Skyrim's Smithing skill lets you play blacksmith and craft weapons and armor. As the skill progresses you will unlock perks that let you create and improve more types of weapons and armor. This crafting system is quite satisfying to use, as materials you find in the world's mines, acquired with coin or thievery from shops, or from killing wild game can be put to use at a forge and push your Dragonborn's attack and armor stats higher. This guide will teach you all you need to know about progressing the skill and making strong armor you can Enchant to gear your Dragonborn with the most powerful armor and weapons Skyrim has to offer.
How to Get Started Smithing in Skyrim
There are various things you need to create items in Skyrim. Most important is a smithy, where you will find the various equipment. I suggest Warmaiden's which is just to the right when you enter the city of Whiterun. There, you'll find not only the smithing equipment, but also two shopkeepers � one often outside, and one inside. They are very helpful when you need a few materials to finish an item, and Adrianne Avenicci will even give you a small tutorial quest on blacksmithing that will help you get a couple decent starting items and introduce you to the five things you need to smith:
Anvil and Forge: Using either the anvil or forge will let you make weapons, armor and jewelry from the materials in your inventory.
Workbench: The workbench is used to temper and improve the armor rating of gear.
Grindstone: This will let you improve weapons by sharpening them, raising their damage rating.
Smelter: Allows you to take raw metal ores and turn them into the ingots you need to craft items and improve weapons/armor. When fighting dwemer machines, you may also find scrap metal that can be smelted to make Dwarven Metal Ingots.
Tanning Rack: Lets you turn animal hides into leather, and cut leather down into leather strips. Strips are always used when making weapons and armor. You'll get 4 leather strips per leather you break down.
Getting Materials for Smithing
Mines are the primary source of materials for mining, unless you're a thief. The best thing I can do for a newbie player is introduce them to the mining page on UESP. There, you will see a list of materials under the Mine Locations heading. Follow the links to see a list for each type that has the number of veins available in various locales. Further, you will find maps to help you find the ores you need. The ore in mines will respawn after about 30 days game time. If you do a lot of traveling, that can pass faster than you think. Another option is to rob blacksmith shops � the best target by far is the Blacksmith in Solitude Overall, leather and leather strips are very cheap and factor little into your profits later on. Leather can be made from animal hides that you get from killing things like Elk, Wolves and Sabre Cats. Otherwise, just buy the leather directly from a smithing vendor.
Whenever you craft an item, you'll gain Smithing experience proportionate to the value of the item. So, focus on making more expensive gear that has a lower material cost, such as Helmets and War Axes. Improving items on the workbench or grindstone will also grant XP.
You can use the Transmute Mineral Ore Alteration spell found in Halted Stream Camp to make iron into silver, and silver into gold that can be crafted into gold necklaces, which you can then enchant. You'll raise four skills at once doing this though, and that may push your enemies' power higher while your gear lags behind.
Since Smithing is so resource-intensive to level, you should absolutely use the Warrior Stone from the Guardian Stones southwest of Riverwood � this will increase your Smithing and other Warrior Skill increases by 20%. Sleeping in a bed can also help, and those at the inn in town will work just fine.
Items can be improved to higher quality as you raise Smithing, using a workbench for armor and grindstone for weapons. If you've already improved an item, you can bump it up to the next grade when your Smithing level is high enough. You can improve items made of any material without that material's perk, but you will not be able to do it nearly as well. Items' quality ratings are unlocked at the following smithing levels WITH the material's relevant perk.
So, if you had the Glass Smithing Perk and a pair of Glass Boots and were level 54 in Smithing, you would make the boots Exquisite. Items continue to gain stats beyond level 91 in Smithing, Legendary is simply the last identifier. In order to push item stats to the max, we need Fortify Smithing.
Making Better Gear: Fortify Smithing
Fortify Smithing is an effect that can be enchanted to gear, allowing you to make your own set of Blacksmithing equipment that will make your armor and weapon improvements more potent. You can find it by disenchanting gear with the effect. Chest, Gauntlets, Rings, and Necklaces can all have this Fortify effect. You can push this further by using fortify enchanting potions to make the resulting fortify smithing enchantments more potent. To learn more, see the Enchanting Items and Boosting Strength section on the Enchanting guide. This effect can also be acquired by drinking a potion. Blisterwort, Glowing Mushroom, Sabre Cat Teeth and Spriggan Sap all offer the effect, allowing you to make your own.
By using these tactics, taking perks in Smithing, an armor specialization boosting your armor rating (light/heavy), and Enchanting, you can smith lower quality gear to have extreme armor as effective as Daedric or Dragonplate due to Skyrim's armor cap (80% damage reduction at 567 armor). Your weapons will also deal incredible damage, particularly with those specializations. Power-leveling smithing alone can push your gear far ahead of your enemies, outpacing their power without weapon skills � so long as you can acquire the high-grade materials you need to do this at an early level.
I decided to lump this section together, as Smithing perks only serve to unlock new recipes for the forge, aside from one: Arcane Blacksmith. Unlocked at level 60 Smithing, and only requiring the first perk, Arcane Blacksmith lets you improve magical weapons and armor � meaning gear you find with magical effects or had previously enchanted can be improved on the grindstone/workbench as you level Smithing.
All Arrow and Crossbow Crafting Requires the Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard DLC. You can make arrows without doing anything special, but crafting Crossbows requires you to side with the Dawnguard and can only be done in Fort Dawnguard at Gunmar's Forge. Crossbows and Crossbow Bolts come only in Steel and Dwarven materials.
All players can start Smithing by making the following gear. You have light armor (leather and hide), iron heavy armor, and iron weapon recipes to start making your first gear. Hide Armor is also available to craft, but being weaker than Leather and requiring the same materials, I'm not bothering to list it. Leather items require 1 Leather to improve, Iron requires 1 Iron Ingot.
|Leather Armor||26||6||125||4x Leather, 3x Leather Strips|
|Leather Helmet||12||2||60||2x Leather, 1x Leather Strips|
|Leather Bracers||7||2||25||1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Leather Boots||7||2||25||2x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Hide Shield||15||4||25||4x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Dagger||4||2||10||1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Iron Sword||7||9||25||2x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Iron Mace||9||13||35||3x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron War Axe||8||11||30||2x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Greatsword||15||16||50||4x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Warhammer||18||24||60||4x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Iron Battleaxe||16||20||55||4x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Arrow||8||0||1||1x Iron Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Iron Armor||25||30||125||5x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Banded Iron Armor||28||35||200||5x Iron Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Iron Helmet||15||5||60||3x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Gauntlets||10||5||25||2x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Boots||10||6||25||3x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Iron Shield||20||12||60||4x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Banded Iron Shield||22||12||100||4x Iron Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
I'm not bothering to list Imperial Armor here, which is also unlocked with this Perk. It has similar material requirements to Steel armor, but the defense of Iron. You'd only want to use it for aesthetics, if you happen to like it. All Steel items require a Steel Ingot to improve.
|Steel Dagger||5||2.5||18||1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Steel Sword||8||10||45||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Steel Mace||10||14||65||3x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Steel War Axe||9||12||55||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Greatsword||17||17||90||4x Steel Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Steel Warhammer||20||25||110||4x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Steel Battleaxe||18||21||100||4x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Arrow||10||0||2||1x Steel Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Crossbow||19||14||120||3x Steel Ingot, 3x Firewood|
|Enhanced Crossbow||19||15||200||1x Crossbow, 2x Corundum Ingot|
|Steel Crossbow Bolt||10||0||1||1x Steel Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 10|
|Steel Armor||31||35||275||4x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Steel Helmet||17||5||125||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Gauntlets||12||4||55||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Boots||12||8||55||3x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Shield||24||12||150||3x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
Elven Weapons and Armor require one Moonstone Ingot to improve.
|Elven Dagger||8||4||95||1x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Elven Sword||11||13||235||1x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Elven Mace||13||17||330||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Elven War Axe||12||15||280||1x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Elven Greatsword||20||20||470||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Elven Warhammer||23||28||565||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Elven Battleaxe||21||24||520||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Elven Bow||13||12||470||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot|
|Elven Arrow||16||0||5||1x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Elven Armor||29||4||225||4x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather, 3x Leather Strips|
|Elven Gilded Armor||35||4||550||4x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Quicksilver Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Elven Helmet||13||1||110||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather, 1x Leather Strips|
|Elven Gauntlets||8||1||45||1x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Elven Boots||8||1||45||2x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Elven Shield||21||4||115||4x Moonstone Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
Both light and heavy varieties require 1 Corundum Ingot to improve.
|Scaled Armor||32||6||350||3x Steel Ingot, 2x Corundum Ingot, 2x Leather, 3x Leather Strips|
|Scaled Helmet||9||2||70||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Leather, 1x Leather Strips|
|Scaled Bracers||9||2||70||1x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Scaled Boots||9||2||70||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Plate Armor||40||38||625||3x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Steel Plate Boots||14||9||125||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Plate Gauntlets||14||6||125||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Steel Plate Helmet||19||6||300||2x Steel Ingot, 1x Corundum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
Glass Weapons and Armor require one Refined Malachite Ingot to improve.
|Glass Dagger||9||4.5||165||1x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather Strips|
|Glass Sword||12||14||210||1x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather Strips|
|Glass Mace||14||18||575||2x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather Strips|
|Glass War Axe||13||16||490||1x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 2x Leather Strips|
|Glass Greatsword||21||22||820||2x Refined Malachite, 2x Refined Moonstone, 3x Leather Strips|
|Glass Warhammer||24||29||985||3x Refined Malachite, 2x Refined Moonstone, 3x Leather Strips|
|Glass Battleaxe||22||25||900||2x Refined Malachite, 2x Refined Moonstone, 2x Leather Strips|
|Glass Bow||15||14||820||2x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone|
|Glass Arrow||18||0||6||1x Refined Malachite, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Glass Armor||38||7||900||4x Refined Malachite, 2x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather, 3x Leather Strips|
|Glass Helmet||16||2||450||2x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather, 1x Leather Strips|
|Glass Gauntlets||11||2||190||1x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Glass Boots||11||2||190||2x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Glass Shield||27||6||450||4x Refined Malachite, 1x Refined Moonstone, 2 Leather Strips|
All Dwarven gear requires 1 Dwarven Metal Ingot to Improve.
