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May the Stupid Question of the Year award go to this question.

Do you only have to fill it with a soul once and then get unlimited uses out of it or is it simply just a soul gem that doesn't get destroyed after you deplete the soul within it?

People in various discussion forums talk about how Azura's star will help their enchanting. Well, if it's unlimited uses out of a single soul then yes. If you have to refill it after you use the soul within it, though, then no.

I ask this because, this one time, I filled Azura's star with a grand soul that I sucked off a mammoth. After I recharged an enchanted weapon with it, it was empty.

That was a playthrough ago and now I am starting a new playthrough. I want to get Azura's star right away so I can start enchanting like mad, but it doesn't seem like you really do get unlimited uses out of a single soul.

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Related: Enchanting with the Black Star –  galacticninja Aug 24 '12 at 6:20

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Azura's Star is a soul gem that can be emptied and reused. Every time you want to use it for enchanting (or recharging) you must soul trap something into it. The soul is consumed, but not the Star.

UESP's page on the Star backs this up:

Enchanting objects with Azura's Star merely uses up the soul it was carrying, not the star with it like a regular soul gem.

It also doesn't matter if you take the "black" variant or not for the purposes of your question. Both variants work the same way, just on different souls.

The advantage is that you don't have to find or keep a ton of soul gems on hand. If this isn't an advantage to you, then there's nothing particularly special about the Star. I got it in my playthrough, but I had so many soul gems that I rarely made use of it.

Incidentally, this is the way Azura's Star works in Daggerfall (TES2), Morrowind (TES3), and Oblivion (TES4) as well.

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So, for enchanting, it really has no advantage. Seems good only for recharging magial weapons on the go. I wonder what these people were saying about how this will help their enchanting. Maybe they were under the same misconception as I. –  oscilatingcretin Aug 22 '12 at 21:00
    
@oscilatingcretin It mostly helps if you get the Black Star; with it you can enchant, assassinate a nameless guard with a soul trap on strike weapon, and enchant again. –  Tacroy Aug 22 '12 at 21:11
    
@oscilatingcretin - It saves money, because you don't have to keep buying soul gems to enchant with. Also, I think Tacroy has pointed out the main use. In Oblivion, I enchanted a bow with a lot of elemental damage, which could only fire a dozen or so shots before running out of energy. I also had it enchanted with soul steal, so when I killed an enemy, it was put into my Azura's Star, allowing me to immediately recharge the bow. –  SaintWacko Aug 22 '12 at 21:55
    
I hardly think the money you save in soul gems offsets the time you would have to spend to go out and fill the star, come back to an enchanting table to enchant, go back out and refill, come back and enchant, etc. Also, if you get the banish Daedra enchantment, your money problems are over. –  oscilatingcretin Aug 22 '12 at 22:32
    
"It also doesn't matter if you take the "black" variant or not for the purposes of your question. Both variants work the same way, just on different souls." Related: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each version of Azura's Star? –  galacticninja Aug 24 '12 at 6:21

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