Best Arrows in Skyrim: Arrow-nomics 101

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As an adventurer in Skyrim, choosing the right arrow for the job can make all the difference in a fight. Whether taking down a dragon or hunting for some venison, having the right type of arrow can give you an edge in combat and provide various benefits.

Arrows are great for attacking hard-to-reach enemies and dealing great damage as a sneak attack when infiltrating an enemy stronghold stealthily. You will come across many different kinds of arrows in Skyrim on your adventure; all arrows differ in damage, weight, price, and aesthetics.

Arrows, apart from being found as loot, can be crafted as well! While different crafting items are needed for each arrow, Firewood remains the common ingredient.

In this post, we’ll look at the best arrows in Skyrim and what makes them stand out from the rest.

Selection Criteria

When choosing the best arrows in Skyrim, several factors were considered, including damage, weight, and rarity. The arrows on this list are not only powerful, but they are also easily accessible and suitable for a variety of playstyles.

  • Damage: The damage dealt by the arrow is considered, with higher-damage arrows being given priority.
  • Special Effects: Arrows with unique properties or special effects, such as elemental damage or paralysis, are given preference.
  • Availability: Easily obtainable arrows, whether through crafting or purchasing, are preferred over those difficult to acquire.
  • Compatibility: The arrow’s compatibility with various bows and archery perks is considered.
  • Part of the base game or DLC: Priority is given to arrows found in the base game, but exceptional arrows from DLCs are also included in the list.
  • Non-mod Arrows: This list is based solely on arrows that can be found in the game without using mods.

The top 10 arrows are chosen based on the above criteria and ranked accordingly.

Top 10 Arrows in Skyrim

skyrim dwarven arrow

10. Dwarven Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 14
  • Crafting Material: Dwarven metal ingot + Firewood

Dwarven Arrows are great because they’re powerful and easy to find. They are a solid choice for taking down those pesky Dwemer machines.

They deal decent damage and are also easy to find in Dwemer ruins. Plus, if you’re married to Aela the Huntress, she’ll restock her store with them every few days. Not only that but crafting them is also a quick and efficient way to level up your Smithing skills.

9. Orcish Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 12
  • Crafting Material: Orichalcum ingot + Firewood

Forsworn enemies and bandits drop Orcish arrows, and once you hit level 6, you can also find them in general stores and blacksmith shops.

Even though they’re not the strongest, they’re way better than steel and iron arrows in terms of damage.

8. Nordic Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 14
  • Crafting Material: Steel Ingot + Quicksilver Ingot + Firewood

The Nordic Arrow is a bit more powerful than the Orcish one, but you can’t find them as easily. You need to have the Dawnguard expansion and the Advanced Armors perk to craft them. Nordic arrows are costly, and the material needed to craft them is costly too.

7. Steel Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 10
  • Crafting Material: Steel Ingot + Firewood

Steel arrows are a great all-around choice. They’re not the strongest, but they’re still pretty powerful and are easy to find throughout Skyrim. Steel arrows do more damage than Iron and Falmer arrows, and they are very cheap to craft.

Moreover, you can find a soldier practicing near Dragonsreach with Iron arrows. Go to the target he’s shooting at, and you will have an infinite supply of Steel arrows!

6. Elven Arrow

elven arrow skyrim

  • Damage Rating: 16
  • Crafting Material: Refined Moonstone + Firewood

Elven arrows are no joke; they are some of the most powerful arrows in the game. But here’s the thing: they are challenging to come by. You might be able to find some as loot or buy them from merchants, but they’re not exactly common.

Here’s the real kicker, if you complete the “Touching the Sky” quest in the Dawnguard DLC, you can turn regular Elven arrows into Bloodcursed Elven arrows, which makes them even deadlier.

And if that wasn’t enough, these arrows can also black out the sun when shot from Auriel’s Bow, which adds a new level of strategy to your battles. But here’s the catch: the sun-blocking effect only lasts a day and has limited practical applications.

touching the sky quest skyrim

bloodcursed elven arrow skyrim

Tell me that isn’t cool!

Another variation of these arrows is Sunhallowed Elven arrows. These babies can be obtained by Knight-Paladin Gelbor, who will enchant them for you if you bring him regular Elven arrows. These arrows can be shot toward the sun to cause an explosion that damages both friends and foes or at enemies to inflict a damaging sunlight effect for a few seconds.

Bottom line, don’t sleep on these arrows; give them a try, and see for yourself the raw power they possess.

5. Glass Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 18
  • Crafting Material: Refined Malachite + Firewood

When it comes to arrows in Skyrim, Glass arrows are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They pack a powerful punch but keep in mind there are variations of Elven arrows that may have a bit more damage.

Glass arrows are one of the coolest arrows in Skyrim. Moreover, they cause serious damage and are very expensive to purchase in the game. These arrows start appearing well after you’re level 25 – 30 in loot chests and inventories of merchants.

4. Stalhrim Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 20
  • Crafting Material: Stalhrim + Firewood

Stalhrim arrows are some of the most powerful arrows in the game, and surprisingly, they’re easy to come by. You have to complete the quest “A New Source of Stalhrim,” and boom, you’ll have access to these arrows.

Just keep in mind you do need the Dragonborn DLC installed. The thing is, they spawn sparingly, so your best bet is to make them yourself.

3. Ebony Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 20
  • Crafting Material: Ebony Ingot + Firewood

Ebony arrows may not be as strong as Dragonbone or Daedric, but they’re still powerful and are great for taking down tougher enemies. When it comes to arrows in Skyrim, Ebony arrows are definitely worth checking out. You’ll start seeing them at the Fletcher in Solitude after the game’s early stages, and they cost around seven gold each.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can use Ebony ingots at forges. So, it’s a good idea to collect as many ebony ingots as you can during your journey. It’s worth mentioning that these arrows are some of the most powerful in the game, so even if you suck as an archer in Skyrim, equip yourself with these arrows and take down the strongest of enemies.

