Skyrim Arvak Vs Shadowmere – Which is better?

By Alan Ng - Jul 3, 2012

How are you finding Dawnguard at the moment? It has been available on the Xbox 360 for a good while now and the new content is packed full of exciting surprises, one of them being a very cool-looking flamed mount called Arvak.

If you haven’t found him yet or are having trouble completing the mission which you have to find Arvak’s Skull, allow us to help you out. Basically during your travels playing through Dawnguard, you’ll come across a soul during the Soul Cairns part of the game who will ask you for help in finding his beloved horse Arvak.

Some people have had a bit of trouble locating the skull, as there isn’t actually a location marker straight away to bring you straight to the item. Instead you find to find it yourself, but it isn’t too difficult if you are already familiar with the large castle in the Soul Cairns.

The castle can be identified by its glowing effects in the sky which are blue in color. From the entrance of the castle, head East until you come across a small broken structure surrounded by pillars. You’ll see Arvak’s Skull floating in the center of the pillows, but you’ll also see some skeletons to kill as well.

Obtaining the Skull grants you access to Arvak, a flaming horse that unlike Shadowmere, can be only be summoned via a conjuration skill from your inventory. However, Arvak doesn’t appear to be very useful in combat, unlike Shadowmere who has retained its fighting capabilities from Oblivion.

Just to point out, summoning Arvak won’t replace Shadowmere or anything like that – so you’ll have to make a choice on which mount you like best. Arvak probably looks the cooler of the two, but then Shadowmere is almost immortal and will help you out when in need, essentially forming a closer bond with the player in our opinion.

Then again, the fact that Arvak can be summoned can come in very useful for times when you are over-encumbered and need to relieve yourself of a few items. A lot of you are pointing out that Arvak also has the better stamina between the two, but Shadowmere still gets the job done in most situations.

If you have already unlocked Arvak, let us know which horse you prefer. After spending all that quality time with Shadowmere in Oblivion, we feel that we just can’t abandon her just because some new flaming badass has entered the scene.

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Also See: Skyrim Remastered mod size on PS4, Xbox One

  • Nbarb

    Love shadowmere but prefer arvak because he looks cooler and can call him anywhere. I hate when shadowmere just charges off fighting, and of you don’t want him to die, or just didn’t want to interact with the enemy’s, you are forced to intervene. I love the dark look of shadowmere, but he can just get so annoying sometimes.

  • Firelord000

    shadowmere kinda pisses me off sometimes because he follows me everywhere and i was afraid he’d die but i’ve fought giants dragonpriests and elder dragons with shadowmere and he’s practicaly the hardest thing to kill in all of tamriel

  • jswalker95

    shadowmere died by dragon 🙁

  • Ablair84

    Prefer shadowmere however he seems to have ran off with my follower

  • Jmart922

    Trusty ol Shadowmere of course

  • Kim Jolicoeur

    Can you summon Arvak inside a house or dungeon? 

  • Scoutbike

    I like the look of Shadowmere better, but then again, the ability to summon a mount when I want it is nice. I dont always want my horse with me, and once you have one, you dont have a choice, it’s just there when you travel. So travelling to a crowded fort, your horse charges straight in alone, and you’re forced to try not to do anything AOE that will kill it, or keep an eye on it so that it doesnt get the aggro from 5 bandits and a bandit chief.

    • DeadZenith

      but shadowmere can only die by falling off a cliff so you don’t have to worry about her dying. 

      • Elyon117

        or by someone strong enough to do a one hit k.o but besides that Shadowmere is immortal

        • Gravage556

          False, shadowmere can be killed by constant attacks as well, it just has so much health and such high regen that it’s basically your fault if it managed to happen. I don’t have dawnguard as I’m on ps3 but I like the idea that if arvak dies I can just re summon it.

        • Yeah, Shadowmere dies. That’s why I love Avark. He is portable! Oh and if you need to jump down a cliff very fast, you can just summon Avark and jump off. Killing him in the process. Then you just resummon him. LOL So badass