Skyrim has so much to offers fans that players are still powering on their consoles to play it ten years later. With the countless amount of quests and more mods than a Dragonborn can shake a sword at, it's almost guaranteed that everyone will find something they enjoy in this titular open-world game.

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YOU SHALL NOT PASS! Wait, wrong franchise. Still, even in Skyrim, staves can make the Dragonborn a force to be reckoned with. They are a marvelous way to cast spells without having to use Magicka and some have unique powers that will decimate enemies. Wielding the best staves will bring players untold power.

Updated on August 20th, 2021 by Anastasia Maillot: Staves are not an incredibly popular weapon in the game. In fact, most magic-based builds will rely more on spells rather than staffs that require soul gems to charge. It's more a question of convenience when it comes to mage builds in Skyrim.

That said, some of the staves found in Skyrim are legitimate choices thanks to their unique powers and effects. Players wanting to challenge themselves to play a staff-only build should hunt down these following ones for a powerful addition to their arsenal of magical weapons.

15 Aetherial Staff

Skyrim Aetherial Staff
  • Location: Exclusive to Dawnguard DLC, must be crafted at the Aetherium Forge
  • Related Quest: Lost to the Ages

The Aetherial Staff is the first Dwemer staff to be introduced into the game, and is exclusive to the Dawnguard DLC. This staff has the power to summon either a Dwarven Spider or a Dwarven Sphere, both of which are mid-tier enemies with high resistances to all kinds of damage. They make for very useful allies in battle, and stick around for 60 seconds. It can also produce extra Dwemer scrap randomly, for any Smithing needs.

To craft this staff at the Aetherium Forge, the following resources are needed: an Aetherium Crest, two ebony ingots, one gold ingot and two Dwarven metal ingots.


14 Dragon Priest Staff (Fire Wall)

Skyrim Dragon Priest Staff Wall Of Fire Version
  • Location: Forelhost, The Rift
  • Related Quest: Siege on the Dragon Cult

Dragon priests are some of the most powerful enemies in Skyrim, and as such, they drop some of the best loot in the game. Typically, these are dragon priest masks, but various staves can also be looted off their bodies. One of them is this generic Dragon Priest Staff with a Wall of Flame Expert-level spell attached to it.

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This staff is usually found on Rahgot's corpse after his defeat in his tomb at Forelhost. The Dragonborn will naturally arrive here by following the main quest, up until the quest Siege on the Dragon Cult. The staff creates a powerful fire wall where the caster points, which damages enemies for 50 health points per second.

13 Hevnoraak's Staff

Skyrim Hevnoraak's Staff Or Dragon Priest Staff Lightning Wall Version
  • Location: Valthume, The Reach
  • Related Quest: Evil in Waiting

Located in the area around Markarth, Valthume is the final resting place of dragon priest Hevnoraak. He's considered among the tougher priests in the game, mainly because of his unique staff that allows him to perform a powerful Spark spell known as Wall of Storm. In essence, this is the Spark-variation of Rahgot's staff.

Just like Wall of Fire, Wall of Storm is an Expert-level spell, which can be unleashed using Hevnoraak's unique staff. It creates an area of effect made of lightning, which damages any targets who come into contact with it by 50 health points.

12 Staff Of Arcane Authority

Skyrim Nelacars Staff Aka Staff Of Arcane Authority
  • Location: The Frozen Hearth in Winterhold
  • Related Quest: Some Light Theft

This staff is hidden in plain sight at the Frozen Hearth in Winterhold. Just head over to Nelacar's chambers lcoated on the right side of the inn's counter. Behind the table, on the bottom shelf, is where Nelacar's precious staff can be found. The local steward, Malur Seloth, will actually ask the Dragonborn to steal it during a small side quest.

The staff itself is quite generic, and basically contains a low-level Fear-spell. When used, all types of creatures, both humanoid and beasts, will run away for 60 seconds. The catch is, these creatures need to be level 8 or less in order for the staff to be effective. In conclusion, the staff will probably quickly become useless as the player levels up along with their enemies.

11 Halldir's Staff

Skyrim Halldirs Remains After Defeating Him
  • Location: Halldir's Cairn in Falkreath Hold
  • Related Quest: Various secondary quests from the Companions, Dawnguard, Bard's College and Falkreath

Players will most likely enter Halldir's Cairn at some point during one of the many secondary fetch-quests in Skyrim. In this cave, a special spectral draugr must be defeated in order to get Halldir's Staff, a surprisingly decent weapon for those who specialize in enchanting and filling soul gems.

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Soul gems are one of the toughest resource to come by, and expensive to purchase. Being able to trap souls during combat is therefore a big advantage, and that's exactly what Halldir's Staff does. For 60 seconds, a target will become Soul Trapped, and can fill an empty soul gem. It also has the ability to make hostile targets calm for 60 seconds.

10 Staff Of Familiar

Staff Of Familiar
  • Location: Merchants and several random loot locations
  • Related Quest: Hitting the Books

Who doesn't want a spectral wolf friend to pal around with? The Staff of Familiar can be especially handy early on for players that could use a bit of help in fighting enemies. The summoned familiar will last for 60 seconds. There are a few easy places to find one outside of simply buying one from mages at the College of Winterhold.

At Fort Greymoor, there's a bandit in the prison there that holds one. Players can also find two of them at Fellglow Keep during the quest Hitting the Books. Finally, Lu'ah Al-Skaven sometimes carries one if players want to steal it from him or loot it off his corpse.

9 Staff Of Dread Zombies

Staff Of Dread Zombies
  • Location: Random loot or from the Aspiring Mage, or merchants at the College of Winterhold
  • Related Quest: Random Encounter: Aspiring Mage

Players can bring The Walking Dead right into Skyrim with this staff. It allows players to raise very powerful dead bodies to fight at their side in battle. Minus finding it as random loot or crafting one at Neloth's Staff Enchanter, players can find an Aspiring Mage as a random encounter in the game.

