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I often get attacked by enemies with bows and I was wondering: Is there any way to dodge them, or use a shield to block them whilst running/walking towards them?

When I'm running with a two-handed weapon it feels as if my character is rather vulnerable—or am I worrying over nothing?


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zig zag............. – Steve Robbins Nov 13 '11 at 8:23
up vote 13 down vote accepted

One thing that worked in Oblivion that I have still had good success with is wavering back and forth very quickly. On PC, that would mean alternating pressing A and D as fast as you can. You hardly move at all in this process, but it works because the archers lead their shots. They try to time it so that it will hit you if you continue running the same direction you are when they release. If you are constantly changing directions, the shot will miss.

It's harder to do now than it was in Oblivion, because the arrow flies faster, but it's still possible. The same is true for ranged magic users. The animation moves much faster, but the core mechanic to use for dodging is the same.

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Very nice protip to abuse the auto-predicting aimer AI :) – Konerak Nov 14 '11 at 9:06

It is possible to block arrows with the shield if you have the Deflect Arrows perk.

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Just running in a zig zag pattern (strafe forward to the left, strafe forward to the right, repeat) will be enough to dodge most of the arrows, you won't get killed of the remaining count of arrows that hit you.

You can easily manage to get up tot he person this way and kill him. Archers usually have more vulnerable armor than other types of NPCs, so that counts up for the arrows that hit you.

You could even survive against multiple archers, make sure you bring potions / companions with you.

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Two handed is more about reaction. You are vulnerable, but you also have a lot more power. You have to find openings in the enemy. Just constantly make a circle around the archer, steadily closing in, then give a big power attack to stagger them, then finish it with non-power attacks while they're still staggering.

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With a little practice, it's not too hard to learn to dodge. Until you get really close to the archer, there's enough time between seeing them fire and dodging slightly to avoid the arrow. If you then get the distance right, you'll be in hand to hand before they can get another shot off.

It's all down to practice though...

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