Bleeding Damage is applied through use of war axes and battleaxes, with the perks Hack and Slash for war axes, and Limbsplitter for battleaxes. The perk description does not state anything about said weapon's damage amount or duration. Bleeding damage and its duration are only affected by the respective perk level and the weapon material of the Dragonborn.

Bleeding effect tableEdit

Weapon Material Stat Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Total Damage
Iron Damage 1.00 1.00 1.00 3.00 / 4.00 / 5.00
Duration 3 s 4 s 5 s
Steel Damage 1.00 1.70 2.30 3.00 / 5.10 / 6.90
Duration 3 s 3 s 3 s
Dwarven Damage 1.20 1.75 2.00 4.80 / 7.00 / 8.00
Duration 4 s 4 s 4 s
Orcish Damage 1.00 1.50 2.00 4.00 / 6.00 / 16.00
Duration 4 s 4 s 8 s
Ebony Damage 2.00 2.50 3.00 10.00 / 12.50 / 15.00
Duration 5 s 5 s 5 s
Daedric Damage 2.00 2.50 3.00 12.00 / 15.00 / 18.00
Duration 6 s 6 s 6 s
Elven Damage 1.50 2.00 2.50 6.00 / 8.00 / 10.00
Duration 4 s 4 s 4 s
Glass Damage 2.00 2.50 3.00 8.00 / 10.00 / 12.00
Duration 4 s 4 s 4 s

Rank 1–3 damage and duration is applicable for both perks, Hack and Slash as well as Limbsplitter. Duration is in seconds. Note that not all weapon materials are listed here (e.g. Ancient Nord), but that is due to other materials using standard templates. Dragonbone weapons get no bleed effect.

Note: All those values have been taken from the Creation Kit and are accurate.

Weapon choiceEdit

War Axes are a better choice of weapon for making maximum use of bleed damage as compared to Battleaxes. Battleaxe attacks are much slower than War Axe attacks and thus less bleed damage effects per second are inflicted on the target. Furthermore, War Axes can be dual wielded to inflict maximum possible bleed damage. It is also possible to dual wield a War Axe with a dagger. While dual wielding with a dagger deals less damage and less bleeding damage from this perk is inflicted, the dagger has a faster attack speed which will stagger the opponent more often, which is important for dual wielding.


Bleed damage does not really shine on harder difficulties, but on easier ones, it is a viable tactic to hit the enemy to apply a bleed effect and then block his blows. Before hitting again, bashing staggers the opponent, allowing one to strike him without fear of retaliation. This tactic however needs proper blocking skills.

On harder difficulties it is still an option to increase the damage output for dual War Axe wielders. While the damage inflicted is minimal and less than those of enchantments, it's still always there.


  • Some sources state that bleeding damage does stack, but there is no trace of it in the Creation Kit. Probably it is related to multiple effects affecting one target at the same time, which does work.
  • The unique shield Targe of the Blooded has a bleeding effect that does 3 points of damage every second for 5 seconds when bashing and thus ties with an Ebony War Axe/Battleaxe in terms of bleeding damage on rank 3 perks.
  • Bleeding damage can't be absorbed or resisted. It is one of the very few damage types that always takes effect.
  • Bleeding damage is negligible on harder difficulty settings, when weapons are upgraded to higher damage and against higher level opponents.
  • Bleeding does not affect undead, ghosts and automatons. In other word it only works on enemies that do have blood.
  • DLC war axes and battleaxes do not cause bleeding effects.


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