Sebastian Sallow in Hogwarts Legacy
Image via Prima Games

Hogwarts Legacy: How to Learn All Unforgivable Curses

These kinds of decisions take time

In Hogwarts Legacy, you’ll have an opportunity to learn some of the darkest arts in the wizarding world, but what are they and how do you add these spells to your arsenal? Continue reading to learn more about all the Unforgivable Curses in Hogwarts Legacy.


Be careful when reading ahead; there are some spoilers regarding Sebastian Sallow’s quest line below!

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What Are Unforgivable Curses?

The three Unforgivable Curses in Hogwarts Legacy are Crucio, Imperio, and Avada Kedavra. They’re powerful abilities that allow you to torture, control, and one-shot any enemy. If you think these sound overpowered, you’d be right. There are a few downsides to using the curses, particularly with breaking immersion, if your character avoids evil acts at all costs. But overall, Unforgivable Curses are some of the most powerful spells in the game, and there’s little consequence to using them.

Canonically, Unforgivable Curses are the darkest spells known to the wizarding world, illegal, and typically reserved for only the cruelest of witches and wizards. In Hogwarts Legacy, your Slytherin pal Sabastian Sallow will offer to teach them to you at certain moments throughout his quest line, essentially offering up a loaded gun to your teenage character. Whether or not it’s morally just is for you to decide, but gameplay-wise, you should definitely use them if you want a power trip.

As a game mechanic, curses will apply a cursed effect onto an enemy which causes them to take extra damage. However, you don’t necessarily need to use the three unforgivable curses to take advantage of this. The Dark Arts talent tree will allow you to apply cursed effects to some of your basic, normal spells. But, certainly, the real fun begins as you move up the tree and those over-powered effects brought about by the Unforgivable Curses sit tantalizingly within reach.


Unforgivable Curses are not required to learn and aren’t a part of Hogwarts Legacy’s main story. These spells are completely optional, and you can pick and choose which ones you want to learn, if any.

hogwarts legacy screenshot of Sebastian using an unforgivable curse

How to Learn Crucio

The first Unforgivable Curse you’ll come across in Hogwarts Legacy is Crucio. When used, Crucio will cause an enemy to writhe in pain as they take damage over time. You can upgrade this spell to release a projectile that curses a nearby enemy when struck while affected by Crucio. This upgrade will work in tandem with an upgraded Avada Kedavra to instantly bring down groups of enemies en masse.

To learn Crucio, you’ll need to complete the In the Shadow of the Study quest with Sebastian, which will become available after finishing In the Shadow of the Bloodline. You’ll also want to be around level 16. To start the quest, talk to Sebastian outside of the Slytherin common room. He’ll want you to convince Ominis to join you two in searching the Scriptorium.

Once Ominis is on board, open up the Scriptorium by lighting the three braziers around the dungeon. You can then proceed inside where you’ll need to unlock a series of gated doors. Eventually, the three of you will become trapped between two locked doors, and the only way out is to cast Crucio on one of you.

You’ll have a choice on whether the lucky victim will be you or Sebastian (Ominis wants no part in it), but it’s here where you’ll be given the option to learn the Unforgivable Curse, Crucio. Note that you can still learn Crucio and choose to have it be used on you, sparing Sebastian the torturous pain. But if you ask us, Sebastian’s the one who got you into this mess in the first place, and taking one for the team is perhaps being a touch too kind.

How to Learn Imperio

Imperio is the second Unforgivable Curse you’ll have the option to learn in Hogwarts Legacy. The Imperio curse will force enemies to fight alongside you as if they were your companion. While under your control, the affected enemy will take reduced damage from other enemies to prolong their allegiance. You can upgrade this curse to have an enemy under Imperio control curse other targets with each successful strike.

To learn Imperio, you’ll need to complete the In the Shadow of Time quest with Sebastian, which will become available after finishing In the Shadow of Discovery. You’ll also want to be around level 17. To start the quest, talk to Sebastian in the Feldcroft Region. He’ll want to explore some catacombs with you to try and find a relic that may help his sister. Agree and proceed through the catacombs, fighting spiders along the way.

Eventually, you’ll make your way to a large circular room with a pedestal in the middle of it, and ahead, a blocked archway. Use Accio on groups of nearby bones and place the bones on the archway. Once full, the blocked path will open up and Sebastian will unforgivably curse your ears with some terrible wordplay.

