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Skyrim: How to join the Stormcloaks Faction

Channel your inner fantasy rebel.

Checking out the new versions of Skyrim on Switch and PS VR? Good on you - here's a faction you might want to give some thought to. If law and order as part of the great Imperial Regime isn't to your tastes, the Stormcloaks might well be the faction for you. Led by Ulfric Stormcloak, this group aims to overthrow imperial rule of Skyrim.

As Dragonborn, you can side with either the Imperial Legion or with the Stormcloaks, and so that makes your choice of faction all the more important. You can actually make this choice a little time after coming into contact with both factions, but you can also plainly align yourself with one or the other from moment one. Here's how to join up with the Stormcloaks.

How to join the Stormcloaks

  • If you choose to follow Ralof during the game's opening tutorial mission, he will invite you to join the Stormcloaks. You can also be invited to join by random NPCs, so keep an eye out. Failing that, you can just pay the faction a visit.
  • To get the ball rolling, head to Windhelm. This is the Stormcloaks' stronghold, so you'll see a lot of them here. You'll want to look for a chap called Galmar Stone-Fist - he'll test you to see if you fit the bill.


  • As part of his quest you'll have to head to an island that's near the College of Winterhold and kill a specific enemy. Do this and return - you'll be rewarded Stormcloak Armor and join the faction. This gives you full access to their quest line and other perks.
  • As mentioned earlier, the Stormcloaks are in direct competition with the Imperial Legion, and so joining one will block the other. All related achievements can be unlocked with either of the factions, however. At one point both sides will seek out The Jagged Crown in a quest titled the same. At this point you can switch sides if you're so inclined - grab the crown and return it to your faction of choice. This choice is final.

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters like Pokemon Go, hardware, Japanese RPGs and fighting games, and outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated outlet RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whiskey buff.

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