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About this mod

Experience gameplay focused on combos and synergy. Lessen the need for menus or hotkeys through a system where swapping spells and weapons is streamlined and rewarding. Continue the fight at 0 magicka by using new spell types. Enjoy a plethora of new sounds and visual effects. Grow in power by playing skillfully, not just from levels and gear.

Permissions and credits
  • Spanish
  • Russian
Alternate game editions: XBox | Enderal | LE

More Recent Videos:
(Unedited) endgame gameplay in VR 
(using mods to intentionally extend fights)
And a podcast-style tips and tricks video for those that want to deep-dive (this is long and is not required knowledge)


Spellsiphon is built from the ground up to be introduced and learned in-game. It includes a button to fully disable the mod in the MCM (and its config book if you don't have an MCM) so you are always able to back out if you don't like it without risking your save file. It is so much easier to grasp this new system when you can press the buttons and cast the spells yourself and see what happens. And when the tutorial can gradually open up the functionality to you. For your own sake, do NOT read this entire mod page word-for-word before installing, please. It's a veritable mountain of information. It would be like reading the entire wiki for a game before trying it. Feel free to jump to sections that seem interesting to you though, like "Getting Started", then jump in and come back when you have specific questions you want answered (again, like a wiki)

Design goals

  • Fully support both VR and non-VR. The mod will auto-detect which version you're playing and adapt certain effects to look good in any edition.
  • Complementing vanilla or modded magic, not replacing it. Instead of being yet another pack of spells that can take the place of your old ones, this mod introduces a spell selection that is free of cost. Its damage is tuned below normal magic so you're incentivized to cast your old favorite spells while resources last then switch to Spellsiphon while regenerating then switch back, ensuring the magic you're used to and this new selection both stay relevant. To keep balance in line with vanilla, damage numbers are similar to what a Mage can normally get out of a sword. The idea being that these new spells replace the sword/shield set that you would otherwise be forced to use when magicka runs dry.
  • Skill-based magicka regeneration. A new mechanic causes you to regenerate faster if you use your spells in a certain sequence (perform combos). This creates a kind of magicka-spender/magicka-builder synergy between normal magic and Spellsiphon casting. 
  • A focus on combos and chains. Mage gameplay can often devolve into repeated dual-casting of a single low-cost spell. To change that, Spellsiphon builds upon spell interaction as its core concept, rewarding the player for mixing it up. This spans beyond just the regeneration mechanic above, all abilities in this mod directly interact with others.
  • Streamlined spell-switching. To make use of a combo-focused system you'll have to swap spells frequently which does get clunky with the normal Skyrim method of assigning hotkeys (or worse, using menus), re-equipping and then casting. This mod aims to change that too by adding a whole new hotkey-free way of moving through its ability set as well as 3 custom damage spells of your choosing. It also helps smooth out the transition to other spell casting (e.g. alteration and illusion utility) and back through a new option called "Spell Focus".
  • Synergies between weapons and magic. Skyrim has weapons too and these two halves of the combat system don't need to be entirely separated. Magic can now assist weaponry if you "imbue" yourself. In this state, you can deflect spells, arrows and melee by whipping up elemental gusts with certain swings (this costs stamina). In the opposite direction, imbued weaponry can assist magic by triggering and setting up spell combos. These synergies are available to any weapon you choose to equip. Even staves trigger some of these effects so pure mages can get in on the action.
  • No forced pausing. Spell-switching is not the only thing streamlined, you'll get convenient access to some weapons and tools as well. Between them, they'll fulfill all your basic necessities like a shield, a ward, a healing spell, a torch and a bow along with a whole lot of other stuff. With that taken care of, your old hotkeys are free to be used for other fun things that make your character unique. Alternatively, if you're on a platform that doesn't have hotkeys, you'll get reliable access to these essential combat functions without ever opening a menu.
  • Few spells, many mechanics. Magic mods normally add tons of spells, where each one has a single specific purpose. This mod takes a different approach. By focusing on a smaller set of special baseline spells and making each one serve a wide array of different purposes, it strives to provide the same variety in mechanics as a large spell selection while minimizing the amount of buttons you need to remember (and reach).
  • Truly unique abilities. Everything in this new set should have its own mechanics and reasons to be used. An ability should never be made obsolete by learning a newer one.
  • Significant depth. Ideally, there should always be more ability interactions and intricacies to discover, even after months of playing.
  • Balanced mechanics that don't break the game. E.g. no paralysis, teleports (that can skip entire dungeons) or insta-kill spells. 
  • Making player skill count. Stats, perks and gear will still help but actually knowing how to fight should be just as important. 
  • Better bound weapons. These go from overpowered early on to useless in the later levels. It's a shame for such a cool category of spells. By tweaking them and giving them a central role in this new system, they can finally become a balanced and fun component of combat at any stage of the game.

Further reading

As I think most would agree, Skyrim's combat is overly simple and quickly gets repetitive. Many mods out there try to solve this by introducing hundreds of new spells, perks or items but that doesn't fix the root of the problem. Even with all those options present, the fact remains that the combat system was designed from the start to have you wield a single item or spell in each hand and stay like that throughout the fight. The system for switching weapons and spells in combat is a tacked-on afterthought with all kinds of mechanical, visual, audio and animation issues. To drive the point home, the game comes with a measly 8 hotkeys on PC (3 of which are out of comfortable reach), 2 on consoles and 0 in VR. No actionbar, no button remapping options, nothing.

Even with mods that increase the number of available hotkeys, there are many inherent issues. They tend to be unresponsive, keeping track of many without an actionbar can be difficult if not impossible, binding them is often cumbersome and it is not uncommon for them to crash or temporarily stop working. When you get past all that though, the result simply looks and sounds awful with items popping in and out of view accompanied by clicky menu sounds and looping equip sounds.

This restriction stands at the core of Skyrim's spell and weapon design. They're all built to be used alone, offering no interaction with any others. Spells are even repeating themselves all over the place, providing practically the exact same mechanic, just with a different look or a higher number. The reason is the same, you are only supposed to be using one of them so when you get one with a prettier skin or a higher potency, you throw away the old one.

Well, what if this could be changed? What if a system could be introduced that streamlined the switching of spells and weapons, making it look, sound and feel like it's intended for you to do so? That would open the door to making combat deeper, more involved, more fun. All the spells and weapons should still be useful on their own, sure. But now they can also be designed to combine with each other to create far more opportunities for the player to explore and experiment with. Concepts like combos, chains, openers and rotations become a real possibility. This mod strives to do both these things; make an immersive switching system and put spells and weapons into that system that are all unique from each other and all interact with each other.

Do note that this is not made to the exclusion of everything else Skyrim has to offer. Quite the opposite, this mod tries to integrate its system in such a way that it can play together with as many other things as possible. An initial reaction is often that this mod would replace things like Apocalypse and then people either skip over it because they don't want to give up their other spells or they want every other spell in the game integrated into it so it can truly replace everything else. This was never the intention. Instead the mod grants you options that allow the use of any external spells, shouts or powers with minimal hotkeys and hassle, provides integration of any weapon into your elemental combos by imbuing it and benefits from the item bonus and perk systems so you can customize and adapt it to any playstyle. 


Safe and easy to try out

  • Doesn't touch the base game. Cleaned in xEdit. Does not add itself to vendors or loot. If you're not actively using it, it won't interfere with your game at all. 
  • Easily installed. No special instructions and no requirements, not even on SKSE. Can be added mid-save.
  • Easily disabled. Should you decide that you don't like it, there's a one-click menu option to cleanly and completely remove all of its magic, scripts, etc.
  • Minimal performance impact. Optimized scripts (see "Performance" below).

A deep combat system that promotes variation

  • Switch spells and weapons in a brand new way. A new spell called Draw can be aimed at living or dead targets or just at the environment around you to siphon the elements of Life, Death or World. Once the siphoning completes, these elements will become spells that take Draw's place in your hand. A new Shout can also conveniently toggle between Bound Weapons and spells.
  • Everything interacts with everything else within the mod. Perform combos by mixing elemental spells. Attune yourself to an element using a spell and then consume that attunement with a Bound Weapon strike or a special new "Bound Spell" to unleash element-specific effects. Use the new "Bind" Shout to convert your held spell into a new ability unique to that element. Finally, as the capstone of your abilities, you can summon elemental creatures and then fire your spells at them to release an entire array of special creature detonations. All in all, you're looking at 30+ unique effects that you can trigger when fully unlocked.
  • Progressively unlock abilities. The mod will start you off with a basic but still very capable set of fundamental abilities. Increasing your magic skill will then gradually unlock more and more variation, power and tactical options.
  • Learn in your own way. Get guided through how the mod works by an in-game quest and/or read the in-game book, practice and learn on your own terms. You can even just wildly experiment and see what happens. All approaches are supported and equally encouraged. You can turn the guiding quest on and off at any time you wish.
  • A far better Ward spell. This serves all your defensive needs in one package. It's a physical shield, a magical ward, a healing spell and a light-emitting torch, complete with stamina-drain mechanics and timed blocking functions.
  • Customize your character with perks and items. The spells, abilities and weapons in this mod will all level their appropriate skill trees and are affected by perks and item effects. The streamlined comboing system means you will be using many more of Skyrim's skill trees in every fight, giving you far more options for your perk points.
  • Everything available everywhere. Anyone that has visited a Dwemer ruin has seen half their spells and abilities become useless due to resistances and conditions like "can only be used outside". It makes those (major) parts of the game a drag. The spells in this mod have no conditions on them and they separate their mechanics from their damage. The damage can still be resisted or enhanced by weaknesses as with any other spell but their special mechanics like combos and control effects will always apply, ensuring they remain valuable in any scenario.

An immersive experience

  • Never open a menu in combat and free up your hotkeysEach and every ability can be performed during a single fight by using only your Attack/Cast and Shout buttons due to how the Draw and combo systems are designed.
  • Meticulously crafted effects. All features, from spells to weapons to mechanics, are accompanied by carefully picked and modified sounds and visual effects to make them truly unique and impactful.
  • Eating books won't make you master these spells. Feel like a real mage by actually studying and/or experimenting to learn how to use each new ability. You yourself need to figure out (with some optional guidance) how to trigger each effect, how it fits into your larger spell chains and how each ability's unique mechanic can synergize with the rest of your kit to be fully effective.
  • Lore-friendly writing. Get introduced to the new combat art, read about how your abilities work and configure the mod to your liking by using books and quests that keep you within the Elder Scrolls universe.
  • Less immersion-breaking issues when changing equipment. Visual effects have been added so that weapon/shield models don't just *pop* into thin air (like they do in vanilla) when you cycle between the new spells and weapons. The usual clicky and looping noises when swapping magic are removed and replaced for the new spells. All of the added stuff is thoughtfully synced with existing animations to look fluid and fitting.

An expansion, not a replacement

  • Highly compatible. No conflicts with anything else out there. Can be thrown onto practically any load order (see "Compatibility" below). 
  • Can be used alongside all your old favorite spells. Either from vanilla or from other spell packs. You can assign 3 elemental spells of your own choice that can be accessed through Drawing and can trigger Spellsiphon combos (this is called "Entanglement", see "Using other spells" below for details or just play the tutorial). Non-elemental spells stay relevant as well and are conveniently cast using the included "Spell Focus mode" or alternate casting mods like Wizard Warrior (for SSE) and VRIK/MageVR (for VR). Various abilities in the mod will restore your magicka, which will often be wasted if you don't take the chance to spend it on external spells. The mod's balance expects you to make use of this resource, so don't forget about it!
  • Imbue yourself and your weapons. Your drawn elements can be used to imbue yourself, empowering your weapon with additional abilities that makes it a natural part of your combo rotations as well as granting it a very useful new defensive option (see "The Imbue system" below or play the tutorial). You can switch weapons freely without losing the effect. It will also stack on top of any enchantment and works with any weapon (staves and fists included but with some restrictions, see "The Imbue system" for those too).
  • It's very flexible. You can play this mod as a mage wielding spells in both hands, a spellblade, a traditional mage with a staff in one hand and a spell in the other, a sneaky arcane archer or a berserker wielding a fiery battleaxe, just to name a few. You can even just grab the Ward spell to get a cooler shield and play standard sword & board while ignoring everything else. Your choice!


Batch 3:
"The level of polish on this mod is absolutely unreal. From the very clever and well integrated tutorial, to the easy to learn but hard to master skill ceiling. This mod goes the full nine yards and then some. Quite possibly my favorite magic mod to date." -Ijile
"One of the mods I tout as being the only innovative take on spell mechanics ever made and I recommend everyone to try it out." -iRetrospect
"This mod deserves all the praise it gets ... It seems like a lot at first but it's really not and it's intuitive once using it in game. It provides an excellent base for your character and any other spell mods you want to use can just pile on top." -kapxis
"My favorite part is probably the book lol. It just oozes creativity and flavor!" -Ignatius3117
"I will never look at magic the same way again! I actually feel like a Wizard for once. Not easy, not at all. I have died so many times in this playthrough, but every time I reload a save, I have learned something new." -Necro47
"Such an amazing mod, best combat one I've ever used for any game by light years." -thesparks007
"Never leaves the load order. Bridges the gap between weapons and spell combos and adds a whole new dimension to combat." -MIAxPaperPlanes
"A mod worth playing Skyrim all over again." -roperx


Batch 2:
"This was well thought out and ingeniously done. So far appears to be well balanced, plays well with my other mods and once again has me addicted to Skyrim. Discovering this mod on this return to Skyrim has all my other games being neglected." -augustasgreen
"I get goosebumps every fight with this mod, and that is something I haven't felt since I was a kid." -Vrimbued
"Combat in skyrim just doesn't get better or any more fun than this." - michealxlr
"The learning curve might seem difficult at the begining, but dam it is rewarding when you finally get those nasty combos." -oxtoraxo
"I wish I could endorse this mod twice." -DucksAreReal
"11/10. Brilliant work." - kalenmiyan
"Spellsiphon is a masterpiece." - tuifua

Batch 1:
"Exploring the various systems in place in this mod has been a blast. I don't fully feel comfortable with it yet, but I'm having a ton of fun. I'm very impressed of the depth you managed to get from what is basically only three inputs, and it gives mage characters some much needed interactivity. A lot of work and thought has been put into this and it shows." -OrganicView
"I was curious so I downloaded and played with it for about half an hour and I think this is the most fun I've had with Skyrim's magic system." -yiunso
"Very creative, very stable, works well right through my heavily scripted load order. Is super practical and actually useful, and makes magic combat dynamic and fun." -Tristamid
"This is one of the best, most revolutionary mods to ever come out for Skyrim." -Nickball97
"This is the mod that got me taking up skyrim VR again after having 110 hours in it(40 of them in vorpx before release), as well as countless in normal skyrim and sse. i regret nothing, but i am sleepdeprived now. one of my new favorite mods of all time!" -Selons
"This is by far one of the most well thought out mods for Skyrim. It remakes the game - absolutely fantatsic work." -spcarso
"Spellsiphon cannot be recommended enough!" -Cangar

How does it work exactly?

All of the information in this section is also described in-game, through the tutorial quest and book, in lore-appropriate writing. For those that want the info up front or in a more straightforward manner open up the spoiler tag.


You can check the TLDR below, read the guide and/or watch this summary video (the video is also linked above):

TLDR (very short intro):  

  • Everything starts with the Spellsiphoning book (which you can either find in the world or get automatically, make your choice in the installer). Reading it will teach you the Bind shout (the core ability of the mod) and grant you additional books used for unlocking features and configuring your combat style.
  • Using Bind will equip you with 2 new spells. Draw in one hand and a heavily modified Ward in the other (which hand is which can be switched at any time).
  • Channel Draw's beam over 1 second to determine what Draw will convert into. Aimed at a living target it converts to Life (a shock spell), aimed at a corpse it converts to Death (an ice spell) and aimed at anything else it converts to World (a fire spell). Cast the elemental spell and it will convert back into Draw.
  • Every released spell grants elemental "Attunement" (e.g. World Attunement). Every time this attunement changes between different elements, you will receive a combo bonus called Woven Power that increases Magicka Regeneration for a short time.
  • Magicka Regeneration translates directly to Spellsiphon ability damage. If you have e.g. 200% regeneration, you will do double damage. Any source of Regeneration affects damage, from gear to potions to Woven Power. This damage increase only applies to Spellsiphon abilities, nothing else.

Progression system

The unlocks listed below require Destruction or Conjuration skill (you only need 1 of those at the required amount). The abilities will not unlock automatically at that skill level. You must unseal and read the "Elemental" tomes in your inventory (that were given by the Spellsiphoning book) to access each category of new abilities. You can bypass the skill requirements to get everything at lvl 1 through an optional download if you prefer.

Magic skill: 10
  • Available whenever you read the tome since you start all trees at 15. This is only locked down initially to reduce complexity.
  • Using Bind again with Draw or Ward equipped will summon a special Bound Weapon (the type can be configured, it can even be a special "Bound Spell" if you don't want to use weapons). This weapon gets stronger the more health you have (current health, not max, if you are hurt the weapon will become weaker).
  • Drawing an element and then using Bind will produce "Elemental Binding" abilities that are unique for each element.

Magic skill: 30
  • The Bound Weapon is affected by your elemental attunement and when you hit something with it, it will trigger a special "Discharge" combo that is unique for each element. 
  • Discharges have a shared cooldown of 1 minute with 2 repetitions (charges).

Magic skill: 50
  • Elemental Binding abilities all receive additional mechanics to consider. 
  • These additional mechanics have a 1 minute individual cooldown. So you can use every element to its full effect within the same minute. Using the same element again while it's cooling down will result in the Magic Skill: 10 version.

