Undead are deceased creatures that have been reanimated by powerful magic, such as that wielded by Necromancers (player or enemy).
They are typically found either in the company of Necromancers or guarding old crypts and dungeons. It is likely that undead found in the latter locations are responsible for the relatively well-kept appearance of such areas; many underground tombs and barrows feature lit torches, candles and sconces, which are likely maintained by resident undead.
The undead can consist of:
Vampires, while classically thought of as undead, are actually non-player characters inflicted with vampirism because of the disease Porphyric Hemophilia or Sanguinare Vampiris. In Skyrim, a player who becomes a vampire is considered undead for purposes of the perk Necromage, and also the quest Rising At Dawn.
Undead are generally quite potent enemies, particularly to those not using suitable weapons/magic. This is especially so for Ghosts and Wraiths, who can only be hit with silver, Daedric, or enchanted weapons. Undead are typically weak to fire, so a fire weapon or spell is recommended when fighting them. They are usually found in large numbers, and stronger undead (such as Liches and vampires) will often be surrounded by weaker ones.
A helpful spell is Turn Undead, which causes undead to flee temporarily (the same effect as Fear on mortal enemies). This can allow a player to hit them as they run away, or just take a moment to recover, and is especially helpful when several undead attack at once. As with other such spells, higher-level enemies require higher-level spells.
- Main article: Undead (Skyrim)
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player has a greater number of options versus undead. The perk Master of the Mind allows the use of Illusion magic against them, and Necromage further boosts spell power versus undead specifically (which includes Destruction spells).