12 Best Bows in Skyrim & Where to Get Them (Ranked)

Do you want to know the best bows in Skyrim? If so, this is the article for you! In this post, we will be ranking bows from worst to best. All of these bows are obtainable in-game and have been ranked by their respective stats that include things such as damage per second, weight, and value.

To help you out even more with your decision-making process, we have also included a brief overview of each weapon so that players know what they’re getting themselves into before they buy a bow.

So let’s get started with our guide on the best bows in Skyrim.

Best Bows in Skyrim in 2021

1. Dragonbone Bow

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Dragonbone Bow in Skyrim

Dragonbone Bow is not only is the first bow on our list but it’s also one of the most powerful bows in Skyrim. With a damage per second of 15 and base damage of 20, it’s no wonder why this bow is quite popular among players.

This is one of the deadliest weapons available for archery in Skyrim making it the most popular weapon among the players. The bow is crafted from actual dragon bones

Once you obtain this bow, use it wisely and you should be able to get one of the best bows in Skyrim after enhancing it.

Base Damage: 20
DPS: 15
Speed: 0.75
Weight: 20

Where to Find Dragonbone Bow?

The Dragonbone Bow can be found in one of three locations. The first location is the Soul Cairn which you can access after completing the quest ‘Chasing Echoes’. The second location is at Fort Dawnguard where you can find this bow in the locked strongbox. Lastly, you can simply craft one yourself at Smithing level 100 using 2 Dragon bones and an Ebony Ingot.

This bow can be upgraded with Dragon Bone or with the Dragon Armour Perk and they are easily obtainable in-game.

2. Stalhrim Bow

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Stalhrim Bow in Skyrim

Stalhrim Bow is another best bow in Skyrim. This bow is the part of Dragonborn DLC and has the most damage per second after Dragonbone Bow, making it’s impressive. The bow shoots bolts of ice that can freeze enemies, making them easy pickings for you.

Stalhrim Bow is also one of the best bows in Skyrim (in our opinion). The bow boasts base damage of 17 and it’s accompanied by a damage per second of 9.5625. However, the only downside to this bow is that it’s more difficult to obtain than Dragonbone Bow.

This bow is hard to craft and requires level 80 in craft along with 3 Stalhrim pieces. However, the bow can also be bought from Balor or Glover (depending on your character’s level and skill).

Stalhrim Bow is a worthy alternative to Dragonbone Bow, and if you find it difficult to get your hands on a Dragonbone Bow then this might be a more viable option for you.

The only downside to this bow is that it’s fairly slow and can’t be upgraded like Dragonbone Bow can.

Base Damage: 17
DPS: 9.5625
Speed: 0.5625
Weight: 15

Where to Find Stalhrim Bow?

Stalhrim Bow can be bought from Balor in Skall or Glover in Raven Rock or it can also be obtained as random loot in chests. Other than that, you will need to go to Riften where you will find this bow stored in an old chest. After killing someone in Riften, you will also be able to find a bow in a chest located in one of the houses.

You can’t upgrade the bow so you’ll have to do with it for now.

3. Firiniel’s End Bow

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Firiniel’s End Bow in Skyrim

Firiniel’s End bow is one of those bows that can be obtained from a quest. The bow is rewarded to you after completing the Dark Brotherhood quest. In addition, this bow boasts a high damage per second of 8.9 and its base damage is 13 which makes it a worthy contender as one of the best bows in Skyrim.

The level requirement for this weapon is 25 and it’s a two-handed weapon, making it quite unique. This bow also has the ability to shoot fire in the form of arrows. Firiniel’s End is therefore one of the best bows in Skyrim.

Base Damage: 13
DPS: 8.931
Speed: 0.687
Weight: 12

Where to Find Firiniel’s End?

The bow can only be found during or after completing the Dark Brotherhood quest Bound Until Death, at the balcony of Castle Dour, Solitude.

4. Zephyr Bow

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Zephyr Bow in Skyrim

Zephyr Bow is a unique bow in the sense that it makes no sound when you fire an arrow. The bow also boasts a damage per second of 10 which is quite impressive. However, this bow’s base damage is only 12 which makes it quite weak in our opinion.

Zephyr Bow can be obtained after completing the quest ‘Lost to the Ages’ Quest.

Zephyr Bow has the highest damage per second among all of the bows mentioned in this post which makes it one of the best bows in Skyrim. When we see it combined with the damage it is also a pretty strong bow for archery in Skyrim.

