Skyrim: Standing Stones [All Effects & Locations]

Unlock the secret powers and location of Skyrim's standing stones and elevate your gameplay to monumental heights.

Among the many intriguing elements that Skyrim offers, the Standing Stones stand out as unique and valuable assets to enhance your gameplay experience. As you journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the game, locating these ancient standing stone structures will not only deepen your understanding of the game’s lore but also provide important benefits that aid in character development.

Important: There are 13 standing stones currently in Skyrim, and the blessing of only one stone can be active at a time. Activating another standing stone while already being equipped with a blessing will cause your character to remove the previous blessing and get the new one.

Key Takeaways
Standing Stone Effect Location
Apprentice Increased magicka regeneration

increased vulnerability to magic

Hjaalmarch
Atronach Absorb 50% of magicka from incoming spells

increased magicka regeneration

Eastmarch
Lady Increased maximum health and stamina Lake Ilinalta
Lord Increased armor rating, once a day, heals the player for 25% of their maximum health Morthal
Lover Increased stamina regeneration, the ability to quickly regenerate stamina once a day Markarth
Mage Increased magicka by 50 points The Reach
Ritual Once a day, reanimate nearby corpses to fight for the player Whiterun
Serpent Once a day, can paralyze an opponent with a ranged poison spit attack Sea of ghosts
Shadow Invisibility for 60 seconds once a day Riften
Steed Increased carry weight, no movement penalty from armor Haafingar
Thief Increased sneak, pickpocketing, and lockpicking skills by 20% The Reach
Tower Once a day, can automatically unlock a master-level lock Winterhold
Warrior Increased combat damage with all weapons The Reach

Guardian Stones

Skyrim guardian stones
The three guardian stones [image credits: eXputer]
The Guardian Stones in Skyrim are a trio of standing stones that grant blessings to enhance the player’s combat, stealth, or magic abilities. Located southwest of Riverwood, they provide a starting point for character specialization, allowing players to choose between the Warrior, Thief, or Mage stones.

Warrior 

The Warrior Stone is particularly significant for players who wish to pursue a combat-oriented playstyle, as it offers a specific boost to warrior-related skills. The Warrior Stone increases the leveling speed of Combat skills (One-Handed, Two-Handed, Block, Heavy Armor, and Smithing) by 20%. 

Located in the Guardian Stones area, the Warrior standing Stone is easily accessible early in the game. It is likely one of the first standing stones you will encounter in the game since it is on the path taken while being escorted to Riverwood. The location of the Warrior standing stone is southwest of Riverwood and directly west of Helgen, along the main road that leads from Helgen to Whiterun.

Mage 

The Mage Stone is vital for players looking to boost their magical prowess. The Mage Stone’s blessing is particularly beneficial for players who want to focus on developing their character’s magical skills and abilities.

The Mage Stone grants a 20% increase in the rate at which players learn all magic-related skills. This bonus applies to the following skills: Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration, and Enchanting. The location of Mage Standing Stone is in the Guardian Stones area. This location is southwest of Riverwood and directly west of Helgen, along the main road connecting Helgen to Whiterun.

Thief 

The Thief Stone is a valuable asset for players focusing on stealth and agility in their gameplay. The Thief Stone’s blessing is particularly beneficial for players who wish to enhance their character’s skills in stealth, thievery, and evasion.

The Thief Stone grants a 20% faster increase in experience for the six stealth-based skills: Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Light Armor, Speech, and Alchemy. The thief standing stone is located in the Guardian Stones area, found southwest of Riverwood and along the road to the west of Helgen.

Lady 

lady stone skyrim
Lake Ilinalta’s Lady stone [image by us]
The Lady Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to enhance their character’s survivability and regeneration.

The Lady Stone grants a 25% bonus to both health and stamina regeneration, allowing players to recover more quickly during and after battles. This Standing Stone is located on a small island in the middle of Lake Ilinalta, directly north of Falkreath. Players can reach the island by swimming or using spells.

Steed 

steed stone skyrim
Be as light as a feather with the blessing from Steed Stone [image by us]
As one of the thirteen Standing Stones, The Steed Stone is significant for players looking to enhance their mobility and carry capacity. The Steed Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to travel faster and carry more items without being encumbered.

It grants two primary benefits to the player:

  • It increases carry weight by 100 points, allowing them to carry more weapons, armor, and items.
  • It removes any movement penalties caused by wearing heavy armor.

The location of Steed Standing Stone is in the mountainous region of Haafingar, northwest of Solitude and near the Ironback Hideout. To reach the stone, players must climb the steep terrain surrounding it.

Lord 

lord stone skyrim
In the snow, lord stone [image credits: eXputer]
Lord Stone is one of the most important Standing Stones in Skyrim, especially for players looking to improve their character’s defensive capabilities. The Lord Stone’s blessing is especially beneficial for players who want to enhance their character’s durability and resistance.

It reduces the damage taken during combat so that players can better withstand enemy assaults and have a higher chance of survival.

More specifically, it provides:

  • 50 added point bonus to armor
  • 25% increase in magic resistance

Lord Stone is located on the mountain range between Dawnstar and Morthal. The easiest way to reach this stone is by traveling east from Morthal and climbing the mountain path. But be cautious of the enemies along the treacherous path.

Apprentice 

apprentice stone skyrim
The apprentice Stone [image captured by us]
The Apprentice Standing Stone holds considerable value for players who wish to focus on their magical abilities in Skyrim. The Apprentice Stone’s blessing particularly benefits players who want to enhance their character’s spellcasting prowess and magical effectiveness.

The effects of this stone are especially useful for spellcasters, such as mages and battlemages, as it enables them to cast spells more frequently during combat and exploration.

