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< Skyrim: Places: Caves
(view on map) (lore page)
Clearable No
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days
Level Min: 18
Chaurus, Dwarven Automatons, Falmer, Falmer Servants, Frost Trolls, Frostbite Spiders, Giants, Wispmothers, Vulthuryol
Important Treasure
2920, MidYear, v6
Sinderion's Field Laboratory:
Attunement Sphere
De Rerum Dirennis
Leather Boots of Hauling
Debate Hall:
A Dance in Fire, v6
Silent Ruin:
Console Location Code(s)
BlackreachCity, BlackreachOrigin, BlackreachArena, BlackreachElevatorAlftand, BlackreachElevatorMzinchaleft, BlackreachElevatorRaldbthar
Beneath Alftand, Mzinchaleft, and Raldbthar
Special Features
# of Fishing SuppliesCC 1
Ore Veins
# of Corundum 14
# of Ebony 6
# of Geode 34
# of Gold 3
# of Moonstone 2
# of Orichalcum 3
# of Quicksilver 3
# of Silver 3
Inside Blackreach

Blackreach is an immense, naturally lit cavern inhabited by hordes of Falmer and containing the ruins of a Dwemer city. The cavern itself is reached by traversing any of three Dwemer ruins: Alftand (southwest of Winterhold), Mzinchaleft (southwest of Dawnstar), or Raldbthar (west-southwest of Windhelm). In order to access the entrances to Blackreach from these ruins, the Attunement Sphere is needed to reveal the stairs leading to each entrance. The Dwemer theme of the ruins continues within the cavern proper, featuring what appears to be a small city, which has long since been claimed by Falmer. The northernmost point of the cavern features a Dwemer observatory and a lift to the surface for easy access.

Geode Vein
The Silent City

Blackreach is the only place where crimson nirnroot can be found, which was of great interest to the renowned botanical alchemist, Sinderion. The cavern also houses many geode veins, some of which can be mined for soul gems using a pickaxe, as well as an assortment of other ore veins scattered around. There are 36 geode veins scattered throughout Blackreach in total: 34 in the cavern itself, and 2 in Silent City Catacombs. 23 of these geode veins can be mined to yield level-dependent empty soul gems (grand soul gems and black soul gems start to appear at level 16 with a very low probability, which increases until level 30 (grand)/31 (black)). However, the other 13 geode veins are no different from standard corundum ore veins; these veins will always yield three corundum ores, with a chance of also yielding one or more regular gems.

  • With the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, this is changed so that Geode Veins always yield soul gems. (It is unclear whether this has been achieved by making the 13 anomalous Geode Veins drop soul gems instead of corundum, or by converting them to standard Corundum Veins, or a mix of the two. (?))


Blackreach is a huge cavern that can be difficult to navigate, especially since your in-game map will only ever allow you to see part of the cavern.

Most players will first enter Blackreach in the northeast corner, through the door leading to Alftand Cathedral. The Great Lift at Alftand is found a short distance to the south-southeast; it is one of three lifts that provide direct access to the surface. Directly across from the Alftand Cathedral entrance is the first of many buildings scattered throughout the cavern:

One distinctive section of the cavern is the ruined Dwemer city, found in the western part of the cavern. It contains several buildings:

The entrances related to Mzinchaleft are north of the city, namely the door to Mzinchaleft Gatehouse (in the northwestern corner of the cavern) and the Great Lift at Mzinchaleft. Two other buildings are also found along the northern wall of the cavern:

Entrance to Raldbthar Deep Market

The southern part of Blackreach is dominated by waterfalls plunging into a lake far below the rest of Blackreach. The entrances related to Raldbthar are to the southeast, namely the door to Raldbthar Deep Market and the Great Lift at Raldbthar. The Tower of Mzark is on a spire to the southwest. Three other buildings are scattered around the edges of the lake:

Exit LocationsEdit

Overlooking the Silent City

Once you enter Blackreach, there are several different exits from Blackreach to Skyrim. The quickest way to the surface is by using any of the three "Great Lifts", elevator shafts leading to gatehouses on the surface. These lifts can only be accessed from Blackreach; however, once you open the gate at the top of the lift, it becomes a new access point for Blackreach, with a fast-travel marker on your map. One other exit, the Tower of Mzark, must also be initially accessed from Blackreach.

Lift locations:

Other exits:

Related QuestsEdit


  • For historical information on Blackreach, see the lore article.
  • Aside from geode veins, Blackreach also has several ebony, gold, corundum, and other ore veins.
  • Using the Unrelenting Force shout on the large orange globe hanging above the Silent City will summon the dragon Vulthuryol to attack you. This, of course, will only happen once.
  • One copy of the Heavy Armor skill book 2920, MidYear, v6 can be found on a table at the top of the stands overlooking the arena-like ring just west of the War Quarters.
  • If you have the Fishing creation, some Fishing Supplies can be found by following the path leading out of Alftand Cathedral, as well as a bucket containing a Fishing Rod, some dwemer metal, and a dwarven dagger. Fish from Underground waters can be caught here, and five Tripod Spiderfish can be manually picked up from the water.
  • Although Blackreach is a dungeon, the game considers it to be outdoors. This makes the Summon ArvakDG spell and the Storm Call shout usable, but not the Call Dragon shout. In previous game versions, vampires would suffer negative sun effects in Blackreach, but this was changed in an official patch.
    • Even with the patch, you still cannot fast travel here.
  • Sinderion's Field Laboratory and Tower of Mzark do not respawn.
  • The doors to the three Great Lift locations will reset if you are away from them long enough, and need to be reopened from the Blackreach side. The door to the Tower of Mzark stays open always, once you have unlocked it.
  • Likewise, the entrances from the three Dwemer dungeons of Alftand, Mzinchaleft, and Raldbthar may reset, and have to be reopened from the dungeon side because of the necessity of using an Attunement Sphere, which cannot be used from below. This is also why it is impossible to use Blackreach to access one of the other Dwemer dungeons from below if you haven't cleared the dungeon all the way to its Blackreach entrance and unlocked it with your Attunement Sphere.


  • Lifts to the surface can occasionally cause the game to freeze on the loading screen, thus preventing all actions apart from quick-loading.
    •   This can be fixed by pressing the tilde key to open the console and waiting 5-10 seconds, then pressing tilde again to close the console, or by repeatedly pressing Q or the appropriate assigned hotkey to open the favorites menu. This can also be prevented entirely by temporarily disabling autosaves on traveling, then enabling them after using the lifts. Another way of fixing this is typing in the console command "disableplayercontrols", closing the console, then reopening the console and typing in the command "enableplayercontrols".
    •   Hitting the guide button at the moment the loading screen goes away, but before it comes back, can also fix the glitch. Note that this glitch tends to occur when attempting to use the lift with more than one follower. When the glitch occurs, the screen will effectively go dark in an attempt to load; if autosave upon travel is enabled, all your previous autosave blocks will be overwritten with the autosave from using the lift. You will have to restart the Xbox or use the Xbox button to return to the dashboard and load Skyrim again. You will then have to choose a previous save before entering the lift that created the glitch.
    • Disabling autosave upon travel will prevent this bug from happening.
    • This appears to have been fixed by version 1.6 of the Official Skyrim patch, although some may still experience this glitch.
  • Using the Fireball spell on a Falmer may cause the game to crash.
  • Casting a Summon Spell (e.g. Conjure Dremora Lord) will often cause the summoned creature to appear in a different location than that targeted by the caster. The creature may appear either to one side, behind the caster, or in areas with different vertical levels, on a different level.
  • Sometimes followers can get stuck on the stairs of Sinderion's Lab.
    • Using Unrelenting Force to push the follower off the stairs, or simply using the "wait" feature, can resolve this.
  • A Falmer tent at the southeastern end, near the entrance to Raldbthar, cannot be entered. A Falmer enemy may spawn inside the tent, unable to leave.
  • Entering a Falmer hut at the southwest end of Blackreach, near the Tower of Mzark, may cause you to become permanently stuck inside. For some reason, the collision around the hut's doorway allows the player to enter, but never to exit. This can also be observed with a Falmer that should spawn within the hut.
    • If you're a werewolf, you can enter beast form to get unstuck.
    • If a Falmer approaches, you can unstick yourself by performing a cinematic kill.
  • Attempting to exit Blackreach to Mzinchaleft then immediately returning can cause Blackreach to have normal daylight or even snowy weather, just like any area above ground.
  • Two Chaurus Reapers may spawn near the Catacombs entrance as completely unresponsive. Even when hit, they do not move or react.
  • The corundum ore vein just south of the Farm Overseer's House cannot be interacted with.
  • Attempting to enter Blackreach on any horse, which is done by activating the lift then immediately mounting the horse, can cause you to be placed out of bounds and unable to move. ?
  • Sometimes, when exiting Blackreach and reentering via a lift, the game might decide to put you into the dungeon twice simultaneously. This can get you stuck in an endless cycle of the game reloading the Blackreach interior and producing an endless cycle of autosaves, which will quickly load over any prior autosaves. These autosaves cannot be opened, as they are in "version zero". Autosave limits still apply, thus no loading from before the glitch works unless you have a deliberate save. ?