The Elder Scrolls Online offers a wealth of content for you to explore. Whether you’re diving into dungeons, knocking out a few solo quests, or engaging in competitive PvP, there’s no shortage of dangerous situations to get lost in.
Outside of combat, however, you have just as many options — all thanks to the robust crafting system. This ESO crafting guide will teach you the basics of its intricate system, including how to deconstruct unwanted items, improve your favorite gear, and explain why crafting is so important to the ESO experience.
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ESO crafting overview
Crafting is a core part of The Elder Scrolls Online. You can certainly choose to avoid it — but you’ll be missing out on a lot of gold and tons of great gear. It’s also a great way to keep your equipment up to date and recycle unwanted loot.
In a nutshell, crafting lets you construct new items, deconstruct unwanted gear, and improve the quality of your favorite equipment. Crafting can only be performed at designated crafting stations — typically found in each major city — and what you can craft is heavily based on your skill level. Regardless of whether you’re building or destroying equipment, however, you can rest assured that your crafting level is slowly increasing.
Crafting skill lines in ESO
No matter what you’re interested in making, ESO gives you the ability to make it. From heavy armor and helms to mage robes and potions, here are the different crafting skill lines in The Elder Scrolls Online — along with the items they’ll let you create:
- Alchemy: Craft poisons and potions using natural resources found throughout Tamriel.
- Blacksmithing: Use ore to forge ingots, then use your ingots to create blades, armor, and other metal-based items.
- Clothing: Combine different types of cloth and fibers to weave together new Light and Medium armor.
- Enchanting: Craft glyphs that are capable of enchanting armor and weapons by combining runes gathered in the wild.
- Provisioning: Cook up a meal or brew a beverage using ingredients gathered — or stolen — from your surroundings.
- Woodworking: Carve staves, bows, shields, and furniture using a variety of woods and resins.
Beyond those six basic crafting systems, DLC content and expansions offer up the following crafting options. These function in a different fashion than the six listed above but still offer a great way to customize and upgrade your character:
- Antiquities: Available as part of the Greymoor update, this system lets you scry for hidden relics scattered throughout Tamriel. It’s more so a gathering activity than a crafting one, but it’s been a popular edition to ESO since its arrival.
- Jewelry Crafting: Available following the Summerset expansion, Jewelry Crafting lets you create — or improve — your favorite rings and necklaces. Of the three skills on this list, this one is most like the six core crafting lines.
- Transmutation: This crafting system lets you reconfigure the traits of your weapons and armor to better match your needs.
Before you can actually start crafting, you’ll need to venture out into the wild and collect the necessary resources. Ore, runes, ingredients, and everything else required for crafting can be freely collected by roaming the streets and dusty roads of Tamriel. However, you’ll need a sharp eye to find the resources you’re looking for — they’re often off the beaten path and blend in with their surroundings. Thankfully, each crafting skill line offers a few abilities to make this task easier.
The first is Keen Eye. This passive skill will highlight nearby resources, making it hard to miss them. As you improve this stat, the radius in which resources illuminate will slowly grow. If you love to explore each region and harvest items yourself, this is a must-have skill.
ESO also offers up another passive for each skill line — Hirelings. Spend points leveling up this skill, and you’ll find a message in your mailbox that contains various components every single day. Rank the skill up, however, and you’ll earn more frequent drops and higher quality resources.
Find a crafting station
Once you’ve gathered all your resources, it’s time to head to a crafting station. Most major cities have a section with a crafting station for each of the crafting skills, although you can also find cooking stations at campsites scattered throughout Tamriel.
Once you’ve found a station, interact with it to pull up the crafting menu. Crafting works in largely the same way for all skills, although there are minor variances between them. Regardless, here are the main options you’ll have when trying to craft:
Refine is the first option in the crafting menu. It’s also the first step in creating an item from scratch. Refining is used to turn raw materials — such as iron ore — into iron ingots that can be used as the building blocks for new gear. You’ll often need multiple components to refine them, so make sure you stock up before trying to start the process.
After refining raw materials into something usable, you’re ready to craft. The creation tab will give you a variety of choices to make, including the type of item you wish to construct, the material it’ll be made from, the style of the item, and any included traits. Here’s a closer look at each:
- Type: Select the item you’d like to craft — for blacksmithing, this includes swords, axes, daggers, and more.
- Material: Select the refined material you’d like to use for crafting. The higher your level, the better material you can use.
- Style: Select the style — that is, appearance — of your soon-to-be crafted item. This requires very specific components, such as Flint for an Argonian style or Adamantite for a High Elf style. Styles must first be learned by reading various style books found throughout ESO.
- Trait: Add a variety of buffs to your gear using gems. This includes improving physical and special resistance with Turquoise, increasing XP gain with Carnelian, and many others.
After playing ESO for a few days, your inventory will likely be bogged down by hundreds of unwanted items. Instead of selling them, consider deconstructing them. Not only is this a great way to level up your respective crafting skill line, but you’ll walk away with plenty of useful crafting components.
If you have the right resources, you can improve gear quality through crafting. Whether you’re improving Superior to Epic or Epic to Legendary, you’ll need very specific components — listed on the crafting screen — for a successful upgrade. Failing the process will destroy your item, so be very cautious when using this powerful feature.
Researching an item is an alternative to deconstructing it. The gear will be consumed in the process, but you’ll walk away with knowledge of a trait that can later be applied to anything you craft.
Some crafting skill lines will let you craft furniture for your personal home. You’ll first need to find or purchase the furnishing plan, then ensure all your skills meet the minimum requirements for crafting. Then, gather up the required resources, head over to a crafting station, and build the item like you would anything else.
How to quickly level crafting skills in ESO
If you’re looking to level up your crafting skill lines as fast as you can, you’re not alone. Most players in ESO are trying to power-level their lines to create more powerful — and lucrative gear — that’s only accessible to high-level crafters. While there’s no true shortcut beyond putting in the hours, these two activities tend to be the most popular:
- Daily crafting writs: Not only are crafting writs one of the best ways to improve your skills, but they also give you tangible goals to work toward beyond simply watching your crafting level go up. You’ll need to first get certified — just talk to Danel Telleno or Millineth, who can both be found near most crafting stations — but after that, you’re free to pick these up daily and earn massive amounts of experience and gold.
- Deconstructing gear: As mentioned earlier, deconstructing unwanted gear is an incredible way to quickly level up your crafting skill lines in ESO. Like crafting or refining — which require a variety of specific resources — just about anything you pick up from questing can be instantly deconstructed. Anyone looking to power-level their crafting skills will want to take advantage of this powerful feature.