In Skyrim I am trying to level up as fast as possible. I have beaten the main quest line, the Stormcloak quest line, the Thieves Guild quest line and the Dark Brotherhood quest line, and I am still only level 32. So how am I supposed to level up One-Handed? I have tried spawning Familiars and killing them, but I find it doesn't level up very quickly. So what do I do?

Here are my levels.(the ones that I know)
One handed : 72
Two handed : 78
Heavey armour/light armour : 64/66
Level : 32

  • 4
    Stab. Everything. Seriously though, that's about the only way, besides trainers.
    – Humungus
    Nov 30, 2013 at 21:13
  • 4
    Watch out. Don't level up your one-handed too much or you'll start looking like Quagmire the day he discovered the internet. Dec 1, 2013 at 1:51
  • thanks for the answere it helps a lot... the only problem is I've killed shadowmere over a month ago and she still never came back.
    – Kaleb
    Dec 1, 2013 at 21:04
  • and I don't think I will start looking like quagmire when he discovered Internet ... I already do..............
    – Kaleb
    Dec 1, 2013 at 21:13
  • By not getting a wife ;)
    – Wouter
    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:12

9 Answers 9


One-Handed XP is gained when you deal damage to valid targets, and thus you should attempt to deal as much damage as you can in a short amount of time to a valid target.

Having a better weapon helps, and you can also whack on things that are marked as Essential and/or have very high health. The One-Handed page on UESP notes that using a grindstone to improve your weapon or boosting your damage with spells doesn't increase XP earned.

Since you've cleared the Dark Brotherhood quest line, Shadowmere makes a good punching bag. Shadowmere isn't completely invulnerable, but is damn near close, since he regenerates health super fast and will respawn after 10 days if killed. Pick a fast weapon and get to slashin'

Alternatively, you can go visit a trainer. Athis is the Expert One-Handed trainer, can train you to level 75. As he's also a follower when you complete the Companions quest line, you could get your gold back via trading with him if you so desire.

Beyond that there are a few small bonuses from reading books and some odds and ends quests, these are all given on the UESP page for One-Handed.

  • When training with Shadowmere remember to not use Mehrunes Razor, because it will kill instantly which is annoying.
    – Crubleigh
    Jun 7, 2014 at 1:20
  • Is there any Master trainer of One-Handed? Because you mentioned an Expert trainer.
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 21, 2015 at 18:06
  • @Jim, yes, see Chief Burguk in "Dushnikh Yal, the Orc stronghold south of Markarth."
    – agent86
    Dec 22, 2015 at 15:34
  • @agent86 I see you only explained Athis since he is the nearesttrainer.
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 23, 2015 at 3:01
  • @Jim, also you can technically train with him for free, since he's a follower. Burguk you'd have to actually pay.
    – agent86
    Dec 23, 2015 at 14:03

I know its too late to help you after completing so much, but... during the very first mission, when you either follow the guard or the stormcloak, choose the guard.. eventually you come up to a bear and he tells you to lead. Instead of leading, just hack the crap out of him. He doesn't turn on you and regenerates health, so you can farm XP.

I literally JUST found this out with a new orc. My One handed is up to 50 now.. ive been slashing away while I wrote this.. gonna move on to 2 handed then destruction magic haha

  • 1
    Doesn't this scenario happen with both the Stormcloak and the Imperial?
    – TheFaster
    Mar 18, 2015 at 1:37
  • doesnt that take the fun out of the game a bit? I mean, being overpowered will just make everything damn easy to kill. Where is the fun in that?
    – Jakob
    Jul 30, 2015 at 8:33
  • Yes, you can do this with Hadvar or Ralof. When you play on high difficulty, it's really nice to have skills Iike 1H, sneak and block at the beginning(you can level those on them too. Sneak very quickly. With patch 1.9 you can make sneak legendary and level it again a number of times while you level 1H and block). I leveled destruction to 65 my second time through Helgen. It came back to bite me. I just stepped out of the temple of Dibella in Markarth after a night of drinking to much, and a mage challenged me to a duel. I refused but he slaughtered me anyway. After many reloads he didn't show
    – Jtenorj3
    Mar 17, 2017 at 13:25

If you go to the grey beards, sneak behind them and attack them with a dagger and this can get you sneak to level 100 quickly and also your onehanded quite significantly higher aswell.


Try using dual wield. This method kills your enemies quicker and thus levels you up twice as fast. Go into undiscovered or uncleared dungeons and kill everything in there if you can using only dual wield. Also try killing dragon priests using it.


