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One-handed governs your effectiveness when using one-handed weapons, including daggers, swords, maces, and war axes. With the addition of dual-wielding, one-handed weapons can be put in both hands in any combination. The higher your skill in One-handed, the more damage is done with one-handed weapons. The One-handed skill tree has a total of 10 perks, requiring a total of 21 perk points to fill. Each skill point grants a +0.5% bonus to the damage dealt with one-handed weapons (+2% for NPCs). This bonus stacks with the ones provided by the Armsman perk and by Smithing-related improvements.
In-game Description: The art of combat using one-handed weapons such as daggers, swords, maces, and war axes. Those trained in this skill deliver deadlier blows.
|Perk||Rank||Description||ID||Skill Req.||Perk Req.|
|Armsman||1||One-Handed weapons do 20% more damage.||000babe4|
|2||One-Handed weapons do 40% more damage.||00079343||20 One-handed|
|3||One-Handed weapons do 60% more damage.||00079342||40 One-handed|
|4||One-Handed weapons do 80% more damage.||00079344||60 One-handed|
|5||One-Handed weapons do twice as much damage.||00079345||80 One-handed|
|Bladesman||1||Attacks with swords have a 10% chance of doing critical damage (+0% crit damage ).||0005f56f||30 One-handed||Armsman|
|2||Attacks with swords have a 15% chance of doing more critical damage (+25% crit damage ).||000c1e90||60 One-handed|
|3||Attacks with swords have a 20% chance of doing even more critical damage (+50% crit damage ).||000c1e91||90 One-handed|
|Bone Breaker||1||Attacks with maces ignore 25% of armor.||0005f592||30 One-handed||Armsman|
|2||Attacks with maces ignore 50% of armor.||000c1e92||60 One-handed|
|3||Attacks with maces ignore 75% of armor.||000c1e93||90 One-handed|
|Dual Flurry||1||Dual wielding attacks are 20% faster.||00106256||30 One-handed||Armsman|
|2||Dual wielding attacks are 35% faster.||00106257||50 One-handed|
|Dual Savagery||Dual wielding power attacks do 50% bonus damage.||00106258||70 One-handed||Dual Flurry|
|Fighting Stance||Power attacks with one-handed weapons cost 25% less stamina.||00052d50||20 One-handed||Armsman|
|Critical Charge||Can do a one-handed power attack while sprinting that does double critical damage.||000cb406||50 One-handed||Fighting Stance|
|Savage Strike||Standing power attacks do 25% bonus damage with a chance to decapitate your enemies.||0003af81||50 One-handed||Fighting Stance|
|Paralyzing Strike||Backwards power attack has a 25% chance to paralyze the target.||0003afa6||100 One-handed||Critical Charge or Savage Strike|
|Hack and Slash||1||Attacks with war axes cause extra bleeding damage.||0003fffa||30 One-handed||Armsman|
|2||Attacks with war axes cause more bleeding damage.||000c3678||60 One-handed|
|3||Attacks with war axes cause even more bleeding damage.||000c3679||90 One-handed|
Hack and Slash
Hack and Slash causes extra damage over a given period of time based on the material of the war axe used. It's stackable and ignores armor. However, things that don't bleed, such as undead and Dwemer constructs, are immune to the effect.
|Steel, Imperial, Ancient Nord||1||3||1.7||3||2.3||3|
|Elven, Honed Ancient Nord||1.5||4||2||4||2.5||4|
|Glass, Honed Falmer||2||4||2.5||4||3||4|
Approximate weapon characteristics are given in the following table:
|Weapon type||Relative damage||Speed||Reach||Stagger|
- "Speed" determines the frequency of attacks. "Reach" determines how far away an opponent can be and still be hit by the weapon. "Stagger" multiplies your base staggering chance by this amount to determine if your attack causes your opponent to stumble or flinch away from you.
- Depending on the base weapon type, it may be governed by certain perks, if they are taken. Swords can potentially gain a critical damage chance, war axes a bleeding damage chance, and maces may get to ignore some armor rating. Daggers may gain a 15x Backstab multiplier, while the others can only gain 6x. Daggers are also silent, making stealthy kills more practical if facing multiple targets.
- Although the Damage per Second (DPS) for daggers may exceed swords at higher tiers (ebony, Daedric, dragonbone) if tempered to Legendary quality, daggers do not benefit from Fortify One-handed enchantments, which can potentially put daggers at a considerable damage disadvantage.
- The weight of the weapon should also be taken into account, since heavier weapons expend more stamina when using a power attack. Daggers will generally expend the least amount of stamina but have the lowest damage per strike and are unable to cause an opponent to stagger, while maces expend the most stamina but have the highest damage and chance to stagger.
- Attacks with the primary (right) hand are 10% faster than those with the off (left) hand.[verification needed]
One-handed Fighting Styles
The following races have an initial skill bonus to One-handed:
- Amren of Whiterun (Common)
- Athis of the Companions in Whiterun (Expert)
- Chief Burguk in Dushnikh Yal (Master)
- 2920, Morning Star, v1
- Fire and Darkness
- The Importance of Where
- Mace Etiquette
- Night Falls on Sentinel
- +1 One-handed (as well as Block) from Amren (Whiterun) for finding his family sword.
