The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim offers players a lot of choices when it comes to different playstyles and builds. Being an Archer in Skyrim can be quite effective and fun if you have the right items and gear. However, with so many options available, it can get confusing for the players to choose the right armor, weapons, and items for their Archer build.
So, if you want to know about the best weapons, armor, and items for an Archer in Skyrim, we have this list for you. Naturally, it’s not mandatory to have all of these items, as it will also depend on what exactly you are looking for in your Archer Build. These items usually work great for Archers.
A light armor that compliments archer builds for beginners. This armor can be found in containers at random and can be seen being worn by enemies after you complete the quest “Double-Edged.” You can even pick it up off the dead Zaharia at the end of the quest. This armor offers sufficient smithing and is a good armor as it is also enchanted. At the start of the game, players even tend to use Leather Scout Armor’s item ID (xxxxx801) to unlock this armor as soon as possible due to its archer and sneak buffs along with armor points. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is one of the armor you find in the beginning of the game, as it has stats comparable to Elven armor.
Gauntlets of God are a part of the Armor of the Old Gods set. Why we are only discussing the gauntlets is that it grants players with a Fortify Archery buff and for that, you don’t need the whole set. The Gauntlets focus on Archery alone, giving a significant 20% increase in bow damage. This set is obtained by players before the end of the quest “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine”.
Zephyr arguably has the best rate of fire for any Dwarven Bow in Skyrim. And we all can tell how important the rate of fire can be for an Archer. Zephyr can be quite effective when you fire arrows in quick succession at charging enemies. You can get this bow during the “Lost To The Ages” quest. You will find the bow near Katria’s body.
If you want to amplify the damage of your arrows, poisons are quite useful for Archers. Your Alchemy skill will come in handy in crafting different types of poisons. The damage over time these poisons offer can be very useful, especially against tougher enemies. You can craft some effective poisons using Imp Stool, Poison Bloom, and Netch Jelly.
Glass Bow of the Stag Prince has pretty decent damage, and the reason it stands in the list of top bows in the game is because of its unique enchantment. The user of this bow receives a blessing of health and stamina for a certain amount of animal kills done by this bow. You start with +5 points to health and stamina and upon every 20 kills, the number is increased by 5 until it reaches a maximum of +25 points for health and stamina. This bow can be acquired at the Ramshackle Trading Post on Solstheim. You have to make your way there around midnight till 6 am when the merchant Falas Selvayn is available there.
This is an Amulet given to players upon completion of the quest “Kyne’s Sacred Trials”. It is awarded by Froki Whetted-Blade. This amulet is suited for an Archer build as it is lightweight and grants some level of protection from animal attacks. It also grants a significant boost to your Archery Skill.
The basic Crossbow can be found at Fort Dawnguard when you become a member of the Dawnguard. It is to be noted that you will have to have the Dawnguard DLC to attain this weapon. But you cannot go wrong with this crossbow. Not only does it do a decent amount of damage, but this crossbow comes with a 50% stagger chance. Apart from that, it is a crossbow so your reload timing is fairly cut down, and your trajectory is increased in comparison to simple bows. Another positive aspect of this weapon is that it can be easily upgraded.
A light armor hood that increases your bow damage by 15% and weighs at almost the lowest possible points. This hood is fairly easy to attain and a useful addition to your Archer build in Skyrim. To get your hands on this hood, you have to continue doing the Summerset Shadows quest of the Thieves Guild for Vex. During the quest, you will find this hood on Linwe’s corpse.
This Cowl is obtained when players join the Dark Brotherhood and complete the “With Friends Like This” quest. This is a base cowl with another variant given to players later on in the questline. But that does not mean this cowl is worth any less. The Shrouded Cowl worn alone is enough to grant 20% damage boost to bows. Wear it along with the rest of the Shrouded armor set and your character has increased muffle along with a decent armor rating as well. What stands out as a positive about the Shrouded armor is the light weight which makes it perfect for an Archer or Assassin build.
You can become a ruthless Mage by joining your archery skills with your magic skills. Use ‘Restore Magicka’ enchantments on your bow and replenish your emptied magicka bar by striking down enemies with it.
The Krosis Mask, also known as The Dragon Priest Mask, offers huge bonuses to players. Not only does it amplify your archery skills, but it also grants bonuses on Alchemy and Lock Picking skills by 20%. To obtain the mask, you have to defeat Krosis himself at the top of the Southeast mountains of Dawnstar at Shearpoint. What brings this mask to the top of the list is the fact that even after giving a good amount of advantages, there is room for upgrading by smithing.
Enchanted Dragonscale Armor
Dragonscale armor is arguably one of the best armor sets in the game. It comes in light and heavy armor depending on what type you wish to use, but for archers, it is the light armor. This armor set can be crafted but requires a Smithing skill level of 100. The further upgrading of this armor requires an additional 1 Dragonscale per item. This armor can be made into an archer-friendly armor by using Arcane Enchanter and applying the following enchantments:
- Archery (Increase bow damage)
- The Squire (Boost Light Armor skill)
- Conjuration (Allows casting of Bound Bow spell)
The Dwarven Black Bow is the ultimate all-rounder bow in Skyrim. This bow absorbs Health, Magicka and Stamina of the Emeines it takes down, making it the ideal weapon to carry. Such a bow comes in handy when players run into a scenario where their stat bars are low. This bow is located inside Kagrumez, south of Solstheim. Players must first complete the quest “The Kagrumez Gauntlet” and complete a series of puzzles in the ruin along with finding Resonance Gems around the area.
Ancient Shrouded Cowl is the upgraded version of Shrouded Cowl. If you don’t think Shrouded Cowl is good enough, you should consider using Ancient Shrouded Cowl. It gives a whopping 35% increase in bow damage while also granting a 15 rating on Armor. This Cowl aligned with the rest of the Áncient Shrouded armor set gives a passive bonus of +25 to armor. Being light in weight, this set is definitely one of the best armor sets for Archer builds. You can obtain this armor set by completing the side quest “Locate the Assassin of Old” from the Dark Brotherhood. This quest can be accepted by Olava the Feeble only when the bonus requirement of “Breaching Security” is met.
This bow has a base damage of 13 and also does 20 points of sun damage. Firing at undead enemies grants a boost of x3 to that sun damage. The unique enchantments of this bow allow quick firing. This Bow can be acquired after defeating ‘Arch-Curate Vyrthur’ at the end of “Touching the Sky.”
An amazing feat of this bow is the effect of Sunhallowed Elven Arrows (Firing an arrow into the sun will rain powerful beams of light onto the enemies) and Bloodcursed Elven Arrows (Firing an arrow into the sun will create darkness during the day).
Nightingale Bow can deal a lot of base damage to enemies and also inflicts some points of frost and shock damage at the highest level of the weapon. It’s important to note that Nightingale Bow will gain more levels as you use it and its stats will improve. At level 46, it also slows down the enemy, which is a vital factor for an archer. This bow also has the fastest rate of fire in Skyrim. To obtain this bow, players must complete the Thieves Guild quest “Blindsighted.”