How to learn the Unforgivable Curses in Hogwarts Legacy
Do you like Death Eaters?
All roads lead to Hogsmeade, but not all paths walk in the light. In Hogwarts Legacy, you can choose to roleplay the witch or wizard you want to be, and that includes the option of turning to nefarious magic. If you want to be a Dark Wizard or Witch, you’ll be learning evil spells that the rest of the Wizarding World looks down on at best. At worst? They’re considered downright Unforgivable. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Note that while we’ve redacted key plot details, there will be minor spoilers below.
How to learn Unforgivable Curses
While there are many different kinds of horrifying spells and curses in the Wizarding World, ultimately, the general rule of thumb used is whether or not a Witch or Wizard uses the three Unforgivable Curses without restraint. These curses consist of Crucio, Imperio, and Avada Kadavra.
You’ll have the option to learn all three of these curses in Hogwarts Legacy by following the “In the Shadow of...” side quest storyline. This quest features Sebastian Sallow, a Slytherin student who means well but will stop at nothing to find a magical cure for his sister Anne, even if that means delving into the Dark Arts. Sebastian is opposed by his uncle, who has given up on any hope of finding a cure for Anne and is firmly against anything to do with the Dark Arts. This quest also draws in Ominis Gaunt, a kind-hearted blind student in Slytherin who has a troubling family history that he’s eager to forget about.
Sebastian is also a part of the main storyline in Hogwarts Legacy, but handling this series of side quests will provide the opportunity to learn all three Unforgivable Curses. The first two curses can be learned relatively close together, but you’ll have to wait until near the very end of the game before you can learn the third.
Note that unlike what I’ve seen posted elsewhere, it is possible to learn these curses if you initially turned them down. If you accidentally select the wrong option or change your mind and you don’t want to reload a save, simply head to the Undercroft and speak with Sebastian, who will teach you the curses at that time instead. Note that if you have the Deluxe Edition of Hogwarts Legacy, you can also test these curses out without “really” learning them in the Dark Arts Battle Arena, located in the Forbidden Forest.
How to learn Crucio
The first Unforgivable Curse you’ll have the opportunity to learn is Crucio. Speak with Sebastian Sallow whenever he wants to talk and eventually, you’ll open up a side quest called In the Shadow of the Study. You’ll have to carefully examine different gates and rotate symbols on nearby snake puzzles to match. Before the end of the quest, you’ll learn that in order to proceed, someone has to cast Crucio.
You can offer to learn the curse and cast it on Sebastian, learn the curse but let Sebastian cast it on you, or let Sebastian cast it on you without learning it. The former two options will allow you to learn Crucio. If you turn it down, you can learn it later.
Crucio deals high damage and “curses” the victim, making them more susceptible to other forms of damage in combat. This is good for softening up particularly tough targets.
How to learn Imperio
Sebastian’s descent into the Dark Arts for a seemingly good cause continues with In the Shadow of Time. Make your way through a spider-infested tomb in Feldcroft, solving the occasional puzzle. Eventually, Sebastian will offer to teach you Imperio, though again, if you turn him down you can ask him about it later.
Imperio curses an enemy and briefly places them under your control, meaning they’ll fight against their former allies for a short bit. This is perfect for crowd control, giving you a bit of breathing room in packed fights.
How to learn Avada Kadavra
In order to get the final Unforgivable Curse, you’ll need to progress through most of the game until you unlock the side quest titled In the Shadow of the Relic. Simply talk with Sebastian at the end of the quest, and he’ll offer to teach you Avada Kadavra. Like the prior two curses, you can later take Sebastian up on his offer in the Undercroft.
The iconic Killing Curse hasn’t been nerfed for this game. Casting Avada Kadavra will instantly kill the target, from a tiny spider to a massive troll. To somewhat counter this, the curse has the longest cooldown time of any spell in your arsenal. You can assuage this somewhat through the use of the Focus Potion, but you’re still best off choosing targets carefully and saving Avada Kadavra for the most powerful foes that appear.