Alchemy is the art of brewing potions and poisons by combining ingredients with matching effects, using an Alchemy Lab. Initially, you don't know the effects of ingredients and must discover them by eating ingredients, reading recipes, or brewing them into potions.
Some NPCs (notably alchemists) may offer you basic recipes while conversing. Perks in this skill allow discovering more effects by eating; increase the effectiveness of created potions and poisons; remove the positive effects from poisons and the negative effects from potions; and allow you to gather twice as many ingredients from plants. The alchemy skill tree has 9 perks, requiring 15 perk points to fill. Each level in the alchemy skill increases the effectiveness of crafted potions and poisons by 0.5% for +50% effectiveness at level 100 compared to level 0.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Skill Perks
- 3 Skill Usage
- 4 Skill Increases
- 5 Achievements
- 6 Notes
- 7 Bugs
- 8 External Resources
In-game Description: An alchemist can create magical potions and deadly poisons.
Alchemy is a useful complement to any character style. The most basic potions restore Health, Magicka or Stamina, while poisons cause weapons to inflict greater damage. With a more thorough understanding of the ingredients, you can brew formulas which produce the effects of many magic spells and enchantments. While many potions are available for sale, knowledge of alchemy gives you more flexible, and potentially more powerful, potions than can be bought. Unlike in previous Elder Scrolls games, you cannot carry around alchemy apparatus and make potions on demand, but may only do this at an Alchemy Lab.
|Perk||Rank||Description||ID||Skill Req.||Perk Req.|
|Alchemist||1||Potions and poisons you make are 20% stronger.||000be127|
|2||Potions and poisons you make are 40% stronger.||000c07ca||20 Alchemy|
|3||Potions and poisons you make are 60% stronger.||000c07cb||40 Alchemy|
|4||Potions and poisons you make are 80% stronger.||000c07cc||60 Alchemy|
|5||Potions and poisons you make are twice as strong.||000c07cd||80 Alchemy|
|Physician||Potions you mix that restore Health, Magicka or Stamina are 25% more powerful.||00058215||20 Alchemy||Alchemist|
|Benefactor||Potions you mix with beneficial effects have an additional 25% greater magnitude.||00058216||30 Alchemy||Physician|
|Experimenter||1||Eating an ingredient reveals first two effects.||00058218||50 Alchemy||Benefactor|
|2||Eating an ingredient reveals first three effects.||00105f2a||70 Alchemy|
|3||Eating an ingredient reveals all its effects.||00105f2b||90 Alchemy|
|Poisoner||Poisons you mix are 25% more effective.||00058217||30 Alchemy||Physician|
|Concentrated Poison||Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits.||00105f2f||60 Alchemy||Poisoner|
|Green Thumb||Two ingredients are gathered from plants.†||00105f2e||70 Alchemy||Concentrated Poison|
|Snakeblood||50% resistance to all poisons.||00105f2c||80 Alchemy||Experimenter or Concentrated Poison|
|Purity||All negative effects are removed from created potions, and all positive effects are removed from created poisons.||0005821d||100 Alchemy||Snakeblood‡|
- This bug is fixed by version 22.214.171.124.8 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
Alchemy can only be performed at designated alchemy labs.
To create a potion (or poison) you must combine two or three ingredients which share a magical effect. If the shared effect is a beneficial one (e.g., Restore Health), you create a potion; if the shared effect is a negative one (e.g., Damage Health), you create a poison. Multiple-effect potions can be created if the combined ingredients have more than one effect in common. A list of some useful craftable potions is provided at Useful Potions.
Each ingredient has a total of four available effects. Eating the ingredient always allows you to discover an ingredient's first effect; the Experimenter perk causes additional effects to be discovered when you consume an ingredient. Additional effects can be discovered by experimenting to see what ingredient combinations successfully yield potions. When an ingredient is selected, it will grey out all other ingredients where a combination has previously been attempted and failed. Unlike in Oblivion, your Alchemy level does not affect which effects you can discover or use. When an effect has been identified, the effect will be listed in the Alchemy menu screen, allowing you to sort ingredients by effect.
