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< Skyrim: Skills: Magic(Redirected from Skyrim:Master of the Mind)
Skill: Illusion

Illusion is one of the five schools of magic in Skyrim. Illusion magic focuses on changing the perception of the world from the viewpoint of the target. Increasing this skill reduces magicka cost when casting Illusion spells. The Illusion skill tree has a total of 13 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.

In-game Description: The School of Illusion involves manipulating the mind of the enemy. This skill makes it easier to cast spells like Fear, Calm, and Invisibility.

For historical information, see the main lore article.


Illusion contains a range of spells that play with your enemies' minds. While no Illusion spell does any direct damage, spells and perks in this school are a good supplement to Stealth-focused characters, and make stealthy play more viable for mages.

Main EffectsEdit

Progressively more powerful spells with each of these effects are available as your character develops. Some of these effects can also be produced using Alchemy and enchantments.

  • Pacify spells minimize aggression and cause the affected to lose the will to fight unless attacked first.
  • Fear spells minimize confidence and cause the affected to run away.
  • Frenzy spells maximize aggression and cause the affected to lose allegiance and attack anyone they see.
  • Rally spells maximize confidence and increase the stats of the affected and prevent them from fleeing.
  • Muffle helps the caster to sneak around by reducing the noise made by walking.
  • Invisibility removes the ability to be detected by sight, but unlike sneaking, wears off immediately if the caster touches something, casts a spell or uses a weapon.

Spell TypesEdit

For each effect type, the pattern of spells is consistent:

Type Targets Duration Spell Level Target Level Pacify Fear Frenzy Rally
Missile Single target 30 seconds Novice 6 Fury Courage (60 second duration)
Apprentice 9 Calm Fear
Area Missile Targets within 15' of impact 60 seconds Adept 14 Frenzy Rally
Expert 20 Pacify Rout
Wide Area Targets within 250' of caster 60 seconds Master 25 Harmony Hysteria Mayhem Call to Arms (100' radius / 10 min. duration)

Target Level does not apply to Rally effects. All missiles, area or not, are range 469 feet.


Illusion is a formidable tool against almost every enemy in Skyrim, dragons being a notable exception. It can be used on its own as a combat tool, but it is best used in conjunction with another skill to take on enemies.

The only effect that serves as a combat tool is Frenzy, which can be used to cause groups of enemies to decimate each other. Frenzy spells can also be useful for hunting deer and other fleeing animals, as they will turn and attack you instead of running away. Furthermore, casting a Frenzy spell on someone is not considered a crime if you are hidden when you cast it (regardless of whether or not you have the Quiet Casting perk). This can make some of the Dark Brotherhood contracts much easier.

You can simply avoid combat with Fear, or Pacify, the latter of which has the additional use of allowing you to converse and trade with otherwise hostile NPCs. Pacify spells may also allow you to set up additional sneak attacks if the first did not kill your opponent. Invisibility and Muffle can allow you to bypass enemies, even in full daylight, or setup sneak kills. Followers can be rallied to provide better protection at times too. Quiet Casting also affects use of the Thu'um, so you will be able to shout and stay undetected.

Drawbacks to the skill are that undead, Daedra, and dwarven automatons are unaffected by Illusion spells until the perk Master of the Mind is activated. Without the Quiet Casting perk, enemies will be able to hear the casting of the sneak-oriented spells Muffle and Invisibility, and may still be able to detect you.

Skill PerksEdit

Novice Illusion
Kindred Mage
Quiet Casting
Apprentice Illusion
Adept Illusion
Expert Illusion
Master Illusion
Hypnotic Gaze
Aspect of Terror
Master of the Mind
Illusion Dual Casting
Illusion Perk Tree
Perk In-Game Description Notes ID Skill Req. Perk Req.
Novice Illusion Cast Novice level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000f2ca9
Animage Illusion spells now work on higher level animals††. Adds +8 levels to the spell maximum. 000581e1 20 Illusion Novice Illusion
Kindred Mage All Illusion spells work on higher level people††. Adds +10 levels to the spell maximum. 000581e2 40 Illusion Animage
Quiet Casting All spells you cast from any school of magic are silent to others. All shouts are also silent. 000581fd 50 Illusion Kindred Mage
Apprentice Illusion Cast Apprentice level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000c44c3 25 Illusion Novice Illusion
Adept Illusion Cast Adept level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000c44c4 50 Illusion Apprentice Illusion
Expert Illusion Cast Expert level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000c44c5 75 Illusion Adept Illusion
Master Illusion Cast Master level Illusion spells for half magicka. 000c44c6 100 Illusion Expert Illusion
Hypnotic Gaze Calm spells now work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Adds +8 levels to the spell maximum. Applies to Pacify and Harmony as well as Calm. 00059b77 30 Illusion Novice Illusion
Aspect of Terror Fear spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Adds +10 levels to the spell maximum. This perk also gives an extra 10 (15 if both ranks of Augmented Flames are unlocked first) points of damage to fire spells, as they also utilize a fear effect. 00059b78 50 Illusion Hypnotic Gaze
Rage Frenzy spells work on higher level opponents. Cumulative with Kindred Mage and Animage. Adds +12 levels to the spell maximum. 000c44b5 70 Illusion Aspect of Terror
Master of the Mind Illusion spells work on undead††, daedra, and automatons. 00059b76 90 Illusion Quiet Casting or Rage
Illusion Dual Casting Dual casting an Illusion spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version. This slightly more than doubles the maximum level of any level-based Illusion spell, while it instead improves the duration of Courage, Rally, and Call to Arms. Level adjustments from Animage, Kindred Mage, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror, or Rage are applied before the doubling effect (2.2 times the spell power for 2.8 times the magicka cost). 000153d0 20 Illusion Novice Illusion
For the spells Courage, Rally, and Call to Arms, this number is instead added to the stat boosts granted by those spells.
††Animage and Kindred Mage check the target both for having the necessary trait and for lacking the undead trait; accordingly, Master of the Mind and these perks will never affect the spell at the same time against an undead target (primarily of interest against vampires).


