Crafting in skyrim

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Skyrim: The Ingredients & Crafting Items You Should Always Pick Up

Fans of Skyrim are sure to know about the importance and fun of crafting different potions, weapons, and armor in the game. While it can be easy to find different items and crafting materials in different stores around Skyrim, players that want to save money can find plenty of materials while they're out on an adventure.

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Any newcomers to Skyrim or those that aren't always focused on crafting might wonder what kinds of resources they should be looking out for while they travel. For those that want to know what the best items to grab on your way to each new quest, here are some materials that would be a good idea to pick up.

10 Mountain Flowers

Whenever players see any brightly colored flowers while they walk around Skyrim, it would be a good idea to stop and pick them up. Why? Because they are one of the most used ingredients in alchemy to make lots of different potions that affect health, magic, and stamina.

Specifically, blue mountain flowers are mainly used in health-related potions, red ones are mainly used in Magicka-related potions, and purple ones can restore stamina or hurt an enemy's Magicka levels. Yellow flowers can be used to fortify different attributes as well. Since these flowers can help the player and hurt their enemies through a large variety of potions, they're one of the best materials to pick up when traveling through the mountains.

9 Soul Gems

The most important resource for players who want to enchant their gear is the soul gem, and they are fairly common in Skyrim. There are a few different kinds of soul gems in the world that can hold souls of different sizes and strengths.

The bigger gems hold bigger souls, except for black soul gems being the most powerful soul gem that is about the size of a common soul gem. If players want to be able to enchant or recharge their items, it's a great idea to pick up any soul gems that they see.

8 Ore

While ore might be heavier and less valuable than ingots, they're still incredibly useful and worth picking up if players have enough inventory space. They're fairly easy to find in either ore veins or around mines.

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Once players get pieces of ore, all they have to do is put their ore in a smelter, which can usually be found near mines or blacksmith areas. From there, players will have an ingot of whatever kind of ore they smelted, which is a valuable material for making different weapons, armor, and even house resources in the Hearthfire DLC.

7 Ingots

While ore is useful, ingots should never be left behind. So many different weapons, armor pieces, and other crafted items require iron, steel, gold, and other ingots, though some have more uses than others.

Iron ingots are one of the most used resources for crafting weapons and armor, making it one of the best ingots to pick up while traveling. Even armor and weapons that aren't labeled as "iron" items usually use at least one iron ingot to make them. Other ingots like gold ingots aren't used for crafting weapons or armor, but they are still useful for crafting jewelry that can be sold at high prices in shops.

6 Leather/Animal Pelts

While players might not see leather just laying around, it's actually more common than some players might think. That's because leather can be made at a tanning rack if players have any animal pelts to use, and there are plenty of animals around the fields of Skyrim.

There are a few instances where players can find leather without using a tanning rack, but a decent amount of leather that's found in houses, stores, and some dungeons is found in the form of leather strips. While regular leather is usually used just in armor crafting, leather strips can be used to craft both armor and weapons.

5 Enchanted Items

If players want to discover all the different bonus abilities that they can give their weapons and armor, they're going to want to work on leveling up their enchantment skill. To learn more enchantments, it's in the player's best interest to pick up any enchanted items that they find.

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Even if players find enchanted armor and weapons that they think that they don't want to use, it's a good idea to take the item anyway so that the enchantment can be learned from it. To do this, players can use the "disenchant" feature at an Arcane Enchanter table and choose the enchanted item they wish to disenchant. They will then know the basic enchantment from that item, and the enchantment can become more powerful if players level up their enchanting skill.

4 Dwemer Metal Pieces

While Dwemer Ruins can be disorienting and Dwarven enemies can be tough, seeking out these enemies and locations can be beneficial for players. Those who defeat Dwarven Spheres, Spiders, and Centurions will be able to loot them for pieces of Dwemer metal.

These metal items can be smelted to create Dwarven Metal ingots, which can be used to craft Dwarven weapons and armor. These Dwarven items can be useful in a fight, especially for those who like using heavy armor, but even if they aren't appealing to a player for their own use, they're worth crafting so that the player can sell these items for a decent amount of gold.

3 Daedra Hearts

For those that want to eventually use Daedric weapons and armor, or if you want to make some very helpful potions, picking up every Daedra heart around is a good idea. They aren't as common as other crafting items, so it's best to take them anyway even if the player doesn't need them at the moment, just so that they have Daedra hearts for later.

Besides making Daedric items, Daedra hearts can be used to make Restore Health potions, as well as potions that make enemies flee or have damaged magika or stamina regeneration. Even if none of those uses appeal to the player, Daedra hearts can fetch a fine price at many stores, so players still have some good reasons to pick these hearts up.

2 Bugs

No, we're not talking bugs as in problems with the game, though there have been plenty of those in Skyrim. Instead, we're talking about the various insects that call Skyrim home. Most insects in the game can be used in alchemy to make potions that mostly have effects that either damage a player's enemies or fortifies one of the player's skills or stats.

Some of the most used and commonly seen insects that players should pick up would be different types of butterfly wings and moth wings, while bees and dartwings can be a little bit harder to find and catch. Before players find themselves in a situation where they need insects but don't have any in their inventory and can't find many of them, it's best to pick up any insects that they see from the very beginning of the game and beyond.

1 Eggs

Whether they're from monsters or birds, there's plenty of eggs to be found in Skyrim. With such a large variety of eggs to find, it's no surprise that they have a wide variety of uses to make different kinds of potions through alchemy.

If making lots of potions appeals to the player, it's very important to pick up any monster and bird eggs that they see, especially when it comes to bird eggs. These eggs don't show up as much as some players might like, and when they do appear, they show up in nests that need time to respawn an egg. This makes it hard to find lots of eggs in a short amount of time without much travel, so even players don't think that they need eggs right now, it's a good idea to pick them up whenever they show up in case the player needs them later.

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Skyrim Crafting Skills - how to max Enchanting, Alchemy, and Smithing

'Crafting skills' may not be an official moniker for Enchanting, Alchemy, and Smithing in Skyrim, but it does highlight not only the purpose these three serve, but also the way in which they can all combine together.

Maxing out your Enchanting, Alchemy and Smithing skills is the fastest way to god-like status in Skyrim. A full set of Enchanted, fully improved, Daedric Armor, boosted by potions fortifying your Enchanting and Smithing along the way, is enough to get you through most of Skyrim's hardest dungeons and encounters - and that's not even taking into account these skills' most important use.

By hitting top level in Enchanting in particular, you can craft a set of armor with a strong enough enchantment to make all spellcasting completely free from magicka costs - meaning the game's highest-level spells are available to use infinitely as soon as you can learn them. Full upgraded and improved armor from Smithing, combined with enchantments fortifying your defense, will let you take on considerably stonger enemies than ought to be possible - meaning a dramatically increased speed for levelling Heavy Armor, Light Armor, and Blocking skills. Finally, Alchemy at top-level opens up some of the game's most outlandish possibilities, not least the chance to use an enchanting and potion-making loop to earn huge sums of money.

Basically, they're pretty great skills to master, and we think you should do so first, in particular, when you want to power-level anything else, and here we'll be teaching you exactly how to do so.


How to reach level Enchanting - the best, fastest way to max level skills

The first skill we'll talk you through levelling here is, we believe, the most important, thanks to the aforementioned armor-enchanting possibilities we touched upon above. There are two ways to do it, one being the slightly more time-efficient option for just maxing your Enchanting skill alone, the other a more efficient choice for maxing multiple skills at a time (including Smithing) and earning your more money, but also much more time-consuming as a result.

The first method, then, involves simply enchanting and disenchanting everything you can spare, buy, and find:

  1. Fill some Soul Gems - Unfortunately, all of the once-possible exploits for duplicating Soul Gems have since been patched out, so your only hope now is to do it manually. Mages in keeps like Dragonsreach are a good place to buy them, filled and empty. We suggest killing some Draugr in one of Skyrim's many crypts to quickly fill them up.
  2. Get some stuff - Anything enchantable will do, so Smithing items, buying them, or finding them in the world around you is an acceptable method. Although, if you do want to keep an eye on the wallet at the same time, then we suggest choosing weapons rather an apparel, and enchanting with a spell from the 'Banish' school, which provides the highest-value items when crafted. Note that all enchantments grant the same amount of experience, so Banish-type ones are only going to help with recouping some money spent on buying goods.
  3. Sell your enchanted weapons - You'll likely have to much to sell at just one shop, so the best way to go about it is to sell as much as you can from a general goods store, buy up all their Soul Gems, sell up whatever else you can with that additional money they now have, and then move to another store in the next city by fast-travel and repeat. By doing so, each store will have refreshed their stock (it takes 48 hours) by the time you return, meaning you can repeat as many times as you like, enchanting after each circuit of the major cities.

The above method shouldn't take long to get you to level Enchanting - you're looking at a couple of real-world hours at the most. However, it's not necessarily the most efficient, in terms of time or money, if you plan on levelling other skills such as Smithing, Speech, or funnily enough Alteration.

To max your Enchanting whilst making some early progress on those other skills too, try the following:

  1. If you'd like to level your Alteration too, mine some Iron Ore - Iron mines are all over Skyrim, and Iron Ore can also be purchased very cheaply from most weapon and general goods stores in the game.
  2. Use the Transmute Mineral Ore spell to turn Iron Ore to Gold - whilst Iron Daggers were the original method for quickly maxing out your Smithing, that was changed in a patch mid-way through Skyrim's lifetime on the old console generation. Now, the XP awarded from Smithing is more heavily weighted by value, and as such jewelry - specifically Gold Rings - is the most efficient option. If you have a large amount of Magicka, advanced skill with Alteration, or rapid Magicka regen, the fastest method here is to use the Transmute Mineral Ore spell (a Spell Tome can be found for this in the mine at Halted Stream Camp, just north-west of Whiterun), to turn Iron Ore into Silver Ore and Silver Ore into Gold Ore. Otherwise, there's a literal Gold mine at Kolskeggr Mine, due south of the Lover Stone, which skips out that step.
  3. Smith large quantities of Gold Rings - Get smelting! Remember that, if you'd still rather craft weapons, or don't want to bother with Alteration, the most valuable weapon enchantment is the 'Banish' effect under the school of Conjuration. Iron Daggers are the go-to crafting item this way.
  4. Enchant the Gold Rings - head to an Arcane Enchanter and get stuck into those rings. Unlike Smithing, Enchanting grants a flat amount of XP for each item crafted, and variable amounts for items disenchanted. That means your best bet is to do as you did in the process above, and buy up every pre-filled Petty or Lesser Soul Gem you can find (fast-travelling to each city's merchants again is the best method here, to refresh their stock on each circuit), and then enchanting each Gold Ring one at a time. If you're looking to maximise profit here too, look to use an enchantment of Fortify Sneak, as that offers the highest value on hand-based items.
  5. Rinse and repeat - whilst merchants will typically only have a small amount of gold on them at a time, you can add to their buying power by purchasing goods from them yourself. This means that you can always buy new crafting materials, and always sell your products, whist making money at the same time. When the merchants get low, buy more Soul Gems and Iron or Gold, and when you get too low to buy more materials, sell your enchanted Gold Rings for profit. Again, you can also use the fast-travel circuit to each city's stores to keep them constently stocked-up if you have plenty to buy and sell.

