Become a legend by using a legend with one of these bad boys.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is packed with so much loot that no two players are likely to have the same inventories after a couple of minutes of play. Weapons are of course vitally important – but which should you choose?
With Skyrim out this week on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR, we’re revisiting our Skyrim guides to make sure that new adventurers have everything they need to get the most of out this enormous game. In this guide, we’re talking weapons.
In truth there’s not so much an absolute ‘best’ weapon in Skyrim thanks to the fact that some careful use of enchantments and other mechanics can make just about any weapon viable at any difficulty – even your bare fists! With that said, some of the most famous weapons in the game are the unique weapons – special weapons that can be found in specific places or through certain quests. Each unique weapon has its own set properties, a unique name, and very often an enchantment that’ll give it some special edge or another.
While we highly recommend you explore and see what you can see, here’s a few of our favourite unique weapons in Skyrim for each type of weapon – and where to find them.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The Best Daggers
There are over ten unique daggers in the game, but we’re going to focus down on a couple that we think are particularly excellent. If you’re a stealth-driven character build, these could prove significant weapons for you for quite some time.
Mehrune’s Razor is a decent little dagger thanks to its base damage stat of 11, but what really sets it apart is its enchantment. Any hit with Mehrune’s Razor has a chance to instantly kill, which is just an excellent power.
In order to get Mehrune’s Razor you’ll want to complete the quest ‘Pieces of the Past’ and at the end of the quest kill Silus Vesuius. You’ll be invited to do this quest once you hit level 20 via a courier, or you can stumble upon the quest by hanging out around Dawnstar; NPCs will mention Silus’ museum, which is where you have to go in order to trigger the mission.
Blade of Woe
This dagger is even more powerful than Mehrune’s Razor with a base damage stat of 12, and its enchantment is useful for slugfest fights – each hit absorbs 10 points of health.
The Blade of Woe can be received from an NPC during the Death Incarnate quest, part of the Dark Brotherhood faction’s quest line. You can also follow the early steps of their quest line and kill Astrid during the With Friends Like These quest line. You’ll be able to take the Blade of Woe from her body, but you’ll no longer be able to join the brotherhood.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The Best Maces
There’s a more scant number of unique maces in the game, but some of them are still pretty impressive. Maces are really for people who are looking to build a real power-house of a character. Of the unique maces, we only really think one is particularly impressive, but it’s a good one.
The Mace of Molag Bal
This Daedric artifact is pretty powerful with a base damage stat of 16. It also comes with an ecnhantment that deals 25 damage to Stamina and Magicka as well as the health damage you’ll do. On top of all that, if the target dies within 3 seconds, you’ll fill a soul gem.
The mace is given to you after you complete the Daedric Quest House of Horrors. In the city of Markarth a chap called Tyranus will ask you to help search an abandoned house. As soon as you enter the house – with or without his prompting – this quest will start. Finish the quest, get the mace. Done.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The Best Swords
Swords are of course the most common class of weapon you’ll find in Skyrim, and there are a whole lot of unique ones scattered throughout the world. There’s way more than we can cover, and many of them are pretty damn good… but we’ve narrowed down just a few of our absolute favourites and where to find them.
Players of the original Skyrim might not know of Miraak’s Sword since it was added in the Dragonborn DLC – but it’s pretty damn good. It absorbs stamina thanks to its enchantment and it’s got a solid damage stat.
To get your hands on it, you’ll have to start the Dragonborn quests by travelling to the island of Solstheim. Once you’re ready, two cultists will tell you of ‘the first dragonborn’ and attempt to kill you. This will kick off the DLC quest line. After several quests you’ll end up on the final Dragonborn quest, At the Summit of Apocrypha. You’ll be able to grab this weapon as loot off a corpse towards the end of this quest. It’s a long process to get to it, but it’s worth it.