I think that if you get a follower you can hit them (not until they get halfway) and let them heal btw use healing hands to make it faster


At the beginning of the game put you difficulty on legendary and keep hitting ralof/hadvar in sneak and it gets your sneak up to 100 as much as you want and it's a good way to get one handed/two handed up


Get your smithing up to 100 and your Enchantment up to 100. After that get some light dragon armor or heavy armor just get the gauntlents and the boots, get a ring and a neckalce, two daedric maces, put fortify smithing on all 4 items with 4 grand soul gems, in my opinion the best armor is ebony because of one of the daedric artifacts is called ebony mail and its 2X better then regular ebony armor, its worth is 5000 gold alone,then when you upgrade it, its price goes up to 10000 gold,anyway go search up how to make a potion that makes smithing 18% better, then wear the fortified dragon armor and jewelry go and posses the ebony ingots,travel to a local anvil,armor table, and grindstone make sure to have all ingredients to make armor And weopons, drink the potion and make your armor right away, keep drinking the potion and sharpen the two maces and make the armor better,then enchant your armor fortified with one hand and enchant all the other armor you want and youlll level up in no time.

  • Telling someone about the enchantmen/potion cycle does nothing to actually help them level their one-handed.
    – Frank
    May 10, 2014 at 13:11

Hit havdar at the beggining of the game in the bear sequence

  • This isn't the answer a question should have. It's better to also explain why this has helped you and also make other ways of increasing this skill too. Be sure to add boosts too!
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 21, 2015 at 18:05

You need to be hitting targets with a lot more health than familiars (spectral wolf) quickly, with a weapon that has high base damage (1H xp is calculated using the base damage of your weapon. The faster you can swing, the faster you will level). Since you are using conjuration for this, I suggest you step it up some.

First, you may need to level you conjuration to have access to more powerful summons (I'm thinking Frost Atronach). If you don't have it already, buy the novice level bound sword spell at any court mage and Activate the Mage Stone. Go in the lake nearby and swim to the island in the middle (Lady stone). You should be able to get some slaughterfish to follow. When you get there, equip a mage robe and hood (the loot from Helgen is OK if you have it, or get some better ones from Vigilant Tyranus by starting House of Horrors in Markarth. The Necromancer amulet can also be quite helpful in this endeavor, and is easily obtained even early in the game by completing Blood on the Ice in Windhelm).

If you have a spare perk point, get novice conjuration. Equip bound sword to both hands and cast in each at the same time, with slight delay between. Rinse and repeat until Conjuration is at 40. Hopefully you level up and get another perk point. I don't know what your best 1H weapon is as far as DPS (high level dagger is best, followed by high level sword). If you get mystic binding, your bound sword gets upgraded to daedric damage and is pretty good for this.

Buy the Frost Atronach tome (Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold is one option, though I believe Calcelmo at Understone Keep in Markarth specializes in conjuration too and can sell you this adept level spell). Go some place secluded (The abandoned House in Markarth works well, and incidentally has more safe storage than any house you can buy in vanilla Skyrim) and summon a frost atronach. Then summon a mystic bound sword (or 2) and start swinging. No power attacks, though. The bonus damage won't give you more xp and will just kill your target faster, meaning you have to stop and summon another more often. If you use 2 swords, just tap attack with both at the same time (don't hold down). This is slightly slower than just swinging one, but will still nearly doubles your xp gain. I forgot, you probably want the warrior stone and to sleep in a bed for greater xp gain (you can at least get the rested bonus from the bed in the abandoned house, or get well rested sleeping at the inn across the way). 25% or 30% bonus for 8 in game hours ie 24 real minutes by default. Stop and rest as needed to heal (atronach will turn on you after 4 hits), regenerate magic or just take a breather when you feel like it. Saving periodically isn't a bad idea, either. Same goes for the conjuration leveling beforehand.

The Conjuration leveling part mentioned earlier should happen pretty fast, as that spell give over 5 times the xp as its base magicka cost and you are casting twice each time. Decent skill multipler too compared to say destro or resto. The 1H skill may take a bit to grind from the low 70's to 100. I will say though, that once you reach 80 skill and can get armsman 5/5, you are already doing over 90 percent of the damage you will be doing once you hit 100. You get 0.5% bonus damage per skill level, so 140% by 80. With 2x damage from 5/5 armsman, you are doing 2.8x damage out of a total 3x. You could just let the skill finish leveling up naturally after that by using it in normal combat.

  • 1
    Please work on condensing your answers. Right now you're posting a lot of "stream of consciousness" answers. Though they do contain useful info, there's also a lot of rambling on unrelated topics (I had to remove half of this answer because you started discussing best techniques for leveling armor skills, which is totally unrelated to this question). Keep your answers focused and concise.
    – Mage Xy
    Mar 17, 2017 at 14:54

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