Illusion skyrim

Skyrim: Everything You Need To Know About Illusion Magic

Each of the six schools of magic in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is useful and worth checking out at some point. With enough knowledge and experience, it is not uncommon to find completely broken ways to abuse various spells that can be learned in the great, cold north of Tamriel.

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The one most attuned to the inclinations of devious Dragonborn mages, or even thieves, is Illusion. This sinister school of magic allows players to target friends and foes alike with effects such as Calm, Fear, Courage, and Frenzy. It also lets one Muffle their footsteps or turn completely invisible. Those who enjoy slaying their foes outside of combat, as well as laughing at them from the shadows, should definitely try an Illusion playthrough at least once. There is lots of information to take advantage of since players have been enjoying Skyrim for a full decade.

10 Changes From Past Games

The Illusion skill has existed in past games of the series, however, there were some big changes made from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Light magic, such as Candlelight, as well as Paralysis, have moved to the Alteration skill. The effect known as Demoralize, which causes targets to flee in terror, has been aptly renamed "Fear". Other types of spells have not returned, to the disappointment of many.

The first of these is Charm, a spell that only has an effect on a mechanic not appearing in Skyrim that pertains to dialogue skill checks. The next is Silence, the bane of mages, for it stops a target from casting spells for a short period. Lastly, Chameleon can allow the player to camouflage into the surroundings. Similar to Invisibility, though the player can interact with objects without the effect being dispelled, making it arguably better despite rarely concealing one's form completely.

9 Quests For Free Illusion Level-Up

Besides casting spells, and a few other methods, one way to gain some quick experience in Illusion is to hunt down the Master Vampire for Sybille Stentor, the court wizard in Solitude. She usually hangs out in the Blue Palace.

After slaying this bloodthirsty fiend and returning to her with the good news, she will grant the player a free skill-up in Illusion. While in Solitude, the Dragonborn can hit up the local Bards College and speak with Pantea Ateia for the quest to retrieve her flute, which itself nets the player a free level in every skill under The Mage playstyle.

8 Main Use Of Illusion Spells

Despite other spells of this school being more useful in slaying foes directly, the majority of the spells to be found here are those that focus on manipulating both allies and adversaries. Spells like Calm can ease the aggression if one accidentally angers an NPC. While others like Frenzy can entice a target to attack all those around them blindly.

There are also the Courage and Fear spells, that can strengthen a target's resolve to stand and fight or force them to flee respectively. Because of all these traits, one can orchestrate the flow of battle from wherever they please.

7 Stealth Applications

The most notable of all the Illusion spells is the infamous Invisibility. Able to allow one to completely disappear from sight, it is an unparalleled asset for stealth, regardless of the kind of offense one is running. Be a combat stealth mage that zaps enemies from the shade or a Sneak-thief ending lives with well-placed snipes, it matters not.

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Being unseen offers tremendous benefits for such playstyles. Players should also remember the Muffle spell, which makes their footsteps soundless. In conjunction with Invisibility, this offers a way to essentially fade into nothingness until one decides to pounce upon their prey.

6 Perks

The perks of the Illusion skill tree usually offer general buffs like reducing Magicka cost and increasing the level of targets that can be affected by spells. Although, there are a few that players should be sure to take special note of when considering their playthrough.

Quiet Casting is a great one that pairs with stealth builds. It accordingly lets one use spells without making any noise, an ideal trait for those seeking to stay hidden. There is also the immensely broken Dual Casting, which when applied to Illusion spells often lets the weaker versions be overcharged and outperform the higher tier ones for a fraction of the cost.

5 Who To Train With

Players can potentially level up their Illusion, if they have the coin, with a select few individuals well versed in the ways of this school. Atub, an Orc wise-woman residing within the Largashbur stronghold in The Rift, is an expert with Illusion spells and can impart some of her wisdom to the player.

Drevis Neloran is a Dunmer mage who can be found at the College of Winterhold. He is a master of Illusion and can train the Dragonborn accordingly. He also sells spell tomes for this school and can offer one the quest for a master tier Illusion spell.

4 Easy Experience Gain

Due to many of the spells in the Illusion skill being non-hostile, they can be used openly on NPCs without any fear of gaining a bounty. This is, in fact, a great way to level up very quickly.

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Spells like Courage, Rally, and Calm can alternately be cast onto anyone within sight repeatedly. Some great places to do this are in the palaces of Jarls, in the middles of towns, as well as many inns.

3 Mildly Outraged & Impressed

When casting such spells on NPCs, they may react in an annoyed manner and say "Hey, I didn't ask you to magic me". They won't ever get angry enough to turn hostile, however, since the player isn't actually doing anything to harm them or their surroundings.

If one's level in Illusion is high enough, city guards may make mention of it, saying "You're the one that casts those illusions. Impressive." This amounts to only a mild dialogue change, though it's sometimes nice to be noticed for one's talents.

