Skyrim - an expansive world full of quests, trials, and possibilities. You could live a whole life in this world; join a guild or the army, get a house and settle down, steal, enchant and harm to your heart's content. Setting off into the wilds to face giant spiders, dragons, and (ugh) wolves can be as much of an adventure as following the main storyline. I mean, if you could harness the power of dragons and change the world's fate, wouldn't you use it?
The world of Skyrim was once the pinnacle of open-world RPGs, but as time went on Bethesda relied more and more on the modding community and nostalgia from fans to keep it alive. Now it has been kicked off the top by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, but do not throw out your copy of Skyrim just yet. Skyrim has an excellent progression system that is arguably one of the best in its genre - it allows you to specialize easily and power up your existing perks. At the time of its release, Skyrim was beautiful and had state of the art graphics. It was stunning visually and had a massive world - it had beauty and a booty. Of course, even the remastered version now shows its age but that does not mean that you cannot appreciate what it once was.
In a world where you can be anything, do anything, and mod anything, what base items are worth it? What is worth bringing with you on your adventure and what should be left behind? Here is a list of the best and worst items in Skyrim.
30 Best: Windshear Takes Effect
This unique item may not look like much with its 11 damage, 10 weight, and inability to be enchanted. However, it proves its worth in effects. The Windshear staggers your opponent, which is very helpful in combat and has 39% chance of paralyzing your opponent when you use block-bash. These features can save your life in battle by giving you an opening to attack or a chance to escape certain demise. Suddenly it looks more appealing, huh?
29 Worst: Food - Tasty But Worthless
To be fair, the food in Skyrim looks and sounds delicious (particularly those sweet rolls, am I right?), but it is useless in practice. Sure, it may give you a tiny bit of health but you can just as easily acquire a healing potion from a body, pot or merchant. Food items just seem to take up weight and inventory space that could be better used for items that you will actually use.
28 Best: Wuuthrad Cuts Down Your Enemies
Two-handed weapons in Skyrim have a bad reputation for being slow and you cannot use your shield, meaning that you are defenseless. However, if two-handed weapons like battleaxes are your thing, then the Wuuthrad is for you. The Wuuthrad has a good balance of damage and weight with the added perk of doing extra damage to Orcs, multiple kinds of Elves and Falmer. It is also enchantable, meaning that this is only the beginning for this battleaxe.
27 Worst: Wabbajack For The Loss
Ah, the Wabbajack - you have given us endless hours of hilarity and entertainment. From turning dragons into sweet rolls to upgrading our friends, you will be forever remembered by the Skyrim community.
Until the next time I get bored...
Objectively speaking, however, you are pretty useless. Randomizers, in general, are only good for the time you find them fun before you put them away and never use them again; this rule applies to the Wabbajack, too.
26 Best: Mace Of Molag Bal
If maces are your thing, look no further than the Mace of Molag Bal. This mace deals top damage for an okay weight and even comes with special features. Not only does this mace up your Magicka and stamina damage, but it also allows you to cast Soul Trap so you can enchant other items in your inventory. Unfortunately, you cannot enchant the Mace of Molag Bal, but it can be a vital piece of kit nonetheless.
25 Worst: Weaponised Cutlery
Before the comments are set on fire, I know that you can enchant the heck out of the cutlery in Skyrim and basically do a run with just a fork, but I'm talking base items here. As a base item, forks and knives are not particularly useful before you enhance them to within an inch of their existence. There are plenty of other weapons that do better damage and have better range even without enchantments. But hey, if you want to be the fork-thief of Riften, go ahead.
24 Best: Razor Light Of My Life
Mehrune's Razor is an excellent dagger. It does almost max damage for minimum inventory space and has some pretty rad effects; it has a 1.98% chance of an insta-end, which is better than it sounds, and it has infinite charges which are incredibly useful.
And the end of others' lives.
The only downside of Mehrune's Razor is that it is not enchantable so it cannot improve to the pinnacle we know would be perfect.
23 Worst: Tankard Cannot Drink Its Problems Away
Now the local drunk would disagree with me, but tankards are a waste of inventory space. You cannot even fill it up - it is literally meant to be drunk out of!
You can not hurt enemies with it, so what is even the point?
Sure, you could pick it for the aesthetic, but you will quickly forget about it and waste space until you become over-encumbered, in which case you will drop it immediately.
22 Best: Dragonborn Into My Heart
Bows are pretty awesome, but not all bows are created equal. The Dragonborn Bow does not have any special effects, is the second heaviest bow, and is not enchantable but do not write it off just yet. It has the second-best total damage of the bows and does 15 damage per second - the highest of all the bows. Sure, there are fancier and more upgradeable bows, but this one is more than worthy to be by your side.
