Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
For other uses, see Illusion.
"You're the one that casts those illusions. Impressive."
Hold Guard[src]

Illusion is one of the six skills that fall under The Mage play-style. Targeted Illusion spells include Calm, Frenzy, Fear, or Courage and spells cast on one's self such as Muffle or Invisibility. Casting Illusion spells raise the corresponding skill. Casting Illusion spells consumes Magicka. The effectiveness of Illusion spells depends on the caster's skill and the foe's resistance to the spells or spells in general. Some beings are entirely immune to Illusion magic. Only one race begins the game with an Illusion spell; an Altmer Dragonborn, with the rage-inducing spell Fury. Those of mer blood excel at Illusion and begin the game with increased ranks in the skill. Altmer begin with 25, while Bretons and Dunmer begin with 20.

Illusion can be advanced by casting spells governed by the school, by reading books associated with the topic, performing certain quests or services for others, or by employing a teacher proficient in the field such as Drevis Neloren, a professor of Illusion at the College of Winterhold. Illusion is used to avoid confrontations with law enforcement or hostile beings, evade battles, and also buy time in battle for further maneuvering. This magic group is more commonly used by the stealthy characters in Skyrim.

Changes from previous game (Oblivion)[]

Light (Magelight and Candlelight) and Paralyze have been moved to the Alteration school. Command Daedra is now the only command type spell and is in the conjuration school. Fear has replaced Demoralize but both have the same effect.

Nighteye is now only a racial power of the Khajiit.

Charm, Silence and Chameleon are entirely absent.

Skill Books[]

Main article: Skill Books (Skyrim)

The Daedric artifact Oghma Infinium raises Illusion and all other magicka-based skills by 5, if the "path of the Mage" is taken.



The following is a complete list of Illusion spells:

Novice (skill level 0)[]

Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Clairvoyance Shows the path to the current goal. 25 per second
Courage Target won't flee for 60 seconds, and gets some extra health and stamina. 39
Fury Creatures and people up to level 6 will attack anything nearby for 30 seconds. 67
Vision of the Tenth Eye Makes the Master Illusion texts visible. Also gives night vision for 30 seconds. 0

Apprentice (skill level 25)[]

Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Calm Creatures and people up to level 9 won't fight for 30 seconds. 146
Fear Creatures and people up to level 9 flee from combat for 30 seconds. 153
Muffle Move more quietly for 180 seconds. 144
Vampire's Seduction Calms creatures and people up to level 10 for 30 seconds. 146

Adept (skill level 50)[]

Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Frenzy Creatures and people up to level 14 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds. 209
Frenzy Rune DR Creatures and people up to level 20 will attack anyone nearby for 30 seconds. 165
Rally Targets won't flee for 60 seconds and get extra health and stamina. 113

Expert (skill level 75)[]

Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Invisibility Caster is invisible for 30 seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell. 334
Pacify Creatures and people up to level 20 won't fight for 60 seconds. 290
Rout Creatures and people up to level 20 flee from combat for 30 seconds. 316

Master (skill level 100)[]

Master spells cannot be purchased initially. To unlock Master Illusion spells, the "Illusion Ritual Spell" quest must be completed upon reaching level 100 Illusion.

Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Call to Arms Targets have improved combat skills, health, and stamina for 10 minutes. 655
Harmony Creatures and people up to level 25 nearby won't fight for 60 seconds. 1052
Hysteria Creatures and people up to level 25 flee from combat for 60 seconds. 866
Mayhem Creatures and people up to level 25 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds. 990

Starting spells[]

Altmer start the game with Fury.


The following are perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up:

Perk Requirements Description ID
Novice Illusion None Cast Novice level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000F2CA9
Illusion Dual Casting Illusion 20, Novice Illusion Dual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version. 000153D0
Animage Illusion 20, Novice Illusion Illusion spells now work on higher level animals (+8 levels). 000581E1
Apprentice Illusion Illusion 25, Novice Illusion Cast Apprentice level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000C44C3
Hypnotic Gaze Illusion 30, Novice Illusion Calm spells now work on higher level opponents (+8 levels). 00059B77
Kindred Mage Illusion 40, Animage All Illusion spells work on higher level people (+10 levels). 000581E2
Adept Illusion Illusion 50, Apprentice Illusion Cast Adept level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000C44C4
Aspect of Terror Illusion 50, Hypnotic Gaze Fear spells work on higher level opponents (+10 levels). 00059B78
Quiet Casting Illusion 50, Kindred Mage All spells cast from any school of magic are silent to others. 000581FD
Rage Illusion 70, Aspect of Terror Frenzy spells work on higher level opponents (+12 levels). 000C44B5
Expert Illusion Illusion 75, Adept Illusion Cast Expert level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000C44C5
Master of the Mind Illusion 90, Rage, Quiet Casting Illusion spells work on undead, daedra and automatons. 00059B76
Master Illusion Illusion 100, Expert Illusion Cast Master level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000C44C6


  • When cast on a horse, Rally and Courage increases their stamina, allowing them to sprint much longer.
  • Wards block Illusion spells.
  • Casting Fury on an NPC in a hold or an area protected by a hold will cause the player to accure a bounty.
  • The Quiet Casting perk affects all Dragon Shouts, causing them to become silent.


