Skyrim: Mounted Combat Guide

If you’re new to Skyrim thanks to the fresh release of the Legendary Edition, there are some aspects of the game you might not yet know. One of the new additions to the engine is mounted combat which comes included free with the 1.6 Patch (or out of the box with the Legendary Edition) and provides every Dragonborn the ability to fight while riding a horse.

Instead of wasting time mounting and dismounting, now you can swing those swords like a wildman while riding — but there are some drawbacks. Here, we’ll go over the pros and cons of mounted combat. Check it all out below.

Want to see what else Game Front has to offer for this massive open-ended RPG? Find it all on our Skyrim Survival Guide, featuring every cheat, how-to, secret, extra, and unlockable. Or, check out our massive walkthroughs for Skyrim, Dawnguard, and the Dragonborn DLC.

Mounted Combat Guide

Getting Started

The Basics

Once the Dragonborn acquires a horse, weapons can be used to attack enemies to the left or right while riding. If you’re looking to get a horse of your own, check out our guide for getting an easy free horse.

While riding, weapons must be equipped to the right-hand. Melee weapons or bows are available for Mounted Combat.

Dragon shouts, unarmed attacks, magic, or powers cannot be used while mounted.

Mounted Combat with Melee Weapons

  • Only melee weapons equipped to the right-hand slot will work while mounted.
  • One-handed or two-handed weapons can be used mounted. Two-handed weapons will use the one-handed stat modifier.
  • Mounted attacks hit low — small enemies like wolves can be hit with weapons while mounted.
  • Attacks can be charged, but do not incur extra damage on opponents.
  • There is no knockback when hitting shielded enemies.

Mounted Combat with Bows

  • Any bows can be used while mounted. This includes enhanced bows or those with special magic enhancements.
  • If the Dragonbown has unlocked Eagle Eye, the bow can be zoomed in.
  • Arrows can only be fired from a 180 degree arc in front of the horse. The horse must be reoriented to fire in different directions.

The Pros & Cons of Mounted Combat


  1. While mounted, the Dragonborn is very mobile. Attacks consume no (or very little) stamina.
  2. Magic or any projectiles will have a hard time hitting the Dragonborn.
  3. Blocked melee attacks suffer no knockback. The Dragonborn can rapidly attack guarding enemies.
  4. Archers suffer very few drawbacks.


  1. Your horse is forced into combat, and can be killed.
  2. Landing attacks isn’t easy. Due to the way mounted combat works, it’s difficult to judge when an attack will land.
  3. Magic, Powers, and Dragonshouts can’t be used while mounted, making this method of combat useless for mages.
  4. Can’t be used indoors.

Making the Most Out of Mounted Combat

To make mounted combat even more powerful, you’ll want the best weapons and steeds. Below, we’ll list a few recommendations.

What weapons and steeds do you think are best? Let us know in the comments section!

Best Mounts

  • Frost
    Benefits: Slightly higher health and stamina.
    How to Find: Complete the “Promises to Keep” quest, given by Louis Letrush in The Bee and Bard of Riften. Convince him to give that player the horse at the end of the quest to obtain Frost.
  • Shadowmere
    Benefits: High health, high stamina, and a quick regeneration rate. Revives after 10 days.
    How to Find: Complete “The Cure of Madness” quest for the Dark Brotherhood faction. Learn how to join the Dark Brotherhood with our Skyrim factions guide.
  • Arvak (Dawnguard Only)
    Benefits: The undead horse cannot be permanently killed. It can be re-summoned often.
    How to Find: To earn the “Summon Arvak” spell, the Dragonborn must travel to the Soul Cairn and find Arvak’s Skull. The quest giver is located between the Boneyard and a massive wall. The skull is located in a shrine east of castle where Serana’s mother is kept.

Unique Weapons

  • Dragonbane Sword
    Benefits: +25 damage to dragons, +10 shock damage bonus.
    Location: Find the sword in Sky Haven Temple, near the Karthspire in the Reach. Search near about the center of the Reach territory.
  • Wuuthrad Battleaxe
    Benefits: Two-handed Daedric Battleaxe with lower than average weight.
    Location: Found during the Companion’s faction quest string. This unique axe can also be enchanted further, unlike other weapons with an enchantment already, giving this special weapon added versatility for enchanters.
  • Drainspell Bow
    Benefits: Fast drawspeed bow with good damage. Absorbs 15 points of magicka.
    Location: Found inside Labyrinthian, a massive dungeon in Hjaalmarch. Located in the center of the Skyrim world map.
  • Auriel’s Bow (Dawnguard Only)
    Benefits: Very fast draw speed. Triple damage against the undead.
    Location: During the “Touching the Sky” quest, down the Dawnguard Faction line, the bow can be acquired from Gelebor once Arch-Curate Vyrthur is defeated.

Source: [1], [2], [3]

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