Vampirism is a syndrome, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, acquired after the disease, Sanguinare Vampiris, has infected the body longer than three days. Harmed by sunlight, stigmatized by mortals, and infamous for their blood-thirst, vampires go to extreme lengths to hide their presence from mortals. In Skyrim, Vampires acquire special magic spells, as their level of infection increases. To offset this advantage, vulnerabilities to fire and sunlight are also acquired. Vampirism can be contracted and cured an unlimited number of times. Falion, the thaumaturge of Morthal, requires a filled Black Soul Gem to cure vampirism.
Vampirism comes in four stages of severity. The severity of the infection increases the longer the vampire goes without drinking blood. Sleeping humans can be fed on to keep the curse at bay. Spectators of a feeding become hostile and report the crime to guards. Feeding accrues a bounty of 40 in the corresponding hold. The crime cannot be paid off with or jail time. Upon reaching stage four of Vampirism, mortals can detect the vampire more easily, attacking them almost on sight. Those who discover someone is a vampire attack until the vampire flees or is dead.
The Dawnguard plug-in adds a Vampire Lord ability with eleven perks to unlock through leveling up. The Dragonborn opens up the skill tree by siding with Lord Harkon and Clan Volkihar to help actuate the Tyranny of the Sun prophecy foretold in the Elder Scrolls. Unlocking all eleven perks garners Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players an achievement.
Sanguinare Vampiris is the disease that eventually culminates in vamprisim. It's typically contracted when attacked by a vampire, either with physical attacks or being subject to their Vampiric Drain spell. If attacked with Vampiric Drain, there is 10% chance of infection.
If a cure has not be acquired within three days, the infection spreads to full vampirism, causing a series of maladaptive and beneficial traits to emerge in the subject. Drinking blood can stay the infection and lessen the deficits of the disease.
Using console commands
In PC versions of Skyrim, the console can be used to add vampirism without being bitten or waiting for the stages of the infection to progress. Open the console using the tilde button, and type
player.setrace <desiredrace>vampire and enter. Replace the <desiredrace> with one of the ten possible races. Meri races must use the longhanded version of the race name. For example, to change into a Bosmer vampire, type:
player.setrace woodelfracevampire. If a race other than the one selected at character creation is chosen, the rendered hero becomes completely bald.
Immunity to Vampirism
When infected with Lycanthropy, or engaged in Beast Form as a result of Hircine's Ring, persons become fully immune to vampirism. Argonians, naturally resistant to disease, are less likely than men or mer to contract Vampirism.
Werewolves are immune to the effects of vampirism. However, console commands can be used to become a lycanthrope and a vampire simultaneously; type
player.removespell F5BA0 to remove the Resist Disease effect caused by lycanthropy then become infected with Sanguinare Vampiris.
Appearancehemophiliac virus, the infected slowly grow paler. Fangs protrude from their gums, allowing for easier feeding. Eye color changes from the spectrum of average hues to red.
When infected, the fur of the Khajiit alters as the skin of a human or elf would. Long-toothed by nature, the incisors of the Khajiit grow exceptionally long, so that they protrude below the lip. However, their pupils become thinner and more blade-like. The scales of Argonians grows greyer as the infection worsens.
Stages of vampirism and their effects
After approximately 24 hours without feeding, a vampire progresses a stage. Feeding always brings the vampire back to stage one. In order to feed, stand (or crouch) next to a sleeping person and attempt to talk to them. An option box appears, giving the options to either "feed" or "talk". In the base game, as the vampiric infection worsens, persons become hostile toward the vampire, attacking them on sight. The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard add-on removes this penalty and people will treat a blood-starved vampire like any other person.
Effects across all stages
These effects exist across all stages of infection and are perpetually active:
- Weakness to Sunlight - Health, Magicka, and Stamina do not recover while in sunlight, and the skin appears to slowly burn as time is spent in sunlight.
- Resist Disease - Your vampiric blood gives you 100% resistance to disease.
- Resist Poison - Your vampiric blood gives you 100% resistance to poison.
- Night Stalker's Footsteps - Vampires are 25% harder to detect while sneaking.
- Champion of the Night - Illusion spells cast by a vampire are 25% more powerful.
Weakness to sunlight
Sunlight is extremely harmful to vampires. Because of this, vampires move more easily at night. Equipping apparel that grants a faster regeneration percentage on any of the three main stats, using the Lady Standing Stone, or taking a perk that grants faster regeneration allows stat recovery regardless of Weakness to Sunlight.