In the next room, Sebastian will then offer to teach you the Imperio curse as he expects you’ll need it, having seen it in a student’s diary found earlier. Like with the other Unforgivable Curses, you’ll have the option to accept or deny his offer.

How to Learn Avada Kedavra

The third and final Unforgivable Curse you’ll learn in Hogwarts Legacy is Avada Kedavra a.k.a the Killing Curse. As you might expect, the Avada Kedavra curse will instantly kill any and all enemies no matter their HP or circumstances. The only enemy this curse won’t work against is the final boss. OP doesn’t even begin to describe this curse, and it only gets more powerful if you upgrade it.

Once upgraded, killing an enemy with Avada Kedavra will kill all other cursed enemies as well. Pair this with the upgraded Crucio curse, which will curse other enemies with each strike on the affected target, and you have instant death for everyone around you.

To learn Avada Kedavra, you’ll need to complete the In the Shadow of Relic quest with Sebastian, which will become available after finishing In the Shadow of the Hope. You’ll also want to be around level 28. To start the quest, talk to Ominis at the catacomb in the Feldcroft Region. He’s upset, and he wants your help saving Sebastian.

Hogwarts Legacy Inferi enemies in a catacomb
Image via Warner Bros. Games.

Enter the catacomb, and you’ll have to contend with rooms full of Inferi. Set the Inferi on fire, and you’ll make quick work of them. Further in, you’ll eventually stumble into Sebastian who is quite excited about his newfound magical power. Other characters, however, are less than thrilled, and you’ll have to fight off Sebastian’s uncle, Solomon Sallow. Sebastian will then make a questionable, albeit impulsive, choice in the heat of the moment and then run off.

Follow Sebastian out of the catacomb, and then talk to him. Let him know you think everyone should know the Avada Kedavra curse, and he’ll offer to teach it to you. As a fun easter egg (or perhaps just canonical lore), the wand motion for using the Avada Kedavra curse is the lightning bolt symbol that’s stamped across Harry Potter’s forehead.

Can You Learn Unforgivable Curses After Refusing Them?

Throughout Sebastian’s friendship quest line, you’ll help him understand more about his sister Anne’s curse. As you two attempt to find solutions to this problem, you’ll explore the dark arts, gaining opportunities to learn Crucio, Imperio and Avada Kedavra, respectively. With all three, Sebastian will ask you if you want to learn them, to which you can either accept or decline. Simply put, you won’t get the spell during the quest if you refuse the offer.

Fortunately, there is a way to learn it again. By heading to the Undercroft and speaking to Sebastian, you’ll get another chance to add the Unforgivables to your spell arsenal. Whether you do this immediately after an Unforgivable Curse quest or later in the story is entirely up to you, but be careful if you wait until the end!

Depending on your decision at the end of Sebastian’s quest line, you won’t have the entire playthrough to do this. If you wait until the end and pick a particular dialogue option, he’ll disappear forever, and you’ll lose your last chance to learn the Unforgivable Curses. Generally speaking, the earlier you talk to him, the better!

Consequences of Using Unforgivable Curses

Congrats, you’ve become the new Voldemort. But don’t worry, nobody will mind. Your actions in Hogwarts Legacy don’t have consequences, and NPCs won’t have a care in the world if you decide to go on a murder spree.

To say this is at odds with the game’s themes and direction is a bit of an understatement, but we suppose this is to allow players the freedom to play out their wildest wizarding dreams without worry about repercussions restricting any further gameplay. Using the curses might break your immersion if you’re playing as a strict do-gooder, but that’s about it.

So go ahead and torture and kill to your heart’s content. Admittedly, there is something arguably interesting about your character becoming worse than the very thing they’re fighting and bluntly denying it.

That’s all we have for Unforgivable Curses in Hogwarts Legacy. To learn more about the game, check out How to Change User Interface (UI) Settings in Hogwarts Legacy and Can You Breed Phoenixes in Hogwarts Legacy?

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Madison Benson
Madison was a staff writer at Prima Games who has played video games for over twenty years and written about them for over two years. Her love for video games started with turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and has since extended to casual farming sims, MMORPGs, and action-adventure RPGs.
Seth Lowe
Seth has been a writer for Prima Games since 2023. An avid Nintendo lover and a true Pokemon master, surely you'll find him glued to a Game Boy no matter where he is. You can find his previous work at TheGamer.