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Bows (Skyrim)

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Auriels bow
For bows in other games, see Bow.

A bow is a flexible, bent or curved ranged weapon, strung taut from end to end with a string. Arrows are nocked into the string and then drawn. The arrow is then released and the string pushes the arrow forward.

Bows are found throughout Skyrim and are a common weapon, with many types varying in damage, arrow speed, weight, fire rate, and value.

Improvement and damageEdit

The damage of a bow varies from bow to bow, with the Long Bow being the weakest and Dragonbone (Dawnguard only) being the strongest. Every bow's damage is governed by perks and the level of the Archery skill, but there are multiple other ways to increase a bow's damage.

SmithingEdit

Almost all bows can be tempered using grindstones found near or around blacksmiths and other locations. Depending on the material of the bow, a bow may be improved with Firewood or the appropriate ingot to increase the damage of the bow. Depending on perks and level of the smithing skill, bows can be made increasingly more powerful.

EnchantingEdit

Bows may also be enchanted with weapon enchantments for a variety of different effects. The strength of the enchantment depends on the size of the soul used, the number of usages per charge and the level of the enchanting skill. Fire, frost, and shock enchantments also depend on the level of the Destruction skill.

AlchemyEdit

Fortify archery potions can be created to temporarily increase the Archery skill tree.

Weight and fire rateEdit

The weight of the bow also dictates the effort required to pull the string back, or "draw", meaning that the heavier the bow, the longer it will take, and the more damage the shot will do. The lightest bow is 5WeightIcon and can fire 0.55 shots every second (1.818 seconds before 1 shot).

Starting at 5WeightIcon, each additional unit of weight added to the bow subtracts another 0.0125 shots/second, so a bow weighing 6WeightIcon fires 0.5375 shots/second (1.86 seconds/shot).

The fire rates between 5WeightIcon and 6WeightIcon may seem insignificant, but the difference becomes much more noticeable with heavier bows. The Dragonbone Bow, for example, is the heaviest bow weighing in at 20WeightIcon; and fires at a rate of 0.3624 shots/second (2.759 seconds/shot).

The overall draw speed can be calculated by the equation:

full draw time = 0.4s + 1.66s / (weapon speed * (1 + Quick Shot perk))

As weight and quality of the bow's construction material are directly proportional, it is important to note that the better the material (i.e., Glass, or Daedric), the slower the draw speed, and thus the lower the fire rate.

The three fastest bows in the game in terms of draw speed share a common speed of 1.0, the fastest speed: Zephyr, from the Dawnguard quest Lost to the Ages; Auriel's Bow, acquired at the end of the Dawnguard quest Touching the Sky; and Froki's Bow, a unique long bow found in Graywinter Watch that is obtained at the end of Kyne's Sacred Trials.

Arrow velocityEdit

The velocity at which a bow shoots an arrow is inversely proportional to the bow's fire rate. In other words, the greater the fire rate of the bow, the lower the velocity.

Usually this means that the heavier the bow, the greater the velocity of the shot. However there are two exceptions to this rule. In the case of Zephyr, a unique bow weighing 10WeightIcon and which fires 30% faster than other Dwarven Bows, arrows fired from this bow will travel slower than even a Hunting Bow which weighs 7WeightIcon. This is due to Zephyr's previously mentioned unique enchantment. Also the Dragonbone Bow weighs 20, that is one more than the Daedric Bow, and the arrows have a lower velocity than those fired from a Daedric Bow.

Though the velocity depends on the fire rate, the velocity is not hindered by the quick shot perk.

RangeEdit

Bows have two types of range, arc range and maximum range. The former varies from bow to bow and is directly proportional to the bow's firing velocity. Arrows fired from a low velocity bow will come down in an arc earlier than arrows fired from a high velocity bow. To compensate for this shorter range, low velocity bows must be angled higher to hit targets at range.

The latter type of range, or maximum range, is a universal range between bows. After traveling a certain distance, somewhere around 60 - 65 yards, all arrows have a damage of 0. Arrows at this distance will most of the time clip through (pass through) enemies and land on the other side having done no damage. This will still cause animals and characters to become aware of the player character's presence and search for them, however this will not cause friendly characters to become hostile.