Your Alchemy skill level, Alchemy perks, and Fortify Alchemy enchantments determine the strength of any potions or poisons that you create (see Alchemy Effects for details). In turn, mixing potions/poisons leads to Alchemy skill increases. The effects of multiple Fortify Skill potions generally do not stack; if you already have a Fortify Enchanting potion in your system, there is no benefit to drinking another. The exception to this rule is Fortify Restoration potions; since Restoration governs all Skills, a Fortify Restoration potion will reinforce any Fortify <Skill> potion if drunk together.
Result = fAlchemyIngredientInitMult x BaseMag x SkillMult x Alchemist Perk[1.0 to 2.0] x Benefactor Perk[1.25] x Physician Perk[1.25] x Poisoner Perk[1.25] x Sum of Enchantments[1.0+] x Seeker of Shadows[1.1]
- fAlchemyIngredientInitMult: 4
- fAlchemySkillFactor: 1.5
- BaseMag: Alchemy effect base magnitude
- SkillMult: 1 + (fAlchemySkillFactor - 1) x Skill / 100
If result < 0, then result = BaseMag
- You can try various recipes found in-game, or you can simply mix ingredients together randomly. A more effective strategy is to notice commonalities between ingredients. Those that grow near each other often have similar effects (such as Purple Mountain Flower + Thistle, or Lavender + Red Mountain Flower + Tundra Cotton). Insects that feed on flowers often have the same effects. Similarities between names (such as, "Frost" and "Snow") also provide a hint. Placement of ingredients in kitchens and display shelves usually indicate they combine with nearby ingredients.
- The Experimenter perk does not actually change anything about the ingredients or potions created; all effects are available from all ingredients regardless of the effects known. At a cost of 3 skill points at max rank plus the 3 prerequisite points, Experimenter is a very expensive perk with very little payoff.
- After the 1.9 patch, skills can now be made Legendary, resetting each perk in that skill tree and returning all skill points. Experimenter can be used to gain knowledge of every ingredient, then the perk can be reset without forgetting those effects.
- Dragonborn adds a similar skill tree reset ability after you complete At the Summit of Apocrypha.
- The lists below are sets of potion recipes that will efficiently reveal all four effects of every ingredient up through the Hearthfire add-on. This list has not been updated to include ingredients from the following creations: Fishing, Goblins, Plague of the Dead, Rare Curios, Saints & Seducers, and The Cause. Each list has a title with the ingredients it includes; the division is between ingredients from the base game and those added in the official add-ons. There is no assumption that you have identified any effects, even the first one. None of them contain Mort FleshCC, the ingredient added by Plague of the Dead.
|Base Game and Official Add-On Ingredients (73 Potions, 218 Ingredients)|
|List of needed ingredients:
Butterfly Wing, Skeever Tail
Ash Creep Cluster, Ashen Grass Pod, Beehive Husk, Blue Mountain Flower, Boar Tusk, Burnt Spriggan Wood, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Deathbell, Fly Amanita, Grass Pod, Imp Stool, Juniper Berries, Luna Moth Wing, Torchbug Thorax
Abecean Longfin, Ash Hopper Jelly, Bear Claws, Bee, Bleeding Crown, Blisterwort, Blue Dartwing, Bone Meal, Canis Root, Chaurus Eggs, Creep Cluster, Daedra Heart, Dragon's Tongue, Elves Ear, Emperor Parasol Moss, Falmer Ear, Felsaad Tern Feathers, Frost Mirriam, Garlic, Giant Lichen, Giant's Toe, Gleamblossom, Glowing Mushroom, Hagraven Claw, Hagraven Feathers, Hanging Moss, Hawk Beak, Hawk Feathers, Histcarp, Honeycomb, Human Flesh, Human Heart, Ice Wraith Teeth, Jazbay Grapes, Large Antlers, Lavender, Moon Sugar, Mora Tapinella, Mudcrab Chitin, Namira's Rot, Nightshade, Nordic Barnacle, Orange Dartwing, Pearl, Pine Thrush Egg, Poison Bloom, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Purple Mountain Flower, Red Mountain Flower, Rock Warbler Egg, Sabre Cat Tooth, Salmon Roe, Salt Pile, Scaly Pholiota, Scathecraw, Silverside Perch, Slaughterfish Egg, Slaughterfish Scales, Small Antlers, Small Pearl, Snowberries, Spawn Ash, Spider Egg, Spriggan Sap, Swamp Fungal Pod, Taproot, Thistle Branch, Trama Root, Tundra Cotton, Vampire Dust, Void Salts, Wisp Wrappings, Yellow Mountain Flower
Ancestor Moth Wing, Blue Butterfly Wing, Briar Heart, Charred Skeever Hide, Chaurus Hunter Antennae, Chicken's Egg, Crimson Nirnroot, Dwarven Oil, Ectoplasm, Eye of Sabre Cat, Fire Salts, Frost Salts, Glow Dust, Hawk's Egg, Netch Jelly, Nirnroot, River Betty, Troll Fat, Wheat, White Cap
|Base Game Ingredients (65 Potions, 193 Ingredients)|
|List of needed ingredients:
Abecean Longfin, Bone Meal, Briar Heart, Creep Cluster, Crimson Nirnroot, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Dwarven Oil, Eye of Sabre Cat, Fly Amanita, Giant's Toe, Grass Pod, Human Heart, Nordic Barnacle, Small Pearl, Spider Egg, Swamp Fungal Pod, Thistle Branch, White Cap
Bee, Beehive Husk, Bleeding Crown, Blisterwort, Blue Butterfly Wing, Blue Dartwing, Butterfly Wing, Canis Root, Chaurus Eggs, Chicken's Egg, Daedra Heart, Deathbell, Dragon's Tongue, Ectoplasm, Falmer Ear, Fire Salts, Frost Mirriam, Frost Salts, Garlic, Giant Lichen, Glow Dust, Glowing Mushroom, Hagraven Claw, Hagraven Feathers, Hawk Beak, Hawk Feathers, Histcarp, Honeycomb, Human Flesh, Ice Wraith Teeth, Imp Stool, Jazbay Grapes, Large Antlers, Lavender, Luna Moth Wing, Mora Tapinella, Mudcrab Chitin, Namira's Rot, Nightshade, Orange Dartwing, Pine Thrush Egg, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Purple Mountain Flower, River Betty, Rock Warbler Egg, Sabre Cat Tooth, Salt Pile, Silverside Perch, Skeever Tail, Slaughterfish Egg, Slaughterfish Scales, Small Antlers, Snowberries, Spriggan Sap, Torchbug Thorax, Tundra Cotton, Vampire Dust, Void Salts, Wheat, Wisp Wrappings
Bear Claws, Berit's Ashes, Blue Mountain Flower, Charred Skeever Hide, Elves Ear, Hanging Moss, Jarrin Root, Moon Sugar, Nirnroot, Pearl, Red Mountain Flower, Scaly Pholiota, Taproot, Troll Fat
|Official Add-On Ingredients (18 Potions, 54 Ingredients)|
|List of needed ingredients:
Ash Creep Cluster, Emperor Parasol Moss, Netch Jelly, Salmon Roe
Ash Hopper Jelly, Ashen Grass Pod, Boar Tusk, Burnt Spriggan Wood, Chaurus Hunter Antennae, Felsaad Tern Feathers, Gleamblossom, Poison Bloom, Scathecraw, Slaughterfish Scales, Trama Root, Yellow Mountain Flower
Ancestor Moth Wing, Beehive Husk, Chicken's Egg, Elves Ear, Falmer Ear, Fly Amanita, Frost Mirriam, Giant Lichen, Hawk's Egg, Moon Sugar, Namira's Rot, River Betty, Small Pearl, Snowberries, Spawn Ash, Swamp Fungal Pod, Torchbug Thorax, Vampire Dust
Buying Many Ingredients Efficiently
The simplest way to get any vendor to restock is to save the game, attack the merchant, and then reload. This will reset both the merchant's inventory as well as their gold available.
If you prefer a method that doesn't rely on a glitch, ingredient shops replenish their stocks every 48 hours. Markarth is exactly 25.5 hours away from Riften, so fast traveling from Markarth to Riften will make sure you get into town during the same time you left plus 1.5 hours, a day later. Thus, you can create a 51-hour round trip circuit between the two cities if you have large amounts of materials to buy or sell. This will cut down on your waiting for shops to be open if you arrive after business hours.
The following races have an initial skill bonus to Alchemy:
- Lami in Morthal (Common)
- Arcadia in Whiterun (Expert)
- Milore IenthDB in Raven Rock (Expert)
- Babette in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Master)
- De Rerum Dirennis
- A Game at Dinner
- Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
- Mannimarco, King of Worms
- Song of the Alchemists
- +1 Alchemy reward for completing the quest Rare Gifts by bringing the book Song of the Alchemists to Lami. Reading this skill book can also provide +1 Alchemy.
- +1 Alchemy reward for completing the quest Dungeon Delving (Caves) by finding the Ring of Pure Mixtures for Frida in Dawnstar.
- +1 Alchemy reward (as well as +1 to all other stealth skills) from Inge Six Fingers (Bards College) for completing the quest Finn's Lute.
- +5 Alchemy reward (as well as +5 to all other stealth skills) by selecting "The Path of Shadow" from the Oghma Infinium after completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
Gaining Skill XP
Experience gains come primarily from brewing potions, but you also gain a miniscule amount of XP each time you discover an effect by eating an ingredient, including effects learned from having the Experimenter perk.
- Alchemy experience gains are proportional to the gold cost of the potion being brewed. Details of the gold cost calculation are provided at Alchemy Effects.
- Fortifying Alchemy apparel will increase the strength and thus the value of each potion. Obtaining four pieces—for the Hand, Head, Ring, and Amulet slots—will increase the effectiveness of alchemy training, whether by buying or enchanting your own. You can wear a Falmer helmet and a circlet at the same time making it 5× Fortify Alchemy enchantments possible.
- The Alchemist, Physician, Benefactor and Poisoner perks all increase the value of potions, so get them as soon as they unlock while training.
- The most expensive single effects (using standard ingredients) are Paralyze, Damage Magicka Regen, Invisibility, and Slow. Since the effect costs are additive, a potion with more effects will have a higher sell value than a potion with only one of these high-value effects.
- At the start of your adventure in potion-making, it can be useful just to make what you can when you can. An easy way to start is to just buy every item except the most expensive (e.g., daedra hearts, frost salts, etc) from an alchemist, brew all the potions you can from the ingredients, and sell them back to the alchemist. This can be especially useful at Arcadia's Cauldron in Whiterun as you can then obtain alchemy training from Arcadia.
- Fully clearing Frostflow Abyss during the Frostflow Abyss quest yields 96 Glowing Mushrooms, and at least 516 Chaurus Eggs with the expensive Invisibility effect, setting you up well for future brewing.
- The following potions are calculated at a skill level of 15 with no perks and assumes no cost in obtaining the ingredients. It also excludes unique (single or low sample) ingredients, as they cannot be used over and over to train with.
- (Base Game) Giant's toe is the single most valuable ingredient for training alchemy, as it has a 5.9 multiplier for any potion it is used to create that has a fortify health effect. The most expensive potions are:
- HF The Hearthfire add-on adds player homes with gardens and one with a fishery, allowing you to farm your own ingredients (though not all ingredients can be grown). The add-on also adds the most potion-valuable ingredient to the game, namely salmon roe (which is almost twice as valuable as the highest base game potion using any ingredient).
- Using Windstad Manor you can farm histcarp and salmon in the fish hatchery (you must kill the salmon as they will not yield roe if you just catch them), and grow jazbay grapes in the garden. It is not quite as valuable a potion as the ones above, but it is the highest one that has ingredients that can be farmed (yielding a maximum of 7.5k gold per run). However, this is only the best way if you don't build a greenhouse at any of your houses.
- Growing ingredients in the garden and greenhouse to make potions is a far more reliable source of alchemy experience and income than anything else available.
- Overall, using the greenhouse and garden, creep cluster, mora tapinella, and scaly pholiota produce the highest experience/profits. With the greenhouse, thirteen plots should be assigned to mora tapinella and eight to each of the others. With just the garden, five plots should be assigned to mora tapinella, and three to each of the other two ingredients. This allows for 39 and 15 potions respectively, giving minimum profits of 15k and 5.8k gold respectively.
