Every time I attempt dual wield weapons it doesn't go very well. I find it impossible to defend myself, especially when there is no way of lessening the blow of an incoming power attack.

The extra damage output you can get from dual wielding weapons just doesn't seem worth the extra vulnerability to me, although I don't know if this is because of my play style.

So I guess what I am asking is, is there a way to make dual-wielding an effective strategy for the core combat spec of a character? Or is it merely something that's a fun little add on to play around with every now and again?


16 Answers 16


I found dual wield doable (and fun) in a few ways:

  • Heavy armor paladin.
  • Sneaky character with extreme illusion and the 15x sneak damage.

The paladin could heal himself and the heavy armor negated much of the damage. Next to that I developed a knack for dodging incoming blows which makes fighting one opponent extremely easy. The sneaky character pacified (charmed) the attackers, snuck behind them and stabbed them. Both characters were played on master difficulty (I like the challenge), which means you'll have to be very patient (aka dying a lot) early game anyway, but when past level 35-40 it becomes almost too easy. The sneaky character had to hit multiple times though for killing anything above bandits since master difficulty gave enemies extreme amounts of health (or just nerfed your own damage).

There are plenty more builds to think of, but since you are indeed vulnerable to incoming blows you'll need some way to negate or dodge incoming damage. Skyrim provides quite a few ways to do this (armor, spells and actually moving your character out of harms way) so even an unarmored mage could pull off dual wield in theory. (That would make for a fun character btw: unarmored priest dual wielding maces.)


There are many situations where your enemies are not that strong, and you are not that worried about dying. In those situations, you can take advantage of dual wielding's higher damage output and kill everyone quicker. With Dual Flurry perk, your weapons deal out damage 35% faster. It's a very powerful way of increasing your damage, and it's especially good if you have enchanted weapons. In late game, especially, when you have good armor rating and high health, you won't miss being able to block that much.

Dual wielding can be very powerful for assassins. If you dual wield daggers and do a dual wield attack, you can get two powerful backstabs instead of just one. With 15x perk, 2x Dark assassin gloves, it gives you as much damage as hitting your opponent 60 times with that same dagger.

You do not have to commit 100% to dual wielding. I personally find it best to switch it up between shield-and-weapon and dual wielding depending on the situation.


I can see why dual wielding is coming under fire, but investing the right perks and using the right strategy makes shot work of even the toughest enemies out there. With the 3 dual perks in one handed and the insainly overpowered attacks, you can cut down a dragon in seconds compared to with a shield. Just be sure to mainly upgrade health and some stamina, and only use heavy armor! With the right combo, this build becomes insainly overpowered (and fun)


I believe it would be very effective if you do these following things... First off, have a basic stealth crit hit build lined up. If you can get more sneak attacks in on an enemy before they notice, more damage. Next up, light armor is probably your best bet because dual wielding eats up stamina (of course heavy armor and conditioning perk works too). I noticed that using a dagger and sword makes you significantly faster while dual wielding, as compared to 2 daggers or swords. Try to dodge those heavy hitting power attacks. Dual wielding is about being more agile and dealing enough damage quick enough to kill your enemy.


If one of the weapons steals health while the other steals souls (there is a mace that you can find which does this). Do the mission that earns you the Azura's star You can get into one of those perpetual refill scenarios.

Once I was done playing the game (as much as one thinks he's done playing the game), I went town to town with dual wielding, while each of my strikes kept my health up, I could also collect a soul with the other weapon, use the soul from the Azura's Star to replenish the weapons.

Soon, Skyrim had no more guards. Not an ideal scenario, but just to demonstrate how invulnerable you can get.


Personally, I like to switch between a bow and arrow and dual weilding a legendary blades sword and a legendary glass sword. My bow does 30 points stamina damage, so usually as they are coming at me, I can shoot them 2-3 times, then their power attacks don't last long. Once they get close I switch to the two swords. Also, one sword has an enchantment that does 10 frost dmg and the other absorbs 10 health.

Basically, dual wielding can be well for people who switch between a long distance attack such as archery or magic and then use the dual wields to finish them off. A tip for people playing with this strategy is to check the compass often for enemies; that way you can start attacking before they even get close.

Another important factor to consider is your armor rating/health. Just make sure your regular opponents (I.e. bandits, draugr,...) can finish you off in less than 7-8 hits or so.

The last important thing to consider is play on your perks and skills for each race. Make sure any strategy you are using fits your skills.


Personally, I went with a Nord simply because I liked the frost resistance. And as for dual wielding: I am level 80 and I dual wield swords. My damage output is 746 not including the elemental enchantments on my swords. My armor rating is 1592. You may think that is not a big deal because I am at such a high level, but those numbers have been the same for the past 30 levels. Also my character is not modded in any way, I simply used all the resources in the game to make my character better. Finally, I believe that dual wielding is the most broken feature in Skyrim (with any race). My reasoning is that, provided you perk right, once you get to between levels 20-25 you do not really need to kill things as much as you just notice that they need to die. Then, beyond that, your damage will only go up, and subsequently the game becomes much easier no matter what difficulty you play on.


The best way to use dual weapons are 2 strong daggers, improved to their best. For example, I use Blade of Woe (flawless), and Ebony Blade (superior), as well as really light, effective armor (Shrouded Armor or Thieve's Guild armor. Other famous choices are leather, hide and scaled).

