The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will introduce players to a more dynamic quest system than seen in Morrowind and Oblivion. In addition to the quests marked "important" to the storyline (i.e. necessary to progress through the main game), players can still engage in optional sub-quests to increase their enjoyment of the game.

In Skyrim, optional quests are more randomized in nature thanks to the new "Radiant Story" engine component developed by Bethesda. These quests can be automatically adjusted and "tailored" to the player character's current status and reputation, allowing for more adventures that are better related to the player. For example, the player may have their assistance requested or they may even be challenged as a result of their proficiency in a given skill. The player can make friends or foes of NPCs in this way.

There will also be more branching points for sidequests compared to the main storyline quest.

Quests may be dynamically triggered or altered based on the actions of the player, sometimes in real-time.