Block allows you to reduce damage from melee and ranged combat, using a shield, a torch, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. As perks are gained, Block allows you to do additional damage, disarm your opponent, and gain other benefits as below. The Block skill tree has a total of 9 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.
In-game Description: The art of blocking an enemy's blows with a shield or weapon. Blocking reduces the damage and staggering from physical attacks.
 Skill Perks
|Perk||Rank||Description||ID||Skill Req.||Perk Req.|
|Shield Wall||1||Blocking is 20% more effective. (Actually 10%)||000bccae|
|2||Blocking is 25% more effective. (Actually 20%)||00079355||20 Block|
|3||Blocking is 30% more effective.||00079356||40 Block|
|4||Blocking is 35% more effective. (Actually 40%)||00079357||60 Block|
|5||Blocking is 40% more effective. (Actually 50%)||00079358||80 Block|
|Deflect Arrows ‡||Arrows that hit the shield do no damage.||00058f68||30 Block||Shield Wall|
|Elemental Protection ‡||Blocking with a shield reduces incoming fire, frost, and shock damage by 50%.||00058f69||50 Block||Deflect Arrows|
|Block Runner †||Able to move faster with a shield or weapon raised.||00106253||70 Block||Elemental Protection|
|Power Bash †||Able to do a power bash.||00058f67||30 Block||Shield Wall|
|Deadly Bash †||Bashing does five times more damage.||0005f594||50 Block||Power Bash|
|Disarming Bash †||Chance to disarm when power bashing.||00058f66||70 Block||Deadly Bash|
|Shield Charge ‡||Sprinting with a shield raised knocks down most targets.||00058f6a||100 Block||Disarming Bash or Block Runner|
|Quick Reflexes †||Time slows down if you are blocking during an enemy's power attack.||000d8c33||30 Block||Shield Wall|
 Skill Usage
 Defensive Blocking
To block, hold the Left Hand (block) control. You can block with a shield, a torch, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. To block with a shield or torch, equip one to your left hand. To block with a one-handed or two-handed weapon, equip it before using the block control. To block with a one-handed weapon, equip it in your right hand, as equipping it in the left hand is considered dual-wielding.
While blocking, your movement speed is reduced unless you have the Block Runner perk. You cannot block when dual-wielding weapons or when a spell is assigned to both hands, or any combination thereof.
The Elemental Protection perk blocks damage to your health from spells that hit you from any direction, not just spells that hit your shield. Its damage reduction stacks with other spell resistances (e.g., resist fire) but it will reduce only health damage. The perk does not reduce damage to stamina from frost spells or to magicka from lightning spells
 Damage Reduction from Blocking
Blocking reduces the damage that an actor (including player character) receives to his health from a physical attack.
Effectiveness of this reduction seems to be determined by several factors:
- Whether the block is performed with a weapon or with a shield;
- Block skill of a blocking actor;
- Shield Wall perks a blocking actor has; and
- Magical Fortify Block effects on the blocking actor.
Approximate formulas for blocked damage:
|The following formulas are derived from data of in-game tests with limited reliability|
Blocked Damage with a Weapon:
Blocked Damage = (0.30 + (.02 * (1 + Skill/100)/100)) * (1 + 0.1 for each Shield Wall perk)[verification needed — More in-game testing is needed]
where 0.30 seems to be the value of fBlockWeaponBase game setting.
Impact of skill on block effectiveness with a weapon or a torch is very small.
Blocked Damage with a Shield:
Blocked Damage = (0.45 + (0.27 * ((shield base armor rating * (1 + Skill/100))/100))) * (1 + 0.1 for each Shield Wall perk)[verification needed — More in-game testing is needed]
where 0.45 seems to be the value of fShieldBaseFactor game setting.
Only base armor rating of a shield affects blocked damage.
The formula above does not factor in any increases in blocked damage from Fortify Block effects as they were not included in the parameters used in the ingame tests that were run to determine the above approximate formulas. It is possible that they increase blocked damage by (1 + BlockMod)*(1 + BlockPowerMod) or by (1 + BlockMod + BlockPowerMod), where BlockMod and BlockPowerMod are increases to block effectiveness from enchantments and alchemy effects.
Maximum blocked damage is capped at 85%.
Tapping the attack button while blocking will bash your opponent with a shield or weapon. Bashing is an attack to an opponent's health; it carries a chance of staggering an opponent and of interrupting an opponent's power attack. This applies to dragons as well, whose "power attacks" are shouts. If you acquire the Power Bash, Deadly Bash, or Disarming Bash perks, press and hold—instead of tapping—the attack button while blocking to achieve the associated benefit. You can bash (with or without benefits from perks) with two-handed weapons as well as shields; but if equipped with a bow, you can perform only a regular bash. Bashing with a torch will set opponents afire.
