Archery is a popular choice among manySkyrimfans. While the game was initially geared more toward one- or two-handed combat, it quickly became apparent that bows and archery were and are largely mastered compared to pretty much every other character created out there. Not only can an archer do insane amounts of damage, but it's also one of the easiest builds to perfect.
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When you're just starting out in your gaming journey, it's easy to get overwhelmed by how much there is to do when it comes to skill building. Archery is no different in this regard and there are many ways to level, improve, level and manipulate it through various gameplay mechanics. Here's what you need to know about your archery skills.
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The power of archery
If you're relatively new to Skyrim, you might be wondering why archery is such a good choice over any other combat skill. The answer is the total damage you can deal from afar, making you the best sniper assassin in the Elder Scrolls universe. At high level, stealth archers in particular can easily take down enemies with a single arrow.
The Stealth Archer variant in particular is arguably the most popular build among Skyrim players due to the amount of damage it deals. Combine archery with skills like high stealth and high alchemy, and you can dodge your enemies and land critical stealth shots, as well as create deadly poisons to add to your arrows. DiscoverHow to create a powerful stealth archer is in this complete guide.
Basic leveling methods
Since archery is a combat skill, you will have no trouble leveling up. Make sure to use a bow instead of another weapon the first time you encounter each encounter, even if it seems odd at first.
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- Each successful hit on a living or breathing target grants you experience and counts toward your level progression.
- Shooting targets found near Skyrim will not give you any experience.
As with any other skill, you can also turn to a trainer, which we'll come to later in this guide. This requires quite a bit of gold, but some beginner trainers may offer you archery training after you complete a little quest for them.
Finally, archery books are scattered throughout Skyrim, and below is a list of easy places to get your hands on them. It's definitely the slow way to level up your archery skills, but if you're around make sure you pick it up.
To get the most out of skill leveling, you should maximize your experience gain by doing one of the following:
- Sleep in your own bed for a 10% experience boost, or sleep next to a spouse for a 15% experience boost.
- Activate the Lovestone's standing stone for an additional 15% experience boost when learning skills.
- Activate the Thief Stone to get a 20% experience boost to learn archery.
Missions and Achievements
Some quests in Skyrim, upon completion, grant you free training in a specific skill related to the guest giver or the nature of the quest itself. There are quite a few such quests and, as you might expect, there are even two archery quests.
- Archery Practice: Head to Angi's Camp, located southeast of Falkreath. Compete against them and gain 1 Archery skill point each round, up to a total of 6.
- Dragonborn DLC: Help Wulf Wild-Blood find his brother in Skaal Village. After completing the quest, Wulf will improve several of your combat skills, including archery.
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If you really want to speed things up, there are a few moreExploratory or niche methods of moving uparchery. This usually requires you to have access to an essential character or horse marked as essential.
- The Shadowmere Method: After getting Shadowmere from Astrid during the Dark Brotherhood quest, increase the game's difficulty and practice your archery on the horse that will never die.
- The Giant Camp Method: Many giant camps in Skyrim make archery easier due to the nearby rocks and high ground where you can hide while shooting arrows at the giants and mammoths while they can't reach you.
There are five archery books in total in Skyrim, with the exception of Oghma Infinium, which can take the role of any skill book. See the easiest locations to find the following skill books.
- Oghma Infinium: Obtain it during the main quest Discerning the Transmundane and choose the path of power to improve your combat skills and archery.
- Niben's Father: Go west from the northern gates of Riften and reach the Glade of Autumn Shade. After dealing with the enemies, you can loot this book from a dead hunter on the spot.
- The Black Arrow, v2: In Whiterun, on the top shelf behind the cash register in the Drunken Huntsman.
- The Marksmanship Lesson: Head south of the Dragon Bridge and climb a cliff, find the Cliffside Retreat cabin where this book can be found on a shelf.
- The Golden Ribbon of Merit: Found in Angi's Camp on a side table.
- Vermaccus and Bourlor: Two can be found in Dragonsreach in Whiterun. One is in the Jarl's chambers and the other is in the main hall on a bookshelf.
If you have extra gold to spare besides books, it's a good idea to see an archery trainer for some easy extra points for your skills. While some require you to join a specific faction, there are also some that are accessible at early levels.
- Aela the Huntress: Found in Jorrvaskr, she is a member of the Fellowship and an expert-level archery trainer.
- Niruin: A member of the Thieves Guild, she is a master-level Archery Instructor in Riften.
- Sorine Jurard: only available inseen from AuroraDLC, you must join the Dawnguard and complete the A New Order quest before you can be trained by her. She is a master level trainer.
- Angi: Go to Angi's camp near Falkreath and not only will she train you for six levels for free, but she will also provide you with additional training to earn you some gold. She is a master level trainer.
- Faendal: foundin Riverwood, he is only an Adept-level trainer but available early in the game.
Strengthening of bow and arrow
Archery pairs well with alchemy in general, not only for the poisons you can craft to create deadly arrows, but also for the powerful empowering potions you can craft to increase your overall damage. When looking for ingredients, prioritize these to craft an Archery Boost Potion:
- No spin
- root kennel
- juniper berries
For those who have the Dawnguard DLC installed, be sure to also grab Auriel's Blessing, which can be found in the Darkfall Cavern and Inner Sanctum of Auri-Els Chantry. Blessing increases your archery by 10 points.
Better bows and unique equipment
There are 13 different unique arcs in Skyrim, but only a few of them are really worthwhile. If you want to get a decent one-of-a-kind bow fast, here are these enchanted parts.
- Nightingale Bow: Best bow in total damage (19 counts) in the game, you must finish itThieves Guildquest line to get your hands on it.
