Skyrim’s Blackreach is a mysterious place. Hidden beneath Dwemer ruins, this location was once the hub of the Dwemer world, but since their downfall, has been home to the horrifying Falmer and little else. As the Dragonborn, you’re going to have to face it head-on, so we’ve put together this guide to understanding how to get underground and pick up some buried treasure.
For more tips on getting around Bethesda’s iconic open-world RPG, check out our Skyrim map, Skyrim marriage, Skyrim Raven Rock, Skyrim enchanting, and Skyrim potion recipes guides. Or, if it’s a laugh you need, reacquaint yourself with some of the game’s funniest moments thanks to our picks for the best Skyrim memes.
Unlike most of Skyrim’s big cities, Blackreach is hidden underground and is almost completely uninhabited – except for some pesky Falmer, Chaurus, and the odd Dwemer remnant. Don’t expect to find any shops or guilds down here, unless there’s a mod involved, but if you’re looking for nirnroot, there’s plenty of that.
It wasn’t always abandoned, though. Blackreach was once the centre of Skyrim’s Dwemer population, using the abundance of mining materials in the area to create a thriving civilisation underground. Going on to create four more cities – Arkngthamz, Mzulft, Raldbthar, and Bthar-zel – the Dwemer lived in peace in wider Blackreach for some time, until the lure of the aethereum forge proved too much, and the splintering society crumbled under its own greed.
If you’re trying to find Skyrim’s Blackreach, you might need a bit of help. Unlike the major cities on the surface, it’s not obvious which part of the map Blackreach falls under. Fortunately, there are two quests that guide you to the underground cavern, either Elder Knowledge or Discerning the Transmundane. Elder Knowledge is the easiest to begin, what with it being the twelfth main quest, so all you really need to do to find your way to Blackreach is keep pushing on through the main story element.
Yes, there is a dragon in Skyrim’s Blackreach – one of the many from our Skyrim dragon guide – and its name is Vulthuryol. If you want to take on this winged beast, you first need to locate the debate hall, which you can find right in the middle of Blackreach. Outside of the hall, there’s an orange orb, and if you direct the unrelenting force to shout at the object, the mighty dragon will appear. Despite it hiding in the dark, this dragon isn’t necessarily a massive challenge, and provided that you’re over level 30, you should have no problem picking up some dragon bones.
If you’re struggling to pick up the Elder Scroll locked within the lexicon puzzle, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most Google’d challenges in all of Skyrim, but fortunately, we have the solutions.
- Place the blank lexicon on the lexicon podium
- Keep hitting the second button until the podium lights up
- Keep hitting the fourth button until the Dwemer machinery lights up
- Press the fifth button a single time
- Collect the Elder Scroll!
If plain old vanilla Skyrim Blackreach isn’t doing it for you anymore, you can revitalise the area with a bit of help from Skyrim’s community of modders. We’ve picked out a couple of the most promising-looking mods, including links, below.
If you’d rather find a magical forest than a dingy cavern, this might be the mod for you. Magical Blackreach transforms the area into a wooded spectacle, filled with even more mystery than before. Better still, there’s extra nirnroot.
An underground railroad in Blackreach? Count us in. This mod does exactly what it says on this tin, and then some, adding in a whole voiced questline around the titular railroad. It might not be the most true-to-canon mod out there, but you know we love adding trains to Skyrim, even if they don’t have faces.
With that, you know all there is to know about Skyrim’s Blackreach. For more dark stories, but without the cavern, check out our picks for the best visual novel games.