Soul Gems have two uses in Elder Scrolls Online. They may be used to recharge enchanted weapons, and they may also be used to revive either yourself or other players. Crown Soul Gems can be purchased from the Crown Store and used as an alternative.
|Crown Soul Gem|
Soul gems may be found in loot or purchased from vendors, and they may be either empty or full. If a soul gem is empty, you will need to fill it before it can be used. You can do this by casting the Soul Trap skill (from the Soul Magic skill line) on an enemy before killing it. You must kill the enemy before the soul trap effect, apparent as a white glow around the target, wears off. There are also certain skills and sets that allow you to capture souls without the use of Soul Trap.
To recharge a weapon, select it in the Inventory menu, and the "Recharge" option will appear. Press the key/button associated with it ( you may also right-click and select "Recharge" from the drop-down menu). Select the soul gem and click "Recharge", and you will regain charge on the weapon.
Soul gems are also used to revive dead players. If you have a filled soul gem in your inventory, you'll be given the option when you die of reviving with your own soul gem or reviving at the nearest wayshrine. Reviving yourself with a soul gem will grant you an ethereal form for a short time that is unable to attack or be attacked in any way. This can allow you to get out of danger or regroup in a safe spot before the ghostly effect wears off.
In some situations you will not be allowed to revive yourself on the spot, even if you have filled soul gems. This is the case in PvP, during dungeon boss fights and when the group is in combat in a trial. However, other players may still attempt to revive you. The other player must hold down the use button when they are near your corpse (indicated by a plus sign). This only works if they have a filled soul gem. If you accept, you will be revived on the spot and their soul gem will be consumed. Do note that accepting a revive this way will skip the ghostly phase leaving you vulnerable at once. Ensure it is safe to revive before pressing accept.
There are a number of locations where Soul Gem samples can spawn. In settlements they are most often found on counters, tables, and shelves near Mystics; many of them are marked as owned, so picking them up will mark them as stolen. They vary in appearance from looking like anything between petty and grand soul gems, as their appearance was once a factor in the level of the gem until Update 12, but now all of them are considered standard soul gems regardless of appearance. They will also respawn.
Before Update 12 there were 6 different sizes of soul gems meant for different level ranges, as shown below. Smaller soul gems could be used to resurrect lower level players, or to recharge a small amount of higher level weapon charge. The smaller soul gems remain in-game and can be traded, but can otherwise no longer be obtained. Grand Soul Gems were renamed to Soul Gems in Update 14, and Crown Soul Gems underwent an icon change.
|Soul Gem||Old Level Range|
|Petty Soul Gem||1-9|
|Minor Soul Gem||10-19|
|Lesser Soul Gem||20-29|
|Common Soul Gem||30-39|
|Greater Soul Gem||40-49|
|Grand Soul Gem||50+|
|Crown Soul Gem||Any|