Depending on what character build the player is going for, choosing the right weapon with the right enchantments can be difficult in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. There are quite a few options, even if the player goes for unique weapons or randomly finds loot in the wild.
However, if putting all that on the shoulders of luck alone sounds like a terrible idea, there's always the opportunity to enchant one's own ideal weapons. With the right enchanting perks unlocked, players can make just about any type of weapon. Here are a few of the best picks when it comes to choosing a perfect enchantment for that new sword in Skyrim.
Updated on August 27th, 2021 by Anastasia Maillot: Fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise are in for yet another Skyrim release. With the game's 10th-year anniversary fast approaching in November 2021, fans might be inclined to return to Skyrim and enjoy the game once more for what it is: one of the greatest games of this generation.
With that, knowing which weapon enchantments to get and focus on is important for a wide variety of different character builds. Even players not focusing on the Enchanting skill will want to know which random loot items to keep and which ones to sell based on their enchantments, and which to just ignore.
18 Notched Pickaxe
The Notched Pickaxe is a famous enchantment effect that's attached to a unique pickaxe found on the peak of the Throat of the World. It's an obvious easter egg referencing Minecraft and has a special enchantment that does Shock damage while also increasing the wielder's Smithing skill.
In previous versions of the game, there was a bug that allowed players to disenchant the pickaxe for the special Notched Pickaxe enchantment and apply it to other items. So, while it's not an enchantment that can be used anymore, it still deserves a special mention on this list as one of the more unique and out-there enchantments.
17 Huntsman's Prowess
Huntsman's Prowess is another very unique enchantment, only this time it can actually be learned and applied to other weapons and items. To get it, players will need to disenchant the Poacher's Axe found at Halted Stream Camp.
Huntsman's Prowess is an enchantment in Skyrim that does extra damage to animal enemies. It has no amazing utility like most other enchantments, but for roleplaying purposes, it fits certain character builds like hunters and rangers.
16 Fiery Soul Trap
Now, here's an enchantment that's not actually half bad. Fiery Soul Trap is a unique one and is especially useful for players who depend on the Enchanting skill. Not only does the Fiery Soul Trap enchantment do Fire damage, but it also traps the soul into an empty Soul Gem so long as the kill is secured within five seconds of a hit.
It's a pretty cool combination enchantment, which can be learned by grabbing the unique battelaxe from Ironbind Barrow and disenchanting it. The original weapon, Steel Battleaxe of Fiery Souls, is found on the backside of Gathrik's throne.
A bad enchantment is usually a niche enchantment, and Banish is definitely that. It's not the best pick for players unless they plan on taking on an entire army of Daedra, which only happens with a select few special enemy types like mages and powerful boss enemies. However, if players for some reason would like to have a weapon that absolutely demolishes Daedra, Banish just might be the pick.
Banish is fantastic when fighting enemies that like to summon two million different Daedra to fight for them. One hit from a Banish weapon will send those pesky summoned creatures right back to Oblivion where they belong. In a way, it's a great crowd-controlling enchantment, but a bit too niche to see a lot of value and use in most character builds.
14 Silent Moon Enchant
If players get their hands on Lunar weapons found at the Silent Moons Camp north of Whiterun and disenchant them, they can learn a very unique somewhat useless enchantment. These Lunar weapons basically set enemies on fire whenever the moons are out, making them nice for fighting enemies during nighttime.
This isn't a terrible enchantment, but it relies on the player using the Lunar enchanted weapon at night time. It's more of a cool, niche feature, although the burning effect does vary from 10 to 20 damage points — which isn't too bad. For challenge runs and character builds that rely on roleplaying, the Silent Moon Enchant can be a cool addition.
13 Turn Undead
Draugr and skeletons can be a pain to fight, but luckily there's an enchantment that can make them run away in fear. The Turn Undead enchantment will cause undead enemies to escape the scene of the fight, provided they're within a certain level range. Draugr lords won't be affected by this, usually.
The problem with this enchantment is that it's actually a bit inconvenient. It forces players to run after their enemies when they might actually want to face them head-on. For a full-on mage build the Turn Undead spell makes sense since mages tend to be weak, but for a build relying on close-range weapons, this is more of an annoyance.
If players are worried about getting ganged up on by multiple enemies, using an enchantment like Fear could be a legitimate option. Sadly, it only works on enemies of a certain level, and higher-level heavy hitters usually won't be affected by it. Early in the game, it can be very useful, but the game's many beasts and critters quickly outgrow its effects.
Fear causes all weaker enemies to run away for approximately 30 seconds. Again, this is only useful if close-range combat is something the player prefers not to do since otherwise, players will be chasing after their enemies, which is its own annoying ordeal.
11 Shock Damage
Shock has often been considered as the weakest element of the three available in Skyrim, and that definitely holds true. Only a few enemies in Skyrim respond to Shock spells properly, and usually, those are enemies that rely on Magicka since Shock damage not only does regular damage but also drains their spellcasting potential.