- In the Special Edition there is a bug with creep cluster. (Actually there is a way around this bug that involves growing the creep cluster in the small single planters in the greenhouse. You can also grow them on the very ends of the large planters and gather them from there though targeting them is a bit harder. So you can still use this recipe.). Therefore dragon's tongue, fly amanita, and scaly pholiota become the most profitable combination (with the Benefactor perk, this potion is the most profitable regardless of the harvesting bug). With the greenhouse, scaly pholiota should be assigned eight plots and the other two given ten plots each. With just the garden, three plots should be assigned to scaly pholiota and four to each of the other two ingredients. This allows for 40 and 15 potions respectively, giving minimum profits of 13k and 4.9k gold respectively.
- DB The Dragonborn add-on adds one more valuable ingredient, boar tusks. It can be used to make potions roughly 33% more valuable than using giant's toe, but still less valuable than salmon roe, or using your garden to train.
One achievement is related to Alchemy:
- Additional effects add to a potion's value regardless of whether the effect is negative or positive.
- Dwarven Oil and Taproot have exactly the same effects so you can make a high value potion with just these two items.
- Guards will talk about your Alchemy skill if it is level 30 or higher: "Fancy yourself an alchemist, hmm? Never could get the hang of that." and "Hey, you mix potions, right? Can you brew me an ale?"
- There are (according to preliminary calculations) 21974 distinct and efficient alchemy recipes possible in Skyrim only using the ingredients provided at the game's release on 11/11/11. "Distinct" means order of ingredient listing is ignored. "Efficient" means each ingredient contributes at least one effect the mixture would otherwise lack.
- Note that the Purity perk will reduce your ability to earn money via Alchemy, since potions or poisons that mix positive and negative effects gain their value from all of their effects, and Purity removes the conflicting ones without any compensation.
- There appear to be several unused Alchemy perks: Improved Remedy (00058219), (0005821A), and Catalyst (0005821B). Improved Remedy and Improved Virulity remove negative effects from healing potions, and positive effects from poisons—suggesting they were later combined into the Purity perk—while Catalyst improves the magnitude of beneficial potions by 50%.
- Fortify Archery potions affect all types of weapons.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Fortify One-handed potions won't affect daggers.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Vampire players receive an additional 25% increase to the strength of any potion (when consumed) or enchantment (when equipped), if you have the Necromage perk. Therefore vampire characters with Necromage are able to reach higher potion strengths. (The added strength of the enchantment or potion will show up on your "Active Effects" list when used.)
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2.3 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Hearthfire planters will not give double the ingredients with Green Thumb, despite the harvest notification indicating otherwise.
- The "Purity" perk of Alchemy does not work as expected. For example, take ectoplasm + nightshade. Without this perk, the result will be a mixture of a poison and a potion: destruction spells fortified (potion) + health damage (poison). Obtaining the Purity perk and navigating to Alchemy submenu "Damage Health" to select Ectoplasm and Nightshade will now yield a destruction fortification potion instead of the expected poison for damaging health. This is also true if these two ingredients are selected through "Fortify Destruction" submenu or through the general ingredients list.
- The Italian version of the game translated "ravage" and "damage" with the same identical word ("Danneggia"). You can figure out the differences from the in-game description when creating potions.
- Powtions | Skyrim Alchemy Calculator — Includes all ingredients, including Creation Club releases up through Fishing
- Skyrim Alchemy Lab — Online calculator including Dawnguard and Hearthfire ingredients, plus saveable recipe list
- AlcheMoney Skyrim Alchemy Calculator (open source) — An application for calculating the cost of potions you can create in Skyrim given a set of ingredients
- Darliandor's Alchemy Lab - Alchemy Laboratory Wizard — Includes Dawnguard and Hearthfire ingredients (archive, original page no longer available)
- Skyrim Alchemy Generator — Reverse potion lookup including Dawnguard, Dragonborn, Hearthfire and Creation Club ingredients
- Skyrim Alchemist — App for iPhone or iPad