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Smithing (Skyrim)

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For other uses, see Smithing.
"People say I'm making gold off of other people's misery, but what else would I do? Smithing is all I know. Next time one of my shields deflects a killing blow, they'll change their tune."

Smithing is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. One of six skills falling under the The Warrior play-style, 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, with parallels to alchemy for thieves and enchanting for mages. As such it is affected by the Warrior Stone and, as with all skills, is affected by the Lover Stone.


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 materials are obtained, but every stage requires input materials, knowledge of the recipe, 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 list below roughly outlines the end-to-end process from the most raw stages to the most refined stages.

Smithing stationsEdit


Balimund using a Tanning Rack.

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.

  • Smelter - Used to change ores or Dwemer scrap metal into ingots.
  • Tanning Rack - Used to create leather from animal hides and leather strips from leather.
  • Forge and anvil - Used to craft armor, weapons and jewelry from ingots and other materials.
  • Workbench - Used to improve armor and shields with ingots or leather.
  • Grindstone - Used to improve weapons with ingots or leather strips.

Racial bonusesEdit

Nord, Redguard, and Orc characters gain an initial five point boost to Smithing.


The following actions raise the Smithing skill:

  • Crafting an item at a forge. Skill gain is dependent on the value of the item being crafted.[1]
  • Improving a weapon at a grindstone. The skill gain is based on the strength of the improvement made.
  • Improving an armor or shield at a workbench. The skill gain is based on the strength of the improvement made.
  • Craft some jewelry (most valuable items work best) until you get the Dwarven Perk. Then, craft Dwarven Bows. The gold spent making them can be earned back by trading with 20% better prices, which can be achieved by getting Haggling Perk in the Speech Skill Tree, or enchanting any wearable items with Fortify Barter.
  • Crafting Elven Swords at Smithing level 60 or 70 can be more efficient than Dwarven, although it is more expensive.
  • If the Hearthfire DLC is installed, making construction materials helps to level up fast, making nails levels up Smithing the fastest compared to making other construction materials.

As to show the impact of the value of the item for rising the skill, it takes to raise Smithing from 15 to 100 crafting of:


Last scabbard

A Smithing Skill Book.

For the locations of these books, see Skill Book (Skyrim).

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:


Main article: Trainer (Skyrim)
Trainer Location Prerequisites
Common Ghorza gra-Bagol Markarth None
Expert Balimund Riften Collect 10 Fire Salts for him
Master Eorlund Gray-Mane The Skyforge in Whiterun Must be a member of The Companions
Master Gunmar Fort Dawnguard after completing "A New Order" Only available with Dawnguard

Growth curveEdit

The Smithing skill levels according to an exponential curve. This means each level costs proportionately more than the previous one.

Beneficial EquipmentEdit

There are multiple objects and potions within Skyrim. First are potions, which temporarily increases the smithing ability. There is also armor Enchanting which, depending on your enchanting ability, can grant a much higher smithing ability as long as you are 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).

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Steel Smithing** No requirement Can create steel armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Arcane Blacksmith Smithing 60,

Steel Smithing

Magical weapons and armor can now be improved.
Elven Smithing** Smithing 30,

Steel Smithing

Can create Elven armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Advanced Armors** Smithing 50,

Elven Smithing

Can create scaled and steel plate armor at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Glass Smithing Smithing 70,

Advanced Armors

Can create glass armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Dwarven Smithing Smithing 30,

Steel Smithing

Can create Dwarven armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Orcish Smithing Smithing 50,

Dwarven Smithing

Can create Orcish armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Ebony Smithing** Smithing 80,

Orcish Smithing

Can create ebony armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Daedric Smithing Smithing 90,

Ebony Smithing

Can create daedric armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Dragon Armor Smithing 100,

Glass or Daedric Smithing

Can create dragon armor and weapons* at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Smithing preks tree

Smithing perks tree

* Dragonbone weapons can only be created if The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard is installed.
** Bonemold armor can be created with Steel Smithing, Chitin armor can be created with Elven Smithing, Nordic armor and weapons can be created with Advanced Armors, and Stalhrim armor and weapons can be created with Ebony Smithing if The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn is installed.


The table shows what quality improvement an item will achieve based on Smithing level and if the Smithing perk for the item is taken or not.

Items can still be improved once they reach Legendary, but the description will not change.

Quality Skill Required Effect
Without Perk With Perk Armor Weapon

Each additional quality level beyond Legendary improves Armor by 3.6 and other items (weapons, helms, boots, etc.) by 1.8.

Alchemy and Enchanting can improve results significantly via the Fortify Smithing effect allowing for greater improvements at a given level than the table shows. Combining both alchemy and enchanting to improve one another and then combining both to improve Smithing as much as possible can be very powerful.

The improvement of armor and weapons requires one smithing material per item improved. These items can be obtained by tanning, smelting, or other means of obtaining items.

Smithing Category Crafting Material
Hunting Bow Leather Strips
Leather Leather
Iron Iron Ingot
Steel Steel Ingot
Nord Hero
Ancient Nord
Red Eagle
Valdr's Lucky Dagger
Ghost Ectoplasm
Scaled Corundum Ingot
Banded Iron
Steel Plate
Dwarven Dwarven Metal Ingot
Elven Refined Moonstone
Orcish Orichalcum Ingot
Ebony Ebony Ingot
Glass Refined Malachite
Dragonplate Dragon Bone
Dragonscale Dragon Scales
Falmer Chaurus Chitin
Nightingale Void Salts
Jewelry *

* The only known piece of Jewelry that can be improved is the Aetherial Crown, with a Dwarven Metal Ingot. However, since it has no armor rating, only its value will be increased.


Artificer (Achievement)
Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy



This section contains bugs related to Smithing (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   After improving a weapon at a grindstone, the red and green totals, that indicate the damage increase or decrease, may only register the weapon's base value prior to being improved.
    • Solution: To resolve this, either equip another weapon, or un-equip the current weapon.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Minor cosmetic glitches may occur during the armor selection window when a smithing station is activated.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Smithing stations fail to activate. The view switches to third person and stops, but after a second or two, movement restores and the crafting menus do not appear.
    • Solution: Reload previous save.
    •  PC(Fix)   Open the console and type player.tai

See alsoEdit



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