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"Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" - Nightingale Build for Beginners

Arc is a self-help author/speaker and AI thinker. He also make apps as a side hustle.

Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC

Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC

This is for role play build who wanted to maximize the use of a very cool looking armor from joining Nightingales. Using nightingale equipment's attributes as guide for the build, this excels in assassinating enemies from the shadow using various weapons and spells.

Main combat style here is to sneak and take enemies one by one using bow. If you get caught, change to melee weapon and use shadow warrior before striking. If you're overwhelmed by your foes, just run and hide, then wait for enemies to calm down before taking them out again one by one using bow. Don't forget that invisibility spell comes in handy to hide better. If all the sneaking thing fails (like fighting a dragon or bosses), just go all out by dual wielding melee weapons and activating shadow warrior before striking.

It's up to you what kind of race you wanted to use for this build.

How to get Nightingale equipment

Important: To get the maximum attributes of nightingale equipment, level your character to 46 first before doing thieves guild quest.

In general, nightingale equipment can be obtain by joining thieves guild and doing their quest. Karliah will give the nightingale blade from Hard Answers quest. The whole nightingale armor set can be obtained during Trinity Restored. While Karliah will give the nightingale bow from Blindsighted quest.


The build uses nightingale set for armor, nightingale bow as primary weapon, and nightingale blade as secondary melee weapon. The primary dagger that I recommend for this build is either mehrune's razor that can be obtained from "Pieces of the past" quest or a dragonbone dagger that can be bought or crafted.

Equipment upgrade tips

Refer to this link if you wanted to give your nightingale equipment a powerful upgrade.



Based on nightingales armor's attributes, this perk compliments well for those who fight in the shadow.

  • Stealth (5/5): Prioritize others perks before maxing stealth.
  • Backstab: Good early level buff.
  • Deadly Aim: Get this as early as you can since bow is the primary weapon of the build.
  • Assassin's Blade: Change your main melee weapon into dagger once you unlock this.
  • Muffled Movement
  • Light Foot
  • Silent Roll: It basically lets you dash silently while sneaking.
  • Silence
  • Shadow Warrior: If used right, this is a very powerful perk that allows your character to benefit from sneak's bonus damage even when you're already caught by the enemy. Just activate it by crouching.


The easiest way to kill an enemy is by hiding in the shadow, then shooting an arrow from a distance.

  • Overdraw (5/5): Max this skill as early as possible, so that you can ensure the one shot, one kill on most enemies.
  • Eagle Eye: Allows you to zoom when sniping the weapon. Get this as soon as it is available.
  • Steady Hand (2/2): Slows down time while zooming. This is another important archery perk so get this as soon as it is available.
  • Power Shot
  • Quick Shot: Useful if you're firing without sneaking.
  • Critical Shot (3/3): Contributes well to your damage per second.
  • Hunter's Discipline
  • Ranger: You'll get a massive movement speed boost with this (need to have a bow equipped in order to work). Get this as soon as it is available.
  • Bullseye


Relying on one-handed weapon is going to be the secondary combat of this build.

  • Armsman (5/5): The second perk to prioritize maxing for increasing the melee damage of weapon.
  • Fighting Stance
  • Savage Strike
  • Bladesman (3/3): Compliments with nightingale blade
  • Dual Flurry (2/2): Especially useful on boss fight where it is seriously difficult to sneak.
  • Dual Savagery: For a more powerful power attacks when dual wielding.

Light Armor

Nightingale set are light armor, so it will benefit from this perk. Most of these are dedicated for increase in armor rating.

  • Agile Defender (5/5)
  • Custom Fit
  • Unhindered
  • Wind Walker: Increases your stamina regeneration.
  • Matching Set: Light armor will not slow your character down anymore.
  • Deft Movement: Boost the overall survival of your character.


Basically, what you need here is to reduce the magicka cost of invisibility spell so that you won't be putting too much on magicka. This way, you can invest more on health and stamina.

  • Novice Illusion
  • Apprentice Illusion
  • Adept Illusion
  • Expert Illusion


The destruction perk is for powering up the frost and shock damage of Nightingale Bow.

  • Novice Destruction
  • Augmented Frost (2/2)
  • Augmented Shock (2/2)


This part is optional and only for those who are planning to use bound bow. Bound Bow is a good temporary weapon while waiting for a more powerful bow (level 46 nightingale bow).

  • Novice Conjuration
  • Apprentice Conjuration
  • Adept Conjuration
  • Mystic Binding: Boost the damage of bound bow.

It's up to you where to place the remaining perk points.

Assassinating enemies with the help of Shadow Warrior perk.  Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC

Assassinating enemies with the help of Shadow Warrior perk. Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC


Spells and Shouts

Important: I only listed the endgame spells here.


  • Clairvoyance
  • Invisibility: This is the most compliment spell for this build.


  • Healing: Comes in handy even on higher levels.


  • Whirlwind Spirit
  • Slow Time: Useful during combat (when not sneaking) while wielding a bow.


Health: Since the character will still go in melee, it will make sure that you won't die easily.

Stamina: Put more here since archery rely on stamina for slowing down time.

Magicka: Put enough until you can cast invisibility spell with expert illusion perk.

© 2021 Arc Sosangyo

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