# Skyrim talk:Smithing

Archives
Archive 1: Sep. 2011 - Jan. 2012
Archive 2: Feb. 2012 - Nov. 2012

## Cleaning Up Formula

I can't believe that it's been more than 1 year since Skyrim was launched and the Smithing formula is still pending. Anyways, here's a much more elegant formula than the current one. I based my formula on the data given by Kai Heilos under Smithing Calculation section, Archive 1. I also believe this is what the Devs initially conceived.

INT( INT ( (Effective Skill - 65) / 103 * 3) * 3.6) + 10

Here, INT = Integer function which is essentially truncating all decimals of a number. E.g INT (5.467) = 5 DoomScythe (talk) 17:21, 15 December 2012 (GMT)

INT is ill defined, floor has a precise meaning. What is INT(-1.4)? Rounding that to -1 gives a wrong value for an effective skill of 15. So why not use floor with the precise definition of floor(-1.4) = -2? --Alfwyn (talk) 18:14, 15 December 2012 (GMT)

Noted. It should have been Rounddown / Floor. DoomScythe (talk) 04:59, 16 December 2012 (GMT)

The current version results in what gets displayed, but IIRC the display value is rounded and doesn't reflect the actual increase to the base rating. At least for weapons - I could've sworn I saw fractional damage when I did my own testing. I'll grant that using floor based on 65 as the start value explains the 2/6 for the increases before 65, and the 3/7 on the values between the 10/20/30 etc. Neither version accounts for actual cutoff for Fine being between 13 and 14, but since you can't get that without messing with the console, maybe it doesn't matter.
If fractional values do get applied but are rounded when displayed, we should consider dropping the outer floor function, unless it's preferable to match the displayed values.-Vardis (talk) 05:51, 16 December 2012 (GMT)
Well, I don't have the luxury of time to test out what you mentioned. You could very well be correct that fractional values does exist in the game. However, for a wiki, I think it's best to leave it as such to match the displayed value. Most people would care only for that.
As for the cutoff for fine between 13 and 14, what would it be should Smithing goes below 13? I have also not tested this. Again, I'm not too concerned with this, as it is a value that most, if not all, Skyrim gamers won't encounter unless they mess with the console. DoomScythe (talk) 15:04, 17 December 2012 (GMT)
I'm not sure if this was the question, but: at Smithing level 13 and below, you simply can't improve items.  They are greyed out as if already improved to their maximum level.  —Proton[talk] 07:45, 28 December 2012 (GMT)

## Not-nice numbers in effective skill formula

Can anyone explain why the effective skill formula uses a number so weird as 13.29? —Proton[talk] 07:32, 28 December 2012 (GMT)

That's the number I got when testing. Details are at the end of the first archive and start of the second. -Vardis (talk) 03:50, 31 December 2012 (GMT)

## which is the most efficient way to get experience at smithing?

the article is a bit schizophrenic... is crafting iron armor or iron daggers more xp/iron — Unsigned comment by at 08:34 on 16 January 2013‎

In later versions of the game the XP gain is based on the gold value of the item so you need to go for the high-value stuff. Bows are one of if not the best choice as they have a very high value for the number of ingots required. I'd also suggest taking Dwarven smithing even if you're a light-armor specialist because looting dwarven ruins yields copious amounts of free metal. Iron is best transmuted into gold/silver for jewelry or used for smithing better quality gear.
75.73.107.140 03:41, 21 January 2013 (GMT)Bogus

We should edit this to say that tempering or grinding is more efficient for raising this skill at higher levels once alchemy and enchanting skills are at high levels. With fully enchanted smithing gear and a potion of smithing, a player can raise a full level for each ebony breastplate tempered. That's much faster than dagger production and spares you the hassle of searching for thousands of iron ingots.

