Skyrim Arvak’s Location, How To Get The Skull

You need Arvak's skull which will give you a spell to summon this glorious steed in Skyrim.

Horses are one of the main modes of transportation in Skyrim, which players can use to go from city to city and climb mountains. However, not every horse is as good as the Undead Arvak Horse in the Dawnguard expansion of The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim. Yes, you will need Skyrim Dawnguard expansion if you want this horse. You will be fine if you have Skyrim SE or Anniversary Edition, as both these editions have those expansions.

Arvak is a unique horse in the sense that you can summon it anywhere you want (excluding some specific areas). The best part about it is that Arvak is free to obtain. All you have to do is find its skull and return it to its owner. In this guide, we will tell you about Skyrim Arvak location and how you can obtain it.

Enter Soul Cairn to Get Arvak’s Skull

Obtaining Arvak’s skull can be slippery if you’re not paying attention to Dawnguard’s main quest line. You attain Arvak’s skull in Soul Cairn, the realm of Oblivion occupied by the undead. Serana will help you in getting into the undead realm during the quest line. You will have to give part of your soul to Serana to be able to enter the realm unless you are a vampire.

After the Chasing Echoes quest, you’ll head back with Serena to the exit portal that returns to Castle Volkihar in Skyrim. While on your way, you’ll hear a Soul yelling ‘Arvak.’ Speak to him, and he will tell you of the horse that has run off and ask you to look for him.

Arvak’s Skull Location

Head to the large castle in Soul Cairn and then head east. After some walking, you will come across a shrine that will start to glow as you go near it. You will encounter a few wraiths nearby. Fight them and go to the shrine.

On top of the altar is Arvak’s skull. Once you pick up the skull, a quest marker will appear, pointing towards the Soul you had just spoken to – he has traveled closer to you. Speak to him, and he will reward you with the spell to summon Arvak whenever you please.

How to Summon Arvak in Skyrim

After you acquire the spell to summon Arvak, summon Arvak the same way you cast a spell, just select the summoning spell in any hand and summon the Undead Horse. You can summon him in the Soul Cairn or the wilds, but you cannot summon him in any of the walled cities, like Solitude of Whiterun.

You can summon him in Solstheim and Blackreach but cannot in the Forgotten Vale.

A few things you need to note are:

  • You need 136 Magicka to use the spell and summon the horse, so ensure you have that.
  • When you summon Arvak and ride it, he will take the place of the horse you owned prior, even if you purchased that horse. After some time, they will spawn again at the place you got them from.
  • Using the spell to summon him will not net you any experience with the Conjuration skill.
  • You do not need to have the skull in your inventory to be able to summon him.
  • You don’t need to worry about the spell running out while riding Arvak as it repeats itself.
  • Arvak shows the characteristics of other summoned creatures, instead of other horses. Like, Arvak follows you around while you’re not riding him.
  • You can summon two separate Arvaks if you acquire the Twin Souls Conjuration perk.
  • You can re-summon Arvak during combat if he dies.

How Good is Arvak?

Arvak is a level 4 horse and can arguably be considered one of the best horses in Skyrim. Only Shadowmere and Frost can be considered on par with this horse, as Shadowmere and Forst both have more health and stamina.


Apart from these stats, Arvak can come in handy in many other ways like:

  • You can use Arvak to increase the level of your offensive combat skills, like One-Handed.
  • Arvak can allow you to drop from long distances and take little to no damage, as he will take the fall damage for you.
  • You can bypass the gated ruins in the Soul Cairn using Arvak. Summon him through the gate and then activate him.
  • In Solstheim, you cannot bring any of the other horses to the island, whereas Arvak can be summoned there.

You can re-summon Arvak as many times as you please, meaning you never have to worry about your horse dying.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...