The Standing Stones are upright magical stones located throughout the province of Skyrim. Legend tells of the stones granting special powers to heroes of old, giving them the ability to rewrite their fate.
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, and 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.
The Dragonborn can only have one stone active at any one time, however, their active blessing can be changed at any time by activating another stone. If they have the Aetherial CrownDG equipped, they can have the blessings from two stones active at a time.
|The Apprentice Stone||Those under the sign of The Apprentice recover Magicka faster, but are more susceptible to Magicka damage.||Recover Magicka twice as fast, twice as vulnerable to magicka damage.||Northwest of Morthal.|
|The Atronach Stone||Those under the sign of The Atronach absorb a portion of incoming spell damage and have a larger pool of Magicka, but recover it more slowly.||50 extra Points of Magicka, 50% Absorb spells, -50% Magicka regen.||Between Windhelm and Riften.|
|The Lady Stone||Those under the sign of The Lady regenerate Health and Stamina more quickly.||Regenerate Health and Stamina 25% Faster.||A small island in Lake Ilinalta, west of Riverwood.|
|The Lord Stone||Those under the sign of The Lord are more resistant to both Magicka and physical damage.||50 points of damage resistance, 25% magic resistance.||East of Morthal, on top of the mountain.|
|The Lover Stone||Those under the sign of The Lover always feel a Lover's Comfort. (All skills improve faster).||All skills increase 15% faster.||East of Markarth, north of Kolskeggr Mine.|
|The Mage Stone||Those under the sign of the Mage will learn all magic skills 20% faster.||Magic skills increase 20% faster.||The Guardian Stones, southwest of Riverwood.|
|The Ritual Stone||Once a day, those under the sign of The Ritual can reanimate nearby corpses to fight for them.||Raises all the dead around you to fight for you once per day.||East of Whiterun.|
|The Serpent Stone||Once a day, those under the sign of The Serpent can use a ranged paralyzing poison on opponents.||Paralyze the target for 5 seconds, and do 25 points of poison damage once per day.||On an island north of Windhelm and east of Winterhold.|
|The Shadow Stone||Once a day, those under the sign of The Shadow can become invisible for an extended period.||Invisibility for 60 seconds once per day.||A small mountain range south of Riften.|
|The Steed Stone||Those under the sign of The Steed can carry more and do not suffer a movement penalty from armor.||Carry weight +100, equipped armor has no weight and causes no movement penalty.||West-northwest of Solitude, directly north of Statue to Meridia.|
|The Thief Stone||Those under the sign of the Thief will learn all stealth skills 20% faster.||Stealth skills increase 20% faster.||The Guardian Stones, southwest of Riverwood.|
|The Tower Stone||Those under the sign of The Tower have the option to automatically open Expert or lower locks.||Unlock any expert level lock (or lower) once per day.||Halfway between Winterhold and Dawnstar, at the top of the cliff.|
|The Warrior Stone||Those under the sign of the Warrior will learn all combat skills 20% faster.||Combat skills increase 20% faster.||The Guardian Stones, southwest of Riverwood.|
- 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 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 of 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.
- The three Standing Stones known as the Thief Stone, the Warrior Stone, and the Mage Stone are usaully the first stones encountered by the player. This is because they are on the path that the player takes to get from Helgen to Riverwood.
This section contains bugs related to Standing Stones. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- It may be possible to get the "Standing Stone" Achievement without actually going to all the stones. Simply go to the Thief, the Mage and the Warrior stones at the Guardian Stones 13 times. Players may actually "find" more than 13 standing stones.
- 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".)
- Sometimes the achievement "Blessed" may not unlock the first time a blessing is received.
Select a Standing Stone blessing
| Standing Stones|
Find 13 Standing Stones