The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Smithing Guide v1.5
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Smithing Guide

by Matty_G33   Updated to v1.5 on
This walkthrough was originally written for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the PC, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the XBOX360 version of the game.

                               THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
                                      SMITHING GUIDE
                               ....  .. ..        ..        ..   .  ...       
  .....   .......   ... ....ZO7I7$$ZO8DND8OI:..,.........=,.7+~:=++7$+:+IZ    
                    .....  ..+D887I7IIIII77$?IIII$7II.                         

                                 By Matty_G33 of GameFAQs


If all of these numbers are on one line, then this guide should be formatted



Version History


1.0 - 28th November, 2011

-Full guide up.

1.2 - 8th December, 2011

-Added tables regarding weapon/armor qualities and materials.
-Added a section regarding what weapons can't be crafted or upgraded.
-Made a small list of some places with rare ore.
-Other misc. information altered or added.

1.3 - 31st December, 2011

-Added a small section on how to overkill Smithing itself.
-Added an ASCII image at the top. Thanks for making things
simple with a generator.
-Added Gloombound Mine to the list of ore locations. This one favors Ebony, as
10+ emails and GameFAQ's PM's combined have said.

1.4 - 14th April, 2012

-Minor changes made all around, namely the FAQ's section.
-Major changes in the mods section.
-Grinding Iron Daggers is no longer recommended as of Patch 1.5. Check Section
3.2 for more info.


Table of Contents


PROTIP - Type in the prefix number on the left with the Find feature on your
browser (Ctrl + F) to reach that section faster.

1.0 - Introduction
1.1 - What is Smithing?

2.0 - Smithing Basics
2.1 - Weapon & Armor Quality List
2.2 - Facilities/Equipment
2.3 - Skill Perks
 2.3.1 - 'Light' Tree
 2.3.2 - 'Heavy' Tree
 2.3.3 - Other Perks
2.4 - What you can't make/upgrade

3.0 - Smithing Tips & Tricks
3.1 - Ore, Ingots, Whatnot
3.2 - Raising Smithing Faster
3.3 - Light vs Heavy: Perk Trees
3.4 - Relevant Racial Bonuses
3.5 - Maximizing Smithing

4.0 - FAQ
4.1 - Closing
4.2 - Credits, Legal, Useful Links, Etc




Welcome to my Smithing Guide. It has been quite some time since I last wrote
a guide for GameFAQs, and felt like doing another one again.

In Skyrim, Smithing itself is rather easy to pick up, but also rather complex,
although very rewarding at higher levels. The skill also has two trees of perks
that are dedicated to both Heavy and Light Armors, which may make players
torn between a decision. This guide aims to make things less confusing for
newer players of Skyrim, for at least Smithing that is.

The guide, assuming I've got enough motivation, is not always complete and will
be updated with more information overtime. Of course, I don't always want to
rip out content from other websites without permission, and check below to see
how you can contribute, if you want to.

It is also worth noting that this guide was written with the PC version in
mind, but other than different button layouts and the lack of mod installation,
this shouldn't be much different to the 360 or PS3 versions of Skyrim.




In Skyrim, Smithing is obviously the crafting skill of the Combat category,
and lets you create weaponry and armor, as well as improve them. This skill
replaces Armorer from the previous games, which was responsible for how
effective you were at repairing equipment - Skyrim does not have a repairing
system and has the more-or-less tedious Smithing to take it's place.

This skill should be highly considered to any player using ANY kind of weapon
or armor. The benefits of Smithing include:

-Upgrading your gear; you cannot find higher qualiity armor of the same kind
as loot (IE - you will never find Superior quality Leather Armor on a dead

-The possibility of obtaining some of the best gear many levels earlier
before finding them as random loot.

-In the end, making whatever stuff YOU want to have on demand, if you have
the minerals and leather to make it.

Oh, and the skill is easy to raise. Unless you're a Mage, why not?




Smithing is simple. Go to any piece of blacksmith equipment in the game, and
then create or upgrade your items from there, provided you have the right
items. There is no minigame at all, if you have the equipment for an Iron
Dagger, then you'll instantly create one and use up what it took to make it.

When upgrading equipment, your Smithing skill depends on how powerful the
upgrade will be. Magic stuff can't be upgraded unless you have the right perk.
Any upgraded equipment will have a suffix added on to the end of the weapon.

The following quality types, their bonuses, and the skill required are:

| -Quality     |  Armor | Weapon | W/O Perk Req | With Perk Req* |
| -Normal      |  None  |  None  |     None     |      None      |
| -Fine        |  +2    |   +1   |     None     |      None      |
| -Superior    |  +6    |   +3   |     ~30      |       22       |
| -Exquisite   |  +10   |   +5   |     ~60      |      ~40       |
| -Flawless    |  +13   |   +7   |     ~100     |      ~55       |
| -Epic        |  +17   |   +8   |      150     |      ~70       |
| -Legendary   |  +20** |   +10**|      196     |      ~90       |

Credit to plenty of the information on the table is given towards the site
'The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages', linked below in Section 4.2. 

*Having a perk for a particular weapon/armor material requires a lower number
than normal to hit a better quality.

**Legendary gear can be upgraded even further for more ridiculous bonuses.

Initially, all players will have access to Hide, Studded, Leather, Iron, and
Jewelery categories. Because these do not have any perks for upgrading them
better, these are only really useful for the start of the game until a better
material can be crafted.

It is worth noting that there is an in-game Smithing tutorial in the first
village in the game - talk to Alvor, the local blacksmith. If you've played
past there you may already know this, but it is worth mentioning. Apparently
that this is a Radiant quest and can be done in other towns, but you're
probably better off doing it earlier than later. A few free materials, as well.




It's worth noting what materials are better than which. If you have played
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, then you should know what to expect, with
relatively minor changes.