HostilityTo avoid hostile persons, travel by night and avoid places where a vampiric infection would be noticed. Fast traveling while sneaking or rendered magically invisible can increase the odds of avoiding those hostile towards vampires.
In other words drink blood regularly, if some one is sleeping use pacify so they do not wake up and drink from them.
Because Vampirism bolsters Illusion spells, casting Pacify on persons can prevent them from attacking a vampire. Perks such as "Kindred Mage" may need to be unlocked first, before certain expert-level persons are affected by the spell.
Effects at each stage
Unlike the perpetually effects, which exist across all stages of infection, these effects alter as the infection worsens or is rescinded, due to feeding or lack of feeding.
|Stage||Without Dawnguard||With Dawnguard||Spells||Abilities|
|1||Resist Frost: 25%|
Weakness to Fire: 25%
|Resist Frost: 20%|
Weakness to Fire: 20%
|Champion of the Night|
Vampiric Strength: 5 pts
Weakness to Sunlight: -15 pts
|2||Resist Frost: 50%|
Weakness to Fire: 50%
|Resist Frost: 30%|
Weakness to Fire: 30%
|Champion of the Night|
Vampiric Strength: 10 pts
Weakness to Sunlight: -30 pts
|3||Resist Frost: 75%|
Weakness to Fire: 75%
|Resist Frost: 40%|
Weakness to Fire: 40%
|Champion of the Night|
Vampiric Strength: 15 pts
Weakness to Sunlight: -45 pts
|4||Resist Frost: 100%|
Weakness to Fire: 100%
|Resist Frost: 50%|
Weakness to Fire: 50%
Embrace of Shadows
|Champion of the Night|
Vampiric Strength: 20 pts
Weakness to Sunlight: -60 pts
- Champion of the Night - Illusion spells are 25% more potent.
- Nightstalker's Footsteps - Sneak is boosted 25 points.
- Weakness to Sunlight - Health, magicka, and stamina never recover in broad daylight. Each stat is stunned, as well, which increases with the severity of infection.
- Vampire's Servant - Reanimate a dead body to fight for the vampire for 60 seconds. Spell limited to one cast per day. Improves with severity of infection.
- Vampire's Sight - Improve night vision for limited duration. It can be used multiple times a day and can be toggled on and off.
- Vampiric Drain - Absorb x points of health per second from target. Functions as a novice-level Destruction spell whose magnitude and duration increase with severity of infection. With Dawnguard, it also drains magicka and stamina.
- Vampire's Seduction - Creatures and people are calmed for a limited duration. With the addition of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, targets can be used for vampiric feeding.
- Embrace of Shadows - The vampire becomes invisible, with night-vision for 180 seconds. Can only be used once per day, interacting with anything will remove invisibility as per usual.
- Main article: Vampire Lord
The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, the first official plug-in for Skyrim redesigned the vampire game mechanic, adding a perk skill tree and renovating the physical appearance. During the quest called "Bloodline", the Dragonborn must decide whether to continue assisting the Dawnguard or join Harkon and the Volkihar Clan. Choosing the path of Harkon grants the ability to become a Vampire Lord, unlocking the potential to utilize 11 unique perk abilities.
Of the newly added spells is the ability to use consumed blood to vitalize the Vampire Lord and the ability to summon Gargoyles the way atronachs are summoned via the use of Conjuration magic. The power bite attack adds a unique cinematics where the Vampire Lord wraps its wings around the victim and bites them on the neck.
- See also: Rising at Dawn
- Ask any bartender about any rumors going around, and they direct the infected person to Falion in Morthal, who studies vampires. Traveling to Morthal while at Stage Four vampirism can be difficult, since hostile persons will attack the vampire on sight.
- Once there, he informs the vampire that a ritual can be performed to reverse the curse. A filled black soul gem is required first. The Black Star cannot be substituted for this gem. Falion offers to sell the vampire a Black Soul Gem, if they cannot acquire one through other means.
- Fill the Black Soul Gem by casting Soul Trap on a humanoid target.
- Meet Falion at the stone circle to cure the infection.
- Falion endlessly agrees to cure vampirism, so the quest can be completed multiple times if infected multiple times.
Another way of curing vampirism is via console commands; open the console and type,
setstage 000EAFD5 10. By using the console command code
showracemenu to change the Dragonborn's race, vampirism is immediately removed. This is also true of the
Drinking the blood of the uninfected stays the vampiric infection. Levels of vampirism can be reversed simply by drinking blood.