  Spell Name
Skill Level Tome
Magicka Base Cost Skill XP Description and Effect Details Where to Get
Spell ID00021143
Tome ID000ff7d1
50 25/s 0.25/s Shows the path to the current goal:
Spell ID0004dee8
Tome ID0009e2ad
46 39 39 Target won't flee for 60 seconds and gets some extra health and stamina:
Spell ID0004deeb
Tome ID0009e2ac
43 67 20 Creatures and people up to level 6 will attack anything nearby for 30 seconds:
Spell ID0004dee9
Tome ID000a2711
91 146 36 Creatures and people up to level 9 won't fight for 30 seconds:
  • Calm, 9 pts for 30 secs
Spell ID0004deea
Tome ID000a2712
80 153 38 Creatures and people up to level 9 flee from combat for 30 seconds:
  • Fear, 9 pts for 30 secs
Spell ID0008f3eb
Tome ID000a270f
88 144 144 You move more quietly for 180 seconds:
Spell ID0004deee
Tome ID000a2714
330 209 104/target Creatures and people up to level 14 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds:
  Frenzy RuneDB
Spell IDxx0177b7
Tome IDxx0177bd
310 278 278 Targets up to level 20 that fail to resist are frenzied for 30 seconds:
  Orum's Aquatic EscapeCC
Spell IDFExxx851
Tome IDFExxx866
350 165 Caster is invisible for <dur> seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell. Can breathe water for 15 seconds. Improved night vision for 15 seconds.
Spell ID0004deec
Tome ID000a2713
300 113 34/target Targets won't flee for 60 seconds and get extra health and stamina:
  Fenrik's WelcomeCC
Spell IDFExxx84F
Tome IDFExxx867
350 116 0 Caster becomes invisible and can open locks with level Expert and below for 5 seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell.
Spell ID00027eb6
Tome ID000a2715
625 334 83 Caster is invisible for 30 seconds. Activating an object or attacking will break the spell:
Spell ID0004deed
Tome ID000a2717
610 290 72/target Creatures and people up to level 20 won't fight for 60 seconds:
  • Pacify, 20 pts for 60 secs in 15 ft
Spell ID0004deef
Tome ID000a2718
653 316 79/target Creatures and people up to level 20 flee from combat for 30 seconds:
  • Rout, 20 pts for 30 secs in 15 ft
  Call to Arms
Spell ID0007e8dd
Tome ID000a271b
1150 655 65/target Targets have improved combat skills, health and stamina for 10 minutes:
Spell ID0007e8db
Tome ID000a271a
1220 1052 841/target Creatures and people up to level 25 nearby won't fight for 60 seconds:
  • Harmony, 25 pts for 60 secs in 250 ft
Spell ID0007e8de
Tome ID000a271c
1240 866 216/target Creatures and people up to level 25 flee from combat for 60 seconds:
Spell ID0007e8da
Tome ID000a2719
1250 990 396/target Creatures and people up to level 25 will attack anyone nearby for 60 seconds:
  Vision of the Tenth Eye
Spell ID000b323e
N/A N/A 0 0 See what others cannot.
  • Vision of the Tenth Eye, for 30 secs

Spell List NotesEdit

  • The base cost for spells is the amount of magicka that would be necessary to cast the spell at 0 skill without any perks. The magicka cost at 100 skill is 41% less than the base cost; the cost can also be reduced via enchanted apparel and by unlocking various perks. See Spell Cost for the full magicka cost equation.
  • Skill level indicates which skill perk needs to be unlocked to decrease the spell's magicka cost. "N/A" is used for special spells whose cost is not affected by any perks.
  • The "Where to Get" column only lists guaranteed locations for obtaining the spell tomes. Most spell tomes are also available in random loot; see Spell Tome Locations and the table below for details.
  • For higher-level spell tomes to become available for purchase, your skill in the school must be high enough (see the table below). Also, master-level spell tomes can only be acquired once that school's ritual spell quest has been completed.
  • All spell tomes have a weight of 1.
  • Skill XP can be modified by scripts and by the game engine itself under various circumstances. The exact XP you receive may vary from the numbers listed here.
  • Magicka cost and skill XP are rounded down, both in game and on this page. Because of this, you may find that you cannot cast a spell even though it appears you have exactly enough magicka to do so.
Tomes by Level
Spell Level Skill Level Character Level, Boss Chest Character Level, Random Chest
Novice 0 1 1
Apprentice 0 11 10
Adept 40 23 -
Expert 65 35 -
Master 0/90 - -
Master level spell tomes require the appropriate ritual spell quest to be completed to be sold; while the quests have a skill level requirement of 90 to initiate, if you have completed the quest and reset the skill by making it legendary, the spell tome should still be available for sale.

