Using the blood of your enemies is a pretty hardcore thing to do. But you know what tops it? A person deciding that blood isn’t enough and using whole heart instead. Gangrel would approve.
In the world of Elder Scrolls, hearts are come in handy as tools for alchemists, necromancers, and even blacksmiths (More on this later). More specifically, Daedra hearts. But getting your hands on some is easier said than done.
The Daedra are exceedingly rare in Skyrim, far more so than in Morrowind or Oblivion, and as a result, Daedra hearts are one of the scarcest commodities in the game. But don’t worry, your friendly neighborhood Skyrim enthusiast is here to help you get your hands on all the hearts you will ever need.
Maybe don’t read that last sentence out loud in a public setting. Without context, it probably sounds pretty weird.
Anyway, on with the guide!
What Are Daedra Hearts?
Daedra hearts are, well, the hearts taken from fallen Daedra. I always wonder what that must be like as a person in the Elder Scrolls universe, carving a hole in a Daedra’s chest and ripping their heart out. Luckily Bethesda allows the player to skip that game of operation and instantly give us our prize.
What Is The Purpose Of Daedra Hearts?
Daedra hearts have several uses in Skyrim.
The first use is as an alchemical ingredient with the effects of Restore Health, Damage Stamina Regen, Damage Magicka, and Fear.
I find Alchemy to be the worst use of Daedra hearts, however. The alchemical effects of Daedra hearts in Skyrim are vastly inferior to that of Morrowind or Oblivion.
There are plenty of ingredients with Restore Health, Damage Stamina Regen, and Damage Magicka effects, and Fear is a niche poison ability. You can create comical scenarios of enemies fleeing from you and you being unable to catch them due to lack of Stamina. Besides that, I find Fear to be mediocre.
On Legendary difficulty, it may be a decent way to give yourself some breathing room in the early game against enemies, but I prefer striving towards improving damage output. But if you really want to create Fear potions, ingredients like blue dartwings or Namira’s rot are way better. Always prioritize resource usage in Skyrim by how accessible said resource is.
Daedra hearts are a required item for creating Daedric weapons and armor alongside ebony ingots and potentially leather strips. Despite something like Daedric armor or a Daedric battleaxe being much bigger than a dagger or boots, each Daedric item only needs one heart.
The Atronach Forge
Daedra hearts are a required item in several recipes to create unenchanted and enchanted Daedric armor and weapons.
You can also use Daedra hearts here to summon random unbound Dremora.
Coated in Blood
The Coated in Blood quest is a miscellaneous task for Moth gro-Bagol in Markarth. The Jarl wants Moth to cool his new sword in Daedra’s blood, so Moth needs you to get him a heart. Doing so will reward you with a random piece of leveled gear, and Moth will make your Blood-Kin to the Orcs.
Being Blood-Kin grants you access to every Orc stronghold in Skyrim, so this is well worth doing. Especially for those in need of ebony (And if you have any interest in Daedric armor and weapons, that means you).
The Cursed Tribe
The Cursed Tribe is the Daedric quest for the Daedric Prince Malacath. You can begin it by heading to Largashbur and speaking with Atub. The first objective is to bring her a Daedra heart and troll fat.
Completing this quest is another way of becoming Blood-Kin to the Orcs. With the use cases for the Daedra heart out of the way, let’s move on to the hard part: finding them.
Where Can I Get Daedra Hearts?
The best way to obtain a lot of Daedra hearts, and fast, is to become a member of the College of Winterhold.
Head for Winterhold and pass the test to enter the college. Once inside, head for the Hall of Attainment (On your left from the entrance into the college courtyard). Go up the stairs and speak with a Wood Elf named Enthir.
Enthir is a black market trader with connections to the Thieves Guild. Amongst his wares are two Daedra hearts. He restocks his inventory every two days, so make a habit of coming here frequently.
