The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an incredible game full of monsters and magical artifacts of all kinds, from majestic dragons and ragdoll-inducing giants to the lowly mudcrab. Each of these beasts requires some sort of weapon and equipment to defeat. The strongest of them will naturally require the strongest of weapons and armor.
Throughout your journey in Skyrim, you will sometimes run into certain special quests with extra special rewards. Some of these come from the Daedric Princes themselves and if you faithfully complete whatever tasks they give you, you will be rewarded handsomely. But some of these artifacts are more useful than others so here's the Best and Worst Daedric Items, Ranked.
10 Best: Black Star
While this won't directly kill any monsters, it more than makes up for it with what it can do. Enchanting is a major part of Skyrim, particularly if you want to make absurdly powerful items and in order to enchant, you need soul gems. The problem is that a soul gem will disappear once used, whether that's for enchanting a blade with fire or for using it as fuel for the enchantment.
The Black Star gets past this problem by being infinitely reusable and it can soul trap any soul, including a human's. The reason this is so important is that Skyrim treats human souls as if they were grand souls, those of the highest level. But grand souls are not easy to obtain whereas human souls, particularly those of the bandit variety, are very easy to obtain.
9 Worst: Ring Of Namira
Perhaps the most vile and disgusting of all the daedric items, this artifact is given to you by Namira. The benefits of equipping this item are that it increases your stamina by 50 and it gives you the ability to feed off of dead corpses. Increasing your stamina is only marginally useful because if you really need more stamina then you can just drink some potions.
As for the second advantage, being able to feed off the dead, this gives you increased health and health regeneration for five minutes. That's a useful bonus to be sure but it's temporary and carries a risk. If you are spotted while eating a corpse, it will count as assault and prompt any guard nearby to attack you.
8 Best: Oghma Infinium
The best way to think of the Oghma Infinium is like a super skill book. Whereas a regular skill book will increase one skill by 1, the Oghma Infinium will increase multiple skills by 5. You get to choose between all skills associated with combat, magic, or stealth. It can be obtained by completing the quest for the daedric prince Hermaeus Mora.
You can achieve the same effect as the Oghma Infinium with grinding, but that doesn't diminish its usefulness. Both for those who don't want to grind excessively and those who like to achieve a very high level, this daedric artifact is very useful. Just try not to use it when all your skills are at 100.
7 Worst: Skeleton Key
The skeleton key, just like the Rueful Axe, is not required for the Oblivion Walker achievement. But it's still a daedric item and, in some ways, a useful one. The skeleton key is very powerful but the only thing you get to do with it in-game is pick locks. The benefit is that it cannot break, which saves you time and lock-picks.
The problem with that is that there is a single perk that you can pick up that does the same thing. The most that can be said for the skeleton key is that you can keep it around until you have the unbreakable lock-pick perk.
6 Best: Spellbreaker
Unique among the daedric items, the Spellbreaker is the only shield. What makes it so useful and powerful is that it blocks magical attacks in addition to physical ones. This ward is equivalent to the ward spell in function and can block up to 50 points of magic damage.
Furthermore, the ward is infinitely replenish-able, all you need to do is block again. It also doesn't require any sort of soul gem to charge it up again. The spellbreaker is considered to be associated with the daedric prince Peryite.
5 Worst: Ring Of Hircine
Your mileage will vary with this daedric artifact. If you really love being a werewolf then you'll get a lot of use out of it. For everyone else, this is basically a useless item. Received from the daedric prince Hircine after completing his quest, this ring allows you to transform into a werewolf as many times as you want.
The problems with this ring, if you actually like being a werewolf, are twofold. First, you have to give up the arguably more useful daedric item, the Savior's Hide. Secondly, when you first encounter it, you are forced to wear it and transform into a werewolf. Only once the curse has been lifted do you finally get an actual useful daedric artifact.
4 Best: Volendrung
Now here's a daedric weapon that can do some serious damage. In addition to its high damage, it also has a faster attack speed than normal warhammers, equal to regular battleaxes and greatswords. Its enchantment absorbs 50 points of stamina from whatever you hit, allowing you to chain multiple power attack together. This pretty neatly eliminates the need for drinking stamina potions mid-battle as well.
You acquire this powerful daedric weapon from "The Cursed Tribe" quest. This warhammer comes from the daedric prince Malacath, commonly worshiped by the Orcs and other physically powerful races.
3 Worst: Rueful Axe
This Axe makes its appearance in "A Daedra's Best Friend" in which the daedric prince, Clavicus Vile, requests that you retrieve it. Now you might expect that, being an Axe created by a daedric being of immense power, that it would be powerful. Well, sadly it isn't. Even when compared to other weapons of similar power, it falls short.
It's a two-handed axe that's special ability is to do 20 points of stamina damage. Furthermore, it's attack speed is the slowest in the game. Another point against it is that you have to kill a dog in order to obtain it and you give up an actual useful daedric item in exchange.
2 Best: Ebony Blade
Another unique and powerful daedric weapon, the Ebony Blade is given to you by Mephala. This vicious blade has certain characteristics which make it one of the best weapons in the game. It's classified as a two-handed weapon but actually has the reach, speed, and length of a one-handed weapon.
The second ability works very well with its higher speed and increased risk. With every hit it will absorb a portion of the enemies health, thereby making you very difficult to kill while in combat. The amount of health absorbed depends on if you've betrayed enough of your friends by killing them. This blade isn't for everyone but it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
1 Worst: Skull Of Corruption
Obtained from the daedric prince Vaermina, the Skull of Corruption is a somewhat decent staff. Its initial damaging ability does 20 points of damage to your target. Not great damage but if you get it early enough then it's okay. You can also cast it on people who are asleep, giving them nightmares but also charging the staff.
Once the staff is charged it does a more respectable 50 damage. The problem is that it also expends a charge separate from normal enchanted items. Once you run out of those you have to charge it up with sleeping people again. Furthermore, you can't farm one person's dreams infinitely as they get a 12-hour debuff which prevents you from doing so. It's not a bad staff, it just requires a bit too much effort to be good.