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Skills are a core part of improving your character in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Unlike most RPGs, upgrading a certain skill is as easy as using it. The higher level a skill is, the longer it takes to level it up.

Related: The Strongest Weapons In Skyrim And Where To Find Them

Reaching rank 100 with a skill allows you to obtain some absurdly strong perks. The crafting skills of Skyrim—Alchemy, Smithing, and Enchanting—are excellent examples of this. Smithing is useful for improving the quality of your weapons and armor while also allowing you to craft the game's rarest gear. Those wanting to wear a full set of Daedric or Dragonbone gear will want to use Smithing to its fullest potential. Here is a complete guide to the Smithing skill in Skyrim.

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Updated July 30th, 2021, by Charles Burgar: Creating the perfect items in Skyrim requires a great deal of investment and patience. Smithing is a core part of creating the best character possible and should be understood by every player. We've updated this guide to give additional information about Smithing, including basic uses of Smithing, every Smithing perk, and the restoration potion glitch that allows for game-breaking weapon tempering.

Why Level Smithing?

Skyrim Daedric Armor

Smithing is one of the three main crafting professions in Skyrim that allows the creation and tempering of weapons and armor. Unlike most games, Skyrim's best items are locked behind crafting professions. The best armor sets in the game such as Daedric and Dragonbone gear are so rare that players are better off crafting the gear themselves.

Besides the creation of weapons and armor, Smithing is also used to improve the quality of gear through the use of a Grindstone or Workbench. Gear can be upgraded to Legendary quality, drastically increasing the item's damage or armor rating. When paired with Enchanting and Alchemy, you can create items that far surpass Daedric Artifacts and world loot.

Smithing Overview

Skyrim Warrior Skill Tree Background

Leveling Smithing is as easy as using one of the four following methods:

  1. Creating an item
  2. Tempering/improving an item
  3. Reading a book that increasing your Smithing skill
  4. Purchasing levels from a Smithing trainer

Creating and upgrading gear are the best means of leveling Smithing. The resource investment needed to level Smithing to 100 is quite intensive, requiring just shy of 300 crafted items to level fully.

Related: Skyrim: How To Easily Power-Level Every Skill

Smithing And Tempering

Smithing is the only crafting profession in Skyrim that has multiple crafting stations—excluding staff enchanters for Enchanting. Each station has a different purpose:

  • Forge/Anvil: Creates weapons, armor, ammo, and jewelry.
  • Workbench: Tempers armor, increasing its armor rating.
  • Grindstone: Tempers weapons, increasing their damage.

There are also two stations dedicated to resource creation:

  • Smelter: Smelt ores and certain Dwemer items into ingots.
  • Tanning Rack: Convert animal hide into leather.

Most of your Smithing will occur at a forge or anvil. Each item you create or temper will cost a certain amount of resources, most of which can be found throughout the world. If you lack the resources needed to make an item, you can convert certain items at smelters or tanning racks into ingots or leather straps—core crafting components that virtually every recipe calls for. As you increase your Smithing skill and unlock perks, you'll be able to create more powerful pieces of gear and temper them more effectively.

Smithing Skill Tree And Perks

Skyrim Smithing Tree

The Smithing tree features ten perks for you to unlock, nine of which unlock new crafting recipes at forges and anvils. Here's what each perk does:

Perk Name Skill Requirement Description
Steel Smithing None Can create Steel armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.
Elven Smithing Smithing 30; Steel Smithing Can create Elven 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.
Advanced Armors Smithing 50; Elven Smithing Can create Scaled and Plate armor 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.
Arcane Blacksmith Smithing 60 You can improve magical weapons and armor.
Glass Smithing Smithing 70; Advanced Armors Can create Glass 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 or Dragon 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 Dragonbone weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.

How To Level Smithing

Skyrim Smithing

As with most of Skyrim's crafting professions, Smithing takes quite a long time to level. You'll need to create hundreds of items in order to reach a skill level of 100 with Smithing, meaning you're going to need quite a few materials. Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take that will speed up this process and reduce the resource investment dramatically.

Increasing XP Gains

Speeding up the leveling process is as easy as sleeping in an owned bed. Sleeping in a bed you own grants a 10% experience bonus for 8 hours. If you are married and your spouse lives in the same house as you, this bonus is increased to 15%. Additionally, the Smithing skill counts under the cluster of Warrior skills in your skill tree menu, meaning that the Warrior Guardian Stone grants a 20% experience boost to Smithing.

