The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has a multitude of ways for players to embody the game’s fantasy elements, up to and including becoming a werewolf. From the opening scene, choices could include choosing a non-human race, such as an elf, khajiit or argonian, or activating the Mage Stone and pursuing a powerful magicka build. Determined players can also befriend the Companions of Skyrim, and in so doing unlock the pathway to become either a vampire or a werewolf.
Players can become werewolves in Skyrim by contracting the Lycanthropy disease. However, unlike Skyrim’s vampiric infection, which can be accidentally transferred during combat, players can only be infected with Lycanthropy through a specific ritual at the end of the Companions questline or equipping Skyrim’s Ring of Hircine. Skyrim does not allow vampires to become werewolves, making the blood-feeders the only characters who cannot be transformed.
Werewolves in Skyrim aren’t relegated to the lunar cycle, as players can change into their beast form once per day. While transformed, werewolves look like humanoid wolves, complete with fur, claws and fangs, and their eyes will be yellow. While in human form, characters look relatively the same, though NPCs may comment on a wolfish smile or hairy ears. Being a werewolf in Skyrim comes with several nerfs and buffs that players should consider before taking the plunge.
Skyrim’s werewolves gain the ability to use Beast Form, which can be activated once a day and lasts approximately two and a half minutes. While in this form, Skyrim’s combat is significantly overhauled, as players’ health and stamina increases, as does their base armor level. Werewolves can use their claws and fangs to attack enemies and deal massive damage, and use their increased strength to lift and throw opponents. Eating slain foes after combat will replenish up to 50 health and extend time in beast form by 30 seconds. Skyrim werewolves can cause enemies to flee by howling. Additionally, becoming a Skyrim werewolf will trigger the Totems of Hircine quests, which upon completion can grant players the ability to summon two pack members, reveal nearby foes, or increase the power of a fear shout.
For all the buffs provided in werewolf form, players should know they will lose access to any Skyrim racial traits they have in regular form, and won’t be able to use any weapons, armor or spells previously equipped. Additionally, werewolves cannot pick locks or loot while transformed, so players with a thief build should take note. NPCs will also be hostile to players while transformed, so Beast Form shouldn’t be used in populated areas. Furthermore, those in werewolf form are relegated only to a third-person camera, which could significantly throw off gameplay for The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim players who prefer the first-person view.