|Dwarven Dagger||7||3.5||55||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Sword||10||12||135||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Mace||12||16||190||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven War Axe||12||16||190||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Greatsword||19||19||270||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 2x Steel Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Warhammer||22||27||325||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Battleaxe||20||23||300||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 2x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Bow||12||10||270||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot|
|Dwarven Arrow||14||0||4||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Dwarven Crossbow||22||20||350||5x Dwarven Metal Ingot|
|Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow||22||21||550||1x Dwarven Crossbow, 2x Quicksilver Ingot|
|Dwarven Bolt||14||0||3||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 10|
|Dwarven Armor||34||45||400||3x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Helmet||18||12||200||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Gauntlets||13||8||85||1x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Boots||13||10||85||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dwarven Shield||26||12||225||2x Dwarven Metal Ingot, 1x Steel Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
All Orcish Armor and Weapons require an Orichalcum Ingot to improve.
|Orcish Dagger||6||3||30||1x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Sword||9||11||75||2x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Mace||11||15||105||3x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Orcish War Axe||10||13||90||2x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Greatsword||18||18||75||4x Orichalcum Ingot, 2x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Warhammer||21||26||180||4x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Battleaxe||19||25||165||4x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Bow||10||9||150||2x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot|
|Orcish Arrow||12||0||3||1x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Orcish Armor||40||35||1000||4x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Helmet||20||8||500||2x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Gauntlets||15||7||200||2x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Boots||15||7||200||3x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Orcish Shield||30||14||500||3x Orichalcum Ingot, 1x Iron Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Dagger||10||5||290||1x Ebony Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Sword||13||15||720||2x Ebony Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Mace||16||19||1000||3x Ebony Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
|Ebony War Axe||15||17||865||2x Ebony Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Greatsword||22||22||1440||5x Ebony Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Warhammer||25||30||1725||5x Ebony Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Battleaxe||23||26||1585||5x Ebony Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Bow||17||16||1440||3x Ebony Ingot|
|Ebony Arrow||20||0||7||1x Ebony Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Ebony Armor||43||38||1500||5x Ebony Ingot, 3x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Helmet||21||10||750||3x Ebony Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Gauntlets||16||7||275||2x Ebony Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Boots||16||7||275||3x Ebony Ingot, 2x Leather Strips|
|Ebony Shield||32||14||750||4x Ebony Ingot, 1x Leather Strips|
Daedra Hearts are used to craft Daedric armor and weapons. A guaranteed way to be able to farm Daedra Hearts is to get to level 20 and do the Pieces of the Past quest. Toward the end are a few Dremora who, after the quest's completion, will respawn once every few days. The trouble is, there aren't many of this enemy type in Skyrim other than those. What few hearts are out there are scattered around the world. As the expensive option, Daedra Hearts can be bought from Enthir as well as Babette of the Dark Brotherhood. Otherwise, most alchemist merchants have a chance to sell them once in a while, though they are expensive. Thankfully, improving Daedric weapons and armor does not require another heart, instead only one Ebony Ingot is needed.
|Daedric Dagger||11||6||500||1x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 1x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Sword||14||16||1250||2x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 1x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Mace||16||20||1750||3x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 1x Leather Strips|
|Daedric War Axe||15||18||1500||2x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 2x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Greatsword||24||23||2500||5x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 3x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Warhammer||27||31||4000||5x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 3x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Battleaxe||25||27||2750||5x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 2x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Bow||19||18||2500||3x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart|
|Daedric Arrow||24||0||8||1x Ebony Ingot, 1x Firewood makes 24|
|Daedric Armor||49||50||3200||x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Helmet||23||15||1600||3x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 2x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Gauntlets||18||6||625||2x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 2x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Boots||18||10||625||3x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 2x Leather Strips|
|Daedric Shield||36||15||1600||4x Ebony Ingot, 1x Daedra Heart, 1x Leather Strips|
Dragonscale requires Dragon Scales to improve, Dragonplate requires either Dragon Bones or Scales, while Dragon Weapons all require Dragon Bones. While Dragonplate offers less armor than Daedric, it is easier to obtain. Dragon Weapons are the most powerful in the game.
|Dragonbone Dagger||12||6.5||600||1x Dragon Bone, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Sword||15||19||1500||1x Dragon Bone, 1x Ebony, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Mace||17||22||2000||2x Dragon Bone, 1x Ebony, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone War Axe||16||21||1700||1x Dragon Bone, 1x Ebony, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Greatsword||25||27||2725||4x Dragon Bone, 1x Ebony, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Warhammer||28||33||4275||3x Dragon Bone, 2x Ebony, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Battleaxe||26||30||3000||3x Dragon Bone, 2x Ebony, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonbone Bow||20||20||2725||2x Dragon Bone, 1x Ebony|
|Dragonbone Arrow||x Dragon Bone, x Ebony, x Leather Strips|
|Dragonscale Armor||41||10||1500||4x Dragon Scales, 2x Iron, 1x Leather, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dragonscale Helmet||17||4||750||2x Dragon Scales, 1x Iron, 1x Leather, 1x Leather Strips|
|Dragonscale Gauntlets||12||3||300||2x Dragon Scales, 1x Iron, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonscale Boots||12||3||300||2x Dragon Scales, 1x Iron, 1x Leather, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonscale Shield||29||6||750||4x Dragon Scales, 2x Iron, 2 Leather Strips|
|Dragonplate Armor||46||40||2125||3x Dragon Scales, 2x Dragon Bone, 3x Leather Strips|
|Dragonplate Helmet||22||8||1050||2x Dragon Scales, 1x Dragon Bone, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonplate Gauntlets||17||8||425||2x Dragon Scales, 1x Dragon Bone, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonplate Boots||17||8||425||3x Dragon Scales, 1x Dragon Bone, 2x Leather Strips|
|Dragonplate Shield||34||15||1050||3x Dragon Scales, 1x Dragon Bone, 1x Leather Strips|
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Smithing is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Smithing is referred to as the art of refining raw materials and combining them to create or improve pieces of armor or weapons. It is one of the three crafting skills in Skyrim, falling under the Warrior playstyle, with parallels to alchemy for thieves and enchanting for mages.
Smithing is a multistage process with the number of stages depending on what items are being crafted and how raw the materials are. The process can be started at any intermediate stage if the right items are obtained, but every stage requires input materials, knowledge of the build, and its own tool. Input materials can be found in the world or purchased from vendors. Knowledge of new recipes can be acquired only through perks but some are available automatically. The tools listed below roughly outlines the end-to-end process.
These stations, required for various stages in the smithing process, can be found in any main city and most villages. They are also frequently found in forts and dungeons or outside mines. See the individual station pages for more specific locations.
Nord, Redguard, and Orc characters gain an initial five-point boost to Smithing.
The following actions raise the Smithing skill:
The following is a list of books that raise the Smithing skill, locations can be found on the relevant book's page:
The following quests increase or help to increase the Smithing skill:
The Smithing skill levels according to an exponential curve. This means each level costs proportionately more than the previous one.
There are multiple objects and potions which benefit smithing within Skyrim. First are potions, which temporarily increases the smithing ability. There is also armor Enchanting which, depending on one's enchanting ability, can grant a much higher smithing ability as long as the user is wearing it.
The following chart lists the perks that become available to the Dragonborn as the skill is leveled up. In spite of the shape of the perk constellation implying otherwise, perks explicitly list their prerequisites (Daedric Smithing requires Ebony Smithing be taken first, and so forth).
|Steel Smithing**||No requirement||Can create steel armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Arcane Blacksmith||Smithing 60,|
|Magical weapons and armor can now be improved.|
|Elven Smithing**||Smithing 30,|
|Can create Elven armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Advanced Armors**||Smithing 50,|
|Can create scaled and steel plate armor at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Glass Smithing||Smithing 70,|
|Can create glass armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Dwarven Smithing||Smithing 30,|
|Can create Dwarven armor and weapons|
Skyrim returns on Switch and VR, so let's talk armour. This is plenty to enable you to craft armour that reaches the cap, and there's no point.
Skyrim returns on Switch and VR, so let’s talk armour.
Armour is important in Skyrim, but so is looking good. How can you balance aesthetic and function? Does it matter? What does armour even do?
On this page, part of the our Skyrim guide, we go over everything you need to know to get the ideal armour set up, regardless of your preferences.
We’re republishing these tips to celebrate Skyrim releasing on Switch and VR, but even returning veterans may learn something. Let’s dig into armour, shall we?
Skyrim’s armour cap can be a bit confusing. It’s displayed as 567 with a full armour set that includes head, torso, hands, and feet, but each piece has an additional hidden bonus of +25.
The damage mitigation cap is 80%. You’ll never top this so as long as you’re at the armour cap, 80% of damage inflicted on you will be blocked.
It’s entirely possible to reach the armour cap if you don’t want to wear four armour pieces – if you’re a mage for example, or if you just prefer the gentle caressing breeze afforded by a skirt.
One option is to use the Dragonhide spell that offers 80% damage reduction for 30 seconds, essentially simulting the effects of reaching the 567 armour cap. Combining this with a necromage vampire build will increase the duration so if you’re contemplating being a mage and don’t want to be weighed down with armour, consider switching over to the dark side.