2 Deadly To Birds & Fish

Even though the spells in the Illusion school don't actually deal damage, they can still be harmful to the more fragile members of Skyrim's ecosystem. The impact caused by spells likely has some sort of physics applied to them that lets the game know they made contact with something.

This initial physical impact is what may allow Illusion spells to kill birds, such as the hawk, bone hawk, and Felsaad tern. They can also kill salmon and other small creatures, though none that can actually attack or be counted as an enemy.

1 Combination With Conjuration

For a magical combo that will allow the player to breeze through dungeons without ever having to kill an enemy themselves, the Dragonborn should try combining Illusion and Conjuration. By summoning allies like Flame Thralls or a Dremora Lord, players can then buff them with higher-level versions of Courage if they have the Master of the Mind perk that lets them target creatures they normally would not be able to.

Additionally, the master tier spell Call to Arms gives targets upgraded combat skills, more health, and more stamina, which can boost summoned allies to the point where they can take out some bosses by themselves. To ensure that one stays out of the adversary's gaze, the player can also cast Invisibility and cackle from the shadows as their puppets dance.

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Skyrim: 10 Best Illusion Spells, Ranked

Killing everything on sight sometimes isn't the best decision. Some RPGs let you talk your way out of situations, but The Elder Scrolls series is more focused on sandbox elements rather than dialogue.

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Illusion is one of the most versatile schools of magic in Skyrim. It can range from giving quest directions to causing an entire army to fight each other. This school can be used on its own or with another gameplay style, such as stealth archery or even a melee character. This versatility can even make NPCs calm and friendly towards you, letting you walk past entire bandit camps. Here are the 10 best Illusion spells you can use in Skyrim.

10 Clairvoyance

While Illusion spells are typically used for stealthy characters, Clairvoyance can be used on any character. This spell shows a magical line that guides the player to their next, closest objective.

Its cost is somewhat high at 25 Magicka a second, but the ability to find your way around areas you haven't explored can prove useful. While you can use this with multiple quests active, it will only lead you to the closest quest objective. Veteran Skyrim players won't get much out of this spell, but those new to Skyrim, or RPGs in general, might find this spell invaluable.

9 Rally

Illusion can do many things, from making enemies terrified to bolstering their confidence. Rally grants a health and stamina buff to those in its radius, while also making them immune to fear.

Rally is fantastic if used on companions or a small army of soldiers, and it's particularly useful when doing the Skyrim Civil War questline. The health and stamina bonuses are small at 25 points, but sometimes a small bonus is all you need to turn the tide of battle. Because it affects a small area instead of once target, this is a better choice than Courage in almost every way.

8 Pacify

If you need to prevent NPCs from attacking you, Pacify is the strongest spell you can use. Even though there is a master variant of Pacify, being able to dual cast Pacify makes it objectively stronger than Harmony.

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Pacify works on up to level 20 creatures without perks, preventing any creature or person effected from attacking you. If you are fighting enemies that are too tough but you need to collect a quest item, Pacify can allow you to run through the area with ease and take the item before enemies can retaliate. Its 60-second duration further supports this playstyle.

7 Fury

High Elves begin the game with this spell already learned. It allows enemies level 6 or bellow to attack every NPC and player for 30 seconds. If you need to quickly create chaos, this is the way to do it.

Since this is a novice level spell, it is the cheapest yet least effective of the bunch. When you consider perks, however, Fury can be upgraded to affect enemies over level 20, making it a cheaper alternative to Frenzy. While the range isn't massive, it is large enough to cause a tavern or a small room worth of people to start killing each other.

6 Frenzy Rune

Ranged characters will find more use with Frenzy Rune than typical fear spells. Frenzy Rune affects enemies up to level 20, lasts 30 seconds, and is a trap you can place on the ground from anywhere.

With a somewhat large Magicka cost of 165, the rune makes up for it with its level 20 range. When you consider perks into the equation, Frenzy Rune can affect level 40 enemies and above. Unless you're trying to influence a Dragon, very few spells can compete with what Frenzy Rune does.

5 Vampire's Seduction

Vampire's Seduction is similar to other calming spells in that it makes enemies less hostile towards the player, ending combat and allowing dialogue. With a level range of 10 or lower, this spell seems worse than most other calming spells.

What Vampire's Seduction does amazingly well, however, is its ability to let Vampire characters feed on calmed people that are affected by this spell. If you need to lower your Vamparism level before going out into the sunlight, influence a target with Vampire's Seduction and feed on them right there. It is also useful for non-vampires, giving the player time to recover their resources before fighting again.

4 Hysteria

Illusion gets significantly more spells for their master quest than any other school of magic. Because of this, most of their master spells are versatile and can handle nearly any situation.

Hysteria sounds exactly like what it does. Hysteria causes creatures and people who are level 25 or lower to flee combat for 60 seconds. The area on this is rather large and takes two hands to cast, meaning you are vulnerable while preparing it. With one smart cast, however, nearly every enemy in Skyrim will run away in fear. If you can afford to charge this up, it beats out Fear and Rout in almost every way.