Repeating this process until you hit level Enchanting should also raise your Smithing significantly - although not to the max - and likewise make a good start on your Alteration and Speech skills, too. You'll also probably have a pretty huge amount of money in the bank, too - although one final note is that your enchantments with the same bonus, such as Banish or Fortify Sneak, do gradually grant lower value items as you repeat them, so mix it up with some other enchantments after a while, too.

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How to reach level Smithing

Unfortunately, as of a patch way back in the Xbox / PlayStation 3 era, the Iron Daggers method is no more. Now, experience yields from Smithing are based on the value of the item, as opposed to a flat per-item rate. That means that a certain Gold Ring method is now your go-to means of getting Smithing to level

  1. Get ahold of some Gold - There are two ways to do this, as we mentioned in the Enchanting guide above. The first, and simplest if you're without any max level skills, is to simply mine some from Kolskeggr Mine, due south of the Lover Stone. The second, and fastest, if you've already maxed your Enchanting (which you should!), involves enchanting yourself a full set of apparel with the reduce Alteration cost enchantment. At level Enchanting, with the right Perks unlocked, you can put a 25% cost reduction on four items, meaning the spell cost is zero. Then, with the Alteration spell Transmute Mineral Ore, you can turn any easily-bought-or-mined Iron Ore into Gold Ore at an alarming rate.
  2. Craft Gold Rings - Yep, it's that simple. Gold Rings are the most efficient value-to-resources-required rated item discovered so far, as although they're worth less than Gold Necklaces, you get two Gold Rings for every one Gold Ingot, as opposed to one Necklace. If you have any rare gems (Diamonds in particular) then you should combine them into Necklaces of course, as value is most important. Otherwise, spam the Gold Rings until your thumbs are sore, and eventually you'll get to level
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Want more help with Skyrim? Find out how to join every guild and faction, how to earn Gold fast, learning about XP and levelling to , max Crafting skills, max Warrior skills, max Thief skills and max Mage skills, how to get married, where to buy a house, how to start Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC expansions. If you're on PC, we have a list of console commands and cheats, and you can learn about the remastered version and how to install mods with our Skyrim guide. Finally, with Switch owners, we have Skyrim amiibo support explained to help unlock special Zelda-themed items.

How to reach level Alchemy

After Enchanting and Smithing, one of the other most useful skills to get to level is Alchemy, seeing as it'll allow you to increase your weapons, armor, and enchantment strength beyond the maximum you'll hit from being level in those skills.

Because of the complex nature of crafting potions, there's no definitively best way to get your skill to level There are, however, several things worth bearing in mind:

  • Alchemy XP gains depend on the value of the potions you craft - rather than the potion's strength or the ingredients' rarity, value is the sole determinant in how much XP you get from each potion made.
  • Remember that enchanted apparel will level you faster - Because more Alchemy experience is awarded for creating more valuable potions, and the Fortify Alchemy enchantment will give your potions a higher value, it pays once again to have maxed out your Enchanting skill before you start to power level your Alchemy.
  • The highest value potion in vanilla Skyrim is a Fortify Health potion - Recipes include: Giant's Toe, Bear Claws, and Hanging Moss; Giant's Toe, Creep Cluster and Wheat; or Giant's Toe, Blue Butterfly Wing and Mountain Flower. Giant's Toe adds a signifiant multiplier to Fortify Health potions of all kinds, whilst the other two ingredients provide a combination of the two other most valuable effects that can be added to that potion.
  • It can still be faster to simply buy every ingredient you see - because of the rarity of Giant's Toes, it can often be faster to simply craft as many potions as possible from ingredients found at merchants or randomly in the wild. Discovering as many effects as possible (by eating ingredients or randomly crafting) will allow you to combine high-value effects into potions relatively quickly from the crafting menu.
  • The best place to craft potions is Arcadia's Cauldron in Whiterun - Arcadia is also an Expert-level Alchemy trainer, meaning she can train you up to level 75 in the skill. Combining five levels of skill training for each player level will mean that she always has large amounts of money to buy your potions, whilst you can easily wait 48 hours in her shop for a restocking of her ingredients.

That's all you need to get totally prepared, at last, for levelling up your Mage Skills, Thief Skills and Warrior Skills, but also be sure to take a good read over our main hub for Skyrim power-levelling too, for some essential advice about speeding up the entire process!

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Skyrim: 10 Pro Tips For Crafting Armor and Weapons

There are some games that just never get old. Nearly 10 years after it's original release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimis still massively popular. The game still boasts overwhelmingly positive Steam reviews and user feedback, as well as keeping its seat in popular culture. There are few games that keep their memes circulating nine years after release.

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Having powerful armor and weapons is a very important aspect of the game. To make the most out of every Skyrim playthrough and the massively inspiring game world, here are a few tips to make your Dragon-Born the best they can be!

10 Get The Dragonborn DLC

While the Dragonborn DLC is not essential for the game, some of the quest items, armor, and ingredients you come across, make crafting weapons and armor a lot easier. Such as specialized alchemy ingredients.

The additional dungeons and powers are a great addition to the game. But will also help you level up quicker, helping you to improve your gear. The new areas, such as the Solstheim island, will make it easier to stay stocked up on necessary crafting equipment. Besides, you can't go wrong with more of a great game!

9 Start By Getting to a High Level

This sounds obvious, but in a game like Skyrim, when focusing on improving your crafting, it's better to put in the grind early on. With an infinite number of generated quests, it's much easier in Skyrim to get your character to your desired level than in other games. Albeit rather time-consuming.

Focus on getting your smithing level to around 80 or Then work on getting your alchemy and restoration to similarly high levels. This will open up the perks and extras when crafting your armor.

8 Make Many Iron Daggers

A tip for getting your smithing level up to is to start off by making as many iron daggers as possible. While this can be time-consuming and they aren't worth much, it's the easiest way to grind through some extra experience at the forge.

RELATED: Skyrim: 10 Most Powerful Weapons, Ranked

To smith one iron dagger you need four iron ingot and two leather strips. They can also be crafted without smithing perks. Because of this, it's easy to make a ton of them one after the other. If your not sure how to get up those few extra levels, focus on this for a while and see where that leaves you.

7 Work on Your Enchantment

What's refreshing about Skyrim is the way skills overlap each other, rather than forcing the player to focus on one area of expertise. With most fantasy games, your enchantment level won't affect your smithing ability. But with Skyrim, the perks of having a high enchantment level include crafting very powerful weapons.

When you're satisfied with the other mentioned skills, work on maxing out your enchantment tree, focusing mainly on skill-based enchantments. Try to get to level to take advantage of the Extra Effect perk.

6 Stay Well Stocked on Materials and Soul Gems

While this again seems obvious, it's good advice for crafting in any game. There are times when it feels as if your pockets are bursting with materials, so looting doesn't seem worth it anymore. But that's just more frustrating when you're a few items short of your dream weapon! Although this is good to keep in mind for any game.

Focus on gathering black and grand soul gems. For materials, look out for saber cat teeth, blisterwort, glowing mushroom, and spriggan sap, which all carry fortify smithing. Also, be sure to gather plenty of cheap craftable armor such as helms and gauntlets.

5 Don't Set Your Heart on Dragonplate Amour

This armor set is one of the most well known in Skyrim. The Dragonplate armor can be crafted at level smithing and can be viewed as the ultimate smithing goal. While the armor looks amazing and is objectively powerful, don't make it your end goal for smithing or crafting.

RELATED: Skyrim: The 10 Best Heavy Armor Sets, Ranked

Other armor sets, such as Daedric armor, can be crafted before level and can also be very powerful. (Daedric armor can be crafted at smithing level ) Be sure to give yourself other projects to work on along the way, even if you're dreaming of Dragonbone armor.

4 Craft Stalhrim Weapons

Once you've had enough of crafting iron daggers, or if you want to start crafting something more useful, consider making yourself some Stalhrim weapons. Stalhrim weapons are introduced to the game in the Dragonborn DLC - which is another good reason to get it!

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You can start making Stalhrim armor and weapons at smithing level 80 after completing the quest: A New Source of Stalhrim in Skaal Village. This is a fairly short quest and should take around ten minutes to complete. Once you complete the quest, you can craft the weapons with the Stalhrim and leather strips.

3 Check Compatible Enhancements and Perks

Stalhrim weapons have many advantages, such as them having the same power as Ebony weapons, but being lighter. However, the real advantage comes frost damage and chaos enhancements.

When crafting your Stalhrim weapons, be sure to add these enhancements on. Both of these enhancements are twenty-five percent stronger when used on a Stalhrim weapon, which is the same as the frost enhancer perk on the enchanting skill tree. To maximize the potential of your weapons, but sure to compare these elements as it could open up an extra perk you could be using!

2 Use Fortify Smithing Potions

Such as keeping stock of your artifacts and craftable materials, it's the small things such as this that will improve your crafting experience in Skyrim.

There are various Fortify Smithing potions you can use. While they won't improve your initial crafting ability at the forge, they are very useful for improving your weapons and armor, such as at a grindstone or a workbench. Each potion lasts thirty seconds and improves your skill from twenty to fifty percent. The timer will only start when you're at the grindstone or workbench.

1 Inforce Your Enchantment

Alongside your Fortify Smithing potions, be sure to keep your enhancement ability at its peak when improving weapons and armor. This will make sure you keep up the enhancements on your armor, to make them as powerful as possible.

Before using your Smithing potion, equip gear with enhanced enchantments and consume a Fortify Enchantment potion. Then hit the forge and start the timer on Fortify Smithing! The higher your enchanting ability, the more you'll get out of your Fortify Smithing enchantment. You'll then end up with incredibly powerful gear.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Wiki Guide

Do you want to mix items together in hopes of producing powerful potions and poisons? That's Alchemy. You can even build your own battle-honed armor for the great battles against Dragons with Smithing. How about imbuing magical properties in said armor? Enchanting has got you covered there.

Crafting Tips

Buy or make Crafting Potions that increase your Smithingskill and EnchantingSkill for a brief period of time (30 seconds).  This works best when all your crafting skills are at , with max armor production and most of the skill trees filled in.  You can skip on poisions section in Alchemy but pick up the bonus from positive potions.  This process revolves around using Alchemy to boost Enchanting.  Then using Enchanting to Boost your Armor with Enchantments that Boost both Alchemy and Smithing.  Or you can settle for buying or finding the potions in loot.  Basically you repeat this process as your character progresses through the game or you can do this all at once if you have tons of filled soul crystals and materials (iron, gems, etc.). 

Echanting will not let you boost enchanting on armor.  But using Potions will allow you to Boost the Enchanting skill for 30 seconds.  Spriggan Sap, Hagraven Claws, Blue Butterfly Wings, all boost Enchanting in a potion for 30 seconds.  You then Enchant jewelry with dual Enchantments for both Smithing and Alchemy.  Alchemy then in turn Boosts your Enchantments. For example, you can make a Necklace that increases Alchemy by 47%(Max) with potions boosting Enchanting by 37%(Max). 

