This page details an overview of the One-Handed skill in Skyrim, including recommended perks, leveling tips, and where to find One-Handed trainers.
The One-Handed skill determines the damage you deal with One-Handed weapons. Perks in this tree also further increase your damage, allow you to perform different and more powerful power attacks, receive passive bonuses with different weapon types, and dual-wield more effectively.
One-Handed weapons are arguably the best way to deal damage in the entire game. You can potentially deal the most damage in the lowest amount of time with One-Handed weapons because they attack faster than Two-Handed weapons, meaning that it’s usually easier to hit with them without waiting for the animation to catch up. Another advantage to One-Handed weapons is that you can use a shield in the off-hand (for impervious defense), or a spell if you prefer. Alternatively, if you really want the damage boost, you can use another One-Handed weapon to dual-wield for extra damage. With One-Handed weapons you’ve got power, speed, and versatility. What more could you want?
At the bare minimum, everyone should invest in five ranks of Armsman to make the best weapons in the game even better. Fighting Stance makes power attacks use less Stamina, and Savage Strike gives you a damage boost with standing power attacks (the ones you’ll probably use the most). After this, it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Depending on whether you prefer axes, maces or swords, invest three ranks into either Hack and Slash, Bone Breaker or Bladesman. You can also consider throwing points into Dual Flurry and Dual Savagry if you want to dual-wield. Dual wielding trades defense for offense - you’ll deal more damage, but it removes your ability to block entirely. A One-Handed weapon with a shield is ultimately safer while still allowing you to deal a lot of damage with just one weapon.
You level up One-Handed by hitting things with One-Handed weapons. There’s no quick way to do this, but don’t worry; there’s lots of enemies to hit in the game, and you’ll need to do so fairly often. In the beginning of the game, you can beat up your immortal fellow Helgen escapee (Hadvar or Ralof) to level up this skill as much as you wish, in a non-threatening situation.
One-Handed Trainer Locations
|Amren||Adept (Lv. 15 - 50)||Whiterun, Amren’s House (or outside)|
|Athis||Expert (Lv. 51 - 75)||Whiterun, Jorrvaskr|
|Chief Burguk||Master (Lv. 76 - 90)||Dushnikh Yal (Orc stronghold south-east of Markarth)|