3 Muffle

Unless you can find or purchase the rather rare muffle enchantment on boots, your best method of moving quietly is using the Muffle Illusion spell.

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Considered an apprentice spell, Muffle conceals the user's noises related to movement for 3 minutes! Players who have high Sneak ratings and perks can practically run past enemies without them noticing. While a powerful ability on its own, it makes the user essentially undetectable when combined with Invisibility. You can use this strategy to get close and use Hysteria or Mayhem to cause complete chaos wherever you go.

2 Mayhem

Yet another master spell, Mayhem causes nearly all targets up to level 25 to attack everything on sight for 60 seconds. This works on any creature or person, friend or foe.

Unlike Fury, Mayhem covers an absurdly large area. To put it in perspective, casting this at the center of Whiterun will cover almost the entire city, reaching all but the top of Dragonsreach and the entrance to the city. When certain perks are taken, the level range on this spell grows so large that all enemies except Dragons will have to fight anything they see. If you need to clear out a dungeon but are ill-equipped, simply cast Mayhem and the dungeon will clear itself.

1 Invisibility

Does this spell need an introduction? Invisibility causes the user to become transparent to anyone who isn't close, allowing them to sneak by any group of enemies with ease.

This spell will break if you attack an enemy, use an object, or generally do anything that has an animation tied to it. The good news is you can use Invisibility to sneak up on targets and get a stealth attack, granting a massive damage multiplier. Combined with a bow, you become an unstoppable force of nature. It wasn't the wind that got their friend, it was your trusty blade and Invisibility spell.

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Novice IllusionNone Cast Novice level Illusion spells for half magicka. AnimageIllusion 20, Novice Illusion Illusion spells now work on higher level animals (+8 levels to the spell maximum). Illusion Dual CastingIllusion 20, Novice Illusion Dual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version. Apprentice IllusionIllusion 25, Novice Illusion Cast Apprentice level Illusion spells for half magicka. Hypnotic GazeIllusion 30, Novice Illusion Calm spells now work on higher level opponents (+8 levels to spell maximum). Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Kindred MageIllusion 40, Animage All Illusion spells work on higher level people (+10 levels to the spell maximum). Adept IllusionIllusion 50, Apprentice Illusion Cast Adept level Illusion spells for half magicka. Aspect of TerrorIllusion 50, Hypnotic Gaze Fear spells work on higher level opponents (+10 levels to spell maximum). Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Quiet CastingIllusion 50, Kindred Mage All spells you cast from any school of magic are silent to others. RageIllusion 70, Aspect of Terror Frenzy spells work on higher level opponents (+12 levels to spell maximum). Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Expert IllusionIllusion 75, Adept Illusion Cast Expert level Illusion spells for half magicka. Master of the MindIllusion 90, Quiet Casting or Rage Illusion spells work on undead, daedra and automatons. Master IllusionIllusion 100, Expert Illusion Cast Master level Illusion spells for half magicka.


Illusion is one of the five schools of magic in Skyrim. Illusion magic focuses on changing the perception of the world from the viewpoint of the target. Increasing this skill reduces magicka cost when casting Illusion spells. The Illusion skill tree has a total of 13 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.

In-game Description: The School of Illusion involves manipulating the mind of the enemy. This skill makes it easier to cast spells like Fear, Calm, and Invisibility.

For historical information, see the main lore article.


Illusion contains a range of spells that play with your enemies' minds. While no Illusion spell does any direct damage, spells and perks in this school are a good supplement to Stealth-focused characters, and make stealthy play more viable for mages.

Main Effects[edit]

Progressively more powerful spells with each of these effects are available as your character develops. Some of these effects can also be produced using Alchemy and enchantments.

  • Pacify spells minimize aggression and cause the affected to lose the will to fight unless attacked first.
  • Fear spells minimize confidence and cause the affected to run away.
  • Frenzy spells maximize aggression and cause the affected to lose allegiance and attack anyone they see.
  • Rally spells maximize confidence and increase the stats of the affected and prevent them from fleeing.
  • Muffle helps the caster to sneak around by reducing the noise made by walking.
  • Invisibility removes the ability to be detected by sight, but unlike sneaking, wears off immediately if the caster touches something, casts a spell or uses a weapon.

Spell Types[edit]

For each effect type, the pattern of spells is consistent:

TypeTargetsDurationSpell LevelTarget LevelPacifyFearFrenzyRally
MissileSingle target30 secondsNovice6FuryCourage (60 second duration)
Area MissileTargets within 15' of impact60 secondsAdept14FrenzyRally
Wide AreaTargets within 250' of caster60 secondsMaster25HarmonyHysteriaMayhemCall to Arms (100' radius / 10 min. duration)

Target Level does not apply to Rally effects. All missiles, area or not, are range 469 feet.


