ESO Alchemy Guide

alchemy-bannerHello and welcome to Tamriel Foundry’s Alchemy Guide! In this guide we cover the basic mechanics of Alchemy in The Elder Scrolls Online, explain how to work with reagents, solvents, and oils, and provide some more advanced tips for how to make the most of your crafting and gathering time.

Alchemy is used to create potions that will help you in combat and poisons which can debilitate your enemies. Beneficial potions are used to replenish resources, grant temporary immunities, or provide valuable buffs like invisibility, immunity to crowd control, or increased movement speed. Poisons are applied to your currently equipped weapons and deal damage, drain resources, and inflict debilitating status effects on your enemies. You are able to use both potions and poisons simultaneously in combat, and effectively using these consumables is essential for optimizing the effectiveness of your character. By mastering the Alchemy trade skill, you can provide your character with these useful consumables much more easily and cheaply than if you rely solely on other crafters.

This guide has been updated for the Dark Brotherhood DLC (patch 2.4) and can be considered current as of June, 2016.

 

Creation & Discovery


Potions and poisons are created by combining solvents or oils which provide a base material with reagents which contribute special properties to the created substance. Solvents are purified waters used to create drinkable potions. Oils are thicker, designed to coat a blade.

An Alchemist at work

A skilled alchemist at work

Creating a potion or poison requires at least two reagents which share a common effect. For example, both Blessed Thistle and Columbine provide the Restore Stamina property. If both of these reagents are used together to create a potion, the result will be a potion that restores stamina (as well as possible other effects). Each reagent has four properties which it can contribute to a potion or poison. These properties are initially unknown; the only way to learn them is through experimentation! There are not a huge number of possible properties, so your odds of discovering something when combining two reagents (even at random) are fairly good. If you want to pursue a more scientific approach to the discovery process, the table in the following section lists all the reagents and their properties. If you are clever, it’s possible to learn the properties for all 26 reagents in as few as 56 potions!

The tier of solvent or oil used in creation controls the potency (and level requirement) of the resulting potion or poison. As you craft you will gain inspiration experience in the Alchemy skill line, allowing you to invest skill points in Solvent Proficiency which allows you to use higher grade solvents and oils. As your proficiency improves further, you can unlock the Laboratory Use skill which allows three reagents to be combined when creating a potion instead of only two. Common properties shared by all three reagents will be manifested even more strongly in the resulting potion. Furthermore, the use of three reagents makes it possible to find combinations with multiple overlapping properties, creating powerful multi-purpose potions and poisons.

 

Alchemy Reagents


There are 26 different alchemy reagents spread throughout Tamriel. You can find most reagents in every zone, although some require you to harvest a specific type of enemy. The reagents are not restricted to the level of the zone like solvents, oils, and raw materials for used in other crafting skills. The following grid depicts all 26 reagents and their properties as well as a short description of where they are commonly found. Green properties will generally add beneficial effects while red properties will generally add harmful ones.

Beetle Scuttle

Found killing insectoids like Thunderbugs, Shalk, or beetles

  • Lower Spell Resist
  • Increase Armor
  • Protection
  • Vitality
Blessed Thistle

A green-leafed plant found growing in grassy areas

  • Restore Stamina
  • Ravage Health
  • Weapon Power
  • Increase Speed
Blue Entoloma

A blue mushroom found growing around the base of rocks and trees

  • Restore Health
  • Ravage Magicka
  • Spell Power
  • Invisibility
Bugloss

This wildflower is recognizable by its purple blooms

  • Spell Resist
  • Restore Health
  • Spell Power
  • Restore Magicka
Butterfly Wing

Harvested by collecting butterflies

  • Restore Health
  • Lower Spell Critical
  • Sustained Restore Health
  • Vitality
Columbine

This flower has red blooms atop long stalks

  • Restore Health
  • Restore Magicka
  • Restore Stamina
  • Unstoppable
Corn Flower

This flower is commonly found growing in the wilderness

  • Restore Magicka
  • Spell Power
  • Ravage Health
  • Detection
Dragonthorn

This wildflower is recognized by its yellow blooms and sharp thorns

  • Weapon Power
  • Restore Stamina
  • Lower Armor
  • Weapon Crit
Emetic Russula

This red-capped mushroom is found at the base of rocks and fallen trees

  • Ravage Health
  • Ravage Magicka
  • Ravage Stamina
  • Stun
Fleshfly Larva

Found on corpses and from swarms of fleshflies near standing water

  • Ravage Stamina
  • Vulnerability
  • Creeping Ravage Health
  • Vitality
Imp Stool

This yellowish mushroom is commonly found underground or near rocks

  • Lower Weapon Power
  • Ravage Stamina
  • Increase Armor
  • Lower Weapon Critical
Lady’s Smock

