Arrows are the required ammunition for bows. Arrows cannot be enchanted or tempered.
Unless the Dawnguard add-on has been installed, arrows cannot be created at forges. However, with Dawnguard, it becomes possible to craft standard arrows using 1 piece of firewood plus an appropriate metal ingot. The appropriate Smithing perks are necessary to craft each variety of arrow, but arrows still cannot be tempered. The pages linked in the following table provide more information.
|Ancient Nord Arrow
100 Bound Arrows are acquired when casting the Bound Bow spell, but will disappear once the spell's duration ends.
|Dwarven Sphere Centurion Arrow
Carried by Falmer archers.
Carried by Forsworn archers.
Can be forged at any level, without the need of any perks.DG
|Nord Hero Arrow
Cannot be obtained without unofficial patch.
Used by Rieklings as spears; can be picked off the ground or off of dead Rieklings. They are equipped as arrows by the player and can only be used with bows (cannot be thrown individually). Riekling spears behave a little differently to most arrows as they have a much deeper firing arc, meaning that they are not very effective at long range.
With the Dawnguard add-on, two special elven arrows are added; they give different effects when fired at the sun using Auriel's Bow.
|Bloodcursed Elven ArrowDG
|0||6||16||Shrouds the sun in darkness if shot with Auriel's Bow.||Can be made by Serana after completing the quest Kindred Judgment or Touching the Sky, unless she is cured of vampirism. Requires normal elven arrows.||3600||0.35|
|Sunhallowed Elven ArrowDG
|0||16||16||Causes sunburst attacks to nearby targets if shot at the sun with Auriel's Bow.||Can be made by Knight-Paladin Gelebor after completing the quest Touching the Sky. Requires normal elven arrows.|
Bolts (and crossbows) are only available if the Dawnguard add-on has been installed. Bolts are the required ammunition for crossbows. Bolts cannot be enchanted or tempered, but several varieties of bolts can be crafted if you join the Dawnguard and complete a series of side quests.
|Dwarven BoltDG †
|0||3||14||Dropped by Dwarven Automatons if the Dawnguard add-on is installed.||5400||0.35|
|Exploding Dwarven Bolt of FireDG † ‡
|0||15||14||Explodes for 15 points of fire damage.|
|Exploding Dwarven Bolt of IceDG † ‡
|0||15||14||Explodes for 15 points of frost damage to Health and Stamina.|
|Exploding Dwarven Bolt of ShockDG † ‡
|0||15||14||Explodes for 15 points of shock damage to Health and half that to Magicka.|
|Exploding Steel Bolt of FireDG † ‡
|0||5||10||Explodes for 10 points of fire damage.|
|Exploding Steel Bolt of IceDG † ‡
|0||5||10||Explodes for 10 points of frost damage to Health and Stamina.|
|Exploding Steel Bolt of ShockDG † ‡
|0||5||10||Explodes for 10 points of shock damage to Health and half that to Magicka.|
|Steel BoltDG †
|0||1||10||Found on Dawnguard members; can be crafted and/or bought after Sorine teaches you how to make crossbows, if you join the Dawnguard.|
|0||1||10||Not available in the game.|
- To the right is a chart of damage per second values for Legendary versions of bows firing Dragonbone arrows. The chart does not include bonus damage from the Archery skill, the Overdraw perk, or the Quick Shot perk; however, the first two of these would affect all the values equally and would not change the relative order of bows. Quick Shot does affect them unequally, due to how bow speed works; see the Archery article for a more in-depth analysis and discussion.
- Giving ammunition to a follower will result in that follower making use of them, provided the given ammunition is better than the follower's default ammunition. In addition, no matter how many times your follower uses this gifted ammunition, the number in their inventory will never decrease; and since you can collect missiles that miss their target, as well as some that hit, you can use this strategy as a good source for free ammunition of your choice.
- Arrows can be clearly visible on human corpses with "Empty" note.