Illusion is a formidable tool against almost every enemy in Skyrim, dragons being a notable exception. It can be used on its own as a combat tool, but it is best used in conjunction with another skill to take on enemies.

The only effect that serves as a combat tool is Frenzy, which can be used to cause groups of enemies to decimate each other. Frenzy spells can also be useful for hunting deer and other fleeing animals, as they will turn and attack you instead of running away. Furthermore, casting a Frenzy spell on someone is not considered a crime if you are hidden when you cast it (regardless of whether or not you have the Quiet Casting perk). This can make some of the Dark Brotherhood contracts much easier.

You can simply avoid combat with Fear, or Pacify, the latter of which has the additional use of allowing you to converse and trade with otherwise hostile NPCs. Pacify spells may also allow you to set up additional sneak attacks if the first did not kill your opponent. Invisibility and Muffle can allow you to bypass enemies, even in full daylight, or setup sneak kills. Followers can be rallied to provide better protection at times too. Quiet Casting also affects use of the Thu'um, so you will be able to shout and stay undetected.

Drawbacks to the skill are that undead, Daedra, and dwarven automatons are unaffected by Illusion spells until the perk Master of the Mind is activated. Without the Quiet Casting perk, enemies will be able to hear the casting of the sneak-oriented spells Muffle and Invisibility, and may still be able to detect you.

Skill Perks[edit]

Illusion Perk Tree
Novice Illusion: 0 Illusion. Cast Novice level Illusion spells for half magicka.

Novice Illusion

Animage: 20 Illusion. Illusion spells now work on higher level animals.


Kindred Mage: 40 Illusion. All Illusion spells work on higher level people.

Kindred Mage

Quiet Casting: 50 Illusion. All spells you cast from any school of magic are silent to others.

Quiet Casting

Apprentice Illusion: 25 Illusion. Cast Apprentice level Illusion spells for half magicka.

Apprentice Illusion

Adept Illusion: 50 Illusion. Cast Adept level Illusion spells for half magicka.

Adept Illusion

Expert Illusion: 75 Illusion. Cast Expert level Illusion spells for half magicka.

Expert Illusion

Master Illusion: 100 Illusion. Cast Master level Illusion spells for half magicka.

Master Illusion

Hypnotic Gaze: 30 Illusion. Calm spells now work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.

Hypnotic Gaze

Aspect of Terror: 50 Illusion. Fear spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.

Aspect of Terror

Rage: 70 Illusion. Frenzy spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.


Master of the Mind: 90 Illusion. Illusion spells work on undead, daedra and automatons.

Master of the Mind

Illusion Dual Casting: 20 Illusion. Dual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version.

Illusion Dual Casting

Illusion Perk Tree

PerkIn-Game DescriptionNotesIDSkill Req.Perk Req.
Novice IllusionCast Novice level Illusion spells for half magicka.000f2ca9
AnimageIllusion spells now work on higher level animals††.Adds +8 levels to the spell maximum.000581e120 IllusionNovice Illusion
Kindred MageAll Illusion spells work on higher level people††.Adds +10 levels to the spell maximum.000581e240 IllusionAnimage
Quiet CastingAll spells you cast from any school of magic are silent to others.All shouts are also silent.000581fd50 IllusionKindred Mage
Apprentice IllusionCast Apprentice level Illusion spells for half magicka.000c44c325 IllusionNovice Illusion
Adept IllusionCast Adept level Illusion spells for half magicka.000c44c450 IllusionApprentice Illusion
Expert IllusionCast Expert level Illusion spells for half magicka.000c44c575 IllusionAdept Illusion
Master IllusionCast Master level Illusion spells for half magicka.000c44c6100 IllusionExpert Illusion
Hypnotic GazeCalm spells now work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.Adds +8 levels to the spell maximum. Applies to Pacify and Harmony as well as Calm.00059b7730 IllusionNovice Illusion
Aspect of TerrorFear spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.Adds +10 levels to the spell maximum. This perk also gives an extra 10 (15 if both ranks of Augmented Flames are unlocked first) points of damage to fire spells, as they also utilize a fear effect.00059b7850 IllusionHypnotic Gaze
RageFrenzy spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.Adds +12 levels to the spell maximum.000c44b570 IllusionAspect of Terror
Master of the MindIllusion spells work on undead††, daedra, and automatons.00059b7690 IllusionQuiet Casting or Rage
Illusion Dual CastingDual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version.This slightly more than doubles the maximum level of any level-based Illusion spell, while it instead improves the duration of Courage, Rally, and Call to Arms. Level adjustments from Animage, Kindred Mage, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror, or Rage are applied before the doubling effect (2.2 times the spell power for 2.8 times the magicka cost).000153d020 IllusionNovice Illusion

†For the spells Courage, Rally, and Call to Arms, this number is instead added to the stat boosts granted by those spells.