21 Worst: Baskets For Days
What do you even use these for? You can store something in a basket, but players usually try to store their items in the same place and use wardrobes or drawers. They are not pretty, you cannot use them as weapons and they just sit there. Why would you use a basket in a house with superior forms of storage? Even better, you could just sell the worthless stuff and keep everything else in your inventory.
20 Best: Stalhrim Is A Greatsword
Another balanced weapon, Stalhrim Greatsword does mid-range damage and is a mid-range item. What makes it stand out, however, are its perks. Frost Damage enchantments become 25% stronger with this item equipped and this is just at base level - you can enchant it to reap more rewards.
Being average has its perks, too.
The Stalhrim Greatsword and Bloodskal Blade are the only Greatswords with effects, but the Stalhrim Greatsword does more damage and the Bloodskal Blade cannot be enchanted.
19 Worst: Iron Daggers, Man
There is an Iron Dagger displayed on a stand in Korvanjund and I really do not understand why. It only does 4 damage and is only worth 10 gold. It is one of the first weapons you come across in the game.
At least some people find homes for them
You quickly get better weapons, so you may as well sell it and choose better daggers, like the Dragonborn Dagger. Iron items are generally inferior in terms of stats but are loved by completionists.
18 Best: Can I Axe You A Question?
The Dawnguard Rune Axe is a very specific tool for a very specific task - slaying the Undead. It may not seem like much considering the low damage output but looks can be deceiving.
Have you ever rune into a better axe?
See, it does 10 damage plus the number of Undead ended before sunrise. Therefore if you kill 14 Undead, the axe does 24 damage per hit, which is super useful for raiding tombs and caves.
17 Worst: Falmer Arrows...Really?
Now there is the argument that since arrows do not have a weight that there is not 'bad' kind of arrow, but I disagree. When traversing mountains and fighting dragons, you want the best weapons that do decent damage and have good effects. Having the right high-quality tools for the job is the best course of action is most cases. If that is what you are looking for, Falmer Arrows are not for you. They only do seven damage and are only worth one gold.
16 Best: Blade Of Woah
We have already discussed a dagger which some view as superior, but I wanted to talk about the Blade of Woe as well. The Blade of Woe cannot be enchanted, but it does the same amount of damage as Mehrune's Razor in exchange for slightly heavier carry weight. What is most important about this blade is its effect; it absorbs 10 health with every swipe through your enemy. This is invaluable in keeping you alive, especially when you run out of potions. It also means that your enemy dies faster, so it's a double win.
15 Worst: The Shiv
Found in the caves of Cidhna Mine, the Shiv is a weapon made by prisoners as a discreet means of protecting themselves. It is a simple sharpened piece of metal with a cloth handle that does five damage and is worth five gold. Sure, the shiv may help if you are desperate and need something on hand, but it is easy enough to discard when you find a better weapon.
14 Best: Get Your War Axe
Where the Dawnguard Rune Axe is really good at one job, the Stahlrim War Axe is a strong general weapon. It does 15 damage, which is more than the Dawnguard without injuring any Undead. The Stalhrim War Axe has a great effect of boosting your frost damage enchantments by 25%, which is incredibly useful. This is why I personally rank the Stalhrim over the Dawnguard because it is good at both specifics and as a general weapon to have on-hand.
13 Worst: Let's Play Pirates!
In movies and cartoons, a classic kid's toy from before technology is a wooden sword. It is often used when playing pirates or other imaginary games because they are light and will not cause serious injury or damage.
You won't get much treasure with this one.
In Skyrim, you can get your own wooden sword and play pirates, but it is not a serious weapon. It only does 2 damage and has a weight of 3, which is not great, but, hey, at least you can sell it for 25 gold!
12 Best: Stahlrim Comes Back Again
Back at you again with another Stahlrim entry. Stahlrim Armour gives you 102 defense and is pretty hefty at 59 encumbrance, but when you get attacked in the Winterhold mountains you will be grateful to have that protection. Not only that, but it is enchantable and gives 25% resistance to Frost enchantments. Compare this armor to the Daedric and the Dragonplate armor's weight and lack of effects and the Stahlrim is the best.
11 Worst: This Armour Set Shouldn't Be Worn
The Worn Shrouded Armour set is pretty bad. It provides 35 armor total, not each, and is only worth 225 gold. The only good thing about it is that it is lightweight. Sure, it is not as bad as the clothes you spawn in for the first time, but there are plenty of higher quality armor sets out there. If you find this set, leave it. If you already have it, I suggest you sell it and go for one of the better ones I discuss here.
