15 Best Archery & Bow Mods For SkyrimThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Archer playthroughs are always a super fun thing. Especially when you install so many mods in your game that firing arrows feels much more realistic and wandering around with your bow becomes much more fun.
As such I’ve made a list of the best archery mods that I’ve found to enhance the archery experience of Skyrim as much as possible.
Bear in mind that the mods I’ve compiled are exclusively meant to enhance archery per se.
You may find other mods that further enhance your experience (for example, customizable camera mods) but the main goal of my list is to provide you with a set of mods that focus on improving arrows, bows, and archery-related stuff only.
15. Difficult Archery
The description of this mod couldn’t have said it better – everyone is a master marksman in Skyrim except you.
It seems like every single NPC in the game always has the edge on the player as they never seem to miss a single shot.
With Difficult Archery, however, you’ll be able to see your enemies fire with the same level of inaccuracy as you. Specifically because it adds a higher error margin for the shots of all NPCs in the game.
This mod also makes archery a true challenge – you will need to find cover if you are to survive enemy attacks, as the higher inaccuracy is also accompanied by higher damage (both with your bow and your enemies’ bows).
14. Better Archery Eagle Eye Perk
The Eagle Eye perk is basically the equivalent of sniping in Skyrim, but it makes it quite difficult to use the fact that it drains stamina too quickly.
Also the zoom doesn’t feel quite as good.
Well this mod kills two birds with one arrow and fixes just that – you’ll be able to zoom in much more when using the Eagle Eye perk and your stamina will drain much more slowly as well.
13. Better Archery
Better Archery aims to reduce the unrealistic effects of arrows in the game.
Do you know how arrows seems to float in Skyrim when you fire them? Well install this mod and that will happen no longer.
The speed of all arrows will be increased and the effects that gravity has on each of them isn’t as bad. That means that they have better accuracy thanks to improved trajectories.
Shoot your enemies across higher distances and eliminate all of your foes without batting an eye thanks to this amazing mod.
12. Proper Aiming
Proper Aiming makes your arrows go straight to the center of your crosshair.
If you’ve had enough of arrow inaccuracy then this mod is the one you’ll want to try.
It allows your shots to go exactly where you’re aiming, which surprisingly isn’t the case in the vanilla game. Oh well, thankfully we have modders to fix what Bethesda didn’t.
11. Insane Armory – Archery Bows and Crossbows
This mod is a visual change to the game, but the difference is noticeable and bows and crossbows look much better.
Insane Armory makes bows look much less thick than they do in the game.
I know you don’t think this is a necessary change, but please take a look at the mod page and see how the mod alters the look of bows. They just look much more realistic.
The mod makes it feel like your character is truly holding a comfortable bow and not just some massive weapon that seems too difficult to handle.
10. Whiterun Archery Pro Shop
Whiterun Archery Pro Shop is a new store that just opened in Whiterun, which is owned by Les The Hunter.
As one of the most skillful archers in Skyrim, he’s open to sharing his knowledge of archery if you’re keen to hire an instructor.
The shop sells everything you need to buy as a skilled or newcomer in the world of archery, including weapons and ammunition.
Also as the creator of the mod states, Les is a marriable character.
If you want a hunting companion for the rest of your days or simply someone that has your back with the bow, Les is a good option.
9. Ultra Realistic Bow Shooting Sounds
The creator of this mod took time to record the sounds of actual bows being shot on YouTube and simply made sound files for the game with said recordings.
A fantastic mod indeed, using quite a simple yet super effective concept.
It makes shooting a much more enjoyable experience!
8. Extended Archery Skill Tree
This mod is meant to be used together with other difficulty-enhancing mods, but it basically allows arrows to do much more damage as you progress through levels in Skyrim.
Many issues with archery in the game come from the fact that arrows become less effective against high-level foes, which causes problems to the player more often than not.
7. Spinning Arrows
This mod makes arrows spin when you shoot them, much like they do in real life!
In Skyrim whenever you shoot a bow, the arrow simply moves in a straight direction without any sort of rotation movement whatsoever.
But with this mod you will notice how every arrow moves as you shoot them, enhancing the way it looks by a landslide. Highly recommend this one for any serious archery users.
6. Scoped Bows
Scoped Bows is a mod that adds scopes in the most lore-friendly way possible.
The design of these bows looks very much like any other creation made by the Dunmer, so it does fit quite nicely into Skyrim.
The mod adds a total of 32 bows into the game, which gives you plenty of variety and many more options to complement your archery experience.
If you’ve been playing the game for as long as me, you’ll probably look at this mod with a lot of enthusiasm – and rightly so. Aiming with these weapons is extremely fun!
5. Auto Unequip Ammo
This mod makes ammo get automatically unequipped from your character’s active slots as soon as you unequip the ranged weapon that you’re using.
For that purpose, the mod remembers exactly which type of ammunition you were using with any bow in the game. Which means that it will get automatically equipped back whenever you use that bow again.
It’s a QOL mod more than anything else.
If you’re like me and you hate that ammo stays when your weapon isn’t in your hands, then this mod is exactly what you need.
4. Nock to Tip
Nock to Tip overhauls the archery system by basically making smithing and archery independent from one another.
Gone are the days of you having to craft random crap to improve your smithing skill and gain access to better arrows.
Now with this mod you’ll be able to fletch your own arrows without having to use grindstones of any sorts.
Instead nocks are now attached to most arrows in the game thanks to the complete rework done by the creator of this mod.
That’s right – this mod changes the way every single arrow in the game looks.
It adds a nock to the tip of every arrow plus it gives arrows a more realistic and elongated look. They will also now be able to penetrate further into the skin and organs of your foes, making them deadlier.
3. Closer Quivers and Longer Arrows
This is another mod that shows how short arrows are in vanilla Skyrim.
It makes every single arrow in the game longer, but it also makes the quivers more attached to the body of your character.
Plus it makes n sense for the quiver to be floating in the air, and this is one of the things that has irked Skyrim players the most ever since the release of the game.
2. ABT – Arrow and Bolt Tweaks
This mod makes a lot of subtle changes to the arrow and bolt system of the game, but they all add up to create a much more enjoyable archery experience.
The arrows move better, ammunition is far more useful, progressive damage is introduced to the game, and the overall quality of archery improves by a landslide.
A fantastic mod that compiles many of the best features of other mods on this list. I would recommend trying this one (and the mod that took the first place on this list) before the rest!
1. Archery Gameplay Overhaul
AGO changes the way your character moves when using a bow. Sounds small but it gets into a lot of detail.
It has basically a full rework of a bunch of the game’s animations to make everything look better and smoother.
Bows are also drawn much faster, cutting the time it takes for you to fire in half, and it even adds the ability for you to enchant arrows and improve your strength as a bowman even further.
There’s bleeding, better crosshairs, progressive damage, and even arm fatigue to make archery a much more pleasant and a tad more challenging activity.
Everything about this mod makes archery a lot more fun.