The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Alchemy Guide

Alchemy Tips, Ingredients List, and Making Potions

Skyrim's Alchemy skill allows your Dragonborn to create potions and poisons that have a variety of effects. This guide to Alchemy will teach you how to make potions, the benefits of the various Alchemy Perks, skill mechanics, trainer locations, and tips to make the most of your Alchemist's skills.

An Alchemy Lab in Skyrim
Alchemy Labs are found around the world of Skyrim. This one is in the Hall of Countenance of the College of Winterhold.

Making Potions and Poisons
Potions are produced by mixing two or three ingredients at an Alchemy Lab. If the ingredients share one or more magical properties, a potion or poison is created. With nothing in common, the mixture will fail. A successful product will have one or more effects, depending on how many of the ingredients' various magical properties match up. Potions (red in color) are drank, effects felt instantly by the player. Poisons (green) are applied to weapons and their effects used up through charges. Striking an enemy removes a charge.

The strength of your potions and poisons are determined by your current alchemy level (with Fortify helping appropriately) and the perks you've learned from the Alchemy perk tree. To learn

Learning the Magical Properties of Ingredients
First, though they exist in the game, you do not need recipes to create potions. All herbs and food ingredients have set effects. If they match, you will unlock knowledge of that property. Eating a raw ingredient by using it in the menu will reveal the first property of an item. Later, with the Experimenter Perk, you can reveal the second, third, and fourth effects of items. You'll always unlock the top left property first, top right second and so on. So, you have two choices for unlocking the properties of ingredients either eat it, or use foreknowledge of properties or trial and error to combine potions to find matching effects.

Leveling Skyrim's Alchemy Skill
The experience you gain from a potion is based on the final value. Since Fortify Alchemy and Alchemy Perks both help the power of effects, they also produce more expensive potions thus more skill XP. Some effects are more valuable than others. For example, Paralyze is an expensive effect while Restore Stamina is not. A potion's value goes up based on the sum of all its effects, positive and negative, no matter how much sense they make (a Fortify Restoration + Damage Magicka potion, for example).

Arcadia's Cauldron Alchemy shop
Arcadia's Cauldron in Whiterun features a shop, Expert Alchemy Trainer and an Alchemy Lab or making Potions and Poisons.

In general, Alchemy is one of the easiest skills in Skyrim to level, especially with perks and gear enchanted with Fortify Alchemy. You can buy out all the ingredients from an Alchemy ingredient vendor, craft all your potions, then sell those back for a profit. In fact, you can even afford to do training and still turn a profit in some cases as vendors won't often have enough money to buy all the potions you create.

Alchemy Skill Trainers
There are two good trainers for Alchemy in Skyrim. The easiest to access is Arcadia, an Expert Alchemist in Whiterun. Members of the Dark Brotherhood can train with Babette, a Master level trainer. She also sells the Daedra Heart alchemy ingredient from time to time.

Alchemy Skill Perks

Skyrim Alchemy Perks
The Alchemy Perk Tree in Skyrim

It takes fifteen perk points to master Alchemy, though it is unlikely you will want everything.

Alchemist (5 Ranks +20% Each)
(level 0/20/40/60/80 Alchemy Skill required)
Increases the strength or duration of potions by 20% per rank. Take all five points if your Dovahkiin is going to use Alchemy for survival, profit, or both.

(level 20 Alchemy Skill required)
Boosts Health, Magicka, and Stamina potions by 25% in power. This perk will pay off with higher potion values, whether you use the potions to heal or not.

(level 30 Alchemy Skill required)
Gives poisons +25% more power. Again, this could pay off with higher potion yields at the shop whether you're using poisons on weapons or not.

Concentrated Poison
(level 60 Alchemy Skill required)
Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits. This Perk's usefulness really depends on your build. I'm not aware that this boosts the value of potions.

Green Thumb
(level 70 Alchemy Skill required)
Two ingredients are gathered from plants. Absolutely take this perk if you've got the prerequisites! Some rather rare herbs can be found in pairs, which is a great boost to you in terms of supplies and finances.

(level 30 Alchemy Skill required)
Potions you mix with beneficial effects have 25% greater magnitude. So, Fortify Enchanting potions will have a bigger kick, helping you to Enchant and produce better potions. Better take this perk if you're going that route.

Experimenter (3 Ranks, reveals 2/3/4 effects on eating an ingredient)
(level 50/70/90 Alchemy Skill required)
This perk isn't necessary if you use an Alchemy ingredients list, which I have in a table below.

(level 80 Alchemy Skill required)
Gives you 50% resistance to all poisons a slightly helpful defensive Perk.

(level 100 Alchemy Skill required)
This is a perk that will impact your potions' final values, but ultimately helps from a gameplay perspective. All positives will be removed from poisons you create, but more importantly, all negatives are removed from potions, allowing for some better custom combinations.

