Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've seen effective methods for leveling Summoning, like spamming a Bound Sword on a crag in front of a giant; my question is whether or not something like this will work for Destruction spells. Does the Destruction spell have to actually hit the target or is it enough for it to be done in its vicinity? Does it level faster if you use it on or close to "difficult" NPCs like giants, as opposed to "easy" NPCs like Skeevers?

share|improve this question

16 Answers 16

up vote 4 down vote accepted

After you have beaten the Dark Brotherhood quest line, buy the torture room and keep attacking the people chained up in there. Once their health is low, use healing hands and heal them.

I have level 100 in restoration and destruction.

share|improve this answer

Destruction magic needs to hit its target, and it depends on the amount of damage done. The more damage you cause, the more experience you gain. Even still, leveling it is especially slow, so you will want to take advantage of all the possible boosts before power leveling that skill:

The best way to do it is to find an essential NPC and roast them for a while. Bonus points if you use destruction in one hand and restoration in the other hand (to level both at the same time!). If you don't want to waste time training it this way, I would suggest getting the rune master perk and using lots of runes while you go dungeon exploring. Runes are fairly high damage and you can cast it ahead of time and allow your magic to regen before proceeding into battle.

Also, here are the destruction trainers, its worth thinking about just paying for the training since it takes so long:

  • Wuunferth the Unliving in Windhelm (Common)
  • Sybille Stentor in Solitude (Expert)
  • Faralda in the College of Winterhold (Master)
share|improve this answer
If you have bonus damage for dual-casting a destruction spell, then should you dual-cast to level faster instead of casting restoration? – Sadly Not Jul 25 '12 at 18:08
@SadlyNot well, the issue is you have to be doing damage to gain experience, so if you are doing faster damage, then you'll have to heal more often or else you dont' gain experience. – l I Jul 25 '12 at 18:54
I do not know why this is not the accepted answer. It covers the entire gamut of the destruction tree information. +1 from me. – ヴァイシャリ Oct 10 '12 at 17:28
Destruction XP earned (via skill use) is based on a combination of "damage inflicted" and "the base magicka spent". You can also mention wearing the Aetherial Crown to add The Lover Stone. – NiteCyper Sep 8 '14 at 7:14

I know the most common is vilkas of the companions, but i find it easier to actually pick a stormcloak or imperial camp that is in enemy terriitory (no bounty if say a stormcloak camp by solitude) and each one has an essential commander that cant die and regains health quickly. also in between periods where they regin health you can recharge magika and just leave when your done with no bounty and easy xp for destruction and also can be done at any time inlike the one time with the companions.

share|improve this answer

The Destruction skill tree actually needs to damage to level up, so doing it on something that is unkillable will work best. Or if you just want to do it on the go, your best bet is to do quests and burn people alive?

If you did the Dark Brotherhood quests you can cast it on Shadowmere, then stop for a few to let him regenerate. Rinse and repeat.

share|improve this answer

In Reddit /r/Skyrim, it has been recently reported in this post that jumping on the blacksmithing forge's fire will increase your destruction level. It appears that every time you jump in the fire, you cast a destruction fire spell on yourself.

enter image description here

However, on the PC version of the game, this will not work if you have the Unofficial Skyrim Patch (USKP) installed, as it fixes this "bug".

share|improve this answer
Hah. They finally made fires actually hurt you, but they still messed it up. – SevenSidedDie Jun 16 '13 at 5:41

After you become the master of the Dark Brotherhood, you will have the option to furnish the sanctuary. One of the features is a torture chamber. Use your destruction (and restoration) spells on them. added bonus If you question each of them after burning (and healing) them, they will reveal the location of hidden treasure.

share|improve this answer
This worked really well for me; make your restoration slightly higher than your destruction skill and use a low-power destruction spell. Burn-heal-burn and watch your skills shoot up! – stslavik Apr 6 '12 at 18:50
You only need to talk to them 4 times for them to reveal their treasures' locations, no violence necessary. – kotekzot Apr 6 '12 at 18:55

Well, a good thing to start with is leveling enchanting (involves iron daggers and confidence!) and getting a chest piece, a helm, a ring and a necklace. Enchant each one with 25% destruction spell cast reduction. Then, just use your free destruction spells to pound away at shadowmere (dark brotherhood questline)!

share|improve this answer

For conjuration you will need to have completed the quest pieces of the past. At Mehrune's Shrine after the quest there will be 2 unbound Dremora. Kill them both and represent cast soul trap on one of the bodies. Because the Dremora have eternal souls it counts as if it were still alive aside from not getting the soul.

