Best bows in skyrim and how to get them

Skyrim allows everyone to freely customize their character’s physique and main weapon type. If you prefer ranged attacks, you may need to look for the best arcs in Skyrim.

We have listed a number of bows that you should consider for your character. It is not ranked by best, but by a general top 10 that you can check out. The damage and the rate of fire are the most important factors that are considered.

In other words, a bow with a high damage per second (DPS) is one you should look out for. Of course, you may also want to consider enchantments.

Read also: Best houses in Skyrim: top 7 ranking of houses you can buy

1. Stalhrim bow

The first on the list is Stalhrim, a bow that is common in many areas. It has a frost damage that gets stronger when you place the bow with other items from Stalhrim. The base damage is 17 and its load is 15.

It has a speed of 0.56 arrows per second, which means it’s pretty slow compared to some other bows.

How to get it:

You can actually buy the bow from Baldor Iron-Shaper in Skaal village, from Glover Mallory in Raven Rock or even as random loot in chests.

You can also create one with a forge level of 80 and the Ebony Smithing advantage. To unlock this forging ability, you need to complete the corresponding quest "A New Source of Stalhrim".

2. Glass Bow

Next on the list of the best bows in Skyrim is the glass bow. It has a base damage of 15 and a load (weight) of 14. It has less base damage than the Stalhrim, but is slightly faster with a speed of 0.625.

How to get it:

There are many ways to get it, including buying it from general merchants, taking it from other enemies you kill, or even in loot chests.

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You can also craft it if you have a forge level of 70 and the glass smithing advantage.

3. Nightingale Bow

The Nightingale Bow is more unique, as it is a quest reward from the Thieves Guild. The damage and weight of the bow, along with the enchantment level, depend on the level of your character when you got the bow.

That is, if you get it when you are level 10, the bow is at its weakest. To be safe, do the quest only after you reach level 46 and you will get the best possible version of the Nightingale Bow. The enchantments are basically freeze and shock damage.

How to get this bow:

Complete the quest "Blindsighted" and you will receive this bow from Karliah.

4. Gauldur Blackbow

Like Nightingale, this Gauldur Blackbow is also level dependent. If you find the arc when you are above level 36, you will get the best available statistics.

Assuming you have the best version, the damage is 14 and the weight is 18, which is average. However, it has a much faster firing rate of 0.875, which makes it a decent bow.

How to find it:

You can get this bow during the quest Forbidden Legend, where it is dropped by Sigdis in Geirmund’s Hall.

5. Firiniel’s End

Firiniel’s ending is also a quest arc and has a base damage of 13 with a weight of 12. Its speed is 0.687, which is not too impressive either. That is, many arcs are weaker.

Enchanting this bow inflicts frost damage to enemies’ health and stamina.

How to get it:

You have to start the quest Bound Until Death (a quest of the Dark Brotherhood). The bow can be accessed both during and after the quest on the balcony of Castle Dour, Solitude.

6. Daedric Arc

Next on the list is Daedric Bow, one of the best bows in the game. It has a fairly high damage of 19 and a weight of 18. Unfortunately, it is slow, with a speed of only 0.5.

The daedric bow is similar to a recurve bow that you usually see in archery competitions.

How to find it:

For unenchanted versions, you can get it from chests or from revered or legendary dragons. For enchanted you can get it after you reach level 47, at Windhelm (Niranye), Riften (Tonilia) or even at The Ragged Flagon (Syndus).

You can also get it in the brood cave (from a dead archer) or even bought from a black market spell.

This bow can also be made with a level 90 blacksmithing skill and the Daedric Blacksmithing Advantage.

7. Zephyr

Zephyr is a dwarven arch that can be reached during a quest. It has 14 base damage and a weight of 10. It is quite light and fires very fast with a speed of 1.0.

It actually has one of the highest damage per second rates in Skyrim, making it a really useful bow for archers.

How to get it:

You have to do the quest Lost to the Ages, where Katria (North Spirit) tells you herself where she died. The bow is still at the end of the tree trunk and you have to walk carefully to pick it up. You cannot use a spell to grab it.

8. Auriel’s Bow

This bow is an ancient artifact and is accessed through one of the main quests, Touching the Sky.

It has a pretty decent attack of 13 and a weight of 11. This means its speed is also 1.0, which means it has a high DPS right behind Zephyr. The bow also has an enchantment that deals sun damage and triples the damage if the enemy is undead.

How to find it:

You have to get it in the Inner Sanctum in the Forgotten Valley. It is reached at the end of the quest (Touching the Sky), after you have defeated the Archcurate Vyrthur.

9. Ebony Bow

Next on the list is Ebony Bow, which is often used by higher level players. It is not a quest related weapon, so you can get it in many places.

This bow has a high base damage of 17 and a weight of 16. It is quite slow with a speed of 0.56.

This is how you get this sheet:

You can get it anywhere in Skyrim when you reach level 36 (for enchanted) and 37 (for enchanted). You can also get it from blacksmiths, general merchants, enemies, or even as random loot.

This bow can also be made with a level 80 blacksmithing skill and the ebony blacksmithing perk.

10. Dragon Bone Bow

The last bow shown here is the Dragon Bone Bow, and it is also the bow with the highest base damage (if you exclude Karliah’s bow). It has the damage of 20 and the weight of 20.

With its weight, it is surprisingly fast, having a speed of 0.75. This means his DPS is pretty impressive, too.

How do I get this bow:

In Soul Cairn there is a preserver who uses this bow together with Dragonbone arrows.

Another option is to make it, but it requires a level 100 blacksmithing skill and the dragon armor advantage.

Best bows in Skyrim?

If you had to choose a bow, which would be the best option for an archer? Many people prefer the dragon bone bow because of its high damage and since it requires the maximum blacksmithing level, it has to be pretty strong.

The Zephyr is also a pretty good bow in Skyrim, even if the base damage is average, because it has one of the highest damage per second due to its firing rate.

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