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Skill: Block

Block allows you to reduce damage from melee and ranged combat, using a shield, a torch, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. As perks are gained, Block allows you to do additional damage, disarm your opponent, and gain other benefits as below. The Block skill tree has a total of 9 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.

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

Skill Perks

Block Perk Tree
Shield Wall (5 ranks): 0/20/40/60/80 Block. Blocking is 20/25/30/35/40% more effective.
Shield Wall
Deflect Arrows: 30 Block. Arrows that hit the shield do no damage.
Deflect Arrows
Block Runner: 70 Block. Able to move faster with a shield or weapon raised.
Block Runner
Elemental Protection: 50 Block. Reduce fire, frost and shock damage 50%.
Elemental Protection
Quick Reflexes: 30 Block. Time slows down if you are blocking during an enemy's power attack.
Quick Reflexes
Power Bash: 30 Block. Able to do a power bash.
Power Bash
Deadly Bash: 50 Block. Bashing does five times more damage.
Deadly Bash
Bash Disarm: 70 Block. Chance to disarm when power bashing.
Disarming Bash
Shield Charge: 100 Block. Sprinting with a shield raised knocks down most targets.
Shield Charge
Block Perk Tree
Perk Rank Description ID Skill Req. Perk Req.
Shield Wall 1 Blocking is 20% more effective. (Actually 10%) 000bccae
2 Blocking is 25% more effective. (Actually 20%) 00079355 20 Block
3 Blocking is 30% more effective. 00079356 40 Block
4 Blocking is 35% more effective. (Actually 40%) 00079357 60 Block
5 Blocking is 40% more effective. (Actually 50%) 00079358 0 80 Block
Deflect Arrows Arrows that hit the shield do no damage. 00058f68 30 Block Shield Wall
Elemental Protection Blocking with a shield reduces incoming fire, frost, and shock damage by 50%. 00058f69 50 Block Deflect Arrows
Block Runner Able to move faster with a shield or weapon raised. 00106253 70 Block Elemental Protection
Power Bash Able to do a power bash. 00058f67 30 Block Shield Wall
Deadly Bash Bashing does five times more damage. 0005f594 50 Block Power Bash
Disarming Bash Chance to disarm when power bashing. 00058f66 70 Block Deadly Bash
Shield Charge Sprinting with a shield raised knocks down most targets. 00058f6a 100 Block Disarming Bash or Block Runner
Quick Reflexes Time slows down if you are blocking during an enemy's power attack. 000d8c33 30 Block Shield Wall
  Works with shields, weapons, and torches.
  Only works when using a shield.

Skill Usage

Defensive Blocking

To block, hold the Left Hand (block) control. You can block with a shield, a torch, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. To block with a shield or torch, equip one to your left hand. To block with a one-handed or two-handed weapon, equip it before using the block control. To block with a one-handed weapon, equip it in your right hand, as equipping it in the left hand is considered dual-wielding. You cannot block if you have a weapon or spell equipped in your left hand.

While blocking, your movement speed is reduced unless you have the Block Runner perk.

The Elemental Protection perk blocks damage to your health from spells that hit you from any direction, not just spells that hit your shield. Its damage reduction stacks with other spell resistances (e.g., resist fire) but it will reduce only health damage. The perk does not reduce damage to stamina from frost spells or to magicka from lightning spells

Damage Reduction from Blocking

Blocking reduces the damage that an actor (including player character) receives to his health from a physical attack. The block cap is 85%, which means with a successful block you can negate 85% of the incoming damage. Most shields will be able to reach the cap with 100 block skill and all shield wall perks. Blocking stacks on top of damage reduction from armor, leading to a possible 97% damage reduction.

Effectiveness of this reduction are determined by several factors:

  • Whether the block is performed with a weapon or with a shield;
  • Block skill of a blocking actor;
  • Shield Wall perks a blocking actor has; and
  • Magical Fortify Block effects on the blocking actor.

Formulas for blocked damage:

  • Only base armor rating of a shield affects blocked damage, although current armor values for the shield will still contribute to overall damage reduction. The base armor ratings of shields can be found on the Armor page.
  • Only the base weapon damage of an ENEMY affects blocked damage. The base damage of weapons can be found on the Skyrim:Weapons#One-handed_Weapons page.

Blocked Damage with a Weapon:

  • Blocked Damage % = { 30 + 0.2 x EnemyWeaponBaseDamage x [ 1.0 + (BlockSkill/100) x 1.5 ] } x (1 + Shield Wall perk) x (1 + Enchantment#1 + Enchantment#2) x (1 + Potion)

Blocked Damage with a Shield:

  • Blocked Damage % = { 45 + 0.2 x BaseShieldArmorRating x [ 1.0 + (BlockSkill/100) x 1.5 ] } x (1 + Shield Wall perk) x (1 + Enchantment#1 + Enchantment#2) x (1 + Potion)

Above formulas are only applicable to blocking normal attacks, when blocking power attacks "Blocked Damage %" is multiplied by "fBlockPowerAttackMult" variable, which is set to 0.66. So it would block less damage.

