The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is, even now, considered one of the best open-world games ever made. Players can do a lot of different things, including crafting magical arms and armor from scratch, but the process is not one of the most wholesome activities in Skyrim.

See, creating arms and armor is not very difficult in Skyrim, providing one is willing to make many, many daggers and find the right materials. Creating magical arms and armor, or enchanting existing pieces, is another matter entirely. For that, players need soul gems, and filled gems are not always easy to come by. Here's a quick guide to filling up a soul gem.


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Getting a Soul Gem

The first step of filling a soul gem is finding a soul gem, and this can sometimes be easier said than done. These come in various sizes and power levels, with all but a Black Soul Gem unable to hold humanoid souls. A soul gem can only be used once, and then it is gone.

Petty soul gems can hold only a chicken soul or its equivalent, while a Grand Soul Gem can hold anything that's not humanoid. Alternatively, players might seek out the Shrine of Azura and embark on a quest for the Black Star, a very powerful Daedric artifact that can hold any soul and is never used up.

The Black Star Description From The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

Filling a Soul Gem

To fill a soul gem, a player must first learn the spell Soul Trap. It's a very low-level conjuration spell, and since conjuration is an essential skill for several builds anyway, it's not exactly hard to find and master.

Now for the tricky part: capturing a soul. When soul trap is cast on an enemy, if that enemy should die before the effect wears off, its soul will be trapped in the next available, eligible soul gem the player has. As mentioned above, this can, with the right gems, include humanoid souls. It's not a pretty process, and definitely a villainous act for the Dragonborn.

Using Soul Gems

Once a soul gem is filled, it can be used to enchant arms and armor, making them magical with the desired effect. More powerful effects require more powerful souls, whose owners can be very difficult to kill. Still, if one wants to become the greatest blacksmith in the land, it's all part of the process. The fact that it's a viable path is just one of the reasons Skyrim is one of Bethesda's best open-world games.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

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