The critically acclaimed RPG Skyrim isn’t exactly new. Through many different platforms (too many!), Bethesda has offered all the fantasy, deep lore and huge exploration possibilities that have cemented Skyrim as a classic.
One of its main features is that no matter how much you know about Skyrim, how long you have played it for, there is always something new to discover. The list of items in Skyrim, for example, is impossibly long – it can be too much to handle by oneself.
Fret not! To begin with, we’ll be taking a look at the definite list of the 15 best weapons in Skyrim. In this article, you will learn the location of the top weapons for all classes and how to obtain each one. With this arsenal in your hands, your trips into the unknown wilderness, dungeons and risky quests will be a cinch.
It should be noted that there will be quest spoilers below; you have been warned!
Without further ado, here are the best weapons in Skyrim!
1. Mehrunes’ Razor
This dark blade comes from the Oblivion. As pretty much everything that comes from the depths of the infernal dimension, Mehrunes’ Razor oozes death at each attack, offering a 2% chance of insta-killing anything and anyone it touches – including dragons.
While a 2% chance may not seem to be much, the fact that Mehrune’s Razor is a dagger makes the stat way more enticing. Since you can deal quick successive attacks with it, that small percentage will show its presence when you least expect, bringing down bosses with one hit.
The Mehrunes’ Razor is found in the Pieces of the Past quest, where it is carried by Silus Vesuius. Make sure to not let him carry it for too long after you are done with the quest – if he returns home with it, you won’t have another chance at obtaining the Razor.
2. The Staff of Magnus
Getting the Staff of Magnus is not an easy task: you will have to finish the namesake quest at the College of Winterhold, which involves taking on a Dragon Priest. The Staff of Magnus is a high-tier weapon, so it is only natural that you go through some hardship to obtain it.
It is definitely worth it, though. Its main power has any of its attacks drawing 20 Magicka per second, or 20 health per second if the target is drained of Magicka.
3. Dragonbone Mace
Skyrim has its fair share of DLCs and expansions which add a whole plethora of new items. The Dawnguard expansion brings some remarkable weapons, the Dragonbone Mace among them. For starters, it has the best base damage of all the one-handed weapons in the game – and you can sprinkle some more awesomeness at it by having it enchanted.
The Dragonbone Mace can either be crafted, which requires a Smithing level of 100 and the Dragon Armor perk, or taken as loot from the corpse of one of three Keepers in the Soul Cairn plane of Oblivion. It can be accessed through the quest Chasing Echoes.
4. Miraak’s Sword
Another bounty from an expansion – Dragonborn this time – Miraak’s Sword is a great acquisition for your inventory, and pretty much impossible to miss if you are going through the whole story arc of the expansion.
As it can be assumed by the name, Miraak’s Sword is in Miraak’s possession. Miraak is another powerful Dragon Priest, who you face in the final quest in Dragonborn – At the Summit of the Apocrypha. By looting his body, you will be able to try its power, which increases based on your level. Even if its base stats aren’t the best, it deals 16 damage per hit and doesn’t weigh much at all, so this sword is definitely worth enchanting, to get the most out of it.
Beautifully crafted, the Chillrend has the looks of a glass sword but holds freezing power. And that is exactly what you can expect from it since it can paralyze enemies by touch and its chilling properties deal 30 points of damage through the frosty experience.
To find Chillrend, you need to traverse the tunnels of Riftweald Manor while on the quest The Pursuit. It will be right at the end of the underground way, locked behind an expert-level lock that requires high Pickpocketing to be dealt with.
6. Blade of Woe
This swift dagger is carried by one of the swiftest around Skyrim: the leader of the Dark Brotherhood assassins, Astrid. He won’t just give it freely, though. The Blade of Woe is one of the “easiest” weapons from this list to be obtained, because you have many chances of meeting with Astrid throughout the game, so it is just a matter of finding the best opportunity to either pickpocket it from him (tough, as he has it equipped) or getting it straight from his body.
Offering base damage of 12 and absorbing 10 points of health by hit, the Blade of Woe is a must-have to your collection.
So far, all the weapons listed here have been one-hand, melee weapons; it’s time to bring the ranged action about, and you couldn’t go wrong by choosing to look for Zephyr. The Dwarven bow is one of the fastest weapons in Skyrim and certainly delivers the quickest arrow shots among all bows.
