ESO Blacksmithing Guide

The following blacksmithing guide is presented by Tevalaur of the Sunshine Daydream guild. This guide is an excerpt from a set of incredibly complete guides detailing everything a player needs to know about crafting in The Elder Scrolls Online. Many thanks to her for sharing this work with the Tamriel Foundry community, if you find this useful please check out the rest of her excellent ESO guides available on her guild website!

Sunshine Daydream’s Guide to Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is the craft which allows creation of heavy armors & metal weapons. This guide to blacksmithing covers:

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


Skills for Anyone (even the Non-Blacksmith)

One rank in Keen Eye (available at skill level 2) might be useful at least on your highest level character to learn the appearance of metal ores.

Metal Extraction improves the chances of extracting style/trait gems and tempers when refining materials or deconstructing items. This benefit may be worthwhile for anyone that deconstructs items even if you are not planning to craft.

Miner hirelings sound useful, but will only deliver low level materials unless you spend points in the Metal Working skill. Hirelings do have a chance of providing you with tempering materials, but the chance is very low for obtaining the most valuable tier, Tempering Alloy.


Recommended Skill Progression for the Blacksmith

20 skill points are recommended to effectively train your blacksmith.

Skill Level Skill Name (Rank) Benefit
2 Keen Eye (1) Metal ore within 20 meters will sparkle making it easier to spot
3 Miner Hireling (1) A miner hireling will send you ore and possibly other items every day.
4 Metal Extraction (1) Improves the chances of extracting style/trait gems and tempers
5 Metal Working (2) Allows the use of Steel Ingots (levels 16-25)
8 Metallurgy (1) Reduces research times by 5% and allows researching two items at a time
9 Keen Eye (2) Metal ore within 30 meters will sparkle making it easier to spot
10 Metal Working (3) Allows the use of Orichalc Ingots (levels 26-35)
10 Temper Expertise (1) Increases the chances of improving items with tempers
12 Miner Hireling (2) A miner hireling will send you more ore and possibly better items every day.
15 Metal Working (4) Allows the use of Dwarven Ingots (levels 36-45)
18 Metallurgy (2) Reduces research times by 10%
20 Metal Working (5) Allows the use of Ebony Ingots (levels 46-50)
22 Metal Extraction (2) Greatly improves the chances of extracting style/trait gems and tempers
25 Temper Expertise (2) Greatly increases the chances of improving items with tempers
25 Metal Working (6) Allows the use of Calcinium Ingots (CP 10 – CP 30)
28 Metallurgy (3) Reduces research times by 20% and allows researching 3 items at a time
30 Metal Working (7) Allows the use of Galatite Ingots (CP 40 – CP 60)
30 Keen Eye (3) Metal ore within 40 meters will sparkle making it easier to spot
32 Metal Extraction (3) Maximizes the chances of extracting style/trait gems and tempers
32 Miner Hireling (3) A miner hireling will search for resources for you. A new delivery from your hireling can be claimed the next time you login or change zones, provided it has been no less than 12 hours since the last bundle.
35 Metal Working (8) Allows the use of Quicksilver Ingots (CP 70 – CP 80)
40 Temper Expertise (3) More than doubles the chances of improving items with tempers
40 Metal Working (9) Allows the use of Voidstone Ingots (CP 90 – CP 140)
45 Metallurgy (4) Reduces research times by 25% and caps research timers to 30 days max
45 Metal Working (10) Allows the use of Rubedite Ingots (CP 150 – CP 160)
Recommended for players wanting to master Blacksmithing.


Leveling Blacksmithing

To level blacksmithing as quickly as possible, do the following:

  • Daily writs available from the notice boards in major cities
  • Deconstruct all intricate items you receive as these provide extra inspiration
  • Sell all ornate items you acquire and use that money to purchase high level items (from guild stores) for deconstruction

Daily writs provide a nice boost to inspiration upon delivery, always provide either an ornate or intricate item, and occasionally provide survey maps to help replenish your supplies. The table below lists the available tiers of daily writs for each rank in Metal Working (MW Rank) and the materials they require to complete.

