Skyrim: Two-Handed Build Guide

Skyrim has slowly added cinematic death sequences since its debut. Now, wizards are able to see their fireballs burn someone alive in slow motion, rogues can see their character cut the throat of an unsuspecting guard, and archers can watch for the moment their arrow turns a citizen of Skyrim into a ragdoll.

The reason they added all that? Because two-handed weapon-wielders had the first cinematics and were the most fun to play with. And even after all of this time, no other style of fighting is quite as exhilarating as the two-handed technique. So grab the biggest hammer you can find and get ready to pummel your way through Skyrim.

Fortify Restoration?

It’s hard to declare any guide completed without at least mentioning this little trick. Once regarded as a glitch, official channels have discussed it and opted to leave it in the game as a reward for inquisitive players.

  • Acquire and equip a full set of Fortify Alchemy gear.
  • Gather a set of gear that has the stats that you like.
  • Stock up on Salt Pile, Cyrodillic Longfin, and Abacean Longfin.
  • Collect at least two of the following: Blisterwort, Spriggan Cap, Glowing Mushroom, or Sabre Cat Tooth.
  • Make a Fortify Restoration potion.
  • Drink this potion.
  • Unequip your gear.
  • Re-equip your gear.
  • Repeat the last four steps until your fortify alchemy boost is in the millions.
  • Make a Fortify Smithing potion.
  • Drink this potion.
  • Improve your set of gear that has the stats that you like.

Without a cap on this, items bonuses can be boosted to the millions. It’s not really a fun way of winning the game, but it is “official.” For those of you who prefer to play the game and not simply find a way around the game, the rest of this guide is for you.


  • Orc

Leveling up comes with a penalty in this game, because as you gain experience, your enemies become more powerful as well. The way to avoid all-powerful enemies is to limit your progression as much as possible. And this is where this build outshines so many others because you’ll only need to employ two skills.

The Orc has the best Heavy Armor skill in the game and the second-best Two-Handed skill, making them the easy choice for this build. Additionally, their racial ability gives them double physical damage and reduces incoming damage by 50% for one minute, both of which are extremely useful to a two-handed warrior.


  • The Warrior.

You’ll be gaining Two-Handed and Heavy Armor skills faster with the Warrior stone activated. You might think about changing to another stone after you’ve maxed those skills out at 100, but don’t do it. Remember that you don’t want to level up anything else, so keeping everything nice and low is perfect.


  • Two-Handed

The entire build is named after this skill, so it stands to reason that you’ll want to prioritize leveling this up before anything else. Leveling it is easy, just whack away with whatever two-hander you want until you’ve got the weapon of your dreams. Resist the urge to ever use a one-handed weapon, even if it does more damage at the time, because those are experience points that you can’t use and it’ll give your enemies an advantage in the long run.

  • Heavy Armor

Now, theoretically, you can cut your enemy’s levels in half by using basic clothing and only leveling up the Two-Handed skill, but, while that may sound tempting, you’ll pay a heavy price. Not all enemies can be dispatched with a single hit and some dragons and big bosses can potentially reduce your health to zero in one hit if you don’t protect yourself.

So slap on some heavy armor, leveling it up is as easy as getting hit. Don’t block, let the armor absorb the hits instead, otherwise you’ll have three skills to juggle, and smashing targets with a giant blunt object should feel so much more liberating than that kind of balancing act.


  • Barbarian

With five points in this, you’ll be doing double damage. Since you’re not going to be getting any boosts for stealth or headshots, it’s imperative that you prioritize this perk right away. If you get your next perk point before your Two-Handed skill is leveled up enough, feel free to wait until you’ve got a few more skill points in before spending them.

  • Skullcrusher

Ignoring 75% of an enemy’s armor is huge, it reduces big and burly mercenaries into manageable opponents that feel more like smacking a sorcerer. This works against light armor as well, so rogues and warriors alike will go down much easier.

The best weapon in the game for you ends up being a warhammer, so don’t worry about the other specializations in this tree, the only one you’ll need is this.

  • Sweep

You’re not going to be using much tact with your confrontations, the whole idea is to charge in haphazardly. This will aggravate multiple enemies at once and you’ll happily utilize a power sweep to clear out the mobs en masse.

If you have any extra perks, feel free to climb up the middle path in the Two-Handed tree or invest in the Heavy Armor skills.

Leveling Up

  • Prioritize stamina, then choose health.

Your way of battle is a very stamina-intensive one, so don’t consider boosting health until you observe that you’re able to complete encounters with a little stamina still in reserve.

Best Equipment

  • The Longhammer

There are two-handed weapons that have a higher base damage by a few points, but this weapon has been imbued to swing 30% faster. Factor in that this it only weighs 18 units and this thing is a blur in battle.

Don’t be too confused, there is a generic weapon also called The Longhammer in the game, but you’re looking for a unique, legendary variety. Check the Liar’s Retreat cave. Without revealing any spoilers, it’s next to a body there.

  • Daedric Armor

There isn’t anything fancy about Daedric armor, it’s just the best armor in the game in terms of, well, armor. You’ll be shrugging off even the largest haymakers. You can buy pieces of this set from the Dremora Merchant, kill revered and legendary dragons that have a high chance to drop them, or hit level 49, after which enemies will drop these pieces regularly.

Have a blast charging headlong into danger, berserkers!

NEXT: Skyrim: Enchanting Skill Guide – Trainers, Fast-Leveling, & More

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Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.

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