There are other kinds of armor and weapons, such as Forsworn Armor, Ancient
Nord Swords and Skyforge Steel, but I'll mentioning only relevant materials
that aren't that unique.

Level found references to the random loot lists, such as chests and higher
leveled enemies. These are rough estimations. Keep in mind that you can always
find particular materials lower than your own level; being Lv27+ for example
doesn't mean all non-special weapons wielded by NPC's are Glass. Also, some
NPC's can have set weapon/armor types before you can even find them naturally.


Every succeeding quality essentially adds one more point of damage, but with
weapon perks that buff damage (Armsman, Barbarian, and Overdraw), there can be
a more noticeable difference between a material and it's successor.
They will also be more heavier to carry, unsurprisingly. Every material here
but Iron has a perk that can improve weapons twice as much.

| -Material  |  Level Found |
| -Iron      |      Lv1     |
| -Steel     |      Lv2     |
| -Orcish    |      Lv5~    |
| -Dwarven   |      Lv12*   |
| -Elven     |      Lv20~   |
| -Glass     |      Lv27    |
| -Ebony     |      Lv35~   |
| -Daedric   |      Lv45~   |

*You can still find random Dwarven weapons in Dwemer ruins!

Light Armor

| -Material          | Level Found | Perk? |
| -Hide              |     Lv1     |  No   |
| -Fur               |     LV1     |  No   |
| -Studded           |     Lv1     |  No   |
| -Leather           |     Lv1*    |  No   |
| -Elven             |     Lv12~   |  Yes  |
| -Scaled            |     Lv20~   |  Yes  |
| -Elven Gilded      |     Lv27~   |  Yes  |
| -Glass             |     Lv35~   |  Yes  |
| -Dragonscale       |     Lv45~   |  Yes  |

*Leather Armor can be crafted any time during the game, but you can find it
as leveled loot later on.

Heavy Armor

| -Material          | Level Found | Perk? |
| -Iron              |     Lv1     |  No   |
| -Banded Iron       |     Lv1     |  No   |
| -Steel             |     Lv5     |  Yes  |
| -Dwarven           |     Lv12*   |  Yes  |
| -Steel Plate       |     Lv18    |  Yes**|
| -Orcish            |     Lv25~   |  Yes  |
| -Ebony             |     Lv30~   |  Yes  |
| -Dragonplate       |     Lv40~   |  Yes  |
| -Daedric           |     Lv50~   |  Yes  |

*You can still find random Dwarven armor pieces hanging about in Dwemer ruins.

**Ironically, this set can only be obtained in the so-called 'Light Armor'
branch of Smithing.

Looking at these charts, you will realize you can get better weapons and armor
a LOT more earlier if you raise Smithing very quickly.




Unlike Enchanting and Alchemy, Smithing uses more than one piece of equipment
to work at. NPC's will not complain if you use their facilities - provided
no hostiles are around, you are free to use any and all of them at any time
you like.

If an NPC is on any one of these, you merely need to activate the piece of
equipment and they will stop using it.

Here is a rundown of what you'll be using.

Tanning Rack

Uses: Creating Leather and Leather Strips
Involved Items: Animal Pelts
Rarity: Common

Without buying your crafting items from a merchant, the tanning rack by far is
by far one of the most important assets you'll use - practically everything
needs Leather Strips, and Light Armors need Leather itself.

Unlike Oblivion, Skyrim gives you a reason to carry animal pelts with you, and
this is obviously why. Anything that's at least a Fox's size* will do, bigger
animals give off more leather. Keep in mind that when making leather, the
result may be heavier than what you had before.

*Goat pelts can be used to make leather, but you'll need multiple pelts, which
leaves them less reliable for making leather. Plus attacking ones in towns
puts on a rather small bounty.


Uses: Creating Ingots
Involved Items: Ore and scrap Dwemer metal
Rarity: Uncommon

If you've got any ore, you can use it to smelt them into ingots. It usually
takes two pieces of ore to make one piece, although only one to make Iron

Dwarven Metal Ingots on the other hand, are made from spare parts found in
Dwemer ruins.

These aren't plentiful around Skyrim, although they're usually found outside
mining areas or blacksmiths in major holds.


Uses: Creating Weapons and Armor
Rarity: Common

This is where you'll be making all of your items. There isn't much to say about
this workstation.

Using this makes more progress towards the skill than the upgrading facilities.

Additionally, there is the rare Anvil, which functions the same as a forge,
only a lot less bigger, rather uncommon and are easily overlooked.


Uses: Tempering weapons
Rarity: Common

Upgrade your weapons here. Upgrading only costs about one material of whatever
your weapon is made of.

Using this makes some progress towards the skill.


Uses: Tempering armor
Rarity: Common

Upgrade your armors here. Like grindstones, you only need one material of what
your armor is made out of to upgrade.

Using this makes some progress towards the skill.


Uses: Slightly extending the available amount of weapons and armor
Rarity: Only one

Initially, there is nothing special about the Skyforge, up in Whiterun. But,
if you complete the Companions' questline (which I'll try not to spoil),
the forge will be able to create improvised versions of Ancient Nord weapons
under the 'Dragur' category, and Ancient Nord Armor under the 'Daedric'
category - which I just did spoil, although these aren't really worth using to
begin with.




Smithing's tree of perks is relatively simple. All of the perks besides
Arcane Blacksmith are essentially 'able to create X series of armors and items,
and can improve them twice as much'.

The tree is fairly straight forward. On the left are your Light Armor related
perks (including one Heavy Armor recipie too), and on the right are your
Heavy Armor perks, both of them meeting up together at the final perk. Down
the center lies the perk to upgrade magic equipment.

Here's the rundown of perks, with their prerequisites and what major materials
take part in making them, as well as some advice about them. Note that all
items pretty much need Leather Strips, like I said before in the guide.

