One of the hardest parts of playing a mage build in Skyrim is how quickly the Dragonborn can run out of Magicka. Especially early on in the game, even fairly easy spells tend to burn through spellcasting power quickly. For someone who relies on fireballs to kill and magical armor to protect them, this can be a deadly situation.
That's why it's often essential for mages to pack plenty of potions on their adventures. Luckily, Skyrim is brimming with flowers, fungi, and otherworldly minerals that will restore the player's Magicka and get them back in the fight quickly. Here's a guide to collecting and combining those reagents.
Updated on October 14, 2021 by Demaris Oxman: Skyrim players are forever searching for new ways to play, from mods to challenges to simply trying out different builds. For some, that means attempting one of the game's harder play styles: the pure mage build. To further aid players taking on a magic-only playthrough in this open-world RPG, this list has been updated to help the Dragonborn keep their Magicka reserves up. Below, players can find additional info on where to find Restore Magicka ingredients, and the best recipes for utilizing them.
The Restore Magicka Effect
As the title states, potions with this effect will refill the player's Magicka bar. The amount that a crafted potion refills depends on the Dragonborn's alchemy level, so spend time grinding potions to raise the skill.
Additionally, be sure not to confuse this effect with Fortify Magicka. "Fortify" will increase the player's maximum Magicka, while "Restore" will replenish it up to the current maximum.
Plenty of ingredients throughout the game carry Restore Magicka as one of their four effects. Some are bountiful and easy to gather, while others are a bit trickier. All of the following ingredients can be purchased (or stolen, if the player is so inclined) from alchemist merchants throughout the land. However, tracking down one's own components can be a fun adventure.
Easy To Find
These ingredients are fairly common, and don't require the Dragonborn to risk life and limb to get them. For players trying to whip up as many Restore Magicka potions as possible, they're great to gather.
- Creep Cluster: Look for these among the rocks in the volcanic hot springs south of Windhelm. The area around the Atronach stone is especially plentiful.
- Dwarven Oil: There are always plenty of jars lying around in Dwemer ruins. Players can usually loot them off dwarven constructs in these ruins as well. The following locations are good sources:
- Ectoplasm: Most of these are in set locations; thus, it's often hard for players to farm for it. The best way to obtain this ingredient is to gain favor with an alchemist, who will then let the Dragonborn take it freely from their shop when it's on the shelf.
- Ectoplash may be looted from the remains of killed ghosts, who appear in specific locations around Skyrim. These locations include Ysgramor's Tomb, the Twilight Sepulcher, Forelhost, and Yngvild, among others.
- Elves Ear: Most homes contain this item, and owners will let the player take it if they are on good terms. It's also commonly dropped by hostile magic-users.
- Giant Lichen: These grow on old ruins or rocky formations. Search for them Morthal, or in the marshes east of Solitude.
- Grass Pod: These typically grow around Skyrim's coastal areas. To farm them, the Dragonborn can take a walk along the northern shore from Winterhold to Dawnstar; at least 70 samples can be found along this path.
- Mora Tapinella: This mushroom grows on fallen logs. Autumnshade Clearing is a good place to gather it.
- Red Mountain Flower: Like their blue and purple cousins, players can find this little blossom along mountain roads and throughout grassy plains. The road between Whiterun and Honningbrew Meadery contains plenty.
- Vampire Dust: Predictably, this item is dropped by killed vampires. Players can hoard this ingredient by raiding a vampire hideout and wreaking havoc.
- Movarth's Lair and Haemar's Shame are both crawling with the undead fiends, and thus make for good sources.
- By joining the Dawnguard, players will often be sent on vampire-hunting missions, and thus can build up a decent supply of Vampire Dust.
