Elder Scrolls

Waterbreathing (Skyrim)

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For other uses, see Water Breathing.

Waterbreathing is an Alteration spell, as well as an alchemical and enchanting effect in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Additionally, Argonians are able to breathe underwater as a racial ability.


Water Breathing is useful in situations that would normally entail a possibility of drowning, such as accessing the submerged entrance to Geirmund's Hall or the various sunken ships. It also allows the Dragonborn unrestricted access to underwater food items such as Clam Meat and ingredients such as Nordic Barnacles, as well as various fish. Additionally, Water Breathing aids in quests with underwater components, such as "The Straw that Broke".


Water Breathing is an Adept-level Alteration spell. Casting it allows the user to breathe underwater for 60 seconds. It cannot be cast while underwater or swimming. Casting it repeatedly while standing in water is an effective way to level the Alteration skill. Casting Candlelight ten seconds before casting water breathing is good indicator of when you need to surface to avoid drowning.

Spell tomeEdit


Alteration Spell Tome


  • Weight: 1 WeightIcon
  • Value: 340 GoldIcon
  • See Spell Tome for a complete table of spell tomes, their descriptions, and their values.



Main article: Alchemy (Skyrim)

Histcarp carries the Waterbreathing effect.

Potions with Waterbreathing may be brewed at an alchemy lab. When consumed, they temporarily allow the user to breathe underwater. The strength of the effect is determined by the Alchemy skill of the potion's creator. The following ingredients contain this effect:



Generic enchanted helmets, amulets, and rings bearing the Waterbreathing enchantment may be found as random loot. These items can be disenchanted at an Arcane Enchanter to learn the enchantment.

Apparel enchanted with this effect allows unlimited breathing underwater as long as they remain equipped. The enchantment's effect is not quantified, so it does not vary with the size of the Soul Gem used: i.e. a Petty Soul Gem grants the same effect as a Grand gem. The Item ID for this effect is: 00092A48

Curiously, even when wearing an item enchanted with Waterbreathing, the player may still be heard gasping for air upon breaking the water's surface.


Volsung Mask

Volsung Mask

One way to find a piece with the enchantment is to utilize a skeleton at Cradlecrush Rock that always holds a random piece of enchanted headgear. Simply save somewhere far from Cradlecrush Rock, travel to the area, and check the skeleton. Repeat until an item with Waterbreathing is found.

A similar way to acquire a piece would be to return to the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon. Every three game days, the loot will reset. Some form of helmet is the most likely to have the waterbreathing enchantment. Typically, there are two randomly generated enchanted helmets on opposing sides of the treasure chest.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Waterbreathing (Skyrim)

  • Water Breathing

    21 messages
    • I once found a helmet of waterbreathing underwater in a cest before 
    • The only guaranteed items with the waterbreathing enchantment are Volsung (that can't be disenchanted), from dlc the Ebony Warrior's helmet, ...
  • Breathing Underwater

    3 messages
    • Thats listed on the enchantments page and the locations page, theres also the Ebony Warrior's helm from Dragonborn and the base game has ...
    • I've noticed that when wearing Volsung and being under water for a longer period of time, you'll occasionally get that gasp for air that you...

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