Skyrim has slowly added cinematic death sequences since its debut. Now, wizards can see their fireballs burn someone alive in slow motion, rogues can see their character cut the throat of an unsuspecting guard, and archers can watch for the moment their arrow turns a citizen of Skyrim into a ragdoll.

The reason they added all that? Because two-handed weapon-wielders had the first cinematics and were the most fun to play with. And even after all of this time, no other style of fighting is quite as exhilarating as the two-handed technique. So grab the biggest hammer, sword, or axe you can find and get ready to pummel your way through Skyrim.

Updated on August 12th, 2021 by Hodey Johns: Skyrim is still incredibly popular and players are trying to challenge themselves to beat the game in different ways. Magicians are fun, archers are a common choice, but two-handed weapons are getting back into style. And that’s great! This guide was updated to account a little more for player taste. The original version of this guide included only the very best selection when it comes to race, weapons, and armor. This is fantastic for the min/maxers out there, but sometimes people are willing to sacrifice a little bit of strategy to use something that they like. The first option in each section is still the best, statistically speaking, but feel free to use other choices! The game is easily beatable even with a heavy dose of personal taste coming at the expense of a “perfect” build.

Fortify Restoration?

Skyrim Fortify Restoration Glitch Used On Damage Ring

It’s hard to declare any guide completed without at least mentioning this little trick. Once regarded as a glitch, official channels have discussed it and opted to leave it in the game as a reward for inquisitive players.

  • Acquire and equip a full set of Fortify Alchemy gear.
  • Gather a set of gear that has the stats that you like.
  • Stock up on Salt Pile, Cyrodillic Longfin, and Abacean Longfin.
  • Collect at least two of the following: Blisterwort, Spriggan Cap, Glowing Mushroom, or Sabre Cat Tooth.
  • Make a Fortify Restoration potion.
  • Drink this potion.
  • Unequip your gear.
  • Re-equip your gear.
  • Repeat the last four steps until your fortify alchemy boost is in the millions.
  • Make a Fortify Smithing potion.
  • Drink this potion.
  • Improve your set of gear that has the stats that you like.

There are some great mods that can simulate this technique, but you don’t need to download anything to pull this off. It was left in the game even after its discovery, so this… strategy, so to speak, is here to stay.

Without a cap on this, items bonuses can be boosted to the millions. It’s not really a fun way of winning the game, but it is “official.” For those of you who prefer to play the game and not simply find a way around the game, the rest of this guide is for you.

Races

Skyrim Orc In Character Creation Screen
  • Orc

Leveling up comes with a penalty in this game, because as you gain experience, your enemies become more powerful as well. The way to avoid all-powerful enemies is to limit your progression as much as possible. And this is where this build outshines so many others because you’ll only need to employ two skills.

The Orc has the best Heavy Armor skill in the game and the second-best Two-Handed skill, making them the easy choice for this build. Additionally, their racial ability gives them double physical damage and reduces incoming damage by 50% for one minute, both of which are extremely useful to a two-handed warrior.

Skyrim Nord Default Look In Character Creation
  • Nord

Only one other race besides the Orcs gets a boost to the Two-Handed skill and that’s the Nords. In fact, they get the highest skill in the game in that category and there is no tie in place; they are the undisputed champs. Their Heavy Armor is a minimum, so between the Orcs and Nords at level 100, the Nord will have five excess levels, but this isn’t much of a disadvantage.

Some players might be persuaded to the Nord simply because of their racial ability, Battle Cry, which forces enemies to run away in fear for thirty entire seconds. This is perfect to use defensively, giving the character more than enough time to heal, or offensively as it sets up big groups for a perfect divide-and-conquer tactic.

Sign

Skyrim Activating The Warrior Guardian Stone
  • The Warrior.

You’ll be gaining Two-Handed and Heavy Armor capabilities quicker with the Warrior stone activated. You would possibly consider changing to some other stone after you have maxed the ones talents out at one hundred, but do not do it. Remember which you do not want to level up something else, so preserving everything exceptional and occasional is ideal. There are differing opinions regarding which Hearthfire home is the fine, but The Warrior sign is so ideal that it leaves no room for dissent.

Skills

Skyrim Two Handed Skill In Skill Screen
  • Two-Handed

The entire build is named after this skill, so it stands to reason that you’ll want to prioritize leveling this up before anything else. Power leveling every skill is easy, but the two-handed skill is especially simple, just whack away with whatever two-hander you want until you’ve got the weapon of your dreams. Resist the urge to ever use a one-handed weapon, even if it does more damage at the time because those are experience points that you can’t use and it’ll give your enemies an advantage in the long run.

