How to use Petrificus Totalus in Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy sneaking up on enemy
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One of the easiest ways to defeat enemies in Hogwarts Legacy is by using the spell Petrificus Totalus, the same charm that Hermione cast on Neville in The Sorcerer's Stone. This magical skill isn't like the others as it isn't listed among your list of spells. It can only be used when you're stealthily sneaking up on enemies. 

You can make Petrificus Totalus more effective by upgrading it and your stealth abilities. Doing this can make it harder for enemies to detect you, allows you to run while invisible, and can even unlock the ability to petrify multiple enemies at once. It's all of these choices that help give depth to Hogwarts Legacy's combat and makes this one of the best PC games and best Xbox games out there.

How to unlock Petrificus Totalus in Hogwarts Legacy

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Players cannot perform this body-binding curse until they have completed the "Secrets of the Restricted Section" main quest. This unlocks fairly early on so make sure to take on this mission (that has you running through the library with Sebastian) as soon as possible. 

How to cast Petrificus Totalus in Hogwarts Legacy

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Step 1: When you're near an enemy, make sure they aren't alerted to your presence and turn invisible with the Disillusionment Charm. 

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Step 2: Sneak up behind an enemy without getting spotted by them or their allies. 

If an enemy looks in your direction they will begin to get suspicious and will eventually sound an alarm. To avoid getting discovered, hide behind a tree, rock, some ruins, or other objects when someone starts taking an interest in you until they lose interest. Then continue stalking your prey.

Note: If you cast any other spell or your basic attack, all enemies in the area will be alerted to your presence and will attack you. When this happens you can no longer use Petrificus Totalus until enemies are no longer aware of you. 

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Step 3: When you are directly behind an enemy, the option to cast Petrificus Totalus will appear. Press the proper button to initiate this spell (F on Windows, X on Xbox and Steam Deck).

Of course, if you've upgraded the affects of Petrificus Totalus, you can paralyze multiple enemies at once. It also helps if you've upgraded your sneaking ability so that you can move faster while invisible and can't be detected as easily. 

How to upgrade Petrificus Totalus in Hogwarts Legacy

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You can increase your effectiveness with Petrificus Totalus by upgrading your Stealth abilities. 

  1. Open the menu
  2. Go to the Talents tab. 
  3. Select Stealth.
  4. Unlock Stealth abilities by spending Talent Points.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Petrifcus Totalus upgrades
Stealth AbilitiesDetails
Sense of Secrecy IEnemies' ability to detect you is reduced. Unlocks at Level 5.
Human DemiguiseAllows you to sprint while invisible. Unlocks at Level 5.
Sense of Secrecy IIEnemies' ability to detect you is reduced. Unlocks at Level 16.
Petrificus Totalus MasteryPetrificus Totalus eminates an area of effect that can impact nearby enemies. Unlocks at Level 22.

Can I use Petrificus Totalus on trolls?

Hogwarts Legacy Petrificus Totalus on Troll

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Yes! If you can manage to sneak up on a troll without it or its allies spotting you then you'll be able to cast Petrificus Totalus on it. Note that this will not petrify the troll as it's too big for that. However, the spell does take out a decent chunk of health on these big guys, making it easier to defeat trolls. Once the damage has been done, the troll and any of its nearby allies will work on attacking you, so be ready for that. 

Stealthy witches and wizards

Mastering Petrificus Totalus will make it a whole lot easier to get through Bandit Camps and dungeons since you'll be able to sneakily run around and take enemies out without them fighting back. You just have to make sure not to get caught sneaking around or attacking anyone or else the jig will be up and everyone will turn to attack you.

The best thing you can do is work on upgrading your Stealth abilities using your available Talent Points. This will make you far more effective when sneaking up on enemies and using Petrificus Totalus. If nothing else, it's gratifying to see more than one enemy taken out by this petrifying spell at a time. 

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).