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Skyrim Guide: How To Level Up Fast By Using Crafting

Adam Barnes

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Follow these Skyrim tips to boost your level and craft some powerful weapons.

Published on Nov 22, 2011

Alchemy, Smithing and Enchanting are all useful abilities to cultivate in Skyrim, with each one enabling you to forge your own items that will help you on your quest. But since these three skills also affect your overall level, increasing these will naturally improve your abilities.

And so if you spent a bit of time grinding away at Alchemy, Smithing and Enchanting you can quickly boost your level – quickly scoring some extra health, magicka or stamina, new perks and even some gold from the proceeds you might make.

So here’s a few tips to follow to help grind your attributes quickly:

Smithing

Using the forge to improve and craft weapons and armour is the quickest and most efficient way of boosting your level, and can be an excellent source of finance at later levels.

It doesn’t matter what weapon you craft – and how often – doing so will increase your Smithing skill the same amount each time. Initially you’ll be using simple materials such as leather and iron ingots, and shouldn’t take much time.

Leather

  • Start by turning animal hide (such as Wolf Pelts) into leather, which will quickly boost your Smithing skill.
  • From there, craft leather strips, which are needed for Hide Bracers. But don’t use all your leather. One piece of leather creates four leather strips.
  • Hide Bracers require 2 Leather Strips and 1 Leather, making it Smithing item that requires the least amount of materials – therefore making it possible to create even more of them.
  • After crafting a set of Hide Bracers, you then need to improve the armour. At an early stage this will turn it into a ‘Fine’ set of bracers, and will cost one piece of leather. Note: upgrading an item at any level only ever costs one material.
  • Repeat as necessary to quickly build your Smithing skill and – eventually – your level.
  • Remember: you can purchase additional leather (value: 10 Gold) and leather strips (value: 3 Gold) if you wish from storekeepers, though the cheapest (and most profitable) method is to hunt it yourself.

Iron

  • Iron ore and iron ingots are a little harder to collect, but pre-smelted ingots can regularly be found (and stolen) from homes and buildings around the world.
  • You’ll want to craft an Iron Dagger, which requires 1 Iron Ingot and 1 Leather Strip.
  • After crafting the Iron Dagger at the forge, take it to the grindstone and improve it, using just a single Iron Ingot.
  • As with the Hide Bracers, repeat this process until you’re out of supplies to give yourself a boost in level.
  • Iron Ingots are valued at 7 Gold, and can be bought from blacksmiths if you want to keep grinding away at this ability.

By using these two techniques, you can quickly boost your Smithing ability – the easiest of the attributes to level – for as long as you like or can afford.

Enchanting

Enchanting isn’t as beneficial as Smithing for boosting your level, but increasing it will simultaneously provide a helpful ability that can really improve the grade of your weapons. 

If you’re bored of grinding Smithing or simply want something to compliment the later weapons you find or craft in the game, then Enchanting is still a viable option and can be used to boost your level in the same way. Follow these guidelines to make the most out of Enchanting and to boost your skill:

  • When you find your first enchanted weapon, rather than using it or even selling it, first disenchant it to learn the effect. What the effect is, or even how strong, is not important for this process.
  • Enchanting requires souls to imbue each weapon with energy – this requires a little bit of effort, but can be done in one sitting.
  • First, acquire the Soul Trap spell. The earliest this can be acquired is when you reach Whiterun; speak to the Court Wizard of Whiterun Farengar to learn the spell.
  • Next, stock up on Soul Gems. These appear in a range of sizes and will contain the souls you acquire, to then be placed onto the weapon itself. You can purchase Soul Gems from many locations, though stealing them is just as viable.
  • Once you have both Soul Trap and a supply of gems, it’s time to go hunting: head out into the world and kill animals, such as wolves, bears and the like. Just before you kill each beast, cast Soul Trap on it then finish it off. If done successfully, one of your Soul Gems will automatically contain the soul.
  • Once you have a supply of filled Soul Gems, visit any Arcane Enchanter table throughout the world.
  • This is where combining your Smithing skills can come in handy, meaning you won’t need to pay for unenchanted weapons or armour. At the Enchanter’s table, select a weapon or armour, apply the enchantment and select a Soul Gem to power it.
  • Once crafted, you will now have an enchanted weapon that you can then sell for profit. 

As with Smithing, repeat this process as necessary. Supplies are likely to be limited, but with the little bit of extra effort it can often double the rate at which you level up than if you were only Smithing.

Alchemy

Unlike Smithing and Enchanting, Alchemy does not assist the others in anyway. It won’t be as useful as Smithing to quickly boost your level, but considering the free supplies that litter the landscape, it seems a shame to waste them when it can be used to quickly increase your level.

Some of the later potions can be really useful, if you decide to take to it as a full-time Alchemist. If, however, you just want to use it to boost your level, then follow these tips below.

  • When exploring the game, be sure to gather Blue Mountain Flowers, Blue Butterfly Wings and Wheat. These are abundant throughout the world, and necessary for crafting the most basic potion.
  • Remember: you can also purchase these ingredients, the Alchemist’s store at Whiterun being the first location to do so.
  • Access an Alchemist’s Laboratory and combine any pair of these ingredients. You can apply all three, if you wished, but the effect would remain and will use up your ingredients quicker.
  • Crafting with these items will create a basic Restore Health Potion, useful for obvious reasons.
  • Repeat this process to make as many potions as you can, to help boost your Alchemy skill and improve your overall level.
  • As you experiment with Alchemy you can find additional potions to craft (even failing to produce a potion will boost your skill slightly). However, this method is the easiest potion to craft and the ingredients are the most common you can find.

By combining all three of these skills, you can quickly level up your Skyrim character and unlock extra abilities and strengths – for little more than making a handful of weapons and potions!

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