There are a lot of guides for adventuring builds but few if any for crafter builds. This guide is intended to share the experience of mastercrafters to help you level more efficiently and perhaps save a bit of coin.
This guide covers Racial Passives, Gear, Champion Points, Leveling Paths, Research Strategies, and Links to useful resources.
- Many Crafters or One?
- Champion Points
- Leveling Paths
- Researching Traits
- Provisioning Recipes
- Writs, Invitations, and Mastercraft Writs
- Crafting for Hire
Many Crafters or One?
Before getting into more granular details of crafting. Let’s chat briefly about about crafting philosophies. There are three common styles: Splitting crafting professions to different characters, one mastercrafter, or a hybrid of the two. I have tried all three approaches. I recommend if you are starting out to go with a hybrid or mastercrafter.
The mastercrafter approach is where you obtain all of the crafting professions on one character. There are often concerns about the number skill points need, but it is feasible to do it. There are plenty of skill points available to max out while still having a combat capable character. Personally, this is my favorite approach.
- can park my adventure toon where he is and switch to the crafter at any time
- can specialize the Champion Points and Gear for harvesting and crafting
- can create a full set of gear without having to change characters
- can track and start research trait jobs without having to cycle through characters
- can obtain the maximum number of crafting achievement points on one character
- can save a lot of money of motif chapters by only purchasing for one equipment crafter.
Tip: If you are a completionist and chasing all of the achievements on one character, make that character your mastercrafter and then there would not be a need to duplicate the crafting achievements like learning all of the motif styles.
The hybrid approach is to have split the trades into an equipment crafter and a consumables crafter. The principal benefits to this methodology are
- minimizes the expense / effort to obtain style motifs for equipment
- assists with inventory management (if you don’t have a crafting bag).
- distributes the skill point investment across characters to free up them for combat skills
- makes easier to craft set items of different types (wood, cloth, metal) without the need to switch characters and travel to the station multiple times.
- earn higher inspiration by from the deconstruction of your own items by trading items to your other crafters for deconstruction.
- complements adventuring by leveling alchemy to unlock passives to extend potion durations so skill points aren’t “sacrificed for crafting.
Tip: When having multiple, one should be the main crafter. The main crafter has priority in learning new stuff. Give every new motif and recipe first to main crafter and only duplicates or cheap stuff to helpers.
Any race can become a mastercrafter and any advantages of one or the other can generally be overcome with coin or potions.
Tip: Faction does matter when it comes to provisioning and obtaining Alliance Motifs in Cyrodiil, if you wish to self-sufficient. There are 3 tiers of faction only writs and recipes where only your faction recipes are available for purchase. You character's faction will determine the faction motifs found in the chests of Cyrodiil. These recipes can be often found on guild traders or from other players.
All races are created equal when it comes to crafting styles: they all get their racial crafting style by default (Eg. An Altmer know the Altmer Racial Style). At the time this guide was created, the Imperial race has a bit of an advantage as Imperial Motif often sells for 50,000+ gold [PC, NA] if you have that race unlocked.
Imperials have a Luck bonus that increases the chance of obtaining rarer materials but the chance is very small. With the launch of The Shadows of the Hist update, Orcs will receive a boost to Inspiration (crafting experience) gain. Obtaining items with the Intricate trait for deconstruction is a great complement or alternative to having the Orc passive. These items are often looted, rewarded (writs), or purchased on the trader merchants.
Obtaining resources for crafting is useful. Races with speed enhancements or stamina bonuses will help with harvesting your raw materials by reducing the time moving around the map to gather materials. The table below identifies the races with stamina and/or speed passives. However, refined materials can often be found on the traders and go for a price cheaper than the raw materials. The raw materials have a premium built into their price to reflect the chance to obtain crafting improvement items during the refining process.
|Orc||+10%||Maximum|| Reduced Sprint
Recommendation: Overall, the Orc race has the edge, especially for leveling a new crafter. They will have an inspiration boost to speed up leveling, they run fast, and they have stamina perks. The Imperial is a good choice. It saves gold on the rare motif to learn style, earn more gold from crafting writs, increased maximum stamina for longer sprint distances, and the luck bonus is rumoured to affect refining bonuses such as finding improvement materials and perfect roe from fishing.
