The Standing Stones are magical stones found in the wilderness which can give your character special abilities and powers. There are thirteen Standing Stones in total, each associated with one of Tamriel's thirteen constellations. Usually, only one stone's effects can be active at a time, although you can change which stone is active at any time by activating a different Standing Stone. However, by wearing the Aetherial Crown, a possible reward for completing the Lost to the Ages quest in Dawnguard, the player may be affected by two standing stones at once.
The first three stones most players will encounter are the three Guardian Stones: the Mage Stone, the Thief Stone, and the Warrior Stone. These three stones are found together in a circle outside the starting dungeon. Selecting one of these stones allows you to effectively specialize in one group of skills. All of the other stones are located on their own.
|The Apprentice Stone||On an island in the Hjaalmarch marsh, just north of Fort Snowhawk, west-northwest of Morthal .||Those under the sign of The Apprentice recover Magicka faster, but are more susceptible to Magicka damage.|
|The Atronach Stone||In the southernmost part of the hot springs of Eastmarch, northwest of Mistwatch and east-northeast of Darkwater Crossing .||Those under the sign of The Atronach absorb a portion of incoming spell damage and have a larger pool of Magicka, but recover it more slowly.|
|The Lady Stone||On an island in Lake Ilinalta, directly north of Falkreath .||Those under the sign of The Lady regenerate Health and Stamina more quickly.|
|The Lord Stone||East of Morthal, northeast of the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon, about one and a half times as far as Stonehills, up on the mountain. Follow the path starting north of the Hall of the Vigilant to the Shrine and the Stone .||Those under the sign of The Lord are more resistant to both Magicka and physical damage.|
|The Lover Stone||East of Markarth, just north of Kolskeggr Mine .||Those under the sign of The Lover always feel a Lover's Comfort. (All skills improve faster).||Learn all skills 15% faster
|The Mage Stone||Southwest of Riverwood, by the roadside, one of the Guardian Stones .||Those under the sign of the Mage will learn all magic skills 20% faster.||Learn magic skills 20% faster|
|The Ritual Stone||East of Whiterun, by the roadside, above the entrance to Graywinter Watch||Once a day, those under the sign of The Ritual can reanimate nearby corpses to fight for them.||Raise all dead to fight for you once a day for 200 seconds
|The Serpent Stone||Directly east of the College of Winterhold and northeast of the Wreck of The Pride of Tel Vos, on an icy island in the Sea of Ghosts .||Once a day, those under the sign of The Serpent can use a ranged paralyzing poison on opponents.||Paralyze target for 5s and Damage Health of target 25pts|
|The Shadow Stone||South of Riften, near Nightingale Hall .||Once a day, those under the sign of The Shadow can become invisible for an extended period.||Become invisible for 60 seconds once a day|
|The Steed Stone||Northwest of Solitude, near Ironback Hideout .||Those under the sign of The Steed can carry more and do not suffer a movement penalty from armor.||
|The Thief Stone||Southwest of Riverwood, by the roadside, one of the Guardian Stones .||Those under the sign of the Thief will learn all stealth skills 20% faster.||Learn stealth skills 20% faster†|
|The Tower Stone||About halfway between Dawnstar and Winterhold, on a high snow-covered cliff .||Once a day, those under the sign of The Tower have the option to automatically open an Expert or lower lock.||Unlock any Expert or lower level lock instead of picking it once a day|
|The Warrior Stone||Southwest of Riverwood, by the roadside, one of the Guardian Stones .||Those under the sign of the Warrior will learn all combat skills 20% faster.||Learn combat skills 20% faster†|
†Archery counts as stealth skill in this context.
Achievements related to the Standing Stones are:
- Blessed (10 points/Bronze) — Select a Standing Stone blessing
- You must discover one standing stone, then activate its blessing. This is most easily accomplished using one of the three Guardian Stones.
- Standing Stones (30 points/Silver) — Find 13 Standing Stones
- You must discover all thirteen of the standing stones.
- Note that there is a glitch allowing you to receive the Standing Stones achievement by visiting any standing stones a total of 13 times rather than finding all 13. The glitch may also show you to have visited more than 13 Standing Stones, by keeping track of how many times you have visited different stones without keeping track of whether you have already visited that stone or not.
- The Standing Stones are comparable to the Birthsign Stones from Oblivion.
- The Lover Stone acts as a permanent Lover's Comfort bonus, and thus the player cannot obtain other sleeping bonuses.
- The Ritual Stone does not turn bodies to ash once the effect expires. That allows the ritual stone power to be used to raise a literal army of zombies. Kill some enemies, use the ritual stone power on the corpses. Go to another area and kill those enemies with your zombie army. Once they are dead, wait 24 hours to allow the power to recharge. Now use the ritual stone power again and you now have the zombies you originally raised the first time as well as the enemies you just killed. This process can be repeated over and over, adding new zombies to your army each time.
- The Ritual Stone power works on corpses positioned behind you, rather than in front.
- The Ritual Stone can also raise some enemies that cannot normally be raised by any other means, such as giants and mammoths, but not dragons of any kind.
- Equipping the Aetherial Crown will allow the player to select a new Standing Stone's effects, while retaining the effects from the previous one. Even if the crown is removed, the unequipped crown still retains the effect of the original Standing Stone, essentially turning a Standing Stone effect into an "equippable" item.
- The Atronach Stone has a 50% chance of causing all Summoning spells and powers to fail. See Spell Absorption for details.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Archery is assigned to the Thief Stone, instead of the Warrior Stone.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.