Skyrim: 8 Best Weapons [Expert Recommendations]

Skyrim has more than 8 weapons available, but only a few of them are worthy to be called the best of the best.

There is a variety of weapons available in Skyrim. The sheer number of weapons and how difficult some of them are to obtain makes it impossible for the players to test out all of them. Often the players use a weapon that might seem strong on paper but is weak in reality. That is why you should know what are the best Weapons in all of Skyrim.

Best Skyrim Weapons

WeaponsBest ForTypeWeightDamage
Auriel’s BowThe Perfect Weapon For VampiresBow11.015.0
Blade Of WoeHighest Base Damage DaggerDagger7.028-50
Bloodscythe & SoulrenderWeapon With Health Absorbing And Armor Weakening EnchantmentSword10.013.0
Bloodskal BladeHigh Damaging Two Handed GreatswordGreatsword16.021.0
Bow Of ShadowsGreat Weapon For A Stealth ArcherBow18.019.0
Champion’s CudgelWeapon With A High Damage Dealing EnchantmentWarhammer27.024.0
ChillrendHighest Base Damage One-Handed SwordSword16.015.0
DawnbreakerBest Weapon For Battling UndeadsSword10.025.0

Auriel’s Bow

The Perfect Weapon For Vampires
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Auriel’s Bow 13 11 1,000 Gold 20 points of Sun damage. Undead targets take triple damage. Acquired during the main questline of Dawnguard ‘Touching the Sky’.
  • Why I Chose This: The potency this weapon provides against the undead is exceptional.

The first enchantment deals fire damage, and the second inflicts Sun damage on undead thrice, making it a potent bow. Upon acquiring it, special arrows become available: Sunhallowed Arrows emit damaging beams of light and cause AoE sun damage on direct hits. Bloodcursed Arrows obscure the sun, creating a false night where Vampires can attack towns for a day.

The Bow of Auriel is best weapon in Skyrim Special Edition
The Bow of Auriel. [Image by: eXputer]
  • Has unique Arrows that further enhance its utility.
  • Perfect for Vampires as it will cover the sun.
  • Can be used to fire powerful beams of light at opponents.
  • You will get only 20 arrows at a time from Serana or Gelebor.
  • Auriel’s Bow has moderate Base Damage for bows

How To Get

From my experience, it is acquired in the Touching The Sky quest. You will have to go to the Darkfall Cave. There, at the end of the Cave, you kill the Arch-Curate Vyrthur. Then Gelebor will reward you with the Auriel’s Bow.

Blade Of Woe

Highest Base Damage Dagger
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Blade Of Woe 12 7 880 Gold Absorb 10 points of Health. Looted from Astrid’s dead body.
  • Why I Chose This: The high base damage dagger in the game and the ability to absorb HP.

The Blade of Woe features high base damage and absorbs 10 Health per hit, making it effective against armored foes. Dagger users can benefit from the Stealth tree’s perks, dealing up to 15x damage with one strike, offering potent damage potential for stealthy players.

In-game Blade of Woe
The Blade of Woe. [Image by: eXputer]
  • Highest Base Damage among all Daggers.
  • Requires no Ingots to upgrade.
  • You can Pickpocket it from Astrid for acquisition.
  • Mediocre enchantment.

How To Get

Personally, I’ve discovered that you can obtain the Blade of Woe through a few different methods. First, pickpocket it from Astrid, preferably at higher levels. Alternatively, acquire it in the quest ‘With Friends Like These’ by killing Astrid and looting the blade. Lastly, it becomes available for you to collect near the end of the ‘Death Incarnate’ quest.

Bloodscythe & Soulrender

Weapon With Health Absorbing And Armor Weakening Enchantment
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Bloodscythe 13 10 1,859 Gold Absorbs 15 Health and has a chance to weaken the target’s armor when wielded with Soulrender. Wielded by Haknir Deathbrand at Glydenhul Barrow.
  • Why I Chose This: The superiority this weapon provides against mages and armored foes is second to none.

For players who favor dual-wielding weapons and seek an edge against Magicka users, the next best weapon in Skyrim Special Edition offers a compelling option. This weapon not only deals damage but also absorbs Health and Magicka while reducing the target’s defenses, making it an effective choice for quickly dispatching magical foes.

