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.
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.
Why Level Smithing?
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.
Leveling Basics And Tips
Leveling Smithing is as easy as using one of the four following methods:
- Creating an item
- Tempering/improving an item
- Reading a book that increasing your Smithing skill
- 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.
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.
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:
- Obtain the Warrior Standing Stone and sleep to earn 30% increased experience. If you have the Aetherial Crown, align with the Lover Stone as well for 45% increased XP gains.
- Craft Iron Daggers at any forge until you reach Smithing level 30.
- Obtain the Dwarven Smithing perk.
- 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 the Enchanting skill, consult this guide.
All Smithing Books
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:
- Cherim’s Heart of Anequina: One can be found in Dawnstar’s Quicksilver Mine in the back of the main floor.
- Heavy Armor Forging: Gloombound Mine has this book near the entrance.
- Light Armor Forging: Found on a table in Embershard Mine, the mine south of Riverwood.
- The Armorer’s Challenge: One can be found near the Skyforge in Whiterun.
- Last Scabbard of Akrash: Besides merchants, one can be found in Gallows Rock after you complete “The Silver Hand” quest.
- Oghma Infinium: Obtained from the “Discerning the Transmundane” quest. Choose the Path of Might to increase all Warrior skills by five points, Smithing included.
All Smithing Trainers
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.
- Ghrza gra-Bagol (Smithing skill of 50): Found in Markarth. You must give her The Last Scabbard of Akrash before she’ll teach you.
- Balimund (Smithing skill of 75): The Blacksmith for Riften. He needs ten Fire Salts before he’ll train you.
- Eorlund Gray-Mane (Smithing skill of 100): He operates the Skyforge in Whiterun. Completing the “Take Up Arms” introductory quest for the Companions will unlock his services.
- Gunmar (Smithing skill of 100): The Blacksmith for the Dawnguard. He must be recruited to the Dawnguard before he can train you.
Ways To Maximize Smithing
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:
- 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.
Next: Skyrim: 15 Powerful Builds Everyone Should Try
Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.
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