Magic skill: 70
  • Certain Elemental Binding abilities can summon creatures that you can detonate with your drawn spells. Each creature has unique abilities before it is detonated and each spell fired at it will produce unique effects.

For further information on all these points, check out this guide. You can also use the Terminology Summary to help with understanding all the various words the mod uses.

A visual overview

Magic skill 0: No Unlocks chart
Magic skill 10: Binding chart
Magic skill 30: Binding + Discharge chart
Magic skill 50: Binding + Discharge + Binding II chart
Magic skill 70: Full system chart

It's very flexible

The mod comes with a large number of configurations available through a book called "Spellsiphoning Research" and a number of Powers that you learn by reading that book. You can check the "Configuration Guide" below for guidance on how it all works. Here are a few examples of what you can do to tailor the mod to your playstyle:

  • Use the Reverse power to toggle between Draw and Ward in any hand (this can also be configured to be part of your Shout key).
  • You can use Draw in one hand and a fist, blade, staff or a spell from another mod in the other and still have full access to everything. Toggling to and from your Bound Weapon will properly re-equip your weapon*.
  • You are able to use weapon-focused (2- or 1-handed) playstyles where you only rarely use any spells (maybe once per dungeon) while still having access to combos.
  • You can Draw custom elemental spells from any spell mod by Entangling them (see "Using other spells" below)
  • Enable Spell Focus, equip an external spell (e.g. Magelight), cast it and you will automatically re-equip Draw or Ward (whichever you replaced with the external spell). Concentration spells will stay in your hand until you finish casting them. If you want to cast the external spell several times before switching back (e.g. summoning 2 Familiars with Twin Souls) you can just charge the spell again immediately after letting go of it. Spell Focus will not switch the spell back as long as you're charging it.
  • A separate Focus setting exists for Shouts that works in a similar way (re-equipping you with Bind).
  • There's a whole lot more. E.g. changing your Bound Weapon into different forms, imbuing normal weapons in combat to use them for combos and auto-casting Powers without changing away from Bind.

* Right-hand weapons will switch back properly in any situation. If you have a weapon equipped in the left hand, a Bethesda engine limitation will prevent those from re-equipping if they are replaced by something that this mod brings out. Specifically, the left hand will be replaced when using the Elemental Binding called the "Weaving Circle" (since it uses dual casting) and when summoning the Dual Swords/Daggers/Foci (if using any of those Bound Weapon choices). If a left hand weapon is removed, then Draw or Ward will be put there instead (no point in leaving the hand empty).

Getting started

The abilities you see in the mod videos will unlock gradually. To use any of the advanced combo effects or summon your bound weapons, you need to unseal and read the related "Elemental" tomes in your inventory. The in-game tutorial will point you towards them.

First off, note that this mod is intentionally very different from standard magic. It's not just a collection of new spells but also a whole new way to access them in combat. Starting with it against difficult enemies without understanding it will most likely get you both confused and killed. Practicing on easier targets first is highly recommended! That said, the system is designed to be intuitive and logical so the time needed to get a basic grasp of it should not be too long.

The mod comes with an optional tutorial quest and an in-game book that will be in your inventory as you load or start your game. It will tell you everything you need through lore-appropriate text and quick references. Books have always been the main way you learn things in Elder Scrolls games, so it felt appropriate. If for some reason you don't find it in your inventory or you happen to lose it, it is also laying on top of the bar counter at the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood. Lost "Elemental" unlock tomes can be recovered by opening a new copy of this main tome as well.

Don't feel forced to read all of it before heading into combat. The guided tutorial will send you into combat early and if you decide to go the unguided route, you should still do the same. The mod is designed around you slowly learning it while levelling.


The following sections are optional reading material for those that want more details. You don't have to read any of this before you start playing. The short version is that the mod has no special installation procedures, is compatible with practically everything, can be used alongside any other spells or weapons you wish and gets boosted and altered by items and perks (vanilla and modded both work) in logical ways.

Stats and Gear

Health, Stamina and Magicka
  • Health is used for increasing your damage with all Spellsiphon Bound Weapons. To maximize this damage you should not only invest in max health but also try to avoid being hurt in combat as your weapon strength is constantly updated to match your current health.
  • Stamina is used for blocking with the Ward or the usual power attacking, blocking and bashing with weapons. This can either be your Bound weapons or any normal ones you may be using along with the "Imbue" system (more on that below).
  • Magicka is used for healing yourself while using your Ward but all other Spellsiphon magic is free of cost. If you're using any external spells by linking them with drawn elements (called "Entanglement") and/or e.g. enabling the "Spell Focus" mode, those will require a magicka investment too.

Magicka-regeneration equipment and potions
A feature of Spellsiphon is that increased Magicka-regeneration from any source (equipment, potions, buffs, etc.) will also increase your Spellsiphon-spell damage by the same %. Only Spellsiphon spells are affected by this damage-increase and they have been balanced around this aspect so don't worry about this feature overpowering your other spells.

Cost-reduction enchantments and perks
Nothing in Spellsiphon "costs" Magicka in the normal way, not even the Ward (it counts as a "drain" effect), so any items and enchantments that reduce costs are only useful for casting external spells. Many cost-reduction enchantments come bundled with Magicka-regeneration though.


General rules

  • If a perk affects fire, frost or shock spells, it will affect the equivalent drawn element (fire = World, frost = Death, shock = Life).
  • If a perk affects destruction spells or spells in general, it will affect all elements and the Draw spell itself.
  • If a perk increases fire/frost/shock/destruction damage it will affect the equivalent Spellsiphon drawn spells and combo effects. This increase stacks multiplicatively with the Magicka Regen scaling (see Stats above) so e.g. double damage from perks means double value from Magicka Regen as well.
  • If a perk adds mechanics to fire/frost/shock/destruction spells (e.g. Freeze, Fear and Disintegrate) it will only affect the Spellsiphon drawn spells, not the combo effects.
  • The beam fired by the "Life Foci" bound weapons count as a "drawn" spell and a shock spell for all the above rules.
  • Bound Weapons are affected by all Conjuration and Weapon perks that relate to them and will scale with health and weapon skill (does not apply to Life Foci).
  • Warding does not count as Blocking.
  • Almost any perk that affects reanimation spells and reanimated minions will also affect the Life-reanimated minion. There are two exceptions, listed below. 
  • Perks that increase the number of reanimated minions you can have won't affect the Life-reanimated minion. You may never have more than 1. Note however that this minion stands outside the summoning limit and can be combined with any other conjurations (even other reanimations).
  • Perks that prevent minions from disintegrating will not affect the Life-reanimated minion. Due to it being fuel for powerful fusion combos, standing outside the minion limit and being free to cast on anything, having these types of perks affect it is simply broken.
  • No Conjuration perks will affect the "Anima" summoned through the "Elemental Animation" unlock. Destruction damage perks will however affect their attacks.
  • The Ward heal counts as a healing/restoration spell for all perks that affect them (Respite is a special case, see below).
  • The Ward magicka consumption counts as a drain effect, not as a cost. Meaning it will not be reduced by cost-reducing effects.
  • Since nothing in Spellsiphon "costs" Magicka in the normal way, any perks that reduce costs are only useful for casting external spells. You should however strive to use at least 1 external spell regularly to avoid wasting Magicka.

Whether you're using vanilla perks or an overhaul mod, all of the above rules apply. Spellsiphon is fully compatible with the most popular perk overhauls and probably some others as well. I haven't tested others personally though.

Vanilla perk tree examples

Archery / 1-Handed / 2-Handed / Sneak
Work as normal. Bound Weapon damage is scaled by sneak attack bonus, weapon skill and perks in addition to scaling with health. This all stacks multiplicatively (so increasing health also increases the effect you get from perks). The special "Life Foci" weapon scales from Destruction shock perks instead.

Does not affect Ward at all and Ward does not grant block skill. Block can still be used for blocking with the Bound Battleaxe or Sword.

  • Regeneration affects both Ward and broken Ward heal over time effects.
  • Respite grants the broken ward spell 100% increased stamina restoration. It does not grant stamina regen to Ward's heal over time since that would make it nearly unbreakable.
  • Ward Absorb works.
  • Magicka cost reduction perks do not affect the magicka-drain effect of Ward.

  • Bound weapon perks fully affect the Spellsiphon Bound Weapons (except Life Foci). Mystic binding increases weapon damage by 40%.
  • Reanimation perks will be applied to corpses reanimated by channeling Life into them.
  • Twin Souls will allow you to have 2 vanilla minions along with a Life-reanimated one.

  • Augmented flames/frost/shock all work on their respective elemental equivalents (flames = World, frost = Death, shock = Life). And shock affects the Life Foci.
  • Disintegrate, Intense flames and Deep freeze all work on the drawn elemental spells and the Life Foci. They do not apply to the Bind/Discharge/Animation combo effects.
  • Novice/apprentice etc. Destruction perks have no interaction since there are no magicka costs. They are however used by external spells like normal, and you should strive to include at least one of those to avoid wasting magicka.
  • Rune Master does increase Death Rune range, but it is already very long by default.
  • Dual Casting can be used within the Weaving Circle during "Elemental Overload".


