Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Zedit patcher to separate bows and crossbows into 6 different types with their own mechanics, strengths, and weaknesses to pave the way for different playstyles.

Permissions and credits

I'm a big fan of tabletop rpgs and crpgs as well. One mechanic I love in those games is how 
bows and crossbows have distinct types and the types affect things like effective range, damage, detection, crit rolls, attack speed, movement speed.
These different attributes would force ranged players to choose their load outs for encounters depending on environment and opponents, and also influence character builds.
After my last campaign where I played a ranger(for the first time), I decided to boot up skyrim and try a serious archer build to replicate the joy I experienced. Too bad no joy ever came to me. I realized that combat archery in this game just sucks. My play style ended up being sneak attack x times-> get detected, switch weapons or die. I wanted more variability. 
In vanilla skyrim that is nowhere to be found. A couple of overhauls have been made to address this but the changes are so drastic that compatibility
becomes a nightmare. This mod was made to address that by adding some PnP mechanics to ranged weapons and using zedit to make it compatible
with all load orders.

So what does this mod do?

This mod separates bows and crossbows in your load order into short/light, long/heavy, and great/siege each with their own gameplay mechanics, tiers, and sound sets to differentiate them.  Disclaimer: I'm not an fx artist/audiophile so feel free
to replace the audio files in the fx folders with your own.

What does this mod not do?

This does not add any weapons or animations.

Now that the steriotypical background and description is out the way lets get to the numbers!

Gameplay settings and changes:

Shorbows: 5/s
Longbows: 6/s
Greatbow: 11/s
Light Xbows :8/s
Heavy Xbow: 9/s
Siege Xbow: 12/s

Perk Changes

Changes have been made to Ranger, QuickShot, and Eagle Eye(and their corresponding versions in ordinator, vokrii, and adamant). They now provide passive incremental buffs.
(The Patcher will resolve the compatibility issues so no need to worry if you use the above 3 perk mods, or vanilla.)

Weapon Passives



In PnP, ranged weapons have a dropoff point where you the farther you go outside your weapons preferred attack range, the more of an accuracy penalty you take.
Eeffective range has been implemented through projectile speeds. Different projectile types/tiers have speed variance.(You can change speeds in projectiles.json to customize to your liking.)


Ranged Weapon Types and Properties:

Each ranged weapon type is separated into 4 tiers with the exception of siege and great weapons. The higher the tier, the greater the weapon performs.
Weapon properties are only activated when using ammunition of the same type i.e Short Arrows + Short bows.
Using mismatched ammunition will result in a damage penalty of 50% (I.e Long arrow + short bow) and 90% for great/siege weapons.Weapons perform at their max potential(Matching Tiered Ammunition Bonus) when using ammunition of the same tier i.e Short Arrow T1 + Short bow T1.




Patcher Customization:

  Since this is a zedit patcher it is compatible with just about every mod and offers some customization. Settings are as follows:

  •  Short bow crit damage multiplier
  •  Short bow damage multiplier
  • Long bow damage multiplier
  • Light Crossbow damage multiplier
  • Heavy Crossbow damage multiplier
  • Greatbow damage multiplier
  • Siege Crossbow damage multiplier
  • Stamina usage perk distribution

  The patcher uses the following resource files to determine how to handle weapons/ammunition/custom weapons:

  • Projectiles.json: These contain speed values for projectile tiers.
  • Weapons.json: Weapon material and type which determines tier, speed, engage range, sound, stagger duration etc. Edit these to you liking.
  • Overrides.json: Custom weapon/ammo entries and items to ignore 

In overrides.json you can  define your own values for specific weapons/arrows by editor id as well as what NOT to patch. You will immediately know how to add a custom item/override an existing vanilla item when looking at the file.  The definitions for great/siege weapons go. 

I've already added custom entries for the following mods:


This mod is just about fully compatible with all mods although it does have some soft conflicts. If a mod makes bow drawing/reloading consume stamina(i.e Wildcat) then disable that feature or disable the patcher setting for distributing its own stamina perks. Perk overhauls are compatible although you may want to adjust the crit damage multiplier for shortbows depending on what you're using. I found that good settings are 3 for vanilla, 1 for vokrii, and 2 for adamant.
I believe the only mod that may be slightly incompatible is Archery Gameplay Overhaul if its animations are still dependent on bows having a speed value of 1 although every other feature of this mod will work.

Mod Synergy (Recommended)

  • Legendary skyrim crossbows HeartSeeker was made to go in conjunction with this although it isn't a hard req.
  • Speed and Reach fixes   -> Enables proper kiting
  • Action Speed -> All npcs and players drawing/reloading and movement speed will vary based on skill levels
  • Know Your Enemy -> Enemies have different resistances which will encourage rangers to rotate between the different ranged weapon types
  • Wildcat -> Disable wildcats bow draw cost management or this mods version) 


Q. Why doesn't Sneak attacks activate all the time with some weapons?
A. Weapons and their projectiles now have the same detection level. That means using a long bow(DETECTION LEVEL LOUD) for sneak              attacks in small enclosed spaces or in close range will fail because enemies will have a much easier time to detect attacks. Its best                to use short/light weapons for indoor/short range sneak attacks and other weapons for long range sneak attacks.

Known Problems:

Heavy and Siege crossbows reload audio doesn't sync up with animations. :shrug:

To do: