How to Become a Werewolf or Vampire in Skyrim
Now apparently here is where I make a Twilight reference, something along the lines of “IN SKYRIM U CAN JOIN TEAM EDWARD OR TEAM JACOB!! LAWL” but I think we are all mature enough to skip past that part. So instead, let’s get right into the awesomeness that was Werewolves/Vampires before that horrible book series slandered their kind forever.
In Skyrim, as most of the world knows by now, you play as a special kind of person; a dragonborn, one with the power to vanquish dragons and with dragon blood pumping through your veins (well a little bit anyway). But if that isn’t quite special enough for you, and let’s face it – it probably isn’t, there are other ways to make your character uniquely powerful in the world of Skyrim.
Dark, evil ways… (with no glittering involved)…
And so for those of you who wish to make a covenant with the underworld, to join the unholy ranks of those known only as ‘the damned’, read on. But be warned, once read… these spoilers may NEVER be forgotten!
I’ll start with the easy one:
Becoming a Werewolf
The werewolves of Skyrim are most like the Lycans from that movie Underworld. They can freely transform (albeit once a day and with no easy way to change back) and by doing so become more powerful and aggressive for a period of time. Becoming a werewolf within Skyrim isn’t really on the same level as becoming a vampire – you won’t have to worry about sunlight, there aren’t any MASSIVE glaring weaknesses and it isn’t something that you have to deal with on a day to day basis unless you really want to.*
*Except some people may ask you why you smell of wet dog from time to time. I’m not kidding.
With that in mind let’s take a look at why somebody would want to become this unholy meeting of man and beast.
- You’re a badass werewolf. You can transform into a man-wolf hybrid. I mean, how cool is that?
- +100 health and stamina while transformed
- A shout which fears enemies and summons wolves* (unconfirmed)
- Knockback on your melee swings, can be chained to keep some opponents from getting to their feet permanently
- Your sprint is faster than a horse’s gallop (until you run out of stamina)
- Can feed on human enemies to restore health and extend Beast Form (the name of the ability) duration
- New critical hit/finisher abilities: Head-crushing, mauling and jugular biting.
- Can only transform once a day
- Can’t change back, have to let it run out
- When you do change back, you are naked. And if you are a Redguard, you almost look like Jacob from Twilight for a couple of seconds. Massive Con.
- Weak against silver.
- Can’t use the map, spells, potions, items, loot, talk, ride a horse, shout or do anything but werewolf abilities really. Can still open doors.
- Guards will attack you, humans will run away from you.
- Your health does not regenerate. So basically if you are fighting non-humans, you can’t feed or use potions so if you get to low health you just have to wait to transform back. Annoying.
Let’s not overcomplicate things, becoming a werewolf is deceptively easy.
- Find the Companions. They are in Jorvaskr in Whiterun. You may encounter one of them outside the town who gives you a Miscellaneous quest to go join them. You also may have to complete some quests for the Jarl of Dragonreach before you are able to join them.
- Complete every mission they give you. This is pretty self-explanatory. After awhile they will give you a Skyforged weapon of your choosing. This means you only have a couple of quests left.
- Take part in the werewolf ritual in the Underforge. This place can be tricky to find, it’s basically a trick-door on a rock wall near Jorvaskr – your quest indicator should give it away.
- You are now a werewolf.
If you want to cure your lycanthropy, just talk to some of the companions again – you can get a quest to cure yourself but this means you will never be able to become a werewolf again.
Want to see a werewolf in action? Check this out:
Becoming a Vampire
As veteran, Oblivion-trained Skyrim players know – becoming a lord of the undead is no decision to take lightly. Yes, you are a prince of the night and all man is merely your play-thing – but there are times where that can be downright annoying. I mean, sometimes you might just want to enjoy a fine mead in The Sleeping Giant without people pestering you about all the heinous murders you have been committing, you know?
In all seriousness, becoming a vampire is a lot more serious than becoming a werewolf and greatly affects the way you play Skyrim. I would strongly urge people to think deep before choosing it as a play style – while it is cureable, it can be greatly disadvantageous in the wrong hands/paws/claws.
Still keen? Well let’s get a little more perspective shall we.
Vampires come in four distinct stages, with different pros and cons for each. That’s not to say that some abilities don’t carry over, so I won’t repeat myself – just assume anything I don’t mention is unchanged. Each time you feed (by approaching a sleeping character and hitting pick-pocket – confusing I know – the option comes up to feed) you return to Stage One. The longer you go without feeding the more powerful you become.
- You are an evil, blood-sucking, non-sparkly, predator of the night. You EAT PEOPLE for sustenance. You are basically the baddest mutha out there (werewolves not included).
- 25% increase to illusion spells
- 25% resistance to ice damage
- 100% resistance to diseases/poisons
- 25% weaker against fire
- In sunlight: your health, magicka and stamina are reduced by 15 points (much better than the INSTANT DEATH that was sunlight in Oblivion, well ticking damage - instant death was in Morrowind)
- You can use your vampire powers to see in the dark, handy if you aren’t a Khajiit
- Similarly you can raise the dead to serve you
- … and drain the health of your enemies. Lots of cool powers.
Stage Two (remember I’m just listing changes)
- 50% resistance to ice damage
- 50% weaker against fire
- In sunlight: your health, magicka and stamina are reduced by 30 points
- You gain the ability to calm humans and animals (much like the spell Calm) reducing their will to attack you
- Pre-existing vampire powers become more powerful (except night vision… that doesn’t really need to be any more powerful)
Stage Three (at this stage NPC characters won't talk to you, you need to feed if you want to pick up quests or sell items to a vendor etc)
- 75% resistance to ice damage
- 75% weaker against fire
- In sunlight: your health, magicka and stamina are reduced by 45 points
Stage Four (also known as the Rage-Stage, by me, since this is where people who didn’t do their research get pissed off. All NPC’s attack you on sight, feed as soon as possible to fix this)
- 100% resistance to ice damage
- 100% weaker against fire
- In sunlight: your health, magicka and stamina are reduced by 60 points
- Pre-existing vampire powers become more powerful once more
- Gain the power to become invisible for 3 minutes – I suggest you use it to feed when you get the chance
Like becoming a werewolf, contracting the vampire disease is fairly simple.
- Find some vampires. There are vampires confirmed at Broken Fang Cave, Half-Moon Mill, Pinemoon Cave (near Solitude) and Shriekwind Basin.
- Fight them and get infected. If this part is giving you trouble, try confronting weaker vampires (like those at Broken Fang Cave) or turning down your game difficulty in order to take more hits. More hits = more chances of infection.
- Wait 72 hours (you can cure the disease with any normal disease cure during this period).
- You are now a Stage One vampire.
While the vampirism disease is easily cured in the first 72 hours – after that it’s a lot trickier. There are two ways: becoming a werewolf via the Companions (see above) or a quest chain which is started by talking to innkeepers. Basically if you ask an innkeeper about rumours while you are a vampire, they will tell you of a man called Falion who studies vampires. Seek him out and complete a quest chain and you are cured.
For more information about finding the vampires, check out this video: