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Another guide to quickly improve your skill in Alchemy[edit]

(asdlfkasdlfas! XD XD my frits sandbox! I wonder if this is the correct way to save it..)

(to the editors: be welcome to edit my atrocious english, I'll adapt to everything. Please, try not to delete a lot of stuff -except when it's about spelling and grammar-, I'll appreciate it much better if you bold the text and write down your observations below them, like "I think this shouldn't be here because it hurts me". I'm still figuring out how to make this article useful, interesting and brief. This is a mini project I think it should be pertinent to have it here in the uesp. If there's already one, please send me the link, I'll check it out and decide if I delete this page or not. I know there's a link here Skill Increases, and I'm shamelessly copy-pasteing, is that even permitted? using that to make this page. Since it's a sandbox, I'm just pouring all the stuff I found out so I won't forget it. Yet, I'll give it proper format as I'm checking it out.)

(Note this is a work in progress, I'm saving now so I can work in it later.)


I didn't come up with this information, the vast majority of it I found them in the UESP and Skyrim related sites and faqs, just a little bit is my experience in game. Here the pages I used:


It doesn't matter if you're level 1 or 81, it's never too late to start improving your alchemy skills. "Why Alchemy? That's for losers!", Well, Mr. FancyPants, would you consider Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim a loser? (With that fantastic name, I don't think sooo!!) Would you consider Sinderion a loser? Bill Nye the science guy a loser? Walter White a loser? -but the last two are not even- HUSH!!!! NO!! THEY'RE WINNERS!! AND SO YO WILL BE!! "But it's sooo boring!", pfft, well, I'm proof of your ignorance since I find Alchemy really funny... uh, maybe it's not so funny, but if you want to get that armor/weapon with ludicrous enchanting stats, then get your bum here and start making potions!! NOW!! Also, this guide is just recommendations and suggestions, so you decide what information recopiled here is more useful for your game.

Preparing the Field[edit]

If you're a Bosmer, Breton, Dunmer or Khajiit, you already have an initial skill bonus (+5) to Alchemy.

If you're a hoarder and you have a container in your house with lots of ingredientes you just picked up but didn't use, then a star for you! If you don't have any ingredients at all, it's never too late to start! Always keep your eyes open when you're going to quests, or clear dungeons or just discover places. Get off your high horse and pick flowers and catch butteflies! mushrooms, little fishes, bugs, animal parts, anything! If you don't have a house, I do recommend Anise's Cabin, excellent for starters and safe for storage, includes an Alchemy lab and an Archane Enchanter.

It's recommended (but not necessary) that you spent the next skill perks in the Alchemy Perk Tree: Alchemist (5/5), Physician (1) and Benefactor (1), since they will help you to make better and more profitable potions. Don't worry: by raising Alchemy from -let's say- 20 to 100, and selling the potions you'll make -thus raising Speech-, you can easily raise 4 levels, and so have 4 free perks. You may consider also to use the Speech Perk Tree and activate Haggling (1/5) and Allure (1) in order to reach the Merchant perk (1), so you can sell any type of item to any kind of merchant, and also the Investor perk (1), so they can have more money to spend. If you don't want to do it, no problem, you can easily sell the potions to the Apothecaries and to the General stores.

Here's a list of all the Apothecaries, so you can start buying ingredients and making potions with them. If you don't plan to activate the Merchant perk, here's a list of the General Stores and Fences too, so you can sell them your excess of potions. Remember that you only can have Fences if you follow the Thieves Guild questline.

Whenever two merchants are listed together in the following tables, it means that the two merchants share the same merchant chest. Therefore, the merchants will always provide the exact same list of items, and share the same merchant gold. If one of the people is listed in parentheses, that person only takes over the store if the first person dies.

Merchants who are also Trainers add the gold you pay them for training to the gold they use to barter with. It's a very useful feature, just remember to have a lot of potions to sell, so it can be profitable.

Merchant Name Store Location Store Name Trainer Up to level
Lami Morthal Thaumaturgist's Hut Common Common 1-50
Arcadia Whiterun Arcadia's Cauldron Expert Expert 1-75
Babette Falkreath In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary Master Master 1-90

Free Skill Boosts[edit]

You should consider to do these quests and read these books, so you can have those Free Skill Boosts:


Skill Books:

Book Locations
De Rerum Dirennis
A Game at Dinner
Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
Mannimarco, King of Worms
Song of the Alchemists

Creating your Alchemy Set (Optional)[edit]

You need to create or put together an enchanted set for Alchemy, so you can boost your skill more quickly. (Also, consult the Fortify Alchemy page for more information).

If you have an Enchantment Skill of 80-100, I recommend you to create your own set.

It's necessary you have at least one enchanted item with "Fortify Alchemy", so you can destroy it and learn the enchantment, if you don't have it already (look for said item in dungeons or buy it from merchants).

In order to create the set, you need:

  • 1 Falmer Helmet or Penitus Oculatus Helmet
  • 1 Circlet
  • 1 Necklace
  • 1 Ring
  • 1 Hide Bracers or Fur Bracers (I'm using the lightest items, but of course you can choose to have the Dragonplate Gauntlets if you want)
  • 5 Grand Sould Gems filled with Grand Souls (only the best for the Dragonborn. You could use Common, Lesser or Petty souls if you want, but I'm against it, since the main goal here is to give you a real boost, not just a poke.)
  • (Optional) 5 Enchanter's Elixir (or Enchanter's Philter or Draught or Potion, whatever you have at hand).

"Why 5 Enchanter's Elixir? isn't enough with one?" Yes, but since I want you to rename your articles, so you can see them and have in hand quickly, you can lose time by renaming them. One elixir for object should be enough to maximize the enchanting and rename the item. I named my items like "Set ALCH Helmet, Set ALCH Circlet..." and so on, in order to locate them quickly and store them or having them with me. Again, it's up to you, maybe you don't want to rename them, but they can be tricky to find if you have two or more of the same items in your inventory.

Well, as I've said, you will enchant each one of those items with a grand soul, and rename them with any name of your like, but I must recommend they all share the same name at the beginning, like "Set of Alchemy Silver Necklace, Set of Alchemy Gold Ring..." or "My first Alchemy Set...", or "X Necklace, X Bracers..." Any name will do, the important thing is to have them all toghether, so you can see them quickly. You should have a set with +29% in fortify Alchemy for each item. (If you didn't used elixirs or potions, they should be +25%).

If you have an Enchantment Skill of less of 80, I recommend you to put together the set, by buying or looting anything of the Fortify Alchemy Magic Apparel I don't recommend you have them stolen, because if you commit a minor infraction/mayor crime, and you have them in your inventory, the guards will take them from you when you go to jail, so better not to lose them. Also, I recommend to only use those ones with the name Peerleess or Extreme Alchemy in them. The only disadvantage is, by putting them together, you cannot use 5 items, only 4, since you can't use a helmet and a circlet at the same time (unless it is a Falmer Helmet or Penitus Oculatus Helmet, but those two are not Generic Magic Apparel). Yet, you can find Krosis, a dragon priest mask, and use it with a circlet.

You may also choose not having the Alchemy set, but you'll increase of the Alchemy skill will be slower.

The Main Event[edit]

So, you have your Alchemy Set ready and in your inventory. When it's the best time to start leveling the Alchemy Skill? Any time is the best time (except when you're in the middle of an important quest. Try NOT to do this when you're going to get married, or when you're busy clearing a dungeon :B). It's also recommended you have a powerful follower with you, since you're going to do a lot of leg work, and they can help you in case of dragon attack.

1st Step: The Thief Stone[edit]

Go to the Guardian Stones and choose the Thief Stone (since Alchemy is a Stealth Skill).

2nd Step: Sleeping[edit]

Go the F%ck to Sleep. Go to your home and store all the miscelaneous items, books, weapons, armors, potions you have from your looting or stealing or buying: you'll only have in your inventory the weapons/armor/apparel/restore healt potions you need for your character to best fight and your Alchemy Set (don't forget it), and go to sleep. You'll need the Sleeping Bonuses to raise more quickly the level. If you're a werewolf, you cannot use this useful feature. You can rest in any inn or in your own house. I recommend you sleep in the same city where the apothecary you're going to visit lives. Go to sleep in the night, because if you sleep at day, you'll find the stores closed when you wake up.

3rd Step: Discovering all Four Effects for Every Ingredient (Optional)[edit]

If you have a lot of ingredients stored and you have an Alchemy Lab at hand, then you'll start by finding all the properties of all of your ingredients. Equip your Alchemy set, take all your ingredients with you (all of them, it doesn't matter if you're overencumbered) and start making Alchemy. You can eat each ingredient so you can find their first effect, but I don't recommend to do that if you have only one of each one. It's better to use these helpful guides made by and Samiamthelaw. I'm only posting the last one, since it's the one with fewer combinations (and I'm just adding the Crimson Nirnroot at the end):

When you find all the effects of all of the ingredients you have, return the excess of ingredients to their storage and go with any apothecary to buy their ingredients and sell them all the potions you made (just watch you won't be overencumbered). Repeat with all of the apothecaries you can visit.

