In Skyrim, you have just three main attributes. Each is represented by a colored bar that appears at the bottom of the screen whenever the attribute is at less than 100%.
- The total damage you can take before dying
- Represented by a red bar at the bottom center of the screen
- Regenerates 0.70% of your maximum health each second outside of combat and 0.49% inside combat
- The magical energy used to cast spells
- Represented by a blue bar at the bottom left of the screen
- Regenerates 3.00% of your maximum magicka each second outside of combat and 0.99% inside combat
- Your physical energy, used for sprinting and making power attacks (among other things)
- Represented by a green bar at the bottom right of the screen
- Regenerates 5.00% of your maximum stamina each second outside of combat and 1.75% inside combat
Each time you level up, you can choose to increase one attribute by ten points. You must increase an attribute when you level up; you cannot save up attribute increases (although you may postpone increases by not opening the skills menu).
The following values are derived from your main attributes:
- Carry Weight (a.k.a. Encumbrance): the total weight of items that you can carry. Choosing to increase stamina upon leveling up will also increase your total carrying capacity by 5. Carry Weight is derived from your base stamina, and as such, anything that boosts your stamina will not increase your carry weight.
- The attributes from previous Elder Scrolls games (i.e., Strength, Intelligence, etc.) do not exist in Skyrim.
- Unlike Morrowind and Oblivion, the skills that you increase have no effect on attribute increases.
- The Altmer, or High Elves, are the only race that have a natural attribute bonus (an extra 50 magicka).
- The regeneration rate of the three attributes is a percentage of your maximum health, magicka or stamina. This means that the amount of health, magicka or stamina that you regenerate per second becomes larger as you increase an attribute. This means boosts to the attribute and fortify attribute regeneration should be equally weighted for maximum absolute rate of regeneration.
- The only Standing Stone that provides an attribute increase is the Atronach Stone.