For almost all character builds, knowing the best weapons in Skyrim for each type is going to be worthwhile. Some are available early on, too, through side quests or otherwise, which can be a massive help for playthroughs on harder difficulties, or for those with a burning desire to power through to Skyrim's late-game content.
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Whether you're looking to tackle some of the more bizarre Daedric quests, or power-level your Smithing to craft Dragonbone and Daedric weapons, the weapon rankings below should be of some use to you, but before you dive in there are a couple of quick things to bear in mind about how we've structured it all:
A couple quick things to note about the bows and crossbows below:
|Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow||22||21||N/A||Dwarven Metal Ingot, Dwarven Smithing||Ignores 50% of armor||Yes|
|Dragonbone Bow||20||20||15||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Auriel's Bow*||13||11||13||Refined Moonstone, Elven Smithing||20 Sun Damage, tripled if target is Undead. Can use Sunhallowed and Bloodcursed Arrows||No|
|Zephyr*||12||10||12||Dwarven Metal Ingot, Dwarven Smithing||Fires 30% faster than a standard bow||No|
|Daedric Bow||19||18||9.5||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|
|Nightingale Bow*||19||18||9.5||Ebony Ingot, N/A||30 Frost Damage, 15 Shock Damage||No|
Daggers have the highest attack speed and lowest base damage of all weapons in Skyrim, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored. In fact, for all One-Handed skill users, they can be essential:
|Weapon||Damage||Weight||Upgrade with ingot, Perk||Effect||Enchantable|
|Dragonbone Dagger||12||6.5||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Blade of Woe*||12||7||Any, Steel Smithing||Absorb 10 health||No|
|Mehrune's Razor*||11||3||Ebony Ingot, N/A||1.98% chance to instantly kill, infinite charges||No|
|Daedric Dagger||11||6||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|
|Stalhrim Dagger||10||4.5||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
Swords are, as you'd expect, the most popular weapons in Skyrim thanks to their versatility and balance of both speed and damage. They're the fastest non-dagger one-handed weapons, but have lower damage than their mace and war axe counterparts.
|Windshear*||11||10||Steel Ingot, Steel Smithing||Staggers opponent with every hit; 39% chance to paralyze opponent with block-bash||No|
|Miraak's Sword*||16||3||Ebony Ingot, Daedra Heart, Dwarven Smithing||Absorb 15 Stamina||No|
|Chillrend*||15||16||Refined Malachite, Glass Smithing||30 Frost Damage, Chance to paralyze for 2 seconds||No|
|Dragonbone Sword||15||19||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Nightingale Blade*||14||15||Ebony Ingot, N/A||Absorb 25 Health and Stamina||No|
There aren't too many exciting options for those who prefer to bear a one-handed axe in Skyrim, but there are still one or two things to note:
|Dawnguard Rune Axe*||11||13||Steel Ingot, Steel Smithing||10+n damage to undead, where n = number of undead killed since sunrise||No|
|Dragonbone War Axe||16||21||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Ebony War Axe||15||17||Ebony Ingot, Ebony Smithing||None||Yes|
|Daedric War Axe||15||18||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|
|Stalhrim War Axe||15||16||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
|Mace of Molag Bal*||16||18||Ebony Ingot, N/A||25 Magicka and Stamina damage, Soul Trap for 3 seconds||No|
|Stalhrim Mace||16||18||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
|Dragonbone Mace||17||24||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Ebony Mace||16||19||Ebony Ingot, Ebony Smithing||None||Yes|
|Daedric Mace||16||20||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|
Greatswords operate as the fastest, but lowest base damage weapons of the two-handed class. There are few unique ones of note, although the Bloodskal Blade provides an intriguing option.
|Stalhrim Greatsword||23||21||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
|Dragonbone Greatsword||25||27||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Daedric Greatsword||24||23||Ebony Ingot, Ebony Smithing||None||Yes|
|Bloodskal Blade*||21||16||Silver Ingot, N/A||Ranged blast of energy with power attacks that deals 30 damage||No|
|Ebony Greatsword||22||22||Ebony Ingot, Ebony Smithing||None||Yes|
The middle tier of heavy weapons, the battleaxe class also plays home to one of the best weapons in the game, Wuuthrad.
|Wuuthrad*||25||25||N/A||1.2x Damage vs. Dark Elves, Wood Elves, High Elves, Falmer, and Orcs||Yes|
|Stalhrim Battleaxe||24||25||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
|Dragonbone Battleaxe||26||30||Dragon Bone, Dragon Armor||None||Yes|
|Daedric Battleaxe||25||27||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|
From visual upgrades, to console mods and levelling skills.
Want more help with Skyrim? Find out how to join every guild and faction, how to earn Gold fast, learning about XP and levelling to 100, max Crafting skills, max Warrior skills, max Thief skills and max Mage skills, how to get married, where to buy a house, how to start Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC expansions. If you're on PC, we have a list of console commands and cheats, and you can learn about the remastered version and how to install mods with our Skyrim guide. Finally, with Switch owners, we have Skyrim amiibo support explained to help unlock special Zelda-themed items.
The heaviest of heavy weapons, warhammers are the slowest to swing but deal the greatest amount of damage per hit.
|The Longhammer*||21||18||Orichalcum Ingot, Orcish Smithing||Swings 30% faster than a regular warhammer||Yes|
|Volendrung*||25||26||Ebony Ingot, N/A||Absorb 50 Stamina||No|
|Stalhrim Warhammer||26||29||Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing||Frost Damage enchantments 25% stronger||Yes|
|Dragonbone Warhammer||28||33||Dragon Bone, Dragon Smithing||None||Yes|
|Daedric Warhammer||27||31||Ebony Ingot, Daedric Smithing||None||Yes|