- Stag Prince's Glass Bow: While its enchantment isn't great, it does decent damage (16 counts) and can be purchased from Falas Selvayn, located in the Ramshackle Trading Post in the Dragonborn DLC.
- Gauldur Blackbow: Complete the Forbidden Legend quest and loot it from Sigdis Gauldursson's corpse. With 14 base damage and the ability to absorb 30 of the target's magicka, it's a solid bow for any archer, similar to the Drainspell Bow, which is its weaker version.
- Firiniels Ende: during theDark BrotherhoodMission that involves the murder of Vittoria Vici, the arch is located on the balcony of the Dour Castle, in front of the balcony where Vici will address her guests. It deals a modest 13 points of damage, but also 20 points of cold damage to health and stamina.
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A good archer is not only dependent on his bow. It's important to make sure you also have the right equipment for the job. For some ideal archery enchanted gear, check out these pieces.
- Shrouded Cowl: Once you join the Dark Brotherhood and enter Falkreath Sanctuary, you'll find a full set of your armor, including this hood, on a shelf. Increases bow damage by 20%.
- Ancient Shrouded Cowl: This is a variant of Shrouded Cowl that deals 35% more damage to bows. To do this, contact Olava the Weak after killing Gaius Marov. The Hood is in a hidden room in Hag's End.
- Gauntlets of the Old Gods: These gauntlets grant the wearer an additional 20% more bow damage. To get them, complete the quest No One Escapes Cidhna Mine and side with Madanach.
- cross:one of the toughest dragon priests, Krosis can be fought at Shearpoint, a mountain peak between Whiterun and Windhelm on the south side of the river. Defeat Krosis and loot his mask, which grants you 20% more alchemy, archery and lockpicking.
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Faendal from Riverwood can start you off with basic training and Aela of The Companions from Whiterun can teach you advanced Archery skills. If you happen to pick up a magical item which increases your Archery skills as loot in one of your adventures.Who is the best archery teacher in Skyrim? ›
Faendal from Riverwood can start you off with basic training and Aela of The Companions from Whiterun can teach you advanced Archery skills. If you happen to pick up a magical item which increases your Archery skills as loot in one of your adventures.Does using a crossbow increase archery level Skyrim? ›
Crossbows can help the Dragonborn raise their Archery level much faster than most bows. Zooming in and slowing down time can be done with crossbows by pressing the corresponding button, provided the relevant perks are selected.Where are the archery trainers in Skyrim? ›
Angie's Camp is a small shack located in Southern Skyrim. You can find it by traveling South of Falkreath. There is a archery minigame for leveling up archery.What is the fastest one handed leveling in Skyrim? ›
The fastest method for levelling One Handed is to attack a target which can take damage, but can't be killed, such as Shadowmere. The experience depends specifically on the base damage of the weapon you use to deal the damage, and not the damage received by the thing you're attacking.What is the most powerful bow in Skyrim? ›
1 Dwarven Black Bow Of Fate
The Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is a weapon added to Skyrim in the Dragonborn DLC, and it has the strongest effect for any bow you can craft or obtain. This weapon's effect gives you a 50 percent chance to take 25 points of HP, stamina, and Magicka from a damaged enemy.
1 Best: Bosmer (Wood Elf)
If players are wary in enclosed spaces and plan an escape route if foes are alerted, a Bosmer character is a fine choice for an archery build.
Smithing + Alchemy + honed metal for enchantement.... you will not have any issue to reach endgame. 3 crafting skills is a total overkill. I beat all the game without any crafting with a Bound bow.What is the best amulet for archers in Skyrim? ›
10 Kyne's Token
This amulet is especially handy for those archers who also happen to be hunters. It grants protection against animal attacks on top of a modest bonus to the Archery skill. It's ideal for a relative novice looking to refine their Archery skill by using live wolves as target practice.
As the bow is shot, the string on a conventional compound bow pushes the arrow more than twice the distance as when a crossbow is shot. Therefore, to produce the same arrow speeds, a crossbow must have more than twice the draw weight of a compound bow.
With a Grand soul, 100 levels in enchanting, and the appropriate perks you can get a 40% fortify archer per item. This can be further increased with fortify enchanting potions.Does a crossbow do more damage than a power 5 bow? ›
In terms of power, crossbows are more powerful than bows. They deal between 6 and 11 attack damage, compared to bows which deal 1–10 attack damage. In terms of recharge time, bows are better. ... Additionally crossbows have 3 extra enchantments: Quick Charge, Multishot, and Piercing.Is there a dragon bow in Skyrim? ›
The Dragonbone Bow is one of the most powerful bows in Skyrim, but with some crafting and enchanting, it can become even more deadly.Is there a Nightingale Bow in Skyrim? ›
The Nightingale Bow is a reward for completing the Thieves' Guild quest Blindsighted. Note: The base weapon damage and both aspects of the enchantment scale with the player's level upon recieving the item.What Stone in Skyrim helps archery? ›
The Thief Stone will grant a 20% bonus to Archery, Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Picking Pockets, Sneak, and Speech.What should I level up as an archer in Skyrim? ›
Since archery is a combat ability, you won't struggle leveling it up. Make sure that in every encounter right off the bat you use a bow instead of any other weapon, even if at first it might feel awkward to you. Any successful hit on a living or live target grants you experience, and counts towards your level progress.What is the cheat for archery skill in Skyrim? ›
multiply 25 by 43 (number given below) = 1075, then use player.advskill "marksman" 1075 to advance the archery skill-level.How many iron daggers does it take to get smithing to 100? ›
TIL it takes 2338 iron daggers to get a Nord's base smithing skill of 20 up to 100. : r/skyrim.Which stone improves archery? ›
The Thief Stone improves stealth associated skills 20% faster. The Thief skills are: Archery †