There are a number of mage armour perks as well but it’s worth wearing light armour and then casting them, as the perks alone will only get you up to around 350 which is the equivalent of around 55% damage reduction. Stock up on Fortify Alteration potions and if you don’t mind the long casting times, the Alteration spell will also come in handy.
Otherwise, to hit the armour cap you should focus on Smithing and Enchanting.
For Smithing, you’ll want to get 100 Smithing, 100 Armour skill, the Ancient Knowledge ability (obtained by completing the quest Unfathomable Depths) that makes Smithing increase 15% faster, and Blacksmith’s Elixir which increases weapon and armour improving by 50% for 30 seconds.
When it comes to Enchanting, Fortify Smithing can be added to clothes, rings, necklaces, and torso armour. The effects stack so it’s possible to get four boosts to Smithing when a full set is worn.
This is plenty to enable you to craft armour that reaches the cap, and there’s no point going trying for higher values – you won’t see any further damage reduction as a result, unfortunately.
Light armour is right up our alley. It doesn’t weigh much, doesn’t slow you down, and sneaking is much more effective than in heavy armour.
True, it provides less protection than heavy armour at the outset, but thanks to the armour level cap, it’ll eventually provide just as much protection as heavy armour.
Taking hits, reading skill books, and paying a trainer will all increase your light armour skill and increase the effectiveness of your light armour.
Because the armour cap essentially means all sets end up at the same level, you should choose a set or piece that you like the look of or has a particular bonus that will enhance your play-style. Here are a couple of our favourites.
This is a favourite and thanks to the one-handed and stamina buffs it’s great for dual-welding assassins. You can get the armour by doing the Thieves Guild quest Trinity Restored.
At its highest level, it increases stamina by 40 points, increases frost resistance by 50%, and adds 25% damage to one-handed attacks.
It also makes you harder to detect when sneaking, makes lockpicking 25% easier, and reduces the cost of illusion spells by 17%
This armour set is technically the best set if you’re going down the light armour route, and will get you to the cap faster than other sets. Plus it looks super fancy.
You can forge it using dragon scales, iron ingots, and leather strips, but you’ll need to have unlocked the Dragon Armour perk and have a Smithing level of 100.
Once again, the armour cap ensures that whether you choose light armour or heavy armour, it’ll all be the same in the end. But for those who want serious protection from the outset, heavy armour is for you.
Here are a couple of suggestions.
This set has the highest armour rating in the base game, making it the best in the category. Looking all kinds of epic doesn’t hurt either.
You can craft it with ebony ingots, Daedra hearts, and leather strips, and you’ll need a Smithing level of 90 and the Deadric Smithing perk.
You can get this armour set by completing the Unearthed quest and it has some pretty good enchantments.
There’s a small chance that enemies who melee attack you will be paralyzed while wearing the torso piece but it’s so tiny as to be inconsequential.
Conjuration and rune spells cost 25% more, but the range is increased. If you wear any four Relics of Ahzidal you’ll get 10 points added to Enchanting, but if you wear any other bits of apparel, you won’t get the buff.
We’ve briefly covered a couple of the light and heavy armour sets you can come across in the game, but if you’re determined to forge your own, here are our picks along with what you’ll need to craft them.
Leather strips can crafted from leather or bought from merchants for 3 gold, while you can buy ebony ingots for 150 gold once you reach level 27. Kill Dremora inside the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon located at The Pale for an easy source of Daedra hearts.
Leather strips can be crafted from leather, or will cost you 3 gold a piece from merchants. Dragon scales and bones are drops from killing dragons.
Leather can be crafted from hides or purchased from merchants for 10 gold. Iron ingots will set you back 7 gold each. Dragon scales are dropped by dragons.
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Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) is a fantasy role playing game available for PS3, Xbox, and PS3. You can play the game from either a first person or third person perspective - regardless of which you choose, fighting will be a challenge. On quests and different journeys you will come face to face with danger. A major influence on your success lies in the gear you carry. There are several ways to obtain great gear and protect yourself.
Part 1Completing Requirements
Find or buy 2 pieces of equipment that has a Fortify Smithing ability. This will be one of the most important thing you'll need in order to make strong equipment.
Collect all the ingredients. Crafting armor requires ingredients; the ingredients vary depending on what armor you’ll craft. Collect the ingredients needed for the particular armor you’ve chosen to make.
Have a high level of the Smithing and Enchanting skill. You could do with just Smithing, but a higher level Enchantment can boost the quality of the items further.
Gather some spare equipment. These are rings, gloves, body armor, and necklaces.
Gather some Grand Soul gems. Grand Soul gems are preferred, but you can get any other type of soul gems.
Find some Enchanter's Elixir and Blacksmith's Elixir. You can usually find these in alchemist shops.
Part 2Crafting New Gear
Enchant 1 piece of body armor, gloves, necklace, and ring with Fortify Smithing. You can use an Enchanter's Elixir for this. With a level 100 enchanting, plus an Enchanter's Elixir, your Smithing Enchantment will reach 28%.