By 'improving them twice as much', this lowers the amount of skill you need to
get the next best quality for the material the perk covers.

For example, if I had 40 Skill and Elven Smithing, and tried to upgrade an
Elven Sword, it would go up to Exquisite, and trying to improve a Dwarven Sword
at the same time would only go up to Superior.

And now we start off with the initial perk you can obtain at any time:

Steel Smithing

Armor Type: Heavy
Prerequisite: None
Primary Materials: Steel Ingots, Iron Ingots, Corundum Ore

Compulsory to get other perks. Steel weapons aren't found too far away early
on either, with around 20 Smithing you can quickly get Superior quality, which
does add a small, although significant difference near the start of the game.

Keep in mind that there are two styles of Steel Armor with any piece of the
set - the main piece has one with the pauldrons while the other doesn't, two
different helmet designs, and finally there's Imperial-style gauntlets and
boots, while there's also Nordic variations as well. Save your game before
crafting Steel Armor for personal use if you don't like a particular look.

And yeah - Corundum is required to make Steel Ingots, though that is not a
problem if you're buying Steel to begin with.

2.3.1 - 'LIGHT' TREE

A controversial tree (see Light vs Heavy), but still has it's benefits

Elven Smithing

Armor Type: Light
Prerequisite: 30 Skill, Steel Smithing
Primary Materials: Refined Moonstone, Quicksilver Ingots, Iron Ingots

Elven weapons are slightly more powerful than their Dwarven counterparts, but
are encountered a little later in the game and are more expensive to create.
Still, if you can track down Moonstone and Quicksilver ore early on, you can
get that advantage over them.

As for armor, it's expensive to create. Thalmor Soldiers typically wear Elven
Armor, but do note that it's usually 'Elven Light Armor'. This variant is as
strong as Leather Armor, but is more expensive to upgrade.

Quicksilver, by the way, is used to make Elven weapons, as well as the 'Gilded'
variant of the main piece of armor. This is slightly more protective than
Scaled, and is the best you'll get until Glass and/or Dragonscale, or the
boring, generic Nightingale and Guild Master armors.

Advanced Armors

Armor Type: Light & Heavy
Prerequisite: 50 Skill, Elven Smithing
Primary Materials: Corundum Ingots, Steel Ingots, Iron Ingots

This one is funny, since it doesn't offer any new weapons to make and that it
offers you a set of Heavy Armor in the skill tree that provides Light. All of
these armors are made with Corundum, which is a lot more cheaper than the likes
of Moonstone, Quicksilver, and Malachite. Kinda looks like Bethesda ran out of
ideas, didn't they?

Still, it's not useless. Scaled Armor (Light) is good for those using Leather
if Elven is too expensive. It's almost as protective as Elven Gilded Armor but
a lot more cost efficient to make. This armor takes on the appearance of a
significantly modified Studded armor (which in turn is based off Hide Armor),
only less revealing.

Steel Plate on the other hand is nearly as good as Orcish Armor, but is more
heavier. Still, for a Light Armor user this may be useful if you have any
companions with you who prefer this type of armor, or have a change of heart
when it comes to armor preference.

Despite Scaled Armor having an alternative look, Scaled Horn Armor, you can't
craft it (and it has the same amount of protection) or temper it, unless you
have mods.

Glass Smithing

Armor Type: Light
Prereqisite: 70 Skill, Advanced Armors
Primary Materials: Refined Malachite, Refined Moonstone

The best weapon type you'll ever get in the Light Armor Smithing tree. And so
it happens that a Malachite mine happens to be en route of the main quest.

When you can get this perk, your Smithing ability will be good enough to get
Epic quality weaponry - causing a big jump in weapon power and a significant
armor increase. It may not be Ebony or Daedric, but Glass is certainly not a
bad quality of weaponry to kill/murder with.

2.3.2 - 'HEAVY' TREE

This tree guarantees the best armor - the fact that you also get top quality
weapons just sweetens up the deal. Though progress may be slow perk-wise, and
Heavy Armor is expensive to create.

Dwarven Smithing

Armor Type: Heavy
Prerequisite: 30 Skill, Steel Smithing
Primary Materials: Dwarven Metal Ingots, Steel Ingots, Iron Ingots

This one is pretty safe if you're a Heavy armor user. By the time you get this
perk (naturally, not intentionally boosting the skill that is), you'll already
encounter Dwemer-made weaponry and gear. Not that's a bad thing, because the
stuff will last you well until Ebony equipment if you're sticking to this tree.

Do keep in mind however, that Dwarven Armor is nearly as heavy as Daedric
Armor. The body piece of the armor weights about 45 units whilst Orcish merely
weights 35 and offers more protection! Weapons however, are fine.

Dwemer metal isn't hard to come by either, just collect plenty of scraps and
ingots inside Dwemer ruins themselves. There's even a storage room without
any enemies near the Eastern border of Skyrim.

It's also worth mentioning that there's a quest with a permanent 25% armor
bonus if wearing Dwarven Armor - more information in Section 3.2, this could
pretty much render Orcish useless.

Orcish Smithing

Armor Type: Heavy
Prequisite: 50 Skill, Dwarven Smithing
Primary Materials: Orichalcum Ingots, Iron Ingots

This is the perk I'm a bit funny about. Orcish weapons are actually weaker than
Dwarven ones, only the armor is stronger. Of course these differences are
slight, but still, that's kind of iffy especially considering Orichalcum Ingots
aren't as easy to obtain whilst Dwarven Metal is easy to get if you know where
to go.

Still, Orcish weapons will be cheaper and more commonplace as random loot and
items in shops, and Orcish Armor is significantly lighter.

