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.
Skeletons are magically reanimated bones of dead humans, with glowing blue eye sockets. They wear little to no armor, and typically wield low-level weapons such as Iron and 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.
- Rarely seen outside of dungeons once Dragon Rising has been completed; prior to the completion of said quest, however, they are more common.
- Random encounters
- Halls of the Dead
- Shroud Hearth Barrow
- Ansilvund (only when cleared previously; the Draugr are replaced with skeletons when the location respawns)
- The Midden
- The Ritual Stone
- Fellglow Keep
- Hob's Fall Cave
- Wolfskull Cave
- Hamvir's Rest
- Sunderstone Gorge
- Ilinalta's Deep
- Fort Snowhawk
- A non-reanimated skeleton can be found near Ennodius Papius's camp, on the river.
- Non-reanimated skeletons usually spawn in areas located near the sea or rivers, like Traitor's Post, Bleakcoast Cave and the area between High Gate Ruins and Wreck of the Brinehammer. One can be seen in Whiterun, beneath the bridge between Dragonsreach and Cloud District.
- Skeletons wearing Black Mage Hoods can be found at:
- Necromancer's Bluff
- Castle Volkihar
- Ironbind Barrow
- 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.
- Console Commands after Dawnguard is installed, sometimes the spawned skeletons will be staggered and cannot be interacted with.
If the Dragonborn attempts to summon the skeletons through
- Resolve this by summoning by Base ID instead.
- Console Commands, this explained how they wear Black Mage Hoods. Unlike most creatures, Skeletons' armor and weapons can actually be altered via
- 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 a medium amount of health.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends
|Creatures and Enemies (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)|
|Animals||Ants • Bear • Cave Bear • Chicken • Cow • Deer • Dog • Elk • Fox • Goat • Hawk • Horker • Horse|
Ice Wolf • Mammoth • Mudcrab • Rabbit • Sabre Cat • Salmon • Skeever • Slaughterfish • Snow Bear • Snow Fox • Wolf
|Creatures||Chaurus • Frostbite Spider • Frost Troll • Giant • Hagraven • Ice Wraith • Spriggan • Troll|
|Daedra||Dremora • Flame Atronach • Frost Atronach • Storm Atronach|
|Undead||Corrupted Shade • Dragon Priest • Draugr • Ghost • Magic Anomaly • Skeleton|
Subjugated Ghost • Wisp • Wispmother • Vampire
|Animunculi||Dwarven Centurion • Dwarven Sphere • Dwarven Spider|
|Dragons||Dragon • Blood Dragon • Frost Dragon • Elder Dragon • Ancient Dragon • Skeletal Dragon|