How to Make the Best Archer for the Elder Scroll in "Oblivion"

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So you like to take on your enemies from a safe vantage point. Perhaps you enjoy the feeling of success as a well-placed arrow drops an unsuspecting enemy before he even knew you were there. Or perhaps you just don't like getting your hands dirty. Either way, one of the joys of "The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion" is playing the game however you want. If you want to fight entirely from a distance, that is completely up to you. In order to be the perfect archer in the game, you need to have a solid character and strong techniques.

Character Building

  • Pick a strong archer race. The best archers will be those that are quick and have a lot of agility. Typically a character that makes a strong thief will make a good archer. Look at the Wood Elf for your race to have a strong foundation. Wood Elves have high speed and agility as well as a starting bonus to marksmen.

  • Choose skills that complement the marksmen fighting style. You will need to stay out of close range combat as much as possible and be quick and stealthy. Pick light armor, stealth, marksmen and acrobatics as your major skills. This will allow you to keep your distance, maneuver away from harm and pick off your opponents. You should also select alchemy for the ability to make poisons. Many times a strong poison coupled with a sneaking shot will kill your enemy with a single arrow. The last two primary skills are at your discretion, but it is recommended that you take a skill in a close range weapon as a backup.

  • Select the proper birthsign. Each birthsign bestows different abilities and bonuses. The best one for an archer will be the thief as it gives a strong bonus to agility and speed, both vital attributes for a ranged fighter.

Tactics

  • Use stealth whenever possible and take it slow. You need to be able set the pace of every battle. If you blunder into enemies you will be overwhelmed before you can get a shot off. Stealth also gives a huge damage bonus when attacking an unsuspecting enemy. This opening shot can kill or severely injure an opponent. If you have access to stealth enchantments or spells, you can take an opening shot, pull back and hide, then return to strike again.

  • Backpedal when being charged by melee fighters. You do not have the defenses to stand toe-to-toe in a fight and your bow makes a poor shield. Run backward while firing arrows. Use your acrobatics skill to leap quickly out of range. This is known as kiting an enemy and can be an effective tactic if you have room to maneuver.

  • Use poisons to kill enemies before the fighting begins. A single poisoned arrow can often kill an enemy before he can reach you; if you strike while you are sneaking, it may kill him outright. Don't feel like you need to play fair; the best victories are the ones you have won before they even begin.

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References

  • "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Official Game Guide": Peter Olafson: 2006
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