Base Damage: 12
DPS: 22.12
Speed: 1.0
Weight: 10

Where to Find Zephyr Bow?

Zephyr can be obtained after completing the ‘Lost to the Ages’ Quest in which Katria (Nord ghost) herself will tell you the location of her death. You will find the bow there at the end of the log.

5. Gauldur Blackbow

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Gauldur Blackbow Bow in Skyrim

 

Gauldur Blackbow is a heavy bow that shoots arrows reinforced with Dwarven metal. This makes the bow as strong as it is as it aims at dealing decent damage and has a damage rate of 14. However, you can’t upgrade this bow, and other than that it’s fairly average.

Generally, this bow isn’t used much by most players because Dragonbone Bow offers superior stats and stats over all other bows in the game (with the exception of Stalhrim Bow). However, this bow has received mixed responses from the players, and most agree that it’s better than poorer bows in the game.

Base Damage: 14
DPS: 12.25
Speed: 0.875
Weight: 18

Where to Find Gauldur Bow?

You can’t craft this bow, but you can get it from ‘Forbidden Legend’ Quest. You will get this bow when it is dropped by Sigdis in Geirmund’s Hall during the quest. However, this weapon isn’t very useful because of its low damage per second but if you get this bow when you are above level 36 then you get the best stats available for this bow making it among the best bows in Skyrim.

6. Daedric Bow

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Daedric Bow in Skyrim

Daedric Bow might be a little difficult to find, but this bow is a must-have in every archer’s arsenal because of its devastating effects. The bow can shoot an explosive arrow that can deal massive damage to enemies around the target which makes it among the best bows in Skyrim.

The Daedric Bow has a damage per second of 9.5 and has a base damage of 19. You also gain 12% more damage when you shoot the arrows from the bow itself. This bow is very powerful and it’s not surprising that this bow has one of the highest damage per second among bows in Skyrim.

Base Damage: 19
DPS: 9.5
Speed: 0.5
Weight: 18

Where to Find Daedric Bow?

There are several ways in which you can obtain this bow. The first way is by killing the legendary dragons, which include Sahloknir and Otar the Dragon. You can also get it from a random loot chest after reaching level 46. The last option is by crafting it yourself after reaching level 90 smithing skill with the Daedric smithing perk.

Other than that, you can also get it from the Brood Cavern (from a dead archer) or can also be bought using a black market spell. For enchanted ones, you can get them after you have reached level 47, at Riften (Tonilia), Windhelm (Niranye), or at The Ragged Flagon (Syndus).

7. Nightingale Bow

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Nightingale Bow in Skyrim

Nightingale Bow is a lightweight and fast bow with amazing damage per second and is also one of the best bows in Skyrim. This bow has a damage rate of 9.5 which makes it the most lightweight of all bows in Skyrim. It can deal up to 19 points of damage with each shot which is more than enough for almost every archer to use this bow for a bit.

Nightingale Bow has a base damage of 19 and can be upgraded with one perk in ‘Nightingale’. However, the only downside to this bow is that you need to raise your Sneak skill in order to be able to use it.

Base Damage: 19
DPS: 9.5
Speed: 0.5
Weight: 18

Where to Find Nightingale Bow?

You can earn Nightingale Bow by completing the Blindsighted Quest. You will be given a quest from Karliah who will give you this bow during the Thieves Guild questline.

8. Glass Bow

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Glass Bow in Skyrim

Glass Bow is one of the most common & best bows in Skyrim, but it isn’t very powerful. This bow has a damage per second of 9.375 and has a base damage of 15 which makes it look like an amazing bow at first, but is let down by its low-level scaling.

This difficulty in finding this bow is compensated by the fact that it can be crafted easily at any Smithing station after you reach level 70 in Smithing skill. However, the crafting materials aren’t very easy to find.

Base Damage: 15
DPS: 9.375
Speed: 0.625
Weight: 14

Where to Find Glass Bow?

The best way to get this bow is by looting it from an enemy or purchasing it from a merchant after you reach level 27. The Glass Bow can be crafted at any Smithing Station once you reach level 70 in the Smithing skill.

9. Auriel’s Bow

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Auriel’s Bow in Skyrim

Auriel’s Bow is one of the best bows in Skyrim, and it is also among the most difficult bows to obtain. This bow can easily destroy any opponent and has a damage rate of 13 which makes it a very powerful bow to have in your arsenal.

