In Oblivion I remember being able to cast spells while wielding a bow. Very useful for healing spells and night eyes. In Skyrim though either I'm missing something, or do I have to equip a single handed weapon first before I can cast?

  • If you happen to play Khajiit, you are able to use their night eye ability while wielding a bow. Can't help you with healing, though.
    – Jtenorj3
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


No, when you wield a bow it occupies both hands so you cannot equip a spell at the same time.

  • 2
    That really puts a damper on my plans for a magic wielding, sniper, thief.
    – NA Slacker
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 14:06
  • that kinda makes me mad cuz thats what i always did...i kept a charmelon spell while sneaking around with a bow... Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 15:48
  • I use the time the arrow flies to switch to magic... sneak, aim, release-arrow-and-TAB, switch weapon(s), magic! By the time the arrow hits the enemy, you'll have conjured your ally and will be wielding your offensive spell from behind your ally. Works well if the spell can't hurt the ally (eg fire with fire atronarch).
    – Konerak
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 8:05
  • I'm playing on the PS3 and fast switching between different weapons seems horribly slow.
    – NA Slacker
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 22:14

You can't.

The bow is counted as a 'two handed' weapon (but not for skill) so you can't cast a spell while doing it.

This differs from Oblivion as in that game you don't put items in use against 'hands' per se, so you can cast a spell while wielding your bow.

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