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Standing at approximately 3 meters in height, the ancient menhir-shaped stones each display a different Tamrielic constellation carved into its body. A total of 13 stones are dotted across the land — one for each month of the year, except for The Serpent, which has no month associated with it. The stones only seem to respond to certain individuals, but it is unknown what the qualifier for this is.
Activating a stone will grant the Dragonborn special bonuses, including but not limited to:
- Increased speed of specific skills gains by up to 20%
- Grant a special once-a-day ability
- Increased Health/Magicka/Stamina or their regeneration rates
- Improved miscellaneous stats (armor, carry weight, resistances, etc.)
The Apprentice and Atronach Stones, however, also confer penalties such as Magicka vulnerability and a decreased Magicka regeneration rate, respectively.
Only one stone can be active at any one time, unless the Aetherial Crown is worn, which allows two active stones at a time.
- The Warrior Stone: Combat skills increase 20% faster.
- The Thief Stone: Stealth skills increase 20% faster.
- The Mage Stone: Magic skills increase 20% faster.
- The Lover Stone: All skills increase 15% faster.
- The Apprentice Stone: Recover Magicka twice as fast, twice as vulnerable to magicka damage.
- The Atronach Stone: 50 extra Points of Magicka, 50% Absorb spells, -50% Magicka regen.
- The Lady Stone: Regenerate Health and Stamina 25% Faster.
- The Lord Stone: 50 points of damage resistance, 25% magic resistance.
- The Ritual Stone: Raises all the dead around you to fight for you once per day.
- The Serpent Stone: Paralyze the target for 5 seconds, and do 25 points of poison damage once per day.
- The Shadow Stone: Invisibility for 60 seconds once per day.
- The Steed Stone: Carry weight +100, equipped armor has no weight and causes no movement penalty.
- The Tower Stone: Unlock any expert level lock (or lower) once per day.
- In order to maximize skill gains when crafting, it is recommended to visit the Warrior Stone prior to Smithing, the Thief Stone prior to Alchemy and the Mage Stone prior to Enchanting. These three stones are encountered at the very beginning of the game, letting you to specialize in one or switch between them depending on your next actions.
- The Thief Stone also gives a nice boost to improving the Speech skill for bartering with shopkeepers and persuading/intimidating people.
- One of the best bonuses, especially in the early game, is conferred by the Steed Stone. Especially appreciated by characters wearing Heavy Armor, this stone provides the bonuses of two perks, significantly improving your capacity to carry loot. When hitting character level 6, a visit to this stone should be considered.
- In a dungeon environment where a player values skill gains over other combat advantages, The Lover Stone offers better value than any of the Warrior, Thief and Mage Stones. This is because the character may use skills from more of the primary skill groups, and the difference between +15% and +20% bonus does not compensate for the limited versatility.
- While the Tower Stone can help opening most locks too difficult to pick at low Lockpicking skill levels, it also slows down the improvement that skill as no experience is gained by using the stone's special power.
- The Lord Stone (25%) allows Bretons to reach the maximum cap of magic resistance at 85%, while wearing no armor. It requires their Racial ability (25%), Agent of Mara (15%), and Magic Resistance 2/3 (20%).
- The Atronach Stone (50%) allows any race to have an 80% Spell Absorption, when combined with the Atronach perk (30%).
- The Restoration school also allows one to counteract the -50% magicka regeneration of the stone through use of the Recovery perk.
- Despite Archery falling under The Warrior skill set, it is counted as a Stealth skill and covered by The Thief Stone in this instance only. It is unknown if this is intentional or a bug, or an element for game balancing.
- Reading An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim will add 4 of the 13 stones locations to the in-game map.
- In some of Skyrim's early gameplay footage, the Standing Stones map marker was different. Instead of them having their own unique map marker, they had the marker for a landmark.
This section contains bugs related to Standing Stones. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- It is possible to get the Standing Stone Achievement without actually going to all the stones. Simply go to the Guardian Stones of the Thief, the Mage and the Warrior for 13 times. You can actually "find" more than 13 standing stones.
- Sometimes the achievement blessed will not be unlocked the first time you get a blessing.
- The standing stone from which a blessing is accepted appears to be invisible. Probably related to low graphics settings. (Keep the Object Fade setting on at least "1".)
Select a Standing Stone blessing
| Standing Stones|
Find 13 Standing Stones