## Heavy armor skill makes better heavy armor vs. blacksmithing bonus on items?

Can anyone explain how this is even possible; My toon is wearing heavy armor with a heavy armor skill bonus. When the heavy armor bonus gloves are replaced with blacksmithing bonus gloves, the crafted armor has lesser armor points? I haven't got the perk for armor set bonus yet, so this is giving me a headache.. Steam ensures i've got the latest version of Skyrim, and the few mods i'm using don't influence blacksmithing whatsoever. — Unsigned comment by at 14:50 on 6 February 2013

The displayed armor value includes any bonuses. Put the heavy armor bonus gloves back on after crafting... If you have further questions about the game (as opposed to the wiki page), you should ask that on forums, the wiki talk page really isn't for this sort of thing. -Vardis (talk) 17:00, 8 February 2013 (GMT)

## this section needs to be removed

After patch 1.5, an item's value is the deciding factor in the amount of experience gained, so it is important to look at the ratio of the number of ingots (since leather is a rather negligible expense) required to the value of item. For example, an iron dagger needs 1 iron ingot and is worth 10 gold, meaning its experience value ratio is 10, while iron armor requires 5 iron ingots, but is worth 125 gold, yielding a ratio of 25. Using the same amount of iron ingots to create 5 iron daggers only has a total value of 50 gold. On top of this, because items' value increases by a percentage when improved, you will get more experience for improving an iron armor than you will improving an iron dagger. Although the above is true (iron armor gives more xp than iron daggers) the xp to value ratio is not 1:1. Five iron daggers (requiring 5 iron ingots and five leather strips) will give significantly more xp than one iron armor (requiring 5 iron ingots and 3 leather strips).

This is conflicting information, it starts by saying smithing items with better ratios is better for exp, then it corrects itself by saying it's not. It can only be one or the other. They can't be both right. I tested this myself. 5 daggers does move much more exp than one iron armor 50.99.131.242 04:29, 21 February 2013 (GMT)
Its not saying that, it's saying the the items aren't worth as much money as the parts needed to make them, while also saying that in some cases cheaper items being mass produced will give you more experience. It needs serious rephrasing but is more or less correct. I'll place a cleanup flag but please do not remove it. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 04:34, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

I don't think it can be cleaned up. we simply don't have the formula for xp gain for anything useful. 50.99.131.242 06:58, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

Actually we can get that formula pretty easy with the Creation Kit. It's not that complicated a formula most likely and in reality all we really need is a basic idea of whats the better option to make for each level of items. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 07:04, 21 February 2013 (GMT)
I cleaned it up as much as I can. Please take a look at it and let me know what you think! This message was written by Rosalia Tell her what you think......of her work here. 07:05, 21 February 2013 (GMT)

I think this paragraph should not mention "ratio" in a too positive light, as it's misleading. How about something like this

"After 1.5 cheap crafted items like iron daggers give much less experience, but it's still better to smith multiple daggers vs one single iron armor, which uses same amount of material. A balance between material/value of item and amount of items smithed should be found."

## Effective smithing skill

I've reverted the effective skill formula yet again back to 13.29 instead of 80/6. 13.29 was the value obtained through extensive testing. I obtained the actual cutoffs for each quality level (the listed numbers are the next integer needed), then determined down to .01 what the effect of something like doubling your skill (from the perk) does. The goal of that equation is to give you an actual value. I'd would have preferred a nicer value like 13 or 14, or even 13.3, but those don't give the correct results. This has already been discussed in detail in the archives. If additional testing shows that the equation is wrong, so be it. Absent that, please don't sacrifice the equation's accuracy to satisfy subjective aesthetics. Thanks -Vardis (talk) 09:43, 22 February 2013 (GMT)

Yeah I'd agree with you Vardis 13.29 is more accurate, as 80/6=13.3333(etc) and is not correct. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 09:46, 22 February 2013 (GMT)
I don't understand.  Where did you "obtain" the "actual cutoffs"?  Is there some resource I'm missing?  I looked in the archives (or at least, did a search for "13.29") and didn't find anything that clued me into where you're getting all of these "exact" values.  —Proton[talk] 04:31, 23 February 2013 (GMT)
The numbers were achieved from extensive testing. The details are at the end of the first archive and the beginning of the second. You can use the console to set your smithing skill to various values (it displays down to a hundredth of a point) and determine at what exact point the boundaries are for moving from one improvement level to the next. Using that, you can then determine the same thing with the perk in effect, and from that you can determine the exact value the perk works off of.
For example, you need a raw 30.46 skill value to get to superior. If the equation is correct, a smithing value of 21.88 with the perk should also result in superior quality (and 21.87 should not). Obviously you don't see the fractional values without using the console, but the game does track them. If you have 58 skill and 15% in bonuses, you get an effective value of 64.71 (rounded), which is just short of the 64.79 needed for exquisite. Note that I'm not testing these numbers as I write this, just going off the earlier work.
I don't know why the numbers are what they are. I didn't have enough interest to dig further, considering the possibility that there might not be a good reason for it. -Vardis (talk) 17:08, 23 February 2013 (GMT)
Ohhhhkay, I had thought that one's raw skill level was restricted to integers.  Well that is odd.  Thank you for going into further detail.  —Proton[talk] 20:52, 23 February 2013 (GMT)
The raw (base) skill level is restricted to integers, but even if you don't get a percentage bonus from potions or enchants, the perk will result in you getting a fractional effective value since it doubles the skill you have above the 13.29 value. I wish I could get at the source code for this stuff and see what it's really doing. -Vardis (talk) 05:09, 25 February 2013 (GMT)

## My Gaining Skill contribution

To whomever reworded my mess, thanks much. But I didn't finish. The actual number of ingots that can be made and found it over 1800. But that includes joining various glurps. Thieves guild or whatever. The 1200 I mentioned is what can be obtained by just wandering or doing basic quests. No extraordinary effort required. Sniffles (talk) 09:30, 19 March 2013 (GMT)

## WTF?

Character Creation The following races provide initial skill bonuses in Smithing: +90000000000000 bonus: Nord, Orc, Redguard

what is the deal with the #? — Unsigned comment by at 05:59 on 12 April 2013

You're looking at an old version of the page; there was recently a vandal, and he's already been reverted. The correct value is a +5 bonus. I'm not a technical guy, but if you make an account, I think that should help make sure you're viewing the current version of the page. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 06:11, 12 April 2013 (GMT)

## Crafiting cheap vs expensive items

The article mentions that the most efficient strategy for leveling smithing is to craft many cheap items, as this confers more XP per material used. However, I think crafting valuable items may be ultimatey more useful: you can sell these items back to blacksmiths and buy even more materials, thus earning more XP (of course, this doesn't apply if you have the merchant perk). I made a profitability chart to this end (link below) whose data may be useful to incorporate into the article.

Dbbolton (talk) 20:16, 27 May 2013 (GMT)

## Arcane Smithing glitch?

I've encountered an odd glitch:

the first time I leveled past 60, I could normally upgrade my enchanted items with the arcane smithing perk. After having reached level 100, I restarted by making the skill legendary. When I got the skill a second time to upgrade other armor, the items were greyed and the game kept saying that I was missing the skill. I've tried a few things - removing and readding the perk via console (it didn't work) and I travelled to Solstheim to remove all smithing perks in apocrypha. That didn't work either. A short Google search showed me that others had this problem as well, so maybe it's worth adding to the bug section. And if anyone has an idea for something else I can try to fix it, I'd be very grateful. — Unsigned comment by at 09:05 on 5 June 2013

I've had this happen under the same circumstances. My Arcane Smithing perk is supposedly active, but the game's giving me the finger if I try to upgrade anything enchanted. This is extremely irritating. Robinwitch1 (talk) 22:15, 18 November 2013 (GMT)
OK, this is getting weird now. After a few further experiments, I found that with weapons, I can improve anything that has been single enchanted either by myself or found in game, such as the dagger Bloodthorn. With armor, I can improve most things that have been single enchanted, with some exceptions such as the shrouded gloves from the Thieves Guild armor. With both armor and weapons, I am unable to improve anything that has been double enchanted. Something is tangled up somewhere.... Robinwitch1 (talk) 22:57, 18 November 2013 (GMT)
I added a bug note to the article. --Xyzzy Talk 05:38, 20 November 2013 (GMT)