- White Cap: Like other common mushrooms, these can be found in dark, damp places such as caves. The following locations are particularly plentiful:
- Halldir's Cairn
- Frostflow Abyss
- Chillwind Depths
Note: Players should not mix Red Mountain Flower with either White Cap or Ectoplasm for a Restore Magicka potion, as these ingredients share detrimental effects. The former imparts Ravage Magicka, which will result in the drinker losing Magicka instead. Meanwhile, the latter will result in a Damage Health potion.
Harder To Find
Some players may be able to find these fairly easily, but generally, they're not worth hunting down as the above ingredients are. They tend to be in fixed locations, or require a lot of legwork to get. Once found, though, they can be incredibly useful, and many have valuable effects in addition to Restore Magicka.
- Briar Heart: These strange items are dropped by Forsworn Briarhearts upon death. Reaching one of these foes typically requires clearing a whole Forsworn hideout, and they use deadly spells in battle. Fight Briarhearts at Dead Crone Rock, Deepwood Redoubt, and other Forsworn bases.
- Fire Salts: Loot these from dead Flame Atronachs, provided they don't explode first. Players can also loot them from the homes, hideouts, or businesses of those knowledgeable in the arcane.
- Fellglow Keep and Septimus Signus' Outpost each contain a few specimens.
- College of Winterhold members can craft this item at the Atronach Forge using a salt pile, ruby, and soul gem.
- Frost Salts: These are found on dead Frost Atronachs, as well as similar static locations as Fire Salts.
- Similar to Frost Salts, players can craft them at the Atronach Forge with a salt pile, sapphire, and soul gem.
- Human Flesh: Find this grisly reagent in the hideouts of vampires, witches, and other hostile mages.
- With the Dawnguard DLC, several can be found in Castle Volkihar's dining hall, which respawn every few in-game days.
- Moon Sugar: Khajiit Caravans sell this item regularly; however, they can be hard to track down. Try waiting for them to spawn outside of Dawnstar or Whiterun.
- Players can also steal several units during the quest "Skooma Trade" in Riften.
- Pearl: Another rare item found in set locations, the player may pick this up in the domiciles of master mages.
- With the Dragonborn DLC, players can find Pearl Oysters containing this item along the shores of Solstheim.
- Taproot: Players can loot these from killed spriggans, aggressive nature spirits that are fairly rare throughout Skyrim. Players may find them in Eldergleam Sanctuary or Autumnshade Clearing.
Packing multiple effects into a single potion allows Skyrim's alchemists to kill several birds with one stone. Fortunately, several Restore Magicka ingredients have other effects in common, allowing players to use them to buff their spellcasting abilities in more ways than one.
- Combining Dwarven Oil, Mora Tapinella, and Fire Salts create a potion that not only restores Magicka, but also imbues the user with Regenerate Magicka and Fortify Illusion effects. This is incredibly helpful for high-level mages who rely on Illusion spells to keep their hands clean.
- A potion of Moon Sugar and Fire Salts will add a Regenerate Magicka effect along with Restore Magicka. Additionally, if the player tosses Snowberries into the mix, they will add both the Resist Fire and Resist Frost effects to the concoction.
- Combining a Briar Heart and Ectoplasm will Fortify Magicka as well as restoring it. Furthermore, adding a Glowing Mushroom to the mix will fortify the drinker's Destruction skill as well, further increasing a mage's offensive potential.
Additionally, certain Restore Magicka potions aren't necessarily useful in battle, but are highly valuable due to boasting several effects that fetch high prices. Not only can the following potions be sold for a high profit, but making them will increase the player's Alchemy skill by quite a bit.
- Dwarven Oil and Taproot share the same four effects: Weakness to Magic, Fortify Illusion, Restore Magicka, and Regenerate Magicka. Thus, a potion containing both ingredients will have all four effects.
- Combining Briar Heart, Human Flesh, and Pearl will provide the effects Fortify Block, Restore Magicka, and Paralysis. As Paralysis is the most valuable alchemical effect in the game, this mixture is worth making for alchemists who intend on selling their creations.
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