Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
For Block in other games, see Block.
"Best offense is a good defense, am I right?"
Hold Guard[src]

The art of blocking an enemy's blows with either a shield or weapon. Blocking reduces the damage and staggering from physical attacks.

Block is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and is one of the six skills that fall under The Warrior character type.


The Block skill works slightly differently from Oblivion's Block skill.

Having skill in the Block combat art allows the Dragonborn to parry or absorb melee and archery attacks with shields and two-handed weapons. Block with one-handed weapons is also possible if left hand stays unoccupied. Successful blocks reduce damage.

Blocking is not possible while dual wielding weapons, dual casting spells or having a weapon in one hand and a spell in the other. It is not available with bows either, although bows are still able to be used for bashing.

Blocking is not automatic, but equipping a shield gives a bonus to the overall defense rating. Blocking is more reaction-based in Skyrim.

It is possible to block with one-handed weapons and daggers, but they will be significantly less effective than using a shield or two-handed weapon. Additionally, the perks Deflect Arrows and Elemental Protection are specific to shields, and do not apply to weapon blocking. All other perks will apply to weapon blocking.

It can be activated by clicking and holding down the right mouse button (PC), the left trigger (Xbox 360) or L1 (PS3).

Governing Guardian Stone: The Warrior



The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the Dragonborn's Block skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.


The following quests increase or help to increase the Block Skill:



The following are perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up:

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description Two-Handed Weapon Compatible
Shield Wall (5) Block 0/20/40/60/80 Blocking is 20% more effective (+5% per additional rank) Yes
Deflect Arrows Block 30, Shield Wall Arrows that hit the shield do no damage No
Quick Reflexes Block 30, Shield Wall Time slows down if you are blocking during an enemy's power attack Yes
Power Bash Block 30, Shield Wall Able to do a power bash Yes
Elemental Protection Block 50, Deflect Arrows Blocking with a shield reduces incoming fire, frost and shock damage by 50% No
Deadly Bash Block 50, Power Bash Bashing does five times more damage Yes
Block Runner Block 70, Elemental Protection Able to move faster with a shield or weapon raised Yes
Disarming Bash Block 70, Deadly Bash Chance to disarm when power bashing (50% chance) Yes
Shield Charge Block 100, Block Runner Sprinting with a shield raised knocks down most targets No

(But refer to bug section)


  • Although the Dragonborn may naturally level the Block skill during their adventures, there are faster ways to level this skill. The increments in which the block skill increases is dependent on the strength of the enemy and not necessarily how much damage is taken.
    • An easy method is possible after obtaining Shadowmere from the Dark Brotherhood questline. Shield bash on Shadowmere to quickly level up.
    • Provided the Dragonborn is of a high enough level and has a large amount of health, stamina and armor for it, they can level their Block and Light or Heavy Armor skill fairly quickly by fighting giants and mammoths, who have the strongest melee attacks of the wilderness creatures of the game.
  • Go to either an Imperial or Stormcloak camp anywhere around the map. Kill off all the guards, except for the named leader (as they cannot be killed). Walk to the corner of a tent and then hold the block button.
  • Go to a Guard Barracks and cause the guards to become hostile. Back up into a corner and hold the block button; it is recommended that the Dragonborn pickpocket any bows and/or two-handed weapons beforehand, so that they will not be overwhelmed.
  • Mudcrabs are good for fast leveling, due to their availability, medium attack damage, and low health.
  • Another method is to find a high leveled enemy, such as a Bandit Chief, Forsworn Briarheart, or a Draugr Deathlord, then block and perform self-healing spells.
    • If the Dragonborn has a high enough health, stamina, and armor rating; fully leveling (15–100) with a Forsworn Briarheart can be achieved in 15 minutes real time, far faster than the Bandit Chief or Draugr. A preferred strategy is to equip a high rated shield and heal spell. Let the Briarheart attack until you are at a relatively low health then disengage and heal while walking away from the Briarheart. Once fully healed repeat the process.
  • Perching yourself in an untouchable spot when fighting an enemy who uses archery is a fast way to level your blocking. Hold the block button and aim it towards the arrows shot at you. This works especially fast with high leveled enemies like Draugr Deathlords.