††Animage and Kindred Mage check the target both for having the necessary trait and for lacking the undead trait; accordingly, Master of the Mind and these perks will never affect the spell at the same time against an undead target (primarily of interest against vampires).


SR-icon-book-SpellTomeIllusion.pngSpell Name
Skill LevelTome
Magicka Base CostSkill XPDescription and Effect DetailsWhere to Get
SR-icon-spell-Magic Hat.pngClairvoyance
Spell ID: 00021143
Tome ID: 000ff7d1
5025/s0.25/sShows the path to the current goal:
  • Can be purchased from: Calcelmo, Drevis Neloren, Falion, Farengar Secret-Fire, Madena, Nelacar, Riverwood Trader, Sybille Stentor, Wuunferth the Unliving, Wylandriah
  • Can be found in Embershard Mine
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngCourage
Spell ID: 0004dee8
Tome ID: 0009e2ad
463939Target won't flee for 60 seconds and gets some extra health and stamina:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngFury
Spell ID: 0004deeb
Tome ID: 0009e2ac
436720Creatures and people up to level 6 will attack anything nearby for 30 seconds:
  • Altmer start with this spell
  • Can be purchased from: Calcelmo, Drevis Neloren, Falion, Farengar Secret-Fire, Madena, Nelacar, Riverwood Trader, Sybille Stentor, Wuunferth the Unliving, Wylandriah
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngCalm
Spell ID: 0004dee9
Tome ID: 000a2711
9114636Creatures and people up to level 9 won't fight for 30 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngFear
Spell ID: 0004deea
Tome ID: 000a2712
8015338Creatures and people up to level 9 flee from combat for 30 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Magic Hat.pngMuffle
Spell ID: 0008f3eb
Tome ID: 000a270f
88144144You move more quietly for 180 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngFrenzy
Spell ID: 0004deee
Tome ID: 000a2714
330209104/targetCreatures and people up to level 14 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngFrenzy RuneDB
Spell ID: xx0177b7
Tome ID: xx0177bd
310278278Targets up to level 20 that fail to resist are frenzied for 30 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Invisibility.pngOrum's Aquatic EscapeCC
Spell ID: FExxx851
Tome ID: FExxx867
350165Caster is invisible for <dur> seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell. Can breathe water for 15 seconds. Improved night vision for 15 seconds.
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngRally
Spell ID: 0004deec
Tome ID: 000a2713
30011334/targetTargets won't flee for 60 seconds and get extra health and stamina:
SR-icon-spell-Alteration.pngFenrik's WelcomeCC
Spell ID: FExxx84F
Tome ID: FExxx867
3501160Caster becomes invisible and can open locks with level Expert and below for 5 seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell.
Spell ID: 00027eb6
Tome ID: 000a2715
62533483Caster is invisible for 30 seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngPacify
Spell ID: 0004deed
Tome ID: 000a2717
61029072/targetCreatures and people up to level 20 won't fight for 60 seconds:
  • Pacify, 20 pts for 60 secs in 15 ft
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngRout
Spell ID: 0004deef
Tome ID: 000a2718
65331679/targetCreatures and people up to level 20 flee from combat for 30 seconds:
  • Rout, 20 pts for 30 secs in 15 ft
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngCall to Arms
Spell ID: 0007e8dd
Tome ID: 000a271b
115065565/targetTargets have improved combat skills, health and stamina for 10 minutes:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngHarmony
Spell ID: 0007e8db
Tome ID: 000a271a
12201052841/targetCreatures and people up to level 25 nearby won't fight for 60 seconds:
  • Harmony, 25 pts for 60 secs in 250 ft
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngHysteria
Spell ID: 0007e8de
Tome ID: 000a271c
1240866216/targetCreatures and people up to level 25 flee from combat for 60 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Dark.pngMayhem
Spell ID: 0007e8da
Tome ID: 000a2719
1250990396/targetCreatures and people up to level 25 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds:
SR-icon-spell-Illusion Light.pngVision of the Tenth Eye
Spell ID: 000b323e
N/AN/A00See what others cannot.
  • Vision of the Tenth Eye, for 30 secs

Spell List Notes[edit]

  • The base cost for spells is the amount of magicka that would be necessary to cast the spell at 0 skill without any perks. The magicka cost at 100 skill is 41% less than the base cost; the cost can also be reduced via enchanted apparel and by unlocking various perks. See Spell Cost for the full magicka cost equation.
  • Skill level indicates which skill perk needs to be unlocked to decrease the spell's magicka cost. "N/A" is used for special spells whose cost is not affected by any perks.
  • The "Where to Get" column only lists guaranteed locations for obtaining the spell tomes. Most spell tomes are also available in random loot; see Spell Tome Locations and the table below for details.
  • For higher-level spell tomes to become available for purchase, your skill in the school must be high enough (see the table below). Also, master-level spell tomes can only be acquired once that school's ritual spell quest has been completed.
  • All spell tomes have a weight of 1.
  • Skill XP can be modified by scripts and by the game engine itself under various circumstances. The exact XP you receive may vary from the numbers listed here.
  • Magicka cost and skill XP are rounded down, both in game and on this page. Because of this, you may find that you cannot cast a spell even though it appears you have exactly enough magicka to do so.
Spell LevelSkill LevelCharacter Level, Boss ChestCharacter Level, Random Chest