Currently, there is only one skill line (excluding racial passives) that affects harvesting. If you have access to the Summerset zones, you can unlock the Psijic (Guild) skill line that includes a passive to make some enchanting nodes appear as Psijic Portals.
Psijic Portals are invisible to the untrained eye – only those with the “See the Unseen” passive, granted as part of the Psijic Skill Line, can see these portals and interact with them.
Psijic Portals appear rarely, in similar places to those one might expect to find Enchanting resources – near ancient ruins, destroyed buildings, and other relics of the past.
Psijic Portals contain items based on the location you find them in. This includes:
A random Set Item, from the Sets that can drop from monsters or treasure chests in the place you found it. For instance, a Psijic Portal found in Auridon might drop a piece of the Elegance set. These set items will always be at least Blue quality, and may sometimes be Purple quality.
An Aspect, Essence, and Potency Rune.
The Aspect Rune is never a Ta (white) rune. It is always at least green-quality, and may be up to gold-quality.
The Essence rune may be any Essence rune currently in the game, including, rarely, a Prismatic rune.
The Potency rune is based on your Level or Passive rank, in a 50/50 split.
Rarely, you may obtain a Motif chapter from a Psijic Portal. These Motif chapters are from a Motif found within that zone – for instance, a Psijic Portal in Clockwork City could grant you a Clockwork Apostle motif chapter.
Psijic Portals may include Infused jewelry, or its associated trait materials; Pulverized Aurbic Amber, or refined Aurbic Amber, as noted above in the Jewelry Crafting section.
Very rarely, a Psijic Portal may contain a single draught of Psijic Ambrosia.
However, gear can affect harvesting times. If you like to do regular harvest runs, here are some recommendations for you.
Medium is the best armor as the Wind Walker Passive offers increased stamina recovery and Athletics movement speed passive.
The Bow is the only weapon that offers a speed boost Hasty Retreat that grants you Major Expedition for 2.5 seconds after you Roll Dodge which increases your speed by 30%.
More accessible crafted sets include Night’s Silence (2 trait) with Maximum Stamina and Stamina Recovery and Hunding’s Rage (6 trait) with Maximum Stamina.
Recommendation: Purple Medium well-fitted Fiord's and Jailbreaker sets with Stamina Enchantments on all armour, Bow (optional), Speed potions (optional). Other notable zone set is Darkstride.
This section is from a previous article called, ESO Champion Points – Crafting and Gathering.
With an investment of 30+ Thief Champion Points in The Tower tree, a crafter can unlock Inspiration Boost. This perk increases Inspiration gains by 20%.
With an investment of 10+ Thief Champion Points in The Lover tree, a crafter can unlock Plentiful Harvest. This perk grants a 10% chance to double the yield from resource nodes.
For example, a gather may obtain two runes instead of one from an enchanting node or more plants from a cloth node. As indicated, this perk only works with normal nodes and not the special ones found at crafting survey sites.
With an investment of 75+ Thief Champion Points in The Lover tree, a crafter can unlock Master Gatherer. This perk grants reduces gathering times by 50%.
With an investment of Thief Champion Points into Sprinter in The Tower tree, you can increase your movement speed and therefore harvest more nodes in the same or less time. Also, helps you get to the nodes before your competitors if you are in a popular harvesting area.
Tip: If you are a healer or have a quanitity of empty soul gems, add one of the soul trap abilities to your bar (Skills/World/Soul Magic) to kill nearby mobs while harvesting to fill the gems for use or sale.
There are no abilities that benefit crafting.
There is a speed buff under the Alliance War Assault line (Rapid Maneuver and morphs) that boosts your speed which is useful for harvesting. Note: this ability offers that same Major Expedition buff as the Bow passive Hasty Retreat. If you have one, you don’t need the other. Only difference between is the Hasty Retreat uses up an ability slot while Rapid Maneuver is triggered by a roll-dodge. Warden’s have a speed buff under the Animal Companions skill line called Falcon’s Swiftness and provides a Major Expedition and Major Endurance buff that increases your movement speed by 30% and Stamina Recovery by 20% for 10 seconds.