Skyrim Heavy Armor Skill In Skill Screen
  • Heavy Armor

Now, theoretically, you can reduce your enemy’s stages in half through the usage of basic apparel and only leveling up the Two-Handed skill, however, while that can sound tempting, you may pay a heavy rate. Not all enemies can be dispatched with a unmarried hit and a few dragons and massive bosses can doubtlessly lessen your health to 0 in a single hit in case you don’t guard yourself.

So slap on some heavy armor, leveling it up is as easy as getting hit. Don’t block, let the armor absorb the hits instead, otherwise you’ll have three skills to juggle, and smashing targets with a giant blunt object should feel so much more liberating than that kind of balancing act.

Perks

Skyrim Barbarian Perk In Skill Screen
  • Barbarian

With five points in this, you’ll be doing double damage. Since you’re not going to be getting any boosts for stealth or headshots, it’s imperative that you prioritize this perk right away. If you get your next perk point before your Two-Handed skill is leveled up enough, feel free to wait until you’ve got a few more skill points in before spending them.

Skyrim Skullcrusher Perk In Skill Screen
  • Skullcrusher or Limbsplitter

Skullcrusher applies to adventurers looking to use warhammers. Ignoring 75% of an enemy’s armor is huge, it reduces big and burly mercenaries into manageable opponents that feel more like smacking a sorcerer. This works against light armor as well, so rogues and warriors alike will go down much easier. Players who have enjoyed multiple playthroughs of this video game might want to switch up their style to the sword, however.

Players who prefer the swing of a sword ought to get the Limbsplitter improve as a substitute. It will upload a 20% essential hit risk to any greatsword, and those crucial moves are better than the common important hit, in step with the tooltip. This is specially useful towards bosses, as getting one big hit in each five or so swings considerably accelerates the dying of tanky warring parties.

Skyrim Sweep Perk In Skill Screen
  • Sweep

You’re not going to be using much tact with your confrontations, the whole idea is to charge in haphazardly. This will aggravate multiple enemies at once and you’ll happily utilize a power sweep to clear out the mobs en masse.

If you have any extra perks, feel free to climb up the middle path in the Two-Handed tree or invest in the Heavy Armor skills.

Leveling Up

Skyrim Level Up Magicka Health Or Stamina
  • Prioritize stamina, then choose health.

Your way of battle is a very stamina-intensive one, so don’t consider boosting health until you observe that you’re able to complete encounters with a little stamina still in reserve.

Best Equipment

Skyrim The Longhammer Inside Of A Cave
WeaponTypeWeightDamageBonus
The LonghammerWarhammer1821Swings 30% faster
The Bloodskal BladeGreatsword1621Power attacks deal 30 damage in a wave

There are two-handed weapons that have a higher base damage by a few points, but the Longhammer has been imbued to swing 30% faster. Factor in that this it only weighs 18 units and this thing is a blur in battle. Don’t be too confused, there is a generic weapon also called The Longhammer in the game, but you’re looking for a unique, legendary variety. Check the Liar’s Retreat cave. Without revealing any spoilers, it’s next to a body there. For more specific hints, there is a nice guide that details how to get the best weapons in the game.

For those looking to swing a sword, take a gander at the Bloodskal Blade, which weighs an incredible 16 units for equally quick swings. The damage wave from the power attacks is phenomenal against groups as it not only deals 30 damage in a wave but staggers everything except for bosses. It’s on the body of Gratian Caerellius during the quest called “The Final Descent” in the appropriately named Bloodskal Barrow.

Skyrim Daedric Armor In Item Screen
ArmorWeightDefenseBonus
Daedric Armor96108None
Stalhrim Armor6410225% resistance against Frost

There is not anything fancy about Daedric Armor, it’s simply the great armor in the game in terms of, nicely, armor. You’ll be shrugging off even the largest haymakers. You should purchase pieces of this set from the Dremora Merchant, kill respected and legendary dragons that have a excessive chance to drop them, or hit level 49, after which enemies will drop those portions frequently.

The Stalhrim Armor is handiest six points off of the Daedric Armor, but it’s 42 units lighter, so those trying to maintain a number of their mobility will enjoy this as a benefit. Also, it has 25% resistance to Frost consequences. This armor can be bought (Baldor Iron-Shaper in Skaal Village and Glover Mallory in Raven Rock both sell it), and it may also be discovered. There is a mild armor variation of this additionally referred to as the Stalhrim Armor, so don’t be fooled!

Have a blast charging headlong into danger, berserkers!