## 100 smithing in no time post 1.9 patch. for those doing the legendary levelling

i found a really easy way to get 100 smithing post 1.9 patch. all you have to do, is make iron arrows. that simple, they are a lot easier than iron daggers and in abundance, all you need is to replenish the white run secret chest, for your iron ingots and a woodcutters axes. 100 smithing in about 2 hours at the most — Unsigned comment by at 17:21 on 23 June 2013

## Question about Improving Improved Armor

Is it possible to improve armor that you've already improved? I.e. I make a "Fine" Iron Dagger, but later I have a higher level and want to improve the same Dagger from "Fine" to "Equisite". I feel like I've done this once in one of my saves before I lost them, but I can't seem to do it in this one. I want to know if there's a way to do this before I even consider improving my Nightengale Armor, since if I only get one shot I'll need a lot more preparation... --65.207.12.226 18:09, 8 December 2013 (GMT)

As long as it will result in an increase in the item's quality, you can improve an item as many times as you'd like. However, if the item you want to improve has already been improved, and your current Smithing skill will not result in an increase in quality, the item will not be able to be improved. --Xyzzy Talk 18:17, 8 December 2013 (GMT)

## Question about Tempering experience formula wrong

I noticed that tempering doesn't give the stated +25 experience like creating items does. It's easy to notice by trying to improve Iron Daggers - based on the formulas, you should get more than half of the experience of creating one by improving it to just Fine quality, ie. +1 value delta. However, after you're past a value delta of 18, your improvements trump the exp of the creation of a new item with the same value. --Rechet (talk) 17:53, 10 February 2014 (GMT)

## What Happened to the tips for gaining XP by Crafting and Improving Bows?

There used to be some XP tips regarding crafting and improving bows. The general idea was that smithing dwarven bows and improving them made for quite fast leveling. The last few Smithing levels could be easily achieved by improving Ebony Bows.

This strategy worked well months ago and it still seems to work well. It seems like a much better use of dwarven ingots than making arrows to level. A player could max out Smithing by crafting and improving bows and still have hundreds of ingots left for making arrows, versus crafting only arrows and be left with smithing at 40. -72.66.107.212 17:02, 1 April 2014 (GMT)

Are you talking about this edit? It was removed 2 minutes after it was posted due to it being judged not applicable to a section about Dawnguard changes, since Dwarven bows are from the vanilla game. If this is an exceptionally good way to level smithing, or at least better than crafting Dwarven arrows, it may be worth adding back to the article, but we would need consensus on it. --Xyzzy Talk 20:24, 1 April 2014 (GMT)
Let's set aside Dawnguard and Dragonborn for a moment. Even without those two DLC Dwarven ingots are still very easy to accumulate via black smith and base game dwarven ruins. Crafting Dwarven bows, then upgrading them will only require maybe 20 bows at most to go from 75 to 90. Then crafting and upgrading a few ebony bows will get you from 90-100 with no problem.
Further, if you have 30 Dwarven ingots you could craft 720 arrows for 2,880 gold. Or you could make 20 bows for 5,400 gold then upgrade those twenty bows with the remaining 10 ingots and have 20 bows worth ~14,000+ gold. You get at least 3 times more value and XP by crafting and upgrading bows versus arrows.
On an aside, its more time efficient to spend an hour making potions than spending over an hour chopping 1,200 pieces of wood, if a player is looking for high value to weight items for resale or trainer bartering. 28,000 arrows needs 1,200 pieces of wood. It also only nets 112,00 gold. Or about 15 water breathing potions with max alchemy. --MyBreton (talk) 00:41, 2 April 2014 (GMT)
Since this is an article about Smithing, the info about Alchemy, while true, isn't relevant to this conversation. As far as the Dwarven portion, I would agree that converting the Dwarven ingots into bows rather than arrows is a more efficient use of them. The one caveat is that it may not be possible to obtain enough iron ingots in one location to enable you to smith a large number of Dwarven ingots into bows, forcing you to travel to multiple cities to get them, whereas endless quantities of firewood can be chopped at any chopping block, limited only by your patience. If nobody objects in the next few days, we should rewrite that paragraph of the Add-ons section to reflect this. --Xyzzy Talk 02:35, 2 April 2014 (GMT)
Regarding iron ingots the Imperial and Stormcloak camps with blacksmiths are an excellent means of obtaining iron ingots since they always have them in stock and don't require multiple load screen to access any single camp. Additionally, iron ingots are one of the more easily acquired resources. --MyBreton (talk) 04:54, 2 April 2014 (GMT)

