Skyrim: Dawnguard – How to Find the Best Weapons

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Welcome to where we detail the best weapons in Skyrim’s first expansion. In Dawnguard, you’ll have plenty of new deadly enemies to fight, including the giant Legendary Dragons. Dawnguard brings an all new class of armor and weapons to the table to fight the new monsters of the night. Check out how to obtain the new unique weapons available in the Dawnguard DLC below, and let us know which weapons you thought were the most useful.

Survive Dawnguard with our walkthrough. To find everything extra like achievement guides, locations, glitches, and whatever else we can discover get yourself over to the Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC cheats page.

For more information on vanilla Skyrim, that involves a lot more killing, check out our text and video walkthrough. For more hints, tips, and secrets, stop by the cheats page.

Best Weapons of the Dawnguard DLC

Note: No weapons are truly “best” in Dawnguard. Find the weapon that’s best for you and your playstyle with these suggestions.

Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow (W/ Magical Exploding Bolts):

  • Unlocking this powerful crossbow with explosive bolts takes time and effort. You’ll need to create them yourself from schematics you find in a side-quest for the Dawnguard.
  • The side-quest you’ll need to complete is called “Ancient Technology” which becomes available after completing “A New Order” while in the Dawnguard Faction.
  • Speak with Sorine Jurard to start the quest, she’ll also train you in marksmanship and crafting crossbows with bolts.
  • On this quest, she’ll send you to several locations to unlock schematics for powerful new bolts. The sixth quest she sends you on will be to get the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow schematic.
  • Bring the schematic back to Sorine, and you’ll be able to craft the crossbow and bolts yourself. Combine the specialty explosive bolts with the enhance Dwarven Crossbow to find the best type of crossbow available in Dawnguard.

Auriel’s Bow:

  • Near the end of the main quest chain in Dawnguard, you’ll acquire the quest “Touching the Sky” after completing the quest “Unseen Vision” for the Dawnguard.
  • When you gain access to the Inner Sanctum of the Forgotten Vale, defeat Arch-Curate Vyrthur and speak to Gelebor to get your hands on this special bow.
  • The bow comes with an abnormally fast draw speed, and the special arrows made for it by Gelebor deal extra damage. Fire damage is even tripled when used against the undead, making it perfect for hunting draugr and vampires.

Harkon’s Sword:

  • Lord Harkon himself wields this special sword. During the quest “Kindred Judgement” you’ll do battle with Lord Harkon. Defeat him and the sword is your’s.
  • The quest “Kindred Judgement” is the last of the Dawnguard main quests, coming after “Touching the Sky.”
  • The sword itself has a special enchantment that will absorb 15 points of health, stamina, and magicka with each blow when held by a Vampire Lord.

Aetherial Staff and Shield

  • During the special side-quest available to both factions “Lost to the Ages” this special staff can be acquired.
  • To start this quest, you’ll need to find and read a unique book called “The Aetherium Wars” which can be found in both the Castle Volkihar Undercroft and in Fort Dawnguard.
  • Read the book, and you’ll find a new misc. task in your quest journal. Follow it to the waypoint location to learn more about the quest.
  • Near the end of the quest, you will reach the Forge. Here, you’ll have the option to construct one of three items. Two of the items are the Aetherial Staff and Shield.
  • The Shield will turn any enemy bashed with it ethereal, making them unable to hurt you until the effect wears off after 15 seconds.
  • The Staff will summon a Dwemer Spider or Sphere to fight for you. The summon lasts 60 seconds.

Dragonbone Weapons:

  • The most powerful weapons in the game are the new Dragonbone Weapons. Any base weapon can be made from Dragonbone, just like Daedric Weapons.
  • Dragon Bone weapons require a Smithing Skill of 100, and the Dragon Armor crafting perk to create.
  • They can be smithed at any Blacksmith’s Forge, and upgraded with a Dragon Bone material. Upgrading with the Dragon Armor perk will double the upgrade’s improvements.
  • To smith Dragon Bone weapons, you’ll need two Dragon Bones and one Ebony Ingot.
  • Every Dragon Bone weapon surpasses Daedric Weapon’s base stats. To get the best weapons in Skyrim, you’ll need to go with Dragon Bone.

Think you’ve found the best weapons in Dawnguard? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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5 Comments on Skyrim: Dawnguard – How to Find the Best Weapons


On July 7, 2012 at 12:37 am

There is one more weapon that is not listed: the bow Zephyr, that belonged to the ghost, when you arrive to the first dungeon and progres to the point when she remarks that “this is the place where i fell” the bow is suspended at the far point of the fallen tree, very carefully you can claim it. It has an enchantment that let fire 30% faster, it dosent need recharge.


On November 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I noticed that the Dragonbone weapons are stronger than the Daedric, however when I improve the Great sword for both, the Daedric Sword Surpasses the Dragonbone one for some reason…

I have the Dragon Smithing Perk and am using Smithing Enhancing Gear (125% I think in total)

This a Bug or?

Lance Parker

On March 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

You forgot auriels shield that you get at the place where you get the bow

howard cook

On October 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

there is also Auriel’s Shield that can be found in the forgotten vale using the paragon stones at the paragon portal.


On December 15, 2013 at 2:35 am

I actually like the Stalhrim weapons with Chaos enchant more. The weapon itself does less damage than Dragonbone weapons but the Stalhrim weapons get a + 25% damage bonus to frost enchants, which is applied to the Chaos enchant.