If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Skyrim soul gems - How to fill Soul Gems and where to find them

Catcher of souls

Figuring out how to fill soul gems in Skyrim is vital if you plan on doing a lot of enchantment.

Soul gems take a bit of work to obtain, and you won’t find the best results until you capture high-level enemies. However, the best soul gems come from a specific quest connected to one of the Daedric gods.

Where to find soul gems in Skyrim

The empty gems are common enough. You’ll often find them in chests or as loot after defeating magic-using enemies. Magic shops stock them, and soul gems sometimes pop up when you’re mining geode veins.

However you get them, every soul gem in Skyrim is empty at first, and you’ll need the Soul Trap spell to get any use from them. Soul Trap is an apprentice-level Conjuration spell, so you’ll need to level up Conjuration a bit before it unlocks.

How to fill soul gems in Skyrim

Use Soul Trap on a non-human enemy, and if they die while the spell is still in effect, you’ll automatically gain their soul and fill the gem. You can only use a soul gem once, though there are a couple of exceptions. The type of gem you get depends on the level of the enemy you defeated.

Skyrim soul gems - Petty soul gem

Petty soul gems come from the following creatures between levels 1 and 4.

  • Chicken
  • Cow
  • Deer
  • Dog
  • Draugr
  • Elk
  • Fox
  • Snow Fox
  • Frostbite Spider (Small, Red)
  • Frostbite Spider (Small, White)
  • Giant Mudcrab
  • Goat
  • Hare
  • Horker
  • Large Mudcrab
  • Mudcrab
  • Skeever
  • Skeleton
  • Slaughterfish
  • Wisp
  • Wolf

Skyrim soul gems - Lesser soul gem

Creatures between levels 5 and 16 get you lesser gems.

  • Bear
  • Chaurus
  • Dragon
  • Draugr Overlord
  • Draugr Wight
  • Draugr Wight Overlord
  • Dremora Caitiff
  • Dremora Churl
  • Dwarven Spider Worker
  • Falmer
  • Falmer Spellsword
  • Falmer Warrior
  • Falmer Skulker
  • Falmer Spellsword Skulker
  • Falmer Warrior Skulker
  • Frostbite Spider (Large, Red)
  • Frostbite Spider (Large, White)
  • Frostbite Spider (Giant, Red)
  • Flame Atronach
  • Horse
  • Ice Wolf
  • Ice Wraiths
  • Restless Draugr
  • Sabre Cat
  • Snow Sabre Cat
  • Shade
  • Troll
  • Spriggan

Skyrim soul gems - Common soul gem

Common soul gems come from creatures up to level 28

  • Alduin's Bane
  • Cave Bear
  • Snow Bear
  • Chaurus Reaper
  • Blood Dragon
  • Draugr Scourge
  • Draugr Scourge Lord
  • Dremora
  • Dremora Kynreeve
  • Dremora Kynval
  • Dwarven Sphere
  • Dwarven Sphere Guardian
  • Dwarven Spider
  • Dwarven Spider Guardian
  • Falmer Gloomlurker
  • Falmer Spellsword Gloomlurker
  • Falmer Warrior Gloomlurker
  • Falmer Boss Spellsword Skulker
  • Falmer Boss Warrior Skulker
  • Falmer Boss Spellsword Gloomlurker
  • Falmer Boss Warrior Gloomlurker
  • Frost Atronach
  • Frostbite Spider (Giant, White)
  • Hagraven
  • Spriggan Matron
  • Frost Troll

Skyrim soul gems - Greater soul gem

Greater soul gems are what you get from capturing creatures up to level 38.

  • Frost Dragon
  • Draugr Deathlord
  • Draugr Death Overlord
  • Dremora Lord
  • Dremora Markynaz
  • Dwarven Sphere Master
  • Falmer Boss Spellsword Nightprowler
  • Falmer Boss Warrior Nightprowler
  • Falmer Nightprowler
  • Falmer Spellsword Nightprowler
  • Falmer Warrior Nightprowler
  • Giant
  • Storm Atronach
  • Wispmother

Skyrim soul gems - Grand soul gem

Grand souls are from creatures higher than level 38

  • Ancient Dragon
  • Elder Dragon
  • Dragon Priest
  • Dremora Valkynaz
  • Falmer Shadowmaster
  • Falmer Spellsword Shadowmaster
  • Falmer Warrior Shadowmaster
  • Falmer Boss Warrior Shadowmaster
  • Falmer Boss Spellsword Shadowmaster
  • Mammoth
  • Shadowmere

Skyrim soul gems - Black soul gem

Black soul gems are rare, but you'll sometimes find them spawning in chests or from ore veins. These let you capture humanoid souls, including merfolk and magic users. They function the same as other soul gems and break after one use.

Skyrim soul gems - Azura’s Star

Azura’s Star is one of the exceptions. It’s a soul gem you can use repeatedly, and while it still won’t capture humanoid souls, it never breaks. Getting this requires you to complete the Black Star quest at the Shrine of Azura, and then you’ll need to side with either Aranea or Nelacar. Siding with Aranea earns you the Azura’s Star gem.

Skyrim soul gems - Black Star soul gem

Siding with Nelacar gets you the Black Star gem, essentially an unbreakable Black soul gem that lets you continue harvesting humanoid souls.

After all that soul trapping and enchantment, you'll want a place to call home where you can unwind. You’ll need to get married to get the most out of housing and can’t be a werewolf, though vampires still get a cuddle boost. Whether lycan or not, make sure you’re sporting the best builds for your Skyrim character so you can make it back home alive.

More Guides

Latest Articles

VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

VG247 Merch