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I just crafted some Daedric war axes, with extra effect Frost and Shock. I enchanted each with a Grand Soul Gem. I decided I'd go try them out on some of the folks hanging around Whiterun. While the axes are indeed impressive, the charge ran out after killing a dozen or so people. Is this normal? Can anyone tell me how long charges last with soul gems? Thanks!

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Possibly related gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/81452/… –  kotekzot Sep 24 '12 at 22:40
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2 Answers 2

You can read the number of charges on the weapon when you look at them in your inventory. They will use a single charge -Per-Hit- on a target (so if it takes you 3-4 swings to kill your target there went 3-4 charges). Its always a trade off when enchanting your weapons like this, do you want to have more uses so you do not have to charge them up so often or do you want the enchantments to be more effective.

Hope this helps.

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i generally prefer permanent enhancements to armor first. don't forget some armors such as gauntlets lets you fortify one-handed attacks. the effects on those are permanent –  tehdoommarine Sep 25 '12 at 5:20
    
Agree, fortify <attack> enhancements are far more efficient and reduce the number of hits you need substantially. Also, you can choose the Soul Squeezer perk to get a 100% more charges out of a given soul gem. –  ohmi Sep 25 '12 at 17:07
    
Not really sure how these comments relate to how charges are used on weapons though... –  James Sep 25 '12 at 17:15
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@ohmi I believe Soul Squeezer only affects the amount of magicka recharged by a soul gem, but not the magicka a weapon holds (number of uses, before going empty). –  galacticninja Sep 26 '12 at 4:40
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The following factors affect the soul gem charge of weapons:

It is discussed in detail at this UESP wiki article here, complete with the formula on how it is computed: Skyrim: Enchanting Effects - Weapon Effects

Also:

You may have noticed the game engine bug that causes weapon enchantments to drain more charges after you save and reload the game. The price of enchanted weapons also jumps significantly higher.

These problems become worse as your enchanting skill increases. Once you've reached a high level and begin placing more than one enchantment on a weapon, the charges can drain extremely quickly after game reload. These side effects are all due to an error in how the game stores enchantment data, which causes it to incorrectly recalculate the costs associated with player-made enchantments after the game reloads.

This SKSE plugin fixes all these problems, so that you can now enjoy having an enchanted weapon that retains the same price and number of charges that were displayed at the enchanting table when you first enchanted it, no matter how many times you reload the game.

- from the Enchantment Reload Fix mod's description

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What a fantastic mod, this bug has been driving me nuts. –  kotekzot May 15 at 4:10
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