One semi-useful passive ability under the Dark Brotherhood skill line is Shadowy Supplier. Every 8 hours you can visit Remains-Silent in any Outlaws Refuge. The potion option often results in a Toxin Satchel with a modest amount of Alchemical oils, reagents, and solvents.
Tip: The Outlaws Refuge in Craglorn is just behind the Alchemy / Enchanting Building and it a quick detour from the normal top-tier crafting writ route from crafting boards to turn-in.
Currently, there are no mundus that affects crafting.
Recommendation: The Steed Mundus (Cyrodil, The Rift, Reaper's March, Bangkorai) will increase your movement speed for gathering.
Inspiration can be earned a few ways: Crafting items, Deconstructing items, Researching Traits / Translations, and Fulfilling Crafting Writs.
Leveling by Crafting
This method is best used for alchemy and provisioning, but a very slow method for the others. The mass crafting of items is the brute force method of leveling blacksmithing, clothing, enchanting, and wood working. It is one way to use up surplussed materials but the inspiration gained is very small; therefore not recommended.
Detailed Guides Spoiler: Alchemy Leveling Spoiler: Provisioning Leveling
Leveling by Deconstruction
This method consists of deconstructing items at crafting stations for inspiration.
Tip: SpAEkus has an excellent analysis of various possible deconstructions possible in the game which he has posted on the forums.
Deconstruction is the fastest way to level blacksmithing, clothing, enchanting, and woodworking. Deconstructing top tier items that have the intricate trait will rapidly level your related crafting profession.
Tip: Intricate trait items are often obtained from equipment writs and found on guild traders. There was a report that upgrading these items would provide more experience but it my tests I didn't see any difference in inspiration gain.
Inspiration gained from deconstructing your own items is very poor. However, if you deconstruct items from other characters (including your alts), the inspiration is modestly better. One approach is to find a “crafting buddy” and swap batches of crafted gear for deconstruction.
Deconstruction is also the fastest way to level enchanting. While the best inspiration gain is from deconstructing yellow top-tier glyph, it would be a waste of gold and gold materials. The most affordable way is often to buy the lowest runes you can find and contract a master enchanter to make the glyphs for you (if you can not make your own). If you can not find a master enchanter, check guild traders for cheap top-tier purple glyphs for deconstruction. You will get better inspiration and may get an upgrade item too.
Detailed Guide: Spoiler: Enchanting Leveling
Leveling As You Go
Another technique that is slower but less tedious, is to send your adventure loot to your crafter character for deconstruction. If you can convince some of your buddies to send you some of their white equipment trash loot, you will level even faster. Need coin? Sell your ornate items. Once you max your crafting profession, sell your unwanted looted items or deconstruct the green, blue, and purple items to build or replenish your hoard of improvement items.
Tip: A popular leveling grinding method is to farm experience off zombies in the various zones up to level 50. The zombies drop white enchanting glyphs regularly.
The order you research traits are depends on your play style and those of your customers. In order to do research, you require an item with the trait to be used for the research.
Tip: Research takes a long time. Start right away. Also, ESO+ members get a 10% bonus to speed up their research timers.
To research all 9 traits, it takes at least 3066 hours in research time (if you are diligent and don’t forget to research when timers are up). If you don’t care, you can research based on the availability of items.
Tip: Each equipment profession has a passive to speed up research and allow more items to be researched at a time. When you are done, re-specialize at shrine in your capital city to recoup the skill points.
However, if you are looking at crafting as a revenue stream or equipping yourself, it is best to target the research that matches your goals.
Tip: It can be profitable to craft Nirnhoned items to sell to others for research> Nirnhoned items and trait items can only be obtained from Craglorn or from crafters who have unlocked Nirnhoned trait(s) on various items.
