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If I have already drawn my bow, is there any way I can un-nock the arrow so I don't waste it? I don't like my current method of firing into the ground right in front of me. Safety first.

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Did you try switching weapons with TAB while it was nocked? –  Resorath Nov 11 '11 at 18:55
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How about shooting it into your knee instead? d&rvvf –  EricSchaefer Jan 11 '12 at 10:58
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2 Answers

up vote 51 down vote accepted

Hit the ready key ( R by default ). I do this all the time, since I'm paranoid the noise of firing might adversly affect my sneaking.

Console equivalents are X on the Xbox 360, and on the PS3.

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This is also suggested by the loading screen tips as the way to unnock an arrow. –  Raven Dreamer Nov 12 '11 at 18:05
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Notice it also works for magic: you can load the 'conjure flame atronarch', then normally, when you release the button, the spell is cast. If instead you push R, the spell is not executed, and the magicka is returned! –  Konerak Nov 13 '11 at 16:31
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You don't have to be paranoid because bows are silent. –  Entwash Nov 17 '11 at 14:41
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Pulling out your bow, knocking an arrow, and the act of firing is silent, but if you shoot an arrow it will/can be noticed by hostiles in the area either by sound or by someone getting clipped by accident. So un-knocking is a good idea, esp since you move much faster without your bow drawn, and you don't waste an arrow in the process. –  Pithlit Nov 17 '11 at 20:26
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Uh no bows are NOT silent... When you fire an arrow it makes a sound upon impact. In fact, this is one of the most noticeable sounds in the game for NPCs.. So it pays to be careful with arrows, misfiring will instantly alert all nearby npcs who will aggressively search the area of impact. However, you can use this to your advantage too. Firing an arrow somewhere sends guards there looking for you, so you can lead them away from yourself. This is a good tactic to avoid detection, and is especially useful if they are already looking for you to buy yourself time to hide/retreat/etc. –  Torcano Nov 23 '11 at 0:32
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I can think of two ways that will work without firing your arrow.

  1. Sheath your bow.
  2. Change it to another weapon or spell.

Not sure if there other ways tho :P

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