If you don't have any ingredients, then you'll start by visiting the Apothecaries first, buying all their ingredients (you'll need at least 500 golds when you start), and start discovering all their effects in their Alchemy labs. Again, all the potions you made you'll sell them back to the Apothecary. You might also prefer to hoard all the ingredients and sell other potions you had brought with you beforehand. You can also choose one apothecary and wait two days to the store get restocked. But I recommed to go to a lot of apothecary stores, so some of them can give you related quests and you can have a wide variety of ingredients. Also, you'll have more ingredients, bring them to your house, and you can make more potions there.

You can also choose not to find all four effects. It's ok, next it's a list of the most expensive potions you can make.

4rd Step: Making Expensive Potions[edit]

The best options to start are with Lami in Morthal or with Arcadia in Witherun (you can also start with Babette in Falkreath, but you need to finish the quest With Friends Like These... without killing Astrid, so you can join the Dark Brotherhood). Again, remember to sleep well before start.

You need to make the more expensive potions, so you can raise your skill quickly. I don't recommed to make the cheaper potions, because that's when Alchemy gets boring, and you'll end up overencumbered. Better to make 1 potion of 1,500 golds than 1,000 of 15 golds. To see what are the best potions to make, consult the .

This list was made with the very useful Skyrim Alchemy Lab. Also the Useful Potions guide and the Skyrim Alchemy Profitability Calculator were of great help (just... don't believe much in the last one, it has its numbers wrong). Click here [link laterz] if you want the printable version -just two pages!-. This list helps you to save ingredients and prevents from waste them in cheaper potions. Remember, if you still want to discover all four effects, use the list posted above, not this one.

Once you have enough potions and money (at least 2,000?) ask the apothecaries for training, and sell them more potions so the training can be free. Once you get to the maximum level with them, go to the next trainer (Lami-Arcadia-Babette) until you reach 90. Now it's only a matter of time to get to 100, remember, only making the most expensive potions. Always raise your bar and don't make potions less than 400, 700 or 1,500 golds.


You see? Raising Alchemy can be fun! "Uh, no! And, why Alchemy? Of all the stupid stuff..." Silence! Alchemy is a very powerful skill. Remember the Enchanter's Elixir? For 60 seconds, items are enchanted 25% stronger, well, Mr. SmartPants, with your Alchemy at 100, with the Alchemist 5/5, Physician and Benefactor perks, and with the Alchemy Set of +125% (5 items with Fortify Alchemy +25% = +125%) YOU can make a Fortify Enchanting potion with 34% stronger enchanting! and don't get me start with the Fortify Restoration Loop!

(These are a guide for me, I'll edit them later)

  • 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 may have higher sell value than a potion with only one of these high value effects.
  • Using the Giant's Toe ingredient to create a Fortify Health potion results in potions that cost 5.9 times more than standard Fortify Health potions, therefore those potions are more valuable than Paralyze potions. This means that the most expensive potions (resulting in maximum XP gain) will always include Giant's Toe in some way. For example, according to this app, the highest value potions that you can create will be:
With Giant's Toe: Hanging Moss + Bear Claws + Giant's Toe or Blue Butterfly Wing + Blue Mountain Flower + Giant's Toe
Without Giant's Toe: Glow Dust + Glowing Mushroom + Hanging Moss or Creep Cluster + Large Antlers + River Betty
  • Rather than worry about which ingredients to buy, it is probably best just to buy all the ingredients from any alchemist merchant except the most expensive (Daedra Heart, Frost Salts, and Void Salts) because the money made back from selling potions will allow you to empty the merchant of all the ingredients they have as well as all of their gold. Just work through the whole inventory making potions for maximum XP.

  • With the Hearthfire plug-in installed, farming becomes an option. Both the exterior garden and the greenhouse add-ons to the player-built homes allow for the growing of certain alchemy ingredients, and some of the most valuable two-ingredient potion effects can be made from those grown in the new planters.

Leveling Method[edit]

  • Fast and easy method to train alchemy using all your ingredients:
  1. Identify as many effects of the ingredients you wish to use as possible (definitely necessary if you don't look them up).
  1. Find the highest value effect to brew from your available categories list. Select two ingredients, one of which should have another relatively expensive effect. Try to avoid rare ingredients or generally those that you will need later (like those with Fortify Enchanting/Smithing effects).
  1. Go to the category of the other expensive effect, select a third ingredient and brew the potion. Repeat.

While this method is unlikely to produce the best potion values possible, it requires no planning or selective ingredient gathering, potentially saving much time. Try to use more valuable ingredients, like Giant Toes.

Note: Saving so I can work on it later.

Audrey Gally talk 00:37, 30 October 2012 (GMT)

Audrey Gally talk 01:11, 1 November 2012 (GMT)

Audrey Gally talk 10:49, 7 November 2012 (GMT)