Daedra hearts are expensive, however. While this is the most consistent method of obtaining them, it does require significant amounts of gold. I don’t recommend using Daedra hearts for alchemical purposes, but I recommend using Alchemy so you can afford to buy them. With a low Speech skill and few or no points in the Haggling perk, each will set you back over 1000 gold.
Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon
The following method requires that you reach the finale of the Pieces of the Past quest as you try to reforge Mehrunes Razor. To begin it, speak with Silus Vesuius in Dawnstar.
The quest culminates at the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon, where you will need to defeat two Dremora outside the shrine. Each will have a Daedra heart and a key that lets you inside the shrine.
Inside the shrine will be two more Dremora. That’s four Daedra hearts, and these guys respawn every ten days or so. They’re also a great source of gold since the melee Dremora fighters regularly wield enchanted weapons.
The Black Star
The Black Star is the Daedric Quest for Azura. The finale of the quest requires you to slay an insane necromancer. Said insane necromancer has three Dremora minions backing him up. Each drops a Daedra heart.
Unfortunately, this is a one-time-only gig, but well worth doing and rewards you with an invaluable tool for Enchanting.
Speak with Erandur in Dawnstar about the people’s inability to sleep to begin the Waking Nightmare quest. During the quest, you will be able to pick up several Daedra hearts.
Any Alchemist trader in the game has a chance of having 1-2 Daedra hearts in stock. However, this is a very unreliable means of obtaining them. I did several tours around Skyrim to test this method for this guide. I visited every alchemist shop around and managed to buy zero Daedra hearts.
I’m not saying luck will always be this bad since there are times when Arcadia in Whiterun has a Daedra heart several times in a row. If they have Daedra hearts in stock, then buy them up. But don’t expect to see them too often.
Necromancers and hagravens are nasty foes to encounter, and both have a chance of having Daedra hearts on their persons. As with alchemists, don’t expect to see them too often.
Unlike alchemists, your chances of obtaining Daedra hearts as loot goes up the more you level up. So at least they have that going for them.
The Atronach Forge
If you have a Sigil Stone, human hearts, and black soul gems, you can create Daedra hearts at the Atronach Forge. To obtain the Sigil Stone, you need to complete the Conjuration Ritual Spell quest (Which requires level 90 Conjuration to begin).
I strongly recommend you never do this. Human hearts are rarer than Daedra hearts are.
Daedra Hearts’ Saving Grace: Scarce But Not Necessary
Before closing out this guide, I’d like to put this out there: You don’t need a ton of Daedra Hearts in Skyrim. The Dragonborn is one person, so it’s not like you need to forge an armory of Daedric equipment.
And eventually, enemies will drop Daedric equipment, and blacksmiths will sell them. The only way you will find yourself needing a lot of Daedra hearts is if you use them excessively in Alchemy, for which there are zero reasons to do so.
Question: The Dremora fighters outside the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon aren’t respawning! Is something wrong?
Answer: That’s just Skyrim being Skyrim. Sometimes they bug out and don’t respawn consistently. The ones inside the shrine always do, however.
Question: Is Daedric equipment the best in the game?
Answer: In the base version of Skyrim, yes. But not anymore. Daedric equipment still ranks in the top five, however.
Question: What level should I be before taking on any Dremora for their hearts?
Answer: I would say it’s less about your level and more about your equipment and armor rating. Dremora will tear you to pieces if you have bad defenses, regardless of your overall level.
Skyrim Daedra Heart Guide: Conclusion
And there you have it, folks. That’s all you need to know about becoming an efficient Daedra cardiologist in Skyrim. I remember first playing Skyrim for the first time and downright struggled to find enough Daedra hearts to forge a complete set of Daedric armor. That was before I learned about the cheat code that is Enthir. With him alone, you’ll be able to get all the hearts you need.
Just remember not to rush things. Daedric weapons and armor aren’t the only ones in Skyrim, and if you immediately jump to Daedric, you’re missing out on a lot of the fun. It’s okay to roam around in Steel armor with a Dwarven bow.
But once you feel you are ready for Daedric, you’ll have what you need to create your perfect equipment.