Skyrim Combat tips

Based on the official guide:
By now, you should have skills that aid you in dispatching enemies through melee, ranged, or magical attacks. This section offers advice on maximizing your combat potential no matter how you decide to fight your foes.

General Advice

Don’t overlook your Shout or Powers; they can win the fight for you!
As you set off to explore the realm, you may be overwhelmed with the choices you can make. But remember this following sage advice, and you’ll thrive in the wilds of Skyrim!
Conserve your Resources: Your three statistics -- Health, Magicka, and Stamina -- are all resources you need to conserve.
If you sprint into battle (using Stamina), recast your spells right before heading into battle (Magicka), or push on after a difficult battle without pausing to recover your Health, you’re at a disadvantage.
Stop and wait for a moment (optionally swigging down a potion) to ensure all three stats have recovered fully before you continue.
Remember your Shouts and Powers: While most of your attention will be on the weapons, spells, or shield in your hands, remember that you have a third option at your disposal.
Shouts and Powers are among your most devestating abilities: they don’t cost anything to use, and they can dramatically turn the tide of battle in your favor. Make sure to Favorite them, and always know which one you have equipped.
Then call on them whenever you need a some additional offensive firepower.
Consumable Consumption: Do you find yourself struggling against a particularly troublesome set of foes?
Then stop, rummage around in your inventory, and see if you have an item that might help.
This could be a healing or fortifying potion, a poison for your weapon, or a Scroll with a powerful magic effect. Don’t hoard scrolls; use them!
Active Effects: It’s easy to forget about the Brain Rot you contracted a few hours ago, or not to notice when a blessing or buff has worn off.
Check the Active Effects list in the Magic menu every so often to ensure you know what is ailing or enhancing you.
The Favorites Menu: Discussed later in this chapter, the Favorites Menu not only allows you to quickly switch between weapons and spells, but opening it also pauses time without blocking your view, giving you time to consider your next move.
Save Early. Save Often! Although the game saves your progress automatically, it’s always prudent to make a save before trying something dangerous, like running down a hallway lined with swinging blades or investigating that ominous-looking tomb.
Tuning in the Difficulty: The System > Settings > Gameplay menu allows you to change the game’s difficulty at any time -- even during combat -- which you should try if you’re really struggling, or you’re having too easy a time. Adjust this to suit your preferences.

Melee Combat

To maximize your potential in melee combat, choose a weapon you like, learn its rhythm, improve the associated perks, and try to find (or forge) the most potent version of it that you can.
If you have problems effectively bringing down foes, be sure you know how to respond to and counter their attacks.
Choose your weapon: Early in your adventure, try out a variety of weapons and combat styles and see what works best for you.
Do you prefer one or two-handed weapons?
If you enjoy wielding a one-handed weapon, do you want a shield, spell, or another weapon in your free hand? Then figure out whether daggers (fast, lowest damage), swords, axes, or maces (slow, highest damage) are your favorite.
By learning what you’re most comfortable wielding, you can choose the perks that compliment that style.
The Rhythm of Combat: Once you’ve settled on a weapon or combat style, practice your tactics.
Remember that you and your opponent have a regular Attack, a Power Attack (holding the attack button down for a slower but more damaging strike), Block (raising your shield or weapon to deflect an enemy blow), and Bash (hitting your foe with a shield or the flat of a weapon).
Try to get a feel for how long it takes you to perform these actions with your chosen weapon, and how long it takes for your enemies to do the same.
As your sense of timing improves, you can better decide whether to attack or defend during a fight, and choose your tactics more strategically.
Observe and Counter: Combat involves more than just attacking.
You can take down enemies faster and more effectively by observing their actions and choosing the appropriate counter.
Block if your enemy uses a regular attack.
Bash if your enemy uses a Power Attack to quickly interrupt and stagger them.
Power Attack if your enemy is blocking to break their block and stagger them.
Attack swiftly if your enemy is staggered to cut them down.
Wearing a Cloak: The Destruction line of Cloak Spells (Flame, Frost, and Lightning) are ideal if you plan to engage in close combat -- even if you’re primarily a warrior with little interest in magic -- as they allow you to damage enemies with both your weapons and the cloak’s magical effects, without requiring much attention (or Magicka expenditure).
Cloak Spells also don’t damage your Followers, so there’s no need to worry in close quarters.

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