I've seen it mentioned that your sneakiness is affected by darkness, which makes sense. Obviously if you were to sneak around with a torch in hand, someone could see you more clearly. What I'm not clear on, is if I'm less stealthy with a spell equipped. After all, I do have a glowing ball (or two) of fire/lightning/etc in hand.

Is an equipped spell going to make me stand out more to someone, or does it not matter at all? Is the spell animation purely for my reference to know which spell I have equipped?


Spells only create sound when they're actually cast (unless you have the illusion perk which negates the sound). Spells create light whenever they're selected, and even more when they're actually cast. (This is very similar to the self-illumination via pipboy in Fallout 3).

Given that you can't score sneak attacks with spells in the first place, keep your mage hands in your thief pockets when going in for a sneak stab.

  • 2
    Are you sure about this? I was playing sneak sneak stab stab this morning for the benefit of some little kids and was spotted when I pulled out my dagger + healing spell, hidden when I put them away, and hidden with only my dagger out...
    – Aeo
    Nov 16 '11 at 14:37
  • @Aeo hm. Maybe I shall do some more research. Nov 16 '11 at 16:00
  • Ok. I'd double check myself but Skyrim and work don't quite mix :P I will double check myself when I get home though.
    – Aeo
    Nov 16 '11 at 16:07
  • @Aeo Yeah, I'm in the same boat, currently. Nov 16 '11 at 16:14

Just use your highest damage dagger/sword and make sure you are using something that will keep you hidden when near them. I personally use shadow cloak of Nocturnal or a potion and sense I am high sneak level I am able to do backstabs easily but I mostly stick too using lightning bolt since I am a master at destruction with all the perks.

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