A progression system will unlock batches of new abilities at 10, 30, 50 and 70 magic skill (Destruction or Conjuration, your choice). The system works like this: When first activating the mod (reading the main book), you will get 4 smaller tomes in your inventory called "Elemental Binding", "Elemental Discharge", "Elemental Binding II" and "Elemental Animation". Each tome is initially sealed but that seal can be broken by clicking the book. It will require the aforementioned amount of magic skill. Once the book is unsealed, you can read it to unlock a new batch of abilities. How the abilities work is described within the tome itself but you will also be guided by the tutorial quest if that is active. If you open one of these tomes and feel overwhelmed by the new set of abilities, you are also given the option to keep them locked down until you're ready to make use of them. In the interest of player freedom, there is also an optional download that will bypass this entire system, unlocking as much as you want at level 1.

However, also note that this mod is designed to be a baseline combat system, not your entire arsenal. It provides you with the essential tools of dealing damage, staying alive and controlling your enemies but it also heavily encourages you to bring in your other favorite tools from the rest of Skyrim and use them in tandem. Finding new weapons, unlocking new spells, finding word walls and unlocking shouts, learning new powers, it's all still there and can be practically included into your combat style by using the various mod configurations in the in-game Research book (see the Configuration Guide below if the book confuses you).

How to increase your damage

A different form of progression that Spellsiphon also brings to the table is about unraveling the complexity and coming up with new solutions to different combat scenarios. You won't be able to fully utilize the abilities until you've had time to read about, test out, practice with and master them. Contrary to vanilla spells, nothing can be spammed and they all have special mechanics to consider. Some of those special mechanics open up possible interactions with the ever-changing environment and others will heavily benefit certain follow-up attacks. These follow-ups are not necessarily part of the mod either, don't forget all those other tools you've brought with you.

An important thing to mention before we get to the list is that the depth of Spellsiphon is meant to be unraveled at your own pace. You are not supposed to understand how everything works and every possible combination you can perform before you even start to play. Trying to do so will most likely be overwhelming and will hurt your enjoyment of the mod. I highly recommend taking your time and trying to be creative with each new mechanic you learn about before moving on to the next. Play the game, fight and level up while practicing so the process truly becomes part of your normal character progression.

With that said, here are some general tips to keep in mind when working towards mastering combat with this mod (NOTE: requires some prior understanding of how the mod works):

1. This first point may be obvious but use your "burst damage abilities" as often as possible, meaning Discharges, Overloads, Flamestrike, Death Rune and the Elemental Animation (Fusion) combos. These will scale in damage based on your Woven Power (see 2. later) but it's rarely worth it to delay their use just to build up power first as that will result in lower overall DPS by wasting cooldown time. Use them, then build power while they're recharging so the next use will do more damage. And that increase in damage is quite significant. Here's an example: Life Discharge without Woven Power at 100% magicka regen deals 32 dmg. When charged up with an optimal Power rotation (more info on this below) it can do as much as 160 dmg (before gear and perk bonuses).

2. So how do you build Woven Power (WP)? First, let me define what it is: WP is an effect granted by attuning yourself to any element and then attuning yourself again, but to a different element. There are multiple sources of attunement and you can find a list here.  WP increases Magicka Regeneration by 15% and lasts 20s (note that Magicka Regeneration = Damage in Spellsiphon). Any additional WP effects added within that 20s duration of the first will overlap, they will not refresh the duration of the first effect or each other. This means that WP will ramp up to a maximum value (where each effect you add is matched by an old effect falling off) and then ramp down when you stop adding new effects. Now, just drawing two elements back and forth will indeed work to build WP, but there are far more optimal methods once you get into the more advanced stuff. To put some numbers on it:

  • A perfectly executed standard Draw -> Release weave (meaning Draw -> World -> Draw -> Life -> repeat) over 20s will max out at a +100% damage boost (+150% when using Death every other Draw). 
  • Perfectly weave using an imbued staff (meaning e.g. Draw while firing World imbued staff -> Life -> repeat) and its +200% (+300% if drawing Death every time). 
  • Switch that to a melee weapon (more dangerous) and it's around +250% (+350% if drawing Death). The additional 50% is from Resonance bonuses when hitting with Imbued physical weapons.
  • Finally, perform a perfect weave in the Weaving Circle (very hard to do and forced stationary positioning) and you're up to +300% (+400% with Death every other Draw). 

As you can see it's a constant trade-off between power and safety/difficulty. Standard weaving is easy and safe but weak. Including Death takes a lot more situational awareness and frequent re-aiming which is difficult but also rewarded. Weapon weaving sacrifices the Ward and can require melee, which is dangerous but powerful. Circle weaving requires standing still and sacrifices the Ward, which really makes you vulnerable but grants you maximum power.

Note that Elemental Binding causes attunement as well. Try to make sure you're not wasting a potential WP stack whenever you use Bind with an element held. Especially the Death Rune has a lot of WP-building potential, with its additional detonation attunement effect and its "Lingering Death" effect. Using it optimally alongside Imbued weaponry can result in numbers similar to the circle but I'll leave it up to you to discover how.

3. Woven Power is not the only way to increase your damage. ALL sources of Magicka regen will increase your damage. Equip some mage robes, enchant some gear and maybe drink a magicka regen potion and you can bump your damage modifier up to 400%+ before you even start combat.

4. Use your magicka! It is common and seems reasonable to directly compare Spellsiphon to other spell mods (e.g. Apocalypse and Mysticism) as if they are mutually exclusive. They're not though. Every Woven Power stack you get is increasing your magicka regen and every time you Bind Life or stand in your Life Anima Aura you're recovering Magicka. Don't let all of that go to waste. Find some favorite external spells and either Entangle them or throw them in between your Spellsiphon Weaving. See "Using other spells" in the Configuration Guide below to learn about Entanglement and other tips to conveniently include external spells.

5. Perks. The drawn spells may not be powerful on their own, but they still trigger potentially powerful perk effects. Like Ordinator's remove-first-25%-of-enemies-health lightning perk. Also note that damage increases via perks (like the +40% damage vanilla perks or the Ordinator effect that increases damage by 1% for each Destruction skill level) stacks multiplicatively with your Spellsiphon damage modifier. Here's an endgame example: 100% increase from perks and 800% increase from combos and gear (as explained in points 2 and 3). That will multiply your damage by 2x from perks then 9x from magicka regen/woven power resulting in a total of 18x Spellsiphon spell/ability damage.

6. Crowd control. Spellsiphon's combos contain a lot of powerful crowd control. This has to be weighed in when considering its overall power. Throwing people across a room, freezing time, staggering and freezing enemies, making yourself invulnerable, raising corpses to divert agro. The list goes on but you probably get my point. Use these to your advantage, e.g. combo them with wall-spells that benefit from people being knocked down/occupied with minions.

Installation, removal, updating, performance


The intention is for this mod to be as easy to try out as possible. So I opted to:

  • Fully support installing/uninstalling it mid-save (see "Uninstallation" below).
  • Entirely avoid requirements, not even SKSE or SkyUI.
  • Be as compatible with other mods as possible. So no changes to any vanilla records. This mod only adds new things.

That means you can use the mod manager to install or just manually unpack into Skyrim's Data folder and add it to your load order. You don't need any other mods and you don't need to worry about where it is in the load order as it won't conflict with anything (just place it anywhere after the main game and DLCs).

Make sure to check out the various optional files over in the Files section, some may interest you. Also check out the "Complementary Mods" at the bottom of the page.


Since this mod doesn't actually edit anything in the base game, you can just decide to ignore it. Generally, it is not recommended to uninstall any .esp mod mid-save due to potential save corruption issues (especially those with scripts).

If seeing traces of the mod still annoys you, you can perform an in-game disable. Contrary to most mods, this one has this feature to get fully disabled (meaning it will have zero impact on your game) while still remaining in the load order (so no save corruption). To disable the mod in this completely safe way, do the following:

  • Open the MCM (if you have it, otherwise read 2.) and pick "Disable Spellsiphon
  • If you dont have an MCM, open the Spellsiphoning Research book (if you have it, otherwise read 3.) and select "Reject Teachings" then "Everything (disable mod)".
  • If you dont have the MCM or Research book, open the main Spellsiphoning tome (if you have it, otherwise read 4.), close it, close the inventory and when the popup asks about starting the tutorial, select "No" on both questions. This will grant you the Research book immediately and you can then go to step 2.
  • If you dont have the MCM or Research book or Spellsiphoning tome, go the Riverwood Inn bar counter to find a new copy then go to step 3.

The above will stop all scripts and dispel all long-term effects (like being attuned and imbued). So you now have zero performance impact and zero spells/abilities from the mod. You still have the books but can sell/discard them.

