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Archery (Skyrim)

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SkillArchery
For Archery in other games, see Archery.
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"Favor the bow, eh? I'm a sword man myself."
Hold Guard[src]

Archery is one of three offensive weapon-based skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Archery skill is raised by and governs the use of bows and crossbows. Falling under The Warrior Sign in the skill selection menu, Archery actually benefits from The Thief Stone (It is unknown if this behavior is intentional or a bug). Users of the skill, archers, are trained in the use of bows and arrows. The greater the skill, the more deadly the shot. Archery provides low health and lightly armored characters the means to engage foes from a safe distance and allows repeated sneak attacks.

Main article: Bows (Skyrim)

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 string is then released, propelling the arrow forward. The weight of the bow dictates the effort required to pull the string back, or "draw". The heavier the bow, the longer it will take to fully draw. The longer the amount of time taken to fully draw a bow, the more damage a shot will do, and the faster and farther an arrow will travel. While a bow is drawn, movement is reduced significantly.

Bows can be found in stores all over Skyrim, most stores that sell them are dedicated to that purpose, mostly carrying both bow and arrows, as well as certain armors an archer can use. Many different creatures carry bows, including the Draugr found in most dungeons and caves in Skyrim. Bows, like swords, get stronger depending on what they are made of.

CrossbowsEdit

Main article: Crossbows (Dawnguard)
Crossbow

A crossbow from The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.

A crossbow consists of a bow mounted horizontally onto a mechanical stock. The bow string is pulled back onto a catch which holds the string taut. A bolt is then loaded into a groove in front of the catch. When a lever located at the bottom of the stock is pulled, the catch is released and the bow string pushes the bolt forward. Crossbows are slower to reload than most bows are to redraw, but they shoot projectiles at a higher velocity than most bows. They still however have the same reduction of speed while reloading. A crossbow is less likely to be used by the more sneaky characters, due to its long reload time. A bow would be better for these "sneaky" types due to the fact that after releasing an arrow, they can quickly place another on the string and let off a follow-up shot. Crossbows are generally more expensive than their bow counterparts.

RangeEdit

There are two types of ranges for both bows and crossbows, arc range and maximum range.

Arc rangeEdit

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"Keep that arrow in your quiver, Archer..."
Guard

The arc range varies between each type of bow and crossbow. It is directly proportional to a bow's/crossbow's firing velocity.

Bows always fire in an upwards arc, propelling the arrow slightly upwards. A bow with a high firing velocity will have a long arc range. When fired from a high velocity bow, the arrow will continue traveling in an upwards arc for a longer period of time, and will eventually start to drop and arc slightly downwards. After this, the arrow will eventually come to a point in which it drops steeply and its horizontal speed decelerates immensely. If in the air for a long enough period of time, the arrow will have lost all horizontal velocity and fall completely.

This works similarly for crossbow bolts, however when bolts are fired they are not propelled in an upwards arc. Instead, they will travel straight from the Crossbow. Because they don't travel in an upwards arc, they will begin to drop immediately and will enter a steep downwards arc much earlier than that of any arrow.

Maximum rangeEdit

The maximum range is a range that is universal for both bows and crossbows. It is the maximum range an arrow or bolt will travel from the Dragonborn before it stops doing damage. This range usually occurs around 60m-65m. At this point, all arrows and bolts will do no damage to the target, regardless of whether or not the target is in rendering range of the archer. Arrows and bolts that hit a foe past this range will most often clip through them and continue traveling until hitting an object (i.e. a tree, the ground, etc.). A non-hostile character will not become hostile when this happens, however an already hostile character will immediately begin to look for the Dragonborn if the projectile lands close enough.

BooksEdit

The following is a list of skill books that can increase this skill:

TrainersEdit

List of individuals that can increase this skill by giving them gold:

Archery weaponsEdit

The following are the confirmed weapons that benefit from this skill. Damage, weight, and value are base values, independent of skill level and perks.

Craftable bowsEdit

Bow Type DamageIcon WeightIcon GoldIcon
Long Bow 6 5 30
Hunting Bow 7 7 50
Orcish Bow 10 9 150
Nord Hero Bow 11 7 200
Dwarven Bow 12 10 270
Elven Bow 13 12 470
Nordic BowDB 13 11 580
Glass Bow 15 14 820
Ebony Bow 17 16 1440
Stalhrim BowDB 17 15 1880
Daedric Bow 19 18 2500
Dragonbone BowDG 20 20 2725

Non-craftable bowsEdit

Name DamageIcon WeightIcon GoldIcon
Ancient Nord Bow 8 12 45
Angi's Bow 7 7 50
Auriel's Bow DG 13 11 1000
Bound Bow 18 0 0
Bound Bow with Mystic Binding 24 0 0
Bow of the Hunt 10 7 457
Drainspell Bow 14 6 277
Dravin's Bow 12-14 7 50
Dwarven Black Bow of Fate DB  13 10 1446
Falmer Bow 12 15 135
Falmer Supple Bow 15 20 410
Firiniel's End 13 12 785
Forsworn Bow 12 11 145
Froki's Bow 6 5 307
Gauldur Blackbow 8-14 12-18 225-1315
Imperial Bow 9 8 90
Karliah's Bow 25 9 5
Nightingale Bow 12-19 9-18 470-3700
Supple Ancient Nord Bow 14 18 235
Zephyr DG 14 10 670

CrossbowsEdit

All crossbows are craftable and are a part of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard only

Name Item ID DamageIcon WeightIcon GoldIcon
Crossbow 19 14 120
Enhanced Crossbow 19 19 200
Dwarven Crossbow 22 20 350
Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow 22 21 550

PerksEdit

The following are the perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Overdraw (5) Archery Any/20/40/60/80 Bows do 20% more damage (+20% per additional rank)
Eagle Eye Archery 30, Overdraw Pressing Block while aiming will zoom in your view
Critical Shot (3) Archery 30/60/90, Overdraw 10% chance of a critical hit that does extra damage (+5% chance and +25% critical damage per additional rank)
Steady Hand (2) Archery 40/60, Eagle Eye Zooming in with a bow slows time by 25% (50% for second rank)
Power Shot Archery 50, Eagle Eye Arrows stagger all but the largest opponents 50% of the time
Hunter's Discipline Archery 50, Critical Shot Recover twice as many arrows from dead bodies
Ranger Archery 60, Hunter's Discipline Able to move faster with a drawn bow
Quick Shot Archery 70, Power Shot Can draw a bow 30% faster
Bullseye Archery 100, Quick Shot or Ranger 15% chance of paralyzing the target for a few seconds
Archery perk tree

Archery perks tree

TacticsEdit

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"The wise hunter knows that preparation is the key to success, and you certainly don't want to hunt any trolls unprepared!"
Finn[1]
  • 0.8% damage is gained per Archery skill level. This stacks with Overdraw, making it possible to acquire a natural total of 180% extra damage with bows.
  • If an arrow has been drawn, but the Dragonborn does not wish to use it, there is a 'release' key (R default on PC, X on the Xbox 360, and Square on the PS3).
  • With the Bullseye perk, the Paralyze effect, when enchanted, will be applied to the target when the arrow is released, not when it reaches the target (Confirmed on Xbox and PC).
    • This can be somewhat of an annoyance, as the target falling due to paralyzation may cause the arrow to miss.
  • Arrows fly in an arc, not along flat trajectories.  This arc still exists when aiming straight down, resulting in a downwards shot hitting slightly above the cursor.
  • Small/normal sized enemies can easily be staggered with a quick shot when they recover. Paired with the Bullseye perk, Paralysis enchantment, potions and poisons, and possibly absorb stamina, can further this effectiveness, and make an archer highly effective at disabling enemies to be finished off by a melee-using follower.
  • Weapons do not deal locational damage, thus being shot in the head with a bow does not increase the damage dealt.
  • Arrows make a noise when they hit walls and items. This can be used to draw an enemy's attention elsewhere, allowing for sneak shots at their back.
  • An infinite amount of arrows can be acquired by picking up arrows from other archers practicing, such as the Solitude guards practicing on Castle Dour's courtyard. Get better arrows by pickpocketing all the arrows of the practicing archer and replacing them with a single arrow of superior quality.
    • Similarly, a good supply of arrows can be gained by giving one to a follower. The follower will shoot an infinite amount of those arrows, which can be recovered after combat finishes.
  • When overencumbered, pulling out a bow and keeping an arrow drawn speeds up movement.
  • Bashing with a bow immediately after firing an arrow will deal significant damage with the bash, as long as neither the Dragonborn nor the target has moved horizontally since the shot.
  • The effect of the Steady Hand perk stacks with the Slow Time shout, making things seem almost frozen in place.
  • The bound bow has the fastest draw speed of any bow in the game, only surpassed by Zephyr from The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. Zephyr, when used with the Quick Shot perk, has a total of 60% faster draw speed, which is currently the fastest an arrow can be drawn.
  • When using followers that are also trainers, such as Faendal and Aela the Huntress, the Dragonborn can train and get their gold back by accessing the follower's inventory, then continue.

Leveling ArcheryEdit

Archer Woman

A female Archer in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The equation governing skill gain in Archery is thought to resemble something like this:

  • Bwd = Base weapon damage
  • Bad = Base ammunition damage
  • lm = Leveling Multiplier (rest, stone, etc.)
  • x = Damage Translator
  • bool(DamagingHit) = 1 or 0, true or false
    • skillXP += bool(DamagingHit) * (lm(Bwd + Bad) / x)

Thus, this relies on a damaging hit being scored. Therefore, to gain experience, the target must have health points, and that the attack must take away health (so no experience is gained if they nullify damage with a block or dodge).

Upon a damaging hit, the skill experience gained is based on the Base weapon damage and the Base ammunition damage. A Legendary Daedric Bow and some Daedric Arrows are therefore ideal for leveling quickly. The equation ignores perk increases, sneak multipliers, damage boosts from enchantments, or fully drawing the bow. As a result, firing arrows rapidly into a target will yield just as much experience per shot as a full or overdrawn shot. This will therefore result in more experience being gained from a single target, and faster gain, by using quick and weak shots, since the target will survive more of them.

The division by x is to represent that the base damage is not directly translated into skill experience. Currently, the actual value is unknown.

A Bound Bow will also allow one to increase Archery, as well as provide free arrows.

One method of leveling is to sneak attack the Greybeards at High Hrothgar. Find one of the Greybeards (preferably in the main area meditating), sneak behind them at short distance, and simply shoot over and over (waiting a few seconds between shots yields sneak attacks, which will train Sneak at the same time). This can also help leveling Restoration with the use of the Healing Hands spell. (Using melee or magic will result in angering them.)

Another good target for training is Shadowmere, who has very high health, cannot die permanently, and will not fight back. However, this method requires significant progress in the Dark Brotherhood quest line.

Another way to quickly level Archery also requires joining the Dark Brotherhood. Upon entering the Falkreath Sanctuary, jump onto the ledge that oversees the pool and training area. This can be done by jumping from the nearby staircase. Once on the ledge, wait until Veezara sits on the ground, completely in view, and then enter Sneak mode and shoot him. As it is unlikely that anyone will see this, it's possible to fire constantly, training both Archery and Sneak steadily. A similar technique can be used on Cicero.

A different method is to visit the special archery trainer, Angi, who lives in a cabin in the southwest corner of the map by Falkreath. She trains in archery for free by letting the Dragonborn shoot at targets with special practice arrows. Completing her training will grant a total of six free levels. This is best done with a high Archery skill, since like any other trainer, each boost bumps the Dragonborn's skill up to the next level, ignoring the experience required to reach it. Training with her at level 94 will allow maximizing the skill, skipping the final six levels, which would normally require the greatest amount of time to complete.

A free method of training would be to train with Niruin in the Thieves' guild. He is a master trainer, and can train you up to level 90, though after 50 his training can be expensive. It is suggested to approach him while he's in bed and have 800 gold with you, so you can wake him up, train, let him lie back down, then steal the gold from him. While boosting your archery, this also levels your pickpocket skill. Doing this is suggested with Niruin because even if he catches you stealing, he will not become hostile with you.

BugsEdit

This section contains bugs related to Archery (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Archery (Skyrim)

  • What is your favorite bow???

    34 messages
    • At this point in time funnily enough I'm going for the simple Long Bow, because it's the fastest bow which can be customised, enchanted, upgra...
    • Well you can increase the arrow speed with CCOR and you can add sights to the bow by downloading scoped bows
  • Archery, better in Oblivion or Skyrim

    29 messages
    • Alduin1996 wrote:I hated the archery system in Oblivion. It felt rushed. Also the camera movement was rubbish (Even on PS3) so it was hard to l...
    • Alduin1996 wrote:I hated the archery system in Oblivion. It felt rushed. Also the camera movement was rubbish (Even on PS3) so it was hard to l...

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