## Smithing tree shape

The smithing tree is a graph and therefore can't 'look like a circle'. To be correct it should be: 'appears to be cyclic' or 'looks like a cycle'. — Unsigned comment by at 05:02 on 4 April 2014‎

I wouldn't call it a graph, but rather a path, which appears roughly circular. Points and connecting lines do not necessarily make a graph. This is more a comment on its appearance rather than its function, since players might mistakenly believe they could advance up one side to Dragon Armor, then continue on to unlock the second highest perk in the other path with a single perk point. --Xyzzy Talk 06:06, 4 April 2014 (GMT)

## You can't use a gem type/grade if you have one for a thief related quest

I was wondering why I could not make Silver Emerald necklaces when I had oodles of flawless emeralds in my possession. It then dawned on me that I had a Stolen Flawless Emerald that I was supposed to plant in someone's house for a Shill Job. Viola, I could then craft (read spam) the necklaces.

I presume that the rule also applies to items you have pickpocketed from people but I did not test this.58.7.232.100 12:15, 27 May 2014 (GMT)

## Corrected Formula for Experience Gain from Tempering Items

I have done testing with improving armors to multiple qualities in order to measure changes in XP gain with only a single variable changing. I found that XP gain from tempering/improving an item is proportional to the square root of the delta (the change in item value) and proportional to the square root of the Q quality number (Q = 1,2,3,... means Fine,Superior,Exquisite,...). However, I have only confirmed the Q value for the cases where the item is going from no improvement to any level of improvement. I will continue testing to see if the Q is actually ΔQ, in which case an item that has never been improved would have a quality number of Q=0. I put my data in an Excel spreadsheet, an I labeled everything fairly clearly. In the Excel spreadsheet, the last column contains the final formula, which is:

ΔXP = 3.8 * (Delta ^ 0.5) * (Q ^ 0.5)

I am not sure if am I able to somehow upload the excel document to the wiki, but if I cannot, I will be glad to send it to whomever is in charge of the editing fro this page. If I can upload the excel spreadsheet, someone please tell me how. I hope that the chief editors can fix the formula. Gofure24816 18:10, 9 June 2014 (GMT)

If you could make it a zip file it could be uploaded, otherwise you can email it to me (but you need an account), or upload/copy it to a google doc and send an editor who is willing the password through IRC. You can edit the page with accurate formulas yourself though. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:08, 9 June 2014 (GMT)
Alright, let's see if this works. File:Smithing Improving Experience Data.zip — Unsigned comment by at 18:35 on 9 June 2014
Got it. I'll look and see to confirm your findings. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:42, 9 June 2014 (GMT)

## Tempered items stacking problems

Tempering seems to change the ID on some items and as a result they will no longer stack as a single entry in inventory even though the screen HUD statistics are the same. Example:

5 Steel Swords (Legendary) 144 damage, 10 weight, 285 value have these ID's 0009e3ef, 001051d7, 000c1a85, 000a0e2f, and 000c1a8a which are different from the vanilla steel sword ID of 00013989.