†Master level spell tomes require the appropriate ritual spell quest to be completed to be sold; while the quests have a skill level requirement of 90 to initiate, if you have completed the quest and reset the skill by making it legendary, the spell tome should still be available for sale.

Magical Effects[edit]

A list of standard Illusion spells can be found on the Spells page. The following individual effects are all considered to be part of the school of Illusion (see the individual effect pages for full details on availability; the Magical Effects article also provides a summary):

Skill Increases[edit]

Character Creation[edit]

The following races have an initial skill bonus to Illusion:


Skill Books[edit]

Free Skill Boosts[edit]

Gaining Skill XP[edit]

  • Casting higher level spells gives generally faster skill increases (Novice<Apprentice<Adept<Expert<Master).
  • It is possible to reduce or even completely eliminate the magicka cost of spells by stacking Fortify Illusion enchanting effects, which is very helpful for Illusion training. The Secret of ArcanaDB power does the same thing, but only for 30 seconds.
  • Casting Muffle on yourself repeatedly will level up your Illusion quickly, even if there are no enemies around.
  • If you reset your Illusion skill after learning the master-level spells, casting Harmony repeatedly in a heavily populated area, such as Whiterun, will level up your Illusion significantly. Depending on how many NPCs the spell hits, you could level from 15 to 100 in under 30 seconds by casting the spell.
  • Casting Courage or Rally on NPCs is effective and is not considered a crime. Courage uses less magicka, but Rally will level the skill more quickly. However, both can rarely turn a few otherwise non-hostile NPCs hostile, such as Vigilants of Stendarr and Revelers.
  • If using Rally to level, try to hit as many people as possible in one shot. Casting it into groups of people will raise the skill much faster than hitting single targets.
  • Simultaneously casting Rout and Pacify (one assigned to each hand) on an enemy will rapidly level Illusion. Although the effects of Pacify should keep the target stationary, this is best done in a small enclosed area to ensure that you can hit the target each time the spells are cast.


When the player reaches a high level in this skill, NPCs (particularly guards) will sometimes comment: "You're the one that casts those illusions. Impressive."


  • Clairvoyance can be cast as long as there are people around (not counting your follower or other allies) to gain experience in the skill. Muffle and Invisibility can be cast to gain experience even if there is no one around. All other spells must be cast on a valid target to gain experience, although this does not have to be an enemy.
  • Casting Invisibility without the Quiet Casting perk may allow your character to still be detected. Enemies will investigate the sound, and may find you even if you have moved from where you originally cast the spell.
  • Vampires are not affected by Illusion spells unless you have Master of the Mind. Even then, they are considered undead rather than people for the purposes of the Kindred Mage perk.
  • The Necromage perk in the Restoration tree helps with making Illusion spells work against higher level undead.
  • Falmer can be affected by Illusion spells without Master of the Mind, but are not affected by Kindred Mage or Animage.
  • Dragons are immune to all Illusion spells cast at them, regardless of skill level or perks.
  • Vision of the Tenth Eye can be used as a kind of Night Eye spell with some effectiveness if needed, which does not appear to increase the ability of NPCs to detect you and allows for vision beyond the limited range of Candlelight and Magelight, though its long cast time and glare from light sources can be considerable downsides.
  • Master-level Illusion spells do not benefit from Dual Casting; however, they can still overcome the level 50+ cap with the relevant perks and by using Fortify Illusion potions.
  • Casting Mayhem will often cause items in the vicinity to shift around and become irretrievable.
  • Quiet Casting also affects shouts.
  • There are indications in the data files that at one point in the game's development, Mysticism would have been present as a school in place of Illusion. This is evidenced by an unused texture file containing names of all of the skills, in which Mysticism is present instead of Illusion, as well as the hardcoded order of Actor Values in the Creation Kit, in which Illusion is listed under "M" where Mysticism would go.


  • Aspect of Terror adds extra damage to fire spells. This extra damage is affected by the Augmented Flames perk as long as you already have Augmented flames when you get Aspect of Terror.

Skyrim illusion

Skyrim Illusion Magic Guide

Illusion Spells List, Perks, and Magic Effects

by Leto Kersten

Illusion is a skill of its own. It's Black and White and one may choose to use it for a very wide range of reasons, most of them somewhere between good and evil. The difference between Illusion and a spell school like Alteration is that Illusion can be used without relying on any other skill. The purpose of using Illusion spells differs from gamer to gamer - some are too lazy to fight, avoiding conflict all together and taking the least obvious approach to this violent game: pure pacifism.

