Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Werewolf.

Werewolf is a creature in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They are the most commonly known type of lycanthrope found in Tamriel, where they can be found in every province. Werewolves are individuals who assume wolf-like characteristics during the full moon (or in some cases, at will).


"I'm telling you, I heard it! Howling! Those werewolf tales are true!"
―Hold Guards[src]

While first appearing in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, werewolves are featured more prominently in The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon. Werewolves also appear in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Dragonborn may become one by completing The Companions quests and attending a ritual which involves drinking the blood of Aela the Huntress while she is in Beast Form. From this point onwards, those carrying the gift (or curse, depending on whom one is talking to), will be able to change into a Werewolf once a day, which causes people nearby to retreat and yield or attack. The Dragonborn will also receive a bounty if the transformation is witnessed by a citizen.

Members of any faction will not attack the Dragonborn in either humanoid or Werewolf form after joining, nor will a Hero of Sovngarde assault them.


"Some say that when night descends upon Skyrim, werewolves descend upon the unwary."
Loading screen[src]


Skills, perks, spells and abilities as apply (or do not apply) to the Werewolf:

  • Racial Abilities: The various race abilities do not affect the Werewolf, because Beast Form changes the Dragonborn's race. Spells or active abilities such as an Orc's "Berserker Rage," however, can be cast before transformation and will continue to apply effects for their usual duration.
  • "Skin" Spells: Werewolves are considered unarmored, therefore "skin" spells such as Dragonhide remain effective if cast before transformation but cannot be recast while in Beast Form.
  • One-Handed tree: Normally, the Dragonborn's claws in Beast Form are not treated as one-handed weapons, meaning claw attacks do not increase experience in that skill nor benefit from perks on that skill tree.
    • A bug may cause the Dragonborn's weapon to remain equipped after transformation, which will cause attacks with that hand to carry any effects of that weapon and increase one-handed experience.
  • Alteration: Perk abilities like "Atronach" still affect werewolves.
  • Carry Weight: The base carry weight gained from Beast Form is 1,900 regardless of level, race, or gender. To find the maximum carry weight in Beast Form, add 1,900 to the max carry weight in normal form. This is a useful aspect to exploit as even if the Dragonborn is encumbered, transforming into Beast Form makes the encumbrance effect inactive, so one may carry a large amount of loot without being slowed by the effect. This can be exploited further with Hircine's Ring, allowing the Dragonborn to transform at will for the purpose of using the Beast Form's increased carry weight.
  • Disease resistance: All lycanthropes, in Werewolf form or not, have 100% resistance to all diseases. In Skyrim, this is only true for Sanguinare Vampiris, while other diseases may (rarely) still be caught.
  • Other abilities: All effects that are gained through quests and other methods but are not "racial," like spell resistance, still affect Werewolves. For other examples, the Lord Stone and Blessing of Mara will persist into lycanthropy.
  • Immunity to Vampires: A vampire cannot drink the blood of a sleeping Werewolf.
  • Power Attacks: In Beast Form, the Dragonborn's power attacks can inflict large amounts of damage and throw most foes (aside from dragons and mammoths) off balance. Giants can be killed with a power sprint attack.


Werewolf Attack

A Werewolf attack in Skyrim.

