Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls
For other uses, see Alchemy.
"Hey, you mix potions right? Can you brew me an ale?"
Hold Guard[src]

Alchemy is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and is one of the six skills that falls under The Thief play-style. Alchemy is the art of combining raw ingredients with matching effects to produce potions and poison. It is one of the three crafting skills in Skyrim, together with Smithing and Enchanting. It is affected by The Thief Stone and, as with all skills, by The Lover Stone.


Racial bonuses[]

Bosmer, Breton, Khajiit, and Dunmer gain a +5 boost to Alchemy at the start of the game.



Nirnroot is an ingredient with many uses.

For a list of ingredients and their uses, see Ingredients (Skyrim).

Ingredients are used to create potions that have specific effects. Each ingredient has four set effects. Each effect is labeled "unknown" until the Dragonborn uses an Alchemy Lab to combine ingredients that share one or more effects. Those shared effects will then be revealed permanently for those ingredients in the future, and one or more relevant potions will be available in the Alchemy Lab menu screen for convenience. The first effect can also be revealed by 'eating' the ingredient, which immediately causes the effect on the Dragonborn after consumption. All ingredient effects are temporary, and only Jarrin Root is potentially fatal if eaten, making experimenting quite safe. With perks, all four effects can be found by eating a single ingredient.


For a list of recipes, see Books (Skyrim)/Recipes.

All alchemy merchants have recipes for sale in their shops. Recipes can also be found as loot. Recipes list ingredients that share a given effect which helps limit the experimentation required to find the effects of each ingredient. However, some of these recipes are inaccurate.

Alchemy Labs[]

Alchemy Table

Alchemy Table concept art

For a list of locations, see Alchemy Lab (Skyrim).

Brewing potions requires an Alchemy Lab, which can be found in various locations throughout Skyrim, such as alchemy supply shops, private studies, some inns, court wizards' quarters, and can be purchased for owned homes. HF When interacting with an Alchemy Lab, the Dragonborn will see a menu. At the top is 'Ingredients', which opens a sub-menu which lists all the ingredients currently in the inventory. Below that is a list of all known effects on all ingredients in the inventory. Each of those open a sub-menu which lists only ingredients that share that effect. When all or part of the chosen ingredients fail to create an effect, attempting to combine the same ingredients again will darken the names of ingredients which were previously proven to produce nothing with the first ingredient selected.

Potions and poisons[]

Potions (Skyrim) Load Screen

Various potions and poisons.

For a list of potions and their effects, see Potions (Skyrim).

Potions and poisons are items produced as a result of brewing at an Alchemy Lab. In typical parlance, potions affect the Dragonborn. Examples include those that increase the maximum of ("Fortify"), regenerate over time, or instantly replenish stats like Stamina, Magicka, or Health. Potions can also increase the magnitude of spells cast and skills like One-Handed or Smithing, or alter the Dragonborn with Invisibility.

Poisons affect others. Damage Health, Slow, Paralyze, Weakness to Fire, and Lingering Damage Magicka are common examples of a poison's effects.

A brewed potion always has a name describing its dominant effect. Unlike found potions, which can have alternate names and usually only one effect, brewed potions always have one consistent name, regardless of the number of effects contained. This can lead to some confusion when finding a potion to consume from the inventory. The value of a potion is derived from the number of effects and their magnitude, regardless of the utility of the potion. In fact, some craftable poisons can benefit the enemy, and some craftable potions can harm the Dragonborn. The Alchemy perk Purity removes this possibility for potions crafted in the future. Using a potion involves simply selecting it from the inventory, while poisons are applied to weapons such as a sword or a bow by equipping the weapon to be poisoned and then selecting a poison to apply to it.

Mixing effects will reduce the effectiveness of individual potions and poisons, depending on whether the beneficial effect or poison is dominant. (A poison in a pink bottle will be 20% less effective, while a beneficial potion in a green bottle will be 20% less effective.)

The most valuable potion known to date requires Hearthfire, and can be brewed at an Alchemy Lab by mixing garlic, nordic barnacle, and salmon roe. The resulting potion regenerates health and magicka faster. It also allows the Dragonborn to breathe underwater.


The following actions raise the Alchemy skill:

  • Mixing a potion at an Alchemy Lab. More valuable potions increase Alchemy skill faster.
    • With Hearthfire one can grow alchemy ingredients in their homestead. There are 18 plots available to grow these plants with both a garden and a greenhouse, yielding three ingredients each. One can make a large number of potions each time the plants regrow.
  • Eating a raw ingredient and learning a new effect.


The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the Dragonborn's Alchemy skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.


The following quests increase or help to increase the Alchemy skill:


Main article: Trainers (Skyrim)
Trainer Skill Level Location
Lami Adept Morthal
Arcadia Expert Arcadia's Cauldron, Whiterun City
Babette Master Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or later Dawnstar Sanctuary
Milore Ienth


Expert Raven Rock, Solstheim


Alchemy perks tree

Alchemy perks tree

The following are perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up:

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Alchemist (5) Alchemy 0/ 20/ 40/ 60/ 80 Potions and poisons are 20% / 40% / 60% / 80% / 100% stronger.
Physician Alchemy 20, Alchemist Potions you mix that restore health or stamina are 25% more powerful.
Poisoner Alchemy 30, Physician Poisons you mix are 25% more effective.
Benefactor Alchemy 30, Physician Potions you mix with beneficial effects have an additional 25% greater magnitude.
Experimenter (3) Alchemy 50/ 70/ 90, Benefactor Eating an ingredient reveals the first two / three / four effects.
Concentrated Poison Alchemy 60, Poisoner Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits.
Green Thumb Alchemy 70, Concentrated Poison Two ingredients are gathered from plants (description is misleading - two ingredients or food items are gathered from any static harvest-able object - be it plant, fungi, hanging fish or meat, egg clusters, etc.) Known exception: Nirnroot (has only 1 root).
Snakeblood Alchemy 80, Concentrated Poison, Experimenter 50% resistance to all poisons.
Purity Alchemy 100, Snakeblood All negative effects are removed from created potions while all positive effects are removed from created poisons.


Main article: Alchemy Tips
For Alchemy leveling strategies, see Alchemy Tips#Leveling.
For armor and weapon improvement strategies, see Alchemy Tips#Enchanting.
For tips on making money with alchemy, see Alchemy Tips#Making Money.


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

See also[]