Crafting in Skyrim allows players to create the strongest Weapons and Armor. They can also craft Potions and Poisons of various effects or imbue their equipment with powerful Enchantments. Crafting requires the player to have the necessary Ingredients or materials to craft the recipes at the appropriate crafting stations. Players can level the skills up through crafting or by visiting a trainer, with higher levels in crafting skills unlocking more crafting perks and even recipes. This page is here to help guide players about what to expect from crafting, how to improve their crafting skills and teach new and old players tips and tricks to follow.
Each of the 3 crafting skills require different materials to craft with. These materials can be found around the world or traded from vendors. Alchemists brew potions and poisons from combining ingredients, Blacksmiths create weapons and armor with leather, metal ingots and gems while Enchanters use filled soul gems to infuse equipment with Enchantments.
There is no crafting skill for cooking however players are able to make cooked food at a cooking place. Cooked foods can replenish their Stats and even grant temporary boons to the player depending on the food item. Players access to all cooking recipes, check the Cooked Dishes page to find the individual recipes for each item.
The player needs to be at the appropriate crafting station to use their crafting skill. One cannot be an alchemist without an alchemist lab or forge a weapon without a forge. You will be able to find the crafting stations at main cities and most villages.
- Alchemy Lab to mix ingredients with the Alchemy skill
- Smelter to craft ores and scrap metal into ingots, for blacksmithing
- Tanning Rack to create leather from hide and leather strips from leather, for blacksmithing
- Workbench to improve armor and shields with materials and the Blacksmithing skill
- Grindstone to improve weapons with materials and the Blacksmithing skill
- Forge and Anvil to craft weapons, armor and jewelry with materials and the Blacksmithing skill
- Arcane Enchanter to enchant and disenchant equipment with filled soul gems and the Enchanting skill
Alchemy is a Thief skill used to craft potions and poisons by combining ingredients. Perks can help increase the effectiveness of your products amongst other bonuses
Smithing is a Warrior skill used to create or improve weapons and armor. Higher levels help increase the improvement bonuses as well as the variety of things you can create through unlocking perks.
Enchanting is a Magic skill used to add magical effects to weapons, armor and clothing. Increasing the skill level increases the quality of the enchantments you can place on items with perks giving even more bonuses.
Crafting the Best Weapons and Armor
The general method is to produce armor with powerful Fortify Smithing and Fortify Alchemy crafting enchantments, this armor is then used to produce potions of Fortify Smithing and Fortify Enchanting. With both potion effects activated, crafting and improving the equipment as well as enchanting them will produce the best weapons and armor. Therefore to craft the best equipment it is important to have high crafting levels in all 3 crafting skills. A high Smithing level for powerful equipment, a high Enchanting level to give powerful enchantments and a high Alchemy level to give large bonuses to the other 2 crafting skills.
Leveling Up Crafting Skills
The standard way to level up Crafting Skills is to repeatedly crafting items of the crafting skill's type. Creating potions and poisons levels your Alchemy skill, improving weapons and armor or crafting new gear levels your Blacksmithing skill and enchanting or disenchanting will help level up your Enchanting skill. The experience gained for each are improved by their respective Guardian Stone as well as by the well rested buff together adding 30% experience gain. Other experience bonuses also apply.
Another way to level up your crafting skill is by reading a skill book. Each crafting skill has 5 skill books strewn around the world that can level the skill up by 1 when used. While you cannot pick the book up yourself without reading it, it is possible to order a follower to pick them up and then take and read the book later. Skill book locations can be found on the skill book page.
Quest rewards or quest reward items may also offer levels to your crafting skill. For example if you complete the quest to find Queen Freydis's Sword, Oengul War-Anvil will reward you with 1 level to your smithing skill. Or through using the Oghma Infinium which will let you add 5 levels to all skills in one of the 3 paths, warrior, thief or mage.
Across the lands of Skyrim there are many NPCs willing to help improve your skills in exchange for some coin. Trainers are able to level up the specified skill by up to 5 levels per character level depending on the expertise of the trainer. Master trainers, while rare or difficult to get access to, can level you up to level 90 on the skill while expert trainers can only go up to 75. The cost of the training increases with your skill level and becomes expensive as you get to higher levels. You can find the location of these trainers for each respective skills on the Trainers page.
