Crafting in any MMO is usually a time commitment. The process of leveling crafting professions usually entails of farming or purchasing basic materials, spending a few hours crafting a series of items repeatedly, and then selling or recycling the item in question to finish the process. Elder Scrolls Online does things a little differently, so here’s a beginner’s guide to crafting in ESO.
All characters can level all crafting skills independently. The easiest way to level most crafting skills is passively through deconstruction, but this should be done only after completing research. As you adventure in Tamriel, you will undoubtedly acquire a huge amount of gear, be it armor or weapons. Instead of selling them for gold, you can research and deconstruct them for massive amounts of experience.
First up, you need to know about Researching items. If you head to a Clothing, Jewelry, Woodworking, or Blacksmithing Crafting Station, you will see a tab labeled Research. This tab is where you can sacrifice an item to unlock its trait for future crafts permanently. For example: If I sacrifice a Mace with the Infused Trait for research, after several hours, I will be able to craft any Mace with that Infused Trait as an option. Research is important and should be done before Deconstructing unwanted gear, as many endgame recipes will not allow you to craft unless you have multiple Traits researched for a given item type. The research timer ticks down even when you are offline — which is good because the final research items timer can take weeks to complete.
It is worth purchasing ESO Plus for the Materials Bag upgrade it provides, as it will automatically place all crafting materials into a separate bag that won’t clog up your inventory. It is also worth purchasing all bag upgrades that you can afford — you can do so at Pack Vendors, and once they start getting really expensive, you can buy the last couple of upgrades via the ESO Shop if you wish.
Next up, learning about deconstruction. Deconstructing items is the cheapest and most passive way to level crafting skills. The pipeline to level crafting skills via deconstruction looks like this: work on your main story quests and complete as many side objectives as possible. This includes Dolmens, Delves, Public Dungeons, side-quests, Daily Dungeon Finder, and Daily Battleground Finder. These activities will give you experience points, skill points, and gear that can be deconstructed. Once your inventory is full, find a town with Crafting Stations or a Crafting Location out in the wild. Navigate to the Deconstruct tab of the Crafting Station and deconstruct unwanted gear, and you’re set. You will receive a mountain of crafting experience (called Inspiration) and some of the base materials for the item.
Alchemy and Provisioning are special cases; they do not have Deconstruct or Research options. To level these skills, you need to craft potions or cook food for experience. Alchemy leveling is quick — gather or purchase plenty of flowers and combine them with water to craft level-appropriate potions. You will need several vials of each tier of water (Natural, Pristine, Cleansed, Filtered, and Purified), but only the same two types of flowers.
Provisioning, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. You need to find a recipe that only requires two ingredients and is level appropriate. These recipes can only be obtained from drops in the wild or from purchasing at a Guild Trader from other players. The process is also a little more complicated:
- Craft a level 15 recipe until you reach level 20 Provisioning, then add a skill point into Recipe Improvement.
- Craft a level 25 recipe until you reach level 30 Provisioning, then add a skill point into Recipe Improvement.
- Craft a level 35 recipe until you reach level 40 Provisioning, then add a skill point into Recipe Improvement.
- Craft a level 45 recipe until you reach level 50 Provisioning.
You will need to farm or purchase approximately 100 of each ingredient for each tier of recipe to reach the next tier.
Finally, daily Writ completion can award some Inspiration and crafting materials and is worth doing every day. We have a guide on Writs, and if you’re curious how to acquire level-appropriate materials, here’s a beginner’s guide to gathering material.