Although it’s still technically the most recent main installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise, it can be surprising to remember that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has now been out for seven years. In all that time, millions of fans around the globe have delved into this world of knights, dragons, skooma, and Argonian maids.
Everyone has their own unique play style – whether that comes down to the class they choose for their character or the quests they decide to complete. The game gives you choices so that you can enjoy it in a way that suits you – as in-depth or surface-level as you want. For example, not everyone will choose to dive head-first into the vast amounts of lore, or make it their mission to complete all the quests. To some hardcore fans, this might seem crazy. Let’s not forget that Skyrim has its main questline and also numerous side quests and missions to keep you occupied for hours and hours on end. Plus, we have those included in the expansion packs. For a lot of casual fans, all this simply isn’t necessary.
More passionate Skyrim fans also tend to pride themselves on collecting all the best weapons, armor, and other items to make their character the best they can be. Combining this with all the extra quests that more dedicated fans will complete, we’re left with many super powerful items that casual players just won’t come across – and some that are too weak to bother with at all.
Here are 15 Overpowered Items Casual Fans Will Never Find (And 5 That Are Too Weak).
20 OVERPOWERED: BOW OF THE HUNT
The Bow of the Hunt may not be the best archery weapon in the game – especially not when it comes to normal combat – but it does provide a great advantage for newer players who don’t want to just play by the numbers. First of all, you can’t grab this unique bow just anywhere; you have to seek it out by travelling to Clearspring Tarn and finding the nearby cave.
The bow has a base damage of just 10 points – but like the name suggests, it’s actually most effective against creatures. The enchantment inflicts an additional 20 points of damage to animals, making it a powerful weapon for grinding. Most casual fans won’t bother to find something like this until they’ve already moved past its usefulness, which means that more dedicated players can give themselves a boost.
19 TOO WEAK: WABBAJACK
Even though this Daedric staff has now made an appearance in five distinct Elder Scrolls titles – and indeed may look enticing to players who specialize in collecting – its use as a proper weapon is actually quite limited. The Wabbajack is inspired by the writings of Lewis Carol (Alice in Wonderland), with its name purposely invoking Carol’s famous creature, the Jabberwocky. In the spirit of Wonderland’s madness, the effect the staff has whenever you use it is completely random; some effects are good, like invisibility or healing, while others are damaging or just bizarre, like replacing an enemy with cheese.
It can be highly amusing to play around with the Wabbajack, but it’s probably best not to even waste your time with it.
18 OVERPOWERED: BLOODSCYTHE + SOULRENDER
Both found at different points during the quest “Deathbrand”, it may not be immediately apparent that these two scimitars are designed to be wielded together. Alone, the individual blades have a base damage of 13 points each, but when the two are combined, Bloodscythe absorbs 15 health and Soulrender absorbs 15 magicka from their target. Fighting with both of them will provide any light-classed fighters with a fast and effective attack.
While duel-wielding may be off-putting to some less experienced players, as not having a shield for defense can be daunting while you journey into dungeons or take down bandit camps, for others in the know, Bloodscythe and Soulrender make an excellent team.
17 OVERPOWERED: FORTIFY CARRY WEIGHT (POTIONS)
We’ve all been there: we’re hunting a bunch of animals, crafting new gear, or looting bodies and then, all of a sudden, we slow to a crawl. Our character can’t run anymore, and every step feels like walking through jelly. Casual players may find random potions for a quick boost in strength, but making your own to get you across the finish line is always best.
Though many ingredients can be used to create varying strengths in potions, some combinations have negative side effects. Try Hawk Beak + Wisp Wrappings, which not only increases your strength for a limited time, but also restores your stamina, making this potion the ultimate quick fix for any dire travelling situation.
16 OVERPOWERED: ZEPHYR (DAWNGUARD)
Another archery weapon, Zephyr from the Skyrim expansion Dawnguard is a unique Dwarven bow. It can be found in the Dwemer ruin of Arkngthamz during the quest “Lost to the Ages”, where we find out that it once belonged to the Nord Katria.
What makes Zephyr so good (besides its awesome name) is that it fires arrows 30% faster than any normal bow. Even though its base damage is just 14, its speed means that it has the highest base damage per second of any archery weapon in the whole game. For players who like to unleash massive volleys of deadly arrows upon large groups of enemies, it doesn’t get much better than Zephyr.
15 TOO WEAK: WORN SHROUDED ARMOR
The Worn Shrouded armor is one of those sets that feels like it’s worth having, until you realize that it’s actually completely worthless. Designed with stealth characters in mind, the set is woefully ineffective for other classes, and only offers stealth characters a few buffs. All the pieces combined have a total rating of 35 armour points, making it even worse for protection than most basic sets.