Upgrade your weapon to Legendary. Go to the Grindstone and drink another Blacksmith's elixir, then upgrade your weapon until they are Legendary. This will boost your weapon's damage to around 50% or more.
Wear your new armor. You'll probably kill almost anything in 1 hit or so. Of course, that would make the game a tad bit boring, but it's always useful for those difficult missions. Have fun!
Below, I've outlined the three major aspects of crafting in Skyrim: Alchemy, This is the process of making weapons and armor from scratch.
It’s now been about seven years sinceThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimwas released to gamers worldwide. The first truly open-world game in what would become a long line of Skyrimesque open-world games to grace the shelves over the years, Skyrim enjoys a place in gaming history most other games don’t.
Much like the game, the Skyrim community is also seemingly still as awesome as it was just after the launch. Aside from credits to Bethesda for the expansions and DLCs to keep fans busy, the community has made sure that Skyrim stays as relevant as any other modern game. With multiple mods available to enhance various features of the base game - like the graphics, quests, attire, language etc. – this is as good a time as any to get into Skyrim for those who haven’t taken the plunge yet.
Funky mods aside, it’s a pretty good game on its own, too, as it is full of exploration, politics, dangerous dungeons, and bosses, with a leveling system many modern RPGs take notes from. It’s also one of the first truly open-world games, providing you the opportunity to do everything you had always wanted to do in a video game before.
To do everything you want in Skyrim, though, requires you to find or craft the perfect weapon, as it’s a world full of dangerous enemies. While you’d have to find your own way with the crafting – as everyone chooses their own iteration of the skill tree – we can help a bit with the finding.
With that said, here are The 20 Most Powerful Weapons In Skyrim (And How To Find Them).
Many of the battleaxes in the game are pretty powerful, with high damage stats and enchantments to take on powerful foes. The Wuuthrad is no exception; dealing a base damage of 25, it’s enough to down most enemies you may encounter. However, it is its passive ability to do 1.2x damage to elves, some of the most powerful enemies in the game, which is the reason why it deserves its spot. Need to clear a ruin protected by a powerful Falmer? You know what you need.
To get it, you’d have to complete the Glory of the Dead quest, in which it’s used to open a locked tomb and returned to its original owner’s resting place. All you need to do to get it after the quest is simply go back and pick it up.
Another one for all the battleaxe enthusiasts out there, The Rueful Axe makes for one of the most powerful two-handed weapons in the game. Originally given to a mage to cure his daughter of Lycanthropy by the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile – though details on how that would help are unclear in all of the books we found – the battleaxe is now up for the taking.
Its base damage of 22 rivals some of the best two-handed weapons, and it can be enchanted or upgraded like usual weapons. To find it, head straight for the Daedric quest called A Daedra's Best Friend, which can be triggered by talking to a dog called Barbas. This isn’t a joke, as the dog is actually a transformed companion of Clavicus Vile.
Anyone who has played the previous game in the series, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, would recognize Mehrunes Dagon – one of the godly Daedric Princes of Oblivion. The dagger Mehrune’s Razor is his artifact, and even though daggers found in the game are usually not powerful enough without enchantments of your own, this one is one of the few exceptions.
It has about 2% of a chance to instantly take down anyone, which may sound a bit low, but by anyone we do mean anyone, whether it’s dragons, arch mages, or Dwarven bosses. Just take it to an enemy and attempt a blow; you may just be surprised. So where do you get it? By completing the quest called Pieces of the Past. It’s a high-level quest, and you’d have to make sure to take out Silus Vesuius at the end of it, or he just goes home and the dagger becomes unobtainable.
The Nightingales are a shadowy part of the already-pretty-shadowy Thieves’ Guild, as anyone who has really explored the Thieves’ Guild quest line would know. A faction within the Guild worshiping Nocturnal – the Daedric Prince of Darkness – the Nightingales are not only rumored to drive decision-making within the guild, but they also have some of the best weapons.
The Nightingale Blade is a leveled sword that does anywhere between 10-14 damage and absorbs 5-25 points of health and stamina depending on the level, making it one of the most powerful weapons in Skyrim. To get your hands on this one, you’d have to complete the Thieves’ Guild quest Hard Answers, and obtain the sword from Karliah; one of the three Nightingales.
Even if the bow and arrow mechanics in Skyrim are far from the most polished compared to modern games, they’re still one of the most powerful ways to fight dragons as well as level up your Stealth skills. Zephyr, a unique Dwarven bow, comes with base damage of 14, but it’s its 30% faster drawing stat that gives it one of the highest damage-per-second values of all of the bows in the game. Combine it with the Quick Shot Archery perk – which is a further 30% drawing speed – and you never need to look for another bow again.
The quest required to obtain Zephyr is a bit hard to find, as it’s triggered by reading a book called The Aetherium Wars, and then running into a ghost NPC called Katria in The Reach.
