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Lycanthropy (Skyrim)

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Werewolf from Skyrim
"There are those who believe that when night descends upon Skyrim, werewolves descend upon the unwary..."
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For other uses, see Lycanthropy.

Lycanthropy is a disease that can be received in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Werewolves are men and women who can transform into powerful, monstrous wolves once a day. Opinions on Lycanthropy vary among factions in Skyrim: some members of the Companions in Whiterun see it as a blessing, a way of drawing out the strength and ferocity of their inner beast (though the Harbinger, Kodlak Whitemane sees it as more of a curse that holds him back from entering Sovngarde after death). Others, such as the Silver Hand and the Vigilants of Stendarr, see it as a violation of nature. As of Dawnguard, werewolves have been incorporated into the wild as randomly encountered creatures.


The appearance of the werewolf in Skyrim is that of a large wolf-like humanoid creature with razor sharp claws and a set of large teeth. Unlike the more wolf-faced look of the Bloodmoon werewolves, the werewolves of Skyrim have monstrous faces and muscular builds. Males are slightly taller than females. Their eyes in wolf form are yellow, while in human form the eyes of a NPC werewolf are silver. Werewolves in Skyrim have less fur than the Bloodmoon werewolves, their arms are longer and possess more strength.

Becoming a werewolf

If the Dragonborn contracts Lycanthropy, they will have the ability to turn into a werewolf. The only way to get this disease is by progressing through the Companions questline. The process by which the Dragonborn becomes a werewolf is activated through the Magic menu, Powers tab: Beast Form. This resembles a standard power in that it can be marked as a favorite and assigned a quick-change number as any other power, spell, shout, weapon, or armor.

Lycanthropy is contracted as part of the blood ritual that occurs during The Companions quest, The Silver Hand. The first transformation through this disease vector is particularly violent, allowing the Dragonborn to prowl outside the Underforge of Whiterun in bestial form; there are two exits, one to the city, and a one-way exit to the eastern environs. After the Dragonborn "feeds" or just waits, the screen blacks out, the Dragonborn turns back to their original form, unclothed, being questioned by Aela the Huntress.

The Dragonborn may also become a werewolf when wearing Ring of Hircine during the quest "Ill Met by Moonlight" for the Daedric Prince Hircine. This is temporary and the Dragonborn does not contract lycanthropy.

In Dawnguard, if the Dragonborn is cured of Lycanthropy or becomes a Vampire Lord, they can talk to Aela and she can make them a werewolf again, canceling out vampirism. To become a Vampire Lord again, they need to ask Serana or Harkon (if sided with the vampires). If sided with the Dawnguard, the Dragonborn must complete their quest line.

Feeding (Bloodlust)

Bloodlust is a feeding method used by lycanthropes in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Player-controlled werewolves consume the flesh of corpses to extend the duration of their lycanthropic form. Each corpse extends the transformation an additional 30 seconds while also restoring Health. If one chooses not to wait the minute or two one might have left, just wait a few hours.

Curing Lycanthropy

Conventional method

Once Lycanthropy is cured via the Companions' method, the Dragonborn cannot contract Lycanthropy again, nor do they have access to the Underforge.

At the end of the Companions questline, a radiant quest "Purity" becomes available for those who wish to rid themselves of the disease. As part of that quest, the Dragonborn must cut off the head of a Glenmoril Witch, bringing it into the depths of Ysgramor's Tomb, draw the spirit of the wolf from their body, and defeat it.

In order to remove the curse however, the Dragonborn must have killed at least two Glenmoril Witches, one for Kodlak, one for the Dragonborn. If the Dragonborn has killed all five witches, it is possible to cure all of the The Circle, except for Aela the Huntress who does not want to be cured.

Vampire method

If the Dragonborn chooses to become a Vampire Lord and they are already a werewolf, then Beast Form will be removed from the Dragonborn's power menu.

Console commands

Another way of curing lycanthropy is via console commands; open the console and type, player.removespell 00092C48. By using the console command code showracemenu to change the Dragonborn's race, vampirism is immediately removed. This is also true of the changesex command.