Newer players may still find themselves attracted to it just because it looks pretty cool; a great choice for fans of red and black. Then, once you realize that it can’t even be upgraded, you’ll start to question why you wanted it at all.
14 OVERPOWERED: HORKER AND ASH YAM STEW (DRAGONBORN)
We all know the famous Skyrim food. From sweet rolls to leeks to baked potatoes, there’s just something about it that looks good enough to, well, eat for real. Most of it is easily snatched from taverns or castles if you’re just after a quick bite – but taking the time to learn recipes and craft your own tasty treats can seriously pay off.
If you’re in the heat of battle, you don’t want to stop and chow down on a million different things. Instead, make this stew to restore 16 health points and 12 stamina points in one go. All you need is x1 Ash Yam, x1 Garlic and x1 Horker Meat. Bon appetit!
13 OVERPOWERED: NIGHTINGALE BLADE
The Nightingales are a secret sect of the Thieves Guild that is spoken of only in whispers. They worship the Daedric Prince Nocturnal and move in the shadows. If you dare to join them, you will soon meet Karliah, the owner of the Nightingale Blade. By completing the quest “Hard Answers”, she will pass it on to you.
This sword has a special enchantment that cannot be learned or applied to other items: it absorbs 25 health and stamina, making it a powerful weapon for stealth attacks. The sword also improves depending on your level when you receive it; at level 46, you will get the sword at its best with the full 25-point drain – so this is one where it pays to be patient.
12 OVERPOWERED: RUEFUL AXE
Who knew that battleaxes could be rueful? Once again, Skyrim shows us the way. During the quest “A Daedra’s Best Friend”, Barbas the talking dog explains that the axe was part of some sick joke by the Daedric Prince, Clavicus Vile. Ominous, but intriguing.
You’ll get the axe temporarily as part of the quest, but to claim it as an award you must decide to take out your temporary dog companion with the axe. If you can stomach this, you’ll get an axe with 22 base damage and an enchantment that drains 20 stamina. You lose some, you win some.
11 TOO WEAK: CABBAGE
Cabbage is everywhere in the world of Skyrim. You can find it in fields, farms, houses, you name it. When you’re a new player and just trying to keep up your health during a fight, filling the inventory with an endless supply of cabbages may seem like a fast and effective way to make sure you’ve got the food you need to sustain yourself. However, cabbage only restores 1 point of health each. Not only that, but it’s not very immersive to constantly be chowing down on weird looking heads of green stuff every few minutes.
The humble cabbage may be enough for more casual players, but for anyone who would rather have some variety (and usefulness) in their diet, consider staying clear.
10 OVERPOWERED: DEATHBRAND ARMOR (DRAGONBORN)
A companion to Blooscythe and Soulrender, but not necessarily a required match-up, the light Deathbrand armor sounds cool, doesn’t cost you any money, and has the added bonus of being a genuinely excellent set.
Aside from its high protective rating of 78.5 combined, you also get a lot of great buffs like water breathing, improved carrying capacity (always appreciated), and increased stamina. For every piece you wear, your stamina rises by 15 points. With its icy blue Nordic design, this armor will also satisfy the fashionistas amongst us. To get the armor, complete the “Deathbrand” quest from the Dragonborn expansion. The various pieces will be found in different locations along the way.
9 OVERPOWERED: BLADE OF WOE
The Dark Brotherhood are another shadowy organization operating in Skyrim – except this time, they’re a group of merciless assassins. Although their reputation has fallen over the years, they are no less dangerous.
Becoming one of them requires a certain moral sacrifice, but the rewards you can reap are plenty. One of these rewards is the Blade of Woe. Being a dagger for assassins, it is a quick and effective offensive tool – especially because it drains 10 health each time it is used, making it the strongest dagger in the base game. Plus, because its number of charges is so small that you can pretty much refill it with just one petty soul gem.
8 TOO WEAK: WOODEN SWORD (HEARTHFIRE)
Hearthfire is an expansion pack to the main game that adds, among other things, a greater focus on land purchase, cooking, and child adoption. In other words, it’s all about making that perfect little homestead. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get this all together, but the payoff can be particularly rewarding for those who love to sink their teeth into all the game has to offer.
If you adopt a child, you can kit out your house with a room for them and even give them a toy: the wooden sword. Such wooden swords provide many hours of fun for our children, but if you’re even thinking about wielding one in an actual battle– just don’t. It’s a wooden sword. Need we really say more?