If you absolutely want to remove the mod from your load order on an active save, do the above steps to disable it, then get rid of the books, fast travel to some other location, preferably indoors, save, exit and uninstall/disable with your mod manager. But be warned it's still NOT SAFE and CAN CORRUPT YOUR SAVE.


Just replace the files with the new ones. An automated script will perform the in-game update procedure for you in a clean way and a text will pop up when loading your game, informing you that the mod has been updated. If the mod is inactive (you haven't read the book yet), the text will appear the first time you activate it.


For those worried about increased script lag/bloat:

  • No persistent polling scripts (nothing is running in regular intervals all the time).
  • No OnHit scripts being spammed in the background. The only OnHit that exist are when channeling Ward to support timed blocking and on the special Spellsiphon minions to support minion combos.
  • No global actor or object script attachment (through e.g. invisible massive area cloak spells).
  • Scripts only run when they absolutely have to, which is at the moment you cast an ability and when that ability hits a target. There's also one script that runs when you equip things since the mod includes some features surrounding that.
  • All scripts that do have to run are thoroughly optimized.

The mod is fairly sensitive to script-lag introduced by other mods since it has timed blocking mechanics and some other timed effects. If it feels unresponsive, check your mod list for any likely culprits. As for visual effects, the mod only uses repurposed vanilla assets. Any custom meshes are entirely based on vanilla ones and either simplified or just tweaked, there are no additional vertices, particle systems or such added. If you can run vanilla, you can probably run this.


Spell packs
I highly recommend using external spell packs alongside the mod. Fire, shock or frost spells from these packs can be assigned to your Drawn elements and you can then use them to perform all the Spellsiphon combos (this is called "Entanglement"). All the other spell types will give you the usual additional utility on the side. E.g. minion-summoning spells, buff spells and things like Ghostwalk, Corpse Explosion and Raise Wall from Apocalypse can be cool additions to your arsenal, just to name a few. To use these in a convenient and menu-free way, see the "Using other spells" section below.

Perk overhauls
Ordinator is fully compatible out of the box, Vokrii and Adamant both have optional patches and other perk overhauls may be compatible or may need patches, I havent tested others personally. Check the "Perks" section above for details on how they interact with this new system.

Combat mods
Spellsiphon only adds abilities to the player to accomplish its goals. It does not alter the enemies or fundamentally change how the basic systems like stamina or hit reactions works. This means it won't interfere with mods that do make those kinds of changes meaning you can mix it with whichever other favourite combat mods you have.

The Spellsiphon Ward ability is a special case since it doesn't use the normal "block" system and drains stamina via script. This will make it act independently of what other combat mods may have altered about blocking. On the same subject, the Timed Block mechanic in this mod will also also act independently but will usually not conflict with any Timed Blocking added by other mods. However, Skyrim does not handle multiple simultaneous time-slow effects very well so if you have another mod that applies a time-slow when blocking with a Ward, that may cause issues. All that said, note that Ward is a completely optional ability and you can still use 95% of Spellsiphon without touching it if it doesn't mix well with your load order.

Magicka regen mods
Not all mods that change Magicka Regen will affect your Spellsiphon damage. You can check by looking at your Spellsiphon Power. If the value there changes, so will your damage.

The spell damage scaling is only using the "MagickaRateMult" actor value. Mods that change base magicka regen (e.g. survival mods) tend to alter the "MagickaRate" actor value which will have no effect on your damage. Some mods also alter the "fCombatMagickaRegenRateMult" global game setting that changes your regeneration when you enter combat. This will, again, have no effect on your damage. Known mods that do cause drastic reductions to your Regen in a way that affects your damage is Andromeda and Mundus "Atronach" standing stones and certain Vampire mods when out in the sun. 

Archery mods
The Bound Bow arrows link to the vanilla Bound Arrow Projectile class. So any mod that alters things like speed, gravity, etc. will work.

Light mods
Skyrim only supports 1 single light source to be attached to the player at a time. That means that any mod that adds something like a toggleable light, light from your hands when holding spells, a light to accentuate your face, etc. will block out the light granted by the Spellsiphon Ward. Even the vanilla Candlelight spell will block it out for the same reason. External light sources (like Magelight) are unlimited though.

Hotkey mods and Equip mods like MageVR/VRIK
Any invalid spell combinations that these mods may put in your hands (like 2 Draws or 2 Wards) will be detected and corrected automatically.

Graphics / Effects / Sound / Animation mods
Spellsiphon does not use any self-made visuals or sounds, it's all vanilla assets that have been moved around, tweaked (often significantly) and used in different ways. That means any mods that replace these things will affect the spells, weapons and various visual effects in this mod. In almost all cases this will work just fine and will tweak the experience to your personal preference, but I can't test every combination out there so there may be some that cause audio or visual clipping/popping. Some animation mods may also cause lagging issues when switching spells and casting with both hands as often as you do in this mod.

I strongly discourage using Ultimate Fire Effects HD in VR as it flattens ALL spell textures (not just fire) making every spell look worse. Want a better fire mod? Get Inferno instead!

User-reported incompatibilities

  • Quick Light SE and Strange Runes removes the light effect from Ward though both of them grant other light sources that can replace it.
  • The "Atronach" stone from Andromeda or Mundus will decrease your "MagickaRateMult" by 1000% or more, which will lock all Spellsiphon abilities at their basic (weak) level of damage regardless of Woven Power stacks or equipped gear. Don't pick that stone when playing with this mod...
  • Inpa Sekiro Combat changes how stamina works in a way that doesn't function well with the Spellsiphon Ward. The two mods are otherwise fully compatible if you just use Inpa's weapon parrying system instead of Ward. Using Inpa's own parrying system is something I'd recommend anyway since a large part of that mod revolves around it.
  • TDM causes your character animations to lock up during heavy time slows (like World Discharge). You can fix this by changing a setting in the TDM MCM menu (something that mentions time slow affecting the character, disable it).
  • Your Own Thoughts can break the book menus if you use an outdated YOT-Spellsiphon module. Check that the YOT module has a newer release date than the Spellsiphon version you're using!


My Woven Power is capping out at 6 stacks, how do i get more?

See the "How to increase your damage" section

I dont like bound weapons, do I have to use them?

You can pick the "Life Foci" option for your bound weapon to avoid them completely while still having access to the Discharge mechanic. You can also decide to ignore Discharge and just use all the other abilities in the mod.

If you want to play a spellsword with a normal physical weapon, know that the mod is designed for exactly that. You're not forced to be constantly running around with your bound weapon (though that is supported too). Instead you can "Imbue" your physical weapon and use that for weaving together with your spells. See "The imbue system" section for how this works. You can then summon your bound weapon once a minute for its Discharge effect before returning to your physical weapon to do further weaving. It is possible to imbue your bound weapon as well and weave with that if you want to but it's just as practical to be doing it with a physical weapon. Up to you what you prefer!

My Life Reanimation is dying when i summon other minions

Yeah that's unfortunately how it works. If the Life Reanimation is done AFTER other minions, both will happily live side by side though. It's "by design" in the sense of it being an engine limitation. I have not found any way to properly exclude it from the limitation completely without also opening up exploit holes where you can use the mechanic to multiply your normal summons. My thinking is that it's "good enough" since life reanim is a mid combat thing and will likely be the one cast after your normal summons (that you precast ahead of combat) anyway.

Why does my Magicka Regen have a negative value? I cant increase my damage!

This is usually caused by being a vampire out in the sun (while using vampirism mods) or by having picked the Atronach standing stone while using a standing stone overhaul.

Is there a UI element i can turn on to view my Woven Power stack count?

There is not. But Spellsiphon is also intentionally designed so that you dont need to know your exact count. Woven Power is a background-mechanic that just says "dont repeat yourself" in order to encourage varied gameplay. But you don't need it and you certainly dont need a specific count of stacks at any given point. Just build some stacks and fire off your cooldowns when the situation calls for it. If you should be focusing on anything it's keeping those cooldowns rolling, that's where the majority of your power comes from (see the "How to increase your damage" section). Then just dont repeat yourself and WP will aid you in the background along the way without you having to think too much about it. The WP count in the menu is a good aid when trying out various WP building techniques while training to compare them against each other. But the intent was never to check it mid combat.

My Draw spell is taking longer than 1 second to complete. What's going on?

It's not normal and is caused by having script lag in your LO. Here's a guide on how to track it down and hopefully eliminate it:

How does this work with Ordinator's Vancian Magic?

Afaik Spellsiphon stuff you cast from your hands will deplete your vancian allowance even though it costs no magicka. When the allowance is depleted you wont be able to cast neither normal nor Spellsiphon magic. HOWEVER, if you get the "Intuitive Magic" perk from the same tree you CAN cast all Spellsiphon magic even when your vancian allowance is at 0. But casting Spellsiphon spells will still deplete it if it's above 0. Correct me if I'm wrong since i dont play with vancian myself, but this is my understanding of how it works from reports I've gotten 

Why do I get big lightning textures covering large parts of my screen sometimes?

