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Wards are restoration spells in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


When activated and held up, wards negate some spell and physical damage, but do not block it completely if it is a powerful attack.

Wards act like magic shields. They provide some defense against magic damage, while also boosting armor by 40-80 points, depending on the type of ward. The cast button needs to be held for this spell to function, meaning it functions like a traditional shield, barring that continuing to hold a ward costs magicka per second while holding up a shield costs nothing.

List of Ward spellsEdit

Ward PerksEdit

  • Ward Absorb - upgrades wards to absorb 25% of enemy magicka from spells.
  • "Novice Restoration," "Apprentice Restoration," and "Adept Restoration" perks reduce the cost of casting leveled Restoration spells, including wards.
  • Combined with the The Atronach Stone or the Breton's Dragonskin power and the Alteration Atronach perk this allows 100% magicka absorption.

Spell tome locationsEdit



A Ward spell in use.

  • For players interested in being pure mage characters, defense and armor are indeed serious concerns.
  • Enemy mages frequently use Ward spells. If possible, attempt to break through the ward with large amounts of burst damage. Otherwise, switch to using physical attacks, or defend until they run out of magicka.
  • Powers and Shouts are types of magic. Wards can even handle Fire Breath, to a certain degree.
  • Magic effects without direct damage, such as Disarm and Unrelenting Force, are negated while a ward is active.
  • Players should consider the benefits and drawbacks of using a Ward versus a Shield for a given situation. The general rule is that shields are better against physical attacks, while Wards are better against magic. Of course, one could simply use the Spellbreaker shield to get the best of both.
  • Wards override a soul trap enchantment on a weapon, meaning killing someone with a ward still active nets no soul.
  • If a Ward is used while an actual shield is also equipped, the player will block with both at the same time, even if only the ward button is pressed.


  • The sound of a ward breaking (when hit by a spell too powerful to be blocked, or if hit by a spell just as charging up) is very similar to the sound of glass shattering. This also staggers the caster, whether enemy, follower, or the player character.
  • Wards are actually curved (a shallow "U" shape). This can easily be seen be viewing a cast ward from the side.

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