The Shock Damage enchantment is a decent elemental enchantment to have, but compared to Frost and Flames, it isn't as useful or versatile. Not all enemies will rely on Magicka. In fact, most enemies will rely more on Stamina and massive health pools.
10 Absorb Magicka
If the thought of facing off against powerful mages or other magic users gives the player nightmares, then going for something that counters them is the best option. Absorb Magicka is an enchantment that basically drains Magicka from the target and transfers it to the player.
This is especially great if the player themselves relies on having a large Magicka pool that barely drains out, but hates dealing with Magicka-using enemies. The Spellsword build can really benefit from this enchantment since they both require Magicka and can also use a sword with this enchantment applied to it.
9 Absorb Stamina
Should the worst enemy of the player be a powerful close-quarter warrior with the ability to put in a ton of damage with a succession of secondary attacks, enchanting a weapon with Absorb Stamina might be a great way to deal with them.
Absorb Stamina is especially great for players who have characters that rely on having loads of Stamina, such as two-handed combatants who like to fight at close range. Heavy armor users and anyone with a two-handed weapon specialization will also greatly benefit from this enchantment, as it essentially provides them with a near-infinite Stamina pool.
Players might see the Alteration school of magic as a bit niche, and while it's true to a degree, there are still a few hidden gems within it. Paralyze is one of the spells of this school, which can be added as an enchantment to a weapon, and can be surprisingly useful in a pinch.
Paralyze basically freezes a character up for about 10 seconds, after the game calculates whether or not the enemy's capable of resisting the spell's power or not. Note that some strong enemies completely ignore this spell. Like Fear and Turn Undead, it's usually the strongest at lower levels in the early game.
7 Frost Damage
Good old Frost Damage is one of the easiest and most common enchantments to find in Skyrim, and because of that, players will often end up carrying at least one weapon with this enchantment on it. That being said, it's not a bad enchantment at all despite being easy to find in loot.
Frost Damage is great because it slows the enemy down, and without proper resistance, it can be devastating against enemies particularly weak to frost magic. Put this enchantment on any sword or bow, and hitting the target that suffers from the slowness and chipped Stamina caused by it will be easy to finish off quickly.
6 Fire Damage
The perk of Fire Damage is that it will continue to affect the target over time with flames. This can be a great annoyance to them and will allow the player easily to rack up damage against their enemies.
Moreover, Fire Damage interacts with the environment quite nicely, especially if there are oil surfaces or anything explosive around. Although very basic and common source, it's an excellent source of extra elemental damage.
5 Chaos Damage
Chaos Damage is a feature exclusively found in the Dragonborn DLC. It's one of the most powerful and unique enchantments in the entire game. This enchantment is the king of all Destruction magic enchantments because it has a 50% chance to dish out all three elemental types of Destruction spell damage: frost, fire, and sparks.
As such, it can affect all three of the enemy's basic attributes as well, which means the player will never have to choose which category to specialize in. At worst, the enemy will take damage to their health, stamina and Magicka pool, making this an absolute nightmare to deal with. Various Stahlrim weapons might carry this enchantment, as will the unique weapon Champion's Cudgel, which can be looted off of General Falx Carius during the quest March of the Dead.
4 Stamina Damage
Very similar in theory to the Absorb Stamina enchantment, Stamina Damage might be often considered as something situational or very niche. However, think about how many times the Dragonborn is pitted against heavy attacking bandit leaders or Draugr Lords. This weapon enchantment is definitely a powerful one.
One hit from a weapon enchanted with Stamina Damage will remove 15 Stamina out of an enemy's stamina pool, which is especially good after they've used a power attack on the Dragonborn. They'll be rendered pretty much useless after a few hits, unable to perform power attacks.
3 Magicka Damage
Just like Absorb Magicka, Magicka Damage attacks the Magicka pool of the enemy and is especially insidious against mages. When dealing with particularly strong Magicka users, having an enchantment like this on the player's side will make things much easier.
Since mages tend to rely solely on their magic and will only ever carry a dagger as a weapon, it's a fantastic way of essentially disarming an enemy with a few hits.
2 Soul Trap
Some might argue that Soul Trap isn't an all too important enchantment, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Any player wanting to use weapon enchantments regularly will need to have charged Soul Gems at their disposal, which can either be bought or charged manually with souls.
The Soul Trap weapon enchantment in Skyrim makes getting Soul Gems more affordable for the player. It's especially great on weapons that can be used as one-hit weapons after the target is already weakened, in order to secure a filled soul gem within a short time span.
1 Absorb Health
There really isn't anything better than an enchantment that takes health from the opponent and transfers it to the player themselves. It's why Absorb Health is the best weapon enchantment in Skyrim since it can really make fights much shorter than they would usually be.
It also allows the player to save up greatly on potions or Restoration spells by not having to constantly heal themselves.
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