If you're getting it after finishing a fight with a magic kill cam right after performing a Ward timed block, that's normal. It will fade away pretty quickly. I dont know why kill cams cause this but i cant fix it. If you're getting it under any other circumstances, it's a mod conflict.

Here's a possible fix from cacophony1979:
"The texture in question is and it was coming from Rustic Daedra, at least for me. If you delete whatever is replacing that texture you will have much more manageable shock effects again. Perhaps this information will be of use to someone."

Another option is this:
"The magic effect "kssc_drawME" should have a script attached with parameters you can change in xEdit. One of those parameters is the "life draw shader" or "shock shader" or something like that. Change that to some other shader, like "AlchMagicArmor" (iirc) to get a blue glow instead."

I used an unlock book but i still cant use my new abilities

Make sure you both unsealed the book and then also went back into your inventory and opened it up. It wont unlock until you properly read it (and press "yes" on the following popup)

My Ward spell isnt lighting up the room

Check the "Compatibility" section

I wish this mod had more spells integrated into it

Check the "Using other spells" and "How to increase your damage" sections for explanations of how this mod is designed to synergize with external spells. Just cause you cant Draw them doesnt mean they're not important anymore. Using Spellsiphon without touching external spells is extremely suboptimal.

Can I have Reshaped Entangled spells?

I decided against allowing reshaped entangled spells because it got too complicated to keep track of, explain and use. E.g. when you realign between entangled and normal spells, should the entangled spells reflect the reshaped state of the spell set you left? Or should both sets have their own reshaped state and it should remember which one you were on last time you were there? And how would you do the entangling? Should it give you a popup asking you to choose if you want to entangle with the normal or reshaped variant? And how should you explain the reshape power? It wouldn't be a swap between single and multitarget spells anymore. Also 6 entangled spells could be hard to memorize longterm so there would probably need to be a system to let you view which spells are currently entangled and to which slots. Overall it just felt clunky and it felt like you'd never be quite sure when you realigned if you were gonna get the reshaped variant or not and i dont like that loss of certainty.

I've lost my main tome/settings book/unlocks books

You can generate a new main tome via the MCM or by heading over to the Riverwood Inn. Once you got a new fresh main tome, you can open that up to regain any lost settings/unlock books. Note that the main tome has to be new and previously unopened in order for it to produce new books.

My Ward in VR is attached to the wrong hand

This is caused by VRs left-handed-mode and there's a setting in the MCM to compensate for it. Go to the System tab of the Spellsiphon MCM and turn on VR left-handed-mode adaption.

When trying to do a Timed Block with the Ward, the barrier isnt appearing fast enough

The Ward cast is set to "zero" cast time in the Creation Kit but there's still an animation of the hand going from its idle pose to its casting pose which takes roughly half a second. I personally like that there's a delay. Parrying is powerful and should not be too easy to perform or it'll get OP. My tip is to create distance between you and the enemy before a timed block attempt so they need to approach you and attack, this usually results in more predictable attack timing as they charge in. I also recommend using the Timed Block against Power Attacks as they have a longer telegraph.

Can enemies use Spellsiphon spells/abilities?

Nope. Skyrims AI isnt built to handle cooldowns, ability chains, all that stuff. Just tweaking some AI parameters isnt enough, I'd need to rewrite how the AI works on the C++ layer which definitely aint happening. Also this mod has a whole bunch of CC. And while CC is fun to deal out, it's not so fun to be exposed to.

I personally have never understood the fascination with giving enemies the abilities that the player has. Almost no other singleplayer game does that. Player abilities are designed to be fun to use. Enemy abilities are designed to be fun to defend against. Accomplishing one aspect often damages the other so its better to split player and enemy abilities and fully focus on optimizing either fun-to-use or fun-to-receive for each ability respectively.

VR Bow Balance add-ons

Use these to bring bow damage in line with other weapons and with spells. These add-ons only affect the Spellsiphon Bound Bow and are compatible with quiver mods (e.g. SRA or MageVR) or you can use them as a quiver-mod-substitute. If you choose to use any of these options, please read the entire description for it so you know how it works (is it NOT explained in-game).  None of the options take a plugin slot as they are only a script file replacement.

They are downloaded under "Files" and can be loaded anywhere in your order. Only pick 1.

The "Arrow Cooldown" solution

Still stronger than in SE, but not by much. It works like this:

  • Unequips your arrow after firing and re-equips Bound Arrows 1 second later. 
  • Works with any arrow, so you can fire custom arrows (e.g. my Soul Arrows mod), they will auto-unequip and you will then be returned to Bound Arrows as your "spam-ammo" if you wait 1 second. 
  • If a custom arrow type is equipped during the 1 second delay you will get to keep it, the Bound Arrow re-equip will not replace it. 
  • Includes a disappearing/reappearing conjured bow string visual effect.

NOTE: You can also re-equip and fire the Bound Arrows yourself at a much faster rate via SRA. This add-on will not prevent that. In that case, this add-on will only serve as a practical button-free return to Bound Arrows after using custom ones (by waiting instead of fetching a new arrow).

The "Unstable Bow" solution (designed to work alongside a quiver mod)

Brings the VR bow damage all the way down to the correct SE standard (what the rest of the game and this mod is balanced for) in a way that hopefully feels immersive and not too annoying. This version works best with a quiver mod installed (SRA or MageVR) as that allows you to draw an arrow and line up your shot while the fire-rate-delay mechanic is taking effect. Here's how it works:

  • Your bow will become distorted when arrows are fired through it. When this happens, the bow will immediately start to resolidify but this takes 2 seconds (the same as the SE draw time). 
  • A very visible FX on the bow and audible sound will play during this. You can fetch a new arrow from the quiver and draw it at any point here. 
  • Firing an arrow while the bow is already distorted will make it disappear entirely. The arrow will still fire though. 
  • Once the Bow is gone you will get a 1 second shout cooldown penalty that prevents immediate Bow resummoning. There are no other penalties. 
  • When the bow is first summoned, it is also (logically) solidifying for the first 2 seconds and will disappear if fired. The solidification FX is the same as the normal Bound Weapon summon FX so shortly put: purple waves going into the weapon = do not fire.
  • You can intentionally fire during the initial solidification of the bow if all you want is the Discharge effect (as doing this will remove the bow, saving you a button press).
  • While the bow is solidifying, you are unable to dismiss it via the Bind shout (animation system quirk). It is therefore always faster/smoother to dismiss the bow by firing it twice quickly when you're in combat (and you get an extra arrow worth of damage out of it).

NOTE: The distortion effect looks best if NOT using my "Bound Bow FX Restored" mod or any other mod that replaces the Bound Bow model. With the default model, the FX is just the purple waves going inwards after each shot. With custom models, the bow will entirely vanish after firing (looks a bit ugly) and then slowly fade back in. UPDATE: This issue with custom models is fixed by Instant Equip VR which will make it so you only get the waves again, no vanishing act between shots!

NOTE 2: One exception to the 2 second delay exists. During World Discharge (an ability unlocked at 25 skill), the Bow is suspended like all other objects which greatly reduces the distortion effect. This allows you to fire up to 3 arrows back to back without it disappearing. On the fourth arrow, if you do not wait, the normal penalty will apply. This again simulates SE where bow draw speed is slightly increased during World Discharge to allow 3 arrows to be fired.

The "Unstable Bow" solution + Bound Arrow re-equip

Same as the option above (read the description for that) but also includes this:

  • If you don't fetch a new arrow, a Bound Arrow will appear automatically in your hand after 2 seconds (when the resolidification is done). This can be useful for returning to Bound Arrows after firing a custom one with SRA.

Configuration Guide

This part of the page aims to help configure Spellsiphon for various playstyles and to give you an idea of what you can do with the mod aside from the built-in spells and weapons. This is not an exhaustive list of all possibilities but it should cover most of the common playstyles that people tend to use. Just like the Details section, this is optional reading material. You will get an introduction to your options through the tutorial and/or can figure it out yourself in-game if you want (and have the patience). You can also come back here later if you find that the in-game explanations did not answer your questions.

The configuration system is made up of two parts.
  • The “Spellsiphoning Research” book that gives you options for setting up your character before engaging in combat. You get this book when you've completed the first few stages of the tutorial (or if you choose to skip the tutorial).
  • The 4 "Re-Powers" (their names all start with "Re", e.g. "Reverse") that allow for changes in the middle of combat (or out of combat whenever you have use of them). Reverse is learned automatically when you Bind for the first time while the remaining 3 are learned through the Research book and are then always available as normal Powers. To use these without requiring menus, check the "Using Powers" section below.

The sections below will show you how to use the book and Powers to adapt this mod to your preferred combat style.

Using only Spellsiphon (recommended when starting out)

Defaults are fine, just play. This is the recommended playstyle when first starting out with the mod to get familiar with the systems. You should then consider your other options and can transition to other playstyles (like Spellblade) mid-game if you want.

