Skyrocket your Sneak and Archery skills very easy, very early


This is a technique for boosting your Sneak and Archery skills very easily and very early in the game. You can do it as soon as you pick up your first follower, so potentially after your first visit to Riverwood only five or ten minutes after the start of the game. You can do this if you want to quickly become a master stealthy archer-assassin and play the rest of Skyrim that way.


All you need to do this is a bow and plenty of arrows, a follower, and an isolated wide open space. I’ll describe the way to do this as early as possible after starting the game. Go to Riverwood after escaping the dragon attack on Helgen Keep. By this time you should have picked up a bow and some arrows, but buy plenty of arrows in the town. Sell some of the stuff you’ve picked up that you don’t need if you have to. Then pick up a follower by doing the quest where you have to deliver a letter to someone, which takes about one minute.


NOTE: If you don’t want to do that quest because you consider it somewhat devious and unbecoming the type of character you want to play Skyrim as, then you can wait until you get your first follower in Whiterun. It should only be a few hours of gameplay time away.


Now take your follower and your bow and arrows out into the countryside next to Riverwood. Instruct them to wait somewhere, then move away from them until they can no longer see you. Now enter crouch/sneak mode, and move back to within shooting distance of them while making sure to remain undetected. Now shoot arrows at them continuously while remaining in sneak mode and undetected. They won’t move, they won’t die, and they won’t retaliate against you. Watch your Sneak and Archery levels rise rapidly. Your character level will also go up the more you increase those skills.


Do this for as long as you want or for as long as you have arrows.


19 Responses

  1. Luther says:

    I’ll give this a go, sounds rather helpful ;)

  2. Sam says:

    my follower died lol. but it does work

    • Scott says:

      Follower shouldnt die unless you’re continually shooting not paying attention to their health and so long as your not perking your bow up while doing this.

  3. Canny says:

    This also works on 1 handed and 2 handed weapon. In fact the closer u get to the guy the faster the sneak skill goes up. The weapons skill level slowly but ur over all level goes up fast….

  4. flipperman says:

    I did the same thing when i came across two giants and climbed up a hill, then down atop some rocks where they could not get me. And raised my sneak to 32 before they where both dead. Took alot of arrows around 40, because they kept hiding.

  5. Scott says:

    Just a side note about your note. You dont need to skip that first follower quest, if you dont want to destroy the relation between faelyn and the girl you show the note to her and tell her who gave it to you thus gaining Faelyn as a follower. Or if you want to be devious you give her the letter , tell her its from faelyn and you get the quest giver as a follower.

  6. Axcend says:

    Faster and free way to level up sneak while you are away from your console/computer:

    Find a guard somewhere with a pillar or something close by you can hide behind, then sneak until you are fully hidden, then slowly move forward until you are discovered. Stop there and see if you go back to hidden. It’s just a matter of finding a spot to stand where you go from behind discovered to hidden, it’ll just keep switching.

    I haven’t played since morrowind 3, but I could usually get 10-15 levels on a skill before having to have to relocate.

    I just got arrested in riverwood and I am doing this by the main door leaving the Keep.

    Hope this helps!

    • says:

      Interesting… and you can do this while being away from your computer/console? by just standing still while in sneak mode with the game engine continuously switching your character between the states of detected and undetected as you are noticed and unnoticed by an NPC guard standing nearby? with your Sneak skill leveling up while you’re doing this?

  7. Axcend says:

    ignore that, is not working anymore.

  8. ariel says:

    Best way to level up sneak is when you’re in Bleak Falls Temple. You’ll reach an area with a waterfall drop off, go down the waterfall ledge a little ways and go in sneak mode, you’ll have a guard sporting you and going back and forth every minute or so without ever finding you. Took a few hours, but I just moved the mouse every once in a while to keep it going. I’m now level 100.

  9. Shit Head says:

    This is so gay did not work just killed my partner first time i did this with no bow upgrades. just had a hunting bow + iron arrows and one shot kill him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Tyriel85 says:

    When you start a New game goto the point just before the bear. Ralof or Hadvar will kneel down and give you some arrows and a bow. At this point up the difficulty of ya game to Master. The Attack your partner preferably with a Dagger from sneak until ya hit 100. Which takes maybe 20 mins. You can use this level One-handed also and any other DMG skill like say…Destruction Magic. Hope this helps and GL.

  11. Royce says:

    Another very easy way to level sneak while away from console/computer…Follow Hadvar during dragon attack, and as you get to the torture room, wait on the steps until after the fight is over. After the fight, the torturer will stand in front of the cage you can see from the stairs. Go into sneak mode, and use a rubber band or some other way of holding the controller so that you are walking into the wall while in stealth mode. Go to sleep. When you get up the next morning, your sneak will be maxed at 100.

  12. Wienererenty1274 says:

    No just go to riverwood get faendel ,an elf ,as your follower by doing the quest he gives you then train in archery with him, open his inventory, take the gold back and repeat. Doing this levels you up a lot and levels your archery up to 50

  13. samuri2014 says:

    if you go to the college of winterhold there will be an elf everyone dosent trust and think is suspicious you can attack him repeatedly without him dying EVER he just takes a breather gets back up and probally insults you but DONT WORRY he wont attack u

  14. jjboy12 says:

    The best way to level up sneak is go to high rothcar (or how ever you spell it) and sneak behind a greybeard, and use a iron dagger and cut him. With a high enough sneak you can rapidly hit them and level fast.

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