Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
For other uses, see Abilities.

Abilities in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are defined by their passive nature. They are magical effects that increase various stats and values relative to the player. They are determined by the Dragonborn's race or obtained by completing quests and tasks throughout the game. Active abilities will appear in the Active Effects list, under Magic. They are considered separate from Powers as they do not require activation and are not restricted to once a day use.

Armor abilities

The following are special abilities granted when wearing a full set of armor or a certain piece:

Name Description
Deathbrand InstinctDR Increases armor rating by 100 points if wearing all Deathbrand Armor.
Nightingale Armor Full Set Increases armor rating by 25 points if wearing all Nightingale Armor.
Shrouded Armor Full Set Increases armor rating by 25 points if wearing all Shrouded Armor.
Boethiah's Embrace You are able to move more quietly, and opponents that get too close take 5 points poison damage per second if wearing Ebony Mail.
Ahzidal's Genius Increases your Enchanting skill by 10 points. Only applicable with 4 relics of Ahzidal.


Blessings are passive, temporary buffs that normally last for eight real-time hours of gameplay (as opposed to eight hours of in-game time). They can be obtained by praying at altars, typically located in temples. Only one blessing can be active at a time. Activating a second shrine will relinquish the effect of the first.

The Temple of the Divines located in Solitude has eight of the the Nine Divines shrines available; the exception being the Shrine of Talos as his worship is banned in the Empire. Should the Stormcloaks win the Civil War, the said shrine will be added.

The following is a list of the blessings and locations that can be obtained from altars and temples around Skyrim. Some blessings listed can only be obtained with the inclusion of Dawnguard and Dragonborn add-ons.

Name Description Shrine
Blessing of Akatosh Magicka regenerates 10% faster. Shrine of Akatosh
Blessing of Arkay Increases your health by 25 points. Shrine of Arkay
Blessing of Dibella +10 Speechcraft. Shrine of Dibella
Blessing of Julianos Increases your Magicka by 25 points. Shrine of Julianos
Blessing of Kynareth Increases your stamina by 25 points. Shrine of Kynareth
Blessing of Mara Healing spells restore 10% more. Shrine of Mara
Blessing of Nocturnal You are 10% harder to detect while sneaking. Shrine of Nocturnal
Blessing of Stendarr Block 10% more damage with your shield. Shrine of Stendarr
Blessing of Talos Time between shouts is reduced by 20%. Shrine of Talos
Blessing of Zenithar Prices are 10% better. Shrine of Zenithar
Blessing of Auriel DG You are 10% more effective with missile weapons. Shrine of Auriel
Blessing of Azura DR Resist 10% of magic. Raven Rock Temple
Blessing of Boethiah DR One Handed weapons do 10% more damage. Raven Rock Temple
Blessing of Mephala DR Prices are 10% better. Raven Rock Temple

Meditations on the Words of Power

These are made available by talking to Paarthurnax. As with the shrine blessings, only one can be active at any one time. The player can choose to meet with the dragon and change the word at one's discretion without any repercussions whatsoever.

Name Description
Feim (Ethereal Spirit)
While Ethereal, you recover health 25% faster.
Fus (Force Without Effort)
You stagger 25% less and foes stagger 25% more.
Yol (The Fire Within)
Your Fire Breath shout deals 25% more damage.

Quest abilities

The following are permanent abilities granted at the conclusion of particular quests.

Name Description Quest
Agent of Dibella
You do more combat damage to the opposite sex. The Heart of Dibella
Agent of Mara
15% Resist Magic. The Book of Love
Ancient Knowledge
Knowledge gained from the Lexicon gives you a 25% bonus while wearing Dwarven Armor and Smithing increases 15% faster.* Unfathomable Depths
Dragon Infusion
You take 25% less melee damage from dragons. Dragon Research
Prowler's Profit
Anywhere gems might be found, members of the Thieves Guild always seem to find a few more. No Stone Unturned
Sailor's Repose
Healing spells cure 10% more. Granted from Frostflow Lighthouse
Sinderion's Serendipity
25% chance to create a duplicate when creating a potion. A Return To Your Roots
Archmage's Authority Better prices with members of the College of Winterhold. The Eye of Magnus
Gift of the Gab †‡ Speech skill increases 15% faster. Tending the Flames
Shadowcloak of Nocturnal ** Become invisible once a day for 120 seconds. Darkness Returns
Nightingale Subterfuge ** Cause enemies to attack each other for 30 seconds once per day. Darkness Returns
Nightingale Strife ** Absorb health for 100 points once per day. Darkness Returns

† While not listed in Active Effects, it is in fact active once obtained.
‡ Ability listed in the Skyrim Official Game Guide. These abilities are not listed in Active Effects, the quest log, any book or mentioned by any character. The Gift of the Gab will actually take effect, despite not being visible to the player, but Archmage's Authority will not.
* The description says that the bonus applies for Dwarven armor but in practice it works with any armor except Dwarven.
**Only one of these three powers are available any any given time. Exchanging them requires going back to the Twilight Sepulcher.

Racial abilities

Main article: Races (Skyrim)

The following are abilities inherent to certain races of Skyrim. Not all races are mutually exclusive: i.e., the player can be a Vampire or a Werewolf in addition to whichever starting race was chosen. It is, however, impossible to be both a Vampire and a Werewolf simultaneously, unless you use the Vampire-Werewolf hybrid glitch provided by the Dawnguard DLC.