Ebony Smithing

Armor Type: Heavy
Prequisite: 80 Skill, Orcish Smithing
Primary Materials: Ebony Ingots

80 Smithing is quite far away from 50, isn't it? Still, when you get this perk
you'll be able to make Ebony Armor become Epic, and money shouldn't be so much
of a problem at this point.

Though if you don't think you're ready for an upgrade, or don't like the looks,
you may as well farm Smithing up until 90, it shouldn't be hard if you're up
here already.

Daedric Smithing

Armor Type: Heavy
Prequisite: 90 Skill, Ebony Smithing
Primary Materials: Daedra Hearts, Ebony Ingots

Yes, even you can forge demonic equipment that is top notch. Though Daedra
Hearts aren't easy to obtain, it's worth it. At least you don't need them to
upgrade Daedric equipment.

This is one of the best Heavy Armors you can get, and definitely the best
weapon material you can get your hands on. Not much to say here, other than
it's actually quite generic considering the black/red combination.


It doesn't end there!

Arcane Blacksmith

Prequisite: 60 Skill, Steel Smithing

This perk allows you to enchant magical armor. Why is this good? Because when
you find a good piece of armor with an enchantment you like, it's just really

It's also ideal for improving any enchanted weapons you already own. Get this
perk ASAP.

Dragon Armor

Armor Type: Light and Heavy
Prequisite: 100 Skill, either Glass Smithing OR Daedric Smithing
Primary Materials: Dragon Scales, Dragon Bones, Iron Ingots
Note: You cannot go to the skill on the opposite side after this one, despite
the circle-like appearance of the tree.

With all the dragons roaming Skyrim, this actually fits in quite nicely, and
both kinds don't look too bad either (though the helmet on the Heavy variant
is awful). It is really up to you to consider this perk to be worth it or not.

Dragonplate (Heavy) initially isn't that much better than Daedric, but when
both types of armors are upgraded to Legendary (without further boosting), this
armor wins by 10 points, 2 per piece. It's also fairly lighter.

Dragonscale (Light) on the other hand is only slightly better than Glass, but
again the materials are easier to obtain. This is the armor you will be going
for if you picked the right-hand side whilst using Light.

Not to mention that Dragon bones and scales are ridiculously heavy. Oh, and
since you have 100 Skill by now, you'll be able to improve these at the best
possible quality without enchantments and potions.




This section leaves a few notes on what you can't craft or upgrade without
modding the game. This is more of a 'speciality gear' section than anything
else, and does not intend to be complete - there'll certainly be a few gaps
there and here. Only with modding you will be able to craft these.

Silver Weapons

With Silver Ingots, you think you could make Silver weapons. Unfortunately,
this material was replaced by Orcish as the third-lowest material quality.

Silver Swords can be still found in the game, as the standard-issue weapons
used the Silver Hand during the Companions questline. To add more salt into
the wound, even with Ingots of the same material you can't even upgrade them
at all. So every Silver Ore and Ingot you get is to be used up by making rings
and necklaces.

Honed/Hero Nord Weapons

It doesn't appear you can use Steel Ingots to upgrade these, in comparison
to their Ancient Nord weapon counterparts. If you didn't know, the Honed
variants are found on higher level Draugr, whilst the Hero versions are made
at the Skyforge from regular Ancient Nord weapons. Still not worth using.



The legendary Battleaxe you use to get into Ysgramor's Tomb during 'Glory of
the Dead', also involved in the Companions questline, cannot be upgraded.
Though it does remain as strong as a Daedric weapon.

Some say the enchantment, 'Especially deadly to elves' doesn't work, but I
haven't really used the weapon myself to see if it does.




This part here focuses on advice for Smithing in general.

-Enchantments and potions that boost Smithing temporarily raise the skill, if
you were wondering. So this means that you can achieve a better quality than
what you currently can at whatever your skill is at. You can sometimes find
Blacksmith Potions/Draught/Elixir's in dungeons, or make them yourself. Like-
wise with enchanted gear that boosts the skill.

--Alvor, the smith in Riverwood, has two Blacksmith potions in his house's
basement, to your right when you go down the stairs. Taking them counts as

-Fortifying smithing with said items past 'Legendary' quality DOES have an
affect. Additionally, you may already upgrade Legendary gear itself.

-The best way to fortify Smithing is to make an 'enchanted suit'. The items
that can be enchanted with the skill are:

--The main armor piece or clothing on the body
--Gloves and Gauntlets

I suggest having 5/5 Enchanter and the 'Insightful Enchanter' perks while using
Grand and Black Souls for maximum efficiency, as well as a high Enchanting
skill, obviously. At 4/5 Enchanter, Insightful and 70 Enchanting though, you
can make equipment that fortifies Smithing by 20% per piece.

Thanks to Roeguard for pointing this out.

-You can combo this up with Alchemy if you really wanted to - this will make
things even more insane. I personally don't do this, but for those interested,
check out section 3.5.

-There is a unique item called the 'Notched Pickaxe'. When held, this fortifies
your Smithing by 5, as well as causing little Shock Damage to your enemies.
This pickaxe is found at the VERY top of the Throat of the World, which also
happens to be next to some veins of Ebony and Malachite.

--This is a reference to Minecraft, and it's creator's internet alias, Notch.
Somewhat ironic given the Bethesda vs Mojang lawsuit.
--You can disenchant this and put it on more weapons, but remember that the
Smithing bonus is fixed - dual-wielding won't do anything as with using strong
souls, though the electrical enchant can be boosted.


-A GameFAQs user, AirborneGaming, mentioned that with 90 Conjuration, you can
get a quest at the College of Winterhold, with a Sigil Stone as a reward. This
is used to upgrade the Atronach Forge underneath the college (you may have
seen it during the main questline).