With this method you can Enchant 4 pieces of Armor with this 47% increase for Smithing, with a Smithing Potion that adds another 37% for a total of over %.  Add in the fact that you have maxed out the Smithing Skill and you will have an Daedric Weapon that is extremely powerful even before enchantments.

Potions with more than one effect, with 3 being really, really expensive no matter the effects your Alchemy skill will increase very, very quickly.  If you have no interest in making poisions for weapons, add together potions with that contain negative effects for quick leveling of Alchemy and tons of money, since most of these potions are worth a lot.

In This Wiki Guide

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios' blockbuster open-world RPG puts players on the precipice of determining the future of Skyrim as the Empire waits for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

In skyrim crafting


A range of activities are possible in Skyrim. Some are obvious parts of gameplay, such as completing quests and exploring dungeons. This page lists some of the optional activities that are available.


You are able to make a range of custom items, using the various crafting skills, specifically:

  • Alchemy: Create potions by using two or more ingredients with the same effect. You can also try to discover new effects by combining random ingredients, though this may fail to produce anything.
  • Enchanting: Enchant weapons or apparel with magical properties.
  • Smithing: Create and improve weapons and apparel.

Other types of crafting are not controlled by any skills:

  • Atronach Forge: Create staves, spell scrolls, spell tomes and daedric items.
  • BakingHF: Baked food is more nutritious than raw food.
  • ConstructionHF: Build your own house from raw materials.
  • Cooking: Cooked food is more nutritious than raw food.
  • Imbuing ChamberDB: Create dangerous magical spiders for use as weapons.
  • Mining: Mine ore for use in smithing or to sell.
  • Smelting: Mineral ores need to be smelted before they can be used at weapon forging.
  • Tanning: Convert hides into leather and leather into leather strips.



Other Tasks[edit]

  • Cutting Lumber: Serves no purpose except for roleplaying in the original version of the game. If Hearthfire is installed, sawn logs can be cut at wood mills, with the permission of the mill owner.
  • Milling: Serves no purpose except for roleplaying in the original version of the game. If Hearthfire is installed, wheat can be used to create flour.




Achievements related to activities are:

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

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Most who have played Skyrim a decent amount of time have been there, you start the game, make a character, almost get your head chopped off before you run through the tutorial, go to Rriverwood, loot the blacksmith's home, go to the trader and get the golden claw quest, run through bleak falls barrow, run to Whiterun to talk to the 'Hey isn't that a smithing station right next to the town gate?' and before you know it you're making boatloads of Iron Daggers to level your smithing up to level so you can make that dank Dragonbone Armor and many of us do actually succeed, we get to that fabled level and make that Dragonbone Armor, then we turn off our games satisfied, go to sleep knowing that the next day we can go to Skyrim and finally play the game instead of craft grinding, but then tomorrow never comes, and you think 'Oh well, at least my character is ready to go now, I'll just load my save next time I wanna play' then 4 months later 'Old save? Hmm nah I wanna make a new sweet lookin character!' and the cycle repeats itself once more.

For me it happened so damn many times that at one point I decided '♥♥♥♥ SMITHING!' and I finally talked to that damn Jarl, played some of that game, but I couldn't keep my eyes off that forge in Whiterun for very long, it continuously taunted me to make something with it.

And so, I decided to see if there wasn't some way to level that Smithing skill a bit quicker, and this time without any massive grinding. There was also the neglected but exciting Enchanting skill, and finally the Alchemy skill I've always been too lazy to use, but I began to wonder if perhaps there was something to alchemy after all.

Going many journeys down that path I finally figured out what I think are the nicest ways to level all 3 skills with the least amount of grinding and most amount of playing the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ game! and to my most immense surprise, I ended up discovering that for the best results I should end with Smithing, not start with it :O

Now I have my own favorite way to go through all the skills sequentially, but some people might not like them as much as I do therefore for each skill I've added at least one alternative method which may be more to your personal tastes.

The Summary section near the bottom meant as a TL;DR for people who are already experienced players (e.g. have or hours clocked in the game already and have at least once leveled each crafting skill to before) and for people who have already followed the guide once and just want a quick recap. If you're one of these people, feel free to skip to that part unless you happen to enjoy detailed explanations.

If you are a beginner, don't skimp on anything. I highly recommend that you first read the Getting Started and Enchanting sections. These hold all the information you need to begin and after reading them you should play the game some before you read the rest, unless you just happen to enjoy reading (then by all means, read it all at once!). The idea is that you open the guide again whenever you have any questions, or when you just want to know what comes next.

I also suggest you glance at the Alchemy section before you start playing, if you don't particularly like creating potions there's a method outlined there which allows you to get to level 75 or 90 without creating a single potion through NPC trainers (it'll cost you, but if you want to do this then you want to do it right from the start since you can only train a skill 5 times per player level)

I also added a starter tips section near the bottom of the guide for convenience (how to get early money and whatnot)

Then there are the Resource sections, lots of useful information for each skill, things like a list over which souls fit into what soul gem, where to find enchantments, useful potion recipes, where to find ore and ingots for smithing, just tons of useful stuff which will probably be good to have on hand even for experienced players. (Sure helps me!)

Always remember when following this guide that you play the game the way you want, doing the quest lines you want, going the places you want. The guide just has guidelines to help you level all your crafting skills along the way, you should always be focused on the gameplay, quests, sights and butterflies while you play for maximum enjoyment! Don't get too caught up in the need to get your crafting skills to too much because it may drain the fun out of the game for you to do so. (This is especially important while you are leveling Enchanting first) So basically, even if the guide expects you to start leveling smithing at smithing level 15, there's nothing wrong with it if you've smithed a little and are actually already at level 50 smithing when you get that far in the guide, no harm and no foul, you'll just have to know that the number of materials you need to craft may be a bit lower now that you're already halfway there.

Before we start, let me tell you why you would want this no matter what your gameplay style is. (Take special note of what enchantments I used, you can't get these damage numbers without the fortify weapon enchantments)

Here are some of the item sets that I have created after mastering the 3 crafting skills no exploits or mods were needed for this, this is all done via basic game mechanics! (Armor ratings are not always the highest they could be, in other words this is just a taste):

Special Note: These numbers are a result of doing as outlined in the guide plus having a high skill level in the related armor/weapon skills (with enchantments to further boost them). Unless you use the unofficial patch your numbers won't go as high as mine (they'll be close enough though)

The Nocturnal set grants unlimited destruction magic (and thus weapon charges as well) and dual wielding daggers offers the fastest attack speeds in the game, couple that with the damage of these daggers, not many things can survive more than one hit. The Follower set is an ideal set for a follower, carry weight and health regen are nice to have on followers.
The Enchanter set is set up to have unlimited destruction and conjuration casting for unlimited weapon charges, the Assassin gear is aimed at stealth play where you're basically undetectable while sneaking, and then it has a dagger for that 15x Sneak Attack damage perk and a War Axe in case things get hairy, the bow can be used for long distance assassinations as well.
The Warmage set provides unlimited destruction and restoration spell casting and high levels of spell damage protection. You can cast all your high level destruction spells without restraint and if you ever get hurt, even just a little, heals are free to cast too. Meanwhile with the Guardian set I was playing with the idea of trying to create an armor set as protective as I possibly could. Looks great for vampire extermination because of it's 85% disease resist (resistance cap).

As the above examples show, after following this guide you will be so brutally overpowered that even on Legendary difficulty it will feel like you're playing on Novice. The only reason you can actually thinkably die is because the game has a protection cap on armor and magic resistance (explained in the enchanter's resource and blacksmith's resource sections) and because 3x damage from enemies is quite serious business, especially when you only do 1/4 of your maximum damage.

Now then, lets get down to business!
The way I like to start the game is to follow the main quest to Riverwood, take the quest from the general goods merchant, finish that, then keep following the main quest to Whiterun.

First you're gonna want to talk to Farengar in Whiterun so that you can buy from him the Soul Trap spell. Also continue the main quest up until the point where you kill your first dragon to get access to the player home in Whiterun.

Then you're gonna want to set up a base of operations, I recommend buying Breezehome in Whiterun, if you can't afford it just yet just play the game normally until you've got enough dough.

While any player home will do for our purposes, I'm gonna list my 3 favorite options.

What you need a base of operations for is mostly for storing crafting items that you're saving up for later use as well as any other items you need to unload and don't want to sell.

I also highly recommend getting a follower to use as a pack mule on your travels. Lydia is as good a choice as any.

1. Breezehome

I recommend Breezehome because it's the easiest player home to get early in the game (after you kill the dragon near Whiterun, it will be available for purchase for g), it's right next to a blacksmithing station and within easy sprinting distance of an alchemy shop although admittedly the Arcane Enchanter is a bit of a walk, it never bothered me. The house can be upgraded to have an Alchemy Lab inside.

Points of interest are marked on the map below.

There's a fast travel point outside Dragonsreach you can use if you're ever feeling too lazy to run there for the arcane enchanter. I always just sprint personally, but the option is there.

Tip: A viable alternative to Breezehome would be Honeyside in Riften, but it lacks access to a smelter which is quite the disadvantage. It does however have both an alchemy lab and an enchanter in the basement.

2. Hearthfire

To get a hearthfire home you have to do quests for the Jarl that owns the land you want to buy, there are three plots available, the easiest one to get is the one you get from Falkreath, you just need to kill some bandits for the Jarl and that's it. I recommend this Hearthfire home because it's very close to the Guardian Stones which is very convenient.

Buying the plot of land only costs gold and it will come with some building materials in a chest which can be used to build a small house, however for this to be a viable base of operations you have to keep building until you have a main hall and a cellar this will cost some extra materials.

Building a complete hearthfire home is expensive, and requires a lot of resources, time and effort, but building a hearthfire home with only the basic crafting stations should not be too difficult to arrange even early in the game. You can build an enchanter and alchemy lab in the main hall and a blacksmithing station in the cellar.

These are the material costs (after building the small house) to build the main hall, cellar and crafting stations and bed only:

25 Iron Ingots (Building Materials)
1 Corundum Ingot
63 Sawn Logs
2 Straws
4 Leather Strips
98 Quarry Stone
22 Clay
2 Glass
1 Quicksilver Ingot
1 Gold Ingot
1 Refined Moonstone
1 (Filled) Grand Soul Gem

3. Severin Manor

This player home is exceptionally good, and doesn't cost a dime, it's only disadvantage, being on Solstheim, is that you can't fast travel to the Guardian Stones from there. In return however you can open your Black Book there at any time which is a fair trade-off I'd say.

To get this house you have to go to Solstheim and get the blacksmith's pickaxe, help the guy who stole the pickaxe, help the guard captain with his ash spawn problem, and then you get a quest from the guard captain which awards you with this house. The house comes fully decorated and equipped with all crafting stations in the basement. It also comes with heaps of crafting materials and soul gems (although you can just sneak into the house and steal them all instead of getting the house if that's all you're after).