Alchemy Ingredients

Alchemy Ingredients
Each Alchemy Ingredient has four Magical Properties, which are combined to create Potions.

The following table will aid your potion-making efforts in Skyrim. Many effects are not challenging to find, as they are found on various ingredients. There is one ingredient in particular that is tough to find: the Daedra Heart. These are used to craft Daedric armor and weapons with the Smithing skill. A guaranteed way to be able to farm Daedra Hearts is to get to level 20 and do the Pieces of the Past quest. Toward the end are a few Dremora who, after the quest's completion, will respawn once every few days. The trouble is, there aren't many of this enemy type in Skyrim other than those. What few hearts are out there are scattered around the world. As the expensive option, Daedra Hearts can be bought from Enthir as well as Babette of the Dark Brotherhood. Otherwise, most alchemist merchants have a chance to sell them once in a while, though they are expensive.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Alchemy Ingredient List
Ingredient NameEffect 1Effect 2Effect 3Effect 4
Abacean LongfinWeakness to FrostFortify SneakWeakness to PoisonFortify Restoration
Bear ClawsRestore StaminaFortify HealthFortify One-HandedDamage Magicka Regen
BeeRestore StaminaRavage StaminaRegenerate StaminaWeakness to Shock
Beehive HuskResist PoisonFortify Light ArmorFortify SneakFortify Destruction
Bleeding CrownWeakness to FireFortify BlockWeakness to PoisonResist Magic
BlisterwortDamage StaminaFrenzyRestore HealthFortify Smithing
Blue Butterfly WingDamage StaminaFortify ConjurationDamage Magicka RegenFortify Enchanting
Blue DartwingResist ShockFortify PickpocketRestore HealthFear
Blue Mountain FlowerRestore HealthFortify ConjurationFortify HealthDamage Magicka Regen
Bone MealDamage StaminaResist FireFortify ConjurationRavage Stamina
Briar HeartRestore MagickaFortify BlockParalysisFortify Magicka
Butterfly WingRestore HealthFortify BarterLingering Damage StaminaDamage Magicka
Canis RootDamage StaminaFortify One-HandedFortify MarksmanParalysis
Charred Skeever HideRestore StaminaCure DiseaseResist PoisonRestore Health
Chaurus EggsWeakness to PoisonFortify StaminaDamage MagickaInvisibility
Chicken's EggResist MagicDamage Magicka RegenWaterbreathingLingering Damage Stamina
Creep ClusterRestore MagickaDamage Stamina RegenFortify Carry WeightWeakness to Magic
Crimson NirnrootDamage HealthDamage StaminaInvisibilityResist Magic
Cyrodilic SpadetailDamage StaminaFortify RestorationFearRavage Health
Daedra HeartRestore HealthDamage Stamina RegenDamage MagickaFear
DeathbellDamage HealthRavage StaminaSlowWeakness to Poison
Dragon's TongueResist FireFortify BarterFortify IllusionFortify Two-Handed
Dwarven OilWeakness to MagicFortify IllusionRegenerate MagickaRestore Magicka
EctoplasmRestore MagickaFortify DestructionFortify MagickaDamage Health
Elves EarRestore MagickaFortify MarksmanWeakness to FrostResist Fire
Eye of Sabre CatRestore StaminaRavage HealthDamage MagickaRestore Health
Falmer EarDamage HealthFrenzyResist PoisonFortify Lockpicking
Fire SaltsWeakness to FrostResist FireRestore MagickaRegenerate Magicka
Fly AmanitaResist FireFortify Two-HandedFrenzyRegenerate Stamina
Frost MirriamResist FrostFortify SneakRavage MagickaDamage Stamina Regen
Frost SaltsWeakness to FireResist FrostRestore MagickaFortify Conjuration
GarlicResist PoisonFortify StaminaRegenerate MagickaRegenerate Health
Giant LichenWeakness to ShockRavage HealthWeakness to PoisonRestore Magicka
Giant's ToeDamage StaminaFortify HealthFortify Carry WeightDamage Stamina Regen
Glow DustDamage MagickaDamage Magicka RegenFortify DestructionResist Shock
Glowing MushroomResist ShockFortify DestructionFortify SmithingFortify Health
Grass PodResist PoisonRavage MagickaFortify AlterationRestore Magicka
Hagraven ClawResist MagicLingering Damage MagickaFortify EnchantingFortify Barter
Hagraven FeathersDamage MagickaFortify ConjurationFrenzyWeakness to Shock
Hanging MossDamage MagickaFortify HealthDamage Magicka RegenFortify One-Handed