To level up destruction just dual cast flames on Shadowmare since she is 100% resistant to magic and always friendly. Fire does the most damage out of the three elements available so it gives the most exp. Another neat trick I learned by accident is when you train with someone, you can immediately use the shout ice form to frees them solid. Because it doesn't do any damage it doesn't turn them hostile. Enter sneak mode and repeatedly tap X for pickpocket. It will eventually open when they began to thaw. Take your money and bam you can train again. Works on all NPCs like when buying a house or training or any of the like.

share|improve this answer
Comment by anonymous person about the first paragraph, saying that it is wrong: "For conjuration, just keep casting soul trap on anything you recently killed. It's a long process as it will take an hour or so, but it's worth it." – Michel Aug 11 '14 at 17:21

I usually just throw down a fire rune and summon familiars on top of it. If you have enough magicka you should get about a level a minute up to level 60.

share|improve this answer

Based on my research on destruction experience over here, what you want to do is maximize base magicka spent per second. The simplest way to do this is to get 100% destruction cost reduction... then spam your most expensive spells. If you don't use free destruction spells, you should work out a way to rapidly fill your magicka (such as the Equilibrium spells, magicka potions) or more mundane ways to fill the bar (increase maximum magicka to increase absolute regen rate, sleeping).

Does the Destruction spell have to actually hit the target or is it enough for it to be done in its vicinity?

Destruction spells must connect with a (non-corpse) target to award xp.

Does it level faster if you use it on or close to "difficult" NPCs like giants, as opposed to "easy" NPCs like Skeevers?

No. The xp award is the base magicka spent. If you use one spell to kill a skeever, you get the same xp as if you use that same spell to dent a giant.

share|improve this answer
If it's for base magicka spent, would it work for spells with no magicka cost? I was thinking you could get Arniels convection and just hold it on Shadowmere and leave it. I haven't tested this yet though. With that you could just leave it. – Crubleigh Jun 13 '14 at 22:10
@Crubleigh Arniels convection costs 1 magicka per second, base. – David B Jun 14 '14 at 0:37
Well in game and on the wiki it says 0 magicka and 1 damage. Is it in the data as 0 or something?'s_Convection – Crubleigh Jun 14 '14 at 2:12

If you have a high pickpocket skill you can always pay for training and then steal your money back as well.

share|improve this answer

I havnt tried this myself, but it worked in Oblivion and Ive seen others talking about it:

Summon an zombie, kill it with your destruction spells and repeat.

share|improve this answer
you can't actually summon zombies out of thin air in Skyrim, you need a body to do that. However, you can summon familiars, which are just as handy. (don't tell PETA) – l I Dec 6 '11 at 12:37
Alternately, you could summon a Daedra. Just don't tell NERD. (Nords for Ethical Relations with Demons) – LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 6 '11 at 12:53

You can summon a familiar and then attack it to level both conjuration and destruction. It will turn on you after a second, but even with low-level destruction spells it won't reach you (at least at the low levels I was doing this).

This may also work with atronachs, but I haven't ever attacked one of mine and seen it directly level destruction.

share|improve this answer

Attacking the Greybeards is a great way to level destruction, sneaking, and conjuration.

share|improve this answer
Doesn't the Greybeards fight back when you try to attack them ?... – elFlashor Nov 5 '12 at 19:04

This will only work if you haven't already joined the companions. When you first join someone will take you outside to hit him. Simply keep hitting him with spells and he will just keep telling you to use your sword and he won't do anything. This is effective because as soon as you stop attacking he will sheathe his weapon so you can wait 1 hour to regain your magicka.

share|improve this answer
one hour to regain magicka? – ヴァイシャリ Nov 7 '12 at 8:20

Two atronach (frost seem to have more hp being only CQB) and an AOE spell (using chain lighting). You do need to have twin souls perk, but with killing two at a time I'm getting 1/4 of xp bar at lvl 60 destruction.

share|improve this answer

protected by bwarner Oct 26 '12 at 15:13

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.