You're going to want to maximize your experience gain while you are leveling the crafting skills, and you want to do this everytime before you do a task which can level a skill. To do this you need to do two things.
  1. Activate the guardian stone that boosts your exp gain by 20% in the skill in question
    • Enchanting: Mage Stone
    • Alchemy: Thief Stone
    • Smithing: Warrior Stone
  2. Sleep in a bed for an exp bonus buff
    • Any Bed: Rested (5% Exp)
    • Player Owned Bed: Well Rested (10% Exp)
    • Married Player's Home Bed: Lover's Comfort (15% Exp)

Tip:You can rent a bed in an Inn for the Well Rested bonus.
Warning: If you're a werewolf you can not get the rested bonuses.

The above are the basics of maximizing exp gain, you will get a total of 30% bonus exp by doing this (35% if you are married) however there is a certain trick we are going to use to get this bonus up to 45%(50%).

Throughout the guide I will assume that you are using the Well Rested bonus as this is what I do, I don't bother with getting married just for an extra 5% exp bonus, but of course you're welcome to do so.

There's another standing stone in the game that provides +15% exp bonus to all skills, The Lover stone (east of Markarth). However it's got a major disadvantage and that is that you cannot get the rested bonuses while this stone is active. However there's a trick to activate all these bonuses at once.

The Aetherial Crown

There's a quest in the game called "Lost To The Ages" which is started either by reading a book called The Aetherium Wars or by going through the ruins of Arkngthamz. One of the available rewards for this quests is the Aetherial Crown. Equip this crown, activate The Lover stone, then activate another stone (like the mage stone) and the crown will store the Lover Stone's effect and give it to you whenever it is equipped. After this, unequip the crown, sleep in a bed, re-equip the crown and voila you have 45% exp bonus.

Tip: While the crown is unequipped you can change standing stone effects as much as you want, it will store the last effect you stored in it unless you change stones while the crown is equipped.

Until you have the crown, simply use the mage stone and the well rested bonus to maximize your exp gain while enchanting.

Now it's time to get to the main subject.

Just by sticking with all the below 'rules' while playing the game any way you want otherwise, you will be all set to level Alchemy and Smithing when the time comes.
  1. As you play you want to gather the following items to use for leveling the skills:
    • All alchemical ingredients you can find
    • All iron ore and ingots
    • All dwarven metal ingots and all dwemer metal that can be smelted to ingots
    • All soul gems.
  2. You want to use the soul trap spell you bought from farengar to fill all these soul gems at every opportunity. Alternatively you can get (or create) a weapon with the soul trap enchantment.
  3. You want to save these items for later use (Do not use any of them for leveling):
    • Filled Grand & Black Soul Gems
    • Fortify Enchanting Potion Ingredients
    • Fortify Smithing Potion Ingredients
  4. Always enchant all your loot before you sell it if you've got the souls (This is your primary method to level enchanting, so remember to maximize your exp gain every time before you enchant)

  • Unearthed (The quest starts outside Kolbjorn Barrow in Solstheim and rewards you with Ahzidal's armor set)

  • Enchanter's Elixir (There's another one in Soul Cairn (Dawnguard); these only exist as leveled loot, and they require you to be level 30 or higher to show)
  • Black Book: The Sallow Regent (For Seeker of Sorcery effect, you will find this in (northwest) Solstheim's White Ridge Barrow)
  • Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking (And any other 3 pieces of Ahzidal's armor set)
By the time you reach lvl you want to have all of these items. Combined they will give you a one-time +45% fortify enchanting boost which we will use wisely (to make the Crafting Armor set).

  • The Black Star[] (Gives Azuras Star or The Black Star as a reward, I recommend going the black star route since black souls are easier to find than grand souls. This is a refillable grand or black soul gem depending on which route you go)
  • Elder Knowledge (This quest leads you to Blackreach which has a few things you're going to want)
  • Lost to the ages (For the Aetherial Crown as explained above)

  • The House of Horrors (Markarth, awards Mace of Molag Bal, which has a soul trap enchantment which you may want)
  • Pantea's Flute (Speak to Pantea in the Bard's College of Solitude, grants +1 enchanting skill)
There are also 5 books that will train you in enchanting and give you +1 in enchanting skill, these books and their locations are listed here[], whether you want to bother with these or not is up to you.

  • Disenchanting items yields (usually a lot of) experience based on the power of the enchantment. Each enchantment can only be learned once.
  • Enchanting items will always give you the same amount of experience no matter what enchantment, what size soul you use or what the value of the item is (e.g. a petty soul gem on an iron dagger is gonna give you the same exp as a grand soul on a dragonbone greatsword)
  • Using soul gems to recharge enchanted weapons grants enchanting experience based on the size of the soul used (it doesn't matter how much charge is actually gained, just the size of the soul)

As explained in the getting started section above, you're gonna need first to get your hands on the Soul Trap spell to fill any empty soul gems you pick up, this is a must have unless you happen to get your hands on a weapon with the soul trap enchantment.

You need to also make sure as you go that you hoard any filled grand or black soul gems you find and make very sure that you never waste a grand soul gem on anything less than a grand soul because these things are not a very common item. You will not be using the grand soul gems for leveling at all, you will be using them to reap the benefits after you've maxed your enchanting skill (i.e. to make your ultimate weapon and armor enchantments) and until that time comes I suggest saving them up (if you want grand souls for enchanting, use The Black Star), however anything else than black or grand soul gems is free game, this means it's not that big of a deal if you say put a petty soul in a greater soul-gem and up until the point where you've reached enchanting you can use any of them for anything you want. The more you use the faster you level.

Tip: Greater Soul Gems are a great option for enchanting items you intend to wear or give to your followers while you're still leveling Enchanting.

If you're ever having problems with finding soul gems, keep on with the main quest until you reach Blackreach, bring a pickaxe there and you can mine soul gems from the geode veins which can yield anything from petty to grand and black soul gems (you want to be at least level 18 to get Grand/Black soul gems from here though). As any other ore vein they will respawn after roughly thirty in-game days.

If it ever comes down to it, just buy soul gems from vendors who sell them (Farengar is one of them), it's money well spent, especially the cheaper gems (like already filled petty soul gems, really good bang for buck leveling wise)

First off you're gonna have to remember to maximize your experience gain every time before you enchant as explained in the 'Getting Started' section.

Now here's what you're gonna do.

  1. Grab every enchanted item with an enchantment that you have not yet learned and disenchant it at an Arcane Enchanter (this grants exp and teaches you the enchantment)
  2. Grab every single soul gem you see, even if that means stealing them.
  3. Grab all unenchanted jewelry (such as circlets, rings and necklaces) but don't steal those (unless you're with the thieves guild and you can fence them)
  4. Grab all gems, silver and gold ore/ingots that you can find and smith jewelry out of them, since jewelry is typically high value, this will also kick up your smithing level a little, which is good.
  5. Fill your soul gems at every opportunity, if the soul trap spell feels like it's getting cumbersome (e.g. you're not a mage), try to find a soul trap weapon to use instead.
  6. Grab any valuable weapons and apparel you come across for the purpose of enchanting and selling them. Prioritize items that have a good weight to value ratio, if an item is lightweight, even if it is not valuable you may want to pick it up just for the sake of enchanting it if you have a lot of gems.
  7. Maximize exp gain and enchant all your unenchanted items before you sell them.

Besides the essential/recommended ones, what quests you do and which dungeons you go to is of no significance here (I recommend Dwemer ruins because soul gems tend to be a common drop on the machines you encounter in there), in a nutshell you just want all the soul gems and souls you can get your hands on, and all the unenchanted items you can carry so you can enchant them and thus increase their sale value, then sell them, cus capitalism!

And you just want to keep doing this until your enchanting skill hits level all the while preparing to level Smithing and Alchemy at a later point by gathering ingredients for these crafts. This may sound like it's going to take a while to level Enchanting but for the first 55 () levels you will get on average one level per enchantment with maximized exp gain.

Take special note of the essential items list, gather them on your journeys while working towards enchanting lvl

If you want to level enchanting from 15 to in one session (like the other skills), this is how you do it.
  1. Gather Filled Soul Gems of any type
  2. Collect or Craft Unenchanted Apparel/Weapons (Leather Bracers)
  3. Maximize Exp Gain (Assumed 45% bonus)
  4. Enchant all items in one session. (You may want to use autohotkey here!!)

There will be a point of diminishing returns around level ~70 (71 enchantments get you to level 69, enchantments get you to level 90)

As I said in my foreword section, I'm also going to share the fastest grinding methods for leveling the skills in question. Although I already taugh you how to do this, I'm gonna spell it out just so no one misses it and gets mad.

For enchanting, the very fastest way to level is as follows:
  1. Get The Black Star of Azura
  2. Get The Mace of Molag Bal
  3. Kill a human/elf enemy (like bandits) with the mace to fill the black star
  4. Recharge the mace with the black star (this is how you get exp)
  5. Repeat for every human/elf enemy you kill until level
  • If you fill a soul gem with the wrong soul, drop it and pick it up again to clear it.
  • You can mine soul gems in Blackreach.
  • All weapon enchantments are destruction based except Fear which is Illusion, Banish and Soul Trap (Fiery too) are Conjuration and Turn Undead is Restoration.
  • Destruction perks for added damage to specific spell types will amp up the power of weapon enchantments of the same type as well, the perks will all stack for the Chaos Damage enchantment (op asf). (Exploit?: Will also increase the power of your extra enchantment)
  • Enchanting your armor to give you % spell cost reduction in destruction magic will also give destruction enchantments and staffs infinite charges.
  • Fortify destruction potions will increase destruction enchantment damage while they last.
  • A space before your item's name will sort it at the top of your item list, a lowercase first letter will sort it at the bottom of your item list
  • All apparel enchantments class as restoration, thus fortify restoration amplifies their power, necromage also amplifies their power further if the player is a Vampire (these are both 'fixed' by the unofficial patch, mods can revert these changes (links in mod section))
  • Shield of Solitude has a more powerful resist magic enchantment that you can disenchant (USSEP 'fixes' this as well, I made a mod to revert this change (links in mod section))
  • Followers only benefit from certain enchantments, here's a list[].
  • Fortify Carry Weight does work with followers, but differently than it does for the player.