Combo of Bloodscythe and Soulrender in Skyrim's best weapons.
The Bloodscythe and Soulrender combo. [Image by: eXputer]

Stats: Soulrender

  • Base Damage: 13
  • Weight: 10
  • Base Value: 1,000 Gold
  • Enchantment: When wielded with Bloodscythe, absorb 15 Magicka has a chance to lower the target’s magic defense.
  • Location: Looted from Haknir Death-Brand’s skeleton in Gyldenhul Barrow.
  • The Enchantments can prove deadly for enemies.
  • Their Enchantments are perfect against mages or heavy armor enemies.
  • Useless, if not dual-wield.

How To Get

Bloodscythe and Soulrender are found in Gyldenhul Barrow during the Deathbrand quest. Bloodscythe is obtained before facing Haknir Death-Brand’s ghost, while Soulrender is acquired after defeating him. These one-handed swords have 13 base damage and weigh 10, completing the Pirate King armor set upon quest completion.

Bloodskal Blade

High Damaging Two Handed Greatsword
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Bloodskal Blade 21 16 500 Gold Releases energy blast with Power Attacks that deal 30 damage. Found on Gratian Caerellius’ remains in Bloodskal Barrow during ‘The Final Descent’ quest.
  • Why I Chose This: The perfect weapon for swordsman builds and devastating damage-dealing capabilities.

If you are going with a swordsman build then from my experience the Bloodskal Blade is one of the best Two-Handed Greatswords for you. It can deal quite high damage in close combat with enemies. But, there is an additional benefit to its enchantment. It will throw out an arc of red energy in your desired direction.

In-game Bloodskal Blade.
The Bloodskal Blade. [Image by: eXputer]
  • Gives range attacks to melee players.
  • You can Stagger opponents.
  • It doesn’t run out of charge.
  • Cannot be disenchanted.
  • You can’t improve above flawless quality on a grindstone without potions or enchanted items.

How To Get

It becomes available in The Final Descent quest. You’ll find it in the Bloodskal Barrow when you find Gratian Caerellius’ corpse. While acquiring it, you’ll have to use it in one of the puzzles to finish the quest. That in my opinion will be a great introduction to the weapon’s ability.

Bow Of Shadows

Great Weapon For A Stealth Archer
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Bow Of Shadows 19 18 2,500 Gold Weapon draw is 20% faster and casts invisibility for 30 seconds. Acquired during the mod quest ‘In the Shadows’.
  • Why I Chose This: The ideal weapon for stealth archers and the invisibility enchantment which helps a bunch against unnecessary encounters.

The Bow of Shadows is a top choice for stealth archers in Skyrim. Its enchantment grants invisibility for 30 seconds when drawn, allowing for sneaky maneuvers. Additionally, its 20% faster draw speed can be handy in tight situations. You acquire this bow by defeating an assassin.

unique Bow of Shadows.
Bow of Shadows. [Image by: eXputer]
  • You can use its invisibility enchantment to evade unnecessary counters.
  • It has the third-highest base damage among all bows.
  • The Bow of Shadows only becomes available through a quest mod.
  • Sometimes, its invisibility might not work due to a bug.

How To Get

You come across it in the quest ‘In The Shadows’. In that quest, the Steward of Whiterun tells you of a plot to uncover the potential assassination of Jarl Balgruuf. As you go through the quest, you end up in Whiterun, where you must find the Assassin. You can loot the bow from his body when the assassin is killed.

Champion’s Cudgel

Weapon With A High Damage Dealing Enchantment
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Champion’s Cudgel 24 27 1,767 Gold 50% chance for each element of Fire, Frost, or Shock to do 25 points of damage. Defeat and loot General Falx Carius during the ‘March of the Dead’ quest.
  • Why I Chose This: The formidable combat capabilities this weapon provides with a very strong enchantment.

The Champion’s Cudgel has quite a good base damage for a Warhammer, which shows it doesn’t lack in that section. With each strike you perform with it, there is a 50 percent chance it will do 25 points of any or all three elemental attacks. Remember, that is all on top of the Cudgel’s base damage. All in all, from my experience, even one hit will have your opponents running on their heels.

powerful champion's cudgel.
The Champion’s Cudgel. [Image by: eXputer]
  • Has a powerful enchantment.
  • It can be disenchanted to learn the effects.
  • Can’t be improved unless you get the Unofficial Dragonborn Patch.