Tips and Tricks
- Gather and store things you find, more often than not you may be able to use them as ingredients or materials to craft with
- Purchasing and store the ingredients and materials for crafting from vendors so that you have a bigger stock to work with when you want to focus on crafting
- Focus on enchanting to begin with, Higher levels of enchanting will give better Fortify Smithing and Fortify Alchemy enchantment bonuses to level the other skills up
- Finding and disenchanting magic items is a quick way to get levels in the Enchanting skill early
- You can enchant items to gain more Enchanting skill experience before selling items
- If you have the money, consider spending money on training one of your crafting skills as you play
- Books add exactly 1 level to your skill, save them for when you are at a high level for maximum effect
- Use the Aetherial Crown on the The Lover Stone to gain an even larger boost to Experience gain when leveling Crafting skills
Each Crafting Skill has its own requirements when being used. Players have to bring the correct ingredients, materials or soul gems to the respective crafting stations and having or knowing the right recipes. Each crafting skill also has its own details on how the skill levels up and where and how to gather their ingredients.
Bring your ingredients to the alchemy lab and select two or three ingredients and attempt to create a potion or poison, depending on the shared effects of your chosen ingredients. Ingredients each have 4 magical effects and you can learn what effects these are by eating the ingredient. Only the first effect is learnt unless you have points in the Alchemy perk Experimenter. You do not need to know or learn any recipes to make potions or poisons however you can find some recipes in game and try to follow them instead of only trying to discover recipes yourself.
Alchemical ingredients can be found all around the world, pick up flowers, eggs, roots etc to build up an inventory of ingredients for Alchemy. You can also grow some of them in a garden or greenhouse in your house, or simply purchase them from the various vendors across Skyrim.
The skill gain for Alchemy increases based on the value of the potion or poison that you craft. This is affected by Alchemy perks such as Physician and Benefactor or Poisoner. The Fortify Alchemy bonus from enchanted armor will also increase the skill gain. There are also quests around Skyrim that can help with Alchemy. One such quest is A Return To Your Roots (Quest) where the reward gives the player an ability that grants a 25% chance to duplicate the potion being crafted.
Bring your materials to a Forge and Anvil to start crafting weapons, armor or jewelry. Blacksmithing also allows you to improve your armor and shields at a workbench with the appropriate upgrade material, or improve your weapons at a grindstone with the appropriate upgrade material. One has to increase their Blacksmithing skill to further improve their weapons and armor values and will need to unlock the relevant perks to gain access to the recipes to craft better gear.
Blacksmithing typically requires ingots of metal and leather strips to craft some of the better armor. These materials can be gained by purchasing from vendors or alternatively you can find or mine ore in mines and bring them to a smelter to make ingots. Hide can be turned into leather at tanning racks, where you also turn leather into leather strips. Neither smelting or working the tanning rack benefit from nor add to the skill gain of Blacksmithing. You can also smelt Dwemer scrap metal to make Dwarven Metal Ingots used in crafting, so hold on to these when you find them.
The skill gain for Blacksmithing is based on the value of the equipment you craft. By repeatedly crafting something that has a low material cost with high value you can quickly increase your Blacksmithing level without too much difficulty. Typically this is done with Iron Dagger crafting or by crafting jewelry, and later Dwarven bows once you unlock the perk. The value of the item crafted benefits from the Fortify Smithing bonus from enchanted armor as well as the Fortify Smithing potion effect. There are also quest rewards specific to Blacksmithing such as the reward from Unfathomable Depths (Quest) that gives a 15% bonus.
Bring enchanted gear to an Arcane Enchanter to disenchant and learn enchantments or choose an item, enchantment and a filled Soul gem to create a magic item. Unlocking higher level perks give huge bonuses to the enchantments you provide, at level 100 the Extra Effect perk will even allow you to place 2 enchantments on the same item.
Soul gems can be found laying around the world of Skyrim and come in varying sizes ranging from petty soul gems to grand and even black soul gems. These gems may be found to be filled or unfilled. Gems can also be purchased through merchants with filled gems being much more expensive than unfilled ones. To fill a gem the Soul Trap spell must be used or by using a soul trap enchanted weapon. After killing the enemy afflicted with the spell effect the soul will be drawn into a gem of appropriate size, and will fill up larger capacity gems if none of the right size are found. Soul gems are destroyed on use so be wary of accidentally using up grand and black soul gems on smaller souls as these are rare and expensive. In general small or low-leveled creatures will have smaller souls than large and high-leveled creatures. Humanoid races have grand souls that can only be placed in black soul gems or in the Daedric artifact The Black Star.
Enchantment skill gain is based on the task performed, there are 3 ways to increase Enchantment skill. Learning a new enchantment will grant you experience based on the power of the enchantment, enchantments can only be learnt once. Recharging enchanted weapons will grant you experience based on the size of the soul gem used. Enchanting items give a static amount of experience, the enchantment, item or soul does not affect the amount of experience gained. Therefore Fortify Enchanting potions do not increase skill gain. Look for Pantea's Flute (Quest) to get a reward to gain 1 skill level in all magic skills, including enchanting.