In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, Archery can be rather slow to level while you’re out adventuring. I have some tips that can help speed up the process to get some Archery skill points quicker than you normally would.
Level Archery on NPC’s That Won’t Die
There are several opportunities in the game to continually shoot NPC’s that can’t die.
When you first join the Companions in Whiterun, they will take you outside to duel another member. They want you to hit him with a sword, so if you stock up as many cheap arrows as you can, you can keep shooting him over and over, and he’ll just keep telling you to use a sword.
Remember Hadvar from the beginning of the game? He lives in Riverwood in Alvor & Sigrid’s house. Bring a bunch of cheap arrows, and go to their house after 8am, Alvor should be out of the house. Sigrid should stay downstairs, so go upstairs and wait for Hadvar go to upstairs as well. Sneak behind him and do a sneak attack with your bow, which should take him to the ground, but he can’t die. When he gets back up, he’ll have no memory of you shooting him, so rinse and repeat as much as you’d like. You may be able to pickpocket some of the arrows back as well if necessary.
Level Archery With Conjuration
A decent way to level Archery without searching out caves and dungeons to fight in is by conjuring a servant to beat up on. Turn the difficulty up to the highest setting, conjure the cheapest servant you can, equip the weakest bow you can find, then shoot cheap Iron arrows at them. It’s best to take off any items that increase Archery damage, since you don’t skill up based on damage done. Don’t forget to turn the difficulty back down, or you may be surprised by the next real enemies you fight.
Level Archery With Target Practice
There is an area directly south of Falkreath in the mountains called Angi’s Camp. A lady by the name of Angi lives there of course, and she will allow you to train five levels in Archery by shooting at targets. This isn’t overly effective since you don’t get many skill points from it, but I figured it was worth noting since it’s free.
Level Archery With Pickpocketing
If you’re ok using a rather “cheap” method to level Archery extremely fast at lower levels, then simply find an Archery skill trainer, buy a skill point, then pickpocket the money back. Faendal in Riverwood is an Archery trainer, as well as Niruin at the Thieves Guild hideout in Riften, and Aela at the Companions camp in Whiterun.
This trick is only effective up to 51 skill points unless you have a pickpocketing skill of 100, since after 51 skill points the cost is increased by 1000 gold, making pickpocketing much more difficult.
To make this trick even easier and to train as high as you want, do the quest for Faendal in Riverwood where you deliver a fake note to Camilla Valerius. Once you do that, Faendal will agree to follow you. You can then train with him, then open his inventory and take the money back without having to pickpocket him.