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No Armor Ranger 73 #476930

So no armor, no (or not much) points invested in will give you a nice challenge. You'll focus on sneak, archery and magic like restoration, alteration and illusion to cancel out your lack of defence.

It will bring you a nice challenge and add an extra aspect to the game. Even when you are a high level, it will be easy to get killed if you don't watch out...


You can pick whatever you want. It's not really a role playing build. I recommend either Breton for their magic resistance/dragonhide or Bosmer for their archery bonus and animal command (you often can't sneak against animals so you end up in a one on one battle).
But you can use any race of your liking.


You'll be investing almost all points in stamina and magicka.
Stamina to keep you quick on your feet and able to slow time while zooming in with your bow and magicka for your defensive spells.

Only increase your health when you get the feeling you die too quickly. After some time your enemies get so strong 1 hit could easily do more damage than your basic 100 health. When you experience a single attack is killing you or depletes almost your entire health bar, start investing in health.
But you can keep up with your basic health for quite a long time.

I suggest you invest 60% in magicka, 40% in stamina and 0% in health at the start of the game and 50 - 40 - 10 later on.


Get the Lord stone or the Atronach stone. These will give you magicka damage resistance or absortion. Together with a few other perks you'll invest in, this will help you out with mages and dragons.


Get the dragonbone bow as quickly as possible. That means you'll go up the left side of the smithing tree.
Use all the bows you unlock/smith along the way before you get to dragon: long, hunting, imperial, elven, nordic, glass.

There are some interesting unique bows like Zephyr, Glass bow of the Stag Prince, Black bow of Fate... that are worth checking out. For Zephyr and Black bow you'll need heavy smithing (dwarven & ebony) though, so you can't max them out unless you put perk points in heavy smithing as well.
For Zephyr, the fastest bow in the game, it might be worth it to invest 1 perk point in Dwarven Smithing.

Be aware that light bows do MORE damage and heavy bows are FASTER. It doens't make sense, but here are the stats:

Your 'armor' will be simple: a hood or a circlet, some clothes, gloves and boots. You can choose whatever type you like. I recommend some nice clothes mods on nexusmods to give you more options. Your clothes will all have 0 armor, which means they will be excellent for sneaking and movement speed. Agility is going to be massively important to dodge attacks.

Next to the clothes, also get a ring and necklace.


Get all archery perks. Bow and arrows will be your only weapons. Since you'll have no armor, you'll want to keep a distance between you and your enemies. Range combat is the only way to go. Get too close and you'll die because of your low health and lack of armor.


You will need the 5/5 enchanter perk and the extra effect perk. The 2 other perks are useless for you (only affects spells on armor) but you'll need them to get to extra effect.

Getting to a level 100 enchanting is fairly simple (though it will take time).


- Whilst playing the game, you'll find/loot a lot of magic items (weapons, armor, robes...). Don't sell them but disenchant them. This way you'll learn important spells you'll need later on (f.e. disenchanting a ring of alteration will get you the fortify alteration spell).

- Train your enchanting skills by enchanting everything you loot. F.e. when you find a sword, don't sell it right away. First enchant it, then sell it. It will increase your enchanting level and get you more coins.

- Collect as much (filled) soul gems as possible. If you're not shy of using console commands, use "player.additem 0002E4FF 1" to add a filled grand soul gems to your inventory. Change the last number to change the quantity ("player.additem 0002E4FF 14" will get you 14 grand soul gems).

5/5 enchanter will max out your enchantment and extra effect will give you 2 enchantments on each item.

You'll have a hood/circlet, gloves, clothes, boots, necklace, ring and a bow (see WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT). So 7 items to put 2 enchantments on (14 enchantments in total).

Enchantments I recommend:

On clothes/jewelry

-Fortify Archery

-Fortify Health
-Absorb Health
-Fortify Stamina
-Absorb Stamina

-Fortify Restoration
-Fortify Alteration
-Fortify Carry Weight
-Fortify Illusion
-Fortify Sneak

-Resist Magic

On bow(s):

-Frost damage
-Magicka damage

Use 2 bows: one bow with Fear and Frost damage for 'normal' enemies like bandits & animals and one bow with paralyze and magicka damage for dragons and mages.


Instead of using potions of health and stuff like that you'll use restoration spells to keep up. All perks are based on getting as much health from spells as possible. Also be sure to learn stronger restoration spells along the way:

- Healing (standard, you get this at the start of the game)
- Fast Healing
- Close Wounds

The stronger the spell, the more magicka it costs. So keep investing in magicka points!


You'll use the Muffle spell to increase your sneaking ability. You can learn this spell from the mage in Whiterun.

At expert level, you can also obtain and cast the Invisibilty spell. A great way to get out of a battle you're about to lose.

Get Quiet Casting so you can cast spells (and shouts!) without being noticed.


You'll be using alteration to protect yourself from both normal and magicka damage. Mage Armor and Magic Resistance are the most important perks here.

Use these alteration spells to give yourself some temporary magic armor when you're in combat:

- Oakflesh: 40 points of armor for 60 seconds
- Stoneflesh: 60 points of armor for 60 seconds (oak/stone can be obtained at the mage of whiterun)
- Ironflesh: 80 points of armor for 60 seconds
- ebonyflesh: 100 points of armor for 60 seconds
- Dragonhide: ignores 80% of all physical damage for 30 seconds.

The stronger the spell, the more magicka it costs. So keep investing in magicka points!


I use dual casting for everything, since I'm never using 2 spells at once. Muffle when I start sneaking, a flesh spell when I'm detected and a battle starts, a restoration spell when I need health... So every time I use either Alteration, Illusion or Restoration I dual cast to make the spells more powerful.


Get the required sneak perks. You only use a bow, so the dagger perk is of no use.
You only focus on staying unnoticed and getting extra sneak damage with your bow.


Obviously Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood but also Companions are excellent for training your sneak and bow skills.

I also recommend clearing out bandit camps for training and bounties.

The College of Winterhold quest are a bit lame but they will help you with your magicka skills and it's a great place to obtain spell books and soul gems.

Last but not least: play the entire Dragonborn questline and actively hunt down dragons: you'll need the dragonbones for weapons and arrows!


You'll end up with a ranger that uses sneak, archery, enchanting, illusion, alteration and restoration.

With a high sneak level, no armor and illusion spells, you are hard to spot, dealing damage from far away and trying to kill everyone before your cover is blown.

When in combat, use the alteration spells to give you some temporary magic armor. Combined with the fact that you don't wear actual armor, you're agility will be a huge advantage.

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