With the right spells, skills, perks and experience as an Illusionist, one can change the tide of battle instantly and often, as you can manipulate the mind of everyone around you. That is the pure nature of Illusion. Just remember that all dragons are resistant against all Illusion spells. They will notice you while invisible much easier than any other creature, and your Muffle will be less effective. No matter how strong your Pacify or Fury spell, no dragon shall be affected.

Benefits of Training Illusion
With the right perks and spells, you even don't have to be on the same level as your opponent in battle to be able to survive. I find myself pretty much comfortable entering a Dwemer Dungeon filled with enemies on Master Difficulty with nothing more over my shoulders than an enchanted Monk Robe, a Wizard Hood, one Healing spell in my left hand and a Pacify spell in my right owning no weapons. Illusion takes care of the rest. How Illusion can be used depends on both the gamers' conscience as well as your character's morals if you are approaching Skyrim as a pure role playing game. You can either choose to Calm the two spiders in front of you to pass them with no conflict, or you can Fury them and enjoy watching how they try to kill one another, stabbing the final weakened survivor in the back. Combined with sneaking, Illusion can be even more devastating: use a muffle spell, make yourself invisible and sneak to a corner to throw Illusion spells on your enemy from a safe distance. The possibilities are practically endless.

Finding Illusion Spell Books
Illusion spells can be found all over Skyrim as loot, though not every single one can be bought at vendors. Muffle can be bought in Whiterun at the very beginning of the game which makes it possible to start training Illusion very soon, very quick. The same for Courage, which can be used on your followers and allies in quest battles to give them some extra health and stamina or prevent them from fleeing for a time.

Training the Illusion Skill & Master Illusion Spells
The easiest way to train Illusion is simply to use Illusion spells. Every time you Calm an enemy or Fury them your Illusion experience will increase. This may take a while, so you can follow the easy route for training. Courage can be used to speed train Illusion: just find a guard in town and throw Courage spells at them.

Drevis Neloren is the Master Illusionist trainer in College of Winterhold. He will give you the quest Illusion Ritual Spell, which will unlock the best Illusion spells. You must be level 90 to take on the quest. Lagrashbur is home of Atub, an Expert trainer. You can find this Orc Stronghold west-southwest of Riften. Unless you're an Orc, you'll have to do something to gain access to a good Illusion trainer.

Illusion Spell List

Here is a list of all the Illusion spells in Skyrim by type, from least to most difficult. Please note Magicka cost is base. That is, what the spell would cost if you were casting it at lowest level without any perk.

Skyrim Illusion Spells List
Spell NameSkill LevelMagickaSpell Description
ClairvoyanceNovice25/secThis spell helps with quests. It'll show a 'breadcrumb' trail to the next quest objective, pointing you on your way.
CourageNovice39Cast this on your followers and friendlies in combat. They will not be able to flee for 60 seconds and get +25 health and stamina, aiding them in combat.
FuryNovice67Causes creatures up to level 6 to attack anything nearby, even their former friends, for 30 seconds. They will be unable to flee during this time, as well.
CalmApprentice146Makes a creature or person stop fighting for 30 seconds, should they fail to resist the spell. This can get you out of combat, or reduce the number fighting you.
FearApprentice153Causes creatures and people up to level 9 to flee from combat for 30 seconds. Again, cast this as a defense to get you out of a battle or eliminate one of your attackers for a time.
MuffleApprentice144Reduces the weight of your armor by half for determining how much noise you make. Heavy armor can be made to sound like light armor, and light armor's minor sounds diminshed. This effect can be enchanted on your boots if you find an item to disenchant.
FrenzyAdept209This is like fury, only it affects everyone level 14 in a 15 foot radius, and none of them can flee from one another. Pure chaos!
RallyAdept113Gives the courage buff to all friendlies within 15' of target.
InvisibilityExpert334Makes you invisible. This removes the visual component of being detected. Enemies can still hear you, and if they get close enough and they're looking, they may spot you. If you move quietly, you can slip by undetected. Attacking will break the spell, unlike stealth.
PacifyExpert290Creatuers and people up to level 20 will stop fighting, all in a 15 foot radius. This can stop an entire battle.
RoutExpert316Casts fear on all targets within 15', causing them to flee for 30 seconds. Works on level 20 and below.
Call to ArmsMaster655Fortify Health, Stamina, and all weapon skills (1h/2h/archery) for 10 minutes on all targets within 100 feet of you. Use this on your followers or quest NPCs before a big fight! You can only buy this from Drevis Neloren in College of Winterhold for 1150 Septim after you have finished Illusion Ritual Spell, which you get from him at level 90 Illusion.
HarmonyMaster1052Like pacify, only affects everything level 25 or lower within 250 feet of you. Truly powerful and will stop an entire combat. Like above, you buy this after completing Illusion Ritual Spell.
HysteriaMaster866Casts fear on everything level 25 or lower within 250 feet of you. This is the actual reward for completing the Illusion Ritual Spell quest from Drevis.
MayhemMaster990Causes all targets level 25 or lower to attack each other in a 250' radius from you. Mayhem is the perfect name for this spell. You can buy it from Drevis after completing Illusion Ritual Spell.