What this has to do with Smithing is that you can upgrade Ebony equipment up
to Daedric - though the example recipie I was given sounds a bit more demanding
than the actual crafting recipie for Daedric Armor:

--Smithing - 1x Daedra Heart, 5x Ebony Ingots, 3x Leather Strips
--Atronach Forge - 1x Ebony Armor, 1x Daedra Heart, 1x Black Soul Gem, 1x
Centurion Core

It's probably easier to get Daedric Smithing whilst sticking with Dwavern,
Steel Plate, or Orcish Armors to save up Ebony Ingots. However, this still may
be handy for the odd Necromancer/Battlemage who already have Ebony and do not
want to use up more of it. Still, 90 Conjuration is a bit late and you can
probably find Daedric as random loot by then, provided you aren't intentionally
raising it over and over.

--The armor probably won't keep it's upgrades this way, considering it's a new
piece entirely.




While Ore isn't important, Ingots are, and Ore helps you make Ingots. You will
want as much of it as possible, especially for free, to save you from buying

Obtaining Ore

To obtain Ore, you must find a pickaxe, and then a vein in a cave, mine, maybe
even a dungeon. You can either press E to mine automatically and you'll
pretty much get two pieces of ore from it, but you can do it manually by
attacking the vein with the pickaxe in your hand - this may make dual-wielding
with the Elemental Fury shout a lot more faster than automatic.

It also appears that you can get up to three pieces of ore by mining manually.
Do not worry if the message saying you got ore only appears once after
exhausting a vein, you'll definitely have three in your inventory.

Rare Ore Locations

Because Skyrim is huge, I can't just list all of the major places you'll find
certain ore. My advice is to look up this on the internet further, or for more
fun, explore to find what you desire. I will though, list some areas with some
of the rarest of ores:

-Malachite: Check the mine at Kynesgrove, south of Windhelm. Additionally, the
ingots on the cart near the entrance do respawn as well as the chunk of ore,
but do note guards patrol near here - just wait for them to move and steal them
before they turn around.

-Moonstone: Not easy to come by. Mzulft, a Dwemer ruin, has plenty of veins,
but can only be accessed during and after a quest from the College of
Winterhold. The nearby Stony Creek Cave however, has two easy veins near it's
end - that's about 2-3 ingots worth, though.

-Quicksilver: Dawnstar has a good sized Quicksilver mine.

-Ebony: South of the Orc Stronghold Narzulbur, lies Gloombound Mine. The Orc
NPC's will complain when you get in there, but you can mine in peace, with
plenty of Ebony veins in there. Additionally, Redbelly Mine at Shor's Stone and
the very top of the Throat of the World have a few veins, but not much.

-Orichalcum: You'll be looking for Bilegulch Mine - at least nine veins in
there. It's north of Glenmoril Cave, which is west of Falkreath. Keep in
mind that this mine is occupied by Orc Bandits, and the leader is inside the
mine itself.

-Corundum: Darkwater Crossing has a few veins you can mine out, but the best
place is Knifepoint Ridge, which has a mine with a LOT of Corundum. You may
have to do Boethiah's Daedric quest to get entry, however.

You can mine the veins again after 30 in-game days if the mine is labelled as
'cleared'. Otherwise it'll only take ten days.

Additionally, Dwemer Spiders can carry all sorts of ore, so check all of their
broken bodies and loot what you can.


It's also worth mentioning that there is a spell that affects ore - Transmute.
This rare Alteration spell is only found within two dungeons (one of them
being Halted Stream Camp), and will turn any Iron Ore into Silver Ore, and
Silver into Gold. This is an Adept spell, so it's pretty costly, but anyone
should be able to cast it (if you're worried, then just keep using Detect Life
in town to quickly raise Alteration).

The latter transmutation is prioritized over the former, so if you want only
silver, drop all the silver ore you currently have before making another one.
Useful for mass producing jewelery or completing sidequests (like Madesi's),
though you might want to skip if you plan to use Iron Ingots as they only
require one piece of Ore each to make, whereas everything else needs two.




Smithing is easy to raise, but it can seem tedious. Here's some tips on how
to make things go faster if you're impatient.

-Make The Warrior Stone your active symbol for a 20% boost in Combat-category
skills. Smithing falls underneath here.

-Recieve the 'Well Rested' bonus by sleeping for 6+ hours for an extra 10% if
you're on what the game calls a good bed. Sleeping rolls give a weak 5%. If
you're married, you can get the 'Lover's Comfort' bonus instead if your spouse
sleeps in the same area as you do. Note that the Lover Stone gives off a
semi-permanent version of Lover's Comfort, so you can't get the Well Rested
Bonus with it.

--Werewolves cannot get any Rested bonuses.

-You can get a permanent 15% faster increase to Smithing (as well as a 25% 
armor bonus wearing Dwarven Armor) at the end of a specific quest, which is
given by a female Argonian near the docks at Riften. She wears a helmet, and
may be inside some of the nearby buildings.

-As of Update 1.5, Bethesda has made it so that the speed of raising Smithing
depends on the value of the items you make. What this means now is that Leather
Bracer and Iron Dagger grinding is now OBSCURE. You'll want to make expensive
things to quickly raise Smithing now.

--It might be a good idea to find the Transmute spell and turn your Iron Ore
into Gold, so you can make expensive jewelry more easily. Run into a place with
loads of Iron Ore veins, and have the Adept Alteration perk if you want it, to
assist even more.

-The best place to smith in my opinion, would be in Whiterun. Breezehome, a
house you can buy for 5k gold, is right next to Warmaiden's, which has the
full set of facilities (including Smelting!) and materials you can buy. Very,
very convenient location, not to mention it's smacked right in the middle of
the game map.

--Not to mention that you can sell what you make to the two NPC's that work
at Warmaiden's, with their own bartering gold each.

-Some quest givers in the form of blacksmiths may give you a skill increase.