Taken from may not be consistent with Unofficial Patch changes

Apparel Enchantments and where to get them
Leveled Only it means that the only way to get the item is to find it as randomized loot or buying it from merchants. All apparel enchantments can be found this way, my favorite store to look for apparel enchantments is The Radiant Raiment in Solitude. All the fortify spell class, magicka and magicka regen enchantments will commonly drop from mage opponents if you're looking for them. The others tend to be a bit harder to find.
  • Fortify Alchemy: Ring of Pure Mixtures (Go to The Mortar and Pestle in Dawnstar, talk to Frida for a quest to recover the ring for her, recover the ring, finish the quest, then pickpocket it from her inventory and disenchant)
  • Fortify Smithing: Silver-Blood Family Ring[]
  • Fortify Carry Weight: Leather Boots of Hauling (Found in Sinderion's Field Laboratory in Blackreach)
  • Fortify Alteration: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Alteration & Magicka Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Archery: Shrouded Cowl (Part of the standard Dark Brotherhood outfit, can be found in the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary and on Dark Brotherhood assassin corpses)
  • Fortify Barter: Leveled Only (There are unique items with this enchantment but none of them can be disenchanted, probably because this is a necklace-only enchantment and none of these items are necklaces)
  • Fortify Block: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Conjuration: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Conjuration and Magicka Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Destruction: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Destruction and Magicka Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Healing Rate: Leveled Only (Super useful for followers)
  • Fortify Health: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Heavy Armor: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Illusion: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Illusion and Magicka Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Light Armor: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Lockpicking: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Magicka: Novice Hood, Adept Hood, Apprentice Hood, Mage Hood
  • Fortify Magicka Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify One-Handed: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Pickpocket: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Restoration: Leveled Only (Commonly sold by Colette in the mages college)
  • Fortify Restoration and Magicka Regen: Leveled Only (Sold by the same person as above)
  • Fortify Sneak: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Stamina: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Stamina Regen: Leveled Only
  • Fortify Two-Handed: Ironhand Gauntlets (On Hajvarr Iron-Hand in the cave at White River Watch)
  • Fortify Unarmed: Gloves of the Pugilist (Found as loot in The Ratway of Riften)
  • Muffle: Leveled Boots (One way to get these is if you finish all of the Thieve's Guild's City Influence Quest lines a counter at Vanryth Gatharian's shop stall in the Ragged Flagon will have a pair of boots with a random enchantment on the counter. Save the game outside the ragged flagon's entrance, then go in and look for the boots, if it has the wrong enchantment, load the save and try again)
  • Resist Disease: Leveled Only
  • Resist Fire: Leveled Only
  • Resist Frost: Leveled Only
  • Resist Magic: Shield of Solitude (Finish The Wolf Queen Awakened[] quest)
  • Resist Poison: Leveled Only
  • Resist Shock: Leveled Only
  • Water Breathing: Leveled Only

Weapon Enchantments and where to get them
Most of the weapon enchantments can be found as leveled items from Blacksmiths or as loot, I will specify the ones who are different.
  • Absorb Health: Found as Loot in Labyrinthian (Do Mage's College quest line to get in)
  • Absorb Magicka: Same as above
  • Absorb Stamina: Same as above
  • Banish: Leveled Only
  • Chaos Damage: Champion's Cudgel (Solstheim, Fort Frostmoth) and as Leveled Nordic and Stalhrim Weapons Only
  • Fear: Leveled Only
  • Fiery Soul Trap: Steel Battleaxe of Fiery Souls (Ironbind Barrow, Coming of Age quest)
  • Fire Damage: Leveled Only
  • Frost Damage: Leveled Only
  • Huntsman's Prowess: Poacher's Axe (Found on a Bandit in Halted Stream Camp) (Not leveled)
  • Magicka Damage: Leveled Only
  • Notched Pickaxe: Notched Pickaxe (On the very top of the throat of the world) (Not leveled) (This can be used to put Fortify Smithing on weapons)
  • Paralyze: Leveled Only
  • Shock Damage: Leveled Only
  • Silent Moons Enchant: Lunar Weapons (Silent Moons Camp near Whiterun) (Not leveled)
  • Soul Trap: Leveled Only
  • Stamina Damage: Leveled Only
  • Turn Undead: Leveled Only

Spell Damage Reduction Cap
Spell Damage Reduction is capped at 85% per enchantment type. So with the 'Resist Magic' enchantment alone you can have a maximum of 85% spell damage reduction. However all the other resist spells have the same 85% cap so if you combine 85% 'Resist Magic' with 85% Resist 'Fire' 'Frost' 'Shock' and 'Poison' you will have a total of % overall spell damage reduction.
Note: When I made this guide I was using the unofficial patch, therefore these numbers are slightly higher than in they would be in the unmodded vanilla game. If you are playing in the vanilla game, your limit is crafting armor at 34% (this will be your second armor) enhancement to the crafting skills instead of 41%, with 35% fortify enchanting potions instead of 44%. This is still more than sufficient to craft god tier items as promised, but if you want the same numbers I'm getting you unfortunately need the unofficial patch. Sorry for the inconvenience, but at least you only have to make 2 sets of armor to maximize your potential instead of 3 if you stick with vanilla. Alternatively to increase your numbers you can use the Vampirism+Necromage trick/exploit (I really wouldn't call it an exploit though).

When you have reached level enchanting and you have all the essential items named for enchanting earlier, you're going to want to create a crafting armor set. The lowered numbers will slightly reduce the effectiveness of your final items, but they'll still be super overpowered so don't worry, everything isn't ruined and the steps remain the same to reach the highest tier crafting armor.

This involves creating a set of items with Fortify Alchemy and Fortify Smithing bonuses, for this you want to use grand/black soul gems and you want to use the Enchanter's Elixir I mentioned before to boost your enchanting level as high as you possibly can at this time.

  • Enchanter (5)
  • Insightful Enchanter
  • Extra Effect

  • Enchanter's Elixir (if you are already level alchemy, you can make a fortify enchanting potion instead)
  • Black Book: The Sallow Regent (For Seeker of Sorcery and Seeker of Shadows)
  • Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking (Wear this and 3 other Ahzidal armor set pieces for +10 enchanting bonus)
  • 5 Filled Grand or Black Soul Gems
  • Any Unenchanted Helmet, Armor, Gauntlets, Necklace and Ring of your choosing (You do not need boots, but carrying capacity boots might be nice to have)

Enchanter's Elixirs last 60 seconds, you need to enchant 5 items (6 if you include boots), one elixir should be enough for all the items but you need to work as fast as you can since you've got <12 seconds per item (<10 seconds if you also enchant the boots))

  1. Make sure you have Seeker of Sorcery active
  2. Get the Soul Gems and unenchanted items
  3. Get in front of an Arcane Enchanter
  4. Put on Ahzidal's Armor set (Boots + any other 3 items from the set)
  5. Save the game
  6. Practice enchanting all the items with the desired enchantments to memorize the order of the items and enchantments (this is because you are going to be working with limited time)
    • Fortify Smithing: Armor, Gauntlets, Ring, Necklace
    • Fortify Alchemy: Helmet, Gauntlets, Ring, Necklace
    • All remaining enchantment slots can be filled with whatever enchantment you like, the above are the only ones you need. You do not need boots, but are free to enchant them too if you wish.
  7. Load the save
  8. Drink the elixir and then enchant all the items as fast as you can just as you practiced.
  9. Make sure all the enchantments are of the correct magnitude (strength)

Tip: To make sure that Ahzidal's Armor set is giving you the desired enchanting bonus, open either the arcane enchanter or your skill menu to see your enchanting level, the level should be if you've got the set on, if you've got it off or have too many pieces on.

Your first result should look something like this:

For a total of % smithing and alchemy bonuses! :O

  • I took Fortify Alteration in case I want to use the Transmute spell
  • I took Fortify Carry Weight on the boots because crafting materials are heavy stuff
  • I took Fortify Stamina so I can sprint longer with these items on
  • I was able to enchant and rename all the items with just one elixir, but you don't have to worry about renaming the items since this is only your first crafting armor set, not your final one. On your final set you can have up to 30 seconds per item instead of 60 seconds for the whole set.
  • If you want you can always scour Skyrim for another Enchanter's Elixir so you can have seconds to do this.

The items don't actually have to be armor, you can for example instead of helmet armor and gauntlets use circlet, robes and gloves, but I like armor, and I have the perk which makes worn armor weightless. The only real benefit of clothes instead of armor is the lower weight, but I always leave my set on a mannequin in my Hearthfire home's basement when I'm not using it, it's all up to you what you choose.

After making this set, you will wear it while leveling your Alchemy skill it is vital to maximizing your potential experience as will be explained in the Alchemy section.

After getting Alchemy to
  1. Find or craft another set of unenchanted armor, ring and necklace.
  2. Grab fortify enchanting ingredients from your base of operations, you have 30 seconds per potion, decide how many potions you need for one armor set and then take enough ingredients to make that potion (I only need 2 but I like to have 3 just to be sure). Do not make the potion yet.
  3. Go to Solstheim and enable the Seeker of Shadows effect from the Black Book: Sallow Regent
  4. Go to an alchemy lab in Solstheim (the nearest one is in front of the blacksmith) and create the amount of "Fortify Enchanting" potions you think you'll need for one armor set.
  5. After making the potions enable the Seeker of Sorcery effect again
  6. Get to an Arcane Enchanter
  7. Put on Ahzidal's Armor Set
  8. Save the game, practice and load just like before.
  9. Enchant your second armor set with your fortify enchanting potions.

Repeat the above one more time to create your third, and final set of crafting armor, it will look something like this:

For a total of % smithing and alchemy bonuses!
(Elven Armor is a good choice cus it's the lightest armor)

After you've made the final set, I suggest you go back to Solstheim with all your fortify enchanting and smithing ingredients, get the Seeker of Shadows effect and use up all the ingredients to make the potions since this is as high as you're ever going to get without using exploits. Your fortify smithing poitions will cap at % and your fortify enchanting potions at 44%. At the time I last did this I had enough ingredients to make roughly 50 of each potion.

You will then be using some of these fortify smithing potions shortly afterwards to (finally) level your smithing skill to insanely fast.

I would also like to mention two things before I end this section.

As explained in the enchanting section, all apparel enchantments count as restoration effects. If the player is a vampire with the 'Necromage' perk in the restoration tree at the time these armors are made, these stats will be slightly higher. (The numbers on the gear will be 46%, the fortify enchanting potions will be 49% and the fortify smithing potions will be at %) the unofficial patch however patches this out of the game, but if you're using the patch, it can be re-enabled with a mod (see the mod section). I personally do not use this.

There is a glitch in the game where you can sometimes wear a circlet underneath certain helmets, this would allow for an extra item with the fortify enchanting bonus to further boost these stats. The unofficial patch also fixes this however.

So then, now that we have our first crafting armor set, it's time for Alchemy!
  • Black Book: Sallow Regent (For Seeker of Shadows effect)

  • Return to Your Roots (Blackreach) (Grants Sinderion's Serendipity which gives you a 25% chance to create two potions instead of one when doing alchemy)

  • The higher the value of the potion crafted, the more exp you gain.
  • Eating raw ingredients to learn new effects grants some exp.
  • Each ingredient has 4 effects, mixing ingredients at an alchemy lab yields a potion if 2 ingredients have one effect in common.
  • You can mix a maximum of 3 ingredients per potion

Alchemy is the most profitable crafting skill to level, leveling through the recommended means, you can expect to make anywhere between , and , gold in profits.

Leveling alchemy is all about making high value potions which is why it is so important to have the Crafting Armor set I explained how to make above. It will more than double the strength of your potions and massively increase their value. The Seeker of Shadows effect will further increase your potions' strength by 10%.

The basic premise for leveling alchemy is that you just run around gathering all alchemical ingredients you find on your journeys, pick every flower, every butterfly, every mushroom, all the salt piles and all the bone meals and literally every other alchemical ingredient in the game until it comes time to level it up. Remember to check all the barrels and all the sacks, they commonly contain alchemical ingredients.

I recommend that everytime your character levels up you should find an alchemy trainer (Arcadia) and buy another 5 levels of alchemy. This will maximize your odds of getting to level in just one go. This is why I recommend leveling Alchemy in Arcadia's shop in Whiterun.

