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Two-handed Skyrim Warrior Build For Lazy Gamers

My Orc Warrior ‘Absolute Unit’ being a menace

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m a mage/assasin/anything-but-warrior player at heart. In fact. in several hundred hours of Skyrim play throughs, I’ve neglected the two-handed skill tree almost entirely… until now.

I understand if you want to stop reading. Considering my noobish two-handed experience. But then you’d be missing out on the Get Thicc Quick scheme that I’ve developed for levelling up into the most bad-ass two-handed bandit basher imaginable with as little effort as possible.

Want the one sentence summary? It’s pretty simple:


Don’t invest any perks in the two-handed skill tree (well not for a while at least).

Sounds crazy right!? Here’s why it, counterintuitively, makes perfect sense.

How To Level Two-Handed Fast

Your two-handed skill level increases as you deal damage with two-handed weapons. But importantly, only base damage is taken into account. This is the most important point to take into account in your levelling strategy.

Imagine you hit a draugr with a greatsword that deals 20 base damage, you hurt the draugr a little, you gain a little XP. Now imagine that you use perks, enchantments and smithing to increase the damage output of that same greatsword to be 200 per hit. Now when you hit a draugr, you hurt it a lot, but you still only gain a little XP. Why? because you’re still only getting the same XP as you would from a hit with that 20 base damage.

What this means is that if you go the normal route of levelling up your 2-handed perks as fast as possible and improving your weapons with smithing and enchantments, you’ll kill things a lot easier, but you’ll level a lot slower. If you kill a tough enemy with one swing of your pimped out Warhammer, you’re still only getting XP for a fraction of the damage dealt. But now the guy is dead, so you’ll need to go find another thing to kill, and you only extracted a tiny fraction of the damage dealt as XP.

Instead, if you refrain from investing any skill points in the two-handed tree until you’ve levelled up as high as you want to go. Refrain from smithing or enchanting your weapons. And just find and use the highest DPS two-handed weapon you can. You’ll be getting the maximum two-handed XP from each enemy.

Also don’t forget you can level your two-handed incredibly fast before even finishing the intro of the game by using Hadvar as a punching bag during the Helgen escape. Read more on that in the walkthrough further down this article.

Two-Handed Build: Where To Invest Your Skills

All that more efficient levelling up of two-handed is going to start netting you some serious skill points. But if you’re not putting them into Two-Handed, what should you do with them?

  1. Save them: It doesn’t hurt to keep some saved up so when you do decide that you’ve power levelled enough and you want to start boosting your two-handed attack, you’ve got a bunch of points available to unlock two-handed perks.
  2. Heavy Armour: Because you’re going to be holding off on reaching your full two-handed potential while you power level, you’re gonna want to be tough enough to take your time bashing things into submission.
  3. Block: You can use your two-handed weapon as a shield and get effects from any blocking perk that doesn’t explicitly mention the word shielf.
  4. Speech: While it may seem like a weird skill choice for a big tanky thug, it fits in with our playstyle – see notes below- which is all about running around and having fun. Not needing to master smithing or enchanting, to collect lists of ingredients and follow specific questlines. We’re keeping things basic. Bash things (Two-Handed), stay alive (Heavy Armour and Block), collect loot and sell it. Which is where speech comes in. You’re gonna be collecting a lot of loot from the people you bash. May as well get some perks that net you extra gold fom selling it.

Which Attributes Should You Choose?

Always pick stamina. Occasionally pick health if you think you’re dying to easily. But with a lot of investment in heavy armour and block you shouldn’t have too much trouble staying upright. What you will need bucket loads of is stamina for all that blocking, swinging and skullcrushing.

Play style: Bash, Loot, Sell, Repeat

To keep with the theme of being lazy, my basic plan for old mate was to wander around and bash anything I came across. Forget magic, quests and character building. Old mate is all about exploring, bashing and selling the loot for gold.

The main use for all that sweet gold at the start of the game will be to buy potions. You can use these to help you level Heavy Armour. Just let all the things you’re bashing, bash you back a bit before you finish them off. If you get too close to death just pause and drink some potions.

Lazy Gamer’s Two-Handed Walkthrough

Race selection isn’t a deal breaker, there a few good options. Personally I’d go with an Orc. They’ve got starting bonuses to Heavy Armour, Block and Two-Handed, and their racial ability Berserker Rage is really useful for getting our of sticky situations.

When you’re escaping Helgen at the start of the game and get a choice between Ralof and Hadvar, I’d choose Hadvar. Choosing Hadvar gives you access to two-handed weapons straight away which you can use to power level your two-handed skill as high as you like during the encounter with the cave bear.