-Four books can increase your Smithing ability by one. The Smithing ones can
usually be found near facilities in dungeons. The names of these books are:

--Cherim's Heart
--Heavy Armor Forging
--Light Armor Forging
--The Armorer's Challenge

-The Oghma Infinium gives +5 to Smithing if you choose 'The Path of Might',
alongside other Combat Skills. This is obtained from the quest 'Discernining
the Transmundane'.




There is some debate on what branch would be ideal to take, if you're only
going in one direction.

I will have to say that both sides have their advantages, whenever minor or
major. Mid-game, the Light Armor user benefits from Elven and Glass, the 4th
and 3rd best weapon materials, respectively. They can do finely with these
in the end when playing Adept and do not intend to go so far in the game,
but for min-maxing and playing on tougher difficulties, the player may desire
something better.

The Heavy branch in the end, no doubt benefits from the early Dwarven weapons
and then Ebony and Daedric in the end - some Light Armor users may want to
even use this path because it still gives them the best armor (Dragonscale)
and access to better weapons (Daedric).

However, the 50 to 80 gap from Orcish to Ebony is pretty big, and said Light
Armor users may miss out on the benefits of other armors during this long wait
for Dragon Armor, unless they bother forking out a spare perk for Elven in
the meantime.

As for me, I'll have to say don't worry about it too much - just enjoy the game
as it is. If you're keen on Heavy then just go Heavy, and if you're Light then
just go Light. Simple as that.

It's also worth noting that the armor cap, tested by people on the Bethesda
Forums, is about 567, about 80% damage reduction. In the end game this doesn't
really matter though, as both types of armor have perks to help you hit the
cap, as well as one that rids of worn armor encumbrance.




Ironically not a very relevant section to begin with, but for curiousity's
sake, here's a small list of bonuses each race benefits off from things related
to Smithing, from the start of the game.


Of course, this wonderful skill needs no explaination if you're reading this

+5: Redguards, Nords, Orcs


Perhaps the most versatile skill in the game - you can either block with a
shield or with the weapon, cast spells in the other hand, or go dual wielding.
However, it's quite perk heavy if you're combining with other skills.

+10: Redguards
+5: Imperials, Nords, Orcs, Khajiit


Slower, but stronger than one-handed. Sure you can dual-wield to reach that
amount of damage, but with two-handed you can still block. The least perk
hungry fighting style, as well.

+10: Nords
+5: Orcs


The only option for ranged attacks in the Combat category. The projectiles are
more reliable than those of Destruction spells and offer a sneak attack bonus,
but are finite - an issue when it comes to using good arrows.

+10: Bosmer
+5 Khajiit, Redguards

Heavy Armor

Better protection at the cost of encumbrance, stealth, and speed until late in
the game. Also offers more perks, such as increased melee damage and less fall

+10: Orcs
+5: Imperials

Light Armor

A lot less severe movement penalties, quiet, and little encumbrance, but a lot
less protective until later in the game, where hitting the cap is easier. Also
offers a perk that allows increased Stamina regeneration.

+5: Argonians, Nords, Bosmer, Dunmer




Some will call this exploiting, others will call this overkill. If you want to
get the most out of Smithing, then just follow along with this section. If not,
then don't bother and just enjoy the game as it is.

This essentially involves using Alchemy and Enchanting to get the best out of
Smithing itself, to say the least.

What you might want

Use this as a checklist before attempting to do anything here. You don't have
to max out everything here, but it helps!

-100 Smithing

--Smithing Perks: Arcane Blacksmith may be handy, the others are up to you, it
depends what type of material you want to temper.

--All the materials you need for the equipment you want to upgrade

-100 Alchemy

--Alchemy Perks: 5/5 Alchemist, Benefactor

--Ingredients fortifying Enchanting and Smithing:

---Enchanting: Blue Buttergly Wing, Hagraven Claw, Snowberries, Spriggan Sap
---Smithing: Blisterwort, Glowing Mushroom, Sabre Cat Tooth, Spriggan Sap

-100 Enchanting

--Enchanting Perks: 5/5 Enchanter, Insightful Enchanter, maybe Extra Effect

--Fortify Alchemy and Fortify Smithing effects learned

--Filled up Grand Soul and Black Soul Gems, Azura's Star/The Black Star
can also be used as they are essentially refillable Grand Soul Gems.

-Various clothing, necklaces, and rings to enchant with.

-A good place to do all of this is at Windhelm, with the house and the Alchemy
Lab and Enchanting Table bought, a Smithy isn't very far away either. The next
best place MAY be Whiterun, but you'll have to run from the gates to
Dragonsreach between Enchantments, Potions, and Smithing.

Not sure on the other houses - haven't bought them yet.

Step 1 - Alchemy Suit

An 'Alchemy Suit' should be made to further boost the strength of potions.
The Fortify Alchemy Effect can be put on to these slots:


Proceed to make and wear the suit, and then make a Fortify Enchanting potion.
Then make an even more effective enchanting suit for Alchemy, thus making a
more effective Fortify Enchanting potion - although this will use up a LOT
of souls if you keep making even stronger suits. Go as far as you want to,
nobody's stopping you.

If you have the Extra Effect perk, then you can save up more Soul Gems - simply
add Fortify Smithing to the same ring, necklace, and gauntlets/bracers/gloves.

Step 2 - Blacksmithing Suit and Potion

After you're pleased with how strong your Alchemy Suit is, make another Fortify
Enchanting potion. But this time, we will use this potion to make a powerful
Fortify Smithing suit. You can put the effect on:


Importantly, also make a Fortify Smithing potion or two while still having your
Alchemy Suit on, this should be obvious.

Step 3 - Upgrading Time

Make sure that you have all the stuff you need to upgrade your gear through
the grindstone and/or workbench. Wear your Blacksmithing Suit, drink the
potion, and watch as you upgrade your gear to ridiculous heights.