Specifically, the effects of the Apprentice Stone are:

  • A 100% bonus to Magicka regeneration.
  • A 100% increase in the character’s vulnerability to magic damage.

The location of Apprentice standing Stone is the Hjaalmarch marsh, west of Morthal. It is situated on a small island surrounded by marshlands, and players can reach it by wading through the shallow waters.

Atronach 

Atronach stone skyrim
The Atronach Stone [image by us]
The Atronach Stone is important for players looking to boost their magical prowess. The Atronach Stone’s blessing is particularly advantageous for players who want to strengthen their character’s magical defense and overall effectiveness in casting spells.

The Atronach Stone grants a unique set of effects:

  • It provides a 50-point bonus to Magicka.
  • Enables the player to absorb 50% of incoming spell damage and recover Magicka equal to the damage absorbed.
  • It also reduces Magicka regeneration by 50%.

The location of Atronach’s standing Stone is northwest of Eastmarch and east of Darkwater Crossing. To reach the stone, players should follow the road east from Darkwater Crossing.

Ritual 

ritual stone skyrim
Pray in the Ritual Stone [image by us]
The Ritual Stone is vital for players seeking to harness the power of the undead. The Ritual Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to enhance their character’s necromantic abilities, allowing them to temporarily command an army of the undead.

  • The Ritual Stone grants the power to reanimate all nearby dead bodies once per day for 200 seconds.
  • This standing stone is located east of Whiterun, on a small hill overlooking the city.

Lover 

lover stone skyrim
Fall in love with the game Lover stone [image by us]
The Lover Stone is important for players seeking versatility and ability balance. The Lover Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to enhance their character’s skill development across various disciplines.

  • It grants a 15% bonus to the rate at which all skills increase, making it an excellent choice for players who want to improve their character’s abilities more quickly without focusing on a specific skill set.
  • The location of Lover Standing Stone is northeast of Markarth.
  • Players can reach the stone by navigating through the mountainous terrain or using spells.

Shadow 

shadow stone skyrim
Be sneaky with the shadow stone [image by us]
The Shadow Stone holds immense significance for players seeking to enhance their stealth abilities and gain a tactical advantage in various situations. The Shadow Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to improve their character’s ability to move undetected and gain an edge in stealth-based gameplay.

  • The Shadow Stone grants the power to turn invisible for 60 seconds once per day.
  • Highly valuable for players who rely on stealth, such as thieves, assassins, or archers.
  • The location of the Shadow Standing Stone is south of Riften, on a small mountain ridge near the main road.

Tower 

tower stone skyrim
Climb the towering Stone [image credits: eXputer]
The Tower Stone is for players seeking to unlock new possibilities and overcome obstacles in their adventures. The Tower Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to enhance their character’s ability to bypass locked doors and chests without needing lockpicking skills.

  • The Tower Stone grants the “Tower Key” power, which allows players to unlock any expert-level lock (or lower) once per day.
  • This effect is beneficial for characters who may not have invested in lockpicking skills, as it provides them with an alternative way to access locked areas and obtain valuable loot.
  • This standing stone is located halfway between Dawnstar and Winterhold.
  • To reach The Tower Stone, players can either climb the mountainside, follow a rough path, or use spells like Whirlwind Sprint to traverse the difficult terrain.

Serpent 

serpent stone skyrim
Hissss the serpent stone [image by us]
The Serpent Stone is for players looking to gain an edge in combat and incapacitate their foes with deadly precision. The Serpent Stone’s blessing is particularly useful for players who wish to enhance their character’s ability to paralyze opponents and deliver a devastating blow temporarily.

  • The effects of the serpent stone can be activated once per day and are beneficial for characters who rely on stealth and ambush tactics, as it provides them with a unique way to incapacitate enemies and gain the upper hand in battle.

More specifically, the Serpent Stone grants a unique set of effects:

  • Paralyze opponents for 5 seconds
  • Damage health at a rate of 5 points for 5 seconds

The location of this standing stone is on a small, remote island in the Sea of Ghosts, east of Winterhold and north of Windhelm.

Changing Standing Stone Blessing

Changing the Standing Stone blessings in Skyrim is a simple and straightforward process. To change your current Standing Stone blessing, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the new Standing Stone: You must first travel to the location of the Standing Stone you wish to switch.
  2. Activate the Standing Stone: Once you’ve reached the new Standing Stone, interact with it by pressing the appropriate button (E on PC, A on Xbox, or X on PlayStation). A message will appear describing the effects of the new blessing and asking if you want to accept it.
  3. Confirm the change: To switch your blessing, confirm your choice by selecting “Yes” when prompted. Your previous Standing Stone blessing will be removed, and you will now have the effects of the new blessing.

Remember that you can only have one Standing Stone blessing at a time. However, you can change your blessing as often as you like, so feel free to experiment with different stones to find the perfect match for your playstyle and character-building.

Important: Also, remember that certain in-game events, such as progressing through the main questline, may temporarily override your current Standing Stone blessing with a unique effect..

In conclusion, the standing stones provide a unique and powerful way for players to customize their characters and gameplay experience. Plus, with a wide variety of weapons, arrows, and horses, Skyrim ensures players are not bored at any point in the game.

These mystical markers, scattered throughout the vast landscape, offer a variety of blessings and abilities that can dramatically impact your character’s build and effectiveness in combat, stealth, and magic.

By exploring the different standing stones and experimenting with their various effects, players can tailor their playstyle to suit their preferences and overcome challenges more effectively. For those eager to discover additional secrets and strategies, don’t miss our comprehensive guides on Skyrim’s Raven Rock, dragon shouts, and races.

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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews

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