I also want to point out a key difference between the methods of leveling alchemy and the other two. Since alchemy level earned is influenced directly by potion value, you're going to need to pick certain perks in the alchemy perk tree in order to increase their strength. You're also going to need these perks eventually anyways for when you are making your fortify enchanting and smithing potions, since they're vital to you anyways don't feel any guilt over picking these perks, they are going to serve you very, very well (unlike the Dwarven Smithing perk we get for smithing, useless for light armor).

Get these perks as soon as you can:
  • Alchemist (5 points total)
  • Physician
  • Benefactor
  • (Optional) Poisoner (This perk will only help you level up faster unless you intend to use your poisons)

Also remember to maximize your exp gain by taking the thief stone and sleeping in a bed no aetherial crown (explained later in this section).

These are the essential ingredients which you should store in a container separate from your other ingredients to avoid using them for leveling. There is a list of recipes for leveling in the alchemist's resource section.

  • Fortify Enchanting Ingredients
    • Spriggan Sap
    • Hagraven Claw
    • Snowberries (You can pick these in the wilds, snowy regions tend to have a lot of them, so just pick all the ones you see)
    • Chaurus Hunter Antennae
    • Spawn Ash (Found in Solstheim)
    • Blue Buttefly Wing
    • Ancestor Moth Wing
  • Fortify Smithing Ingredients
    • Spriggan Sap
    • Blisterwort (Very common alchemy merchant item)
    • Sabre Cat Tooth (Warning: This item is in high demand for hearthfire homes, so you may wanna save them for that)
    • Glowing Mushroom (Grows on walls in various caves)

  1. Activate the thief stone and get the well rested bonus
  2. Activate seeker of shadows in Black Book:Sallow Regent (+10% alchemy bonus)
  3. Equip your crafting gear
  4. Take all the non-essential ingredients you've gathered and walk to Arcadia's Cauldron or an alchemy lab.
  5. If in Arcadia's Cauldron, buy 5 levels from her now, and then another 5 everytime your character levels up until you are at level 75 alchemy and can't buy more levels.
  6. Make potions starting with the best leveling potions list in the alchemy resource section and moving your way down that list into the best leveling effects, keep going until you run out of ingredients or reach level

While the chances of this are slim at best, in the event that the ingredients you've gathered at this point are not enough to float you all the way to level , run around and kill all the giants you find to get their toes (you evil ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥) and gather ingredients required to make any of the potions that use Giant's Toes listed in the Alchemist's Resource section below, then make these potions until you hit level , it shouldn't take long.

Aetherial Crown or Crafting Helmet?
I have the Aetherial Crown with the lover stone effect for +15% experience, do I wear that or do I wear the Crafting Helmet I created? I encountered this dilemma and I decided to simply test it, I saved the game and tested one item, loaded and tested the other to see which would make my XP bar rise higher by crafting the same potion, these were my results.

So the answer is: Wear the Crafting Helmet! The Aetherial Crown is still important for leveling Enchanting and Smithing.

If you're too lazy to loot all the ingredients you come across in skyrim, then do this instead.
  1. Starting at level 1 (or as soon as you can get to whiterun at least) buy 5 alchemy levels from Arcadia
  2. (Optional) Pickpocket Arcadia to get your gold back
  3. Repeat the above every single time your character levels up until alchemy is at level
  4. Either have enough ingredients (especially giants toes) to get to level from here on hand or
  5. Join the Dark Brotherhood to gain access to Babette
  6. Just like with Arcadia, have Babette train you by 5 levels every level (3 times) until you are level 90
  7. Use The Giant's Toes and Wheat you've gathered to level up to level or 93 and
  8. Read the 5 alchemy skillbooks and do the 2 alchemy skill raising quests (Inge Six Fingers in Bards College and Lami in Morthal have the quests).

Recommended Book Locations:
  • Anise's Cabin: Song of the Alchemists (Alt: Bard's College)
  • Evergreen Grove: Mannimarco, King of Worms
  • Alchemist Camp above Evergreen Grove: De Rerum Dirennis (Alt: Sinderion's Field Lab)
  • Arcadia's Cauldron: Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
  • New Gnisis Cornerclub: A Game at Dinner

The grinding method to level Alchemy is pretty much just to buy out a shopkeepers ingredient stock, save, kill him, load, buy again and so on then make all the potions you can until you're done. This just takes very long so I can't say I recommend it. The exploit way however (if using unofficial patch you need a mod linked in the mod section) is quite fast.
  1. Get level 50 Enchanting or Alchemy and the associated Perks for either.
  2. Get fortify alchemy enchantment and enchant an armor set (the stronger the better) with it and equip it.
  3. Create a fortify restoration potion
  4. Drink the potion
  5. Unequip and re-equip your gear
  6. Make another fortify restoration potion (it will be stronger)
  7. Repeat until you think you have a strong enough fortify restoration potion
  8. Now create a super strong fortify enchanting potion
  9. Make another fortify alchemy armor set (something like +%)
  10. If you're not at level yet, make potions until you are. (Will be very few potions)

So smithing leveling smithing is so ridiculously easy compared to the other two, and now that you have the crafting armor set and fortify smithing potions Outrageously fast too. We also get one major benefit from the crafting armor and smithing potions and that is that you can make any armor in the game reach the armor rating cap, in other words if you like how leather armor looks you can make it just as protective as daedric armor in practice!

  • The (Final) Crafting Armor
  • Aetherial Crown
  • 4 Fortify Smithing % Potions (You only really need 2 though, 4 is for slow hands)

  • Black Book: Sallow Regent (For Seeker of Might effect)

  • Unfathomable Depths (For Ancient Knowledge effect (+15% smithing skill leveling speed, the guide assumes that you do not have this).

  • Skill gain is dependent on the value of the item crafted
  • Skill gain on workbench and grindstone is dependent on the strength of the improvement made

The below assumes you are going from level 15 to in one shot. I imagine this will not be the case for you but this is simply meant to give you a rough idea of how much material you need so you don't start leveling when you're short on materials (As if you'll be short on materials after playing long enough to level the other two to ! You probably have enough material to do this 3 times over or you just haven't been visiting enough dwemer ruins!)

  • Iron Ingots ( if you start at level 20 smithing)
  • 93 Leather Strips
  • Dwarven metal Ingots

This is a small list of materials I expect you to have way before you have reached level Enchanting or Alchemy. I mean just compare it to the legacy ones (bottom of section)! Once you have all the required things to maximize your exp gain and these materials it'll take minutes to max out your smithing skill.

To gather the Iron ingots, everytime you stop by in a town you should go to the blacksmith and buy all his iron ingots and ore, you then want to store these materials in some cozy little container in your base of operations.

To gather Dwarven metal ingots, everytime you go into a dwemer ruin, scour the place for all it's smeltable metal items.

These items are:
  • Bent Dwemer scrap metal
  • Large Dwemer plate metal
  • Small Dwemer plate metal
  • Solid Dwemer metal
  • Large Dwemer strut
  • Large decorative Dwemer strut
(Or just anything that ends with 'metal' or 'strut')

Those last 3 are SUPER heavy (solid dwemer metal weighs 25 for example) so you are going to need to bring a follower with you to use as a pack mule!

And that's really it. It shouldn't take you very long to get all the materials (you'll probably have them all way before you reach level enchanting/alchemy easily)

Dwemer Ruins happen to contain entire metric tons of Dwemer Metals just lying around up for grabs. There was so much of it in Mzulft(Mage's College Quest) I had to go a few trips to pick it all up! it got me just over ingots! Lost to the ages is bound to net you at least more ingots, and these are just 2 quests, assuming you're diligent in picking up the metal! So as you can see there's really no shortage of dwemer metals in Skyrim.

Leather can be made on Tanning Racks from looted animal pelts.

  1. Gather all the required ingredients and items
  2. Go to Solstheim and activate Seeker of Might
  3. Maximize your exp gain as described in the Getting Started section (+45% exp assumed)
  4. Craft 93 Iron Daggers (For lvl , 62 Daggers for )
  5. Get the Dwarven Smithing Perk
  6. Craft 63 Dwarven Bows
  7. Drink a fortify smithing potion
  8. Improve half of the bows
  9. Drink another potion and improve the other half (if you've got slow hands you can improve 1/4 of the bows at a time an drink potions between)
  10. Sell the bows for massive profit$

And that's it, you're at level Smithing!

If you intend to build a Hearthfire house, you're going to want to use your iron ingots on that first instead of making daggers'n'bows. Building a complete house is gonna cost A LOT of iron ingots to make nails, hinges, locks and iron fittings and creating all that stuff can raise your smithing level quite a bit, this may be a better use of iron ingots than making iron daggers, although you're going to need a hell of a lot more of these ingots for going this route so you really only want to do this if you wanted that house to begin with, dwarven bows are still the most effective way to level past 30, but this is a 2 birds with 1 stone solution. It probably won't get you all the way to smithing but it'll probably get you up to like 70 or 80 and then you can finish up with the bows. Now I say this but personally I normally build the hearthfire home after I've maxed all my crafting skills anyways.

Even if you only want to be able to smith Daedric Armor (lvl 90 smithing) which is the strongest armor in the game, you still want smithing so that you can improve that armor by 10% more than you could at 90 smithing and also just for completeness' sake. If you do want to make Daedric Armor, make sure to hoard any Daedra Hearts you find, they are few and far between (but you can find loads of them in Soul Cairn while playing through the Dawnguard quest line if you're getting desperate). Ebony ingots which are also relatively rare aren't as hard to come by.

Make sure to also hoard any dragonbone and dragon scales you can find, the bones are needed for the strongest weapons in the game and the scales to make the strongest light armor in the game, even if you might not be a light armor character, you might want to make some of this stuff for your follower, it's also easier to make this (material wise) than Daedric armor so you can also give your follower the dragonbone armor if it's a heavy armor companion.

Now that you have level smithing, it's time for you to figure out which armor you think looks best on your character and just roll with it!

In the first iteration of this guide I didn't even know about the Aetherial Crown and I was still experimenting, so if you are leveling Smithing before Enchanting and Alchemy, this is what I recommend doing (assumes 30% exp bonus from Warrior Stone and Well Rested):

  1. Gather Iron Ingots
  2. Gather Dwarven Metal Ingots
  3. Gather Leather Straps
  4. Craft Iron Daggers
  5. Get The Dwemer Smithing Perk
  6. Craft Dwarven Bows

Alternative method:
  1. Gather Iron Ingots
  2. Gather Leather Strips
  3. Gather Dwarven Ingots
  4. Gather Firewood (yeah, ouch)
  5. Make Iron Daggers
  6. Get the Dwarven Smithing perk
  7. Make Dwarven Arrows (that's 24 per ingot, ingots)

These are methods I actually used once, and I've managed to gather all these resources while leveling Enchanting and Alchemy before, so it's a viable approach for those who might want to skip one of the other two skills. The Dwarven Bow method is the most popular method to grind smithing levels these days.