Feeding accrues a bounty of 40 in the corresponding hold, if caught. Sneak, muffle, and invisibility magic do nothing to decrease the chances or detection. There are two methods for feeding available to vampires:
Types for feeding
To feed, approach a sleeping humanoid and press the interaction button. If successful, a black message box pops up with the options of "Feed" or "Talk to <person's name>". Select feed to execute the feeding command. During the session, the vampire bends over the slumbering victim and the screen flashes a light magenta color. A message reading "Your vampiric powers recede as you feed." The same person can be fed from multiple times in one night, or across nights, but are never killed as a result of the feeding. As with pickpocketing, incessant interaction with a target increases the chances that they will awaken.
With the addition of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, conscious humanoids can be fed upon. It works similarly to the sleeping method, but requires the Dragonborn to cast the Vampire's Seduction spell on a person first. This spell is only available at stage two of Vampirism.
Methods for feeding easily
- Find a spouse and drink their blood nightly. Housecarls also function well for this.
- In the action command menu, ask followers to sleep in a bed.
- Guilds harbor no prejudice against their vampiric members. Many guild members sleep in one location (i.e. the Dark Brotherhood and the College of Winterhold).
- Taverns and inns host several sleeping patrons. Close the door to the sleeping persons room to avoid alerting the other patrons.
- The Temple of Kynareth is a useful place to feed when sneaking. The wounded soldier and sick women are always there.
- A Potion of Blood from Dawnguard is the equivalent to consuming blood.
Skull of Corruption
Because the Skull of Corruption requires the harvest of dreams to function, vampires may benefit from using this staff, as feeding on victims and harvesting their dreams both requires them to be asleep.
Comparisons with other games
Sociologically, vampires in previous games have a stronger presence, both in regards to how they are interacted with and the niche their demographic plays in the microcosms of the setting.
Unique to The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind are vampire factions that can joined. In Morrowind, joining a Vampire Clan allocates additional attribute bonuses and fortifications for skills. Skyrim excluded this feature, as does Oblivion. A re-invented version of this game mechanic returned with Dawnguard, but it was more closely integrated with the main storyline and the bonuses granted are based on perks given upon leveling up.
Vampires grouped together in clans, in Daggerfall and Morrowind, members consisting solely of vampires from the same bloodline. This translates to Skyrim in form of Laelette and Alva's interactions with Movarth and his coven. Otherwise, most vampires encountered in Skyrim are uncivilized, wild, and virtually solitary, minus their thralls and slaves.
Bonuses and unique spells
In both Morrowind and Oblivion, vampire gained bonuses to attributes and skills, simply upon becoming vampires. The eradication of the attribute system in Skyrim made garnering such bonuses obsolete. Vampire-specific spells and abilities such as Vampiric Drain and Embrace of Shadows replaced these attribute bonuses. In Oblivion, a Nighteye-based spell similar to Vampire's Sight did appear; however, the unique Charm spell, Enthralling Presence was given at stage three vampirism. Again, Skyrim's omission of Charm, as a cast-able spell, lends explanation to its exclusion.
In regards to the disadvantages of vampirism, Oblivion has more differences from those in the vampires of Skyrim. Instead of increasing Weakness to Fire by 25% at each stage of infection, Oblivion added 10%, with a minimum weakness of 20% and a maximum of 50%. Both Oblivion and Morrowind did not have automatic Health, Magicka, and Stamina regeneration, so being in sunlight did not stunt it. Instead, vampires in those titles sustained constant damage per second at an accelerated scale, as infection augumented. Fast-traveling, as a vampire, could not take place during the day in Oblivion for this reason.
While those caught feeding are still violently reproached, townsfolk and city guards are less inclined to notice a vampire by physical appearance alone, even during broad daylight while sustaining Sun Damage in other games.
In Oblivion, the cure for vampirism is also given by a mage, in the form of a sequestered hedgewitch, and involves Grand Soul Gems and various alchemical ingredients. Morrowind requires the fetching of a book and direct interaction with Molag Bal, the princely patron of vampirism. In both games, vampirism can be cured via console commands.
- If vampirism is contracted before dealing with Laelette the Vampire, Alva calls players "Brother" if male or "Sister" if female, expressing kinship with them and unintentionally unveiling her vampiric nature.
- If Vampiric Drain is equipped before Falion performs the curing ritual, it remains equipped and usable even after the vampirism is gone.
This section contains bugs related to Vampirism (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered.|