MW Rank Inspiration Materials Used Delivery Location and Nearest Wayshrine
1 1,000 Iron Ore / Iron Ingots Consortium Trading Post
AD: Vulkhel Guard in Auridon
DC: Daggerfall in Glenumbra
EP: Davon’s Watch in Stonefalls
2 2,000 High Iron Ore / Steel Ingots Alliance Supply Depot
AD: Elden Root in Grahtwood
DC: Wayrest in Stormhaven
EP: Mournhold in Deshaan
3 4,000 Orichalc Ore / Orichalc Ingots Refugee Relief Site
AD: Marbruk in Greenshade
DC: Shornhelm in Rivenspire
EP: Stormhold in Shadowfen
4 6,000 Dwarven Ore / Dwarven Ingots Fighters Guild Provisioner
AD: Velyn Harbor in Malabal Tor
DC: Sentinel in Alik’r Desert
EP: Windhelm in Eastmarch
5 8,000 Ebony Ore / Ebony Ingots Privateer Drop-Off
AD: Rawl’kha in Reaper’s March
DC: Evermore in Bangkorai
EP: Riften in The Rift
6 10,000 Calcinium Ore / Calcinium Ingots Mages Guild Locus 1
Hollow City in Coldharbour
7 13,000 Galatite Ore / Galatite Ingots Belkarth Quartermaster 2
Belkarth in Craglorn
8 16,000 Quicksilver Ore / Quicksilver Ingots Belkarth Quartermaster 2
Belkarth in Craglorn
9 20,000 Voidstone Ore / Voidstone Ingots Belkarth Quartermaster 2
Belkarth in Craglorn
10 20,000 Rubedite Ore / Rubedite Ingots Orsinium Quartermaster 3
Orsinium in Wrothgar
1 Must first travel to Coldharbour & complete the Groundskeeper’s (non-combative) quest.
2 Must be level 50 and have defeated Molag Bal.
3 Must own Orsinium DLC; without access to Orsinium writs will act as if you only trained to rank 9.

Deconstruction gives more inspiration than creation and generates materials. Deconstructing an item made by another crafter gives the most inspiration, followed by random drops from in world, then (a distant last) from an item that you yourself made. Inspiration received from deconstruction is increased with higher level items, with better item quality, with the presence of traits, and especially with “Intricate” items.

One common method for leveling crafting is with a crafting buddy:

  1. Find someone who has the same number of skill points in Metal Working as you do.
  2. The most inspiration per material is gained with daggers. Certain levels (6, 16, 26, 36, 46, CP 10, CP 40, CP 70, CP 90) yield the best inspiration/material ratio. So create daggers at the maximum of these levels which you can craft.
  3. Then trade these with a buddy who has done the same.
  4. Deconstruct the daggers made by your crafting buddy.


All About Materials

Metallic ores are found primarily near cliffs and rocky outcroppings. DLC zones scale which materials you receive based off your points in Metal Working. If your proficiency is of a higher level material than you find while questing, you may need to farm DLC zones. Typically, three or four raw ore can be gathered per harvest; the yield can occasionally be doubled (10% chance) with 10 Champion Points in The Lover constellation for the benefit of the “Plentiful Harvest” passive.

These raw ores must then be refined at a blacksmithing table before being used to create an item. In this process, ten raw ore typically yields between seven and ten refined ingots and may also grant style or trait gems or improvement materials (the chance of this happening can be increased with Metal Extraction, one of the recommended skills). The following table lists the ten tiers of refined metal ingots used to create items as well as showing the raw ore required to refine ingots of that type.

Refined Ingots MW Rank Item Level Range Raw Ore Harvest Node
Iron Ingots 1 Levels 1 through 15 IronOre
Steel Ingots 2 Levels 16 through 25 HighIronOre
Orichalcum Ingots 3 Levels 26 through 35 OrichalcumOre
Dwarven Ingots 4 Levels 36 through 45 DwarvenOre
Ebony Ingots 5 Levels 46 through 50 EbonyOre
Calcinium Ingots 6 CP 10 through CP 30 CalciniumOre
Galatite Ingots 7 CP 40 through CP 60 GalatiteOre
Quicksilver Ingots 8 CP 70 through CP 80 QuicksilverOre
Voidstone Ingots 9 CP 90 through CP 140 VoidstoneOre
Rubedite Ingots 10 CP 150 through CP 160 RubediteOre


Tempers for Improvement

Every item you create will initially be standard quality (white). You can upgrade an item’s quality at any blacksmithing station. In the crafting interface, choose the “Improvement” tab then select the item to upgrade. Increasing item quality generates more base armor/damage and a greater effect for traits.

Upgrading the quality of blacksmithing items requires tempers. Using more tempers gives a greater percentage chance of success. The skill Temper Expertise reduces the number of tempers needed to succeed with each upgrade. The table below describes the four blacksmithing tempers used to upgrade items as well as the number of each temper that you will need in order to have guaranteed success when upgrading an item. With fewer points in Temper Expertise you will require more tempers in order to guarantee success. If you attempt an upgrade but fail, both the item and tempers will be destroyed!

Temper Used Tempers Required for 100% Success 1 Resulting Quality
None Crafted items start here Standard
Honing Stone 5 4 3 2 Fine
Dwarven Oil 7 5 4 3 Superior
Grain Solvent 10 7 5 4 Epic
Tempering Alloy 20 14 10 8 Legendary
1 The number of tempers required depends on your rank in Temper Expertise. The four numbers reported reflect the tempers needed for 100% success with 0/1/2/3 ranks in the passive.


Researching Traits

Researching traits is a very long process. Times to complete research increase dramatically as you progress, so start as early as possible! Because trait research is common to other crafts as well, it is discussed in a seperate article which can be found here:
Sunshine Daydream’s Guide to Armor & Weapon Traits.