I am doing a quest line in hope of obtaining a nice unique weapon.

Spoiler below:

The nightingale bow from the thief guild quest line

This is an awesome piece of equipment for my type of character and kind of want to use it indefinitely. My worry is that I am only level 26 and the item will become useless later on in the game. I believe unique item's stats vary depending on character level, which leads me into thinking that I should probably wait until I am a higher level to pick it up. I won't be using smithing of any type to be able to upgrade it.

Is there any way I can make the item viable at later levels or should I just wait till my character is stronger to pick it up?

  • The spoiler appears un-spoiler-tagged in the question preview on the Questions page style and the main-page tooltip preview. *shock and dismay* :) Nov 21, 2011 at 17:11
  • Do we have any evidence to support "unique item's stats vary depending on character level?" This would be needed to complete any true answer.
    – Hyppy
    Nov 21, 2011 at 17:35
  • @Hyppy Exceptions in the modern TES games are rare verging on non-existent, so it's a fair assumption. Nov 21, 2011 at 18:54
  • 1
    Sort-of-but-not-really answer: get it now, fix it with an item leveller mod later when one is created. Nov 21, 2011 at 18:56
  • @theorise - Spoiler tags should only be used for questions with spoilers in the title, not questions asking for spoiler answers, as per the tag wiki. The issue of spoiler blocks showing up in tool-tips, etc, should probably be taken up in Meta.
    – dlras2
    Nov 23, 2011 at 7:43

3 Answers 3


It's the eternal struggle:

  • Pick it up early, so you got a cool item, which makes leveling easier, which allows you to reach the higher levels faster. But then the item becomes relatively weak.
  • Pick it up later, so you got the strongest version, but then you didn't have it for the game before (which thus is harder and/or takes longer).

You should choose beforehand which items you want to have during-leveling, and which items you want to have when max-leveled. My philosophy here is that it's the same as in (real) life: it's not the goal that counts, but the path towards it. So play to have fun, get the item early and enjoy the game.


The weapon will progress with your coordinating stats. For example, I have various swords, which are one handed weapons. Every time I level I upgrade my one handed perks (like the +20% damage for one handed weapons at the base of the one handed constellation). The stats of my weapons improve accordingly. The reason is, as you are getting better at using the weapons, the weapon level is not depicted by your stats at the time you acquire them.


No, the weapon's special damage and base damage will not level with your character. I was level 60, but my Nightingale Bow was not as strong as others, yet it's supposed to be the strongest in the game. Also, my Nightingale Blade still had magic damage of 5 pts. I ended up playing the game over again, just to have my ideal character at the end of the game.

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