To level your two-handed, wait until you reach a large cavern where Hadvar stops, crouches down and ask you to sneak attack a bear. Instead of doing what he asks, you can attack Hadvar with your two-handed weapon at this spot for as long as you like and he won’t attack you back or permanently die.

Attack him from the front and as you do so guide him towards the rock face behind him so you don’t accidently shunt him forward toward the bear. It also makes it easier if you put your difficulty on Legendary so you can attack him for longer without him losing all health. If he does, he won’t die, but he will go through a kind of dying animation before regenerating health, which will slow you down a bit.

In my playthrough I spent about 10 minutes whacking Hadvar, which got me to level 40 Two-Handed. Then I got bored and decided to keep levelling the rest of the way through normal gameplay.

When you leave the cave, head straight for the Guardian Stones. Activate the Warrior Stone to get a boost to levelling your Two-Handed, Heavy Armour and Block.

Next go and visit Hadvar’s old folks place. Take all the crap they offer you and then jead downstairs and steal the set of heavy armour when they aren’t looking.

Good Early Game Warhammer


After you’ve escaped Helgen and power levelled your two-handed skill by harrassing Hadvar, you’ll want to walk onwards to Whiterun to grab your first decent two-handed weapon.

  1. Travel to Whiterun and head to the home of the companions, Jorrvaskr.
  2. Once inside Jorrvaskr, head downstairs to the living quarters.
  3. Turn right and walk to the room at the very end of the hallway.
  4. There are 4 glass cases in this room. You want the one to your right as you walk into the room. There’s an Elven warhammer inside which does decent base damage for the early game.
  5. even as a bulky Orc with no skill points in sneak or lock picking,  and with Vilkas and Kodlak Whitemane sitting down to a slice of apple pie and a candle lit chat a few feet away,  I was able to crouch and lock pock, completely hidden (pro tip: try jumping up unto the crate next to the display case, you’ll be completely hidden – unbelievably – if you crouch there).
Just casually pick the lock of the display cabinet to your right
Vilkas and Kodlak having a chat and completely ignoring you while you pilfer their valuables

Get Some Decent Heavy Armour

Pinewatch looks like a normal shack from the outside, massive hidden dungeon inside

Now you’ve got a useable weapon, it’s time to get some decent Heavy Armour and do some skill levelling along the way. A good starting place is the Pinewatch Bandit Sanctuary. Here you’ll find bandit leader Rigel Strong-Arm who drops some decent Heavy Armour as loot as well as a key to her treasure room.

  • Fast travel to Helgen.
  • Walk towards Falkreath to find a shack called Pinewatch.
  • Pick the lock.
  • Walk downstairs.
  • Press the button on the wall behind the pole, next to the book case. – this opens a secret passageway behind the bookcase.
  • Walk down the secret passageway.
  • Battle your way through several rooms of Bandits until you reach Rigel Strong-Arm.
  • Kill her and loot her for a chance at some decent armour.

The best Two-handed weapon in Skyrim

So now you’ve levelled up a bit, got some decent armour and you might be looking for your next weapon upgrade. If you’re ready to do a marathon sprint through a Falmer infested dungeon, you can get yourself a serious piece of gear nice and early in the game by nabbing the Longhammer. Unique. Orcish. Beautiful. Very fast.

I know what you’re going to say – “The Longhammer? are you crazy? No way is that the best Two-handed weapon in Skyrim!”, but hear me out:

  • Reduced weight means it takes up less space in your inventory and swings faster.
  • Increased DPS due to faster swings.
  • High base damage.
  • Can be smithed to legendary.
  • You can get it very early in the game. See below how I got it at level 6.
  • (Other people agree with me)

How To Get the Best Two-Handed Weapon in Skyrim, Before Level 10

  1. Stock up on stamina and health potions. It also helps if you’ve levelled up your heavy armor skill a bit.
  2. Find location Liar’s Retreat. (See on map).
  3. Save at the entrance to Liar’s Retreat. You may have to attempt this ‘run and grab’ a few times so make sure you save first. (see pic of entrance).
  4. Run to the end of the cavern. You may need to do a few run throughs to find your way through the netwok of caverns. Watch this Youtube video if you need help.
  5. Grab the hammer from the final room. You’ll find it sitting under the table in the centre of the room (the one with a corpse on top of it). Beware: You’ll need to avoid some nasty lightning wielding Falmer in this final room.
  6. Run back outside to freedom. Good luck!

At this point you can keep up your bash, loot, sell repeat lifestyle, go on some epic quests or even give up your lazy past and start up a smithing apprenticeship. Just remember, hold out on those two-handed perks for as long as possible. When you’re finally ready to slow down your levelling and focus on dealing the most damage possible, start chucking some skillpoints into the two-handed tree and you’ll be an unstoppable bashing machine.