Skyrim Best Archer Builds (Top 5)

Skyrim Best Archer Builds
Archers in Skyrim hurt like a hole in the head

What are some of the Best Archer Builds for Skyrim?

Gone are the days of classes in The Elder Scrolls where prisoners had to choose between a Healer or a Mage.

What remains in Skyrim is the freedom to fully customise a character’s skills without committing to one talent. A type of warrior that is featured heavily in Skyrim, however, is the archer.

Stealthy and deadly, archers have the ability to deal incredible damage without risking a blade in the heart. So what are the best archer builds for Skyrim’s frozen tundra?


5. Nightingale Archer Build

The Nightingale Agent serves Nocturnal and in return is gifted a powerful bow

The Nightingale faction is a group of elite thieves who dedicate themselves to the Daedra Nocturnal herself. With this dedication comes the ability to blend into the night and a boost to all thief related skills. The Nightingale bow causes frost and shock damage and also slows the target. This build is for those archers who want to take stealth to the extreme and become the stalkers of the night. 

Why Nightingale Archer Build is awesome: 

  • Improved archer skill
  • Fantastic sneak ability
  • Boosted lockpicking
  • Better speech: better prices

Build Details:

  • Altmer race: Boost of 10 points to illusion and starts off with Fury. Also move faster compared to other races
  • Vampire curse: Added sneak bonus and illusion skill
  • Thief stone for levelling
  • Stats are balanced at 1/2/1
  • Aura Whisper Shout for added stealth and the Slow Time Shout to delay enemies
  • Skills include archery, sneak, lockpicking, speech, illusion and light armor
  • Investment in the Power Shot, Bullseye, Ranger, and Quick Shot perks will maximise the innate skilled shooting of the build
  • The entirety of the Nightingale equipment is levelled
  • When Trinity Restored is completed your armor rating will improve by 25 points
  • The Nightingale bow slows the target down by 3 seconds, as well as dealing immediate frost damage and delayed shock damage over 1 second
  • Stealth is the main tactic of the Nightingale Archer Build, being agile and avoiding taking damage is also at the center of this build

4. Assassin Archer Build

Often, the Assassin Archer will rely on Daedric weaponry

The assassins of Skyrim are silent but deadly and what better weapon to use for a hit than a bow and arrow? Take out your target and disappear into the shadows before their loved ones are even aware of what happened. A dangerous build for those looking to deal damage on those poor souls that cross paths with undesirables. 

  Why Assassin Archer Build is awesome:

  • Become an elite assassin 
  • Take out targets from afar
  • Easily remove animals from your path before you’re revealed
  • Get through contracts efficiently and easily

  Build Details:

  • Either Bosmer or Khajiit race. Choosing Bosmer will start you off with an archery bonus and choosing Khajiit will give you a sneak bonus. 
  • Use the Sigil Stone for Daedric weapons
  • This build is focused more on abilities than stats. Khajiit’s Night Eye is very useful for this build as often you’ll be working in the dark. 
  • Throw Voice, Marked for Death and Aura Whisper are great to invest in. 
  • Skills to focus on include alchemy, archery, one handed, illusion, blacksmithing and light armor. 
  • Focus most of your investment in archery perks, but the Armsman perk in the one handed skill will add damage to your sneak attacks. 
  • Use poison arrows to inflict the most damage to your target. 
  • Until you can get your hands on Daedric weapons, focus on Glass or Orcish 
  • Opt for the Dark Brotherhood armor which will allow you to unleash more damage. 
  • If you have followers, do not allow them to follow you when entering caves or forts so they don’t reveal you to the target
  • Use potions when you can

3. Stealth Archer Build

Stealth is the most rewarding aspect of archery

Associated with archery more than anything else is stealth. Sneak attacks in Skyrim deal more damage to unsuspecting enemies and leave the Dragonborn unharmed from a distance away. This build is for those who want to attack their foes with a fatal shot and get away without anyone suspecting them. 

  Why Stealth Archer Build is awesome:

  • One fatal shot
  • Silently take out enemies
  • Suspense filled gameplay
  • Faster kills

  Build Details:

  • Khajiit race for sneak bonus
  • Thief stone for 20% faster improvement in stealth skills
  • Deadly Aim and Muffled Movement are perks to invest in
  • Throw Voice and Disarm shouts are useful for this build
  • Skills to focus on include enchanting, archery, smithing, alchemy and sneak
  • Enchant Dragonscale armor with Muffle and Fortify Health
  • Use Dragonbone bow and arrows

2. Ranger Archer Build

A famous Ranger that appears in books, film and video games is Aragorn of Lord of the Rings

Rangers roam the wild and rely on its bounty to sustain them through their stalking. They are renowned with a bow as they are keen hunters and are often seen as wise survivalists. A ranger would be a great build to choose due to their efficiency and determination. 

  Why Ranger Archer Build is great:

  • Improves success when hunting animals
  • Stealthy and unseen
  • Agile archers
  • Boost to sneak skill

  Build Details:

  • Choose the Bosmer, Khajiit or Redguard race
  • Thief stone
  • Use the Overdraw, Steady Hand, Ranger, Muffled Movement, Alchemist, and Apprentice Restoration perks
  • Stats 1/1/2
  • Skills to focus your attention on include archery, sneak, alchemy, restoration, one handed
  • Rely on a bow, one handed sword and a dagger for up close stealth combat
  • A dog as a companion is helpful and fitting for this build

1. Rogue Archer Build

Rogue Archers may play around in unsavoury affairs and are rarely caught

The rogue is a criminal who dabbles in all dark and illegal things. The Rogue Archer can be seen communicating with the Dark Brotherhood and doing odd jobs for The Thieves Guild. Archery is something they rely heavily on in order to remain immune from the law so they can continue their doings. 

 Why Rogue Archer Build is awesome: 

  • Stealthy outlaw
  • A versatile character that can be used as a thief and an assassin
  • A great character to explore the dark depths of Skyrim with
  • Exploitation of a variety of skills

  Build Details:

  • Khajiit race thanks to an unarmed combat bonus at 15 points and 10 points to sneak, archery, pickpocket, one handed and lockpicking - all perfect for this build. Night Vision will also come in handy for this character 
  • Activate the Thief and Lover stone respectively 
  • Perks you’ll want to have: Stealth, Muffled Movement, Backstab, Assassin’s Blade, Deadly Aim and Silence
  • Stats 1/2/2
  • Skills to focus on: archery, light armor, lockpicking and pickpocket
  • Opt for light armor and rely heavily on a bow unless in close combat then switch to a dagger
  • Having a house is beneficial as it comes with an alchemy station for potions and is a place for your rogue to store their stolen treasures
  • Levelling can be assisted by alchemy, enchanting and smithing
  • Your rogue will need a lot of potions to get them through combat as they are vulnerable to damage

You may also be interested in:

  The Best 3 Skyrim Assassin Builds
  Top 10 Games Like Skyrim
  Best Skyrim Bows

More on this topic:

Hardened exploring Hobbit turned scribe, Anastasia is ready to recall and retell the adventures at the zenith of the Throat of the World and the depths of Rapture itself.
Gamer Since: 2012
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