Beast Form

When the Dragonborn becomes a werewolf, they acquire a new power known as Beast Form. This allows them to transform into a werewolf once a day; however, the process takes a few seconds, during which they are vulnerable to attacks. Once transformed, the Dragonborn remains a werewolf for 2.5 minutes of real time. It is possible to extend this time by approaching a corpse and feeding on it by activating it as if looting it. This restores 50 points of Health and gives an additional 30 seconds of time as a werewolf. Beast form can be extremely useful in situations where equipment is removed, such as the quest No One Escapes Cidhna Mine and other prison escape attempts. In some scenarios, the Dragonborn's equipment (such as swords, ex: Dragonbane) will stay equipped after the transformation. However, the equipment does not add extra damage to attacks, but one handed skill will increase as if the Dragonborn were still in human form. When in beast form, a notable size increase occurs, this is not just a visual effect, and this may cause certain areas or dungeons to be impossible to traverse while in beast form. Walking backwards may allow the Dragonborn to pass under a low overhang.


  • While sprinting, pressing either attack buttons to use a charge attack does three times the damage of a normal swipe. This attack also knocks enemies down, and they take some time to get back on their feet. This attack is especially effective against giants.
  • While pressing any movement button and the attack button is clicked and held for a second longer, the screen turns slightly red for an instant (similar to using Scent of Blood). This causes the Dragonborn to fling an enemy back, and they take some time to get back on their feet. This is similar to using Unrelenting Force, but it flings enemies a much shorter distance, and can only be used on one enemy at a time. It is a type of power attack and drains stamina.
  • Werewolves have the power to roar and it is activated by pressing the power button, dispersing groups of enemies. This power can be swapped out for alternative powers like Howl of the Pack and Scent of Blood, by praying at the totems in the Underforge. These are acquired by the Radiant quests given by Aela after becoming Harbinger.
  • The Dragonborn can power attack in Beast Form, by pressing both the left and right attack buttons at the same time. The werewolf will rapidly swipe with both claws. This attack is similar to power attacking with both hands when dual wielding.
  • There are also special critical damage animations for the werewolf. In the cutscene, the werewolf will pounce on the target and either slash rapidly with claws or rip the victim's throat out with their jaws. Additionally, the werewolf may pick up the victim and either bite their head off or grab their head and toss them to the side. Like normal critical animations, the Dragonborn cannot use any controls until the animation is finished.


Perk tree

As a part of Dawnguard, the werewolf perk tree is included. By consuming the heart of a corpse as a werewolf, it is possible to gain points exclusively for the werewolf perk tree. These points can be used to unlock perks such as increasing the total damage inflicted, health and stamina when in werewolf form. Unless the Savage Feeding perk is taken, only humanoid enemies can be fed upon (with the exception of undead). Therefore, for fast leveling, it is highly recommended to take the Savage Feeding perk as soon as possible, increasing the variety of corpses that may be fed upon. The perk tree can only be accessed when in beast form.

The werewolf skill tree includes eight perks.


Perk Level Description Requirements
Bestial Strength 1 Do 25% more damage as a werewolf. N/A
2 Do 50% more damage as a werewolf. Level 1
3 Do 75% more damage as a werewolf. Level 2
4 Do 100% more damage as a werewolf. Level 3
Totem of Ice Brothers Werewolf Totem of Brotherhood howl calls Ice Wolves.* Bestial Strength
Totem of the Moon Werewolf Totem of Brotherhood howl calls werewolves.* Totem of Ice Brothers
Totem of the Predator Werewolf Totem of Hunt howl has extended range, and shows whether the 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
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. Feeding off creatures instead of people only provides half the extended time. Gorging

*The quest Totems of Hircine must be completed before these will become usable.


Each new perk requires a few more feedings than the last. A total of 164 people need to be fed upon to complete the entire tree.

Perks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
Feedings 5 6 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 164

Disease immunity

The Dragonborn gains 100% resistance to all diseases (including Vampirism). This effect is permanent as long as they do not use the cure for Lycanthropy. In Dawnguard, however, if the Dragonborn chooses to become a Vampire Lord, it will replace Lycanthropy just as Lycanthropy replaces Vampirism.


The Dragonborn's damage is base 20 and levels gradually until level 45, where base damage is 80, while as a werewolf the Dragonborn also gains 100 health and stamina, not to mention a much higher sprint speed that makes them move much faster and can be utilized for long periods of time. Stamina also regenerates much faster, and power attacks are magnified. The standing and moving power attacks knock back opponents more often, and the sprinting power attack gains a massive damage boost. The Dragonborn also has a chance to maul an opponent after knocking them down. Unlike traditional werewolves, the Dragonborn can transform at will, during day or night, by using the Beast Form power. Actions while in werewolf form do not count towards the Dragonborn's normal bounty, unless someone sees the transformation, in which case a 1,000 gold bounty is added in the appropriate hold. This makes it incredibly useful while doing many Dark Brotherhood missions. Also whilst transformed, Wolves treat the Dragonborn as an ally unless attacked.

Ring of Hircine

The Ring of Hircine, once obtained through the quest "Ill Met by Moonlight", will allow the Dragonborn to turn into a werewolf unlimited times a day. Equipping it will give the Dragonborn the "additional transformations" power which is lost after using it. To regain the power, the Dragonborn must re-equip the ring, at which point the power will be returned.

Frostmoon Pack

In The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn, Majni, the leader of the Frostmoon Pack at Frostmoon Crag on Solstheim, sells a set of four rings that enhance the abilities of a werewolf upon transformation into Beast Form. The rings are only available to the Dragonborn if they are a werewolf, otherwise the members of the Frostmoon Pack are hostile towards visitors. The Ring of Bloodlust increases both damage and damage taken in Beast Form by 50%. The Ring of Instinct provides an effect similar to the Slow Time shout for 20 seconds upon transformation into Beast Form. The Ring of the Hunt allows for the regeneration of health in Beast Form. The Ring of the Moon increases the duration of Howls by 25%.


As previously stated in the "Other" section above, the Dragonborn is limited to one change per day. When using the power Beast Form, it is possible to transform no matter what the time of day or where the Dragonborn is located. To return to normal form, the Dragonborn must wait 2.5 minutes, unless they have fed on corpses, which adds 30 seconds per humanoid heart consumed, 15 seconds per animal heart (only with the "Savage Feeding" perk).


The Beast Form is useful for fighting against giants. By using the sprint attack, the giant will be knocked down just like any other foe, and they take a long time to get back up on their feet. During this time the Dragonborn can continue attacking the Giant with no risk of damage. As soon as the giant is almost recovered from its stagger, the Dragonborn can simply repeat to knock them down again.

However the Dragonborn does need to beware of the giants' pets, the mammoths. It is recommended that the Dragonborn kills them first. This can also be done in werewolf form easily. Simply power attack the mammoths first, when the giant is approaching, knock him down as stated above and continue attacking the mammoth. The Dragonborn should constantly be moving around to the back of the mammoth, to avoid being attacked, as the mammoth moves rather slowly compared to the werewolf. A werewolf's agility and the giant and mammoths' slow attacks also give the Dragonborn a huge edge.


No sleeping bonus

The Dragonborn cannot gain any resting bonuses when having lycanthropy. They also cannot gain the temporary bonus of Lover's Comfort (normally gained by sleeping in the Dragonborn's house when his or her spouse is present) while afflicted. Skill bonuses from Standing Stones still apply normally. They also still get the Father's/Mother's Love bonus.


Once transformed, the camera view is automatically moved to third person and cannot be changed back until after the transformation wears off. The werewolf form is large, and so has trouble fitting through narrow passages, and while in werewolf form the Dragonborn cannot access menus, maps, or items. This can be troubling when in the wild, as the Dragonborn cannot view the map and can easily become lost. By "sheathing" the werewolves claws, the werewolf can take on a less aggressive stance, along with allowing them to pan the camera. It is not possible to speak while shifted (unless a part of a quest is reached where a character starts a conversation with the Dragonborn. If this happens it is possible to reply to them even in werewolf form). Anyone unfamiliar with the werewolf form will usually flee or try to attack the Dragonborn. Any followers that the Dragonborn may have will not leave their service for simply transforming into a werewolf and will still follow and attack enemies, but if the Dragonborn were to use The Scent of Blood or purposely damage the follower, they would flee, so it is advised to be careful around followers when in werewolf form. (Exceptions: When a follower is at too high a level to be affected by Scent of Blood, they will shrug it off without consequences.)