2. Daedric Arrow

daedric arrow skyrim

  • Damage Rating: 24
  • Crafting Material: Ebony Ingot + Daedra Heart + Firewood

While Dragonbone armor and weapons are the strongest in Skyrim, personally, I use Daedric armor and weapons because they are so cool! I think it has something to do with the hellish blackness of Daedric equipment, which enhances the cool factor.

Apart from the coolness, these arrows are extremely powerful, expensive, and difficult to craft since Daedra hearts are not easy to find. You can use console commands to spawn Daedra hearts in your inventory or check Enthir in the College of Winterhold.

These arrows are incredibly powerful and pitch black (more than Ebony arrows), and they go so well with your Daedra armor.

1. Dragonbone Arrow

  • Damage Rating: 25
  • Crafting Material: Dragon Bone + Firewood

Dragonbone arrows are the strongest arrows found in Skyrim. These aren’t easily available to buy in the game (apart from Soul Cairn), so you’ll need to craft them.

These bad boys pack a serious punch, with the most tremendous base damage of any arrow in the game. Plus, they’re craftable with dragon bones, which you can easily get your hands on since you’ll be slaying many dragons in the game.

It would be best if you reached the highest Smithing level to get the perk to craft these arrows. Moreover, only after reaching level 45 will you be able to access Dragonbone arrows.

Honorable Mentions

Rusty Arrow – Rare

  • Damage Rating: 4
  • Crafting: Why would you want to craft these?

Rusty arrows are the second weakest arrows in the game (the first being Practice Arrow, which deals 0 damage and is not on this list).

As weak as they are, Rusty arrows are rare in the game. So, if you get your hands on a Rusty arrow, keep it as a souvenir (mainly because it isn’t worth anything when you try selling it to merchants in Skyrim).

You can easily confuse them with Ancient Nord arrows when an enemy drops them, but the damage is significantly less than Ancient Nord arrows.

Iron Arrow – Best for Practicing

  • Damage Rating: 8
  • Crafting Material: Iron ingot + Firewood

Iron arrows are some of the most common ones you can find everywhere around Skyrim. Easily located from the beginning of the game when you’re clearing out bandit hideouts or looting guards. The damage dealt by these arrows is a little, but it does the job when you’re still in the early stages of the game, and the enemies are relatively easy to beat, too. These arrows are great for practicing your aim in Skyrim VR.

iron arrow skyrim

All those hours shooting arrows in Skyrim VR better make me an Archer!

Falmer Arrow – Great For Making Money

  • Damage Rating: 7
  • Crafting Material: Cannot be crafted

Falmer Arrows are a tad better than Iron arrows (mainly because they are one gold in value, while Iron arrows are worth 0 gold) and are easily found in Dwemer ruins. They are made by the Falmer, a race of blind elves living in Skyrim’s Dwemer ruins.

The Falmer arrows are unique because they have a higher damage rating than regular iron arrows, making them slightly more effective in combat.

They are easily found in loot chests and ruins, making them great as backup arrows when you run out of the high-damage ones.

Ancient Nord Arrow – High Damage And Common

  • Damage Rating: 10
  • Crafting Material: Cannot be crafted

Ancient Nord arrows are usually found on Draugrs, which you come across in dungeons. The damage rating on these arrows is slightly greater than Iron arrows, and they are worth one gold in value, similar to Falmer arrows.

You can find them in old Nord Tombs, where skeletons and Draugrs use them. They’re easy to come by and weigh nothing, so you can grab a bunch of them when you’re still in the early stages of the game., and sell them for a good price.

Bonus: Arrow to the Knee

This arrow is commonly found on the knees of guards around Skyrim who want to become adventurers, much like us. Unfortunately, they took an ‘Arrow to the knee’ that stopped them from pursuing a life of adventure, and they ‘got stuck with guard duty while their brother is out hunting dragons.’

This is a comedic reference to casual quotes by Skyrim guards, which goes like, “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee…”

arrow to the knee skyrim

A Skyrim classic!

‘Arrow to the knee’ is a metaphor for getting married, which is why the poor guards cannot go out on adventures around Skyrim, slaying dragons and exploring the land.

You can get the arrow to the knee by wearing an Amulet of Mara and approaching a potential partner – more on that in the Skyrim Marriage Guide.


Question: What Are the Best Arrows for Taking Down Dragons?

Answer: The Dragonbone arrows deal the most damage, making it the best choice for taking down dragons and every foe that crosses your path in Skyrim.

Question: Are Arrows Weightless in Skyrim?

Answer: Yes, arrows in Skyrim don’t occupy space in your inventory, which wasn’t the case in previous TES games.

Question: What is the Best Arrow in Skyrim?

Answer: The best arrow in Skyrim is undoubtedly the Dragonbone arrow which deals 25 damage to your enemies. It is a rare arrow that is difficult to locate in the game and requires the player to craft it with dragon bones and Firewood in a forge.


So, there you have it, folks! The best arrows in Skyrim! When it comes to choosing the right arrow for the job, can make all the difference in a fight. And remember, the top 10 arrows are based on the criteria and ranked accordingly, so be sure to consider that when choosing your arrows in your next adventure.

In conclusion, the choice of an arrow is vital for any archer in Skyrim. Take the time to consider the options available and choose the best arrow for your play style and the enemies you will face.

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