer nothing of value other than some armor. You can’t become a faction leader or gain any training partners, so it doesn’t matter which side you pick in this Civil War.
8. The Greybeards
The Greybeards are a faction of wise elders with the power to control dragons. Although they lack political influence, their knowledge of the Thu’um makes them incredibly powerful allies of the Dragonborn.
However, unlike other factions on this list, the Greybeards don’t have their own dedicated quest line. Moreover, there is also no factional hierarchy for you to rank up. So, they don’t add much value to your roleplaying adventure.
Having said that, the Greybeards are prominently featured in the main storyline, so they are not that dull of a bunch. Moreover, they will bestow you with the knowledge of the dragons, so one should not underestimate their significance.
Furthermore, the Greybeards will also mark the locations of various Word Walls across Skyrim, so you can meditate on these Words of Power and strengthen the power of your shouts. So, they are obviously a far better pick than their arch-nemesis, the Blades.
7. The Companions
Although they don’t have the most impactful questline of them all, the Companions are still an interesting faction with few major tricks up their sleeves. They essentially operate like a Fighters Guild, housing talented warriors who can teach you a few moves in exchange for gold.
Moreover, the Companions are among the few factions whose storyline is not directly tied to the Civil War. They like to avoid engaging in political matters of the outside world, making them substantially less influential than some of the other factions on this list.
However, they are still the perfect faction to join if you want to hone your warrior skills. Additionally, players aspiring to surpass their human limitations will want to ally themselves with this group and rise through the ranks to be invited into their inner ‘circle.’
6. The Circle
The Circle isn’t exactly a separate faction but rather an extension of the Companions. So, you’ll have to follow through the Companions’ main questline to be eventually welcomed into this secret group.
But once you do, Skjor and Aela will offer to turn you into a Werewolf. This will introduce a whole new gameplay style to the players, with increased health, stamina, and strength. You will become more formidable in your Beast Form, so enemies will naturally be warier of you.
Additionally, you will also unlock the Werewolf skill tree. This will give you access to unique perks like Totem of Ice Brothers and Totem of the Moon, allowing you to summon spectral and ice wolves in battle.
5. College of Winterhold
The College of Winterhold is an ideal faction to join if you want to become the finest mage across all of Skyrim. This school houses some of the greatest wizards, making it an ideal place for learning magic.
By enrolling in the college, you will have access to magical tools, resources, and talented professors to help you master different types of magic. Moreover, you can also recruit three powerful followers. Furthermore, you will also gain access to spellbook merchants, which is essential for a mage build.
Not only that, but the College of Winterhold also has an exciting plotline that doesn’t drag on too long. Aside from the eight main quests of the faction, you’ll also get to do some follower quests and master-level spell quests called Ritual quests, all of which make your roleplaying adventure more engaging.
4. Volkihar Clan
The Volkihar Clan is a faction made up of blood-thirsty vampires. Given you have the Dawnguard DLC, you can join this faction to become a Vampire Lord. The faction offers a unique storyline, with a war between them and the group of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguards.
You can side with the Volkihar Clan by betraying the Dawnguards during the “Bloodline” quest. And even though their creepy aura can put you off, the vampiric abilities alone make it worth joining the faction.
You will gain access to an entirely new playstyle and unique vampiric skills, diversifying your gameplay experience. Moreover, you can also have up to five undead creatures called Death Hounds as followers. These death hounds serve as pets for vampires and can guard their masters against potential harm.
Furthermore, you will meet unique NPCs or trainers, such as Fura Bloodmouth, Garan Marethi, and Ronthil, who can teach you how to master Two-Handed skills and reach expert-level proficiency in Speech and Destruction skills, respectively.
3. Thieves Guild
If you want to join a faction that offers tangible benefits and a good story plot, then the Thieves Guild may be the way to go. Not only that, but they are perhaps the most competent at their job and when it comes to maintaining order among members. Moreover, joining the association is almost a requirement for perfecting stealthy builds.
Since the Thieves Guild operates underground, they aren’t very politically influential. However, their presence can be felt no matter where you go, and they are responsible for a significant portion of the market’s corruption. So they are not entirely powerless.
By joining the Thieves Guild, you can meet Master level trainers like Vex, Vipir the Fleet, Delvin, and Niruin, who can teach you how to master the art of lockpicking, pickpocketing, sneaking, and archery. Moreover, you can also help the Guild increase its influence and rise through the ranks to become a Guild Master.
2. The Dark Brotherhood
Much like the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood also has a long story to tell, which can be tedious to work through. However, it all becomes worth it when you reach a satisfying conclusion that greatly impacts the world-building of Skyrim.
Not only that, but the faction also provides the best stealth armor and gear in the game, along with some of the best stealth followers. They’re the perfect faction to join for aspiring assassins.
In addition to receiving the Shrouded Armor set, you will be unlocking two guild-specific Master level trainers – Nazir and Babette. They will teach you how to master Light Armor and Alchemy skills, respectively.
The Dark Brotherhood’s main storyline is the most impactful among all other factions on this list, given it ends with the assassination of the Emperor of Cryodil. So, you better be prepared to face the consequences!
1. The Dawnguards
The Dawnguards are a group of skilled vampire hunters who are on a mission to exterminate the vampire population from Skyrim with their crossbows. Since they are trained to take on these superhuman creatures, one can readily admit that the Dawnguards are formidable as a faction.
Joining the Dawnguards is perhaps the best way to experience the DLC’s story. The faction features some of the most interesting character interactions and powerful followers. Not only will you become a part of a famed vampire exterminator group, but you will also get full access to their resources.
This includes Fort Dawnguard, which serves as an excellent home for melee combatants. Moreover, you will also meet Master-level trainers like Sorine, Florentius, Gunmar, and Isran, who will help you master your Archery, Restoration, Smithing, and Heavy Armor skills.
Furthermore, skills such as Sun Damage and Vampire’s Bane are exclusive to the Dawnguards and cannot be learned elsewhere. Lastly, you will also get the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow and Exploding Bolts, which are the rarest weapons from the Dawnguard DLC.
Do you wish to learn more about Skyrim? Then check out our other guides on Best Skyrim Builds, How to Get to Forelhost, How To Install The Skygerfall Mod, and How to Fish in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.