  • If an elemental weapon is equipped, such as a fire or frost damage weapon, Shield Bash will do the elemental damage to enemies as well.
  • The Quick Reflexes perk is one of the most useful perks available for sword-and-shield characters, and can effectively reduce the challenge of melee combat. Most opponents will use power attacks more often than not, and they will thus be subject to the massive slowdown and opportunity for disruption that Quick Reflexes affords. If the Quick Reflexes Perk is paired with the Block Runner perk, the Dragonborn will be able to move at a normal rate, while the enemies are slowed down. Using this method will allow one to easily out-maneuver their opponents.
  • If the Dragonborn has high level armor equipped and a low block skill, the damage received while blocking may exceed the damage they get if no block is attempted. This is most often seen when a high level Dragonborn has made block legendary.
  • There is a glitch with the Block Runner perk that allows one to move at a normal walking speed while sneaking. This is highly useful for someone who wants to quickly move a very short distance. Simply block with your weapon while sneaking (does not work with bows).
  • Successfully shield bashing an enemy mid-swing increases your block skill a tiny bit. Less than blocking the attack, but it does still give experience.
    • Also Disarming Bash perk only works if the enemy is mid swing. So wait for them to start an attack, and then perform a power bash.
  • While the Disarm Shout is guaranteed to disarm an opponent, it only works on enemies up to level 30, while Disarming Bash works on enemies up to level 99, such as the deadly Draugr Deathlord and Draugr Death Overlord, which are scripted to deal an additional 25 damage with their attacks. Picking up the disarmed weapon (which usually drops at their feet) will make targeted enemies either rely on unarmed attacks, run and find another weapon, or spells (if they were spellcasters as well). As power bashing takes much more stamina than regular bashing, a high stamina and/or stamina-regeneration potions, apparel, or cooked food (like Vegetable Soup) is recommended to be able to continuously perform the Disarming Bash.
  • Continuously bashing (bashing, waiting a second for the enemy to recover, bashing again, repeat) will leave an enemy effectively helpless and unable to retaliate. Even high health enemies, such as Giants, Mammoths, and Dragons can be killed this way, even more so with the Deadly Bash perk.


This section contains bugs related to Block (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PS3   Since 1.5 patch, Shield Charge may no longer function.
    • Fix: With Dragonborn installed, reset all the perks in the skill tree, and then spend them again.
    • As of the 1.9 patch, with the legendary perks, the Shield Charge malfunction may be fixed by resetting the skill to 15, then reacquiring the Shield Charge perk.
  • Shield Charge's knock-down may appear delayed after the impact, and there does not seem to be much of a resistance when running through. This makes it confusing to efficiently use, as the Dragonborn virtually runs through enemies, wondering if they just knocked one down or aimed badly. In especially in tight corridors, enemies can get knocked behind walls or inside of stairs, making the usual recovery of items impossible as the body becomes unselectable. The Dragonborn can also become glitched from this, making the landing sound after a jump all the time, even when just regularly walking.
  • There is a bug with Shield Charge that allows sprinting forever with the shield raised. When sneaking, raise the shield (block) and then start to sprint. Even though still in sneak, the Dragonborn will start to run as they normally would. When their stamina meter is depleted, they will continue sprinting anyway.
  • Bug where bashing would not actually count as a bash. This would cause problems with the stagger effects, and the disarming bash perk. It would also cause bashes to level the one handed skill not the block skill. It does however still cause damage to enemies like a regular bash. Fixed this by saving, going to Dashboard, and restarting the game/ Restarting the game on PC. (Xbox, PC)
  • Confirmed bug - during Quick Reflexes, dodging an enemy power attack by moving to the side and/or killing the enemy while their power attack is still in progress may allow a greatly extended slow time effect, allowing up to a minute of slowed time.
  • A variation of the above, if multiple enemies power attack at once or in short succession, the slow time effect may be extended indefinitely, at least until the next loading screen. Disrupting power attacks with shield bash may occasionally cause this.
  • When shield charging a great distance, the green effect that activates while shield charging may suddenly deactivate, making the ability to knock enemies away impossible.
  • After shield charging, the shield charge effect (the green aura) may be permanently activated when not shield charging, which means both hostile and non-hostile characters may be knocked back even as the Dragonborn just walks by, increasing their bounty. Loading an earlier save does not help. The game must be closed and restarted in order for the effect to go back to normal.
  • When shield bashing skeevers (with either a shield, weapon, torch, etc.) it pushes them back substantially. When done in tight spaces such as caves it can cause them to phase into walls, ceilings, and floors. This can, in turn, cause a lot of problems such as preventing waiting, resting, and movement.
  • There is a bug that allows a Silent Roll to be done without said Sneak perk. When sneaking, hold sprint, and while moving forward raise then lower the shield.
  • It is possible to perform shield charge without having a shield equipped. To do that just repeatedly press block with a weapon equipped when sprinting at the enemy.
  •  PC   When Block Runner has been taken and the block skill is made legendary the effects of Block Runner may be still active.
  • Block Runner may enable the Dragonborn to move faster while sneaking. If they raise their shield while sneaking, they will move the same speed they do if they have their shield up when not crouched.
  •  PC   PS4   The Deflect Arrows perk may not work. Arrows that hit the shield will still be blocked, but deal damage nonetheless.
  • It's possible to dual wield block with spells and weapons utilizing the hotkey menu. Simply select your offhand weapons and exit the hot key menu without releasing block.

See also[]