Related: Skyrim: Every Black Book And Where To Find Them

Should you complete the "Lost to the Ages" quest, you can craft the Aetherial Crown to align with two Standing Stones at once. Aligning with both The Lover and The Warrior Standing Stones will grant a 35% increased experience boost. Combine this with sleeping to significantly speed up the leveling grind.

The Fastest Way To Level Smithing

Before you begin to level your Smithing skill, make sure that your character has as many experience bonuses on them as possible. Additionally, stock up on as many Iron Ingots, Lether Straps, and Dwarven Metal Ingots as possible. These are the materials you'll need to level up the skill quickly.

The goal is to create as many Iron Daggers as possible until you unlock the Dwarven Smithing perk at Smithing level 30. Once obtained, switch to crafting Dwarven Bows until you reach Smithing level 100. It's as easy as it sounds, although the resource requirement for this is rather intense.

Leveling Smithing should look something like this:

  1. Obtain the Warrior Standing Stone and sleep to earn 30% increased experience.
    1. If you have the Aetherial Crown, align with the Lover Stone as well for 45% increased XP gains.
  2. Craft Iron Daggers at any forge until you reach Smithing level 30.
  3. Obtain the Dwarven Smithing perk.
  4. Craft Dwarven Bows until you reach Smithing level 100.

At this point, you should keep the items you just crafted until you have enough soul gems to enchant each of them. Enchanting every item you just made should be enough to also increase your Enchanting skill to 100. For more details on leveling Enchanting, consult our Enchanting skill guide.

All Smithing Books

Skyrim Skyforge

Six books can be used to increase your Smithing skill. Five of them increase the skill by one while the sixth book increases it by five points. Keep an eye out for the following:

Book Location Notes
The Armorer's Challenge Near the Skyforge in Whiterun N/A
Cherim's Heart of Anequina Dawnstar's Quicksilver Mine Found in the back of the main floor
Heavy Armor Forging Gloombound Mine Found near the entrance
Last Scabbard of Akrash Gallows Rock Complete "The Silver Hand"
Light Armor Forging Embershard Mine Found on a table partway through the mine
Oghma Infinium Septimus Signus' Outpost Complete "Discerning the Transmundane"

All Smithing Trainers

Skyrim Eorlund Gray-Mane

There are four Smithing trainers that you can stumble across in Skyrim. All four of these trainers have prerequisites before you can begin training with them.

Trainer Skill Level Location Notes
Ghrza gra-Bagol 50 Markarth Requires The Last Scabbard of Akrash book
Balimund 75 Riften Requires ten Fire Salts
Eorlund Gray-Mane 100 Whiterun Complete "Take Up Arms"
Gunmar 100 Fort Dawnguard Complete "A New Order"

Ways To Maximize Smithing

Skyrim Enchanting

Perks, potions, and enchantments are the three methods of improving your Smithing skill. Perks will allow you to temper items twice as well while both potions and enchantments further enhance the bonus your items receive when upgraded.

Chest armor, gloves, rings, and amulets can all utilize the Fortify Smithing enchantment which grants larger benefits for upgrading an item at a Grindstone or Workbench. Fortify Smithing potions can also be crafted and consumed to provide a similar effect. To create such potions, you will need at least two of the following ingredients:

  • Blisterwort
  • Glowing Mushroom
  • Sabre Cat Tooth
  • Spriggan Sap

Wear an amulet, ring, armor piece, and set of gauntlets all with the Fortify Smithing enchantment. From there, consume a Fortify Smithing potion to further enhance the strength of gear when you improve it, allowing you to make a Wooden Sword deal over 100 damage if your enchantments are good enough. To make the potion stronger, craft it while wearing gear that fortifies your Alchemy skill.

Fortify Restoration Exploit

There is a way to create weapons that deal over 1,000,000 damage a swing. This requires that you have a high Alchemy skill, can create multiple Fortify Restoration potions, and have a little bit of patience. Our Skyrim useful glitches guide covers how to use this exploit to your advantage.

Next: Skyrim: Powerful Builds Everyone Should Try

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