Skyrim Tips and Tricks » Discussions

The Advanced Archery Corner

Tags: #Tips and Tricks Showcases 
  • Member
    December 6, 2013

    Are you getting tired of simply pointing and shooting? Have you been looking for a way to spice up your Marksman playthrough? You've come to the right place, my friend.

    I have compiled a list of unique and helpful Archery tactics that have been discovered since Skyrim's release. Some of the tactics have been presented in Character Builds but most definitely should not be restricted to them. Hopefully, some of these tactics will get people interested in a skill that seems very limited but, I can assure you, is not. If anyone has a trick/exploit/tactic they'd like to add, feel free to comment below. Enjoy!


    The Double Shot

    Two arrows can be fired off of one draw. This is achieved by tapping Attack/Sheathe/Attack immediately after firing an arrow. The second arrow will not travel far and will do less damage but ejects instantaneously if performed quickly. The second arrow also applies poisons, enchantments, stagger, and the Bullseye perk's paralyze effect. The second arrow does use enchantment charges. After both arrows are fired, the player will automatically draw another arrow and it will remain nocked even if the player is not holding the Attack button. By holding attack as the bugged arrow is being drawn, it will act normally.

    For all you crossbow lovers, this tactic's timing is even more difficult but can be repeated indefinitely. This means Crossbows never have to reload again and will deal full damage twice as fast! Run'n'Gunners anyone?

    The Half-Draw

    The Half-Draw was a technique that asgard detailed in one of his builds. This technique allows an archer to properly kite enemies while staying out of their weapons reach:

    1. Shoot someone until they get within melee.

    2. Wait for an attack.

    3. The very instant the NPC begins his attack, quickly sprint away, then perform the half-draw (really a partial draw, as sometimes you will be able to draw longer, sometimes shorter, and sometimes not at all, depending on the NPC).

    4. If the NPC is in melee again, go to 2, else go to 1.

    Many players will try to sprint away as soon as the NPC gets too close to them. This does nothing but waste stamina as most humanoids will sprint right behind you. The idea is to sprint while the NPC cannot (ie. they are swinging their weapon); because you can't gain much ground this way, you have to settle for a partial draw.


    Bow Blocking

    Again, a technique as simple as it sounds, yet extremely helpful for close-range Archery. There are two ways to block with a bow.

    • The first is a terrain glitch. While zooming with the Eagle Eye perk, walk off a cliff or ledge and continue holding zoom. When the player lands they will be in a blocking stance with the equipped bow in hand.
    • The second version is definitely more useful/reliable. While an arrow is nocked, hold down Block. Next, quickly un-equip and re-equip your bow via hotkey. When you equip your bow, you will take a blocking stance until Block is released. This can be performed with or without Eagle Eye!

    Bow Blocking calculates damage reduction like any other weapon and is affected by the Shield Wall, Block Runner, and Quick Reflexes perks. Also, a big thanks to Knight-Paladin Robert for discovering that Bow Blocking does not require Eagle Eye!

    Warning: 3rd person Archers should beware of "jimmy legs".


    Exploit Bashes

    There are two types of Exploit Bashes and each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    • The first requires the player to fire an arrow. When the archer's hands come to rest after firing an arrow, the player can bash for zero Stamina. The archer must have Stamina to perform this though. This bash will not stagger unless the player has the Power Shot perk because the bash is treated as an arrow, therefore, conferring poisons, enchantments etc. The cool thing about the first Exploit Bash is that it does not burn an enchantment's charge.
    • The second Exploit Bash can be performed without firing an arrow. Simply begin drawing an arrow and immediately sheathe the arrow and tap Bash. Just as before, Stamina is necessary but is not consumed. Note that none of the Block skill's bash perks affect these bashes. This version of the Exploit Bash does burn charges. Crossbows can only use the first version.


    The Crouch Bash

    Another shout out to asgard for discovering this odd gem. The player can bash with a bow and follow up by crouching and un-crouching to indefinitely bash with a bow even after Stamina is drained. It may look ridiculous but could be devastating with Block's Deadly Bash perk, Fortify Archery potions, and Marked for Death (see below).


    The Art of Bashing

    A huge shout out goes to James for discovering these gameplay mechanics! Bow Bashes are affected by Block's Deadly Bash perk and Fortify Marksman potions which can greatly increase their damage output! Marked for Death can also increase the damage from bashes because it continually decreases the enemy's Armor Rating, eventually lowering them to negative AR. Additionally, the amount of bash damage is dependent on the base damage of the weapon but no matter the bow, the Deadly Bash perk modifies all bashes with a 5x multiplier.

    To avoid redundancies, see James' post here. Long story short, Bow Bashing could be very devastating if the right mechanics are applied. Imagine going through an entire playthrough never having to shoot an arrow but rather punching bandits to death!


    The Beatdown

    This technique is for two people: archers who are down to their last arrow and archers who just wanna punch shit to death! I recently discovered that the infinite Crouch Bash combos with the Exploit Bash for the fastest damage a bow can deal.

