Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Skeleton.
"In some of Skyrim's darkest recesses, where the living fear to tread, the bones of the dead still walk. These Skeletons feel no pain or remorse... and deserve no mercy."
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Skeletons are re-animated human skeletal remains that can be found in and about various dungeons, tombs, burial sites, and landmarks throughout the province of Skyrim.

Physical appearance[]

Skeletons are magically reanimated bones of dead humans, with glowing blue eye sockets. They wear little to no armor, and wield Ancient Nord weapons. Skeletons have no apparent will of their own, and are mainly employed by warlocks as bodyguards and sentinels to protect ancient ruins, temples, and other places of magic worship. When defeated, they immediately fall apart in a heap of bones, and the lights in their eye sockets go out.

With the Dawnguard add-on, a few new variants of skeleton appear, and sometimes take the place of other skeletons found in the dungeons of Skyrim, such as Volkihar Dungeons. These new skeletons wear varied amounts of Ancient Nord Armor, ranging from simply boots and cuirass to a full set, and can take more damage than their more fragile counterparts. Others wear black hoods and cast ice-based destruction spells in one hand while wielding a sword or war axe in the other. Some of these new variants don't fall apart when slain, simply falling over when killed. While they carry slightly more loot, including gold and jewelry, their armor cannot be looted.


By themselves, skeletons are quite weak even at lower levels, having a low health pool and wielding low-tier weapons. They can be taken out with a few quick hits by any weapon or spells, with fire-based magic doing the most damage, just like most other undead creatures. They have little tactical skill, either running straight towards the nearest known enemy to attack them head-on or firing arrows and spells from a distance. However, they are almost never found alone—skeletons are mostly found in groups, typically no less than three. Outside of Nordic ruins, necromancers are often found with a few skeleton minions, who will fight alongside their master. If a skeleton is slain before the necromancer is, the necromancer can sometimes re-summon them via magic.

The Bloodskal Blade is a highly effective weapon against skeletons. One energy blast from the blade's special power attack is often enough to defeat multiple skeletons, especially the standard varieties. A good tactic against multiple skeletons is to lure them into a narrow corridor and then do a power attack. The energy blast should hit all of them and destroy them almost instantly.


Named Skeleton[]


  • When the Dragonborn attacks a skeleton as a werewolf, it will shed blood and make the sound of flesh being torn, the same as any living creature.
  • Skeletons are immune to all paralysis effects. This includes the Ice Form Shout, though they are still effected by the frost damage.
  • Skeletons are immune to the raise dead spells, unless the skeleton is fully intact (such as that of Gauldur and Gaston Bellefort).
  • Skeletons' low level make them ideal for use in raising the Restoration skill through use of Turn Lesser Undead. Its low magicka cost is ideal for this purpose.
  • Some skeletons found in Dawnguard are more powerful than the standard skeletons and have more health.
  • The Dragonborn may find many skeletal remains in dungeons. If the Dragonborn trips over the bones, the bones may be launched into the air, and the Dragonborn will take damage. The amount of damage taken depends on the amount of bones and the force with which they were hit.
  • Skeletons aren't affected by water, so they walk through it like it isn't there, and fight as if they were on land. This makes it inadvisable to push them into water with the Unrelenting Force shout, as melee characters cannot reach them, and arrows fired into water don't go very far, leaving only magic to deal with them. The situation can be made even worse if the skeleton has a bow as well.
  •  PC   If the Dragonborn attempts to summon the skeletons through Console Commands after Dawnguard is installed, sometimes the spawned skeletons will be staggered and cannot be interacted with.
    •  PC (Fix)   Resolve this by summoning by Base ID instead.
  •  PC   Unlike most creatures, Skeletons' armor and weapons can actually be altered via Console Commands, this explained how they wear Black Mage Hoods.
  • One can always tell if a skeleton is nearby by the "creaking" of its bones, even when the skeleton is standing still, giving its location away.
  • Skeletons cannot be knocked off their feet by Unrelenting Force, even when using the full-power shout. Instead, they will be staggered and lose 1/3 amount of health.confirmation needed