Also, you can only research one trait on a given item at one time even though you may have extra research slots available. For example, if you are researching sharpened on an 1H axe, you can not research any other 1H axe traits until the research is complete. Finally, you can not cancel research once it has started.
Tip: Some weapon choices aren't very popular. Example, 1-Handed axes. If you want to get your trait crafting achievement "Trait Master (50pts.)" sooner, research the less desirable traits on these weapons when the timers are shorter.
The most popular traits for armour are impenetrable, divines, infused, and reinforced.
Impenetrable is popular for PvP as player strive to maximize their damage and critical hits. However, this has no benefit in PvE as non-player entities do not crit.
In PvE, Divines and Infused are very popular. Infused is often applied to larger pieces (Head, Chest, Legs) to maximize the benefit of armour enchantments. Divines boosts the benefit of Mundus Stones for all players and really powerful for wearer’s of Twice-Born Star Set which allows players to apply two Mundus stone effects.
Tip: All Divines is very popular with DPS characters.
Training is great forlow characters power-leveling by grinding (killing mobs)
Tip: The armsman in the local Fighters' Guild sells items with the training trait.
Sturdy reduces the cost of block. This trait you will use onall your armor. Sturdy has become the only useful trait for tanking. Since the Morrowind update there is simply no other trait that will give you a significant advantage. Source
Reinforced, is no longer popular for use in PvP or PvE as it increases your armor value (%). However, Nirnhoned is a slightly better choice for light armor its armor value is lower and the flat rate increase of Nirnhoned is higher than the percentage-based increase of Reinforced.
Also, there is passive in the lady champion point tree called ‘Shield Expert’. This passive gives your shield 75% more armor. This stacks multiplicatively with a nirnhoned or reinforced bonus. Ultimately nirnhoned is a little better than reinforced (about 50 armor points on cp160 gold). So if you can get nirnhoned, do it. Otherwise reinforced is fine. Source
The remainder of the traits are generally reserved for specialized builds or task-oriented. Well-Fitted is useful for harvesting and boosting builds centred around roll-dodging. Invigorating can be used for hybrid characters characters wanting improved resource recovery in all attributes.
Recommendation: PVE: Divines, Infused, Training (Heavy / Medium) and Nirnhoned (Light), Impenetrable / Sturdy / Reinforced / Well-Fitted / Invigorating to need.
PVP: Impenetrable then PVE list above.
The most popular traits for weapons are sharpened and precise.
Sharpened increases spell and weapon penetration which is useful in getting past an enemies defenses.
Precise is often used to boost weapon and spell critical values. For example, often mages / healers will dual wield swords with precise to raise their spell critical and have no intention of hitting the enemy with them.
Infused reduces enchantment cooldowns and increases effects but is negated when poisons are used. Overall, this is a good candidate to put near the end of the research queue.
For tanks, infused pairs well with a crusher enchant (reduce enemy resistances). The buff looks nice on paper, but in reality any other person in the group that is running a crusher enchant without infused will simply override your infused crusher. So ONLY use this if you are sure all other group members with this enchant also run infused. Source
The remainder of the traits are generally reserved for specialized builds or task-oriented.
Powered boosts healing but several top theorycrafters feel that most healers tend to overheal more often than underheal. However, powered weapon could save a few Champion Points from Blessed (effectiveness of healing done) to Elfborn (spell critical) or another Mage perk of your choice. A gold Powered 2 handed weapon would increase healing by 7% which equals 16 CP in Blessed.
Also, powered is useful on the bar where the stamina heal vigor is slotted to get that extra bit of healing. Great for an off-tank in trials or a dungeon build. Source
Training is good for power-leveling low characters.
Defending and Decisive may be good for tanking (main bar) or ultimate centred builds, perhaps for generating ultimate for changing into a werewolf more frequently. Source
Charged may be useful for those wearing special sets that have low percentages to proc. However, I don’t have any experience with this trait to confirm.
Nirnhoned only affects the values of the weapon it is applied to making it the least desirable of all. It is also the most expensive weapon trait item to acquire.
Recommendation: Charged last. Sharpened and Precise first.
