skyrim magic

Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Content Type: Gaming Guides


One of the exciting things about Skyrim is the ability to cast magic spells, regardless of the type of character you play. Want to play a fighter or a thief? No worries — Skyrim magic is right at your fingertips. Unlike other RPGs, the ability to use magic isn’t limited by the class of your character build. This open-ended character system adds interest to the game, and really allows players to craft a unique character to their liking.

Note: to learn what races make the best Skyrim magic users, checkout our previous article The Best Skyrim Character: Warrior, Thief, Or Mage.

The ability to cast Skyrim magic is based on a character’s Magicka level. Magicka is one of three basic resource pools in the game (the other two being Health and Stamina). In essence, Magicka is the energy used to cast spells. Your character’s race determines your starting Magicka, and this resource can be increased as your character levels up. The higher your character’s Magicka level, the more Skyrim magic you can cast. As your Magicka level increases you’ll also be able to cast more powerful spells in the game.

Magicka is drained as spells are cast. The higher the spell level, the more quickly Magicka is drained. Magicka can be replenished a number of ways:

  1. Waiting
  2. Drinking special potions
  3. Eating special food (for example, a home cooked meal prepared by your spouse).
  4. Sleeping
  5. Fast traveling to a different location
  6. Leveling up

The rate at which Magicka is replenished can be increased by wearing special armor or apparel bearing the Fortify Magicka enchantment. These Skyrim magic items can either be found as treasure throughout the game, purchased from merchants, or crafted at an arcane enchanter.

skyrim magic booksIn Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, players had the ability to create their own magic spells. Spell creation is no longer possible in Skyrim however, and there are a set number of spells available to learn in the game (96 spells to be exact). Skyrim magic spells fall under one of the five schools:

  1. Alteration
  2. Conjuration
  3. Destruction
  4. Illusion
  5. Restoration

In addition, every Skyrim magic spell has a specific difficulty level. You’ll need sufficient Magicka in order to cast higher level spells. The spell difficulty levels are as follows:

  • Novice (skill level: 0)
  • Apprentice (skill level: 25)
  • Adept (skill level: 50)
  • Expert (skill level: 75)
  • Master (skill level: 100)

Spells can be learned by reading special books called Spell Tomes (purchased from merchants, mages, or found as treasure). More powerful, higher level Spell Tomes won’t be available for purchase until your character’s skill level is at or near the required difficulty level (for example, the Expert level spell Wall of Storms cannot be obtained until your character’s Destruction skill level is around 75). Skyrim’s system of learning spells helps keep the game balanced, and provides incentive for players to increase their character’s skills. Striving to improve your character in Skyrim’s open ended progression system makes the game challenging and addicting.

Please refer to the tables below for a definitive list of all Skyrim magic spells available in the game:

Spell Name
Spell Level
Comments
Candlelight
Novice
Creates ball of light for 60 seconds
Equilibrium
Novice
Converts 25 health points into 25 mana points per second
Oakflesh
Novice
Increases armor rating by 40 points for 60 seconds
Magelight
Apprentice
Creates stationary ball of light for 60 seconds
Stoneflesh
Apprentice
Increases armor rating by 60 points for 60 seconds
Detect Life
Adept
See living creatures through walls
Ironflesh
Adept
Increases armor rating by 80 points for 60 seconds
Telekinesis
Adept
Pull an object to you from a distance
Transmutation
Adept
Change iron ore to silver or silver ore to gold
Waterbreathing
Adept
Breathe underwater for 60 seconds
Detect Undead
Expert
Detect undead through walls
Ebonyflesh
Expert
Increases armor rating by 100 points for 60 seconds
Paralyze
Expert
Paralyze opponents in affected area for 10 seconds.
Dragonhide
Master
Ignore 80% of received physical damage
Mass Paralysis
Master
Paralyze all opponents in affected area for 15 seconds
Spell Name
Spell Level
Comments
Bound Sword
Novice
Creates a magic sword for 120 seconds
Conjure Familiar
Novice
Summons a familiar for 60 seconds
Raise Zombie
Novice
Reanimates a dead body (level 6 or lower) to fight alongside you for 60 seconds
Summon Unbound Dremora
Novice
Summons an unbound dremora for 999 seconds
Bound Battleaxe
Apprentice
Creates a magic battleaxe for 120 seconds
Conjure Fire Atronach
Apprentice
Summons a fire atronach for 60 seconds
Flaming Familiar
Apprentice
Summons a flaming familiar
Reanimate Corpse
Apprentice
Reanimates a dead body (level 13 or lower) to fight alongside you for 60 seconds
Soul Trap
Apprentice
Fills a soul gem if enemy dies in less than 60 seconds
Summon Arniel’s Shade
Apprentice
Summons Arniel’s shade for 60 seconds
Banish Daedra
Adept
Banishes Daedra (level 15 or lower) to Oblivion
Bound Bow
Adept
Creates a magical bow for 120 seconds
Conjure Frost Atronach
Adept
Summons a Frost Atronach for 60 seconds
Revenant
Adept
Reanimates a dead body (level 21 or lower) to fight alongside you for 60 seconds
Command Daedra
Expert
Control Daedra (level 20 or lower)
Conjure Dremora Lord
Expert
Summon a Dremora lord for 60 seconds
Conjure Storm Atronach
Expert
Summon a Storm Atronach for 60 seconds
Dread Zombie
Expert
Reanimates a dead body (level 30 or lower) to fight alongside you for 60 seconds
Expel Daedra
Expert
Banishes Daedra (level 20 or lower) to Oblivion
Dead Thrall
Master
Reanimates a dead body (level 40 or lower) to fight alongside you permanently
Flame Thrall
Master
Summons a Flame Atronach permanently
Frost Thrall
Master
Summons a Frost Atronach permanently
Storm Thrall
Master
Summons a Storm Atronach permanently
Spell Name
Spell Level
Comments
Arniel’s Convection
Novice
Deals 1 fire damage per second (targets on fire take extra damage)
Flames
Novice
Fire blast that does 8 points of damage per second (targets on fire take extra damage)
Frostbite
Novice
Frost blast that does 8 points of damage per second to Health and Stamina
Sparks
Novice
Lightening blast that does 8 points of damage per second to Health and Magicka
Vampiric Drain
Novice
Absorbs the target’s health points
Fire Rune
Apprentice
A magical rune that explodes for 50 points of damage if activated by enemies
Firebolt
Apprentice
Fire blast that does 25 points of damage per second (targets on fire take extra damage)
Frost Rune
Apprentice
A magical rune that explodes for 50 points of damage if activated by enemies
Ice Spike
Apprentice
Ice spike that does 25 points of damage per second to Health and Stamina.
Lightning Bolt
Apprentice
Lightening blast that does 25 points of damage to Health and half that to Magicka
Lightning Rune
Apprentice
A magical rune that explodes for 50 points of damage if activated by enemies
Chain Lightning
Adept
Lightening blast that does 40 points of damage to Health and half that to Magicka then leaps to new target
Fireball
Adept
Fire explosion that does 40 points of damage in 15 foot radius (targets on fire take extra damage)
Flame Cloak
Adept
Nearby targets take 8 points of damage per second for 60 (targets on fire take extra damage)
Frost Cloak
Adept
Nearby targets take 8 points of damage per second to Health and Stamina for 60 seconds
Ice Storm
Adept
Creates a frost whirlwind that does 40 points of damage per second to Health and Stamina
Lightning Cloak
Adept
Nearby targets take 8 points of damage to Health and half that to Magicka for 60 seconds
Icy Spear
Expert
An ice spear that does 60 points of damage to Health and Stamina
Incinerate
Expert
A blast of fire that does 60 points of damage (targets on fire take extra damage)
Thunderbolt
Expert
Thunderbolt that does 60 points of damage to Health and half that to Magicka
Wall of Flames
Expert
Creates a wall of flames that inflicts 50 points of damage per second (targets on fire take extra damage)
Wall of Frost
Expert
Creates a wall of frost that inflicts 50 points of damage per second
Wall of Storms
Expert
Creates a wall of lightening that inflicts 50 points of damage per second
Blizzard
Master
Enemies take 20 points of damage to Health and Stamina for 10 seconds
Fire Storm
Master
Causes 75 points of damage per second to Health and half that to Magika
Lightning Storm
Master
Causes 75 points of damage per second to Health and half that to Magika
Spell Name
Spell Level
Comments
Clairvoyance
Novice
Shows path to the active quest’s current destination
Courage
Novice
Target won’t flee for 60 seconds and gains extra Health and Stamina
Fury
Novice
Forces creatures and people level 6 or lower to attack everyone in sight
Vision of the Tenth Eye
Novice
Notice unseen things
Calm
Apprentice
Forces creatures and people level 9 or lower to stop fighting
Fear
Apprentice
Forces creatures and people level 9 or lower to flee
Muffle
Apprentice
Move silently for 3 minutes
Frenzy
Adept
Forces creatures and people level 14 or lower to attack everyone in sight
Rally
Adept
Target won’t flee for 60 seconds and gains extra Health and Stamina
Invisibility
Expert
Become invisible for 30 seconds
Pacify
Expert
Forces creatures and people level 20 or lower to stop fighting
Rout
Expert
Forces creatures and people level 20 or lower to flee
Call to Arms
Master
Increases the combat skills Health and Stamina of targeted beings for 10 minutes
Harmony
Master
Forces creatures and people level 25 or lower to stop fighting
Hysteria
Master
Forces creatures and people level 25 or lower to flee
Mayhem
Master
Forces creatures and people on level 25 or lower to attack everyone in sight
Spell Name
Spell Level
Comments
Healing
Novice
Regenerates 10 health points per second
Lesser Ward
Novice
Increases armor rating by 40 points and negates 40 points of received magic damage
Fast Healing
Apprentice
Regenerates 50 health points
Healing Hands
Apprentice
Heals the target 10 points per second
Steadfast Ward
Apprentice
Increases armor rating by 60 points and negates 60 points of received magic damage
Turn Lesser Undead
Apprentice
Regenerates 100 health points
Greater Ward
Adept
Increases armor rating by 80 points and negates 80 points of received magic damage
Heal Other
Adept
Heals the target 75 points
Repel Lesser Undead
Adept
Forces the undead to flee for 30 seconds (level 8 or lower)
Turn Undead
Adept
Forces the undead to flee for 30 seconds (level 13 or lower)
Circle of Protection
Expert
Creates a magical circle that forces all the undead standing inside it to flee (level 30 or lower)
Turn Greater Undead
Expert
Forcing the undead on level 21 or lower to flee for 30 seconds. This spell works on only one targeted creature.
Repel Undead
Expert
Forces the undead to flee for 30 seconds (level 16 or lower)
Grand Healing
Expert
Heals everyone close to the caster 200 points
Bane of the Undead
Master
Sets the undead (level 45 or lower) on fire and forces them to flee for 30 receive a lot of damage.
Guardian Circle
Master
Creates a magical circle that forces all the undead (level 35 or lower) standing inside it to flee and allows caster to regenerate 20 health points per second
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