If you want Draw in your left hand and Ward in your right, use your Reverse Power

Using normal weapons


Once finished here, I recommend also reading up on “The Imbue system” below if planning on using Spellsiphon along with normal weapons.

One-handed Melee weapons

At the most basic level you can just equip a weapon in one of your hands and go ahead and play. 

If you replace Draw with a weapon you can play a simple Sword & Board playstyle. The Ward is a far more flexible alternative to a shield (providing you with light, healing and full protection against spells and arrows). In VR normal shields can sometimes also feel very clunky to use and you may prefer the Ward for that reason alone.

If you replace Ward with a weapon you can play Spellsiphon as a multi-elemental Spellblade. However, it will make you lose access to Ward which leaves you with very few defensive options. So, you probably want to be able to toggle between Draw and Ward in that hand depending on the situation. You can do this by using the “Reverse” power. To use it without opening any menus, check the “Using Powers” section below. Alternatively, you can use a hotkey or holster like normal to equip your weapon and then use Bind or the "Refocus" Power to switch back to Draw and Ward. See the "Using Powers" section for that too.

While holding a one-handed weapon and Draw/Ward in the other hand, you can configure Bind to directly summon your Bound Weapons instead of going to Draw/Ward first. Your one-handed weapon will automatically return to your hand when you unsummon your Bound Weapon. Open the Research book:

  • Choose "Bind" -> "Weapon Binding" -> "if holding: Draw OR Ward"

Animation issue note: Having a melee weapon in your left hand in SE will cause animation issues when switching spells and prevent you from doing killmoves so i suggest using the right hand. In VR, having the weapon in the right hand will cause visual popping issues when switching spells so I suggest using the left hand. If you use VRIK, this issue goes away.

One-handed Ranged weapons

Vanilla Skyrim only offers the staff as a ranged one-handed weapon. However, using mods, you can also get things like pistols or crossbows in one hand. Whatever you choose to equip, this playstyle follows exactly the same setup as One-handed Melee.

Animation issue note: In VR, staves do not have the same right-hand popping issue as melee weapons do so you can put it in any hand without needing VRIK. Also in VR, mods that add pistols and one-handed crossbows will not work properly. They unfortunately sit incorrectly in the hand and fire in an incorrect angle.

Two-handed Weapons

To mix Spellsiphon with Two-handed weapons (melee or ranged) you will first need to have a way to re-equip your weapon at will, meaning a hotkey or a VR holster. There is no way to toggle between Bound Weapons, Draw/Ward and an external 2-handed weapon otherwise (you can use the Bound Battleaxe without hotkeys though).

 Once you got your hotkey or holster you can do one of the following:
  • Use Bind to switch to Draw/Ward and use your hotkey/holster to switch to the weapon as needed. 
  • Use Bind once ahead of combat to equip Draw/Ward. Use your hotkey/holster in-combat to take out your weapon. Press the hotkey again to return you to Draw/Ward (works with vanilla hotkeys but not some mods) or put the weapon back in its VR holster which will do the same.

You can also configure Bind to summon your Bound Weapon directly, without equipping Draw and Ward in-between. You do this by using the Research book:
  • Choose: "Bind" -> "Weapon Binding" -> “if holding: Anything”

Another optional but recommended configuration for this playstyle is:
  • “Bind” -> "Power Assignment" -> “Refocus" -> "Held Down"

This means you can also long-press the shout button to still equip Draw and Ward. So whenever you have need of them, use that. The opposite is an option as well, summoning Draw/Ward on short-press and the Bound Weapon on long-press.


Having an empty hand works exactly the same as using any other one-handed weapons. All features that apply to one-handed weapons will apply to using fists. You will get them back after toggling to and from bound weapons, they interact with the imbue system, they can be combined with Draw/Ward in the other hand, etc.

Using other spells

Once you have some other interesting spells you want to include on the side of Spellsiphon there are several different ways you can conveniently use them:

1. Entanglement

You can assign fire, shock or frost spells of your own choice to the elements of World, Life or Death. This will allow you to Draw these custom spells and perform any type of Spellsiphon combo with them.

To assign spells, first learn the "Entangle", "Untangle" and "Realign" Powers from the Research book. Now use "Entangle" and then cast the spell you want to assign within 10 seconds. Once you do so, that spell will be removed from your Magic menu but will now be linked to the element it matches (e.g. fire spells get automatically linked to World). You can undo this effect with the "Untangle" Power. You can also assign yet another spell to the same element which will return your previously assigned spell to your Magic menu.

To access your now Entangled spells, just Draw elements as normal and you'll get your custom spells instead of the Spellsiphon ones. Note that these spells will still require their normal magicka cost and will not have their damage scaled by Woven Power. If you run out of magicka you will therefore want to swap back to your normal Drawn spells. This is done by using the "Realign" Power which toggles you between Entangled spells and normal Spellsiphon spells.

Another detail of note here is that you can Entangle spells with just 1 or 2 of the elements while leaving the other(s) alone. In this case, when you're Realigned to "Entangled spells mode", you will still Draw normal Spellsiphon spells for the elements that do not have a spell Entangled with them. This allows you to have a mix of magicka-consuming custom spells and magicka-free Spellsiphon spells without needing to use Realign in combat.

 Hotkey single spells or use hotkey mods to create spell sets for both hands on a single key.

Use these external spells as long as it is tactical to do so or until your magicka runs out, then press Shout (Bind) to switch back to Draw/Ward while recovering. During your recovery, use combos to boost your magicka regeneration and Ward to defend yourself.

3. Use the Spell Focus setting.

Enable this in the "Focus" section of the Research book. Now use whichever method you have for accessing other spells (favorite hotkeys, voice commands, gestures, hotkey mods) to equip your external spell. Cast it and you will automatically switch back to Draw or Ward (whichever you had in that hand). If you want to cast the spell multiple times before switching back then press the casting button down again immediately after releasing it. This will charge the spell in your hand again, which will delay the swap-back. The re-equip of Draw/Ward will only happen once you release the button and leave it released for a short time.

4. Alternate casting mods.

There are many mods these days that allow you to cast spells without putting them in your hand first. You can e.g. cast spells with: 
  • Wizard Warrior by using your Bound or physical weapon in various ways. Check the mod page for the large range of options it adds.
  • MageVR by using hand gestures or drawing glyphs in front of you.
  • VRIK by using hand swipes.
  • DSN by using voice commands.

5. Equip them like a one-handed weapon.

If you have some favorite spell that you simply like to attack with like a weapon, just equip it in the opposite hand from Draw and play like the Spellblade style (see "Using normal weapons" section). Consider using the spell via a staff in this case, as that will enable you to also use the Imbue system.

Using Powers (without needing menus in combat. Required for many advanced playstyles)

To play any of the more advanced Spellsiphon playstyles you will almost always need to use at least 1 of the "Re-Powers". Reverse is the most important one and you will already have that by default. But lets also look at how to access the others:

Open the Spellsiphoning Research book:
  • Choose “Powers”

This will give you options to learn Refocus and Reshape (and unlearn any of them if you're not using them and want to clean up your menus). What each one does is explained in the other sections of this guide where they become relevant or in the Quick Reference at the bottom of this section.

Right now though, we just need to know how to use them seamlessly without requiring menus and without stealing the equip slot away from Bind. The mod provides multiple options for this and you may choose whichever works best for you and your platform:

1. You can make your Bind shout cast them if you hold down the shout button. With this setting, quickly pressing and releasing the shout button will cast the Bind shout normally but holding it down will cast a Power instead. You configure this by using the Research book again:
  • Choose "Bind" -> "Power Assignment"

2. If you have access to hotkeys of any kind (favorite hotkeys, special control mappings in VR, hotkey mods) you can assign a Power to one of those. But this will change away from Bind right? Well, there's a solution for that too. Open the Research book:
  • Choose "Focus" -> "Power & Shout Focus"

Enabling the setting in there means pressing your hotkey will now immediately cast the Power without you having to also press your Shout/Power button and it means you will still have Bind equipped afterwards without needing to switch back manually. Note that this works on any Power in the game, so it will simplify the use of other things as well, like racial skills.

3. Many mods provide ways to use powers without equipping them first. E.g. in VR we have DSN voice recognition, VRIK gestures, etc.

4. If you only find yourself using a Power rarely (e.g. refreshing your Imbue effect) you can also assign it to your favorites, enable the Focus option from 2. and just quickly open the favorites menu and selecting it there (the Focus option will handle casting it and re-equipping Bind for you). It’s not menu-free but it’s still fairly convenient.

Power Quick Reference
You can come back later to look through this to remind yourself what the powers do. It's explained in the in-game descriptions too though.

  • Reverse: Any hand holding Draw will now hold Ward and vice versa.
  • Refocus: Simply equips you with Draw and Ward. Bind can do this too but it is very contextual. Sometimes you will want to equip Draw/Ward when Bind wants to do something else.
  • Reshape: Toggles your drawn spells between area-effect and single-target variants.
  • Realign (learned separately, see "Using other spells"): Toggles your drawn spells between Entangled spells and Spellsiphon spells.