A small white flower that tends to grow in the open

  • Increase Spell Power
  • Restore Magicka
  • Lower Spell Resist
  • Increase Spell Critical
Luminous Russula

This fungus grows in small clusters in shaded areas

  • Ravage Stamina
  • Lower Weapon Power
  • Restore Health
  • Reduce Speed
Mountain Flower

This colorful wildflower is found on the slopes of hills and mountains

  • Increase Armor
  • Restore Health
  • Lower Weapon Power
  • Restore Stamina
Mudcrab Chitin

Harvested from mudcrabs found throughout Tamriel

  • Increase Spell Resist
  • Increase Armor
  • Protection
  • Defile
Namira’s Rot

This fungus is found in caves or near rocky outcroppings

  • Increase Spell Critical
  • Increase Speed
  • Invisibility
  • Unstoppable
Nightshade

A plant with bright purple blossoms growing in open areas

  • Ravage Health
  • Protection
  • Creeping Ravage Health
  • Defile
Nirnroot

This plant which grows near water has five bright green leaves

  • Ravage Health
  • Lower Spell Critical
  • Lower Weapon Critical
  • Invisibilty
Scrib Jelly

Harvested from Kwama larvae called Scribs

  • Ravage Magicka
  • Increase Speed
  • Vulnerability
  • Sustained Restore Health
Spider Egg

Found on all varieties of spiders in Tamriel

  • Reduce Speed
  • Invisibility
  • Sustained Restore Health
  • Defile
Stinkhorn

A distinctly shaped mushroom which resembles a cluster of carrots

  • Lower Armor
  • Ravage Health
  • Increase Weapon Power
  • Ravage Stamina
Torchbug Thorax

The phosphorescent bulb of a common torchbug

  • Lower Armor
  • Lower Weapon Crit
  • Detection
  • Vitality
Violet Coprinus

A purple mushroom that commonly grows in pairs

  • Lower Spell Resist
  • Ravage Health
  • Increase Spell Power
  • Ravage Magicka
Water Hyacinth

A purple-bloomed flower which commonly grows near water

  • Restore Health
  • Increase Spell Crit
  • Increase Weapon Crit
  • Stun
White Cap

A common white mushroom found at the base of rocks and trees

  • Lower Spell Power
  • Ravage Magicka
  • Increase Spell Resist
  • Detection
Wormwood

A spiny green plan found growing in grassy areas

  • Increase Weapon Crit
  • Reduce Speed
  • Detection
  • Unstoppable

 

Solvents and Crafting Potions


Each potion you craft requires a solvent, which is essentially a vial of purified water. Using higher grade solvents requires additional ranks in the Solvent Proficiency skill, but enables you to produce higher level potions. The grade of solvent you will find depends on the level of the zone in which you are adventuring. Solvents can be collected from a variety of sources, but are most easily found in the following forms:

  • Pure water: Look for small swirling pools in almost any body of water. These pools are harvestable and will always yield alchemy solvents.
  • Water skins: Small leather pouches found in towns and inside buildings. These can be taken (or often stolen) and are guaranteed to contain solvents.
  • Bottles: Small bottles found in throughout the world. These will often yield solvents for use in alchemy but may also yield consumable beverages not useful for potion-making.
  • Other containers: There is a small chance for ordinary containers like barrels, crates, or furniture to provide alchemy solvents, although this is not a reliable method for harvesting.

The following table describes the tiers of solvents, the level of potion they create, and the zones in which they are most easily found.

Solvent Level Rank Prefix Zones
Natural Water 3 1 Sip Khenarthi’s Roost
Stros M’Kai, Betnikh
Bleakrock Isle, Bal Foyen
Clear Water 10 1 Tincture Auridon
Glenumbra
Stonefalls
Pristine Water 20 2 Dram Grahtwood
Stormhaven
Deshaan
Cleansed Water 30 3 Potion Greenshade, Malabal Tor
Rivenspire, Alik’r Desert
Shadowfen, Eastmarch
Filtered Water 40 4 Solution Reapers March
Bangkorai
The Rift
Coldharbour, Cyrodiil
Purified Water CP10 5 Elixir Cadwell’s Silver Zones
Cloud Mist CP50 6 Panacea Cadwell’s Gold Zones
Star Dew CP100 7 Distillate Craglorn
Lorkhan’s Tears CP150 8 Essence Imperial City, Wrothgar, Hew’s Bane, Gold Coast

 

Oils and Crafting Poisons


Each poison crafted requires an oil to provide the base substance. Using higher grade oils requires additional ranks in the Solvent Proficiency skill, but enables you to produce higher level poisons. The grade of oil you will find depends on the level of the zone in which you are adventuring. While solvents are commonly found through exploration and harvesting, oils are more easily found through combat. Some common sources of oils include:

  • Dungeons: Oils will commonly drop from slain enemies within dungeons. This includes trials, group instances, public dungeons, and delves.
  • Undead, Daedra, and Trolls: These creature types will always have a chance to drop oils.
  • Other containers: There is a small chance for ordinary containers like barrels, crates, or furinture to provide oils, although this is not a reliable method for harvesting.