The Chillrend is a glass sword (which always sounds like a bad idea, but don’t argue with Elder Scrolls logic) and it’s great for enemies weak to frost damage. Its enchantment deals out frost damage and has a chance of paralysing enemies on top of a decent base damage output.
The weapon is held by the Thieves Guild leader Mercy Frey. The easiest way to access this is to find it in Frey’s house during the Thieves Guild quest ‘The Purist’. It’s proudly displayed in a case and has an expert lock waiting to be picked. Keep in mind that this is a leveled weapon, so just how good it is will be determined by your level – it’ll always be excellent for your character level when you first enter its location.
You spend an awful lot of your time in Skyrim fighting dragons, so a sword that’s designed to fell them is useful, no? The Dragonbane’s enchantment means it does extra damage to dragons, while it’ll deal shock damage to all other enemies. This sword is leveled, so its performance will be partially determined by your level when you first enter its location.
The Dragonsbane katana is found in the Sky Haven Temple during the quest Alduin’s Wall – which is an important step in the game’s main story. You want to look for a room just off to the side of the main chamber of the temple – you’ll find it with some blades armor.
Soulrender and Bloodscythe
Two more weapons that were added in the Dragonborn DLC, these two swords were designed to be dual-wielded together. When they are, they both gain powerful enchantments to absorb magicka and health while lowering a target’s defenses against further physical and magic attacks.
You’ll need to hit up the Dragonborn quest line to reach Solstheim. Once level 36 or higher find a copy of a book, Deathbrand, inside Tel Mithryn or Raven Rock temple. You’ll get both these weapons via the resultant quest.
The Gauldur Blackblade is another leveled weapon, meaning its effectiveness will be determined by your level when you first enter its location. The best version is at level 36. It’s a pretty good sword and can be upgraded, however, and has a health-healing enchantment by default. Being an ancient nord weapon, the dwarven smithing perk will help you to make it even more deadly.
The sword can be grabbed during the quest Forbidden Legend. You can start this quest by reading the book Lost Legends – this will kick off the quest to investigate the legend of Gauldur. If you don’t find one of the books naturally, you’ll find one on a dead adventurer’s body in Reachwater rock. Later in the quest you’ll end up in the ruins of Golgunthur – you’ll end up in a fight, and this sword is the reward.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The Best War Axes
War Axes are a less refined all-out-combat weapon than the sword, but there’s still some rather fetching unique ones available in Skyrim. We’ve picked out a couple of favourites.
Okin is a stupidly cool looking noredic war axe. It dishes out frost damage to both health and stamina and has a solid base damage stat of 12. it can also be upgraded and can have upgrades doubled with the steel smithing perk.
To get your hands on Okin you’ll want to do the Silenced Tongues quest. You can find this by ending Volunruud and exploring around – you’ll find notes that’ll begin to push you towards the quest. Eventually, you’ll obtain this weapon as a reward. There’s a decent sister weapon to this too, a sword called Eduj. It drops at the same time.
Dawnguard Rune Axe
As this weapon’s name suggests, this is found as part of the Dawnguard DLC pack. It dishes out sun damage to undead, and the amount of damage it does increases with every undead you’ve killed with the axe since the last sunrise – a unique effect. It has some solid damge output too.
To get this weapon, simply get involved with the Dawnguard DLC. You’ll eventually come across the quest Lost Relic. These are radiant quests where you’re sent to find a random artifact, but if you keep doing these missions you’ll eventually get this item.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The best Battleaxes, Greatswords and Warhammers
In a cruel twist of fate for you beefy, two-handed wielding weapon lovers, there’s less two-handed unique weapons in Skyrim than single handed swords alone. As such, we’ve grouped them together. There’s some pretty tasty battleaxes, greatswords and warhammers available, so here are our picks.
If you’re a little bit bias against elves, well, this is the weapon for you. It does even more damage to elves, and that’s on top of its nasty base damage stat of 25. It also looks pretty bloody cool, to be honest.