    Simply execute the second version of the Exploit Bash and follow up by double tapping crouch approximately every second. If done correctly, the player can repeatedly/rapidly bash for arrow damage without actually firing an arrow but it does require you to have one arrow.


    Vampire/Necromage Archery

    The Vampire/Necromage combo (perking Necromage as a vampire) affects three Archery perks: Steady Hand, Power Shot, and Quick Shot.

    • Steady Hand  is rendered useless because time moves so slowly, the archer can hardly draw an arrow before Stamina runs out. Take this perk before obtaining Necromage.
    • Power Shot  is increased 25%, staggering enemies 62.5% of the time.
    • Quick Shot  is increased from a 130% multiplier to a 162.5% mulitplier.


    Hands-Free Archery

    This may seem obvious but due to the nature of Archery, the player does not have quick access to spells, staves, scrolls, etc. It is very time consuming to unequip a bow in favor of other weapons and often puts the marksman at a momentary disadvantage. In order to overcome the inconvenience, the following is a list of Healing and Summoning Powers/Shouts that can substitute spells, hands free! :)

    • Summoning PowersCall of Valor, Call Dragon, Summon Durnehviir, Summon Werebear, Summon Karstaag, Conjure Dragon Priest via Konahriik, Summon Ancient Dragonborn via Dragon Aspect
    • Healing PowersMora's Boon, Waters of Life, Nightingale Strife, Histskin

    Hotkeyed potions and poisons are also great, hands-free battle modifiers that should not be underestimated! Just ask any of the Alchemy buffs around here.


    Full credit goes to James for his input on these two Archery perks:

    Hunter's Discipline

    I could never find any information about what this perk actually did so others may also be interested.  When you hit an NPC with an arrow it has a 33% chance of being added to their inventory which can subsequently be looted if you kill them (this is why enemies will sometimes equip the arrows you're shooting at them if they are stronger than theirs).  With this perk taken this chance is modified to a 66% chance.  I see people saying this perk is worthless all the time, I don't understand this mentality.

    Power Shot

    There are two parts to this perk that need to be mentioned, regular bows and crossbows.  Stagger can be thought of as an animation that takes 'X' number of seconds to complete from start to finish, if your enemy is only being affected by a stagger magnitude of 0.5 then the animation will be half as long as it's full length.  It sounds more complicated than it really is.

    • Regular bows are given a 50% chance to stagger your enemy (if they can be staggered) by a magnitude of 0.25
    • Crossbows are given this same chance but are also given an additional chance (an identical dice roll) as an inherant bonus

    Basically when you take this perk every time you attack an NPC with your bow the game will do a dice roll, if it lands on positive you will also shoot out a spell that staggers the enemy.  Crossbows come pre-enchanted with this perk so if you take Powershot and use a crossbow you get two seperate dice rolls.  This is a very important difference to note.  Crossbows with Powershot do not have a 100% chance to stagger (I see people posting this all the time), they have two individual 50% chances...and if both dice rolls happen to land at the same time you will hit the enemy with a 0.5 stagger magnitude rather than the base 0.25.  Skyrim math is fun!


    Ranger's Roll

    Silent Rolls can be performed without the perk by crouching with a drawn bow, holding sprint, nocking an arrow and immediately sheathing it. Remember to never let go of sprint during the process. After exiting the roll, another can be performed by nocking and sheathing an arrow . This can be done continually until the user runs out of Stamina.

    It is worth noting that these rolls don't use Stamina. Rather your Stamina constantly drains as if you were sprinting. This actually allows the player more Silent Rolls at a quicker pace when compared to taking the perk and performing the basic Silent Roll.


    Advanced Archery Gameplay



    That's all for now folks! Although much of this is probably common knowledge, I figured I'd bring it all to one common place for the archers of TSB.

  • Member
    December 6, 2013

    So you think your the neighborhood archery expert or something?  Some of this is only common knowledge because of your Boiche Seeker!

    I really like the exploit bashing because I have been looking for a way to transfer the enchantment 100% of the time when bashing and not just some of the time. 

    Great work!

  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    Haha maybe I am! I do love my Archery :) I recently discovered that 'Beatdown' technique and it is ridiculous! It's the only real ability of my next build. Combined with an enchanted bow just wrecks anything.
  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    Did you test it out with the invisible exploding fireball arrow?
  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    If I only knew what you were talkin about...Tell me!
  • December 6, 2013

    There's a East Empire Company thing where you can get hit by exploding arrows and they can be used if you try to fire an arrow with none equipped.

  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    Pretty much what Prisoner said lol. At the end of the quest with the Blood Horkers there is a room that shoots fireballs at you. You stand and get hit by the fire and they leave arrows on you just like getting shot by a bow. They won't show up in your inventory though. So to equip them you have to shoot your last arrow of any type and then you will equip these invisible arrows. When you shoot one it is like shooting fireballs lol. You only can get them the one time your there though. I've been messing around with them a little ;)
  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    I'll look into that and add it. Is there a certain quest?
  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    That's incredible.
  • Member
    December 6, 2013
    The sad part is for them to be viable you have to stand there for an hour or two since you only get the chance once.