Soul Gems are miscellaneous items which can be used to trap the souls of dying creatures or NPCs. The resulting filled soul gems can be used as power sources for enchanted items, either when initially creating custom enchanted items or when recharging depleted enchanted weapons. Soul gems come in a range of capacities, from petty to grand, plus some special soul gems. Only black soul gems and the Black Star can be used to capture the soul of an NPC, which is always a grand soul in size. There are also soul gem fragments found in the game. These are classified as minor loot and are not actual soul gems.
Empty soul gems can also be harvested from geode veins, which are only found in Blackreach. Each mined vein will result in 2–3 soul gems of any size, including black soul gems. The mined soul gems are level-dependent; at level 16 grand and black soul gems will start to appear, and the probability for either will max out at level 31.
Types of Soul Gem
Standard Soul Gems
|Petty Soul Gem||none||0002e4e2||0.1||10||250 (Petty)||500||Smallest size of soul gems.|
|Lesser Soul Gem||none||0002e4e4||0.2||25||500 (Lesser)||750||Second-smallest size of soul gems.|
|Common Soul Gem||none||0002e4e6||0.3||50||1000 (Common)||1250||Middle size of soul gems.|
|Greater Soul Gem||none||0002e4f4||0.4||100||2000 (Greater)||2250||Second-largest size of soul gems.|
|Grand Soul Gem||none||0002e4fc||0.5||200||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000)||Largest standard size of soul gems.
If you get a message saying that you do not have a large enough soul gem to capture a soul, even though you have an empty grand soul gem in your inventory, it means that you are trying to catch a humanoid soul, which requires a black soul gem.
Special Soul Gems
|Azura's Star||none||00063b27||0||1000||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000)||Works the same as a grand soul gem, but does not break on use.|
|Black Soul Gem||none||0002e500||1||300||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000)||Special soul gems that can capture humanoid souls.|
|Flawed Varla StoneCC||none||FExxx801||0.3||1000||1000 (Common)||1250||Works the same as a common soul gem, but does not break on use. Added with the Rare Curios Creation.|
|Soul TomatoCC||none||xx000804||0.5||250||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000)||Equivalent to a Grand Soul Gem. Two can be found in Kinthal's camp (east of Karthwasten) on a stone table, and they do respawn.|
|The Black Star||none||00063b29||0||1000||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000)||Works the same as a black soul gem, but does not break on use.|
|Treated Soul Gem||none||00094e40||0.2||25||500 (Lesser)||750||Unobtainable.|
|Wylandriah's Soul Gem||none||00043e26||0||0||3000 (Grand)||6200 (caps at 3000) (see bugs)||See the quest Hunt and Gather.|
- To use a soul gem to recharge a weapon, first select the weapon in your inventory and then:
- Soul gems are consumed upon being used to recharge a weapon. This is one reason why it is a good idea to fill your soul gems as efficiently as possible (i.e., grand soul gems for grand souls, common soul gems for common souls, etc.). A soul gem not being used to its fullest capacity could be considered a waste (losing a grand soul gem because you used the petty soul contained within to recharge a weapon, for example). However, you can simply drop a filled gem to empty it (note that this will empty all self-filled gems (see bugs)).
- Standard merchants do not sell black soul gems. To purchase one you must talk to either Enthir at the College of Winterhold while he is in his quarters, or Falion in Morthal.
- You will obtain a Warped Soul Gem during the quest Arniel's Endeavor; however, it cannot be used to trap souls.
- If you have the Dawnguard add-on installed, grand or greater soul gems can be transformed into black soul gems by using the Lightning Attractor found in the Soul Cairn.
- If you have the Dragonborn add-on installed, you can combine any soul gem (empty or filled) with an albino spider pod at the imbuing chamber in White Ridge Barrow to create a mind control spider.
- If you have Saints and SeducersCC installed, Soul Tomatoes function as Grand Soul Gems. They previously appeared in the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion.
- Guaranteed samples of black soul gems can be found at any level in Broken Fang Cave, Ilinalta's Deep, Ironbind Barrow, Castle Volkihar, Apocrypha and the Soul Cairn.
- Soul gems that you filled yourself, with the exception of grand and black, do not change in value when fully filled (i.e., a common soul gem (valued at 50 when empty), will not increase in value with a soul in it, even though a prefilled common soul gem is valued at 150). This also causes them to not stack properly in your inventory.
- Soul gems that you filled yourself may be emptied if dropped, or transferred to a follower or container.
- This issue has been addressed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch; only partially filled soul gems will be emptied, in order to allow you to fix any errors in filling them.
- Wylandriah's soul gem is fillable and can be used to recharge enchanted weapons, despite being a quest item. Consuming the gem through recharging enchanted weapons or enchanting items.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.