  • Sleeping bonuses negated: No bonus is gained from sleeping.
  • Inability to wear anything: Transformed Werewolves cannot equip apparel, including armor.
  • Inability to access normal game functions: When in Beast Form, the Dragonborn cannot pickpocket characters, pick locks, engage in conversations, or collect items/loot from a container or corpses.
    • Doors can still be opened, except those requiring a key from one's inventory.
    • Levers, buttons, pull chains and switches can still be activated, except those that require the removal of debris to be operated (as in Raldbthar Deep Market, where items must be dislodged to activate certain switches.)
    • When transformed, they may be unable to fit through narrow dungeon doorways. Walking through such doorways backwards may fix this.
  • Reduced number of orders that can be issued to a follower: Followers are unable to pick up items while you are in beast form. They will see such orders as simply a command to "move there".
  • Weakness against specific weapon archetypes: Increased vulnerability to Silver weapons, even as a human.
  • Expiration of all summoned thralls: Conjured thralls including dead thralls will instantly perish, although all other summoned entities will survive.
  • Useless items: Equipment, some spells, Dragon Shouts and powers are all rendered useless. Certain other effects such as the Lady Stone or a Regenerate Health potion will be similarly ineffective unless the Dragonborn equips a Ring of the Hunt.
  • Inability to heal health by normal means: The only way to recover health is to feed on dead bodies.
  • Howls need to be unlocked: Howls all need to be made available from a quest that can be completed upon finishing the Companions questline. The only exception is Howl of Terror. This can only be done if the Dragonborn remain a werewolf.
    • There is also a limitation in that only one howl can be active at any time. The howl can be selected by visiting the Underforge and praying at the totem which relates to the howl that the Dragonborn desire. Also, only 3 totems are available. Should they choose a new howl by praying at a totem, the Howl of Terror is unavailable from then on, but there is a Howl of Fear which is identical.
  • Inability to return to human form: There is no way to consciously deactivate Werewolf form following a transformation. The only way to revert is to physically wait for Beast form to end, or use the 'wait' function.
    • For Skyrim Special Edition, anything you had equipped while transforming is re-equipped by default, though you have to re-equip your equipment manually in the initial game version.
  • Immediate hostility: Most characters will attack a werewolf on sight, even werebears. Exceptions include other werewolves, M'aiq the Liar, and members of factions that the Dragonborn has joined, the heroes of Sovngarde, currently-in-service followers, and one's spouse if they are a werewolf. Eorlund Gray-Mane will publicly defend the Dragonborn, if the transformation occurs in Whiterun.confirmation needed Any other werewolf will aid the Dragonborn in combat if the Howl of Terror ability is used.
    • If someone sees the Dragonborn transforming, they will recognize them as a werewolf, even in human form, and may consider them an outsider or attack on sight, unless the person who witnessed this is non-hostile towards the Dragonborn.
    • If the Dragonborn is seen transforming, they will incur a 1000 Gold bounty, and this warrants an assault from most characters.

Becoming a Werewolf[]

In Skyrim, the only way to become a Werewolf is to complete the quest line for the Companions of Jorrvaskr in Whiterun, up until the quest "The Silver Hand." Within the Companions exists the Circle, an inner sub-faction. After some time, Skjor will lead the Dragonborn to The Underforge. There he will offer the opportunity to drink the blood of Aela the Huntress when she is in Werewolf form, and become a Werewolf.

Note: With the addition of Dawnguard, characters who already have the Vampire Lord power will lose it at this point, and it will be replaced with Beast Form, and vice versa.

Beast Form lasts approximately two and a half minutes, with only one use per day. Unlike in Morrowind, one does not change into a Werewolf at a fixed time, as it is a power. To be able to stay in Werewolf mode for a prolonged period of time, one must "Feed" off fallen human characters, which adds 30 seconds to the current time per feeding, and also heal the Dragonborn. With Dawnguard installed, the Dragonborn can choose a perk that allows them to feed on almost any fallen opponent, although it only prolongs the duration for half of what feeding off of humanoid opponents gives. Once returned to normal form, all items will have been unequipped and the Dragonborn will have to wait twenty-four hours to be able to use Beast Form again.

If the Dragonborn has obtained the Ring of Hircine, equipping it will allow the use of a separate power, "Ring of Hircine," which is identical to Beast Form and offers all the same benefits. The only difference is that it is not limited to once-a-day use, it is made available any time the Dragonborn equips the ring. Followers will not react to the Dragonborn's transformation. Due to the restrictions placed on Werewolves interacting with objects and characters, one will not be able to interact with a follower while transformed (on Xbox 360, one can bypass this by using Kinect commands). A follower will become hostile if hit while the character is in Beast Form, even if they are a companion.

Werewolf Skyrim

A werewolf howling.

Eorlund Gray-Mane will defend the Dragonborn if they transform publicly in Whiterun.