For those who do not like any of the methods I've named to level Smithing there's a last alternative, I've never done it so I won't go into as much detail, but what you need to do is go to the Halted Stream Camp, get the Transmute spell, mine/buy all the iron ore, transmute it all to gold and silver and make jewelry from it. (Nice way to use stolen gems as well). This method is ideal to level enchanting and smithing side by side, enchanting all the jewelry you make before you sell it. It will also level your alteration skill.
Special Armors and their Perks
  • Bonemold Armor (Heavy): Steel Smithing
  • Chitin Armor (Light): Elven Smithing
  • Steel Plate Armor (Heavy): Advanced Armors
  • Nordic Carved Armor (Heavy) and Weapons: Advanced Armors
  • Stalhrim Armor (Heavy or Light) and Weapons: Ebony Smithing

All ore and ingots can be bought from blacksmiths in towns, if there isn't enough available via mining you simply have to buy them.

  • Leather and Leather Strips: Kill animals, loot their furs or pelts and convert to leather and leather strips on a tanning rack.
  • Iron Ore and Ingots: Since you need potentially massive amounts of them, the best way to get them is to simply buy them from blacksmiths in towns at every opportunity for later use so that you have them when you need them. The best spot to mine it is the Halted Stream Camp, there are also a couple veins in Fort Fellhammer and Embershard Mine.
  • Corundum Ore and Ingots: The best way to get this ore/ingot just as with Iron is to buy it, but it can also be mined in Blackreach.
  • Silver Ore and Ingots: The best way to get both of these is to get the Transmute spell available in the Halted Stream Camp and mine/buy iron ore, you can then convert the iron ore to silver ore, and the silver ore to gold ore. (Unlimited Alteration spellcasting is gonna be very good to have here).
  • Gold Ore and Ingots: There is a gold mine called Kolskeggr Mine which contains 18 gold ore veins and more loose ore and ingots. (You can get 55 gold ore here), Silver ore can also be transmuted to gold with the transmute spell as explained before.
  • Netch Leather: This item is dropped by Netches which can be found on Solstheim. It is also sold by the blacksmith on Solstheim.
  • Stalhrim: Stalhrim is an ultra rare mineral that can only be mined with an ancient nord pickaxe. It can only be found on Solstheim, the best source is called Stalhrim Source, it's located northwest of White Ridge Barrow and contains around 30 pieces of stalhrim. Gyldenhul and Kolbjorn Barrow as well as Northshore Landing all contain 6 mineable pieces too. Stalhrim replenishes like any other ore wein after ~30 days.

  • Steel Ingots: Steel ingots are made by smelting Iron and Corundum ore, I'd say that the best way to get Steel ingots is buy them.
  • Dwarven Metal Ingots: The best way to get these is to scour dwemer ruins for smeltable metal (list of which metals are smeltable in the above smithing section).
  • Orichalcum Ore and Ingots: This can be mined in Bliegulch Mine(~27), Dushnikh Mine(~21) and Mor Khazgur Mine(~21).
  • Ebony Ore and Ingots: This can be mined in Gloombound Mine(~48) and Raven Rock(~27)
  • Daedra Heart: This item is extremely rare, the easiest access to it is Alchemy merchants who sometimes sell it, the best sources for daedra hearts is Soul Cairn (Dawnguard Quest Line) and Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon.
  • Bone Meal: Loot from Draugr and Skeletons, also sold in alchemy shops.

  • Moonstone Ore and Refined Moonstone: Best way to get is to buy, but you can mine 7 of them in Mzulft (Requires Mage's College Quest to get in) and 5 in Soljund's Sinkhole (+3 loose ore +2 ingots as well)
  • Malachite Ore and Refined Malachite: You can find 7 ore veins in Steamscorch Mine, 7 ores in Labyrinthian (Mages College Quest Required), and 2 ore veins on the top of the throat of the world next to the Notched Pickaxe.
  • Quicksilver Ore and Ingots: It's best to buy them, but you can mine around 15 in Quicksilver Mine (Dawnstar).
  • Chitin Plate: Sold by Blacksmiths and dropped by Ash Hoppers on Solstheim.

Physical Damage Reduction Cap
Physical Damage Reduction is capped at 80% in skyrim, this occurs at armor rating without armor, armor rating wearing a full set without shield and armor rating with a full set and shield. You can find more thorough details about this on uesp[].

Here's also a list of armor ratings without shield and how much reduction they provide:
  • 18% Reduction: 50 Armor
  • 30% Reduction: Armor
  • 50% Reduction: Armor
  • 65% Reduction: Armor
  • 80% Reduction: Armor (Cap)

There's also a description of the spell damage reduction caps in the Enchanter's Resource section.

Minimum Armor Rating of Improved Armor
With Heavy and Light Armor level 15 and no perks in either, Improved to maximum capacity (Crafting Armor+Seeker of Might+Fortify Smithing Potion+Associated Perk) these armor sets (without shield) will provide this total armor rating:

  • Light Armor:
    • Leather Armor: (No perk for leather)
    • Vampire Armor: (No headgear) (Adv Armors)
    • Elven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor: (Elven Smithing)
    • Scaled Armor: (Adv Armors)
    • Glass Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor: (Ebony Smithing)
    • Dragonscale Armor:
  • Heavy Armor:
    • Iron Armor: (No perk for iron)
    • Steel Armor:
    • Bonemold Armor: (Pauldron Armor: ) (Steel Smithing)
    • Dwarven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor: (Elven Smithing)
    • Steel Plate: (Adv Armors)
    • Orcish Armor:
    • Nordic Carved Armor: (Adv Armors)
    • Ebony Armor:
    • Dragonplate Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor: (Ebony Smithing)
    • Daedric Armor:

The same armors with the first perk in Light and Heavy Armor will provide these armor ratings instead:
  • Light Armor:
    • Leather Armor:
    • Elven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Scaled Armor:
    • Glass Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Dragonscale Armor:
  • Heavy Armor:
    • Iron Armor:
    • Steel Armor:
    • Bonemold Armor: (Pauldron Armor: )
    • Dwarven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Steel Plate:
    • Orcish Armor:
    • Nordic Carved Armor:
    • Ebony Armor:
    • Dragonplate Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Daedric Armor:

Armor Rating with 2 perks
With Light and Heavy armor at level 20 and 2 perks invested, the same armors provide these ratings:
  • Light Armor:
    • Leather Armor:
    • Elven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Scaled Armor:
    • Glass Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Dragonscale Armor:
  • Heavy Armor:
    • Iron Armor:
    • Steel Armor:
    • Bonemold Armor: (Pauldron Armor: )
    • Dwarven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Steel Plate:
    • Orcish Armor:
    • Nordic Carved Armor:
    • Ebony Armor:
    • Dragonplate Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Daedric Armor:

Maximum Armor Rating with all perks
At level heavy/light armor with all perks, these are the armor ratings.
  • Light Armor:
    • Leather Armor:
    • Elven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Scaled Armor:
    • Glass Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Dragonscale Armor:
  • Heavy Armor:
    • Iron Armor:
    • Steel Armor:
    • Bonemold Armor: (Pauldron Armor: )
    • Dwarven Armor:
    • Chitin Armor:
    • Steel Plate:
    • Orcish Armor:
    • Nordic Carved Armor:
    • Ebony Armor:
    • Dragonplate Armor:
    • Stalhrim Armor:
    • Daedric Armor:
Here are some tips for early game success.

Getting your first gold
So you run through the start of the game, kill your first dragon, and find yourself with only gold in your pockets, not enough to buy yourself a base of operations (if you intend to get Breezehome or Hearthfire that is) and you're a bit lost on what to do for money, I mean sure you could make potions or as the guide previously recommends, enchant items for money, but this takes a short while if you're aiming for gold. Odds are you'll have filled your inventory dozens of times before you get there and you're getting tired of being so encumbered all the time.

If this happens to you then there's a surefire method to make over gold very early in the game. First you need to make your way to the Halted Stream Camp[] directly north of Whiterun. Find a pickaxe (there should be a few on-site) and mine all the iron in there and just loot the place, killing all the bandits. You will find a spellbook on a table in the main chamber called Transmute Mineral Ore, learn this Alteration spell and once you've milked the place of all Iron Ore, make your way back to the Whiterun stables. (Optionally if you have enough cash, stop by the smith in Whiterun and buy all his and her Iron Ore (not ingot, just ore))

Now you want to start converting the ore to gold, to do so cast the spell, the spell will turn one orre into silver, cast the spell again and it will turn the silver ore to gold, so you essentially have to cast the spell twice per ore. Now I assume that this early in the game you don't exactly have a lot of magicka or skill points invested in Alteration so to make your life easier, once you run out of magicka after casting the spell once or twice, press T and wait for 1 hour to replenish your magicka, then cast the spell again and keep going like this until you've turned all the ore to gold.

Anyhow while you're converting the ore you want to hire a carriage (at Whiterun stables) to Markarth, once there run over to the southwest, over the lake/bridge there should be a few houses (Left Hand Mine) and a few people talking together, one of them is named Pavo Attius, you want to talk to this Pavo and he will give you a quest to clear out the nearby Kolskeggr Mine.

Take this quest and just keep converting all that iron ore to gold until you run out of ore along your way (for me I didn't finish converting the ore until I had already finished this quest)

Pro Tip: On the way to Kolskeggr Mine you will see a map marker for The Lover Stone, since we use this stone for the Aetherial Crown, you may want to take this opportunity to run up to it so you can fast travel to it later.

Clear out Kolskeggr Mine and mine all the gold in there as well, then run back to Pavo, by the end of this you should have well over gold ore. Speak to Pavo and finish the quest to get a bit of gold, now talk to him again and he will offer to buy all your gold ore, he buys the ore at face value (50 per ore) so gold ore (you're basically guaranteed to have more than this) will net you gold!

And now you can easily afford your first player home!

Finding Materials For Hearthfire

So as explained in the Getting Started section, you will need a couple of materials to complete your hearthfire home. Most of these are super easy to get. You get Quarried Stone and Clay on-site (there's always a deposit of those things right next to the house, and a pickaxe to mine them), then you get glass and straw from general goods merchants (such as Belethor, I also recommend stocking up on goat horns for candles) and iron/moonstone/corundum ingots from the same merchants or blacksmiths. Then there's saw logs, you need to go to any Lumber Mill (there's one in Falkreath) and talk to the person who owns it, they will sell you 20 logs for gold (so to get the 63 logs needed you'll need to buy 4 times for gold)

The gold you probably want to get by mining it from kolskeggr mine (as explained in the above getting your first gold bit)

Now there are basically two materials you may have difficulty finding, these things are a quicksilver ingot and a grand soul gem for the enchanters table and alchemy lab.

The quicksilver you'll find in Quicksilver Mine in Dawnstar.

The only guaranteed Grand Soul Gem I know about in the game is in a display case in the Archmage's Quarters in the College of Winterhold.

To get in there you basically need to go to the college, finish the first quest in the main quest line (go through the Sarthaal ruins) and then you're told to go see the archmage which grants you access to his quarters and thus the ability to steal this Grand Soul Gem.

Pro Tip: If you're a mage also steal the Arch Mage's robes, this is one of the best items in the base game for a mage to wear Until you can make better ones ;)

This is a good alternative to buying the gem at g which is a bit steep for someone fresh out of the tutorial. The soul gem has to be pre-filled (i.e. it can not be a grand soul gem that you got empty and then filled yourself) so these are pretty much your only two options for getting this gem.

