Wondering how to join the Mage's Guild in Skyrim? It's significantly easier than some of the other guilds open to the Dragonborn, though it's not technically the mage's guild. Skyrim's version of it is the College of Winterhold, which is an offshoot of the proper guild with its own rules and guidelines, though you still get plenty of benefits from joining.
You'll earn some unique achievements from completing the Mage's Guild questlines, but the real perks are the companions you can recruit there and the special equipment earned from finishing the guild's questlines.
How to Join the Mage's Guild in Skyrim
You'll want either high persuasion or a Magicka rating above the base 100 to join the guild easily. Head to Winterholm in the northeast part of Skyrim, and you'll see the college pretty easily. It's the giant castle jutting out over the water.
Approach the bridge, and Faralda, the gatekeeper, will demand you show her a certain spell. You'll have to cast it on the symbol near her, or she won't notice it. Should you not own the spell Faralda requires, she'll sell it to you for 30 coins.
If your Magicka is too low for it, you can just consume a Magicka potion to boost it. A Dragonborn with high Persuasion can bypass this challenge anyway.
It should go without saying, but once you're in, don't steal from your fellow mages or kill them. It makes everyone a bit upset and bars you from the guild. You can finish the "Rejoining the College" quest to gain re-admittance if you get caught stealing, though it requires you to pay a hefty 1,000 coin fee.
Mage's Guild Perks
Aside from lore dumps through lectures you can listen to, there's a range of practical benefits gained from joining the guild. As with other groups, this one has its own selection of main and side quests to complete, each of which rewards you with an item that helps boost magic use.
Three potential companions call the Mage's Guild home as well:
Onmund and Brelyna are also marriage candidates.
Finally is a set of master spell quests you can undertake to learn the ultimate version of a particular spell, including:
Of course, this is just one of Skyrim's many groups you can join. The Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood are two more worth considering both for companions and special equipment.