The damage that a bash inflicts depends on the base armor rating (for shields) or the base damage rating (for weapons). Weapons deal more damage than shields. A Power Bash inflicts 3 times more damage.
Blocking an incoming attack uses a small amount of stamina. Bashing consumes a notable amount (35), while power bashing uses significantly more (55).
 Skill Increases
If you consume vegetable soup or any food item that regenerates stamina over 720 seconds, you can shield bash or power bash an unlimited number of times, resulting in your target being continually staggered (or stun locked) and unable to attack you. This will slowly kill them and level your Block very quickly while protecting you from damage. If you want to level Block quickly, do not take the Deadly Bash perk, as even on Master difficulty you will quickly kill bosses with shield bash.
You can also quickly increase your block skill by engaging a weak opponent, such as a single mudcrab, and continually blocking its repeated attacks. Holding down your block button should increase your blocking by at least 2-3 levels per minute. This only works effectively at lower levels. At early-medium levels, stronger opponents can do the same thing: e.g., wolves and their variants. It is more convenient if you can position yourself next to a barrier (such as a tree). This will reduce the amount of maneuvering you will need to do because the opponent will often attack you from different angles. Standing next to a tree reduces the frequency of this.
For mid-high levels, the same technique can be used against giants and mammoths. If you wish to level up your block skill later in the game, some ideal opponents are the Draugr Deathlord or Dwarven Centurion, because of their powerful physical attacks. By continuously blocking such attacks, healing your health and stamina as necessary, you can raise your block skill from its base level to level 75 in about 10 minutes, and to 100 in about 20 minutes.
If your blocks are very strong, you can get the last points by blocking dragons after forcing them to land (about 5 hits by an Ancient Dragon for one level when over 90).
If you got into a brawl, you can equip a shield and a healing spell (or otherwise restore your health) to block attacks and protect against too much damage. Bashing also increases points toward raising your Block level, while brawling or otherwise.
 Character Creation
The following races provide initial skill bonuses in Block:
- +1 Block reward (as well as +1 One-handed) from Amren (Whiterun) for completing the quest Find Amren's Family Sword inside <Dungeon>.
- +1 Block reward from Roggi Knot-Beard (Kynesgrove) for completing the quest Find Roggi's Ancestral Shield inside <Dungeon>.
- +1 Block reward (as well as +1 to all other combat skills) from Giraud Gemane (Bards College) for completing the quest Rjorn's Drum.
- +1 Block reward (as well as +1 One-handed) from the Ghost of Old Hroldan (Old Hroldan Inn) for completing the quest The Ghost of Old Hroldan.
- +1 Block reward from Horgeir (Dragon Bridge) for giving the Dragon's Breath Mead to him in the quest Dragon's Breath Mead (quest).
- +5 to Block (and other Combat skills) by selecting "The Path of Might" from the Oghma Infinium after completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
 Gaining Skill XP
- In Skyrim, Block skill gains are based on the amount of damage blocked. Using better shields and getting hit by tougher enemies advances the Block skill faster.
- Performing shield bashes increases the skill considerably more than simply blocking, but costs a lot of stamina. Use enchants, potions and food to regenerate faster.
- Experience is gained when using weapons for blocking or bashing, as well as when using shields.
- Practicing blocking also raises armor skills.
- Regenerate Health potions and enchantments can help staying alive while training, potentially allowing to leave the game unattended. This can also be accomplished with natural health regeneration during brawling sessions with NPCs or fighting very weak enemies like skeevers, though skill gains will be very slow.
- Using the Spellbreaker shield allows to train Block against tougher, magic-wielding opponents, such as conjured Dremora Lords.
- Blocking is also useful when being bombarded by arrows, however, you need the Deflect Arrows perk in order for this skill to be of use.
- Armor rating high enough to reduce physical damage by 80% (the hard cap for physical damage resistance from armor rating) combined with physical damage resistance from blocking (the hard cap for which is 85%) can aggregate to as much as 97% total physical damage resistance.
- With the Block Runner perk, one can sneak at running speeds while holding block.
- Shield Charge may stop working after some playing time.
- Shield Charge can be exploited for use with two-handed weapons or one-handed weapons without a shield. See the block discussion archive page for an explanation.
- Shield Wall's listed values are incorrect. It actually improves blocking effectiveness by 10% for each rank.
- Sometimes, when fighting alone against multiple opponents with the Quick Reflexes perk, the slow time effect will continue indefinitely if you shield bash an opponent while they are power attacking. A variety of methods can be used to break the effect, however the only fool-proof way is to stand in front of an enemy and block until they power attack you again.
- Deflect Arrows sets blocking effectiveness to the maximum value of 85% against all attacks, regardless of your Block skill, Shield Wall ranks, or Fortify Block effects.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.5 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- Occasionally, the Deflect Arrows perk will fail to work. If you put your shield up and block incoming archery attacks, some arrows may still deal damage as though you failed to block at all.