The following table describes the tiers of oils, the level of poison they create, and the zones in which they are most easily found.

Oil Level Rank Suffix Zones
Grease 3 1 I Khenarthi’s Roost
Stros M’Kai, Betnikh
Bleakrock Isle, Bal Foyen
Ichor 10 1 II Auridon
Glenumbra
Stonefalls
Slime 20 2 III Grahtwood
Stormhaven
Deshaan
Gall 30 3 IV Greenshade, Malabal Tor
Rivenspire, Alik’r Desert
Shadowfen, Eastmarch
Terebinthine 40 4 V Reapers March
Bangkorai
The Rift
Coldharbour, Cyrodiil
Pitch-Bile CP10 5 VI Cadwell’s Silver Zones
Tarblack CP50 6 VII Cadwell’s Gold Zones
Night-Oil CP100 7 VIII Craglorn
Alkahest CP150 8 IX Imperial City, Wrothgar, Hew’s Bane, Gold Coast

 

Leveling Tips


  • Focus on unlocking the four traits on all twenty-six reagents first. You will earn an extra amount of inspiration every time you learn a new reagent property.
  • Invest skill points in Solvent Proficiency first, allowing you to use higher grade solvents and oils which increases the inspiration gain per craft.
  • Only use two reagents per solvent for leveling Alchemy. There is no difference in inspiration so you might as well save your materials.
  • Some reagents are easier to farm than others. For example Water Hyacinth and Nirnroot are both easily obtained by following a body of water like a lake or river, this strategy has the added advantage of yielding solvents from pure water nodes.
  • If you have extra skill points, investing at least one point into Keen Eye will make it much easier to spot ingredients while roaming the wilderness.
  • It may be best to save certain reagents and not use them for leveling purposes. For example, Namira’s Rot is relatively rare, but is an important ingredient in valuable Spell Power potions. Take a look at the “recommended recipes” section below and think about whether you would rather stockpile some ingredients for later use.
  • Some tiers of water are relatively more difficult to farm due to lack of bodies of water in certain zones. If you find yourself running short on solvents it isn’t terrible to use a lower tier of solvent for leveling.
  • If you are going out on a alchemy harvesting run, you can turn off grass in your Video Settings which will make it much easier to spot reagents and pure water in the world.

 

Recommended Potion Recipes


  • Essence of Health: (Lorkhan’s Tears, Bugloss, Columbine and Mountain Flower) – This is the best restoration potion available, commonly called a “tri-pot”, as it restores all three resources.
  • Essence of Spell Power: (Lorkhan’s Tears, Cornflower, Lady’s Smock, and Water Hyacinth/Namira’s Rot) – This is the best offensive potion for Magicka builds as it increases Spell Power, Spell Critical, and provides Magicka restoration. I recommend using Water Hyacinth instead of Namira’s Rot. Water Hyacinth is much easier to get and Namira’s Rot should be used for other potions as it’s very rare.
  • Essence of Weapon Power: (Lorkhan’s Tears, Blessed Thistle, Dragonthorn and Wormwood/Water Hyacinth) – This is the best offensive potion for Stamina builds as it increases Weapon Power, Weapon Critical, and provides Stamina restoration. Using Wormwood for this potion is advisable because it allows you to save Water Hyacinth for Spell Power potions.

 

Alchemy Skills


The most important skill to invest in for advancing the Alchemy craft is Solvent Proficiency which will allow you to use higher grade solvents and oils to craft better potions and poisons. Laboratory Use is an important skill to purchase as three reagent potions are considerably superior to the two-reagent variety. Medicinal Use is a valuable set skill to purchase even for characters who do not craft potions themselves, as it enhances the effectiveness of all potions that you consume. Snakeblood sounds helpful, but the most powerful potion recipes that are currently known have no negative side effects, so it’s usefulness is limited for late-game play.

Icon Passive Name Effect
Solvent Proficiency Allows the Alchemist to use [SOLVENT] and [OIL]to make level [X] potions and poisons.
Keen Eye: Reagents Reagents in the world will be easier to see when you are 20/30/40 meters or closer.
Medicinal Use When using potions, resulting effects last 10/20/30% longer.
Chemistry Produces 1/2/3 extra potions and 4/8/12 extra poisons per crafting attempt.
Laboratory Use Allows the use of up to 3 Reagents while mixing Potions.
Snakeblood Reduces negative effects in potions by 50/80/100%.

We hope you’ve found our Alchemy guide useful. If you see something that needs to be updated or something that’s missing, please feel free to contact @Calia1120 with your suggestions. If you are eager to discuss the finer points of Alchemy in ESO, head over to the Crafter’s Hall and join in the discussion!