All Powers listed above will toggle between two different Bound Weapon choices whenever one is summoned.
Reverse and Refocus can Imbue elements if that is enabled (see "The Imbue System")

Using Shouts

  • Spellsiphon has a built-in mechanism that separates its special "Bind" shout from all other shout cooldowns (allowing you to use it even if you've recently used another shout). I can alternatively recommend the Shout & Bind mod for a more accurate and simple cooldown tracking (make sure you install its dependencies). Your third option is Individual Shout Cooldowns that makes all shouts have separate cooldowns (which of course has a massive impact on balance).
  • To make things smoother, open the Spellsiphoning Research book and choose "Focus" -> "Power & Shout Focus" -> [Any option] -> "Re-equip Bind after shouting: Yes"
  • Finally, equip shouts using any of your normal methods (hotkeys, VRIK gestures or just the favorites menu in the worst case) and press the Shout button to use them as normal.

The Imbue System (recommended when using normal weapons)

Whenever you use a weapon on the side of Spellsiphon, imbuing yourself with an element is highly recommended. It is also useful even when not using other weapons but you will then only be using a part of its advantages. This imbue effect is applied to you, not your weapon, so you can switch weapons freely without losing it.

What does it do?

  • Once imbued, you will attune yourself to the element whenever you hit an enemy with any weapon (melee or ranged). This will greatly increase the rate at which you can perform elemental combos since attacking takes less than 1 second, which is faster than a Draw->Release cycle which takes 3 seconds.
  • The imbue effect does not interfere with weapon enchantments, you can use both at the same time.
  • Hitting with an imbued physical weapon will, in addition, grant you Woven Power on regular intervals (once every 3s). This is on top of what you gain from swapping attunement. So just swinging it, even if you don't weave correctly, will still reward you. It will just reward you less than if you weave correctly.
  • Applying an Imbue effect or refreshing one you have will always attune you to the element immediately. This can help you attune to an element in a more subtle and silent way than releasing a spell, which may help you sneaky people out there.
  • An imbued element will grant you 25% increased resistance against it.
  • Imbuing yourself is permanent. You only have to do it again if you want to switch the imbued element. If you want to remove the effect for any reason, there's an option in the Research book and MCM to do so.

In addition to the above effects, doing a power attack or bash (melee or bow) while imbued will summon a short-duration Warding effect that can help you defend yourself in a pinch when you dont have Ward equipped (VR note: for bash to work, you need PLANCK installed). You only need to swing for this to happen, the swing does not need to hit. Summoning this Ward will attune you to the imbued element (again: nice to have for silent attunement). The "Weapon-Ward" has almost every feature of the normal one, including timed blocking and defense against melee, arrows and spells. It won't provide healing over time or light though. Mastery of this mechanic may even allow you to forego using the normal Ward entirely. Do remember that hitting with a bash or power attack on a weak enemy normally staggers them before they can hit you, meaning you won't get the timed block effects.

Special behavior for staves: A staff does not actually need to hit to cause attunement. They only need to be fired. This advantage (and the fact that they are quick and ranged) is offset by not granting Woven Power in regular intervals and not being able to summon the Weapon-Ward.

Special behavior for fists: Power Attacking with fists will cause attunement and summon the Weapon-Ward. However, simply hitting with fists will not grant Woven Power and will not cause attunement. This restriction is due to an engine limitation, it is not a design decision.

How do I use it?

To enable and use the imbue system, open the Research book:
  • Choose “Imbue” -> "How to Imbue" -> "When an element is drawn: Imbue replaces Reverse/Refocus"

Your “Reverse” or "Refocus" power is the key to imbuing. See the “Using Powers” section for how to access those. Using one of those Powers when you have an element Drawn will now Imbue. If you dont have an element Drawn, you will perform the Power as normal.

Complementary mods

  • If you want some cooler icons with unique art for each Spellsiphon power you can grab an icon pack here that improves both SkyUI and Wheeler.
  • Ordinator barely needs mentioning, it's the most popular perk overhaul out there. But I wanted to put it here to highlight how much it expands on Spellsiphon's possibilities since you are using almost every single perk tree in the game when doing the various combos. If you want to unlock tons of new mechanics as you level and get a unique combat experience on every new character, this mod is for you. Vokrii or Adamant are also great alternatives for those that want a closer-to-vanilla experience with a less overwhelming amount of options.
  • Forgiving Friends is an extremely light-weight mod that simply makes people very forgiving. If you're tired of your quest allies or followers turning on you when you accidentally hit them with something and don't want to install large follower overhaul mods to fix it, you can use this instead. Alternatively, or in addition, you can also get the Companion's Insight ability from the base game that prevents all friendly fire.
  • Blade & Blunt (or other similar combat mods). Spellsiphon does not touch enemy AI so you may want to grab a mod like this one that makes some improvements on that front.
  • Followers Don't Draw Weapons can be nice to have due to the frequent switching of spells/weapons that you will be doing with this mod. Without it, followers will sheath and redraw their weapons every time you Draw or Bind outside of combat. Just note that it may have some negative effects on AI (according to some mod comments).
  • Conduit. Enjoy the spellblade playstyle and want even more interactions between your magic and weaponry? Conduit, like Spellsiphon, introduces a new aspect to the magic system, the ability to infuse your held spell into your held weapon for a short time by grabbing it (in VR) or pressing a dedicated hotkey (in SE/AE). This gives you access to a small but deep selection of new weapon abilities and synergizes very well with the easily accessible drawn spell selection of Spellsiphon.
  • MArc & its Spellsiphon compatibility patch allows you to expand the Arcane Archer fantasy, allowing you to infuse practically any spell in the game into your arrows and then mixing those magic arrows with the Bound Bow & Discharge mechanics.
  • Spell packs. Just in general. Part of the main Spellsiphon gameplay loop is depleting your magicka bar with normal spells and then rebuilding it with Spellsiphon magic, repeating that throughout combat. You can definitely use vanilla spells for that but mod spells tend to bring a whole lot more interesting mechanics to the table. To sort through the hundreds of spells that these packs tend to add, you may also want Spellforge.
  • Longer fights. Spellsiphon thrives in extended engagements. It still does work fine if you're running an LO where everyone dies in less than 5 hits but i would personally recommend that you at least try playing with lower damage values and see if you like that combat style better. Before the introduction of combos and build/spend phases, Skyrim combat had to be short to not get mindnumbingly boring. But with mods like Spellsiphon, that is no longer the case. You can read more details on my thoughts about this here. And to try it out easily (without revamping your whole LO), i would recommend you grab Simply Balanced and just reduce your global outgoing and incoming damage. This will extend combat as a whole without simply nerfing yourself.

SE specific:

  • Combat Gameplay Overhaul (CGO) is a great complement for people looking to play Spellblades. It allows you to block (with an assigned button) while holding a spell + weapon and then bash to summon the Spellsiphon imbued warding effect (which is more practical than using power attacking for that). It also allows you to cast, swing and move at the same time (vanilla roots you in place). In addition, you get the ability to use 2-handed weapons in 1 hand so they can be combined with spells (though only in 1st person, see Warning below). Finally, unrelated to Spellsiphon, you can attack while jumping/falling which is just cool.
    WARNING: This mod does have quite a few known bugs. You may need to adapt your playstyle a bit to account for them if you want to use it. E.g. using 2 handed weapons in 1 hand and then using spells in the other hand only works reliably in 1st person. In 3rd person, switching spells while they are being channeled will put you in a state where you can't attack or cast. Since Spellsiphon's main ability "Draw" is a channeled spell that forcefully switches to another spell during the channel, you are guaranteed to trigger this bug.

VR specific:

  • Optimized Button Layout for Oculus Touch is my personal Oculus Touch controller mapping that is optimized for quick and comfortable combat. It includes access to all 8 built-in hotkeys which (with Spellsiphon) are freed up to be used for shouts, powers, potions, food, etc. It also allows shouting by gripping either the left or right controller which feels a lot better when summoning Bound Weapons as you'll be literally gripping and pulling them out of the void.
  • Weapon Throw VR need I say more? This one lets you throw your weapons with real swings of your arm and recall them to your hand at will like Thor. Completely compatible with Spellsiphon so you can use Imbued thrown weapons to produce combos and you can throw Bound swords and axes to trigger a Discharge. You can even throw weapons simultaneously as you're drawing/releasing spells but catching recalled ones will interrupt you (that is just how Skyrim works when things re-equip) so take that into account. You can see this playstyle in action in this video.
  • No Stagger Mod makes you immune to stagger. In original Skyrim this would cause the screen to shake and your character to recoil slightly. In VR, your movement is locked down, the screen gets a white tint and your weapons and shield get greyed out and disabled. It feels very unnatural and annoying. Sure, being immune to stagger makes the game slightly easier, but most people find playing it in VR harder so I'd say it evens out.