The Dragonborn can feed upon fallen foes by activating them, this allows the Dragonborn to regenerate health. This is the only way to heal while in this form, as spell-casting and passive health regeneration are disabled. It also increases the duration of werewolf form by thirty seconds per person fed on. It is sometimes possible to feed on non-playable races, vampiresFalmer and Dremora can be fed on.

If the Dragonborn goes near a town while transformed, the guards will attack on sight. To enter a town, the Dragonborn must wait in a hidden location until they revert to human form.

Since all armor and weapons are unequipped when in Beast Form, the Dragonborn will not gain any skill points (one handed stays the same skill level after clawing foes to death).

Locks cannot be picked and chests can't be opened while in Beast form. Most unlocked doors and gates can still be opened.

Weapon loss

When the Dragonborn leaves beast form, all of their equipment will be placed in their inventory, and they will have to re-equip it. There have been claims that the Daedric Artifacts, Ebony Blade, Mehrunes' Razor, Daedric Sword, any kind of mace, and the Sanguine Rose bug when transformed and allow the Dragonborn to use them in werewolf form. On several occasions, Soul Trap will still trap souls and fill soul gems. Very rarely the Dragonborn may have a blade or a bow in their hand as a werewolf, but it will not affect combat. Using a blade in this form will count towards one handed experience, but using a bow will not.

Low armor

Initially this is not a problem, since the base armor value of Beast Form is better than most early armor, but in the late-game most enemies will be able to quickly put the Dragonborn down with a few power attacks. This is especially true on Master Difficulty. This problem is worsened by the lack of any ranged attacks, aside from launching opponents at each other.


Main article: Werebear (Dragonborn)

Werebears are a different kind of lycanthrope present on Solstheim. There is no way for the Dragonborn to become one.




  • During the first transformation no bounty will be accumulated, no matter how many people are killed. It will not affect relationships with characters. Apart from miscellaneous conversation and the odd bounty or two, murders committed as a werewolf have no consequences, unless a quest-giver is killed, in which case their respective quest will be lost.
  • An easy way to gain werewolf perks is by using Beast Form during Civil War battles, as enemies will keep appearing. However, their bodies will sometimes disappear shortly after dying, so it is important to feed as soon as possible.
  • Werewolves can move at normal speed (and sprint) even if over-encumbered.
  • Beast Form can be used as a quick way to travel as they sprint faster than horses and it uses little stamina.
  • The feeding animation can be cancelled by roaring as soon as it starts, or by sheathing one's claws; Health and bloodlust is still regained.
  • Most characters that witness a transformation will attack, no matter what bond is shared with them. Exceptions include followers in the Dragonborn's party, members of the Circle (including Eorlund Gray-Mane), members of the Dark Brotherhood, and the NPCs at The Ragged Flagon (if the Dragonborn is a member of the Thieves Guild). Members of the College of Winterhold and Vigilants of Stendarr will attack if the Dragonborn transforms. Most Daedra worshippers will also accept the werewolf form, likely due to the fact that lycanthropy was originally a 'gift' from the Daedric Prince Hircine.
  • If the Dragonborn goes back into the cave where the ritual was performed during the blood ritual, they can stay in the cave for the first transformation without wreaking havoc in the streets.
  • It is stated in the Official Skyrim Strategy Guide that due to the strain of Lycanthropy the Dragonborn contracts from the Companions, they can change every night instead of waiting until a full moon.
  • The Dragonborn can use status changing spells, potions and food just before transformation (for example, spells like Ironflesh, Lightning Cloak, Muffle, a health regeneration potion or food with regeneration effects) and its effects will still remain after transformation.
  • When trying to get feedings for Dawnguard perks, if Soul Trap is cast on a corpse that has been fed upon, that corpse will give a second tick of progress.
  • Feeding progress can also be doubled if the Dragonborn feeds on all corpses and then reverts from "Beast Form" and while remaining in the same zone uses the shout "Aura Whisper."
  • After the Dragonborn becomes a werewolf, Hold Guards will comment, "Is that...fur...coming out of your ears?," "Ugh. Have you been tending to your hounds? You smell like a wet dog," and, "I find your wolfish grin... unsettling." They may still make these comments even after the Dragonborn is cured.


This section contains bugs related to Lycanthropy (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  , 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.


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