Skyrim: Archery Talent Information – Trainers, Quick Leveling, And Extra
Archery is a popular choice with many Skyrim fans. Although the game was originally geared more towards one-handed and two-handed combat, it quickly became clear that archery and archery were and remain wildly overwhelmed compared to almost every other character out there. Not only can an archer deal an insane amount of damage, but it’s also one of the easiest builds to perfect.
Once you start your journey in the game it is easy to get overwhelmed by how much there is to do when it comes to developing skills. Archery is no different in this regard and there are many ways to improve, improve, level and manipulate it through various mechanics in the game. Here’s what you need to know about your archery skills.
The strength of archery
If you’re relatively new to Skyrim, you might be wondering why archery goes so well with any other fighting skill. The answer is the sheer damage you can deal from a distance, making you the ultimate sniper assassin in the Elder Scrolls universe. At a high level, stealthy archers in particular can easily defeat enemies with a single arrow.
In particular, the Stealth Archer variant is without a doubt the most popular version among Skyrim players as it does a lot of damage. Combine archery with skills like high stealth and high alchemy and you’ll be able to dodge your enemies and hit critical stealth shots, as well as craft deadly poisons to replenish your arrows. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to create a powerful stealth archer.
Basic leveling methods
Since archery is a combat skill, you will have no trouble improving it. Make sure to use a bow instead of another weapon the first time you encounter, even if you may feel uncomfortable at first.
- Every successful hit on a living or living target grants you experience and counts towards your level progress.
- Shooting targets around Skyrim will not grant you any experience.
As with any other skill, you can also consult with a trainer whom we will cover later in this guide. This takes a bit of gold, but some trainers can offer archery training early on after doing a little search for them.
After all, archery books are strewn all over Skyrim, and below is a list of easy places to get your hands on them. It’s definitely the slow way to hone your archery, but if you happen to be around make sure you pick it up.
To get the most out of your skills, maximize your experience gain by doing one of the following:
- Sleep in your own bed for 10% more experience or sleep next to a spouse for 15% more experience.
- Activate the lover’s standing stone for an additional 15% experience boost when learning skills.
- Activate the thief to gain 20% more experience in learning to archery.
Quests and exploits
Some quests in Skyrim will give you free training in a specific skill upon completion, related to the host or the nature of the quest itself. There are quite a few such quests out there, and as you’d expect, there are even two archery quests.
- Archery: Go to Angi’s camp southeast of Falkreath. Compete against them and with each round you will receive one archery skill point 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 some of your combat skills, including archery.
If you’re really trying to speed things up, there are some more exploitative or niche ways to improve your archery. These usually require access to an essential character or horse identified as essential.
- The Shadowmere Method: After getting Shadowmere from Astrid during the Dark Brotherhood quest line, increase the difficulty of the game and practice your archery on the horse that will never die.
- The Giant Camp Method: Many of the giant camps in Skyrim offer easy archery practice sites due to the nearby rocks and high ground where you can hide if you throw arrows at the giants and mammoths while they cannot reach you.
There are a total of five archery books in Skyrim, with the exception of the Oghma Infinium, which can take on the role of any skill book. Here’s the easiest places to find these skill books below.
- Oghma Infinium: Get it during the main quest Recognizing the Transmundan and choose the path of power to improve your combat skills and archery.
- Father of the Niben: Head west from the north gates of Riften and you will reach Autumnshade Clearing. After dealing with the enemies, you can loot this book from a dead local hunter.
- The Black Arrow, v2: in Whiterun, on the top shelf behind the Drunken Huntsman’s cash register.
- The Marksmanship Lesson: Head south from Dragon Bridge and up a cliff. Find the Cliffside Retreat Cabin that has this book on a shelf in it.
- The golden merit ribbon: found in Angi’s warehouse on a side table.
- Vermaccus and Bourlor: Two can be found at Dragonsreach in Whiterun. One is in Jarl’s Quarters and the other is in a bookcase in the main hall.
Books aside, it is a good idea to visit an archery instructor for a few simple extra points for your skills when you have extra gold to spare. While some require you to join a specific faction, there are some that are accessible at early levels as well.
- Aela the Huntress: Found in Jorrvaskr, she is a member of the Companions and an archery expert.
- Niruin: She is a member of the thieves’ guild and a master-level archery trainer in Riften.
- Sorine Jurard: Only available in the Dawnguard DLC. You must join the Dawnguard and complete the A New Order quest before you can be trained by her. She is a master trainer.
- Angi: Go to Angi’s camp near Falkreath and she will not only train you for six levels for free, but also offer you additional training for some gold afterwards. She is a master trainer.
- Faendal: Found in Riverwood, he’s only an adept-level trainer but available early in the game.
Archery usually goes well with alchemy, not only because of the poisons you can craft to make deadly arrows, but also because of the powerful buff potions you can make yourself to boost your overall damage. When looking for ingredients, prioritize them for making an archery potion:
- Spider egg
- Canis root
- Elf ear
- Juniper berries
If you have the Dawnguard DLC installed, you should also claim the blessings of Auriel in the Darkfall Cave and the inner sanctuary of Auri-El’s Chantry. The boon increases your archery by 10 points.
Best unique bows and gear
There are 13 different unique arches in Skyrim, but only a handful of them are actually worth it. If you’re looking for a decent, one-of-a-kind bow quick, this is where these enchanted pieces are found.
- Nightingale Bow: The best bow in the game in terms of sheer damage (19 points). You have to complete the Thieves Guild questline to get your hands on it.
- Stag Prince’s Glass Arch: While its enchantment isn’t great, it does decent damage (16 points) and can be bought from Falas Selvayn, located at the Ramshackle Trading Post in the Dragonborn DLC.
- Gauldur Blackbow: Complete the Forbidden Legend quest and loot it from Sigdi Gauldursson’s corpse. With 14 base damage and the ability to absorb 30 magicka from the target, it’s a solid bow for any archer, similar to the Drainspell bow which is its weaker version.
- Firiniel’s End: During the Dark Brotherhood quest in which Vittoria Vici is murdered, the arch is on the balcony of Castle Dour opposite the balcony on which Vici addresses her guests. It does a modest 13 damage, but does 20 frost damage to health and stamina.
A good archer doesn’t just rely on his bow. It’s important to make sure you have the right equipment for the job, too. For some enchanted gear ideal for archers, check out these pieces.
- Wrapped Hood: Once you’ve joined the Dark Brotherhood and entered the Sanctuary of Falkreath, a full set of their armor, including this hood, will be on a shelf. It increases bow damage by 20%.
- Ancient Shrouded Cowl: This is a variant of the Shrouded Cowl with a 35% damage boost for bows. To get it, be sure to consult Olava the Feeble after killing Gaius Marow. The hood is in a hidden room at Hag’s End.
- Gauntlets of the old gods: These gauntlets grant the wearer an additional damage boost of 20% with bows. To get it, complete the quest “Nobody Escape the Cidhna Mine” and be on Madanach’s side.
- Krosis: Krosis, one of the toughest dragon priests, 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 gives you 20% more alchemy, archery and lock picking.
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Tea lover and video game enthusiast, writing enthusiast with her own Overwatch team. Anastasia writes about games that leave an impression on her and keep her coming back time and again.
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