Increasing your archery skill is a surefire way to create a powerful character in Skyrim. High level archers deal a devastating amount of damage in the game. Whether you want to become an expert huntsman, or a master thief or assassin, you’ll want to increase your Skyrim archery skill as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, leveling your archery skill can be a slow, frustrating process at times, and training does take effort. Want to become an expert marksman? Follow these proven strategies.
Increase Your Skyrim Archery Skill
To gain experience with the bow you must shoot at live targets that take damage. Forget about those archery targets scattered around Skyrim — they look nice with their painted bulleyes, but shooting at these circle targets won’t increase your Skyrim archery skill one bit. Save your arrows for bandits, giants, wolves, Frost Spiders, and the like. Every successful hit with an arrow gains you experience. Keep these tips in mind:
- Every time you score a successful hit with an arrow against a live target you gain experience.
- You don’t gain experience for missed shots.
- The more damage you do with a bow and arrow, the more experience you gain.
- Killing your target with an arrow gives you additional experience.
[table caption=”Skyrim Archery Trainers” width=”500″ colwidth=”20|20|20″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Name, Trainer Type, Location,Max Level Trained To
Aela The Huntress,Expert,Whiterun (Companions),75
Niruin,Master,Riften (Thieves Guild),90
Note: If you want to train with either Aela The Huntress or Niruin, you’ll need to belong to the appropriate faction (i.e., the Companions or Thieves Guild).
A fourth Trainer of sorts can be found in Angi’s Camp (located in the Jerall Mountains south of Falkreath). Angi is a Nord in hiding, and will teach you archery for free if you take part in target practice training through the Composure, Speed, and Precision quest. The training consists of four rounds, and successful completion will net you a total of six skill points in Archery (check out the youtube video below by Tricatproductions for a quick walkthrough). Also, while you’re in Angi’s Camp, be sure to read The Gold Ribbon of Merit on the end table to gain an additional Archery point.
Archery Skill Books
Besides The Gold Ribbon of Merit, a number of other books exist that will help you increase your Skyrim archery skill. Reading a skill book will increase your Archery skill by one point. You can’t read the same book more than once.
[table caption=”Archery Skill Books” width=”500″ colwidth=”20|20|20″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Book Title, Location
Father of the Niben, Wreck of the Brinehammer
Father of the Niben, Autumnshade Clearing (on dead hunter)
The Black Arrow v2,Drunken Huntsman Tavern (behind counter)
The Black Arrow v2, Valtheim Towers
The Gold Ribbon of Merit,Fletcher’s Shop in Solitude
The Gold Ribbon of Merit, Angi’s Camp
The Marksmanship Lesson, Dawnstar Sanctuary in map room
The Marksmanship Lesson, Mixwater Mill (Gilfre’s House)
The Marksmanship Lesson, Jorrvaskr’s quarters
The Marksmanship Lesson, Cliffside Retreat
Vernaccus and Bourlor, Knifepoint Ridge (in Smithshop)
Vernaccus and Bourlor, Froki’s Shack
Vernaccus and Bourlor, Greywinter Watch
It takes time and money to increase your Skyrim archery skill. To make things cheaper and to speed things up, there are a few effective cheats you can use:
- Have Faendal train you for free by completing the quest A Lovely Letter and adding him as a Follower. After paying Faendal for training sessions, access his inventory by saying “I want to trade some things with you.” Once you gain access to his inventory you’ll see the gold you paid him and can take it all back without penalty.
- The same cheat with Faendal works with Aela The Huntress if you complete the Companions quest line and add her as a Follower. Pay her, take a look at her inventory, and take your money back.
- If you’re a practitioner of Conjuration magic, summon a minion with either Conjure Familiar, Raise Zombie, or similar spell. Once the minion appears, feather it with arrows to gain experience.
- If you have the Ice Form shout, take a quiver of low damage iron arrows and find a Troll. Freeze the Troll with Ice Form and shoot it with iron arrows, allowing the Troll time to regenerate its health. Once the Ice Form wears off, retreat and allow your Shout to build up again. The Troll will pursue you, and as soon as it gets close: freeze, shoot, repeat.
Do you know of any additional techniques or cheats to increase your Skyrim archery skill? If so, please share your advice in the Speak Your Mind section below. We’re all fellow travelers here in Tamriel’s northern province, and can benefit from each other’s experience.