Skyrim: Archery Skills Guide - Trainers, Fast Leveling, and More (2023)

VonAnastasia Maillot

Do you want to be good at archery in Skyrim? It's a popular choice. Here's how to be good at it.

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Archery is a popular choice among manySkyrimfans. Although the game was initially geared more towards one- and two-handed combat, it quickly became clear that bows and archery were and are enormously overpowered compared to almost any other character build. Not only can an archer do an incredible amount of damage, but it's also one of the easiest builds to perfect.

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When you're just starting your journey in the game, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to do when it comes to skill building. Archery is no different in this regard and there are many ways to improve, enhance, level and manipulate it through various in-game mechanics. Here's what you need to know about your archery skills.


The power of archery

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If you're relatively new to Skyrim, you might be wondering why archery is such a good choice over almost every other combat skill. The answer is the tremendous damage you can inflict from afar, making you the ultimate sniper assassin in the Elder Scrolls universe. At high level, stealth archers in particular can easily defeat enemies with a single arrow.

The Stealth Archer variant in particular is without a doubt 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 perform stealth critical shots, as well as create deadly poisons to add to your arrows. DiscoverHow to create a powerful stealth archer check out this complete guide.

Basic leveling methods

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Since Archery is a combat skill, you won't have any problem leveling it up. Make sure you use a bow instead of a different weapon in every encounter from the start, even if it feels awkward at first.

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  • Each successful hit on a living or living target grants you experience and counts toward your level progression.
  • Shooting targets in Skyrim does not grant you experience.
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As with any other skill, you can also consult a trainer, which we will discuss later in this guide. This requires quite a bit of gold, but some beginner trainers may offer archery training after you do a little search for them.

Finally, archery books are scattered throughout Skyrim, and below is a list of easy places to get them. It's definitely the slow way to level up your archery, but if you come across one nearby be sure to pick it up.

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To best improve your skills, 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 your spouse for a 15% experience boost.
  • Activate the Lovestone's standing stone to gain an additional 15% experience boost when learning skills.
  • Activate Thief Stone to get a 20% experience boost to learn archery.
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Quests and exploits

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Some quests in Skyrim, upon completion, grant you free training in a specific skill related to the guest or the nature of the quest itself. There are quite a few such quests, and unsurprisingly there are even two archery quests.

  • Archery Practice - Go to Angi's Camp, which is 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 more.Exploitation or niche methods to risearchery. They usually require you to have access to an essential character or horse marked as essential.

  • The Shadowmere Method - After obtaining Shadowmere from Astrid during the Dark Brotherhood quest line, increase the game difficulty and practice your archery on the horse that will never die.
  • The Giant Camp Method – Many giant camps in Skyrim make easy archery training locations 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.

Archery books

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There are five archery books in total in Skyrim, with the exception of Oghma Infinium, which can take the role of any skill book. These are the easiest to find locations in the skill books below.

  • Oghma Infinium - Get it during the Discerning the Transmundane main quest and choose Path of Might to improve your combat skills and archery.
  • Father of the Niben - Head west from the northern gates of Riften and reach the Autumn Glade. After dealing with the enemies, you can loot this book from a dead hunter at the crime scene.
  • The Black Arrow, v2 - In Whiterun, on the top shelf behind the cash register in Drunken Huntsman.
  • The Aiming Lesson: Head south from the Dragon Bridge and up a cliff and you'll find the Cliffside Retreat shack, which has this book 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 quarters and the other in the main hall in a bookshelf.

Archery trainer

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Books aside, if you have extra gold to spare, it's a good idea to see an archery coach for some easy extra points for your skills. While some require you to join a specific faction, there are also some that are accessible in the 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 trainer in Riften.
  • Sorine Jurard: available solo inthe dawn watchDLC, you must join the Dawnguard and complete the A New Order mission before being trained by her. She is a master level trainer.
  • Angi - Head to Angi's camp near Falkreath and not only will she train you for six levels for free, but she will also offer additional training for some gold. She is a master level trainer.
  • Faendal: foundund Riverwood, he is only an adept level trainer but accessible from the beginning of the game.


strengthening archery

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Archery generally pairs well with alchemy, not only because of the poisons you can craft to create deadly arrows, but also the powerful buff potions you can craft to increase your overall damage. Prioritize these when looking for ingredients to make a Fortify Archery Potion:

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  • No spin
  • canis root
  • Elfenohr
  • juniper berries

For those who have the Dawnguard DLC installed, be sure to also get Auriel's Blessing, located in the Darkfall Cave and Inner Sanctum of Auri-Els Chantry. The blessing increases your archery by 10 points.

The best bows and unique equipment

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There are 13 different unique arcs in Skyrim, but only a handful of them are really worth your time. If you want to get a decent, one-of-a-kind bow fast, here are these enchanted pieces.

  • Nightingale Bow - the best bow in terms of total damage (19 counts) in the game that you need to finishthe Thieves GuildSearch line to get your hands on it.
  • Crystal Bow of the Stag Prince - Although its enchantment isn't very good, it does decent damage (16 counts) and can be bought from Falas Selvayn, located in the Abandoned Trading Post in the Dragonborn DLC.
  • Gauldur Blackbow - Complete the Forbidden Legend quest and remove it from Sigdis 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, its weaker version.
  • End of Firiniel: during thedark BrotherhoodIn the search for Vittoria Vici's murder, the arch is on Castle Dour's balcony, opposite the balcony where Vici will address her guests. It deals a modest 13 damage but also deals 20 Frost damage to health and stamina.

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A good archer will not simply trust his bow. It's also important to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Enchanted gear, ideal for archers, can be found in these parts.

  • Shrouded Cowl - Once you've joined the Dark Brotherhood and entered Falkreath's sanctum, you'll find a full set of their armor on a shelf, including this hood. Increases bow damage by 20%.
  • Ancient Wrapped Hood - This is a variant of the Wrapped Hood with a 35% increase in 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 user an additional 20% damage increase with bows. 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 a 20% boost to Alchemy, Archery, and Lockpicking.
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