Question from Lordanubis12

What skills do I need to make a good archer?

Hey I am new to this game and I simply want to know how to create a good archer. I would like my archer to pack a great punch with a bow, but i'm not interested in a pure, so maybe advice on a good dagger/sword I can use? Also advice on where/how to get a good bow would be nice. Thank you, Alex

Answers

Emhilrad answered:

The game has a built-in archer class, which is a good basis for what you should go by. Typical archers of lore were skilled with the blade because you can't always have the luxury of being able to pick off targets from a distance. Just a warning to you, however, is that marksmanship is a difficult way to play through the game, many monsters take many arrows to kill. So I might suggest you start whoring out the sneak skill.

If you're on the PC you could also download the mod at TES Nexus called "speed and damage arrow mod" which basically makes archery do an appreciable amount of damage instead of being the least useful fighting type.
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skyrimpoppet answered:

Acrobatics archery stealth
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Bowhunter2525 answered:

To become a comfortable playing, non-mage guild, bow based character you have to work towards 100 Marksmanship and 100 Agility quickly to keep your bow's base damage competetive against the ever increasing health of the bad guys. You also need the upper Marksmanship perks to knock down or paralyze the enemy because you will probably be squishy while wearing light armor or street clothes. To build up fast you must be able to shoot lots of arrows into living/undead things for skill points, AND buy lessons, AND boost Agility by 4 or 5 points upon leveling. You cannot do that with Marksmanship as a major skill if you actually want to go out into the countryside, meet interesting people, and kill them--other major skills will work against you. The game characters, archers, assassins etc, start strong and can carry you though the main quest if that is all you do from the start, but they don't have staying power, IMO.

-Sneak is a good major skill.
-Mysticism is also good. You will need to fill soul gems for your magic bows, so starting with the skill at 25 lets you use a soul trap spell right away and avoid melee with a soul trapping axe.
-Alchemy is a bad idea. You want to be able to build alchemy fast and at unpredicatble times for poisons and potions. Its starting value doesn't matter.

Bosmers start with +10 Marksmanship. Add the Thief birthsign, Stealth specialty, and Agility and Luck bonus attibutes in a custom build and you will have the highest possible bow and arrow base damage to start, short of having Marksmanship as a major skill. High Luck also boosts poison damage. You do not have to start maxed out like that, but you will have to shoot more arrows to catch up if you don't.

Unless you decide to be a mages guild archer to be able to enchant your own bows with weakness spells, your power will diminish after the game's magic bows max out at level 17. Poisons will extend your effective period. For a mages-guild archer, you do not necessarily want your Marksmanship skill much above 50 since the knock down perk gets in the way of some two-shot tactics. High agility doesn't much matter either.

Good bows? Watch the two foresters fight northwest of the Bruma wall and take the silver bow from the loser, then use damage speed poisons to kill the Uderfrykte Matron as soon as you can. The bow she has cannot be beat early in the game (30 pt damage with 100 skill, 15 with zero skill, and cheap to shoot with souls). Get both at level 1 or 2. With those two bows you can 1) shoot a lot of arrows at all things, including ghosts, and 2) have a howitzer backup for when you get into trouble.

-Quest related archers have better bows sooner than ordinary bad guys. If you can remember who they are you can save those quests for levels when new classes of bows show up.
-Rockmilk Cave provides free arrows, and you can save and reload at the command tent to get the newest bow-type.
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