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.
- Smelter – Used to craft 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.
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.
- 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.
The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the Dragonborn's Smithing skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.
- Cherim's Heart of Anequina
- Heavy Armor Forging
- Light Armor Forging
- The Armorer's Challenge
- Last Scabbard of Akrash
- Oghma Infinium – choosing the Path of Might increases all Warrior skills, including Smithing, by five.
The following quests increase or help to increase the Smithing skill:
- Retrieve Rjorn's Drum for Giraud Gemane at the Bards College in Solitude.
- Retrieve Queen Freydis's Sword for Oengul War-Anvil in Windhelm
- Retrieve Night Falls on Sentinel for Rustleif in Dawnstar
- Retrieve The Last Scabbard of Akrash for Ghorza gra-Bagol in Markarth
- "Unfathomable Depths" grants the Ancient Knowledge Active Effect, which increases the rate of skill gain for Smithing by 15%.
|Adept||Ghorza gra-Bagol||Markarth||Give her The Last Scabbard of Akrash|
|Expert||Balimund||Riften||Collect 10 Fire Salts for him|
|Master||Eorlund Gray-Mane||The Skyforge in Whiterun||Complete the "Take Up Arms" quest for The Companions.|
|Master||Gunmar||Fort Dawnguard after completing "A New Order"||Only available with Dawnguard|
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 at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Orcish Smithing||Smithing 50,
|Can create Orcish armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Ebony Smithing**||Smithing 80,
|Can create ebony armor and weapons at forges, and improve them twice as much.|
|Daedric Smithing||Smithing 90,
|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.|
* 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.
|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. The skill related to the item will also affect how much it does. So the bonus is significantly larger on the armor on someone with the corresponding skill.
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.
Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion
|Click to show a list of Smithing strategies.|
- As a Combat skill, Smithing is affected by the Warrior Stone, as all skills, by the Lover Stone and Seeker of Might DR.
- Like using Soul Gems with Enchanting, stolen ingots used in smithing do not cause the improved object to become stolen. An improved stolen object remains stolen, whether or not the ingot used was stolen.
- If you have a shield equipped while using the forge a slight animation bug occurs.
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.
- Minor cosmetic glitches may occur during the armor selection window when a Smithing station is activated.
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.
- console command
player.tai. Use the
|Skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim|
|The Mage||Alteration • Conjuration • Destruction • Enchanting • Illusion • Restoration|
|The Thief||Alchemy • Light Armor • Lockpicking • Pickpocket • Sneak • Speech|
|The Warrior||Archery • Block • Heavy Armor • One-Handed • Smithing • Two-Handed|