Tip: A Jewelry Crafting Research Scroll is available from Faustina Curio, the Achievement Mediator, for 10 Writ Vouchers, and requires you have the "Jewelry Crafter" achievement to be purchased. As with other Research Scrolls, the Jewelry Crafting Research Scroll has a 20 hour cooldown, and removes one day off of your remaining research time.
Arcane: Increases Magicka
- Arcane Rings and Necklaces can be found all over Tamriel as drops, quest rewards, or set items.
- The Trait Material, Cobalt, can be created by refining Pulverized Cobalt, which is found by deconstructing Arcane jewelry or by refining raw Dust.
Bloodthirsty: Increases the damage you deal to low-health foes
- You can rarely obtain a Bloodthirsty Ring or Necklace in the weekly quest reward boxes of Trials.
- The Trait Material, Slaughterstone, is found in those same reward boxes the rest of the time.
Healthy: Increases Health
- Healthy Rings and Necklaces can be found all over Tamriel as drops, quest rewards, or set items.
- The Trait Material, Antimony, can be created by refining Pulverized Antimony, which is found by deconstructing Healthy jewelry or by refining raw Dust.
Harmony: Increases the power of activated Synergy effects
- A Harmony Ring or Necklace is found rarely in the Undaunted Reward chests located in the Undaunted camps near alliance capitals.
- The Trait Item, Dibellium, is found in Daily Dungeon LFG reward system mails.
Infused: Increases the power of the Enchantment on that piece of Jewelry
- You can rarely obtain an Infused Ring or Necklace from Psijic Portals all over Tamriel (visible only if you have the Psijic Order skill line unlocked, available in the Summerset Chapter).
- You can also obtain the Trait Material, Aurbic Amber, or its raw form, Pulverized Aurbic Amber, from Psijic Portals. The pre-refined form is much rarer than the raw form.
Protective: Increases Physical and Spell Resistance
- Jewelry in the Protective Trait is obtained by completing the Summerset main quest and Psijic Order quest lines. (A Ring is obtained for completing Summerset’s main quest, while a Necklace is obtained for completing the full Psijic Order quest line.)
- The Trait Material, Titanium, is found rarely in precious metal seams all over Tamriel, but are found more often in seams found on Summerset.
Robust: Increases Stamina
- Robust Rings and Necklaces can be found all over Tamriel as drops, quest rewards, or set items.
- The Trait Material, Zinc, can be created by refining Pulverized Zinc, which is found by deconstructing Robust jewelry or by refining raw Dust.
Swift: Increases your non-mounted movement speed
- You can obtain a Swift Ring or Necklace by completing your daily Jewelry Crafting Writs.
- The Trait Material, Gilding Wax, can be purchased from Rolis Hlaalu, the Mastercraft Mediator, for 20 Vouchers.
Triune: Increases Health, Stamina, and Magicka
- A Triune Ring is found in Gladiator’s Rucksacks, obtained from Conquest Board dailies in Cyrodiil.
- The Trait Material, Dawn-Prism, is purchased from War Researchers in Cyrodiil for 100,000 AP per unit.
Motifs define the knowledge of a unique crafting style / appearance of crafted items. You learn motifs by obtaining books or chapters from completing quests (Soul Shriven), completing Trials (Maw of Lorkaw), completing dailies (Thieves’ Guild, Dark Brotherhood), and looting containers around Tamriel. For more information on motifs (Where to get them, Style items, etc.) consult my Motif guide.
Tip: Motifs can be really expensive, especially when a new motif is introduced. Personally, I like to go on a buying binge just before a new DLC or update is released when costs are generally a lot lower. Tip: Knowing more motifs can increase the frequency of Master Writs invites
If your goal is to obtain every known recipe on Tamriel, here’s where you can loot your recipes.
- Recipes in Cyrodiil, the Imperial City, and Dungeons now drop based on your rank in the Recipe Improvement passive.