Magical EffectsEdit

A list of standard Illusion spells can be found on the Spells page. The following individual effects are all considered to be part of the school of Illusion (see the individual effect pages for full details on availability; the Magical Effects article also provides a summary):

Skill IncreasesEdit

Character CreationEdit

The following races have an initial skill bonus to Illusion:


Skill BooksEdit

Free Skill BoostsEdit

Gaining Skill XPEdit

  • Casting higher level spells gives generally faster skill increases (Novice<Apprentice<Adept<Expert<Master).
  • It is possible to reduce or even completely eliminate the magicka cost of spells by stacking Fortify Illusion enchanting effects, which is very helpful for Illusion training. The Secret of ArcanaDB power does the same thing, but only for 30 seconds.
  • Casting Muffle on yourself repeatedly will level up your Illusion quickly, even if there are no enemies around.
  • If you reset your Illusion skill after learning the master-level spells (after completing the Master Illusion Ritual quest), casting Harmony repeatedly in a heavily populated area, such as Whiterun, will (re)level up your Illusion significantly. Combined with the Secret of Arcana and depending on how many NPCs the spell hits, you could level from 15 to 100 in under 30 seconds by casting the spell.
  • Casting Courage or Rally on NPCs is effective and is not considered a crime. Courage uses less magicka, but Rally will level the skill more quickly. However, both can rarely turn a few otherwise non-hostile NPCs hostile, such as Vigilants of Stendarr and Revelers.
  • If using Rally to level, try to hit as many people as possible in one shot. Casting it into groups of people will raise the skill much faster than hitting single targets.
  • Simultaneously casting Rout and Pacify (one assigned to each hand) on an enemy will rapidly level Illusion. Although the effects of Pacify should keep the target stationary, this is best done in a small enclosed area to ensure that you can hit the target each time the spells are cast.


When the player reaches a high level in this skill, NPCs (particularly guards) will sometimes comment: "You're the one that casts those illusions. Impressive."


  • Clairvoyance, Invisibility, and Muffle can be cast to gain experience even if there is no one around. All other spells must be cast on a valid target to gain experience, although this does not have to be an enemy.
  • Casting Invisibility without the Quiet Casting perk may allow your character to still be detected. Enemies will investigate the sound, and may find you even if you have moved from where you originally cast the spell.
  • Vampires are not affected by Illusion spells unless you have Master of the Mind. Even then, they are considered undead rather than people for the purposes of the Kindred Mage perk.
  • The Necromage perk in the Restoration tree helps with making Illusion spells work against higher level undead.
  • Falmer can be affected by Illusion spells without Master of the Mind, but are not affected by Kindred Mage or Animage.
  • Dragons are immune to all Illusion spells cast at them, regardless of skill level or perks.
  • Vision of the Tenth Eye can be used as a kind of Night Eye spell with some effectiveness if needed, which does not appear to increase the ability of NPCs to detect you and allows for vision beyond the limited range of Candlelight and Magelight, though its long cast time, short duration and glare from light sources can be considerable downsides.
  • Master-level Illusion spells do not benefit from Dual Casting; however, they can still overcome the level 50+ cap with the relevant perks and by using Fortify Illusion potions.
  • Casting Mayhem will often cause items in the vicinity to shift around and become irretrievable.
  • Quiet Casting also affects shouts.
  • There are indications in the data files that at one point in the game's development, Mysticism would have been present as a school in place of Illusion. This is evidenced by an unused texture file containing names of all of the skills, in which Mysticism is present instead of Illusion, as well as the hardcoded order of Actor Values in the Creation Kit, in which Illusion is listed under "M" where Mysticism would go.


  • Aspect of Terror adds extra damage to fire spells, including chaos damage spells. This extra damage is affected by the Augmented Flames(/Frost/Shock for chaos) perks as long as the perks are obtained in the following order: Hypnotic Gaze, Augmented perks, Aspect of Terror, Animage. In any other order some of the damage might be lost upon a Save/Load.
  • Neither "Fenrik's Welcome" nor "Orum's Aquatic Escape" from the "Arcane Accessories" Creation appear to give *any* experience to Illusion at all. ?
  • Repeatedly casting Rally spells may spontaneously cause a CTD. It might be advisable to save often if one is doing this in order to train Illusion.