10 Best Bows in Skyrim

Skyrim is a fantasy role-playing game in which players combat various creatures and complete missions and quests in the fictional province of Skyrim. Players use swords, axes, bows and arrows and magic attacks to kill various enemies. Out of all these weapons, nothing is more iconic than a bow. Different bows are found throughout Skyrim with varying damage, arrow speed, weight, fire rate, and value. So, if you are looking forward to be a pro archer, this list will help you decide which bow to use

bows skyrim

1. Dragonbone Bow


The Dragonbone Bow is the strongest and heaviest bow with the highest base damage, but its true power comes out with sneak attacks. This is one of the best bows in skyrim.

  • Base Damage: 20
  • Weight: 20
  • Speed: 0.75

As the name suggests, it is indeed crafted out of dragon bones. You will require two dragon bones, an ebony ingot, and a Smithing Level of 100 to craft this deadly weapon. You can also obtain it by defeating a Keeper in the Soul Cairn.

2. Daedric Bow

Daedric Bow

This bow has a badass appearance with a devilish shape and has a lot of spikes on its edges. It is the second strongest bow, only beaten by 1 damage point by the Dragonbone Bow.

  • Base Damage: 19
  • Weight: 18
  • Speed: 0.5

You can craft this masterpiece with a Daedra Heart, 3 Ebony ingots, and a Smithing level of 90. It can also be found as random loot in chests after level 46. 

3. Zephyr


Zephyr is a Dwarven bow that is easily obtainable in the game. It is the fastest bow in the game and with a 30% increase in fire speed due to its innate enchantment. But due to its low damage, it requires more arrows to kill high-level enemies.

  • Base Damage: 12
  • Weight: 10
  • Speed: 1.0

It can be found during the “Lost to the Ages” quest in the Dwemer Ruin of Arkngthamz where Katria tells you where she died.

4. Nightingale Bow

Nightingale Bow

The Nightingale Bow is a special one. Its damage depends on the level you acquire it in. It does not level up with you so wait for as long as you can to obtain this bow. The bow freezes and shocks the target with enchantment.

  • Base Damage: 19
  • Weight: 18
  • Speed: 0.5

It cannot be crafted and can only be obtained by playing the “Thieves Guild” quest “Blindsighted” where Karliah will give the bow to you. So, to get the best possible version of this bow, wait till you’re at level 46 and then play this quest.

5. Ebony Bow

Ebony Bow

This bow is commonly used. If you like to sneak, re-position between shots or fire long-range, the Ebony Bow is a great pick. 

  • Base Damage: 17
  • Weight: 16
  • Speed: 0.562

This bow can be crafted at a blacksmith’s forge using 3 ebony ingots and a Smithing level of 80. It is also found as loot or sold by merchants from level 36. But you can get it at level 18 as well by defeating a Draugr Deathlord in the Labyrinth at Lost Valkygg.

6. Auriel’s Bow

Auriel’s Bow
Auriel’s Bow

This bow delivers extra 20 sun damage and triple damage against undead with enchantment. It also triggers the effects of Sunhallowed arrows and Bloodcursed arrows.

  • Base Damage: 13
  • Weight: 11
  • Speed: 1

It is given as a reward after completing the quest “Touching the Sky”.

7. Glass Bow of the Stag Prince

Glass Bow of the Stag Prince

It is a variant of the original Glass Bow. It is enchanted with “The Blessing of the Stag Prince” which gives 5 additional points of Health and Stamina with every 20 animals killed.

  • Base Damage: 16
  • Weight: 14
  • Speed: 0.625

You can purchase this bow from Fallas Selvayn at the Ramshackle Trading Post.

8. Firiniel’s End

Firiniel’s End

Another bow with an awesome enchantment. Firiniel’s End causes 20 additional damage to both health and stamina which tires out enemies quickly.

  • Base Damage: 13
  • Weight: 12
  • Speed: 0.687

It can be obtained after completing the “Dark Brotherhood” quest “Bound Until Death”.

9. Dwarven Black Bow of Fate

Dwarven Black Bow of Fate

This bow is completely dependent on RNG but when the RNG works, each shot has a 50% chance of absorbing 25 health, stamina, and/or magicka. 

  • Base Damage: 13
  • Weight: 10
  • Speed: 0.75

You will find this bow inside Kagrumez, after retrieving and placing the Kagrumez Gems in their right place.

10. Stalhrim


The Stalhrim Bow is heavier and slower in speed but it has a high base damage and has an added frost enchantment ability.

  • Base Damage: 17
  • Weight: 15
  • Speed: 0.5625

It can be created using 3 Stalhrim and a Smithing level of 80. The quest “A New Source of Stalhrim” should also be completed before crafting this bow. You can also buy it from Baldor Iron-shaper in Skaal Village, Glover Mallory in Raven Rock, or even as a random loot.

11. Glass bow

Glass bow

The Glass bow is easily accessible and helps to improve your damage output in the early stages of the game.

  • Base Damage: 15
  • Weight: 14
  • Speed: 0.625

It requires a refined moonstone, two refined malachite and a Smithing level of 70 to craft this bow. It is also found as loot or sold by merchants from level 27.

12. Gauldur Blackbow

Gauldur Blackbow
Gauldur Blackbow

The magnitude of enchantments and base strength of Gauldur Blackbow is also dependent on the level you obtain it. With enchantment, it can absorb 30 points of magicka in its best version.

  • Base Damage: 14
  • Weight: 18
  • Speed: 0.875

The bow can be obtained during the quest “Forbidden Legend” where it is dropped by Sigdis in Geirmund’s Hall. Finding the bow after level 36 will give you the best version of the bow.

There you have it! The list of best bows in Skyrim. The game has bows to suit all kinds of players and their styles. Getting them is not always easy but if it’s easy it’s not fun! Right?

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