If you have light armor, it's easier to move. If you have the perk "Unhindered" on light armor, that's better, since light armor will weigh nothing. But to become an expert you must START the game with dual-wielded swords (iron sword, iron war axe, iron mace, etc.) and keep it that way. You'll get used too it quickly.


For me, dual wielding is all about stagger. Make sure you get some items and perks that increase your chances to stagger an enemy. Also make sure to get the "Fus" dragon shout word of power from the Throat of the World that increases your chance to stagger an opponent 25%.

I stagger my opponent almost every single dual power attack. When I fight the dragon priests they can't even get a hit in because of the stagger. Make sure you upgrade stamina a lot and enchanted items will help too. Dual wielding is unstoppable if you can use it right.


There is a way to use dual wield effectively and to deadly effect. However, I think it only works if you have the "Shadow Warrior" perk and are using dual daggers.

What I do is when I fight, I let an enemy come really close to me. Maybe let him hit me just a bit to make sure the gap between us is close enough. Right after that I crouch (Sneak) which will activate the "Shadow Warrior" perk (makes you become invisible for a really short time). And right after I turn invisible, I use dual wield power attack (hold left+right). If you do it right, it can finish a boss or a dragon in almost one hit.

The process is similar to sneaking behind an enemy, but this one is you suddenly become undetected right in front of an enemy. Use that short moment before they detect you again (around 2 seconds) to create a sneaky critical hit.

However, it is really difficult because you have to be really close to your enemy. And it is even more difficult with dragons, since they can detect you quite easily. But try it out, I killed several dragons with this trick already.

If you want to practice this, try practicing it with just a normal attack first. If you succeed in doing it against a normal enemy, sometimes it will turn into a finishing move cutscene (the one when you slice your enemy's throat from sneaking attack). By the way, this looks really cool. It is almost like you turn into a smoke, teleport behind them, and slice them.


My character is a dual wielder with what I consider two class types, there's the rogue which is a thief-assassin combination. I use the Dark Brotherhood standard armor with the alternate hood and two daggers. My combined skill trees of sneak and one handed allows me to get in behind implements and drop them with one flurry. I've taken down, dragons, frost trolls ,giants and Draugr death lords and whites with no effort. I even killed a vampire right next to his lover without her noticing.

Second "class" is my knight class, where I wear a combination of heavy and light armor and two swords one of which is the Dawnbreaker. My armor help me eat hits while two swords allow me to strike faster. If I'm in trouble then Fus Ro Dah gives me breathing room, giving me time to use healing spells and move in on a downed opponent.


There is another option not mentioned yet, IF you are playing on the PC.

This mod Dual Wield Parrying allows you to block with almost every combination of weapons, except

  • Bow

  • Crossbow

  • Any situation with a Spell in the right hand

  • Any situation with a Staff in the right hand

Please note that requirements are Skyrim version or higher AND SKSE, the Skyrim Script Extender (which is needed for a wwhole lot of cool mods) for the SKSE version of the mod, OR ScriptDragon, for the ScriptDragon version.

Among the suggested mods presented in the mod page are SkyUI, which allows configuration of many mods, and Dodge Mod, which allows a rolling movement to dodge attacks.

Unluckily these are not options if you're playing on console.


What I've done in the past is grind my smithing out of the way working on only the heavy side up until dragon. You can use either dragonbone or daedric, it doesn't matter. Make some duel dragon bone daggers. Find smithing potions and make them legendary. Get all the duel wielding perks plus the damage buffs for one handed legendary your armor and enchant it however you want. Find all the elemental fury shouts which increase attack speed of unenchanted weapons by 100%. Now your damage output isn't really measured by its actual damage, it's measured by how much damage you can do in a set time. Elemental fury lasts 15 seconds so if you do the math you can do about 140 to 210 (your daggers do about 70 damage) damage per sec which is 2100 to 3150 damage in 15 seconds plus this is excluding power attacks. All of my battles never last more than 15 seconds. The only tricky thing is accidentally missing your target because your moving so fast and waiting for dragons to land. Once you get ahold of you opponent it's like their a piece of paper going through a paper shredder.


How about using an Orc? Because of their racial skill Beserker Rage you can do lot of damage while dual wielding and using the Marked for Death shout or Elemental Fury.


Right now I want to start a new charter in Skyrim which will be a dual-wielder and I looked up a build when I last played a dual-wielder.So the main thing is that you'll need 2 unenchanted weapons, one of them should be a dagger,probably in your left hand,and the other a sword. And now you should shearch for the elemental fury shout which increases your attack speed by 100. If you have all the dual-wield perks you can kill a deagon in about 2 seconds with that insane attack speed,but keep in mind that the elemental fury wont work with Enchanted weapons.


go smithing enchanting and heavy armor.

enchant armor pieces for stamina, health, mag resist, one hand dmg.

chant weps with drainlife and drainstam and when u max chanting add chaos to each of those if u have dragonborn dlc,

maybe minor in alchemy for some extra healing when needed,

get either steed stone or heavy armor perk for same basic effect.

i went orc for race but barely even remember to use the racial power because he just mows everything in his path, u will have to wait out dragons to land tho, that part gets annoying, keep a bow and an alternate piece of gear swapping one hand dmg enchant for marksman, and few magic resist potions to help keep u alive till he lands and u can once more make use of lifesteal chants

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