Another dagger in the game that’s particularly dangerous for its size, the Blade of Woe is owned by Astrid; the leader of the assassin organization Dark Brotherhood. With a base damage of 12 and an ability to absorb 10 points of health, it’s one of the most powerful weapons to be found in the game.
There are multiple places one could get their hands on the Blade of Woe. If going the quest route, it can be obtained at the end of the Dark Brotherhood quest Death Incarnate, which can be triggered by completing To Kill an Empire. It can also be pickpocketed off Astrid, though you’d need the Misdirection perk in the Stealth skill tree to pickpocket equipped weapons. You can also just take it from Astrid after defeating him in one of your encounters.
Another weapon belonging to one of the powerful Daedric Princes Meridia, Dawnbreaker is a rare and unique one-handed sword that deals a base damage of 12. While pretty high on its own, particularly for lower-level players, what makes it one of the most powerful weapons in the game is its specific ability to fight the those who never rest, like Draugr or vampires. On top of the 10 points of burning damage for 10 seconds to all enemies, it triggers an area-of-effect explosion if the foes are from beyond the grave.
It’s a reward from Meridia for completing The Break of Dawn quest, though be careful about fighting with it in close quarters if your chosen race is vampire, as it affects all characters of this kind. It can be stacked with various other fire related perks and made into one of the most overpowered parts of your dungeon-crawling kit.
If you’ve come across a regular glass sword in the game, you’d recognize this one quite easily. A unique glass sword that’s got an icy look compared to the glassy one fans usually come across, Chillrend is a pretty powerful weapon. Because it is a leveled weapon, the intensity of its power only increases with each level, making it one of the best picks for new as well as veteran players.
At its highest at above level 45, Chillrend does Frost damage of 30 points and has a chance to paralyze foes. It could be stacked with other frost and one-handed perks in the skill tree as well. You can find the sword at the end of the tunnels in Riftweald Manor during the quest The Pursuit. It’s locked behind an expert-level lock regardless of your level, so make sure to level up your Pickpocket skill before attempting this one.
For those who have played the previous games in the series, especially Morrowind, Molag Bal would be a pretty familiar name. A God of destruction – loosely speaking – and a Daedric Prince from Oblivion, Molag is pretty mad at all mortals and wishes to subjugate them. The Mace of Molag Bal is his artifact and, true to its name, it is a pretty powerful weapon to have in your kit.
Aside from damage of 25 to stamina and magicka, the mace also fills an empty soul gem in your inventory if the target is defeated within three seconds. Not only that, but it’s also not a leveled weapon, which means that it's overpowered enough for lower ranks to quickly climb up. To get it, you must complete the Daedric quest called The House of Horrors.
Another powerful weapon belonging to the Nightingale faction of the Thieves’ Guild, Nightingale Bow is one of the most powerful bows in the game. Not only is its base damage ridiculously high for a bow – 19 if it’s completely leveled up – but it also has a bunch of other cool effects.
Being a leveled bow, its power depends on what level you are at. However, at its best at level 46 and above, it does Frost damage of 30 points, along with electrocuting the enemy by 15 points. Like the Nightingale Blade, it also belongs to Karliah, one of the three Nightingales. To find it, you must look for the Thieves’ Guild quest called Blindsighted; it’ll be given to you as reward by Karliah once it's completed.
Scimitars are hard to come by in the game in general, and the reasons why are obvious. They’re not particularly powerful weapons, they add weight to the inventory, and they are difficult to find. Windshear, however, is one scimitar that you definitely should be going out to find, given its unique enchantment.
Bashing with Windshear while blocking has a chance of paralyzing the enemy, though using it like a one-handed weapon will know down 100% of your enemies. It doesn’t matter who you’re fighting, this one will have them on the floor not knowing what to do every single time. To obtain it, you must look around on the ship called The Katariah, which can only be accessed during the Dark Brotherhood quest Hail Sithis! It can be found at the end of the bow in the front of the ship, embedded into it.
Magic in Skyrim is pretty powerful in itself, though levelling it up is more tedious than other skills. If you’re interested in being a mage and are just starting out, the College of Winterhold quest lines are the fastest way to level up. The Staff of Magnus is one such quest that lets you obtain the powerful Staff of Magnus, which absorbs 20 magicka per second and, if the target is out of magicka, 20 health.
As we said above, this one is recommended only for higher level players, as you’d need to fight and defeat a pretty powerful Dragon Priest to get it. Once you have it, though, dueling magic-based enemies is a lot easier.
Auriel’s Bow can be found in Skyrim’s first add-on, Dawguard. Aside from being a great expansion in itself, Dawnguard adds plenty of new lore and items that players can go out and explore.
Auriel’s Bow is an artifact belonging to the elven God Auriel, and comes with some pretty dangerous features. For one, its base damage of 13 is one of the highest in the game for bows, making it a great weapon on its own. It also applies 20 points of Sun Damage on the target; a kind of an equivalent to Fire damage in the base game, but still not exactly fire. It deals triple damage to zombie-like enemies, which could be stacked up with perks. Its draw time is also lower than other bows, making it especially dangerous against enemies like vampires. You can get this bow at the end of the Touching the Sky quest in Dawnguard.
