How to learn and use unforgivable curses in Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy tips - Professor Fig and the student
(Image credit: Portkey Games)

In Hogwarts Legacy, professors hand out new spells like they're candy. Sometimes the spells are harmless fun, like lifting stuff around with Wingardium Leviosa, but they also teach several surprisingly destructive tools of the trade, like the flamethrower spell Incendio and the literal explosion spell, Bombarda. Which is why I'm not exactly sure why Hogwarts Legacy's three unforgivable curses, Crucio, Imperio, and Avada Kedavra, are so unforgivable.

The three unforgivable curses can't be learned through main quests or professor assignments like every other spell can. They are also the only spells that are not only optional, but can be actively rejected. You have to go out of your way to learn these powerful curses, and if you do, you'll probably find many of the game's later combat sequences much easier.

Here's how Hogwarts Legacy unforgivable curses work, how to learn them, and how to change your mind if you reject them.

Hogwarts Legacy unforgivable curses: How to learn them

Hogwarts Legacy -

(Image credit: Portkey Games, Warner Bros.)

Unlike all of the other optional spells in Hogwarts Legacy, the three unforgivable curses have to be learned through Sebestian Sallow's relationship sidequests. The "In the shadow of" questline follows Sebastian's mission to find a cure for his sister's curse by any means necessary. Interestingly, you always have the option not to learn a curse and keep it locked on your spell list instead (though there is a way to still learn them later). Here's when you can learn each curse:

  • Crucio: Optionally learned during the quest "In The Shadow of the Study" if you ask Sebastian to teach you.
  • Imperio: Optionally learned during the quest "In The Shadow of Time" if you accept Sebastian's offer to learn it.
  • Avada Kedavra: Optionally learned during the quest "In The Shadow of the Relic" if you accept Sebastian's offer to teach you.

Hogwarts Legacy unforgivable curses: How they work


What it does: Curses target, increasing damage dealt to them while active. Medium cooldown.

During "In The Shadow of the Study", the search takes you, Sebastian, and Ominis Gaunt to a secret tunnel below Hogwarts leading toward Salazar Slytherin's Scriptorium. It's here where the first unforgivable curse, Crucio, becomes available.


What it does: Turns the target enemy into an ally temporarily. Medium cooldown.

Later on during "In The Shadow of Time", Sebastian offers to teach you Imperio to aid in clearing out a monster-filled catacomb. You can say no and still complete the quest as designed.

Avada Kedavra

What it does: Instantly kill the target. Long cooldown.

Yea, pretty hardcore. In one of the final missions of the questline, "In the Shadow of the Relic", Sebastian once again offers to teach you another curse. Considering this one is the Killing Curse, and arguably the most powerful spell in the game, think carefully about that one.

Where to relearn unforgivable curses

Hogwarts Legacy torch puzzle

(Image credit: Portkey Games)

If you accidentally refuse to learn an unforgivable curse or, like me, reach Hogwarts Legacy's endgame and just want to fiddle with every spell possible, there is a way to learn each curse after their initial quest. 

Once you complete Sebastian's questline, you can talk to him in the Undercroft and he will happily teach you any of the three curses you might've missed. You'll still have to do the spell unlocking minigame for each one and keep in mind that once you learn them, you can't unlearn them.

Considering the game never actually judges you for using the curses and, frankly, you do a lot of heartless murdering throughout Hogwarts Legacy whether you curse people or not, you should probably just take the powerful spells and never look back, unless you're roleplaying an upstanding citizen.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.