You’ll want to tackle the quest Glory of the Dead, and to do that you’ll have to join The Companions faction. Glory of the Dead is the final quest for this faction. Once you place the Wuuthrad on the statue, activate the statue – you’ll get the Wuuthrad, which was previously a temporary acquisition, back for good.
The Rueful Axe is described as an axe powerful enough to have a lot of fun with, and that makes sense – it has a base damage stat of 22 and deals out stamina damage as well. It can also be upgraded.
The Axe can be found in the Daedric quest A Daedra’s Best Friend. Once you’re level 10 or higher, you’ll want to find Lod near Falkreath’s entrance. When given the cahcne, kill Barbas with the axe. You must use the axe to slay him. You get to keep it as a reward.
Originally added in the Dragonborn DLC, tis hefty greatsword releases an energy blast whenever you do a powered up attack. Even the energy blast deals out a nasty 30 damage.
You’ll want to start the main Dragonborn quest and then eventually head to Raven Rock Mine for this sidequest. Chat to Crescius in the entrance to the mine and the quest The Final Descent begins. You’ll find the blade next to the remains of Gratian later in the quest, inside Bloodskal Barrow.
This massive hammer has a bit of an evil look about it and has an absolutely ridiculous base damage stat of 47. It also absorbs stamina, very useful for a weapon of this size and this deadly nature.
You’ll get this weapon as a reward from the Daedric Prince himself as part of the quest The Cursed Tribe. In order to kick this quest off, you’ll want to head to the orc stronghold of Largashbur. Try to save the life of the orc Ugor, who will then help you out and get you on the road with this quest.
Dawnguard Rune Hammer
The Dawnguard Rune Warhammer isn’t the most powerful hammer going with its base damage stat of 22, but it’s the enchantment that gets us excited. Hitting a surface places a rune on the surface, and that rune explodes to deal fire damage when enemies touch it.
All you have to do in order to get this hammer is keep doing the Lost Relic quests that come as part of Dawnguard. These quests are random, but eventually one of them will net you this excellent hammer as loot.
Skyrim Unique Weapons: The best bows
Bows are useful for anybody who isn’t just being a meathead run-in-and-swing type in Skyrim and even on occasion useful for those folks too. There’s a few with some very useful perks and enchantments. Here’s our favourite picks for ranged combat.
The Nightingale Bow
The Nightingale Bow actually belongs to Karliah, a member of the thieves guild and temporary follower of the dragonborn for some quests for that guild. Its enchantment allows it to freeze and shock the target, which is very handy. It’s a leveled weapon, so its strength will be impacted by your level when you obtain it. The best version is at level 46 and up.
To get your hands on Karliah’s bow you’ll have to join the Thieves Guild and follow its quest line. Towards the end of that series of quests you’ll get the quest Blindsighted. This bow is a reward for finishing that quest. That quest gets you the skeleton key too, so it’s a very useful quest indeed.
Glass Bow of the Stag Prince
This bow isn’t just about its flowery name – it also comes with an enchantment that blesses you for every 20 animals you kill with the bow – ideal for hunting. The blessing does max out, but it provides significant boosts to health and stamina while the bow is equipped.
You can get the bow from Falas Selvayn at the Ramshackle Trading Post. That’s on the island of Solstheim, so that’s part of the Dragonborn DLC. It’s sold. Buy it. It’s as simple as that. Huh.
The Gauldur Blackbow is another leveled weapon, meaning its effectiveness will be determined by your level when you first enter its location. The best version is at level 36. It has a sister sword (mentioned earlier on) and this bow absorbs magicka with its enchantment.
Like the sword, the bow can be grabbed during the quest Forbidden Legend. You can start this quest by reading the book Lost Legends – this will kick off the quest to investigate the legend of Gauldur. If you don’t find one of the books naturally, you’ll find one on a dead adventurer’s body in Reachwater rock. The quest will eventually take you to Geirmund’s Hall where you’ll fight Sigdis Gauldurson. The bow is your reward.