To find Zephyr, you need to read The Aetherium Wars book in a place such as the Bard’s College or Fort Dawnguard and eventually meet an NPC at The Reach, the ghostly Katria, and her body. It will activate the Lost to Ages quest, which will culminate with you finding Zephyr.
8. Nightingale Bow
Another bow worth grabbing, Nightingale Bow is a must if you want to play the sniper. With a base damage of 19 (!), it can make all the difference when trying to execute long-distance, one-hit kills. Add to that a powerful Frost damage of 30 and Electrical damage of 15, and you will feel no need for any other bow anymore.
You can find Nightingale Bow by doing the Blindsighted quest at the Thieves’ Guild. It is a reward for the quest, so you can’t miss it.
9. Nightingale Blade
The Nightingales offer yet another donation to your inventory by the means of the Nightingale Blade. Just as with the Bow, you can find the Blade after doing the quest Hard Answers for the influential and mysterious trio.
When obtained, Nightingale Blade shows stats that can be improved by leveling it up – it can go from 10 to 14 points of damage and absorb from 5 to 25 points of health and stamina. Keep in mind that you’ll need ebony ingots and the Arcane Blacksmith perk to be able to temper it.
Had enough of the undying Draugr or meddlesome vampires? Let the light come to your aid by slashing their guts with the Dawnbreaker. While not the strongest blade in the game, it has properties that affect undead creatures the most: 10 points of burning damage for 10 seconds, along with an AoE explosion. If you are playing as a vampire, though, be careful – the explosion will affect you as well.
To find the Dawnbreaker, you must complete the quest given to you by Meridia: The Break of Dawn. There is a way to duplicate the Dawnbreaker through an exploit, but it isn’t a fail-proof method, so try it at your own risk – maybe we can offer you a tutorial on that, some time. 😉
11. Harkon’s Sword
Playing as a vampire in Skyrim? Well, then there is maybe no better weapon for you to level up with than Harkon’s Sword. While its looks aren’t anything special – it looks like a base game sword – it carries an enchantment that is activated only when the sword is held by a vampire. The base damage of Harkon’s Sword isn’t great, but the enchantment grants that your attacks drain 15 points of Health, Magicka, and Stamina at once.
You can find Harkon’s Sword in the final quest of the Dawnguard expansion, Kindred Judgement, either by looting Harkon’s corpse or pickpocketing it if you have the Misdirection perk, as it’s Harkon’s equipped weapon.
12. Dawnguard Rune Axe
Now, if you aren’t keen on being part of the vampiric club and the Dawnbreaker is still too far from your reach, you can’t go wrong by getting the Dawnguard Rune Axe instead. It is a true vampire-killer which deals from 10 to 100 (!) extra damage points to the undead bloodsuckers.
You can find the Dawnguard Rune Axe in the Lost Relic sidequest, which can be offered to you at multiple radiant locations throughout the game.
Scimitars aren’t as common as other swords in Skyrim, and Windshear is the best you can find. It is not the most powerful weapon of the game, but as you can get it in an easier way than others in this list and also at an earlier time, Windshear is a great choice. Its bashing attack has a chance of knocking the target down, making them immobilized for enough time to deal the slashing to them.
You can obtain Windshear by joining the Dark Brotherhood through the quest Hail Sithis. It will be stuck at the tip of the bow of the ship, so don’t leave it there, as it is a one-time chance. After the quest is finished, there will be no way to board the ship again.
14. The Mace of Molag Bal
So bashing is your game, but you need something more powerful than Windshear? It’s time to find the Mace of Molag Bal, a Daedric artifact with a dangerously high base damage value of 16 and an enchantment that adds 25 damage to Magicka and stamina, along with a treat: by killing the enemy within 3 seconds of the first attack, it fills a soul gem.
You can get the Mace of Molag Bal by finishing the House of Horrors quest in Markath. The quest is given to you by the NPC Tyranus – or you can just invade the house by yourself.
When you need to smell elven blood by slaying those pesky Falmers, there’s no better battleaxe than the Wuuthrad. Its decoration speaks volumes: at the head of the axe, there is a screaming elf head! Its base damage of 25 and extra damage to elves will guarantee the engraving is made real many times.
To get Wuuthrad, you need to join the Companions faction and do quests for them until the final one, Glory of the Dead. You will need to use Wuuthrad to end it, but you can retrieve it right after the quest is done.
Now you have a whole arsenal to discover. Can you get all the best weapons in Skyrim? Do you know other equipment worth looking for? Comment in the section below and let us know!