BowsEdit

Name DamageIcon WeightIcon GoldIcon Speed Upgrade Perk Item ID
Ancient Nord Bow 8 12 45 0.875 Steel Ingot Steel 000302CA
Angi's Bow 7 7 50 0.937 Steel Ingot Steel 000CC392
Auriel's Bow DG 13 11 1000 1.0 Refined Moonstone Elven xx000800
Bow of the Hunt 10 7 434 0.937 Steel Ingot Steel 000AE087
Daedric Bow 19 18 2500 0.50 Ebony Ingot Daedric 000139B5
Dragonbone Bow DG 20 20 2725 0.75 Dragon Bone Dragon xx0176F1
Drainspell Bow 14 6 458 0.875 N/A - 000F82FC
Dravin's Bow 7 7 50 0.937 Leather Strips Steel 0006B9AD
Dwarven Bow 12 10 270 0.750 Dwarven Metal Ingot Dwarven 00013995
Dwarven Black Bow of Fate DB 13 10 1446 0.750 Dwarven Metal Ingot Dwarven xx02C01A
Ebony Bow 17 16 1440 0.562 Ebony Ingot Ebony 000139AD
Elven Bow 13 12 470 0.687 Refined Moonstone Elven 0001399D
Falmer Bow 12 15 135 0.75 Chaurus Chitin None 00038340
Falmer Supple Bow 15 20 410 0.75 N/A - 00083167
Firiniel's End 13 12 785 0.687 Refined Moonstone Elven 00017059
Forsworn Bow 12 11 145 0.875 Steel Ingot Steel 000CEE9B
Froki’s Bow 6 5 307 1.0 Iron Ingot None 000C0186
Gauldur Blackbow 8 12 253 0.875 Steel Ingot Dwarven Level 1 - 11: 000A5DEF
8 12 407 0.875 Level 12 - 18: 000F5D1F
14 18 530 0.875 Level 19 - 26: 000F5D20
14 18 750 0.875 Level 27 - 35: 000F5D21
14 18 972 0.875 Level 36+: 000F5D22
Glass Bow 15 14 820 0.625 Refined Malachite Glass 000139A5
Glass Bow of the Stag Prince DB 16 14 375 0.625 Refined Malachite Glass xx018ED5
Hunting Bow 7 7 50 0.937 Leather Strips Steel 0010E2DD
Imperial Bow 9 8 90 0.75 Steel Ingot None 00013841
Karliah's Bow 25 9 5 0.625 N/A - 000DEED8
Long Bow 6 5 30 1.0 Firewood None 0003B562
Nord Hero Bow 11 7 200 0.875 Steel Ingot - 00068C57
Nordic Bow DB 13 11 580 0.6875 Quicksilver Ingot Advanced xx026232
Orcish Bow 10 9 150 0.812 Orichalcum Ingot Orcish 0001398D
Stalhrim Bow DB 17 15 1800 0.5625 Stalhrim Ebony xx026231
Supple Ancient Nord Bow 14 18 235 0.875 N/A - 0005D179
Nightingale Bow 12 9 493 0.50 Ebony Ingot None Level 1 - 18: 0007E5C3
13 11 838 0.50 Level 19 - 26: 000F6529
15 13 1409 0.50 Level 27 - 35: 000F652A
17 15 2240 0.50 Level 36 - 45: 000F652B
19 18 3405 0.50 Level 46+: 000F652C
Zephyr DG 12 10 670 1.0 Dwarven Metal Ingot Dwarven xx00CFB6


TriviaEdit

  • Though the max range to hit an animal or character is around 60m-65 yards, a bow can still shoot an arrow at a tree or most other structures from 100 yards away and still be retrievable.

BugsEdit

  • Sometimes when an arrow is shot the arrow takes a couple of seconds to shoot after the animation shows it fired.
  • It may not be possible to sneak fire an arrow properly. For example, when attempting to fire on a resting dragon, the arrow will fall to the ground a few feet ahead. When aiming to miss it fires normally.

See alsoEdit


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