The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Vampirism (Vampire Guide)

A detailed guide on becoming a Creature of the Shadows as well as what abilities vampirism grants your character.

Vampire Distinction

It is important to note that there are two types of Vampires in Skyrim. The Vanilla base game common Vampires and the Dawnguard pure blooded Vampire Lords.

Although both Vampires and Vampire Lords have roughly the same abilities and appearance, Vampire Lords are more stronger and have the ability to transform into a Vampire Lord as well as access blood magic in that form.

Becoming a Vampire

There are multiple ways of becoming a vampire, and different ways for both types of Common and Pure-blood Vampire.

Upon becoming a vampire the character will have blood orange glowing eyes as well as a gaunt face and pale skin, your character will also be commented on by NPC’s such as “Your eyes have a hunger to them” or “my god, your as pale as the snow!”.

Common Vampire (Vanilla)

To become a common vampire of Skyrim, your character must find a vampire enemy, they can be found in caves such as Broken Fang Cave and Movarth’s Lair etc.

You character must contract “Sanguinare Vampiris” by being attacked by a common vampire in battle. Killing a vampire will make you lose the chance to become a vampire unless you encounter another. Once you have contracted the disease you must wait three in-game days as your disease progresses eventually turning you into a vampire.

Pure Blood Vampire (Dawnguard)

To become a Pure Blood Vampire your character must be bitten by another pure-blooded vampire, fortunately this is easily abtainable early on during the Dawnguard Questline.

For those who don’t want to be spoiled for the Dawnguard Questline, you will come across a point where you will be asked if you want to be turned into a pure-blooded vampire or be banished. Obviously you’d choose to become a vampire.


  • You can still become a pure-blooded vampire even if you are a common vampire, the blood of a pure vampire overrides the common vampire blood, but not vice versa.
  • You cannot become a common vampire if you are a werewolf, however, if you want to become a vampire while a werewolf you have to be bitten by a pure-blooded vampire (Serana or Harkon).
  • If you have completed the Dawnguard Questline and killed Harkon, there is the option to cure Serana, if you cure her then your character will never become a pure-blood vampire ever again. 

Powers and Abilities as a Common Vampire

Vampires have certain powers and abilties which can grow stronger the longer you don’t feed on blood, however, the more powerful you get the more Skyrim’s citizens are untrustworthy of you.

There are four stages to Vampirism, all vampires start at Stage 1 and every time they feed they will revert back to stage 1, if the vampire doesn’t feed after a day they progress to stage 2, not feeding for another day will progress to stage 3, and finally not feeding for four days will progress to stage 4. As the stages progress people will not wish to talk with you, as at Stage 4, your vampiric appearance is seen by all and so most people will not even talk to you.

Vampires have a few base effects:

  • Weakness to Sunlight – under the Sunlight your vampire blood boils and for whenever you remain under the sun, your health, stamina, magicka will not regenerate and you move slightly slower.
  • Resist Disease and Poison – vampiric blood grants 100% resistance to diseases and poisons.
  • Nightstalker’s Footsteps – 25% harder to detect while sneaking.
  • Champion of the Night – Illusion spells are 25% more powerful.

Spells and Powers:

  • Vampiric Drain (Spell) – Drains 2 points of enemy health per second (3 points at Stage 2, 4 points at Stage 3, and 5 points at Stage 4).
  • Vampire’s Servant (Power) – Once a day resurrect dead body up to Level 6 for 60 seconds (Level 13 at Stage 2, Level 21 at Stage 3, and Level 30 at Stage 4).
  • Vampire’s Sight (Power) – grants Night Vision for 60 seconds, can be used multiple times a day.
  • Vampire’s Seduction (Power) – Calms creatures and people up to Level 10 for 30 seconds (Recieved at Stage 2).
  • Embrace of Shadows (Power) – Become invisible and have night vision for 180 seconds (Recieved at Stage 4).

Active Effects:

  • Resist Frost – 20% Resistance to Frost (30% at Stage 2, 40% at Stage 3, and 50% at Stage 4).
  • Weakness to Fire – 20% Weakness to Fire (30% at Stage 2, 40% at Stage 3, and 50% at Stage 4).
  • Vampiric Strength – Deal 5 more points of unarmed damage (10 points at Stage 2, 15 points at Stage 3, and 20 points at Stage 4).


Vampires must feed to retain their blood thirst and to revert back to Stage 1 of Vampirism so their vampiric nature is not revealed to the world.

Vampires can feed by sneaking by a sleeping human and select them to which two options pop up “Feed” or “Pickpocket ______” selecting feed enacts an animation where your character bends over the person on the bed and bite into their neck, the screen will go red and then they will go back to sneaking.

Vampires are Stage 2 can also use Vampire’s Seduction to feed, using it on someone awake and standing they will be calm and then selecting them and selecting “Feed” will enact an animation where they will move the persons head to side revealing the neck and bite into it, the screen also goes red and then the vampire will retreat back to their spot.

Powers and Abilities as a Pure-Blood Vampire

Pure-Blooded Vampires aka Vampire Lords, have all the same powers and abilities as the Common Vampire, with the added ability to transform into a Vampire Lord in which within the form has it’s own Spells and Abilities that can be upgraded within the Vampire Skill Tree through the use of Feedings in the Vampire Lord form.

Hovering Mode

After transforming into the Vampire Lord form, the vampire lord will hover just above the ground with blood magic making them levitate and they will hold up thier arms holding two spells: Drain Life and Raise Dead.

