How to capture soul gems in Skyrim

As you explore the dungeons, hideouts, and towns in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you may stumble upon soul gems. These small minerals contain the souls of the dead and can be used for enchantment. Often you can find these stones lying around to loot them; but you can also fill them out yourself.

In this guide, we’ll look at how to capture soul gems, as well as the different types of gems that are available and how to use them. Using soul stones in Skyrim is completely optional, but they will greatly improve your abilities when used for enchanting.

Types of Soul Gems

There are several types of soul stones you can find. Empty stones can be looted, as well as bought from ordinary merchants and members of the College of Winterhold. In addition, you can mine Soul Stones in Blackreach. By mining stones, you can find basic stones and have a chance to get a black soul stone.

Below you will find all the base and special variants of this item.

Base Soul Gems

These stones are most often encountered during research. All of these stones break when used.

Soul Stone Capacity What type of souls can be captured? Fine Soul Gem 250

  • Chicken
  • Weeds
  • Deer
  • Dog
  • draugr
  • elk
  • Fox
  • frost spider
  • goat
  • horker
  • mud crab
  • Rabbit
  • Skiver
  • A skeleton
  • killer fish
  • Ogonka
  • Wolf

Lesser Soul Gem 500

  • alpha wolf
  • Ash Jumper
  • Bear
  • Chorus
  • Draugr Master
  • Draug Dead
  • Falmer
  • Falmer Skulker
  • Flame Atronach
  • Giant Ice Spider
  • Horse
  • ice wolf
  • ice ghost
  • Restless Draugr
  • saber-toothed cat
  • Ghost Warhound
  • Snow Saber
  • Spriggan
  • Troll
  • Venomfang Skiver
  • Werewolf
  • Wounded Frostbite Spider

Common Soul Gem 1,000

  • Ash Spawn
  • cave bear
  • Corus the reaper
  • Weapon
  • Draugr Scourge
  • Draugr Scourgelord
  • Falmer Grimlurker
  • Falmer Nightwalker
  • Falmer Shadowlord
  • Frost Atronach
  • ice troll
  • Fortune teller
  • Hulking Draug
  • Lurker
  • Rickling
  • Snow Bear
  • Seeker
  • Matron Spriggan
  • Udefrikte

Large Soul Gem 2,000

  • Korus hunter
  • Draugr Deathlord
  • Draugr Deathlord
  • A giant
  • Storm Atronach
  • Spirit mother
  • Spriggan Mother Earth
  • Burnt Spriggan

Greater Soul Gem 3,000

  • Ash Spawn
  • Corrupted Shadow
  • Daedra
  • Dragon Priest
  • Draugr the Lord of Death
  • Draugr the Lord of Death
  • Falmer Warmonger
  • Guard Saerek
  • Guard Torsten
  • Mammoth
  • Rickling steed

Special Soul Gems

These gems are rarer and can be more difficult to acquire. Unless otherwise noted, these gems break when used.

Soul Stone Capacity What souls can be captured? Azura’s Star 3000 This will capture the same creatures as the Greater Soul Gem, but will not break when used. Black Soul Gem 3000 The Black Soul Gem will capture every creature as a base soul gem, as well as human souls. Fissure Varla Stone 1000 It traps the same creatures as a normal soul gem, but does not break when used. Soul Tomato 3000 The Soul Tomato captures the same creatures as the Large Soul Gem. Black Star 6200 It is similar to the Black Soul Gem, but does not break when used.

How does the capacity of the soul gem work?

The capacity of a soul gem determines how large a soul it can hold. For example, small creatures will have a smaller soul and won’t need a high-capacity gem.

Soul trapping with a soul trap spell

To capture a soul, you need to use the Soul Trap spell. This spell can be cast on creatures, causing their soul to fill an empty soul gem in your inventory when they die.

Attention: It is important to remember that you must have an empty soul stone of the appropriate capacity. If you don’t have an empty soul gem, the soul will be lost.

Soulstones that are trapped will absorb the person’s soul, sending them to the Soul Cairn. This is the place you visit during the Beyond Death quest, where the souls of the dead dwell.

Below you can see the different ways to get a tome for the Soul Trap.

Buying a book

  • Court wizards.
  • Falion v Mortale.
  • Nelakar in the Frozen Hearth.
  • Finis Gestor at the College of Winterhold.
  • Talvas Fatrion at Tel Mitrin.
  • Dravinea Stoneweaver in Kynes Grove.
  • Morven Stroud in Cairne Shower.

Using the Atronach Forge

  • Combine the following items in the offering box:
    • Thorax light
    • Ruined Book
    • salt heap
    • Any soul gem

Boss Chests

  • The Soul Trap tome can be randomly found inside boss chests.

Soul Trap Weapon

Weapons can be enchanted with Soul Trap to also take souls. Often, the weapon will not indicate that it is enchanted with Soul Trap. For example, in the image above, you see the Iron War Ax of Souls. This is a soul trap weapon that will fill a soul gem if the target dies within 3 seconds of being hit.

With the Soul Reaver perk, the linked weapon will place a soul trap on the target, causing their soul to fill a soul gem on kill. To get this perk, you need to unlock Arcane Binding and also have a level 30 Conjuration skill.

Tip: While looting, you can also find weapons that have the Soul Trap ability.

Using Soul Gems

Once you have a filled Soul Stone, you have two options.

  • Approach the enchantment table and select the weapon you want to enchant;
  • Reload a previously enchanted weapon from your inventory:
    • Larger soul gems will take longer to charge weapons.

Note: After using a gem, it will either break or empty the soul if it is not broken.

That’s all you need to know about soul stones! If you plan on doing a lot of weapon enchanting while playing Skyrim, you should definitely get some soul gems and grab some souls.

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