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Skyrim Warrior Skills - how to max One-Handed, Archery, Heavy Armor, Light Armor, Two-Handed and Block

The best, fastest ways to level 100 in Skyrim's combat-focused Warrior skills.

Fundamental to any combat-based character you may own, levelling Warrior Skills in Skyrim will often happen naturally. However, occasionally some skills are left behind, like Light Armor on an archer or spellcaster, or blocking for those with strong enough weapons not to need it.

For that reason, we've assmebled all of the best, fastest ways to power-level each of the combat-oriented Warrior skills in Skryim down below - but be sure to have read through our fundamental guide to Skyrim power-levelling, and our guide to maxing Enchantment, if you want to be fully prepared!

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The fastest way to max level Block, Light Armor, and Heavy Armor

How to reach level 100 Block

Although often ignored, the Block skill tree can be surprisingly useful, particularly with the level 100 Perk, Shield Charge, which lets you knock down most enemies by sprinting at them with your shield raised. There are a few interesting ways to level it up rapidly:

  • According to the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages wiki, it's possible to reach level 100 Blocking in just 13 minutes. The method involves crafting a full set of Fortify Block enchantments, with the maximum of 40% on each of your shield, hands, finger and neck slots, and using the Aetherial Crown method mentioned above (by the Standing Stones table) to receive all three experience boosts possible. You can then crank the difficulty up to Legendary and attack a Giant, which will see your block rapidly rise to level 100 - we should note that we haven't tested this method ourselves yet however, so results may vary - be sure to save in advance!
  • An alternative is to stun-lock an opponent with shield bash, which you can perform ad infinitum with some strong Fortify Stamina Regen potions or vegetable soup. You gain much more experience from bashing than from blocking, so pick a relatively tough opponent with low attack to use it against repeatedly - summoned Frost Atronachs are one example of a high-health enemy, along with Mammoths and Dwarven Centurions for those at a higher level.
  • Standing behind a training dummy whilst an NPC attacks it means you can take hits without the NPC realising they're hitting you. The Companions' training ground in Whiterun is a good place to start.

How to reach level 100 Light Armor and level 100 Heavy Armor

Light and Heavy Armor are great skills to level for any character who use them, and can be done in a similar fashion to blocking:

  • Giants are, again, the best way to level your Light and Heavy Armor skill, as the experience is granted according to the base damage of the damage which hits you - not the actual damage dealt after armor and resistances are calculated.
  • In early levels Giants can kill you in one hit however, particularly in Light Armor, in which case your (hopefully) already levelled Enchanting and Alchemy skills can come in handy: Fortify Health enchantments and potions, coupled with the use of Restoration spells, should be enough to keep you alive.
  • Blocking will mean that you gain no experience towards Light or Heavy Armor.
  • Light or Heavy Armor skill experience is increased the more items of Light or Heavy Armor that you wear.

Want more help with Skyrim? Find out how to join every guild and faction, how to earn Gold fast, learning about XP and levelling to 100, max Crafting skills, max Warrior skills, max Thief skills and max Mage skills, how to get married, where to buy a house, how to start Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC expansions. If you're on PC, we have a list of console commands and cheats, and you can learn about the remastered version and how to install mods with our Skyrim guide. Finally, with Switch owners, we have Skyrim amiibo support explained to help unlock special Zelda-themed items.

The fastest way to max level One-Handed, Two-Handed, and Archery

How to reach level 100 One-Handed

One Handed works much the same as defensive skills like Heavy Armor - albeit in reverse. You'll need to deal actual physical damage to a valid enemy to gain experience.

  • The fastest method for levelling One Handed is to attack a target which can take damage, but can't be killed, such as Shadowmere.
  • The experience depends specifically on the base damage of the weapon you use to deal the damage, and not the damage received by the thing you're attacking. That means you should simply choose the highest-damage weapon to attack with for maximum experience gain.
  • Combine this with Restoration spells if you want to level that up too, or simply keep your targeted NPC alive!

How to reach level 100 Two-Handed

Two-Handed works in exactly the same way as One-Handed, and so the same method as above is the most efficient means of levelling it up.

How to reach level 100 Archery

Finally, Archery, despite being affected by the Thieft Stone's bonus as opposed to the Warriors, is still officially classed as a combat skill, and so we've kept it here in our Warrior Skill guide.

  • Much the same as One-Handed and Two-Handed, Archery's XP yields are decided by the damage dealt by each blow, found by the base weapon and, in this case, ammunition damage.
  • In that case, you'll want to follow the same levelling principles as above too: find the highest-damage weapon and ammunition, and either attack a target like Shadowmere, or crank up the difficulty to increase NPC health, and attack a friendly one like a follower who'll never turn on you, then wait for them to heal, and repeat.
  • As above, this combines well with Restoration levelling, as you can alternate between healing and attacking - although it's a little slower to do here as you'll have both hands occupied with your bow or crossbow.