Where to level quickly[]

  • The Muffle spell, which can be obtained at the beginning of the game from Farengar Secret-Fire, can be continually cast to level up the Illusion skill. This allows for extremely fast leveling, with minimal effort required.
  • Once Animage is obtained, the player can just cast buffs like Calm and Courage on the Cow that's sitting in the pen in Whiterun. This technique works in the Labyrinthian Tribune, using the infinite magicka trick after the fight with Morokei.
  • Calm can be cast alternately with Fear or Fury to level up Illusion.
  • One way to quickly level Illusion is to exploit the Magicka Regen bonus instilled by the Mystic Tuning Gloves Drevis Neloren relinquishes for fixing the focal points at the College of Winterhold. With those, Muffle can be infinitely dual-cast due to the virtually instantaneous rate at which magicka regenerates. The bonus expires in two real-time hours.
  • Casting spells like Pacify, Rally, and Courage on the Jarls in the basement of the Blue Palace, or any other group of essential characters.
  • In the College of Winterhold, cast Illusion Spells like Pacify and Rally on Nirya. Almost all Illusion Spells can be cast on her because of her weak level.
  • Use the spell Harmony, set the difficulty to Legendary, and have gear that reduces the cost of Illusion spells to 0. Alternatively, use Secret of Arcana from the Dragonborn DLC to reduce the cost to 0 for a short time. Cast Harmony in a heavily populated area and go from 15 skill to 100 from casting the spell about 9 times. 50 levels can be gained in approximately one hour using this method. Guards threaten the caster for using Harmony, but no authoritative action is taken and no bounty accrued.
  • Casting Courage on any character repeatedly is a very fast way to level the skill. Or, if in a crowded area (such as Whiterun during the daytime), casting Courage on all characters in the area is an effective and easy way to level the skill.

Stealth usage[]

  • Players using Invisibility and Muffle in conjunction with Sneak can become completely undetectable.
  • Illusion and Sneak, with the right perks (i.e., Hypnotic Gaze, Kindred Mage, Quiet Casting), can permit those enemies not invulnerable to Illusion to be calmed. When an enemy is calmed, it returns to its original location, thus rendering it vulnerable to back-stabbing, charm, theft, or evasion.
  • In addition to using Calm to sneak-attack enemies, the expert-level Illusion spell Invisibility, combined with the Sneak perk Shadow Warrior, can be used to escape almost any enemy temporarily. While in combat, cast Invisibility, flee, and crouch to activate Shadow Warrior just before leaving the enemy's line of sight. This works well when casting Frenzy spells or when accompanied by allies.
  • Casting Frenzy automatically breaks stealth; detection goes from Hidden to fully Detected. The perk "Quiet Casting" does not prevent detection like it does for Fury.
  • Any spell that generates light (i.e. Candlelight) increases the chance of detection, even while sneaking. Magelight may be less revealing, since it creates light but "attaches" to the ground rather than following the caster around and revealing their position.
  • Vampirism increases stealth by 25% and the power of Illusion spells by 25%.

How and Where to Use[]

  • Invisibility is invariably useful for thieves. Casting the spell will allow the player to steal any item at will. However, this causes the invisible effect to end, requiring the player to use the spell multiple times to steal more than one item. The spell can also help with pickpocketing, as being hidden allows for greater chances to successfully steal items.
  • Calm, Fury, and Courage spells can be useful for hunting skittish prey.
  • Calm spells are useful for avoiding confrontations, as a stall tactic, or to perform back-stabs. Enemies practically forget you exist when hit with a Calm spell, returning to their normal routine, making them easy prey for sneak attacks. If they manage to survive your sneak attack, simply cast another calm and try again.
  • Fury spells cause the target to attack friends and foes alike indiscriminately, potentially causing all actors within the area of the spell to attack each other—sometimes until death. The caster can be damaged in the commotion. Casting Invisibility then retreating can prevent this. Fury is particularly powerful when combined with the "Quiet Casting" perk as a stealthy character, as you can remain safely undetected while your spell does all the work.
  • Courage spells can be used to prevent fleeing foes from running further and drawing additional allies into battle to assist it, or to prevent followers and allies from fleeing into more danger.
  • Fear spells can be used to escape or buy time in a fight.
  • Muffle allows silent-moving, regardless of whether the Sneaking skill is active.
  • Invisibility renders the caster completely transparent to all beings not possessing magical sight enhancement such as Detect Life. Others can detect the caster if the caster is moving quickly, thus creating noise, if they are carrying a torch or using an illumination spell such as Candlelight, or if the caster comes in close proximity to another. Casting Muffle beforehand, combining it with stealth, or both can help reduce the chances of being detected.
  • Combined with the Illusion perk "Quiet Casting," projectile spells can be used for misdirection by targeting areas you want the enemy to move toward.


  • When casting spells such as Courage or Calm, those that are affected may be heard saying, "Hey, I didn't ask you to magic me."
  • Dual Casting can make most Illusion spells more powerful than Master Illusion spells.
  • Along with the school of Restoration and the school of Enchanting; a number of Nords seem to have a level of respect for, or at the very least, tolerance of the school of Illusion. This is made evident when hold guards make the remark "You're the one that casts those illusions. Impressive." if the Dragonborn's skill is high enough.
  • Despite not doing any actual damage, most Illusion spells can kill Hawks, Bone Hawks, Felsaad Terns, birds and Salmon in a single hit.
  • Using Illusion spells (such as Courage) on Roggvir before he is executed in Solitude may cause him to attack the guards who will in turn attack the Dragonborn despite the action not generating hold bounty.
  • In a loading screen quote about Illusion, it mentions that Illusion is used to cast "Charm," however this spell does not make an appearance in Skyrim.