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Class Guide - Vampire Archer

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The goal of this build is to bring terror to Skyrim by robbing merchants in major cities, becoming vampire as quickly as possible and then craft the best equipment to join the Volkihar vampire clan in order to bring darkness to the world. All that by using only your bows and your fangs.

Race Stone Blessing Supernatural
Khajiit/Orcs Tower/Thief Boethia Vampire

How to fight with a bow?

In general, use the terrain to reach inaccessible or difficult to reach positions for your enemies (rocks, heights,etc…). Always plan an area to take cover from enemy arrows, and a safe area for melee enemies.

If an enemy comes quickly toward you, and your next arrow won’t kill him, stop shooting and run to your safe spot.

It’s not easy to hit your target at first but the more you practice, the easier it will be.

A crossbow can help at the beginning of the game if you have trouble aiming as the shots are straighter. Similarly, a heavy bow will also have straighter shots than a light bow.

Light Bow or Heavy Bow?

I advise you to have both. Open with your Heavy bow, and if the enemy isn’t dead and wont die with another arrow, switch to light bow and start shooting while running away.

Heavy bows hurt a lot more than light bows, but take longer to shoot. I personally use 80% of my time heavy bow. Light bows are more interesting against undead with a fire enchantment for example, as it is essentially the enchantment and the silver arrow that will do damage against them, not the bow.


Starting Skills

Marksmanship, Smithing, Pickpocketing, Lockpicking, Evasion, Sneaking

Secondary Skills



Perk Guide

Go for Orc Smithing instead of Nordic Smithing (the planner’s rule doesn’t allow that)

Level ups

All in Stamina When reading the Oghma Infinium, pick Health

Always enchant your light bow with Fire and use it against undead, use heavy bow for everything else.

Early game goals: Elven Light Bow / Orcish Heavy bow.

Mid-late goals : Stalhrim Light Bow / Daedric Heavy bow

Endgame goal : Auriel Bow, daedric arrows

Early game goals : Dark brotherhood set / Thieves’guild set

Mid-lategame goals : Krosis mask / Ancient shroudded set / Guildmaster set

Endgame goals : Full light stalhrim enchanted with honed metal


Everything but Companions and Mage College (no werewolf, no magic). Steal shops at night and sell your loots to the Outlaw refuges. Pickpocket people, start little then once lvl 45 perk reached, you’ll easily pickpocket sleeping people.

You’ll reach 100 in no time. Level quickly your smithing skills with your nocturnal findings.

Find vampire dust asap and eat it. Use your vampire resistance and sustain to tank big group of lowly bandits to quickly level Evasion. Get as soon as possible the 3 Marked for Death shouts and the lvl 75 Evasion Perk and use it to beat tough enemies like dragon priest or ebony vampires.

Use your money to pay the service of master enchanters like Neloth in Tel Mythrin to enchant your crafted gears. Also ask them to enchant you some cloth with Fortify Smith to temper your crafted bows and armors.

Difficult Enemies

Dragons: Ebony Arrow: Dragons are very resistant to arrows, unless you have top quality weapons and arrows, use Lingering damage poison to take down your first dragons. To get these poisons, go hunt falmers (archers are excellent against them). Don’t forget poisons can stack

Dragon Priest : Fire bow, Silver arrow, Mark for death shout: To kill them you need at least lvl 75 marksmanship and lvl 75 evasion to stagger-lock them and avoid problems. Their mage armor is very annoying and will sometimes absorb your Marked for death. Usually, my first MfD is absorbed, I stagger them over and over again until the cooldown comes back and when i land the second MfD, each arrow inflicts 25%-40% of its life. Don’t give them time to summon bullshit and shoot them non stop.

Ebony Vampire : Fire Silver arrow : Same logic as the dragon priest, but they are way easier.

Enchanted sphere : Shock ebony bow / Shock dragonbone bow minimum : dodge with Combat reflex and don’t stop shooting with marked for death. Have a storm atronach scoll on hand to help you if your gear is weak.

Seeker/Slighted: Extremely easy, just stay out of their range and dodge their attacks. You don’t even need Marked for Death.

Soulcairn: Be very prepared ! I recommend at least 500 silver arrows, 300 ebony/dragon bone arrows. Dragon Swiftness potion (+100% move speed) will help a lot to reposition against mistmen.

I did this as a vampire and the resistance to frost and arrows and the ability to see the Slighted carried me. It was intense but surprisingly not that hard with that build cause i was able to do it without dying.

Apocrypha is easy for an archer, I recommend farming the blackbooks as soon as you reach Marked for death, 80 Marksmanship and 75 Evasion.

Miraak: Can’t use Marked for Death because you have to stay at a distance, but he’s not that tanky if you have tempered auriel bow + daedric arrows. You also have a good range against him. Kill his elementals, prep a lot of potions and you should be fine