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Skyrim Best Weapons Tier List

Pick only the best weapons for your character using our tier list guide for Skyrim.

The pool of best weapons in Skyrim is extremely rich and diverse. Most of them can be upgraded at the grindstone, while some can be crafted at the forge. Still, others can be purchased from merchants. There are numerous unique ones that can only be obtained by completing certain quests.

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Skyrim Best Weapons Tier List

Our best Skyrim weapons tier list ranks the ones worth searching for, helping you focus on the most useful options in the game’s gigantic pool of armaments. We rank them from S-Tier to A-Tier, with some honorable mentions.

Best Skyrim S-Tier Weapons

Dragonbone Warhammer

  • Type: Two-Handed Warhammer
  • Base Damage: 28

Dragonbone weapons, in and of themselves, have the best stats of all craftable gear. Out of that selection of armaments, the Dragonbone Warhammer is the most powerful weapon in Skyrim regarding base damage. Crafting Dragonbone weapons and armor is one of the only uses for Dragon Bones, which you obtain from slayed Dragons. All Dragonbone weapons can be further improved with Dragon Bone and the Dragon Armor perk.

During the Beyond Death quest, you can loot Dragonbone Warhammer from one of the Keepers in the Soul Cairn plane of Oblivion. The Keepers are weak to fire damage but highly resistant to poison damage. You can also craft this weapon at the blacksmith’s forge once reaching Smithing Level 100 and unlocking the Dragon Armor perk. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3x Dragon Bone
  • 2x Ebony Ingot
  • 3x Leather Strip

Drainblood Battleaxe

  • Type: Two-handed Battleaxe
  • Base Damage: 21

The Drainblood Battleaxe is an enchanted weapon with a spectral appearance. On hit, it drains 15 health without needing Soul Gems. The enchantment is built into the weapon and doesn’t consume charges, unlike other weapons imbued with health drain. While a different build, this is a great alternative to Harkon’s Sword, which usually runs out of charges quickly, requiring large amounts of filled Soul Gems.

If you’re focusing on battleaxes, this is the one you want. However, you can’t buy it or craft it. It only drops from a Spectral Draugr found in Labyrinthian, which is located in Hjaalmarch.

Nightingale Bow

  • Type: Archery Bow
  • Base Damage: 19

While the Nightingale Bow isn’t the strongest bow in Skyrim, its greatest strength is that it’s a leveled bow. This means its damage increases as your character levels up. Once you get to Level 45 or higher, this bow’s boosted damage becomes the most powerful bow in the game.

On top of that, Nightingale Bow has two enchantments that take effect at level 45, providing an additional 45 points of damage per hit on top of the base damage:

  • Frost Damage: Deals 30 points Frost damage
  • Shock Damage: Deals 15 points Shock damage

The Nightingale Bow can’t be crafted. The only way to get it is to complete the Blindsighted Thieves Guide quest, given by Brynjolf. Once you obtain the Nightingale Bow, you can improve it with an Ebony Ingot and the Arcane Blacksmith perk. For a full breakdown of the best bows in Skyrim, check out our best bows tier list.

Wuuthrad

  • Type: Two-Handed Battleaxe
  • Base Damage: 25

Wuuthrad is the legendary weapon of Ysgramor of the Companions. You’ll collect its pieces throughout various Companion quests, but you won’t get the remade Wuuthrad until the final Companion storyline quest, Glory of the Dead. While Wuuthrad already has impressive base damage, I’ve found it also does additional damage to elves, including the Thalmor and Falmer.

Related: How to Craft Daderic Weapons in Skyrim

Best Skyrim A-Tier Weapons

 Dragonbane

  • Type: One-Handed Sword
  • Base Damage: 14

Dragonbane leveled katana designed to kill dragons. It’s imbued with the Shock damage enchantment that deals bonus damage to dragons, producing a cool visual effect with sparkling electric charges. If you’re not facing off against a dragon, it still does Shock damage, just not as much.

Dragonbane can’t be crafted, so the only way to obtain it is to complete the Alduin’s Wall main story quest, given by Esbern, a member of the Blades. You can find the sword in the Sky Haven Temple, The Reach. You can improve Dragonbane with a Quicksilver Ingot and Arcane Blacksmith perk.

Blade of Woe

  • Type: One-Handed Dagger
  • Base Damage: 12

The Blade of Woe is a real masterpiece of a weapon. Although it can’t be compared to other weapons on this list in terms of power, it’s still one of the best daggers in the game, with a unique enchantment that absorbs 10 HP. You can’t craft the Blade of Woe, but you can get it after completing the Death Incarnate quest — or by simply stealing it from Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood.

Dragonbone Mace

  • Type: One-Handed Mace
  • Base Damage: 17

If you don’t want to wield heavy two-handed weapons but still want a Dragonbone weapon, then the Dragonbone Mace is a great choice. Once again, it can be dropped by one of the Keepers at the Soul Cairn, or you can craft it at the forge using:

  • 2x Dragon Bone
  • 1x Ebony Ingot
  • 1x Leather Strip

Chillrend

  • Type: One-Handed Sword
  • Base Damage: 15

Another one-handed sword, Chillrend is obtained by killing Mercer Frey for his treachery against the Thieves’ Guild during the Blindsighted quest. It has decent base damage, but its enchantment is what boosts it above other one-handed choices in our best weapons tier list. It has:

  • 30 points Frost damage on hit
  • Chance to Paralyze for 2 seconds

While 2 seconds seems like a short amount of time, you can dish out large amounts of damage if your opponent gets Paralyzed. I don’t recommend using this weapon gainst Frost-resistant enemies, such as Frost Trolls, Draugr, and Vampires.

Honorable Mentions

Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow

  • Type: Crossbow
  • Base Damage: 22

A powerful ranged weapon can be of good use to any Dragonborn. The crossbow may not be as convenient as a regular bow, but it’s useful in some situations where any other weapon would never work. This situational use is what puts the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow in honorable mentions instead of on the main best weapons tier list.

What makes this crossbow special is that it ignores 50% your enemy’s armor value, giving you an extra damage boost. It’s also great against dragons. You can buy it from Sorine Jurard at Fort Dawnguard or craft it using the following recipe:

  • 1x Dwarven Crossbow
  • 2x Quicksilver Ingot

Ebony Blade

  • Type: Two-Handed Katana
  • Base Damage: 11

The Ebony Blade is a Daedric Prince weapon awarded for completing The Whispering Door quest in Dragonsreach. Its base damage is low, but it initially absorbs 10 HP per hit. The reason it’s an honorable mention is because you can increase that on-hit health drain up to 30. You need to have an evil streak and kill friendly NPCs to get that boost, though.

That’s it for our best Skyrim weapons tier list. Whether you’re looking to kill your enemy from afar, smash their head in with a battleaxe, or sneakily slit their throat, there’s a weapon for you on the list. For more, head over to our list of Skyrim tips and tricks articles.


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