Players can either convince him to give them the staff or simply kill him and loot it off his corpse, then raise him from the dead with it for a laugh. The undead bodies will fight for the Dragonborn for 60 seconds.

8 Staff Of Magnus

Staff Of Magnus
  • Location: Labyrinthian dungeon
  • Quest: The Staff of Magnus

The Staff of Magnus is easy to find, just complete the quest The Staff of Magnus! Cheekiness aside, it's hidden inside the Labyrinthian which can be perilous for players to get through. They will have to defeat the Dragon Priest Morokei to take the staff from him.

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What makes the staff unique is that it absorbs 20 Magicka points per second from enemies, but once Magicka runs out, it begins to absorb health from the enemy. While powerful, it needs to be recharged often which can be a pain in putting it to good use. If players can get the Fortify Destruction perk it gets much better.

7 Staff Of Hag's Wrath

Staff Of Hag's Wrath
  • Location: Darklight Tower, The Rift
  • Related Quest: Repentance

There are several staves that cast Wall of Flames but the Staff of Hag's Wrath is by far the coolest looking one of the bunch. It works similarly to the staff that Rahgot drops after being defeated, and casts the Expert-level Wall of Flame spell that does 50 points of fire damage.

Players can find the staff in Darklight Tower after completing the quest Repentance. Once players have helped Illia kill her literal evil witch of a mother, she'll offer them the opportunity to take the staff. Players should seriously consider bringing Illia along as a companion as well, she packs a serious magical punch!

6 Eye Of Melka

Eye Of Melka
  • Location: Blind Cliff Cave, The Reach
  • Related Quest: The Affairs of Hagravens

The Eye of Melka is a fantastic staff that lets players cast Fireball, dealing 40 fire damage. It's incredibly light and deals a ton of damage, especially in the early game. As the staff is easy to obtain, it's one of the best ones available for players at the beginning of the game.

Players have to travel to the Blind Cliff Cave where they will encounter a Hagraven named Melka trapped by her sister Pelka. While players can simply kill Melka and take the staff off her corpse, it's far more rewarding to set her free and to kill her evil sister to receive it as a reward.

5 Staff Of Jyrik Gauldurson

Staff Of Jyrik Gauldurson
  • Location: Saarthal, near Winterhold
  • Related Quest: Under Saarthal

Lightning Bolt isn't the strongest spell around but it gets even better when cast from the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson. On top of its normal 25 damage rating, it also doubles Magicka damage the enemy takes. It even shoots spells faster than most other staves. It's a perfect way to leave most mages scrambling.

Players have to complete the quest Under Saarthal to get this staff where it can be found in the final boss room. The fight is likely to blast the staff around the room, so make sure to check around on the floor is the staff isn't found on the table in the last chamber.

4 Wabbajack

  • Location: The Pelagius Wing inside the Blue Palace in Solitude
  • Related Quest: Mind of Madness

The signature staff of Sheograth is one of the wackiest items in the entirety of Skyrim. It has a signature spooky look and can only be obtained from the Daedric Prince himself after completing the quest The Mind of Madness. The quest is one of the best in the game and this staff as the reward is the icing on the cake.

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So what does it do? It casts unique spells, cast most other spells in the game, and can even turn enemies into sweet rolls, cheese, chickens, mudcrabs, and rabbits. All of the effects it can take happen completely at random and players that want to try it out might be lucky enough to get a random encounter where a woman begs to have it used on her.

3 Sanguine Rose

Sanguine Rose
  • Location: Sanguine's plane of Oblivion after completing the related quest
  • Related Quest: A Night to Remember

This staff is one of the most gorgeous items in the entire game and is also incredibly easy to get. All players have to do is get to level fourteen and complete a hilarious fun sidequest in A Night to Remember. The staff summons a Dremora that battles alongside the player for sixty seconds.

Plus, every time one of the Dremora that is summoned dies, there's a chance it drops a Daedric Greatsword of Scorching. This two-handed weapon is beyond powerful, especially if players are lucky enough to get the drop early in the game.

2 Skull Of Corruption

Skull Of Corruption
  • Location: Nightcaller Temple, the final chamber
  • Related Quest: Waking Nightmare

The Skull of Corruption looks like something that Summoned Skull would wield to perform magic. This utterly brutal Daedric staff casts a unique spell that deals direct 20 points, maximum 50 magical damage depending on its charge, to enemies. It can even damage multiple enemies at once.

Once players get it upon completing the quest Waking Nightmare they will need to collect sleeping dreams from the citizens of Skyrim to build it up to full power. Players should head to Haelga's Bunkhouse or to one of the many inns in the game at night to find plenty of dreams to harvest. Given how evil this weapon is, it's also possible to just miss it during the quest, so players should choose carefully who to side with at the end of Waking Nightmare.

1 Miraak's Staff

Miraak's Staff
  • Location: Apocrypha, final fight of the Dragonborn DLC's main quest
  • Related Quest: At The Summit of Apocrypha

There's only one way to describe this staff: epic. Who doesn't want to essentially summon a magical tentacled attack straight out of the mind of an Eldritch horror? The many tentacles it summons through its unique spell, Mora's Anger, can't even be walked through by several enemies. These writhing tentacles will also poison foes so even the strongest who can pass through them become hampered by doing so.

The only way to get this staff is to defeat Miraak in combat. As he has the staff on his person, it's no simple task. There's a reason he's the antagonist of the Dragonborn DLC and why taking him down nets players such a fantastic reward, on top of his equally epic sword.

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