You could equip the Notched Pickaxe or any item with it's enchantment, but I
don't think it'll do a big difference.

Doing this, you can pretty much make almost any type of armor, even Hide, hit
the armor cap, 567, with some perks, and pretty much any weapon becomes
ridiculously strong - apparently there's no damage cap for weapons.


4.0 - FAQ


Feel free to send a private message over GameFAQs regarding any questions not
listed here.

Q. Why haven't you listed/mentioned weaponry outside the regular materials?
A. Usually those weapons are fairly obvious when it comes to upgrading them.
For example, the Mace of Molag Bal is a Daedric artifact, and since Daedra
stuff is made out of Ebony, it needs an ingot of that to upgrade. Falmer sword
needs stuff from where they live - you get the idea, don't you?

Q. Does the Lunar Forge do anything special?
A. Nope. Just disenchant the nearby weapons with the 'Silent Moons Enchant' if
you want to put it on a weapon.

Q. How can I get things like Leather and Iron armors/weapons to Legendary?
A. Use plenty of equipment and potions that fortify smithing. Same with pretty
much anything that isn't boosted by a perk, or ones you haven't got yet. So
yes, you can create even Fur and Hide armors that hit the armor cap (567) with
some dedication and perks.

Q. Are the new recipies for the Skyforge worth going for alone?
A. Practically, no. If anything, the only thing I found worthy about the
Companions were the Master trainers and the free Skyforge weapon. Not a fan
of the Greater Power you get there myself, although that's merely a matter of
personal taste.

Q. What is the name of the quest with the Smith and Dwarven Armor upgrades
you keep talking about?
A. The quest's name is 'Unfathomable Depths', vaguely named after the quest

Q. What's an easy way to acquire Daedra Hearts?
A. Go to Alchemists around the game, and complete 'Pieces of the Past' for a
possible (slow) respawning supply. Just as well Daedric gear doesn't need
hearts upgrade, eh? Keep in mind that these are expensive, although coin in
Skyrim isn't that hard to obtain.

Q. Can I help contribute?
A. Go ahead, though do make sure it's relevant.

Q. Is Smithing even necessary?
A. Not all, but further in the game, it can make your life a whole lot easier
by increasing the raw damage output significantly, especially in synergy with
damage-increasing perks from the combat skills.

Q. Do you know the max damage cap?
A. I don't think there is any. For unarmed combat however, you can hit 68,
but the requirements are pretty extreme - the player must be a Khajiit, have
Fists of Steel, Daedric Gauntlets, and abusing the Alchemy/Enchanting loop
to have the best enchantments possible for hand-to-hand damage on them and a
ring (base enchantment gotten from Gloves of the Pugilist in the Rataway).

Argonians will have 56 Unarmed Damage from this, whilst everyone else will have
50. Though this will help you get satisfying, entertaining finishing moves in
the end.

--If you're wondering, Argonians and Khajiit have a base unarmed damage of 10,
in comparison to humans, elves, and orcs, who all a base of 4 unarmed damage.
The Khajiit's claws ability do an additional 12 damage, making them do a total
of 22 damage per hit at the start of the game, stronger than most weapons
early in the game! A small victory for the petting zoo people.

Q. What level do you think would be good enough for 'end-game' status?
A. Probably around Lv35 or so, at least for me when I got Smithing up to 100
around there. The only 'challenge' for me on Adept would be Mages spamming
spells to quickly remove a lot of my health, which is funny since Destruction
is actually fairly weak for the player during then.

Q. X specialized armor is better than Y! Why haven't you mentioned it?
A. Maybe they're not as accessible as equipment you can create? Also, armor

Q. After getting the Dragon Armor perk, can I get Daedric/Glass Smithing
without going up the other branch for it?
A. As I said earlier when talking about Dragon Armor itself, no. You will have
to work your way up the other side, contray to what the shape of the Smithing
constellation looking like a circle.

There is a mod that does that, though. Assuming you're a PC player.

Q. Which is better, Dragonplate or Daedric?
A. Both of them are REALLY similar stats-wise, pick them based on looks. Those
worried about weight should use the former, though.

Q. Do some non-generic weapons benefit from perks as well?
A. Yes, but I don't know about all of them, though I do know that Dragonbane
and the Blade of Woe from personal experience do so.

Q. What version of the game is better?
A. Arguably PC. While there are some obvious signs of console porting here
and there, The Elder Scrolls series is famous for it's modding scene, which
for even Morrowind and Oblivion are STILL going active today. Mods can fix a
ton of things, and offer new challenges and surprises.

There are also better graphics in general. However, you might want to use a
fairly good PC, though. Nvidia graphics cards seem to be favored for Skyrim,
as a few driver updates significantly increased the performance for some.

Q. What perks are commonly used in popular mods?
A. Steel Smithing for some basic things, whilst a lot of people actually change
Advanced Armors to 'Advanced Smithing' and put some stronger things in there
for the sake of balance. Of course, a lot of people make Dragonbone weapon mods
and tie it to the Dragon Armor perk.




And this concludes the guide. I hope that this guide was helpful to you, and
will encourage you to do more Smithing. Now go play Skyrim and make the best
equipment you can!




Yep, we're on to that section now.

Feel free to link to this guide anywhere, as well as print it off for reference
should you need it. Just don't go around selling it in real life or hosting it
off another webiste without asking.

If you want to contribute, send me a message here at GameFAQs.


GameFAQs's PC Skyrim Board - for some information, mainly regarding limits.
Bethesda Softworks - Making an enjoyable game.
UESP - Providing a wealth of information on the series, as well as some
reference for this guide - especially with the quality/skill table.
Microsoft - Making Windows 7 and more importantly, Notepad! - Picture to ASCII Converter.