- In other zones, recipes drop based on your passive rank 75% of the time, and the rest of the time drop the same way they dropped prior to One Tamriel, by zone.
|1||Starter Locations||Starter Locations||Starter Locations|
|2 (20-29)|| Grahtwood,
|3 (30- 39)||Malabal Tor||Alik’r Desert||Eastmarch|
|4 (40-49)|| Reaper’s March,
| The Rift,
Tip: Create characters in each faction. Every time you level your recipe improvement level, visit a chef and brewer to purchase recipes unique for that faction for your main provisioner. After level 40+, the faction provisioners start to get the same recipes for their writs.
Writs, Invitations, and Master Writs
After being certified in a particular trade profession, a crafter will be offered daily crafting writs (Consumables and Equipment) that offers modest inspiration for leveling and rewards (primary materials for craft, survey maps, recipes, improvement items, etc.).
Writ rewards, particularly low level provisioning recipes (blue and purple) and improvement items, can provide a fairly steady revenue stream for the crafter. However, there is a debate whether or not, equipment writ rewards are worth the effort given the opportunity cost of selling the materials needed to craft writ items versus the random chance of obtaining gold improvement items.
With patch 2.7.x (Homestead), maximum-tier writs will have a chance to provide special invitations to craft a very specific item or set of items. These invitations will reward the crafter with Writ Vouchers that can be used at Mastercraft Mediator Rolis Hlaalu.
- Style Items, individual Motif chapters, or the complete book for the Ebony Motif or Glass Motifs.
- Two Legendary Furnishing plans per tradeskill
- The recipe and unique component for the Target Skeleton Furnishing
- The recipe and unique component for Aetherial Ambrosia
- Crafting station Furnishings for each tradeskill, and a dye station Furnishing
- Attunable crafting stations for Blacksmithing, Clothier, and Woodworking tradeskills, which can be used near crafted item set sites to transform them into Furnishing versions of those set stations
- Research Scrolls.
Tip: The frequency of Master Writ invites from standard Writ boxes is based on the overall associated tradeskill mastery possessed by the character: trait research, Motif knowledge, and achievement completion Tip: More difficult, rare, and expensive crafted items provide more Writ Vouchers on average than their more commonplace counterparts.
The assistants are very pricey. Is it worth it? Well it comes down to personal choice and if there are other items competing for your Crown balance. A banker can have an impact on leveling your crafters.
A banker can create easy deconstruction workflow. For example, I dump equipment and glyphs on my banker assistant after each dungeon run. When the bank gets full, I alt to my crafter (while leveling) or my specialized deconstruction character to quickly mass deconstruct items in a town with all of the crafting stations in close proximity.
Recommendation: If you do a lot of writs and/or do a lot of PvE dungeon / trial runs and have a surplus of crowns, the banker assistant may be worthwhile.
Crafting for Hire
Crafting for others can be rewarding and at times extremely frustrating. To minimize crafting for hire frustrations, set a standard for your order requests. Eg. client provides mats, style items, handling of CoD fees, cash only sales, etc.
Tip: Sometimes it is okay to "fire" the client. If client doesn't know what they want, doesn't have the mats, wants gold upgrades for free, asks for a new set every 4 levels, etc.
For inexperience commissioners, refer your clients to the buyer’s guide to equipment crafting. This will explain the requirements of a crafting order: adventure level, traits, appearance, quantity of materials needed, etc.
For [PC] players, there are add-ons to simplify or enhance your crafting experience. The most popular add-on site is ESOUI.com.
Tip: Add-ons that allow you to craft multiple crafting items and/or recognize your writ quests to craft them for you are practically life-changing.
At the time this document was reviewed, my favorite writ add-ons are
- Dolgubon’s Lazy Writ Crafter (Crafting Writ Tool)
- TraitBuddy (Trait Tracker)
- Auto Research (Research items at station if in inventory)
- Research Craft (Research item crafter)
- One Character to Craft Them All, Official Forums
- Crafting Tips for New Players, Official Forums
- ESO Traits and Enchantments Changes in Dark Brotherhood, YouTube, Deltia’s Gaming
- Sunshine Daydream Guide to Armor & Weapon Traits
- Crafter gone mad, Official Forums
- Patch Notes 2.7.0, Official Forums