Race Ability Description ID
Altmer Highborn High Elves are born with 50 extra magicka. 00105F16
Argonian Resist Disease Your Argonian blood gives you 50% resistance to disease. 00104ACF
Argonian Water Breathing Your Argonian lungs can breathe underwater. 000AA01B
Bosmer Resist Disease, Resist Poison Your Bosmer blood gives you 50% resistance to poison and disease. 000AA025
Breton Magic Resistance Your Breton blood grants a 25% resistance to magic. 000AA01f
Dunmer Resist Fire Your Dunmer blood gives you 50% resistance to fire. 000AA021
Imperial Imperial Luck Wherever there is gold to be found, Imperials seem to find a little more (10% extra). 000EB7EB
Khajiit Claws Khajiit claws do 15 points of damage. 000AA01E
Nord Resist Frost Your Nord blood gives you 50% resistance to frost. 000AA020
Redguard Resist Poison Your Redguard blood gives you 50% resistance to poison. 000AA023
Vampire Champion of the Night Illusion spells cast by a Vampire are 25% more powerful. 000F5B54
Vampire Nightstalker's Footsteps Vampires are 25% harder to detect while sneaking. 0010F1E7
Vampire Resist Disease Your Vampiric blood gives you 100% resistance to disease. 000ED0A8
Vampire Resist Frost Your Vampiric blood gives you 25% resistance to frost. 000ED09E
Vampire Resist Poison Your Vampiric blood gives you 100% resistance to poison. 0010fB30
Vampire Weakness to Fire Your Vampiric blood makes you 25% more vulnerable to fire. 0010F1E8
Werewolf Resist Disease Your beast blood gives you 100% resistance to disease. 000F5BA0
Werewolf Werewolf Claws Unarmed strikes do x additional damage. 000A1A46

Adding 12 more damage to the base fist damage of 3, the actual damage is increased up to 15.
‡ This ability increases by 25% each day a Vampire goes without feeding, to a maximum of 100% after three full days.

Standing Stones abilities

Main article: Standing Stones

Only one of the following passive abilities can be active at a time, unless using the Aetherial Crown. They can be acquired by visiting the desired Standing Stone and activating it.

Name Description Effect
The Apprentice Stone Those under the sign of The Apprentice recover Magicka faster, but are more susceptible to Magicka damage. Magicka regeneration is doubled
Weakness to Magicka is doubled
The Atronach Stone Those under the sign of The Atronach absorb a portion of incoming spell damage and have a larger pool of Magicka, but recover it more slowly. 50% Spell Absorption
+50 extra points of Magicka
Magicka regenerates 50% slower
The Lady Stone Those under the sign of The Lady regenerate Health and Stamina more quickly. Regenerate health and stamina 25% faster
The Lord Stone Those under the sign of The Lord are more resistant to both Magicka and physical damage. +50 Armor
+25% Magic Resistance
The Lover Stone Those under the sign of The Lover always feel a Lover's Comfort. (All skills improve faster). Learn all skills 15% faster
The Mage Stone Those under the sign of The Mage will learn all magic skills 20% faster. Learn Mage skills 20% faster
The Steed Stone Those under the sign of The Steed can carry more and do not suffer a movement penalty from armor. 100 extra carrying capacity
No movement penalty is applied due to armor
Equipped armor is weightless
The Thief Stone Those under the sign of The Thief will learn all stealth skills 20% faster. Learn Thief skills 20% faster†
The Warrior Stone Those under the sign of The Warrior will learn all combat skills 20% faster. Learn Warrior skills 20% faster‡

The Thief skills in this case inexplicably include Archery, which normally falls under the Warrior playstyle.
‡ The Warrior skills in this case inexplicably exclude Archery, which falls under the Thief playstyle.

Temporary abilities

These are similar to blessings in that they are temporary in nature, but they can be active at the same time as any of the blessings.

Name Description Acquired from
Blood of the Ancients DG Your Vampiric Drain spell absorbs Magicka and Stamina from your victims for x days Drinking from the Bloodstone Chalice in Castle Volkihar.
Dragonslayer's Blessing 10% increased Critical Hit chance vs. Dragons for 5 days Asking Esbern about the blessing after "Alduin's Wall."
Rested All skills improve 5% faster for eight hours. Sleep in any bed.
Well Rested All skills improve 10% faster for eight hours. Sleep in a bed you own or rent.
Lover's Comfort All skills improve 15% faster for eight hours. Sleep in the house where your spouse lives.
Father's Love HF
Mother's Love HF
Healing spells and potions add 25% extra health for eight hours Sleep in the same house as an adopted child.
Tainted Blood of the Ancients DG Your Vampiric Drain spell absorbs Magicka and Stamina from your victims for 1 day, but at the cost of 30 less health. Drinking from the spring in Redwater Den.
The Gift of Charity Speechcraft is increased by 10 points for one hour. Donate 1 Septim to a beggar, or give a present to an adopted child.
Vampiric Blood Rested DG 10% magic resist effect. Sleeping in a coffin as a vampire.
Voice of the Sky Animals will neither attack nor flee from you for 24 hours of actual gameplay. Reading the 10 etched tablets on the Seven Thousand Steps.
Weakened Soul DG Health, Magicka and Stamina recover slowly while in the Soul Cairn and are reduced by 45 points. Become partially soul trapped during "Chasing Echoes."

† If the Dragonborn is a Werewolf, they will not get these, as it will say, "Your beast blood prevents you from feeling rested."
‡ Doesn't occur if The Lover Stone's blessing in on the Dragonborn.


Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Official Game Guide

See also