The use of npc's weapon damage instead of the actors in the block calculation is most likely a bug, as creatures do not carry weapons and blocking with a weapon against a creature always blocks 30% times multipliers.

  • Shield Wall Perk: How much extra block you get from shield wall. (10% = 0.1 and 50% = 0.5)
  • Enchantment#X: How much extra block you get from fortify block enchantments. (18% = 0.18 and 95% = 0.95)
  • Potion: How much extra block you get a fortify block potion. (25% = 0.25)
  • fBlockWeaponBase = 0.30 is the base value of blocking with a weapon (or a torch)
  • fShieldBaseFactor = 0.45 is the base value of blocking with a shield
  • fBlockWeaponScaling = 0.2 is the scaling factor of blocking with a weapon.
  • fShieldScalingFactor = 0.2 is the scaling factor of blocking with a shield.


Tapping the attack button while blocking will bash your opponent with a shield or weapon. Bashing is an attack to an opponent's health; it carries a chance of staggering an opponent and of interrupting an opponent's power attack. This applies to dragons as well, whose "power attacks" are shouts. If you acquire the Power Bash, Deadly Bash, or Disarming Bash perks, press and hold—instead of tapping—the attack button while blocking to achieve the associated benefit. You can bash (with or without benefits from perks) with two-handed weapons as well as shields; but if equipped with a bow, you can perform only a regular bash. Bashing with a torch will set opponents afire.

The damage that a bash inflicts depends on the base armor rating (for shields) or the base damage rating (for weapons). Weapons deal more damage than shields. A Power Bash inflicts 3 times more damage.

Blocking an incoming attack uses a small amount of stamina. Bashing consumes a notable amount (35), while power bashing uses significantly more (55).

Formulas for players bash damage:

  • Weapon Bash: BaseDamage x 0.5 x [0.1 + (BlockSkill / 100) x (0.5 - 0.1)] x (3.0 Power Bash) x (5.0 Deadly Bash)
  • Shield Bash: BaseArmorRating x 0.5 x [0.1 + (BlockSkill / 100) x (0.25 - 0.1)] x (3.0 Power Bash) x (5.0 Deadly Bash)

Formulas for enemies bash damage:

  • Weapon Bash: BaseDamage x 0.5 x [0.1 + (BlockSkill / 100) x (0.25 - 0.1)] x (3.0 Power Bash) x (5.0 Deadly Bash)
  • Shield Bash: BaseArmorRating x 0.5 x [0.05 + (BlockSkill / 100) x (0.25 - 0.05)] x (3.0 Power Bash) x (5.0 Deadly Bash)

Fortify Block enchantments and potions do not increase bash damage. The highest possible damage with a weapon is 105 (Dragonbone Warhammer) and 71,25 with a shield (Spellbreaker).

Game Settings affecting bashing:

  • fWeaponBashMax: 0.25
  • fWeaponBashMin: 0.1
  • fWeaponBashPCMax: 0.5
  • fWeaponBashPCMin: 0.1
  • fShieldBashMax: 0.25
  • fShieldBashMin: 0.05
  • fShieldBashPCMax: 0.25
  • fShieldBashPCMin: 0.1
  • fStaminaBashBase: 35.0
  • fStaminaPowerBashBase: 55.0

Skill Increases

If you consume vegetable soup or any food item that regenerates stamina over 720 seconds, you can shield bash or power bash an unlimited number of times, resulting in your target being continually staggered (or stun locked) and unable to attack you. This will slowly kill them and level your Block very quickly while protecting you from damage. If you want to level Block quickly, do not take the Deadly Bash perk, as even on Master difficulty you will quickly kill bosses with shield bash.

You can also quickly increase your block skill by engaging a weak opponent, such as a single mudcrab, and continually blocking its repeated attacks. Holding down your block button should increase your blocking by at least 2-3 levels per minute. This only works effectively at lower levels. At early-medium levels, stronger opponents can do the same thing: e.g., wolves and their variants. It is more convenient if you can position yourself next to a barrier (such as a tree). This will reduce the amount of maneuvering you will need to do because the opponent will often attack you from different angles. Standing next to a tree reduces the frequency of this.

For mid-high levels, the same technique can be used against giants and mammoths. If you wish to level up your block skill later in the game, some ideal opponents are the Draugr Deathlord or Dwarven Centurion, because of their powerful physical attacks. By continuously blocking such attacks, healing your health and stamina as necessary, you can raise your block skill from its base level to level 75 in about 10 minutes, and to 100 in about 20 minutes.

Using 4 Block enchantments (40% each on shield, hands, finger and neck), the Warrior Stone, the Lovers' Comfort bonus, and the Lovers Stone (via the Aetherial Crown) Block can go from 15 to 100 in under 13 minutes by engaging a single giant on Legendary difficulty.

