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Oblivion:Detect Life

< Oblivion: Magic: Magical Effects
OB-icon-Detectlife.png Detect Life
School Mysticism
Type Other
Effect ID DTCT
Base Cost 0.08
Barter Factor 15
(Click on any item for details)
Custom Potions
Built-In Potions
Sigil Stones

Detect Life M feet for D seconds

Reveals all visible and invisible creatures within M feet surrounding them with a soft purple glow. Detect Life works through obstacles such as houses, interior doors (but not exterior ones, since it doesn't extend to other cells), walls and hillsides. At higher magnitudes, the purple glow around creatures within range appears sharper making it possible to more easily distinguish between the subjects as to who or what they are: human beings from animals, for example.


  • This effect can be gained for spell making and enchanting via spells; or becoming a Vampire, which bestows the ability Hunter's Sight. The Eyes in the FogSI Ability also grants this spell for enchanting after completing the Shivering Isles main quest.
  • The game has a rather expansive definition of "life" which includes the undead.
  • Detect Life detects invisibility making it easier to fight those spellcasters and creatures who tend to render themselves invisible before or even during combat.
  • Creatures within reach will leave a blurry purple trail behind as they move. The faster they move, the less distinct the trail will be.
  • Detect Life doesn't work beyond the map area you are currently in. This limitation is especially noticeable in cities. If you are on the street looking at a house, you can often see the people standing on the other side of it, but you cannot see anyone standing inside.
  • The max range of Detect Life can be extended if you are at least a Journeyman of Marksman; just zoom in then out and all the creatures within the bow's zoom range and your current Detect Life range will be lit by Detect Life.
  • It is very hard to make out people's faces when Detect Life is active. Conversations and persuasion minigames are much easier if you first unequip any items with Detect Life enchantments.
  • Detect Life effects stack. Therefore if you have a ring of Detect Life 20, a helm of Detect Life 10, and an amulet of Detect Life 30, your total Detect Life is 60 giving you a 60 foot range on detection.
  • NPCs do not make use of the Detect Life effect. If you are invisible or have 100% Chameleon, NPCs with Detect Life (such as the Gray Fox, who obtains it from the Gray Cowl) will still be unable to see you; the sneak eye will still be dim, even if you are standing right in front of them.

See alsoEdit

Related Effects:

Alchemy IngredientsEdit

The following alchemy ingredients can be used to create a potion of Detect Life: