The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search

Daggerfall relies on survival in combat situations. While much of your fighting will take place in dungeons, the wilderness also offers combat. The best method to get into combat outdoors is to rest until an enemy appears.


There are four possible ways to swing a weapon in Daggerfall. It may be beneficial to use different swings in different scenarios.

Attack Style Damage Accuracy
Diagonal Slashes Increased Damage Moderately More Difficult to Strike
Horizontal Slashes Base Damage Base Accuracy
Vertical Chops Highly Increased Damage Extremely More Difficult to Strike
Thrust Forward Lowered Damage Increased Accuracy

Although poisoned weapons were initially intended to be included in the game, they are not present, no matter what you may read or see in the game.


The simplest way to deal with an enemy is not to fight it at all. If the enemy hasn't noticed you, just walk away. It has also been reported that kneeling may make it harder for an enemy to spot you.

If you choose to fight an enemy, or are forced to, try these tips:

  • Let the enemy chase you into a room with a hole. Run around to the other side of the hole; the enemy will attempt to follow and fall right into it. Alternately, position the enemy between you and the hole; hit it a few times and it may be forced backwards into the hole. Remember that it will still be down there when you get to the room it fell into. Note that enemies take no damage from the fall, nor will they drown if there is water at the bottom of the shaft.
  • If you have Open and Lock spells, run away, close the door, and cast the Lock spell. You must have either Open or Recall to release the door you just locked, since you cannot pick a magically held lock.
  • Backing up while fighting can help prevent being hit. A hit on the monster causes it to be knocked back, and if the character backs up quickly enough, the monster will not have a chance to attack before the character is ready to strike a blow. By the time the monster has advanced enough to strike, the character can swing again, back up, and repeat. Just make sure you have enough room (small rooms can prevent this tactic) and don't step off a large drop.
  • The spells Spell Absorption and Spell Reflection can also be highly beneficial. Note that Spell Absorption can also absorb your own spells, which is useful when attacking monsters at close range using Fireball and similar spells.
  • Arrows can be shot through doors, and if you're in the void, they can also be shot through walls.
  • Switching from a melee weapon to a bow can take a dangerously long time. Raising the Speed attribute will help. Using archery only against isolated opponents is one way to compensate for slow loading times of arrows. You can also use an attack/retreat strategy to wait for the bow to reload.
  • If you're both using melee weapons, position yourself behind an object like a shelf in a store so that you can hit your opponent without your opponent hitting you.
  • "Target at Range" spells are very difficult to use accurately outdoors, so stick to regular weapons or area-effect spells.
  • If you need to quickly change weapons in the middle of a fight, go to your inventory and equip the weapon, then change to your character sheet and wait; you'll get the message "(hand) equipped" after a few seconds. Then go back to the game, and your weapons will be changed.
  • Take advantage of XnGine's difficulty with corners and stairways. Both monsters and the player can get "stuck" when rounding corners, but the monsters usually walk in a straight line and won't try to move off the corner. Some monsters, like zombies or giants, can't climb stairways at all.
  • Make use of the Invisibility spell. If you back away about 5 to 10 paces, sometimes the monster forgets about you completely. Watch it closely and it may turn its back to you, giving you an opportunity to backstab it.
  • Some enemies seldom or never use ranged attacks, so stay back and use ranged attacks on them for an easy kill.
  • If facing an enemy with Paralysis spells, use an "Unrestrainable" magic item to eliminate the effect.
  • Getting extremely close to some enemies and striking them relentlessly will sometimes prevent them from being able to counterattack, effectively "stunlocking" them.


The following information comes directly from The Daggerfall Chronicles. However, note that this information does not always accurately portray actual in-game mechanics. (For example, due to a game bug described on the Critical Strike page, the Critical Strike skill does not in fact modify damage output.)

To-hit chance[edit]

The chance to hit an enemy is, according to the DF Chronicles, as follows.

Chance (%) = skill + armor_rating + ( (agil1 - agil2) ÷ 10 ) + ( (luck1 -luck2) ÷ 10 ) + swing_type + (adrenaline1 - adrenaline2) + generalMod + (career_Mod1 - career_Mod2) + misc_racial_mods - (dodging_skill ÷ 10) - 60

According to the DF Chronicles, the maximum to-hit chance cannot surpass 97%, and the minimum chance will never be lower than 3%.



  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Weapon skill

Armor Rating

  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Self-explanatory
    • Note: defender's AC.


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: PC's agility


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Monster's agility


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: PC's luck


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Monster's luck

Swing Type

  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Slash/Plunge
    • Note: The DF Chronicles does not give any numerical values for the different attack moves.


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: PC's Adrenaline Rush
    • Note: +5 to attack/defense when attacker/defender's HP < 1/8.


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: Monster's Adrenaline Rush
    • Note: see previous note


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: No comment at all
    • Note: The DF Chronicles does not explain this variable at all, but it may refer to the Reflex-Level the player can choose at the character creation. Possible values may therefore range from 0 to 5.


    • Note: see note above


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: From Character Generation (0-5)
    • Note: This variable is not explained further, either it has something to do with the Reflex-Level the player can choose, or it is just a random number ranging from 0 to 5 picked during character creation.


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: No comment at all
    • Note: see CareerMod:


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: No comment at all
    • Note: see CareerMod:


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: From PC's race (0-5)
    • Note: Since the racial bonuses are overwritten by the class the player chooses, it is unknown whether this variable has any effect at all, nor with what races the values are associated.


  • Comment from the DF Chronicles: No comment at all
    • Note: Again it is not clear whether this variable refers to the player or the enemy. Since the to-hit chance decreases when this variable rises, it's very likely that the variable refers to the enemy's dodging skill.

Backstabbing and Critical Strike[edit]

According to the Daggerfall Chronicles, the proper formula for the damage done by a successful Backstabbing is:

3 × Base Damage

and the formula for a successful Critical Strike is (however, see also above regarding the bug impacting this skill):

( 1 + (critical strike skill ÷ 100) ) × Base Damage

In addition, a successful critical strike adds

critical strike skill ÷ 10

to the to-hit chance.


The damage done by hand-to-hand can be calculated as follows:

Minimum Damage = (div hand-to-hand skill 10) + 1


Maximum Damage = (div hand-to-hand skill 5) + 1

Once the hand-to-hand skill reaches 80, the maximum damage is:

Maximum Damage = (div hand-to-hand skill 5) + 2

One especially noteworthy aspect of Hand-to-Hand is that any type of enemy can be harmed by hand-to-hand damage, even enemies that otherwise require weapons crafted of special materials to be hit. In conjunction with a high Speed, hand-to-hand is even more efficient in combat.