Wild wolves become non-hostile when one is in Beast Form, but wild Werewolves, added on by Dawnguard, will still attack.

The Dragonborn can be killed while transforming, if facing a powerful enough foe.

Werewolf Powers[]

The following chart lists all available Werewolf Powers.
Name Description Notes and restrictions
Beast Form Transform into Werewolf form once a day. Part of Companions Quest: The Silver Hand.
Ring of Hircine Grants extra transformations for werewolves The Ring of Hircine only works if already a Werewolf. To use, equip the ring, go into powers menu, select Ring of Hircine, and use powers key (default "Z" on PC). Possible reward for Daedric Quest: Ill Met by Moonlight
Howl of Terror Fear nearby enemies goes up to Lvl 25, 30s Beast Form only; default Howl. (Totem of Fear)
Scent of Blood Detect Life in a large radius, 60s Beast Form only; replaces Howl of Terror; available after Companions Radiant Quest: Totems of Hircine. (Totem of the Hunt)
Howl of the Pack Summon two wolf spirits to fight at one's side Beast Form only; replaces Howl of Terror; available after Companions Radiant Quest: Totems of Hircine. (Totem of Brotherhood)

Skill tree[]


The Werewolf skill tree includes eight perks.[1][2] (Dawnguard expansion only)


Perk Level Description Requirements
Bestial Strength 1 Do 25% more damage as a werewolf.
2 Do 50% more damage as a werewolf
3 Do 75% more damage as a werewolf
4 Do 100% more damage as a werewolf
Totem of Ice Brothers Summon 2 ally Ice Wolves. Bestial Strength
Totem of the Predator Totem of the Hunt howl has extended range, and shows whether targets are not in combat, searching, or actively in combat. Bestial Strength
Totem of Terror Werewolf Howl of Terror affects even higher level creatures. Bestial Strength
Totem of the Moon Summon 2 ally werewolves with a howl. Totem of Ice Brothers
Animal Vigor 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form. Bestial Strength
Gorging Feeding heals twice as much health. Animal Vigor
Savage Feeding Able to feed off most dead creatures (not undead, daedra, or automatons). Feeding off creatures instead of people only provides half the extended time. Gorging

Known Werewolves[]

Enemy werewolves[]



  • If the Dragonborn is a Werewolf, Hold Guards may comment saying, "Is that fur... coming out of your ears?" or "I find your wolfish grin... unsettling." even if the Dragonborn is a Khajiit. Guards will also comment on the odor of the Dragonborn, saying, "Ugh. Have you been tending to your hounds? You smell like a wet dog!"
  • Pressing "square" for PS3 and PS4, "X" for 360, "Y" for Switch, or R for PC will skip most of the feeding animation. This can be useful when surrounded by enemies and the Dragonborn needs to recover their health immediately.
  • The sound of the Howl of Terror is identical to the roar that Trolls make.
  • If the main menu is accessed, under the "General Stats" tab, and in the magic menu, if one uses Howl of Terror often, it will be listed as the "Favorite Shout," even though Howl of Terror is not a Dragon Shout. This also applies to other Werewolf powers.
  • If the Dragonborn goes up the 7000 steps as a Werewolf, the travelers will not become hostile.
  • The Dragonborn's gender has no effect on the transformation; the Werewolf's appearance is always the same.