Auriel’s Bow also has a base damage of `13, which means there is not much room for improvement in the stats of this bow. However, if you can obtain an Ancient Enchanter then you can create a Gilded Bows that will provide you with the opportunity to further upgrade this powerful bow.

Along with being one of the best bows in Skyrim, Auriel’s Bow is also known for being the only bow to contain Elven arrows. This means you can easily use this bow to run around and shoot enemies without reloading it.

Base Damage: 13
DPS: 13
Speed: 1.0
Weight: 11

Where to Find Auriel’s Bow?

Auriel’s Bow is a special weapon that can only be obtained by completing the Dawnguard quest ‘Touching the Sky’. This weapon is acquired after defeating the Arch-Curate Vyrthur, and you will be rewarded with this bow at the end of this quest.

10. Ebony Bow

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Ebony Bow in Skyrim

 

Ebony Bow is a powerful bow that can be obtained after reaching level 36. This bow has a DPS of 9.554 and deals a base damage of 17 which means you have very little room to upgrade its damage, but you can improve its gold value by upgrading its material (Ebony).

This bow can be crafted at any Smithing station after you’ve reached level 80 in Smithing skill. Ebony Bow also has a slow draw rate and a very powerful base damage that means this bow is very useful for those who don’t want to spend time running around and want to take out every single enemy with just one shot.

Base Damage: 17
DPS: 9.554
Speed: 0.562
Weight: 16

Where to Find Ebony Bow?

You can easily find Ebony Bow can be obtained by looting it from the enemy or purchasing it from a merchant after you reach level 36. This bow can be crafted at any Smithing Station after reaching level 80 in the Smithing skill.

11. Dwarven Black Bow of Fate

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Dwarven Black Bow of Fate in Skyrim

Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is one of the best bows in Skyrim, and it can be obtained very easily. This bow has a damage rate of 9.75, which means it can deal massive damage to any enemy. However, this bow is held back by the fact that it has a slow draw rate and depletes your stamina pretty quickly.

Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is a special and powerful bow, and it’s among the best bows in Skyrim. This bow has the highest damage per second in the entire game, and it can deal up to 13 damage with each arrow.

Also, you can upgrade its DPS up to 28.5 using enchantments. However, this power comes with a price. The Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is very heavy which makes it difficult for many players to use this weapon effectively in close combat.

Base Damage: 13
DPS: 9.75 (28.5 DPS w/ enchantment)
Speed: 0.75
Weight: 10

Where to Find Dwarven Black Bow of Fate?

This bow can be earned from completing the Kagrumez Quest. This quest is located in Solstheim, and you have to complete a few other quests in order to reach this location. You will find it behind the gate in Kagrumez, which you can access after collecting all the Resonance Gems.

12. Glass Bow of the Stag Prince

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Glass Bow of the Stag Prince in Skyrim

Glass Bow of the Stag Prince is another lightweight bow that can easily destroy anyone who stands in your way. Its damage per second is 10 and it has a base damage of 16 so you can’t get much better than this.

Its cost is high, but the potential payoff is enormous, especially since you can buy Glass Bow of the Stag Prince at Ramshackle Trading Post.

The only reason why this bow isn’t higher on the list is because of its high cost still it’s better enough to include it in the best bows in Skyrim.

Base Damage: 16
DPS: 10
Speed: 0.625
Weight: 14

Where to Find Glass Bow of the Stag Prince Bow?

You can find it at the Ramshackle Trading Post if you are on The Pale questline. If you are not, then you might have to do some more side quests like Searching for the File. You will be able to purchase it from Falas Selvayn, who is standing outside of this inn after completing The Pale questline.

Best Bow In Skyrim?

If I had to choose the one Skyrim best bow then it would be Dragonbone Bow. This is just not my choice but it’s the favorite choice of many users and it is because it has the highest damage and it’s one of the strongest weapons an archer can think of.

Although if we talk about a bow with the highest DPS then it would be Zephyr Bow, it has the highest DPS among all the bows and with a base damage of 12, it is also one of the strongest bows in Skyrim.

Conclusion

In this article, we have provided you with a complete overview of the best bows in Skyrim. The Dragonbone Bow is the first bow on our list and it’s also one of the most powerful bows in-game.

If you’re interested in more Skyrim articles, check out our best Skyrim wife list with their locations for an overview of all partners available in the game to marry. Until next time, farewell!

As always, you can leave comments below. Your feedback is highly appreciated. Stay tuned for more upcoming articles! See you soon with more game-related topics!

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