Part 1: Raise your Smithing, Enchanting, and Alchemy
By now, you should have fully digested the expansive Crafting training within the Skyrim Legendary Edition strategy guide. This training provides a detailed look at the creation of armor and weapons (Smithing), the adding of enchantments to those pieces of armor and weapons (Enchanting), and the creation of particularly potent potions through the use of mixing ingredients (Alchemy). You should have high values in each of these three Skills before attempting to make the very best items. But don’t concentrate solely on crafting at the expense of combat, or you may be outclassed when adventuring against enemies.
Increase your Smithing by mining or purchasing iron ore and harvesting or purchasing leather strips; head to a forge and make rudimentary iron or hide items, and continue this with dogged determination.
Increase your Enchanting by collecting (filled) Soul Gems, then take the iron and hide items you’ve made and head to an arcane enchanter. Enchant the items with whatever enchantments you wish. Now repeat this.
Increase your Alchemy by collecting ingredients that are easy to come by (such as Giant’s Toes), or look at the guide’s Ingredients tables for locations, and combine to make the best (most potent) possible potions. Try creating potions that benefit you (such as Fortify Health), too. Now repeat this.
Part 2: Searching for Fortify Alchemy and Smithing Enchantments
With appropriately high levels in your crafting Skills (100 is recommended, but less is acceptable if you want to make lower-quality items), begin to craft items that increase the power and quality of your armor, weapons, and potions. Start by obtaining equipment with Fortify Alchemy and Fortify Smithing enchantments. Keep a lookout for items with these specific enchantments and disenchant them. If you have the Extra Effect Enchanting Perk, this allows you to enchant your newly crafted item with both enchantments.
Part 3: Create a Fortify Alchemy Outfit
Now you must further increase your Fortify Alchemy ability by creating an outfit for just this purpose. You need the following items:
- Grand Souls (multiple)
- Necklace (or Amulet)
- Ring (multiple)
Collect Grand Souls (Mammoths are the easiest enemy to capture these type of souls from). Head to your nearest arcane enchanter and fortify the bracers, helmet, necklace, and ring with the Fortify Alchemy enchantment. The four items, when worn, allow for cumulative bonuses; they “stack.” Have you created the outfit? Excellent; now remember to put it on, and begin to craft some suitably impressive potions at a nearby alchemy lab!
The outfit doesn’t have to be particularly exceptional. You’re only interested in the Fortify Alchemy bonuses; it shouldn’t double as a set of armor!
Part 4: Create Fortify Enchanting Potions
At the alchemy lab, the potions you’re about to make will fortify your Enchanting still further. Begin with Fortify Enchanting, and use any of the following ingredients:
- Ancestor Moth Wing
- Blue Butterfly Wing
- Chaurus Hunter Antennae
- Hagraven Claw
- Spawn Ash
- Spriggan Sap
Craft around six Fortify Enchanting Potions, and then head back to your arcane enchanter. Each potion lasts around 30 seconds, so don’t dawdle after you consume one of them!
Part 5: Create Improved Fortify Alchemy Outfits and Fortify Enchanting Potions
Remember the four wearable items you just enchanted with Fortify Alchemy enchantments? You’re going to need a second set of bracers, helmet, necklace, and ring so you can repeat this process. But because you’ve drunk a Fortify Enchanting Potion, the quality of the Fortify Alchemy enchantments is greater this time around. Make a second set of four items. Now wear this equipment, and head back to your alchemy lab. Why? You’re about to make even more potent Fortify Enchanting Potions, using the same ingredients, but wearing the better outfit. Repeat this process until you aren’t seeing any more improvements in your statistics (around 30%).
Part 6: Create the Best Fortify Alchemy and Smithing Outfit
You’ve made a number of Fortify Enchanting Potions that you’re happy with, correct? The potions give around a 30% bonus to Fortify Enchanting, correct? Then move back to your arcane enchanter, and bring the following equipment to the table:
The reason you require five items rather than four is that the armor and helmet can only take one enchantment. So choose either Fortify Alchemy or Fortify Smithing for the armor, and the one you didn’t choose for the helmet. Now enchant the bracers, necklace, and ring with both Fortify Alchemy and Smithing. You now have a set of equipment with the maximum “stacked” bonuses to Alchemy and Smithing. Expect the fortify bonus to be around 29%. Now wear this set of equipment, and mosey on over to the alchemy lab. Again!
Part 7: Create Fortify Smithing Potions
Time to craft some Fortify Smithing Potions to the very highest level possible. While wearing your new outfit (which you now don’t need to change when visiting either an alchemy lab or forge), use any of the following ingredients:
- Glowing Mushroom
- Sabre Cat Tooth
- Spriggan Sap
The actual bonus to your Smithing is well over 100% when you drink one of your new concoctions and wear the equipment you just made. Just remember to make multiple potions before heading to a forge.
Part 8: Conclusion: The Pinnacle of Crafting Preparation
Let’s recap what you now have. Assuming you raised your Alchemy, Enchanting, and Smithing to 100 before you started to make Fortify potions and equipment, you have the following at your disposal:
Alchemy: The ability to make Fortify Enchanting and Fortify Smithing Potions as needed.
Alchemy and Smithing: A five-item outfit with both Fortify Alchemy and Fortify Smithing bonuses that you always wear at an alchemy lab and forge.
Smithing: Fortify Smithing Potions to drink before making incredibly powerful armor and weapons.
Enchanting: Fortify Enchanting Potions that you use at the arcane enchanter when you want to enchant newly-smithed armor and weapons that are already incredibly powerful.
This is the pinnacle of crafting. By creating the very best armor and weapons (which you should know the quality of by now, or by checking out the Inventory chapter), and then the enchantments that suit your style of play, you’re effectively unstoppable!
David Hodgson is the author of the official guide to The Elder Scrolls Skyrim: Legendary Edition. He has written 92 guides since 1996; eight guides with Bethesda. To call him a Skyrim expert is a serious understatement. Follow David at @DavidSJHodgson