If your blocks are very strong, you can get the last points by blocking dragons after forcing them to land (about 5 hits by an Ancient Dragon for one level when over 90).

Once you become the Harbinger of the Companions, you can exploit the Follower/Trainer method with Njada Stonearm.

If you got into a brawl, you can equip a shield and a healing spell (or otherwise restore your health) to block attacks and protect against too much damage. Bashing also increases points toward raising your Block level, while brawling or otherwise.

Character Creation

The following races provide initial skill bonuses in Block:


Skill Books

Free Skill Boosts

Gaining Skill XP

  • In Skyrim, Block skill gains are based on the amount of damage resisted when blocking, regardless of the shield used. Whether you use a Light Armor shield or a Heavy Armor shield, it levels up just the same. Also, blocking with a shield does not contribute to raising the Light Armor or Heavy Armor skill, only Blocking (you cannot Block if you want to level up the Armor trees instead).
  • Blocking with a shield grants 2 times the XP compared to blocking with a weapon. (fWeaponBlockSkillUseMult=1.0, fBlockSkillUseMult=2.0)
  • Bashing with a shield grants 5 times the XP compared to bashing with a weapon. (fWeaponBashSkillUseBase=1.0, fShieldBashSkillUseBase=5.0)
  • Enchantments, potions, spells and skill perks that increase the percentage of damage blocked will increase the XP gained per block (up to the block cap of 85% or armor cap of 80%).
  • Performing shield bashes increases the skill considerably less than simply blocking, and costs a lot of stamina. Use enchants, potions, and food to regenerate faster, if you choose to level it this way.
  • Experience is gained when using weapons for blocking or bashing, as well as when using shields.
  • Regenerate Health potions and enchantments can help staying alive while training, potentially allowing to leave the game unattended. This can also be accomplished with natural health regeneration during brawling sessions with NPCs or fighting very weak enemies like skeevers, though skill gains will be very slow.
  • Using the Spellbreaker shield allows you to train Block against tougher, magic-wielding opponents, such as conjured Dremora Lords.


  • Blocking is also useful when being bombarded by arrows. Deflect Arrows perk increases effectiveness of blocking arrows, but, since the hard cap of blocking is 85%, the Deflect Arrows perk does not reduce the damage to zero but only by 85% (and you can get this damage reduction percentage without it).
  • Armor rating high enough to reduce physical damage by 80% (the hard cap for physical damage resistance from armor rating) combined with physical damage resistance from blocking (the hard cap for which is 85%) can aggregate to as much as 97% total physical damage resistance.
  • With the Block Runner perk, one can sneak at running speeds while holding block. This, and a similar effect with Shield Charge, are deemed to be bugs by the USKP which, as of version 1.3.2, disables the perks completely while sneaking.
  • The Block Runner perk benefit continues even if the perk is later removed.
  • Weapons are worse for blocking than even the weakest hide shield: with no perks and skill of 0 a weapon would block 35% of damage and hide shield would block 48%, with no perks and skill of 100 a weapon will block 42.5% and hide shield will block 52.5%.
  • Shield bashing can be used to wake up draugr in tombs propped against walls, similarly to how Unrelenting Force can wake up draugr in tombs on the floor.


  • Shield Charge may stop working after some playing time.
    • Pc22.png To fix this, use the console command player.removeperk 00058F6A to remove it and player.addperk 00058F6A to add it back.
    • Exiting the game and restarting also fixes this.
  • Shield Charge can be exploited for use with two-handed weapons or one-handed weapons without a shield. See the block discussion archive page for an explanation. ?
  • Shield Wall's listed values are incorrect. It actually improves blocking effectiveness by 10% for each rank.
    • PC Only This issue has been addressed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch; the perk description was corrected to reflect the actual values.
  • Sometimes, when fighting with the Quick Reflexes perk, the slow time effect will continue indefinitely if you shield bash an opponent while they are power attacking. A variety of methods can be used to break the effect, however the only fool-proof way is to stand in front of an enemy and block until they power attack you again.
    • It has been determined that multiple attackers attempting power attacks while you are blocking is the cause of the bug.
    • PC Only This issue has been addressed by version 3.0.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch; USLEEP inserts a script into the magic effect that will cause it to self-terminate if it's still active after two seconds.
    • Pc22.png To fix this, use the console command sgtm 1 to set the time multiplier back to normal.
  • Deflect Arrows sets blocking effectiveness to the maximum value of 85% against all attacks, regardless of your Block skill, Shield Wall ranks, or Fortify Block effects.
  • Occasionally, the Deflect Arrows perk will fail to work. If you put your shield up and block incoming archery attacks, some arrows may still deal damage as though you failed to block at all.
  • Argonians are unable to use Disarming Bash unless they're a vampire.