What happens when I capture a petty soul but have only grand soul gems?
When using soul trap on creatures where the soul size doesn’t match up with the soul gems I have in my inventory, what exactly happens then? If I capture a soul that is too small for my soul gem, do I automatically waste a large soul gem on a small soul?
So, do I have to be careful which souls I trap in order not to waste any soul gems? Or can I happily trap everything and the souls will only go into the correctly-sized soul gems?
4 Solutions collect form web for “What happens when I capture a petty soul but have only grand soul gems?”
A captured soul will be put in the smallest available soul gem that will hold it. So if you capture a lesser soul, and you only have a grand soul gem available, it will be automatically put in the grand soul gem. If you have a empty grand and lesser soul gem, a lesser soul will always be put in the lesser soul gem.
If by chance you accidentally fill a larger soul gem with a lesser soul, you can drop it to the ground and pick it back up. Dropping soul gems to the ground causes them to lose the stored soul and this prevents the waste of larger gems filled with smaller souls.
Note that there is an skse plugin called smart souls that makes it so that you never waste bigger soulgems by trapping smaller souls than what they can handle in them. Also adds a notification telling you the size of the soul just captured. Must-have mod, imo.
There’s an existing Oblivion mod called “Soulgem Magic” which fixes this by allowing you to put multiple smaller souls into a larger gem at a default rate of 4 souls of a given size = 1 of the next size up. (e.g., Four petty souls in the same gem produce a lesser soul. Four lesser (or 16 petty) produce a common. Filling a grand gem would take 256 petty souls.) I expect that this is likely to be ported to Skyrim relatively quickly once TESVCS and a sufficiently-capable version of SKSE are out.
Until then, though, yeah – you’ll waste most of the grand gem’s capacity.
Acquisitive Soul Gems fixes the bug with “losing” souls trapped in dropped gems and prevents souls from occupying soul gems that are too large for them. Doesn’t require any additional plugins.