Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

The Dragonborn absorbing the soul of a dragon.

A Dragon Soul is the soul of a dragon. They are used to activate words of Dragon Shouts, and with Dragonborn, they can be used to regain perks from perk trees, enabling them to be spent on different skills.

Although words of the dragon language can be learned from word walls without dragon souls, dragon souls are required to unlock them.

Dragon souls are absorbed by the Dragonborn immediately after slaying a Dragon.


The number of absorbed dragon souls can be found in the magic tab of the character menu in the bottom-right-hand corner. They are kept until they are spent unlocking a word of a Shout. All shouting words other than the ones given to the Dragonborn in the main storyline must be unlocked before they can be used. To do so, acquire a dragon soul, select the word in the magic tab, and press the respective unlock key.

After Miraak is defeated (Dragonborn DLC only), all the perks in a skill tree can be removed to be used elsewhere at the cost of one dragon soul. This can be done at anytime provided dragon souls are available.


  • Since Dragons can infinitely respawn, there are more dragon souls available than there are shouts to be used on.
  • Throughout the main questline of "Dragonborn," Miraak can steal dragon souls and prevent the Dragonborn from absorbing them. This can occur anywhere, whether on Solstheim or Skyrim and can only be stopped by finishing the main questline.
  • Only Miraak can absorb the souls of the dragons in Apocrypha.
  • If the Dragonborn is not near a dragon when it dies, they may not be able to absorb the soul.
    • However, they can come back days later in-game to absorb the dead dragon's soul.
  • Killing Miraak causes his body to burn up like a dragon's, which releases ten souls, as well as any he had stolen from the Dragonborn.
  • Assuming that a dead dragon's soul has yet to be absorbed, the body will remain unburnt. (All dragons that have their souls absorbed remain as bones)
  • After completing the quest "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller," the Dragonborn can return to Ustengrav and activate the altar where the note was to receive a free Dragon Soul.


This section contains bugs related to Dragon Soul. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If the Disintegrate perk is active, using a shock spell may result in the dragon turning into ash and never giving a soul. To fix this, ready both hands as if for a fistfight, and the soul will be absorbed.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If a dragon's corpse falls into water, Miraak cannot absorb the soul.DR
  •  PC   360   PS3   A slain dragon may not burn away, thus preventing the acquisition of its soul.
  •  360   May not be able to obtain dragon soul if dragon is killed while in werewolf form.
  •  360   If you cast Reanimate Corpse on a Blood Dragon right before you start absorbing its soul, it may cancel the absorbing process, preventing the acquisition of its soul.
  •  360   XB1   There is a rare bug where the game will not allow the player to use accumulated Dragon Souls to unlock new Shouts. When trying to unlock the Words for the Shouts, the game states in a pop-up that "You need Dragon Souls to unlock Shouts," even though there are unused Souls.
    •  360 (Fix)   To remedy this bug, Favorite an unlocked Shout, then unlock it as usual. Afterwards, other Dragon Shouts need not be put in Favorites to be unlocked, just Favorite the first Shout and then everything should work from then on.
    •  PC (Fix)   A general workaround for a soul absorption that did not happen is to use the console command: player.modav dragonsouls 1