Skyrim Magic Guide – How To Learn Spells and Play Mage

By   /   5 years ago

There won’t be any Skyrim without Magic. Magic is the breath of Dragons, it is shared by spells, potions, and enchanted items. If that isn’t enough to stress the significance of magic in Elder Scrolls V, then consider the racial abilities. Magic forms the core of Skyrim.

Even Warriors can use Magic when they learn Dragon Shouts from the Word Wall. That’s why Magic is one of three skill types in Skyrim. There are five schools of Magic in Skyrim and they are – Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, and Restoration.

Every spell that you can learn belongs to one of these schools. Each magic school in Skyrim dictates certain magical effects, which determines the type of spells that you can learn from that school. For example, healing spells are part of Restoration School Magic because they restore health.

Each Magic Skill has its own perk tree and leveling up certain skill perk tree will determine strength of that particular skill, and in turn, spells of that type. Your skills and perks determine the strength of every spell you use but that is not true for Dragon Shouts.

How To Use Magic Spell

If you want to use a magic spell, first you will have to assign it to either your left hand or right hand. If you want your spell to be stronger, assign the same spell to both hand. When you cast a spell, it deplete your Magicka.

You can also use spells to create magic traps or ruins. Which are essentially traps placed on the ground using certain spells, which will activate when an enemy walks over them.

Leveling Up Your Spells

Every spell has a difficulty level, which determines the skill required to cast that spell. These difficulty levels are:

Name (difficulty level)

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

If you are worried about consuming Magicka, level up the right perks and reduce the cost of casting these spells. You can even reduce the difficultly level required to use these spells, when you level up certain perks.

You can read our Leveling Guide for in-depth tips on how you can level up particular skill faster and more effectively.

How To Learn Spells

You can learn the spells by either buying them from the Merchants or by reading the Spell Books. Following are the NPCs that sell Spells:

Farengar Secret-Fire
He is the court mage of Jarl Bagruuf The Greater. He advises Jarl when Whiterun faces a magic-based threat. He is doing research into dragons and will ask you to retrieve a Dragon Tablet – found in Bleak Falls Barrow. He can be found outside of the College of Winterhold.

Phinis Gestor
He is a Breton Conjurer from the College of Winterhold. He specializes in Conjuration school of Magic and sells many high-level Conjuration spells.

Wuunferth the Unliving
He is the court wizard of Windhelm, in service of Ulfric Stormcloak. He is a common trainer in Destruction and, like all court wizards, sells spell books.

She is a Mage from the College of Winterhold. She specializes in Destruction school of magic and offers destruction training. She has a very high-level destruction spells available, which you can buy for a price.

Magic Spells

You will find these magical effects in different spells, potions, or enchanted items. Some may have limitation to their use, like few racial powers that can only be used once a day.
Alternation Spells

  • Candlelight
  • Detect Dead
  • Dragonhide
  • Ebonyflesh
  • Equilibrium
  • Ironflesh
  • Magelight
  • Mass Paralysis
  • Oakflesh
  • Paralyze
  • Stoneflesh
  • Telekinesis
  • Transmute
  • Waterbreathing

Conjuration Spells

  • Banish Daedra
  • Bound Battleaxe
  • Bound Bow
  • Bound Sword
  • Command Daedr
  • Conjure Dragon Priest
  • Conjure Dremora Lord
  • Conjure Familiar
  • Conjure Flame Atronach
  • Conjure Frost Atronach
  • Conjure Storm Atronach
  • Dread Zombie
  • Expel Daedra
  • Flame Thrall
  • Flaming Familiar
  • Frost Thrall
  • Raise Zombie
  • Reanimate Corpse
  • Revenant
  • Soul Trap
  • Storm Thrall

Destruction Spells

  • Flames
  • Firebolt
  • Firebolt Storm
  • Fire Rune
  • Flame Cloak
  • Incinerate
  • Wall of Flames
  • Fire Storm
  • Frostbite
  • Ice Spike
  • Frost Rune
  • Ice Storm
  • Frost Cloak
  • Icy Spear
  • Wall of Frost
  • Blizzard
  • Sparks
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Lightning Rune
  • Lightning Cloak
  • Chain Lightning
  • Thunderbolt
  • Wall of Storms
  • Lightning Storm

Illusion Spells

  • Calm
  • Clairvoyance
  • Courage
  • Fade Other
  • Fear
  • Frenzy
  • Fury
  • Harmony
  • Hysteria
  • Invisibility
  • Mayhem
  • Muffle
  • Pacify
  • Rally
  • Rout

Restoration Spells

  • Bane of the Undead
  • Circle of Protection
  • Close Wounds
  • College Practice Ward
  • Fast Healing
  • Grand Healing
  • Greater Ward
  • Guardian Circle
  • Heal Other
  • Healing
  • Healing Hands
  • Lesser Ward
  • Meridia’s Light
  • Repel Lesser Undead
  • Repel Undead
  • Steadfast Ward
  • Turn Greater Undead
  • Turn Lesser Undead
  • Turn Undead

For detailed overview of the Magic Spells, read our Spell Books Guide.


You can read our in-depth Enchanting Guide and learn how you can learn different magical spells by breaking the enchanted items and how you induce different magical effects by enchanting items.

Daedric Artifacts

There aren’t easy to find but reward is great. Spirits of shrines assign you some of the most challenging tasks and those involve retrieval of these artifacts. You can learn more about these artifacts and where you can find them in our handy Daedric Artifacts Locations guide.


You can read our in-depth Alchemy Guide to learn you can create magical potions and poisons. It will also has a list of alchemical ingredients which you can combine to create a positively or negatively related mixture.

Dragon Shouts

These Shouts are magical in nature but don’t deplete Magicka. Each Dragon Shout is made up of three Words, which can be learned from the Word Wall, that is mostly guarded by a dragon. So, you know what you need to do to get all the Dragon Shouts. You can read our detailed Dragon Shouts Guide to locate and learn the all the Shouts.

Mage Character Build

Your ability to cast powerful spells will be enhanced, if you choose Mage Character Build. There are two types of builds you can choose as a mage and these are Pure Mage and Battle Mage. You can read our Mage Character Build guide for in-depth insight about which skills and perks you should choose as a mage and how you should play the game.

If you have anything else you want to add, comment away and we will add that up in this guide.

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