All Skyrim players have a unique style to their gameplay, carefully choosing their weapons and armor to build their own undefeatable Dragonborn. Dual-wielding scimitars, however, are not something chosen by most, as they come with several problems. Still, for the few who have mastered it, the dual-wielded combo of Soulrender and Bloodscythe is too good to miss out on.
Used together, both the scimitars deal damage of 15 points for health and magicka. They also have a chance to reduce enemy’s armor, making them useful for many types of enemies encountered in the game. Both of the swords can be found in the Dragonborn expansion, near the skeletal remains of their previous owner - a pirate called Haknir Death-Brand - at the end of the quest Deathbrand.
Available in the Dawnguard expansion, the Dragonbone line of weapons are some of the most powerful base weapons to stack enchantments on. Dragonbone Mace is one such weapon, which features the highest base damage of any one-handed weapon you could craft. Enchanted with the right enchantments, it makes for possibly the most powerful mace in the game.
Besides crafting it at a forge, you can also obtain it after defeating one of the three Keepers in Soul Cairn; a plane in Oblivion that can be accessed during the quest Chasing Echoes. Note that you’d need a Smithing level of 100 and the Dragon Armor perk to craft this one, and a minimum of level 45 to loot it from the body of the Keeper.
Another leveled sword with damage stats that depend on what level you’re at, Miraak’s Sword is a powerful weapon that only gets more powerful with the time you spend with it. Found in the Dragonborn expansion, Miraak’s sword belongs to Miraak, a powerful Dragon priest and a Dragonborn in the expansion, much like the protagonist.
It’s the lightest one-handed sword, weighing only 3, but with one of the highest – and possibly the highest – base damage of all other swords in the game. Depending on your level, the sword can deal a damage of 16, which makes it a formidable weapon once you put some enchantments on it. To get it, you must loot the corpse of Miraak after, of course, defeating him in the final quest of the expansion called At the Summit of Apocrypha.
Skyrim’s lore heavily features dragons, as the nickname Dragonborn would suggest. Though for new players, coming across a dragon is not a pleasant experience, especially if they’re overpowered ones who can take you out in pretty much one shot. For older players, dragons are still some of the most dangerous foes to encounter if you’re not prepared, which is where Dragonbane comes in.
A leveled one-handed Katana belonging to the Katana-wielding Blades faction, Dragonbane deals a damage of 10 to 14 points depending on the level you’re at, 10 points of shock damage to non-dragons, and 20 – 40 additional damage to dragons. It can be found in the Sky Haven Temple during the quest Alduin’s Wall, along with the full set of Blades armor.
Another powerful Daedric artifact, the Ebony Blade is a katana associated with the Daedric Prince Mephala. Its history is a bit drawn out, though to make it a bit shorter, it’s now lying under Dragonreach and is totally up for grabs during the Daedric quest The Whispering Door. It would take a bit of fighting, though, as it’s only available to players who are level 20 and have completed the Dragon Rising quest.
As for its effect, it doesn’t really have particularly noteworthy damage. What it does have, however, is its unique ability to absorb damage, which starts at 10 and is added on by the number of friends/people who have helped you before. While it’s not easy downing old comrades, once you get in the groove of it, you will realize just how powerful that multiplier stat can become very fast.
Unlike other weapons on this list, this one is more unambiguously named, and it delivers what you would expect it to deliver quite effortlessly. Drainblood Battleaxe is one of the four ghost weapons that senior, ghostly Draugrs like to use – the other three being Drainheart Sword, Drainspell Bow, and Ghostblade – and also the most powerful.
With a damage of 21, every blow further absorbs 15 points of health, making it one of the highest damage two-handed weapons in the game. Furthermore, it has a measly weight of 5, unlike the other much-heavier battleaxes found in the game. To find it, you must trigger The Staff of Magnus quest. The battleaxe can only be obtained in Labyrinthian during the quest, though, so make sure to keep a lookout for this one.
While the base game has many powerful items of its own, it’s really the expansions that introduce overpowered weapons. First seen in The Elder Scrolls: Dragonborn, the Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is a powerful bow with some enchantments thatt all levels of players would be interested in.
Aside from its base damage of 13, the bow has a 50% chance of absorbing 25 points of health, magicka, and stamina. Notice the "and" instead of ‘"or," which means that in a fight, there’s a pretty good chance of you utterly destroying your foe by depleting their resources and strengthening yourself quite rapidly, no matter who they are. The Dwarven Black Bow of Fate is not a quest item, so it can be picked up at any time. It can be found in Kagrumez, a Dwemer ruin on the Solstheim island.
Are there any other powerful Skyrim items that we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comments!
For The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on the Xbox One, a GameFAQs message board topic titled "Anybody play without crafting Armor.
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