10 Best: Deathbrand Armour Will Not Be The Demise Of Me
The second highest protective light armor in Skyrim, the Deathbrand Armour has that great balance of protection and weight. Its armor is 78.5 and has a weight of 13. Deathbrand Armour Set is also a beauty as it comes with a bunch of perks; the cuirass gives +15 stamina, the boots give +10 carrying capacity for each Deathbrand item worn, the helmet allows you to breathe underwater and the gauntlets deal +10 damage for every Deathbrand item you wear. Not only this but wearing the full set gives you an extra +100 armor - why would you choose anything else?
9 Worst: Set Me Free From Skaal Armour
Not only can this not be enchanted, purchased, or made, but the Skaal Armour is just all around bad. It provides 46 armor in total and weighs 9.5. Sure it is worth 560 gold but it is such a pain to get and is not even that good. You can only get the Skaal Armour in the Dragonborn DLC and is found on hunters, and on corpses in Highpoint Tower, Fahlbatarz and Skaal Village. It just does not seem worth your hard work.
8 Best: Nightingale Armour Swoops In To Save You
Acquired in the 'Trinity Restored' quest, the Nightingale Armour is another choice armor set. With 69 armor and 18 encumberment it does not seem worth your time, but check out these effects; when wearing the full armor you get +25 armor, +20 stamina, +15% Frost resistance, muffle, +15% lockpicking, +15% one-handed damage, and -12% illusion spell cost. It almost seems too rad to be true, but it is real. This one is definitely worth picking up if you come across it.
7 Worst: Hide From This Armour
A wise man once said, "Some advice, friend. That armor won't offer much protection in a real fight." This guard was referring to the Hide Armour Set. This set offers a total of 55 armor and although it is upgradeable is barely worth the leather you require to upgrade it since it sells for 120 gold. Not only is it rubbish, but it also does not even look good. Armour does not need to look fancy to be good, but you are playing a fantasy game so you are doing some things for the aesthetic.
6 Best: Auriel Shield Us In This Trying Time
If we are talking shields, Auriel's Shield is the best of the bunch. While the Spellbreaker has magical effects, the Auriel is great for battle. It has 32 armor and stores the energy of blocked attacks, releasing that energy when power bashing. This is great for smacking giant spiders and guards alike. Get yourself both an Auriel Shield and Spellbreaker for your next dragon hunting adventure in the wild.
5 Worst: Stormcloak Armour Does Not Go Down A Storm
Worn by low ranking Stormcloak soldiers, the Stormcloak Armour is loathed by Imperials and players alike. With a total armor of 43 and a weight of 14, this set is literally only worth 32 gold. The Stormcloak armor looks alright, but if you are in Skyrim you want to look like a boss while you fight dragons. Do not bother, just hold onto it until you can get one of the other lovelies on this list.
4 Best: Konahrik Mask
The Konahrik Mask is one of the powerful dragon priest masks in Skyrim. It can be found after getting all of the other masks. This mask has a base armor of 24 and a weight of seven, which is not much. However, it does have a base value of 3200 gold so even if you do not wear it you can make a quick buck. Not only this, but it can heal you and summon allies in tight situations. It also looks rad on so you can intimidate your enemies as you fight them.
3 Worst: So Long, Bow
Bows and Longbows are very different beasts to handle and have polarised players across games and platforms. For those who prefer to get close and personal when they battle, swords are the way to go but some players prefer to use stealth and distance to attack their enemies. The Longbow is essential for new players as it teaches you the core mechanics of archery, but in terms of damage, there are definitely better ones out there. There's a wide world of weaponry out there, darling!
2 Best: Hevnoraak Mask
Hevnoraak Mask is very useful to have to hand on your travels. It gives 23 armor and weighs 9, which again does not seem like much. Being immune to poison and disease is a pretty awesome ability to have when you are running around Skyrim and could get attacked by anything at any time. I personally think the Hevnoraak is more intimidating than the Konahrik Mask, but others would disagree.
1 Worst: Dig Your Own Grave, Shovel
What is the point of a tool that has no in-game use? The shovel is supposed to be used for shoveling ore and coal into smelters and forges, but you do not even need a shovel for that. It has a carry weight of four and if you cannot use it then you should just ditch it.
Oh, wait, you already did.
You cannot even dig a hole or hit anyone which are the main uses of a shovel in the real world, so why even bother?