7 OVERPOWERED: SKULL OF CORRUPTION
Those Daedric Princes of Skyrim – they do like to create weapons of crazy power, don’t they? The Skull of Corruption is a Daedric staff that collects dreams when you cast it on a sleeping person. Its base damage is a rather weak 2o points, but filling it with dreams raises the base damage to 50 per shot. Even better, the staff attacks multiple targets in one go, making it great for fighting off hordes of enemies.
Gaining this staff is not for everyone, though; during the quest “Waking Nightmare”, you will be ordered to eliminate someone while he is banishing the staff. If you do not, it will be lost, and you won’t be able to get a certain achievement.
6 OVERPOWERED: MACE OF MOLAG BAL
If you enter the abandoned house in Markath, you can start the quest “The House of Horrors”. The mace initially goes incognito during the quest, only to be revealed for its true power later on, so you need to have keen eyes, and make sure not to take any loot opportunities for granted.
The strongest mace available in-game, the Mace of Molag Bal deals 18 base damage plus 25 damage to stamina and magicka. When you’re wielding it, be sure to have plenty of soul gems along with you; if the target perishes within three seconds, a soul gem is filled – making it useful as well as powerful.
5 OVERPOWERED: MIRAAK’S ARMOR (DRAGONBORN)
With all the side quests in both the main Skyrim game and its expansions, it can be a long time before we complete the main questlines – if at all. For those who prefer to stick it out to the bitter end, completing the main story of Dragonborn leads you to meet Miraak – the Dragon Priest. If you defeat him at the end, you will have a chance to loot his remains for an excellent set of mage armour.
Combining the pieces gives you the ability to absorb a total of 25% of the magicka from dragon breath and spells. But wait, there’s more: if the player gets hurt in any way, the robes may unleash a crazy tentacle that wreaks havoc on all enemies in close range.
4 TOO WEAK: FORK AND KNIFE
No, this is not a joke. As there is food in Skyrim, so is there cutlery. This is not just any fork and knife, though. This is a special dinner knife and two-pronged fork that can, for some reason that we may never truly comprehend, be used as weapons. Casual fans are unlikely to even notice these instruments of eatery, let alone use them – but for those who play enough of the game to acquire these rare items, little more is achieved beyond a dull sense of accomplishment.
The pieces only do 1 point and 2 points of damage respectively, so it’s probably best to stick with eating your baked potatoes with them instead.
3 OVERPOWERED: FORTIFY + REGENERATE + RESTORE MAGICKA (POTION)
Any player who spends their Skyrim days casting a million spells knows how frustrating it can be when your magicka just can’t keep up. You need it for your defense, offense, and everything in between! If you’re running on empty in the middle of a dungeon, there won’t always be time to wait and let it replenish on its own. That’s where outside help comes in.
Magicka restoration potions can be found easily enough. The problem is, they’re always somewhat weak. Instead of relying on random drops, craft yourself this strong, three-in-one potion. You need to find Jazbay Grapes, Moon Sugar and a Red Mountain Flower. Mix it all together, and never worry about magicka again.
2 OVERPOWERED: BLOODSKAL BLADE (DRAGONBORN)
The expansion pack Dragonborn gave us a lot of the best items in the game. The two-handed greatsword known as Bloodskal Blade is no exception.
Journey into the dark depths of Bloodskal Barrow during the quest “The Final Descent” in order to claim this mighty weapon. Its base damage is the same as any regular glass greatsword (which is 21 points), but the unique enchantment is something quite special, and very dangerous. When you attack, the sword releases an energy blast that deals a whopping 30 damage – and that’s from a distance, making this both a ranged and melee weapon.
1 OVERPOWERED: DAEDRIC ARMOR
Daedric armor will not be for everyone – not even all hardcore players. It is an incredibly heavy armor set, so it will not suit those who prefer light, quick movements over tank-like melee. Pieces can be smithed by only the most dedicated and skillful. Its parts are difficult to find or make: you’ll need Ebony armor, Daedra hearts, black soul gems, and centurion dynamo cores. With all that work comes high reward; the Daedric armor has the highest armor rating in the game at 144 points. Additionally, its gothic black and red look will satisfy anyone who found themselves disappointed by the Worn Shrouded armor.
Bonus: the set can be upgraded and enchanted to your heart’s desire, so it can keep getting better and better the more you learn and grow.
Can you think of any other items that are overpowered (or super weak) in Skyrim? Let us know in the comments!