- +1 One-handed (as well as Block) from the Ghost of Old Hroldan (Old Hroldan Inn) for completing the quest The Ghost of Old Hroldan.
- +1 One-handed (and other combat skills) from Giraud Gemane (Bards College) for completing the quest Rjorn's Drum.
- +1 One-Handed (and Block, Heavy Armor, and Archery) from Wulf Wild-BloodDB for finding his brother during Filial BondsDB.
- +5 One-handed (and to all other combat skills) by selecting "The Path of Might" from the Oghma Infinium after completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
Gaining Skill XP
- Weapon skill gains are based on damage dealt against valid targets (those whose health can be damaged). You can increase your skill level fastest by choosing your one-handed weapon that causes the most base damage in a given time period.
- Boosting One-handed damage via skill perks or equipment enchantments does not result in more XP per strike, nor does improving your weapons at a grindstone.
- You can exploit certain targets for training combat skills, because they are essential, and therefore cannot normally die; because they are expendable; or because they have high health or can regenerate health. They are not normally "enemies". They include: Shadowmere, Hadvar or Ralof during Unbound, creatures you have conjured, Paarthurnax (before starting his quest), and M'aiq the Liar.
- If you have the Dawnguard Add-on installed, wielding a Dragonbone dagger in the left hand and a Dragonbone Mace in the right hand and performing a dual-wield, simultaneous, non-power attack (tapping both attack buttons simultaneously) with them will net the most experience for a given enemy. Be sure to equip the dagger in your left hand, as the off-hand weapon dictates the striking speed of this attack. Combining this with the Dual Flurry perks will further enhance the XP per second, while adding the increased attack speed of the Elemental Fury shout will garner the highest XP per second possible.
- One-handed power attacks will not increase the XP per blow since XP is earned based on weapon damage, not the extra damage done from the power attack.
- Blade and Blunt skills from Oblivion no longer exist. Melee skill has instead been divided between One-handed and Two-handed.
- If your only weapon is in the left hand (off-hand), finishing move animations will not appear.
The following information is not fully researched but appears to be accurate: Weapon specific perks are not a large factor when determining weapon choice, as their effects are very minor.
- The Bladesman perk only works off of the base damage of the weapon, which is a fraction of total damage at high levels. For example, using a Legendary Daedric sword with 100 One-handed skill and 5/5 Armsman perk levels, you will deliver 72 damage per hit. However, base damage for a Daedric Sword is only 14; so with 3/3 Bladesman perk levels, you would have a 20% chance to cause an additional 10.5 points of damage. For reference, a critical hit with a one-handed iron sword will do an extra 3 points of damage at Bladesman perk level 1, or 4.5 damage at Bladesman level 3 (1.5x the base critical damage). For a one-handed Daedric sword, it would be 7 and 10.5, respectively. Nothing modifies these numbers, so even if you're doing 300 damage per hit "normally", a critical hit would still only do an additional 3 to 10.5 points of damage.
- The bleeding effect of Hack and Slash depends on weapon material and skill level and lasts six seconds. However, even a Daedric weapon used with level 3 of Hack and Slash will cause only 18 bleeding damage. While multiple bleeding effects stack, by the time you apply several of them the enemy may already be dead. However, this can be useful for playing the game on higher difficulties or at lower levels where the bleed's damage is more relevant.
- You can combine Critical Charge with the Silent Roll perk for a more powerful sneak attack.
- Dual Flurry can benefit from Necromage; x1.35 is incremented by 25% (multiplied by 1.25) to 1.6875. You must be a vampire and have Necromage before taking Dual Flurry to benefit. The enhanced speed bonus will remain even after being cured.
- The Ebony Blade incorrectly benefits from the One-handed skill.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.9 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- The headsman's axe incorrectly benefits from the One-handed skill.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.5.24 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- Equipping a dagger in your main-hand and another one-handed weapon in your off-hand, then changing what you are wearing in your armor/clothing slot will cause both of the equipped weapons to appear on your hip, when normally just the main-hand weapon appears. Unequipping the off-hand weapon will not remove it from your hip, but subsequently changing clothes or armor will.
- Paralyzing Strike's chance to activate is actually 26%.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.5 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- The perk "Dual Flurry" may not function properly with certain add-on weapons (tested using ancient Nordic pickaxes and Nordic swords).
- When you loot equipped head gear from an enemy that you have decapitated due to the Savage Strike perk, the severed head may still appear to have the head gear equipped even though you have taken it.
- Level 1 Hack and Slash will not work for Elven or Honed Ancient Nord axes because it requires that the axe be both Elven and Honed Ancient Nord at the same time.
- The duration of level 3 Hack and Slash for Orcish axes is twice what it was probably intended to be. details) (
- Dragonbone axes do not benefit from Hack and Slash.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Dawnguard Patch.