This section contains bugs related to Werewolf (Skyrim). 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.
Click to show
  •  360   Sometimes, when transforming into a Werewolf in first person (this can also happen while mounted to a horse) and then reverting into human form, the Dragonborn will be locked in third person mode.
  •  PC   When the Dragonborn transforms while holding One-Handed weapons, they will remain equipped after transforming.
  • Even if the Dragonborn chooses to be cured after the Companions Quests, they will not be able to gain the Rested bonus, and characters will still make comments related to them being a Werewolf.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If the Dragonborn transforms while on a mount and is wearing the Ring of Hircine, they will see the transformation in first person and be teleported off of the horse. After the transformation, the Dragonborn can move, but the camera will be locked on the horse. This will last even after the transformation ends.
  •  PC   PS3   After transforming into a Werewolf for the first time in the Underforge, the third person camera will be zoomed in extra close.
    •  PC (Fix)   To zoom out the camera, hold the switch view button in, and move the mouse or left stick forward or backwards to adjust the zoom level.
  •  PC   360   Daggers may be used while in Beast Form. To trigger this glitch, the Dragonborn must equip the dagger as a secondary weapon and then transform, causing the dagger to switch to the primary spot. This allows for easy leveling with the one-handed skill.
  •  PS3   A Daedric Dagger and a Daedric Bow may appear to be blended into the Dragonborn's skin in Werewolf form. Note that if a Bow becomes blended into the skin during transformation, any regular attacks will fail, resulting in a message that will say, "No arrows equipped". Regular attacks of the left hand and power attacks on both hands will still be available, as well as the sprinting-pounce attack if triggered from the left hand attack button.
  •  360   PS3   After transforming into Beast Form, the Dragonborn may be unable to revert to normal, even if the time limit was not extended through feeding.
  •  360   After transforming, a staff in the inventory may become equipped. The staff will be used instead of the right hand attack, and charge will still be drained. The left hand acts as normal.
  • When wearing a Forsworn Headdress, it may stay on during the transformation cutscene, but will usually disappear after the cutscene ends.
  • The Companions may abandon the Dragonborn after they go through the blood ritual, and inventory stored on a companion follower may be lost.
  • If the Dragonborn transforms while swimming, they will sometimes be able to walk with only the waist below the water, no matter the depth.
  •  PC   Sometimes, when transforming, the transformation will stop, and the Dragonborn will still be as normal with full inventory and equipment, but with a Werewolf's head instead of the normal one.
  • After participating in the blood ritual, the Dragonborn may not turn into a Werewolf.
  •  PC   If the PC console command showracemenu is used to change one's race, when the time as a Werewolf runs out, it will switch the Dragonborn back to the original race. This can be fixed with player.setraceid but may have to be fixed every time one comes back from being a Werewolf.
  • When transforming in Whiterun or Falkreath, guards will not attack the Dragonborn, but other characters will.
  • Due to bugs in the Companions' questline, it may be impossible to cure the Dragonborn's lycanthropy after acquiring it.
  •  360   PS4   If the Dragonborn transforms into a Werewolf and then immediately feeds on a dead body, it may cause Beast Form to time out early and return them to human form.
  •  360   NX   When the Dragonborn is doing a cinematic kill move while in Beast Form, the game may freeze briefly, then resume and finish the cinematic kill move properly.
  •  360   PS4   Even after being cured, the "days as a Werewolf" stat in the journal will continue to increase.
  •  360   If the Dragonborn power attacks an enemy while in Beast Form while they are standing on a staircase, the enemy may fly into the air, similar to the way giant's power attacks throw the Dragonborn into the air. They will descend but will not survive the fall, even if they land in water.
  •  360   Occasionally, the Dragonborn can contract vampirism, even with the 100% disease resistance lycanthropy provides. This glitch may or may not be related to the Dawnguard DLC.
  •  360   If an enchanted weapon is equipped, changing into a Werewolf may completely drain the enchantment.
  •  XB1   After reverting from the first transformation, if the Dragonborn chooses to fight with Whiterun residents and guards, any war paint on their face is inexplicably skewed sideways. Avoiding a fight and waiting out the transformation time seems to avoid the issue.
  •  360   Sometimes, while transforming, if you press the attack button the Dragonborn will stop transforming mid-transformation and be able to carry on attacking with a weapon, but with a werewolf head and some werewolf skin. However, this only lasts a few seconds before the transformation automatically competes itself.
  • Some characters, such as M'aiq the Liar or Taron Dreth, will not attack the Dragonborn if approached while in Beast Form.
  • If the Dragonborn has the Animal Vigor perk and reverts to human form with less than 100 health, they will die.




  1. Game Informer magazine - June 2012 issue
  2. G4TV.com - Dawnguard Extended E3 Gameplay Preview
  3. "A Daedra's Best Friend"
  4. Dialogue with M'aiq the Liar