I don't think it rises to the level of a bug, since the new ID's are not consistent. However, if you drop a stack of six or more items with an off-beat ID, all but one will revert back to the vanilla version which can waste a lot of materials and time if you intended to sell them later. Kalevala (talk) 00:35, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

## Should dwarven bows be mentioned?

After a lot of testing, I've found that one of the fastest, easiest, and most profitable methods for gaining skill XP as well as making money is to craft dwarven bows exclusively. They use two of the most abundant components in the game, and have the highest value increase relative to their base materials. Compared to iron arrows, they don't require standing there and chopping wood for hours. Compared to leather bracers, gathering Dwemer scrap requires about the same amount of effort as hunting wild animals, since many quests send you to Dwemer ruins anyway. The procedure is simple. Haul as much Dwemer metal out of a ruin as you and your follower can carry, smelt them all at a location near a blacksmith (Whiterun, Windhelm, Dawnstar, and Raven Rock are good places for this) buy up all of the blacksmith's iron ingots, craft the bows, and sell them immediately. Then you can either travel to the next blacksmith, or reset the blacksmith's inventory if you don't feel like running around a lot.FrozenWolf150 (talk) 01:56, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

## Improvement Equation

I'm a bit confused on the nature of the improvement rating equation, especially in terms of actual armor improvement. Could someone clarify the terms like "effective skill"? I'd like to use this to figure out what I need to get each set to the armor cap, but it's all Dovahzul to me.

## Smelting inaccuracy?

The page says that "Smelting items at a smelter does not give skill increases", but I have gotten skill increases out of smelting ore. Is one of my mods changing this, or is the page inaccurate? --Zzedar (talk) 16:46, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

You may have the mod Ars Metallica. It adds skill advancement for smelting, tanning, and mining. I'm sure there are other mods with these features as well. I know for a fact that you don't get experience from smelting without mods. —Dillonn241 (talk) 16:57, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

## Ancient Knowledge changes the effective skill formula

After some testing I found out that Ancient Knowledge without Unofficial Patch is NOT the same of wearing a +15% Fortify Smithing enchanted item. It actually changes the quality level formula into this:

quality level = (effective skill × 27 + 693) / 701

The effective skill and rating formulas remain the same. Tested with Skyrim SE v1.5.97.0. Defqon1 (talk) 18:57, 9 December 2019 (GMT)

Question? What is the quality level equation for without Ancient knowledge and without Unofficial Patch? Thanks.

## Smithing arrows

The entry states, "carefully collecting every bit of available metal in every Dwemer ruin will yield over 1200 ingots, producing over 28,000 arrows which can easily raise your Smithing level by 40 or more." This completely ignores that fact that it is tedious in the extreme to accumulate that much firewood in the game (without cheating, of course). IMO that renders the statement irrelevant and it should be removed. 76.234.40.233 02:44, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

## Possible math error

The article says:

"QualityLevel[sic] The exact rating boost is based on your effective skill (accounting for skill level, perks, enchantments, and potions). In detail:

effective skill = (base skill - 13.29) × (1 + perk) × (1 + Σenchantments) × (1 + potion) + 13.29
perk is 1 if you have the relevant smithing perk, otherwise 0
Σenchantments is the sum of all your Fortify Smithing enchantments
(e.g. wearing two +29% Fortify Smithing items → Σenchantments = 0.58)
potion is the effect of the currently active Fortify Smithing potion
(e.g. a 20% increase → potion = 0.2)"

Then there is an example:

"With a base smithing skill of 100, the relevant armor smithing perk, four 29% fortify smithing enchantments, and a 130% fortify smithing potion, the effective skill equals 874.84."

But when I plug in the numbers while adjusting the percents to decimals, I keep getting 500.25. to wit: (100 - 13.29) x (1 + 1) x (1.00 + .29 + .29 + .29 + .29) x (1 + .30) + 13.29 I would appreciate it if someone else gave this a try, because either the formula is wrong or the calculation is wrong for "effective skill".

Kalevala (talk) 22:32, 4 January 2022 (UTC)

The error was mine. The formula is correct. And it only took 8 months for me to find my mistake! Kalevala (talk) 21:32, 9 August 2022 (UTC)