Invisibility is invaluable to any stealthy character in Skyrim. Players can achieve this effect with the Invisibility spell; however, this requires a high level in Illusion to cast efficiently. Those who have not poured time and effort into raising this skill may turn to alchemy in order to render themselves unseen.
Though crafting potions may seem intimidating, many Skyrim players can get the hang of it in no time. Foraging ingredients and experimenting is a great way to practice — but for those looking to speed up the process, this guide should cover everything players need to know about invisibility potions.
Updated October 11, 2021 by Demaris Oxman: Years after its release, longtime Skyrim players are still seeking out ways to keep their playthroughs interesting. One way to do this is by incorporating stealth, keeping to the shadows rather than crashing sword-first into battles. Sneaking through hostile territory isn't easy, but invisibility can gives players an undeniable edge. As players continue attempts to remain undetected during Thieves' Guild and Dark Brotherhood missions, this guide has been updated with more detail on where to find invisibility ingredients, as well as additional recipes for valuable, effective potions.
The Invisibility Effect in Alchemy
Before beginning, players should understand some basics about Potions of Invisibility in Skyrim and how to make them last.
Discovering The Effect
Like any alchemical effect, Invisibility is an innate property of certain ingredients. Players can discover the effects of an ingredient by combining it with compatible ones at an Alchemy Lab. They can also eat an ingredient to learn its first effect — or, with increasing levels of the Experimenter perk, the Dragonborn can learn two, three, and eventually all four effects via consumption.
Any player, no matter their Alchemy skill level, can make a Potion of Invisibility provided they have the right ingredients. However, a higher skill level means that the effect will last longer. Players can grind out potions to level their Alchemy, or purchase training from NPCs. Players can also augment their potions with any equipment that bears the Fortify Alchemy enchantment, which increases the player's Alchemy skill while worn.
Invisibility is one of the rarer alchemical effects in Skyrim. Only six ingredients bear this use, and though they're not incredibly hard to find, they can be expensive. Mix any two of these to create a Potion of Invisibility.
Most of these ingredients can can be purchased from alchemy vendors, but players wanting to save a few septims might consider gathering ingredients themselves. However, some of their locations can be dangerous for low-level players, so be sure to gear up.
- Ash Creep Cluster: Available only in the Dragonborn DLC. This ingredient grows only on the island of Solstheim, and can be found growing on rocks in the island's southern ash fields.
Chaurus Eggs: Found underground locations where Falmer and Chaurus live. Almost all Dwemer ruins are great sources, but the following are especially bountiful.
- Chillwind Depths, south of the town of Dragon Bridge
- Tovald's Cave, northeast of Shor's Stone
- Frostflow Abyss, beneath the Frostflow Lighthouse in Winterhold. Be careful venturing here, as several Chaurus guard their eggs.
Ice Wraith Teeth: Ice Wraiths drop these when killed. Players can find these in Skyrim's most frigid places, but they can be dangerous for low-level players. Frost resistance equipment is recommended when collecting this ingredient.
- The road to High Hrothgar is home to a few of these creatures; walking up and down the steps is a good way to hunt them.
- The Sea of Ghosts north of Winterhold is another common location.
- Luna Moth Wing: These moths can be found fluttering around most areas at night, and may spawn in clusters along with Torchbugs. They're most commonly found around Whiterun and Solitude.
Nirnroot: This light green herb grows near water all over Skyrim. Players can often find it easily due to its faint glow and distinct chiming sound.
- Quite a few can be found in Morthal and its surrounding swamps.
- Walking along Skyrim's northernwestern coastline in Haafingar, The Pale, and The Reach can yield quite a few Nirnroots. Low-level players should watch out for horkers and the occasioal Ice Wraith around these areas.
- Crimson Nirnroot, which grows only in Blackreach, has the same effects as normal Nirnroot, including Invisibility. Over 40 specimens can be found in this location.
Vampire Dust: Players can loot this ingredient from killed Vampires.
- Haemar's Shame, accessed as part of the quest "A Daedra's Best Friend," is crawling with these undead fiends.
- Movarth's Lair near Morthal is another well-known vampire den. Players will raid it during "Laid to Rest."
- If the player joins the titular faction in the Dawnguard DLC, they will frequently journey out on vampire-hunting missions, resulting in a steady supply of Vampire Dust.
Experts in Alchemy know that the best potions have more than one effect. A few of the above ingredients have overlapping alchemical properties, leading to the potential for incredible brews — especially if the Dragonborn adds a third ingredient to the mix.
- Combining Luna Moth Wing and Vampire Dust not only turns the Dragonborn invisible but regenerates health as well. Additionally, the Luna Moth Wing boasts the Fortify Light Armor effect, useful for sneaky characters. Adding another Fortify Light Armor item as a third ingredient, like Hawk Feathers or a Skeever Tail, will add this effect to the brew.
- A combination of Vampire Dust, Ash Creep Cluster, and Elves' Ear will not only turn the drinker invisible, but will also impart Restore Magicka and Resist Fire effects. This is useful for stealthy mages, or those who employ Illusion magic in their stealth builds. Players can find Elves' Ear in most NPC homes.
- Replacing Elves' Ear with Ectoplasm in the above mixture will replace Resist Fire with Fortify Destruction. For players looking to hurl fireballs from the shadows, it's the perfect potion — just remember that casting a spell will break the invisibility effect.
- Since Nirnroot and Crimson Nirnroot share the same four effects, combining them will create a potion of Damage Health, Damage Magicka, Invisibility, and Resist Magic. Though it's not the most practical of potions, the number of effects means a high sell price and a decent increase to the Alchemy skill.
As the last recipe notes, players should be aware some of the invisibility ingredients share detrimental effects. For example, combining a Luna Moth Wing with Chaurus Eggs damages Magicka along with making the player invisible. Still, if players wind up with an undesirable mixture, it's not the end of the world. After all, invisibility potions always sell for a healthy profit.
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