Released almost a full decade ago, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim features hundreds of different weapons for the Dragonborn to choose from, letting players mix and match different play styles to keep the game feeling fresh and exciting, even for the most seasoned explorers of the snow-coated province.
However, when faced with this plethora of weapons, many players will often overlook weapons that feature anything less than the highest damage stat or best DPS. If players are willing to look beyond the low base stats of some weapons, and instead look at their potential, the number of viable weapons for the Dragonborn to utilize increases dramatically.
While most players are familiar with the signature weapon of the Daedric Prince of Madness, the Wabbajack is oftentimes written off as a joke weapon, and not without reason. Any weapon that has a random chance to transform an enemy into a chicken, a wedge of cheese, or a rabbit is hard to take seriously. However, the Wabbajack offers a whopping 15+ different ways to either damage an enemy or end them in a single shot. As long as the player doesn’t mind the randomness of the weapon (and the chance it might actually backfire), the Wabbajack is a worthy weapon to consider for any Dragonborn’s arsenal.
With the addition of the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn DLCs, the humble fork has become a surprisingly useful option for most players. Restricted in the base game to two locations, the fork cannot be upgraded at a grindstone like most weapons. However, the fork excels at the enchanting table, and when coupled with either the paralysis or chaos enchantment, the fork becomes a fast and potent first-strike weapon. It also sells for a stunningly high amount of septims, and is a great way to make quick cash.
When looking at the base stats of the knife in-game, there’s not much to write home about. Dealing a measly two damage, players will deal twice as much damage (more, if the player chooses an Argonian or Khajiit character) if they simply went into battle unarmed.
However, in much the same vein as the fork, the knife is a viable option when given a potent enchantment, such as the chaos enchantment. The knife also is a viable way to make a heafty profit, as it costs very little to acquire (free, if the Hearthfire DLC is installed) and can be sold for a much higher price once enchanted.
Bow Of The Hunt
For most late-game players, hunting Skyrim’s many animals for cold hard cash might not be high on the list of priorities. But for players just starting their journies as the Dragonborn, or are looking for alternative ways striking it rich, the Bow of the Hunt can be a viable option. Located in Clearspring Tarn, the Bow of the Hunt offers players an additional 20 points of damage to all animals, including many creatures players might not consider to be “animals” (such as trolls, chauruses, or wearbears). When coupled with skills in the archery skill tree, the Bow of the Hunt can be a powerful addition to the Dragonborn’s arsenal, especially when delving into the woods or deep inside caves.
Valdr’s Lucky Dagger
Especially useful for players with an assassin or thief build, Valdr’s Lucky Dagger is a weapon that offers the player a 25% chance for a critical hit on each successful strike. While the base damage of the dagger is only five, if the weapon is paired with a stealth damage multiplier and a potent poison, the subsequent damage output can be positively devastating. It is neigh on essential for any aspiring member of the Dark Brotherhood or the Thieves Guild.
Included in the Hearthfire DLC, the wooden sword is intended to be given as a gift, and will even give the player the “Gift of Charity” effect when given to the Dragonborn’s children (if the player has adopted any). However, the wooden sword can be used in combat to surprising effect, even when considering the weapon’s relatively poor base stats.
Unlike the knife and the fork, the wooden sword can be improved at both the grindstone (with firewood) and the enchanting table, and has the added benefit of being an extremely lightweight one-handed combat weapon. It too can be sold for a princely sum, when sold with a decent enchantment.
Acquired during the “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine” quest, the humble shiv is similar to Valdr’s Lucky Dagger in the sense that it is a truly deadly weapon in the hands of stealth/assassin builds. While the base damage of five is *just* higher than the unarmed damage output of all human and elf races in game, the shiv provides a stealthy one-handed combat option that pairs well with the Assassin’s Blade perk, and can be further enhanced at an enchanting table.
On the surface, the Poacher’s axe is just a run-of-the-mill woodcutter’s axe. It shares the same in-game model as a normal axe, and has the same base damage output as the woodcutter’s axe. However, the Poacher’s Axe is one of the few unique weapons that can be disenchanted to learn its unique enchantment, “Huntsman’s Prowess,” which deals bonus damage to animals. However, if players would rather keep the unique axe, it swings 1.3x faster than a normal axe, putting it on par with most daggers.
An unassuming iron dagger at face value, Alessandra’s Dagger isn’t particularly useful for an upstanding citizen of Skyrim. However, if the player finds themselves in prison with any degree of frequency, Alessandra’s Dagger becomes an indespensable tool. As a quest item from one of the game’s many side quests, the weapon cannot be removed from a player’s inventory under any circumstance, a useful perk when all a player’s items are taken by the town guard upon their arrest.
The last of the layman’s toolkit, the pickax is most commonly used to mine the game’s various metal ores (and quarried stone in the Hearthfire DLC). However, the Notched Pickaxe (likely a reference to Notch, the developer of Minecraft) located atop the Throat of the World has a unique buff that increases the player’s smithing skill, as well as dealing shock damage to foes unfortunate enough to get close.