Drain Life is the spell on the right hand that is there by default and cannot be changed. It acts the same as Vampiric Drain but as a explosive projectile, it is the primary way to feed within the vampire lord form and recieve perk points in the vampire skill tree.

In the left hand there can be a variety of spells, switched between each other in the favourites menu:

  • Raise Dead (default spell) – Raise a dead body to fight for you for 60 seconds.
  • Vampiric Grip – Telekinetically grip people and hold them in front of you while you drain their life, letting go throws them (Acquired from “Vampiric Grip” perk).
  • Summon Gargoyle – Summon a Gargoyle to fight in battle for 60 seconds (Acquired from “Summon Gargyole” perk).
  • Corpse Curse – Paralyze those who fail to resist for 10 seconds (Acquired from “Corpse Curse” perk). 

In the Vampire Lord form, vampires can activate their powers dubbed “Night Powers”:

  • Bats (default) – teleport a few feet forwards where you’re looking disappearing and reappearing as a swarm of bats.
  • Vampire Sight (default) – grant Night Vision for 60 seconds.
  • Detect All Creatures – Detects the life of others as well as the dead (Acquired from “Detect All Creatures” perk).
  • Mist Form – become an invulnerable cloud of mist for 23 seconds regenerating Health, Stamina and Magicka.
  • Supernatural Reflexes – slow time for 23 seconds for everyone but you.
  • Night Cloak – Bats circle the vampire lord in combat as enemies who get within melee range get damaged overtime (active during hovering and walking).


Within the Vampire Lord form, the vampire lord can decend to the ground and attack with their claws. The claws can be deadlier with the use of the “Poison Talons” perk.

Feeding as a Vampire Lord

Feeding in Vampire Lord is different to the normal vampire form, feeding more and more grants a perk point to be used in the Vampire Skill Tree, feeding can be done by killing a being with Drain Life spell or a power attack bite in which happens while walking and randomly when attacking a human with low health the vampire lord will grab the human and bite their neck.

Revert Form

Unlike Werewolves, Vampire Lords can stay in their vampire lord form for as long as they like and can use the “Revert Form” ability to transform back to their normal vampire form.

Vampire Skill Tree (Vampire Lord Only)

Within the Vampire Lord, vampires can access their Vampire Skill Tree in which they can use perk points to upgrade their powers and abilities.


  • Power of the Grave (base perk) – 50 point bonus to health, magicka, and stamina as a Vampire Lord. 
  • Detect all Creatures – gain the “Detect All Creatures” Night Power (Requires Power of the Grave). 
  • Mist Form – gain the “Mist Form” Night Power (Requires Detect all Creatures). 
  • Supernatural Reflexes – gain the “Supernatural Reflexes” Night Power (Requires Mist Form). 
  • Unearthly Will – Night Powers and Blood Magic cost 33% less (Requires Power of the Grave). 
  • Poison Talons – Melee attacks do 20 points of poison damage (Requires Blood Healing or Unearthly Will). 
  • Night Cloak – gain the “Night Cloak” Night Power (Requires Poison Talons). 
  • Blood Healing – Killing a person with a power attack restores all health (Requires Power of the Grave). 
  • Vampiric Grip – grants “Vampiric Grip” spell (Requires Power of the Grave). 
  • Summon Gargoyle – grants “Summon Gargoyle” spell (Requires Vampiric Grip). 
  • Corpse Curse – grants “Corpse Curse” spell (Requires Summon Gargoyle). 

Amulets of Night Power and Rings of Blood Magic

Through the Dawnguard expansion’s Vampire side, your character can recieve two radiant quests from Feran Sadri, “Amulets of Night Power” and “Rings of Blood Magic” to which you will be rewarded two Amulets and two Rings that can affect your vampiric abilities in Vampire Lord form if you wear them just before transforming.

Amulets of Night Power

  • Amulet of Bats – increase the strength of the “Night Cloak” ability and can knockback enemies in the way while using “Bats”.
  • Amulet of the Gargoyle – Summon an additional Gargoyle to the one you summoned for fight for 60 seconds.

Rings of Blood Magic

  • Ring of the Beast – grants additional 100 extra health points and 20 more points of unarmed damage, these effects are both in Vampire form and Vampire Lord form.
  • Ring of Erudite – grants additional 100 extra magicka points and increases magicka regeneration, just like the Ring of the Beast, these effects are both in vampire form and vampire lord form.

Curing Vampirism

Curing Vampirism is the same way for both Common Vampires and Pure-Blood Vampires.

Rising At Dawn Quest

Talking to inn keepers and asking for rumours reveal that a wizard named “Falion” in Morthal is studying Vampirism, when visiting him your character can ask if they can be cured and Falion offers to cure them if they can give Falion a filled Black Soul gem.

Once given a Black Soul gem Falion will ask to meet at an unmarked location called the “Summoning Stones”, when there your character has to stand in the middle of the summoning stones while Falion does a ritual, the screen will go black and once the screen comes back Falion will notify that their Vampirism is cured.


  • Turning into a Werewolf even if you are a Pure-blood Vampire replaces your vampiric blood with beast blood, effectively curing your Vampirism. If you do not know how to, check out the guide on Lycanthropy in Skyrim.

Console Commands

Opening up the console with the tilde “`” key located left of the number 1 key on the keyboard and typing in “setstage 000EAFD5 10” or using the “showracemenu” command and switch between the races and back to your characters original race, as well as the “changesex” command cures vampirism.

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