To fill the Illusion tree, the Dragonborn needs to invest 13 perk points, but your need for them depends on your build. Below are the names of the Perks, the descriptions the game gives them and what they do for your character.

Novice, Adept, Expert, and Master Illusion Perks: Cast each rank of Illusion spells for half Magicka. If you're going to invest in Illusion.

Illusion Dual Casting
(level 20 Illusion Magic required)
Dual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effect into an even more powerful version. Any spells that can be resisted have a lower chance to resist, and spells with durations have them increased.

(level 20 Illusion Magic required)
Illusion spells now work on higher level animals. That means even mammoths and trolls, if you Dual Cast the spell. This is especially practical if you need to travel a lot at lower levels and you have a high chance of encountering bears, sabre cats, mammoths or in the worst case a Snow Troll. All these animals will fall for your spells when you have this perk unlocked.

Kindred Mage
(level 40 Illusion Magic required)
All Illusion Spells work on higher level people. Especially useful against bandits on all levels. Know that orcs and all elves also fall under 'people' in this case. If you notice some targets still fail to be affected by your spells with this perk, you will need the Hypnotic Gaze Perk as well.

Quiet Casting
(level 50 Illusion Magic required)
All spells you cast from any school of magic are silent to others. You may have noticed that some spells tend to drag the attention of enemies to your location. This is especially disastrous if you also have missed an enemy while aiming with a spell. This will prevent that, and allow you to cast spells while sneaking.

Hypnotic Gaze
(level 30 Illusion Magic required)
Calm Spells now work on higher level opponents. This is cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage, meaning most creatures will fall for your calm spells.

Aspect of Terror
(level 50 Illusion Magic required)
Fear spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.

(level 70 Illusion Magic required)
Frenzy spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage.

Master of the Mind
(level 90 Illusion Magic required)
Illusion works on undead, daedra and automatons. Don't go into any dungeon if you completely rely on Illusion spells until you've unlocked this perk. With it, your Illusion power will work on skeletons, vampires, Draugr, daedra, falmer and all kinds of automatons. Nothing will resist your manipulation anymore, except for dragons.

Illusionist Battle Strategies

The Illusionist sneaks upon his enemies with either Muffle on as an enchantment, or as a spell. Usually invisible, he hides in a corner while waiting for the right moment to affect the minds of his enemies. With high levels in both Illusion and Sneak the Illusionist wears mostly light armor to improve his movement and it doesn't affect his speed. He has a high variety of ways in which he can manipulate his opponents and every situation requires a different strategy, though are mostly based on three simple choices: sneak away while being invisible, calm the enemy and then sneak away or frenzy them and wait for the last man standing, which he will stab in the back with a dagger and then walk away. A lot of gamers may feel that playing an Illusionist is really a battle strategy, as this character barely fights at all and only goes after the weakened enemies.

The Pacifist play style lives by one rule and one rule only, never kill. Unlike any other character that is either built on hunting treasures and destroying the enemy, the Pacifist has her own ways of dealing with situations. Her skills are entirely build upon defense for either herself or her enemy and she will always choose the strategy that requires zero kills, even when this means she doesn't get the treasure at the end of the quest. Most of the time you'll Calm the enemy down, talks yourself out of narrow situations or simply run through a bunch of enemies while constant healing yourself and wearing heavy armor and a shield.

All the pacifist's skills are used for good, even things like Pickpocket and her knowledge of Destruction magic. Mostly armed with a Pacify spell in one hand and Recovery in her other she walks the lands doing nothing but what is good for the rest of the world, with herself coming second. In teamwork she can be an effective healer and enchanter thanks to her high knowledge of both alchemy and Restoration, but don't expect her to attack for you. The Pacifist is mostly skilled in things most other builds won't invest in, simply because she can easily afford them, as she has no need for either one- or two-handed weapons, or for any bow. This gives you a wider variation in how to develop the character.

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Her body was on fire, and she unconsciously began to press her hips against him, Stop. She said quietly. She was still trying to regain control, but they both knew that all her attempts were in vain. Her hands moved to his waist in an attempt to push him away, but there was no strength for this and she only pressed closer to him.

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I warned. They drank a lot, perhaps even more than they should have. We immediately went to the room, made a pleasant twilight there and, getting confused, crawled. Under a thin sheet, With a happy smile, I focused on my feelings, multiplied by a pleasant intoxication, and suddenly out of the corner of my eye I noticed a dim light outside the window.

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