There are several kinds of resistances in Skyrim: magic resistance, flame resistance, frost resistance and shock resistance.

Is the magic resistance essentially just resistance to all three elements, or are there magic damage types besides those three? And are all sources of flame, frost and shock magic damage, or are there non-magical sources of elemental damage?

  • dont forget poison resistance Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


Magic resistance works against Fire, Shock, and Frost Damage, but it also reduces the effect of Absorb Health/Stamina/Magicka effects, magical "vulnerable to x" effects, etc.

You'll notice that you get much lower magnitudes of resist magic than you can get of resist elemental attributes for the same price. Resist Magic is the preferable choice, but you sacrifice magnitude for broad-spectrum defensive coverage.

I'm not sure if damage from standing in Oil Fires (the only non-magic source of elemental damage that comes to mind) is reduced by Resist Magic.

  • So, to confirm, Dragon Breaths are affected by Resist Magic? Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 19:35
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz As far as I've been able to determine. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 19:53
  • Yes. I have a character with 85% resist magic and 85% resist fire/frost. I take single digits of damage from ancient dragon breaths.
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 3:33

Magic resistance DOES NOT protect from elemental damage delivered by magic. Fire is fire regardless of how it was created. Fire resistance is needed to protect against all fire, be it from spell, dragon breath, or oil. Frost resistance is needed to protect against all ice. Magic resistance is for things like health drain and slow, and spells that weaken your other resistances. Poison resistance is needed to protect from similar things delivered by poisoned weapons or fangs.

  • That is not accurate. People at the USEP tested this out extensively: uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Resist_Magic
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 3:31
  • As per the wiki's page quote: Resist Magic is factored independently of Resist Fire, Resist Frost, and Resist Shock effects, meaning elemental resistance is factored after Magic Resistance has been applied. A 100-point Fire spell would deal only 15 damage with full Magic Resistance, and Fire Resistance can reduce that 15 points by 85%, down to 2.25 points for 97.75% total resistance.
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 3:32

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