Shouting loudly and carrying the biggest sticks in Skyrim is easy enough since the best weapons in the game are given to the players like difficulty reduction coupons. This does tend to make the weaker weapons pale in comparison in the background. However, ignoring such weapons simply bars you from having fun you never thought you could in the stern and serious land of the Nords.
Suffice to say, there are tons of underrated weapons in Skyrim. They’re that way either because of how hard they are to obtain or how their gimmick falls into a certain niche. Still, these weapons can prove to be as good as some of the guaranteed heavy hitters such as Volendrung or sneaky menaces like Mehrunes’ Razor.
Compared to big and radiant threats such as Dawnbreaker, the Ghostblade takes a quieter and more sinister approach. It’s a one-handed sword that deals an extra three points of damage every swing. It doesn’t sound like much, but one-handed swords are fast so it adds up.
The best part is that the three extra damage every swing ignores any armor that the target has. Hence, Ghostblade isn’t entirely useless in high-level gameplay since players can sneak in some bits of pure damage even if the target is a tanky Draugr that just won’t die.
9 Bow Of The Hunt
Animals might not sound like a threatening enemy class in Skyrim but how many times have you actually defeated a Mammoth in single combat without any trouble? Bears and Sabre Cats are also some of the biggest consistent threats while exploring nature.
Luckily, the game lets players deal with those animals from afar using the Bow of the Hunt. This unique Hunter Bow lets players do 20 extra points of damage to animals, and that’s actually a huge bonus relatively speaking. It’s the perfect weapon for sniping some mammoths and then running away after their giant bodyguards get angry.
8 Targe Of The Blooded
Love playing defensively as a shieldmaiden in Skyrim? Don’t you wish there’s a way to damage enemies while turtling behind a shield? Well, Targe of the Blooded is an awesome 2-for-1 weapon in this regard. It’s a shield that lets players damage enemies with a shield bash.
The bash will then deal three damage over the course of five seconds and can be replenished as soon as it’s gone. When combined with another attrition-based weapon like the Ghostblade, it essentially turns the players into a tanky porcupine.
7 Headsman’s Axe
Not many players can obtain the Headsman’s Axe since it requires breaking the law by killing its owner or stealing the axe. As the name implies, it belongs to an executioner or headsman, and there are only two of these NPCs in the game; one is named Ahtar in Solitude.
The other one belongs to an Imperial executioner at the start of the game, the one who beheaded Roggvir. The reason why it’s such a good weapon is due to its range. It’s the longest melee weapon in Skyrim, letting players kite their enemies while chipping away at their health from a safe distance. It’s not exactly a tactic that would have made its previous owners proud, but who cares what they think? They’re either dead or burned by the time players get the Headsman’s Axe.
6 The Pale Blade
Why kill all enemies when one can simply make them cower in fear? That can save players from the pain of having to go through Skyrim‘s clunky melee combat. In such cases, The Pale Blade is a great weapon that combines two mechanics in one weapon.
It’s first and foremost a one-handed sword that deals 25 points of Frost damage. That’s not all, The Pale Blade also makes surrounding creatures and people flee as long as they’re level 16 or below. With a gimmick and effect like that, The Pale Blade is a good contender against Daedric Artifact weapons.
Much like The Pale Blade, Chillrend is a weapon for the cold and calculating. It’s also a one-handed sword that’s a unique Elven Glass Sword and also deals Frost damage. Chillrend does 30 points of extra Frost per swing, making it a cut above other Frost-type swords.
What makes it miles better for offense-oriented players is that Chillrend is also has a chance to paralyze its target for two seconds. After that, they’re pretty much an unfortunate piñata that’s waiting to get cracked open for experience and loot. Conversely, players can also use the paralysis to escape some annoying enemies.
Speaking of toying with your targets, Windshear is a weapon unlike any other in Skyrim. Of course, scimitars are rare enough sights in Skyrim — as a certain, overly-repeated line of guard dialogue is keen to remind you at every turn. But this particular scimitar truly is something special.
Simply put, the Windshear blows enemies your away, literally. Each bash attack from this scimitar has a chance of knocking down enemies, effectively taking them out of the fight for several seconds. Pair it with something like Chillrend for added fun.
3 Harkon’s Sword
Most lifesteal weapons in Skyrim tend to be overshadowed by the monstrous and evil Ebony Blade. That one’s easy to obtain and has no debilitating conditions. However, if players have already committed to being bloodsuckers in Skyrim, then Harkon’s Sword is objectively better.
Whereas the Ebony Blade only steals health from the enemy, Harkon’s Sword absorbs health, magicka, and stamina. The stamina part is rather crucial as it lets you do more power attacks. The catch is that one has to be a vampire to reap the benefits of this sword.
Think of Keening as a Harkon’s Sword junior, but without the drawbacks of necessitating its owner to be a vampire. Also, it’s a dagger so the reach is suboptimal, making it more of a good secondary weapon option instead of the main hand weapon.
However, it still lets players steal 10 points of health, magicka, and stamina damage which is only five points less from Harkon’s Sword. It’s a good alternative for anyone not willing to betray the Dawnguard or remove their lycanthropy.
1 Khajiit Paws
Who needs weapons when nature gave you some adorable killing tools? Khajiit has not only wares but claws as well, making them expert pugilists with 15 points of extra damage to unarmed strikes. This right away makes them a viable unarmed build at the start of the game.
Throughout the progression in Skyrim, Khajiit can only become more powerful with several rings, gloves, and armor enchantments that can augment the unarmed damage. They may be the butt of a lot of memes, but make no mistake — you don’t want to be on the wrong end of those claws.