Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
Argonians in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
For other uses, see Argonians.

Enigmatic and intelligent, the Argonians are experts at guerrilla warfare, and their natural abilities suit their swampy homeland, Black Marsh. They have developed immunities to the diseases that have doomed many would-be explorers in the region, and they are capable of easily exploring underwater locations due to their ability to breathe underwater. Argonians make proficient thieves, due to their increased lockpicking and sneaking skills.



After conquest of the Dunmer province of Morrowind, little is known about the politics of the Argonians in the Fourth Era. There is an Argonian political faction called the An-Xileel, but there is little information about them, except they are composed of mostly, if not all, Argonians, and that they pushed back Mehrunes Dagon's forces during the Oblivion Crisis in Black Marsh, and were also the faction responsible for orchestrating the conquest of Morrowind.

Race relations

In Windhelm, Argonians are sequestered from the predominantly Nordic population, and are forced to live at the Argonian Assemblage, located at the city docks. After the mass exodus of Dunmer and Argonian peoples to Windhelm, the citizens became suspicious, worrying that the immigrants would influence or otherwise dilute their culture, and so forced them into segregation. Largely, this extreme behavior was inspired by the political confrontation between the Empire of Tamriel and the rulers of Skyrim. However, this eventually just turned into blatant racism.[1]

Despite the estrangement between the Nords and the Argonians, they are more respected and tolerated in Skyrim than other foreign immigrants due to their beneficial contributions to Nord industries. This beneficial assimilation to Skyrim's economy has helped some Argonians—such as those found in Riften—ingratiate themselves to Skyrim's aloof society.[2]


Unlike the citizens of Skyrim, who prefer to marry using an Amulet of Mara, some Argonians adhere to their native marriage traditions. In Black Marsh, it is customary to present a lover with an Argonian Wedding Band, which is crafted by the courting member. Each ring is unique and has personal meaning to the creator and the recipient. 

"In Black Marsh, tradition dictates we present a potential mate a unique wedding ring to represent our future bond."

"Every Argonian wedding proposal band is supposed to have three flawless amethysts as part of their design. Two of the gems, the ones on the outside, represent the couple to be married... one for the husband, one for the wife. The amethyst in the center represents The Hist, the entity that all Argonians consider a sacred part of our lives." – Talen-Jei[3]

Character creation

"This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their Black Marsh homeland, has developed a natural resistance to diseases and the ability to breathe underwater. They can call upon the Histskin to regenerate health very quickly."
―Racial description[src]

Skill bonuses

Skill Modifier
Lockpicking +10
Light Armor +5
Alteration +5
Pickpocket +5
Restoration +5
Sneak +5

Starting spells

Special abilities

  • Histskin: Invoke the power of the Hist to recover health ten times faster for 60 seconds. Can only be used once per day.
  • Resist Disease: Your Argonian blood is 50% resistant to disease.
  • Waterbreathing: Your Argonian Lungs can breathe underwater.

Popular usage and unique gameplay

The Argonians' stealth and lockpicking make them brilliant assassins, thieves, scouts, and ambushers. Their lack of combat bonuses in archery and one-handed weapons can be overcome by natural skill leveling and play. Argonians can be used fairly well as spellswords, but conjuration training may be necessary. They can also be useful mage-thieves due to their skills in both magic and stealth, though one may want some illusion training. Their Resist Disease ability allows them to become somewhat immune to biological agents without requiring any enchanted apparel with the effect.

Argonians have unique advantages due to their natural waterbreathing ability. This gives them an all-terrain versatility in an area that other races need magic, potions, or enchanted gear (such as Volsung's mask) to fill. Argonians are able to make ample use of Skyrim's waterways as a means of quick travel, free from ambush and interference (for example, traveling from Riverwood to Whiterun by river can be quite expedient and avoids roadside hazards including wolves, bandits, and assassins) and also a quick means of escape should they find themselves in a dangerous situation that they cannot handle. River travel has its own share of hazards, however, such as waterfalls, rapids, and hostile animals such as Slaughterfish and Mudcrabs. Nonetheless, the Argonians can also be quite a "tank" in battle because of their Histskin ability that multiplies their health regeneration ten times.

Notable Argonians

The following is a list of some of the more notable Argonians that can be found in Skyrim:



  • Khajiit and Argonians are the only races that when in unarmed combat open the clenched fist and swipe the claws at the attacker. Men and Mer attack with closed fists.
    • Argonians have 2.5 times higher unarmed combat damage than most races, 10 instead of 4, however, they are outclassed handily by Khajit with their innate claws skill, offering up to 22 unarmed damage.
  • Despite having a natural Waterbreathing ability, Argonians will still gasp for air when resurfacing in water.
  • Khajiit and Argonians are the only playable races to have tails.
  • Like Oblivion and unlike Morrowind, Argonians in Skyrim can wear footwear and headgear.

Related items

Related reading


This section contains bugs related to Argonians (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   There seems to be a graphical glitch tied to the Argonians. The backs of most helmets will not appear when worn by the Dragonborn, a few exceptions being the iron, Daedric, scaled, hide, and the Imperial helmets. Other helmets such as the steel, dragon bone, and elven helmets are missing the back section of them, making most helmets look rather ridiculous on the Argonian race. The ancient Nord helmet also does not properly change over from its male version to the female version when worn by a female Argonian. It instead stays as the male version with no back to the helmet.
  •  360   Becoming a vampire will cause female Argonians to use male walking/running animations and standing posture.
  •  PC   Shrouded Cowl tends to clip through the Argonian forehead area. This is only a visual bug.
  •  PC   360   PS3   When sitting or using transportation, the Argonian's tail will clip through the surface.


See also