How To Get

You’ll get the Champion’s Cudgel in the ‘March of the Dead’ quest. When you progress through the quest and get to Fort Frostmoth, you’ll come across General Falx Carius. He’ll be wielding the Champion’s Cudgel so be wary when fighting him to defeat him to loot the Warhammer.

Chillrend

Highest Base Damage One-Handed Sword
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Chillrend 10-15 11-16 552-1,442 Gold Target takes 5-30 points of frost damage to Health and Stamina. Chance to paralyze the target for 2 seconds. Stolen from Mercer Frey’s Manor during the quest ‘The Pursuit’.
Best weapon in Skyrim 2022 Chillrend.
The Chillrend. [Image by: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: The highest damage this weapon provides at level 46.

Chillrend is one of the most powerful one-handed swords in Skyrim, boasting the highest base damage when obtained at player level 46 or higher. Its base damage scales with the player’s level, making it essential to acquire it at a higher level for maximum effectiveness. Waiting until level 46 or above ensures optimal damage output from both the sword and its enchantment.

  • Second highest base damage among all One-handed Swords.
  • Deadly against enemies that take extra frost damage.
  • Benefits from Glass Smithing.
  • Perfect to dual-wield with the Dawnbreaker.
  • You must wait until level 46 or higher to get the best variant.

How To Get

During The Pursuit quest in Riften, head into Mercer Frey’s house and steal his plans. Inside, you’ll discover a secret office with Mercer’s belongings, including the potent Chillrend sword. Pick it up.

Dawnbreaker

Best Weapon For Battling Undeads
Weapon Name Base Damage Weight Base Value Enchantment Location
Dawnbreaker 12 10 740 Gold Burns for 10 points, and when killing undead, a chance to cause a fiery explosion that turns or destroys nearby undead. Acquired during ‘The Break of Dawn’ quest.
  • Why I Chose This: The way this weapon is able to deal with undead enemies and its explosive capabilities.

For those who enjoy exploring crypts and battling undead in dungeons, I discovered that there’s no superior weapon than the Dawnbreaker.

This rare one-handed sword is acquired after aiding a Daedric Prince in the game. While its base damage may not be exceptionally high, its enchantment sets it apart. It inflicts burning damage on enemies and detonates upon striking the undead, making it the ideal sword for hunting vampires or defeating draugrs.

Sword
The Sword Dawnbreaker. [Image by: eXputer]
  • It can be dual-wielded with Chillrend to make the perfect combo.
  • A deadly enchantment against Vampires and undead.
  • Burns everyone else with 10 damage.
  • Low Base Damage.
  • Can’t be improved above flawless without Smithing potions or enchantments.

How To Get

To obtain this sword, complete Skyrim’s quest, “The Break of Dawn,” featuring Meridia’s Beacon. After defeating the necromancer Malkoran, Meridia will instruct you to claim the Dawnbreaker and then this sword becomes yours.

Alternative Picks

Here are some other weapons in Skyrim that I didn’t mention in my list due to specific reasons.

  • Rueful Axe: Higher base damage than most of the weapons but it’s very slow.
  • Ghostblade: Has an armor piercing effect but it is outclassed by other weapons.
  • Glass Sword: A good weapon for light-armor builds but has a slightly lower critical damage.
  • Staff of Paralysis: Has the spell of paralyzing the enemies for 10 seconds but the staff itself doesn’t do any damage.

With that, we conclude our list of Best Weapons of Skyrim Special Edition in 2023. A few of these allow you to make anyone your Wife, such as Serana. These mods can also alter the Armor Cap. Not only that, there are a lot of different methods to earn money. Using the Transmute Spell is one of the best methods for that.

A lot of these weapons have unique enchantments. One will turn you invisible, whereas the other will make literal sun strike the enemy and many more. Now whichever suits you will depend on your needs if you find any great weapon that we have missed let us know.

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Hammad Ijaz is a Guides Writer on eXputer who is into various gaming genres. He has this pure passion for enjoying games and then reflecting that passion back into his writing. Along with a gaming experience of 10+ years, he also has many years of writing experience. Hammad further solidifies his status as a true gamer by showcasing hundreds of hours of game time on Warframe, Witcher 3, and Elden Ring. Feel free to explore his extensive gaming library on Steam.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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