In the case of weapons, the Dragonborn may attack with both weapons at once by activating both the right and left hands at the same time, executing a slash with both weapons. The overall damage will be the combined values of both weapons. The speed of the attack is determined by the speed of the weapon equipped in the left hand. Because of this, it is better to place the faster weapon in the left hand. For example, if a dagger is in the left hand and a mace in the right hand, the attack speed will overall be at the dagger's speed.
A spinning power attack with both weapons can be performed by activating and holding both the right and left hands. The same mechanics apply, with the left hand weapon determining the speed of the attack. The amount of stamina used is derived from the right hand weapon.
Dual wielding prevents parrying. An effective way to overcome that is to run (sprint) straight to the enemy and deflect to one side at the last moment. Normally the opponent will attack, but miss if the sprint is fast enough, as the Dragonborn should be past them and have time to carry out another attack.
Dual wielding Destruction spells follows the usual rules regarding a spell equipped in just one hand. The overall damage and Magicka cost is equal to both spells' relevant values. This will vary, however, if dual casting the same spell with the relevant perk. Dual casting apprentice level destruction spells raises the spells' damage by 10% and their cost by 40% while dual casting adept level destruction spells raises their Magicka cost by 60%. Other schools of magic can be dual cast as well, and if the dual casting perk for the respective school is attained, the cast spell's effects will be strengthened.
Other characters can dual wield, but the conditions under which they will do so are very particular. Some, such as Jenassa, will dual wield any two weapons when in range of an enemy. Most others will only equip certain weapons in their left hand, specifically a pickaxe, or Forsworn sword or axe.
- When dual wielding, the weapon in the left hand does not have a sheath, nor is there an animation for taking the weapon out, or putting the weapon away. Installing Immersive Animations fixes this.
- Unlike all other weapon attacks, the standard dual wielding attack (pressing both LT and RT briefly on the Xbox) causes the Dragonborn to stop moving completely. It is therefore important to observe proper spacing when using dual wielding attacks.
- There is a noticeable recovery period after a dual wielding attack.
- Because dual wielding does not allow for blocking, melee combat becomes much more challenging with a dual wielding character. Typically, the Dragonborn will have most success by physically dodging attacks.
- If a dagger is wielded in one hand, it can also be useful to use the dagger's very fast power attack to disrupt an opponent's attack animation. This takes practice and excellent reactions, but is rewarding and effective.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the first game in the Elder Scrolls series to include dual-wielding. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall allowed the player to hold a weapon in each hand, but only one weapon could be employed at a time, with the option of quick-swapping between the two with a single key press.
- When wearing Leather Armor and dual wielding a dagger in the left hand and a sword in the right, there is a sheath visible for the dagger as well as the sword equipped.
- The enchantment on the Deathbrand Gauntlets is only pliable when dual-wielding.
- The Dual Flurry perk may cause a glitch which causes attacks to go at a slow speed. This can be fixed by removing one or both ranks of the perk. It is unknown if the perk can be safely added again after it is removed.
- Occasionally with enchanted weapons, a weapon in the left hand will not impart its effect on strike nor will it lose any charge. Instead, it may impart the enchantment of the weapon in the right hand. The issue can usually be resolved by fast travel or transition to another area.
- Sometimes when dual wielding identical weapons and using the Elemental Fury Shout, even after the effect has worn off, the right hand weapon will still swing at enhanced speed.