Useful Links

-The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages

This is probably the largest wiki dedicated to the Elder Scrolls series. There
is a lot of useful information gameplay wise, as well as a lot of lore if you
are interested in that.

-Skyrim Nexus

Rather than having all of it's mods hosted on it's previous two prequels' site,
TES Nexus, the hosts have an entirely new site dedicated to modding the PC
version of Skyrim. Without the Creation Kit (as I'm typing this), this site
already seems to host over 1,000 mods within two weeks of the game's release!

Mods of Mention

Some mods relevant to Smithing itself, or optimization, is listed here. Of
course, console players CAN'T install mods, only PC!

There are some NOTES I would like to share before modding:

I am not responsible if something happens bad to your game. Also, when in
doubt, READ THE FUCKING README FILES. It cannot be said enough times, most
people who have trouble with modifications often forget to double-check it.

Keep in mind that mods WILL conflict if they edit the same details. The mod
that goes last will have it's changes applied when this happens.

These will not affect your ability to gain Steam achievements.

Finally, mods that make changes to Smithing MAY make things in this guide
IRRELEVANT. Keep that in mind.

Also keep in mind that there are two ways to install mods:


Thanks to the combined efforts of Bethesda and Valve, players can download mods
through the Steam Workshop. Simply select Skyrim on your games list, then
click 'browse on the Steam Workshop section or a mod displayed on it.

When you have found a mod you like, simply click 'subscribe' and the next time
you boot up Skyrim, the launcher will download and update any mods you have
subscribed to. See if the related .esp files are checked as well.


The Nexus is a very popular bunch of websites dedicated to modding games, and
has it's own dedicated site for Skyrim mods.

Usually, you will install via archive file types (below), however there is
also an easier method to install most of the mods from the sites. At the top
of the site, you will find a bar with an icon with 'Mod Manager' on it. You
can download it from there - also, keep in mind that this is essentially
third party software.

Whenever you look up a mod you want on the website, there should be a 'download
with manager' button near the top, and near the different files on the download
tab as well. Then the manager should automatically download the mod, but it
won't be activated until you go to the mods tab and click the button on the
left to activate it.

Pretty straight forward, should be alright to use as long as you use it for
one game only.


This is how many modders from the previous Elder Scrolls games, namely
Morrowind and Oblivion, have distributed their mods - they bundle all of their
files together in an archive, and usually tell you where to extract them with
a ReadMe file inside them. This is quite crucial to installing mods you can
download from the Skyrim Nexus unless you frequently use the mod manager.

To open up these file types, I strongly suggest using 7zip - it's freeware,
and does the job very well, whilst opening a whole lot of file types.

You will usually have to extract the files to:

Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim\Data

However, some mods will need you to install them into the 'skyrim' folder
instead, usually if they have their own .dll and .exe files.


-Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)

In the past Bethesda games, the script extenders for them were and still are
pretty much in a sense essential to modding. Keep in mind the number of the
version you install; a new official patch requires for you to wait for another
to come out whilst a new mod may need a more up-to-date version than what you
already have. Despite this annoyance and launching the game from another
executable, it's a good thing to have.

-Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS)

If you are downloading plenty of mods, then this is highly recommended. This
helps reorganizes your mod load order so that there are a lot less conflicts
between each of them. Originally written for Oblivion, this also works for
Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and of course Skyrim. Very handy tool.

-Glowing Ore Veins

Ore is usually hard to see, but with this it should be a lot easier to pick it
out from normal rocks. Highly recommended - I had no idea that Iron Ore veins
were in the overworld until I got this mod.

-Val's Crafting Meltdown

This mod allows you to do two major things - break down weapons and junk for
materials, as well as craft arrows! May be worth checking out if you love doing
archery or have hundreds of useless crap with you, if you happen to be hoarder.

-Dragonbone Weapons

The original Dragonbone weapon mod out of the many. Has various options to
tweak them to your liking should you install via Nexus Mod Manager.

-No Helmets Required

Do you hate it how Heavy and Light Armor perks just force you into wearing a
helmet, just to make it function? Let's face it - you spent at least half an
hour creating your hero's face and then all the sudden you have to have an
ugly Leather or Elven Helmet covering it.

This mod removes the need for the helmet for such perks. They do however, still
benefit from them, just taking them off won't make your armor rating crash down
by 300 or something. It may also save you from mantaining a helmet.

-Better Sorting

This one may be very useful to the aspiring Blacksmith because along other
things, it makes sorting out Ore and Ingots a LOT more easier in Skyrim's
bad interface.

Keep in mind that this may make creating things at a forge more confusing with
all the comma's (Ingot, Iron, Ingot, Dwarven Metal would be a common sight
when it lists the crafting requirements for Dwarven Armor pieces). Up to you
on this one.

-Wraparound Perk Trees

So you took Glass Smithing then the Dragon Armor perk, but only just realized
you can't get the Daedric Smithing Perk? With this mod, now you can! However,
this works with more than just the Smithing perk tree, making this a very
convenient mod.

-headbomb's Smithing Mods

This Nexus user has a series of mods that go well together, essentially
taking out some of the kinks from Smithing, and inserts a bit of balance into
it as well.

-Smithing Perks Overhaul changes Steel Smithing into 'Basic Smithing', allowing
items like Iron Swords and Leather Armor to be tempered twice as better, as
the main highlight.

-Weapons and Armor Fixes is just that, fixes inconsistencies among weapons
and armors. The mod only fixes about 33% of those, however that is a LOT of
gear to begin with.

-Complete Crafting Overhaul includes recipies for creating arrows, circlets,
even faction gear that you can unlock via quests! Also adds missing gear
(like a complete set of Elven Gilded armor) and more recipies, whilst also
balancing out the game.

Nexus Mod Manager is recommended when installing these three. CCO goes last.

The End

You read through all of this? Have a fishy stick!