Picking Arcadia's Pockets
(Read Alchemy section first)
So you've decided that you want to level Alchemy via training and you don't wanna lose any money doing it so you're just gonna steal it all back.

You train all your skill, crouch, open the pickpocket menu on arcadia and what do you know, 0% chance to succeed in getting your gold back :O

There's a trick to this. You're probably gonna need to level your pickpocketing a little first, to do this pick Arcadias (or other people's) pockets of various items with a high chance of success to get a higher level at picking pockets, you need to do this until you can pickpocket gold easily (because that's what the initial training will cost)

Warning: If you have had Arcadia train you before she may be holding some money in her inventory beforehand. If this is the case you're gonna have to train your pickpocket skill and put perk points in it until you can steal it all.

After you have done that you need to level only one skill level at a time before you pickpocket (or two depending on pickpocket skill level), the pickpocket success is based on item value, and while g may have 0% success, g will have a decent chance of success.

If you don't really want to specialize in pickpocketing then you're gonna have to play through the Dragonborn expansion (Solstheim's main quest line) to get the ability to "respec" at the cost of one dragon soul per perk tree wiped.
This section is meant to summarize the methods I suggest you use. It may seem a bit long for a summary but remember I'm describing how to level all 3 crafting skills, not just one of them.

The order in which I suggest you level the skills is as follows:
  1. Enchanting
  2. Alchemy
  3. Smithing

There's no 'rule' against using all these skills as they were intended in-game, if you have a sword you'll be using for a while, improve it, maybe even enchant it. You can even make a fortify smithing potion so that you can improve it even further, and some poison for good measure. Just make sure to save enough fortify enchanting and smithing ingredients for the end game.

  • Lost to the Ages (Arkngthamz) (Get Aetherial Crown reward)
  • Unearthed (Solstheim) (Get Ahzidal armor set)

  • The Black Star (Shrine of Azura) (I recommend going The Black Star route rather than Azura's Star route)
  • Return to Your Roots (Blackreach, Sinderion's Field Laboratory) (Grants Sinderion's Serendipity which gives you a 25% chance to create two potions instead of one when doing alchemy)

  • Get yourself a base of operations where you can stash collected items (Breezehome)
  1. As you play you want to gather the following items to use for leveling the skills:
    • All alchemical ingredients you can find
    • All iron ore and ingots
    • All dwarven metal ingots and all dwemer metal that can be smelted to ingots
    • All soul gems.
  2. You want to use the soul trap spell to fill all these soul gems at every opportunity. Alternatively you can get (or create) a weapon with the soul trap enchantment.
  3. You want to save these items for later use (Do not use any of them for leveling, these are gonna be used last):
    • Filled Grand & Black Soul Gems
    • Fortify Enchanting Potion Ingredients
    • Fortify Smithing Potion Ingredients
  4. Get the Aetherial Crown so you can have 45% or 50% exp boost. (Read the Getting Started section if you don't know what I'm talking about)

  1. Between your quests and dungeon runs, whenever you're in town.
    • Activate the Mage Stone, Sleep in a Bed (inn if you're homeless) and if available, equip the Aetherial Crown for the Lover Stone effect for a total of 45% bonus exp.
    • Disenchant all enchanted loot you've found and haven't yet learned
    • Enchant all your unenchanted loot, buy soul gems if you have to to finish the job.
    • Sell the loot after enchanting
    • Buy all Iron Ore and Ingots from the town's Blacksmith and stash in your base of operations.
  2. Gather these items
    • Black Book: Sallow Regent (nordic ruin on the northwestern side of the island on top of a mountain) for the Seeker of Sorcery effect (+10% enchanting power)
    • Ahzidal's Armor Set (Unearthed quest) for Ahzidal's enchanting bonus (wearing the boots + any other 3 parts of the armor set will give you +10 to your enchanting skill)
    • Once you are level 30+ go to Treva's Watch or Soul Cairn for an Enchanter's Elixir.
  3. Get these perks
    • Enchanter (5)
    • Insightful Enchanter
    • Extra Effect
  4. Once you've reached enchanting level , make your first Crafting Armor (read the Crafting Armor section)

  1. Equip your crafting armor, Get the Seeker of Shadows effect Activate the Thief stone and sleep in a bed. (No Aetherial Crown)
  2. Go to Arcadia's Cauldron
  3. Buy 5 alchemy levels from Arcadia now, and again everytime your character levels up to ensure your success in getting all the way to level
  4. Craft potions listed in the Alchemist's Resource section, try to aim for 3 ingredient potions when possible.
  5. If you did not get to Level refer to the Alchemy section of this guide for information on what you can do next.
  6. Once you've reached alchemy level , make another Crafting Armor (read the Crafting Armor section)
  7. Now make your third and Final Crafting Armor.

  1. Equip the final Crafting Armor, get Seeker of Might effect and get at least 2 Fortify Smithing % potions. (read Crafting Armor section)
  2. Maximize your exp gain (assumed 45%, wear Aetherial Crown)
  3. Gather These Items
    • Iron Ingots
    • 93 Leather Strips
    • Dwarven Metal Ingots
  4. Craft 93 Iron Daggers (Get to level 30)
  5. Get the Dwarven Smithing Perk.
  6. Make 63 Dwarven Bows
  7. Drink Fortify smithing potion
  8. Improve 33 Dwarven Bows
  9. Drink the other Fortify Smithing Potion
  10. Improve 30 Dwarven Bows (Get to level )

And that's it, if you have any questions scroll to the relevant section and start reading!
Convenient Mods & Exploits
All right so, if you're like me you don't want to explicitly cheat and just use this[] but some things just annoy you so much that you can't help yourself, here are some mods and exploits that may ease your pain.

  • Rich Merchants[], sets all merchant's standard gold to 10,, there are also other mods out there that grant them unlimited gold. This might be considered a cheat by some, but I just think it's so annoying when merchants can't afford to buy your items and how they all seem to be so incredibly broke, so this fixes that.
  • Weightless Crafting Items[], tired of how heavy ore, ingots and ingredients are? Animal pelts, dragon bones and dragon scales driving you insane? Then this mod is for you.
  • Unlimited Wood Chopping[] (Alt: ORI Chopping[])
    This mod will make chopping firewood less of a pain in the ass, as in it will allow you to just tell your character to chop wood, and instead of chopping 3 times he'll just keep on chopping till you tell him to stop the same way as mining clay and stone works in hearthstone. It's not really cheating and there's another way around this (macros) as much as it is saving you time. It also optionally allows you to increase the wood you get if you're even more impatient, that's the only part of this mod that might count as cheating (since you can sell firewood for money and use it to abuse that) but hey this mod just saves time by allowing you to farm firewood without actually sitting there for an hour pressing E over and over like bethesda would have it, it's really nice.
  • Revert Unofficial Patch changes to the Shield of Solitude[] I made this mod because I liked the idea of having a unique, superior resist magic enchantment because I felt the normal one is a tiny bit too weak.
  • Revert Fortify Restoration Fix of the Unofficial Patch[], required for an exploit explained in the Alchemy section.
  • Revert Unofficial Patch Changes to Necromage[], you can use this to use the Necromage trick to make apparel enchantments (and most spells) more powerful for the player if you are a vampire with the necromage perk, however that trick also requires the fortify restoration changes to be reverted (if you want the enchantment strength bonus) so make sure you install that mod as well.
  • Glowing Ore Veins[], makes ore veins a lot easier to spot.
  • Breezehome by Elianora[] completely overhauls Breezehome, making it a truly worthy main base for a dragonborn. Features:
    - All crafting stations
    - Display for all daedric weapons, unique shields, staves, dragonpriest masks, dragonclaws etc.
    - Tons of unique and custom labeled storage
    - Lockable doors (Lock Lydia in her room!!)
    - Bath tub and sauna
    - Tons of custom and unique storage
    - Mirror to change your appearance

More Impactful Crafting Mods

I do not recommend installing any of the mods mentioned below unless you've already had your share of vanilla gameplay and want to freshen it up a bit.

  • Ars Metallica[] adds some neat features to smithing, such as dismantling/melting armor for parts, and experience gain from various smithing related tasks that originally grant none. (Note: Guide originally assumes you don't have this)
  • Summermyst[] adds new enchantments and improves(?) upon existing ones. (Warning: Will greatly affect the reliability of this guide's enchanter's resource!)
  • Harvest Overhaul[], get more ingredients when harvesting from plants or creatures.

There are also other decent potential crafting mods such as CACO and CCOR, that I abstained from recommending because they alter the vanilla crafting experience too much and are thus entirely incompatible with my guide, additionally there is the famed Ordinator perks mod, which is incompatible with the guide as well for obvious reasons; But it will enable a unique experience by adding cool combat related perks to the crafting perk trees, making it more viable to level your character through these skills (main as a craftsman) without becoming helpless in combat.

I would only suggest playing with these kinds of mods when you've already enjoyed and mastered the vanilla crafting system, to add some variety to your replays, I mean if you already have hundreds of hours in the game then these might be more your thing, beware incompatibilities though.

PS: Unrelated to the guide, but if you're making these kinds of gameplay changes, I recommend getting some combat AI enhancement mods such as SkyTEST and Wildcat unless this is your first playthrough, combat is seriously too easy in the vanilla game, and it's primarily due to the very dumb AI which these mods aim to fix. Players who like a challenge now have options when it comes to skyrim :-D

  • You can refresh merchant's inventories and total gold by saving your game, killing the merchant and then loading your save. (Convenient for selling massive amounts of a product, farming alchemy ingredients or iron ingots and for hunting for enchanted items for enchantments you need)
  • If you are a mage and specialize in a destruction you get perks which allow you to either increase the damage of Shock, Frost or Fire spells, using this perk will also affect enchantments, however where it becomes an exploit is that if you're a master enchanter who can put two enchantments on one item, if one of these enchantments is a damage enchantment of the type of destruction spell you have the perk for the other enchantment will also gain a boost in magnitude (so instead of just the enchantment that your perk should apply to, the other one will also get the same sort of boost). The strongest effect to amplify this effect is 'Chaos Damage' which gets bonuses from all the spell damage perks simultaneously allowing it and the second enchantment to be outrageously strong if you've got the perks.
  • The Fortify Restoration exploit explained in the alchemy section can be used to make enchantments of insane power since it allows you to create potentially unlimited power fortify enchanting potions.

  • Fortify One-Handed does not correctly boost the damage of daggers in vanilla Skyrim (unofficial patch fixes this, (e.g. you can't get +dmg daggers unless you have a fix for this bug))

And that's it for my guide! I want to give a special thanks to the contributors of and I could never have made this guide if it wasn't for information that's been uploaded to those two sites!

Thanks for reading, and please rate and leave a comment below to tell me if you liked it, if there's any more info you'd like me to add to the guide and of course, what kind of crazy item sets you like to make with your fully leveled crafting skills! :)

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The evening slowly passed a few meters from me. I could not become a part of it, and I did not want to. The hour hand was approaching twelve.

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