Hawk BeakRestore StaminaResist FrostFortify Carry WeightResist Shock
Hawk FeathersCure DiseaseFortify Light ArmorFortify One-HandedFortify Sneak
HistcarpRestore StaminaFortify MagickaDamage Stamina RegenWaterbreathing
HoneycombRestore StaminaFortify BlockFortify Light ArmorRavage Stamina
Human FleshDamage HealthParalysisRestore MagickaFortify Sneak
Human HeartDamage HealthDamage MagickaDamage Magicka RegenFrenzy
Ice Wraith TeethWeakness to FrostFortify Heavy ArmorInvisibilityWeakness to Fire
Imp StoolDamage HealthLingering Damage HealthParalysisRestore Health
Jazbay GrapesWeakness to MagicFortify MagickaRegenerate MagickaRavage Health
Juniper BerriesWeakness to FireFortify MarksmanRegenerate HealthDamage Stamina Regen
Large AntlersRestore StaminaFortify StaminaSlowDamage Stamina Regen
LavenderResist MagicFortify StaminaRavage MagickaFortify Conjuration
Luna Moth WingDamage MagickaFortify Light ArmorRegenerate HealthInvisibility
Moon SugarWeakness to FireResist FrostRestore MagickaRegenerate Magicka
Mora TapinellaRestore MagickaLingering Damage HealthRegenerate StaminaFortify Illusion
Mudcrab ChitinRestore StaminaCure DiseaseResist PoisonResist Fire
Namira's RotDamage MagickaFortify LockpickingFearRegenerate Health
NightshadeDamage HealthDamage Magicka RegenLingering Damage StaminaFortify Destruction
NirnrootDamage HealthDamage StaminaInvisibilityResist Magic
Nordic BarnacleDamage MagickaWaterbreathingRegenerate HealthFortify Pickpocket
Orange DartwingRestore StaminaRavage MagickaFortify PickpocketLingering Damage Health
PearlRestore StaminaFortify BlockRestore MagickaResist Shock
Pine Thrush EggRestore StaminaFortify LockpickingWeakness to PoisonResist Shock
Powdered Mammoth TuskRestore StaminaFortify SneakWeakness to FireFear
Purple Mountain FlowerRestore StaminaFortify SneakLingering Damage MagickaResist Frost
Red Mountain FlowerRestore MagickaRavage MagickaFortify MagickaDamage Health
River BettyDamage HealthFortify AlterationSlowFortify Carry Weight
Rock Warbler EggRestore HealthFortify One-HandedDamage StaminaWeakness to Magic
Sabre Cat ToothRestore StaminaFortify Heavy ArmorFortify SmithingWeakness to Poison
Salt PileWeakness to MagicFortify RestorationSlowRegenerate Magicka
Scaly PholiotaWeakness to MagicFortify IllusionRegenerate StaminaFortify Carry Weight
Silverside PerchRestore StaminaDamage Stamina RegenRavage HealthResist Frost
Skeever TailDamage Stamina RegenRavage HealthDamage HealthFortify Light Armor
Slaughterfish EggResist PoisonFortify PickpocketLingering Damage HealthFortify Stamina
Slaughterfish ScalesResist FrostLingering Damage HealthFortify Heavy ArmorFortify Stamina
Small AntlersWeakness to PoisonFortify RestorationLingering Damage StaminaDamage Health
Small PearlRestore StaminaFortify One-HandedFortify RestorationResist Frost
SnowberriesResist FireFortify EnchantingResist FrostResist Shock
Spider EggDamage StaminaDamage Magicka RegenFortify LockpickingFortify Marksman
Spriggan SapDamage Magicka RegenFortify EnchantingFortify SmithingFortify Alteration
Swamp Fungal PodResist ShockLingering Damage MagickaParalysisRestore Health
TaprootWeakness to MagicFortify IllusionRegenerate MagickaRestore Magicka
Thistle BranchResist FrostRavage StaminaResist PoisonFortify Heavy Armor
Torchbug ThoraxRestore StaminaLingering Damage MagickaWeakness to MagicFortify Stamina
Troll FatResist PoisonFortify Two-HandedFrenzyDamage Health
Tundra CottonResist MagicFortify MagickaFortify BlockFortify Barter
Vampire DustInvisibilityRestore MagickaRegenerate HealthCure Disease
Void SaltsWeakness to ShockResist MagicDamage HealthFortify Magicka
WheatRestore HealthFortify HealthDamage Stamina RegenLingering Damage Magicka
White CapWeakness to FrostFortify Heavy ArmorRestore MagickaRavage Magicka
Wisp WrappingsRestore StaminaFortify DestructionFortify Carry WeightResist Magic

Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard DLC Alchemy List
Ingredient NameEffect 1Effect 2Effect 3Effect 4
Ancestor Moth WingDamage StaminaFortify ConjurationDamage Magicka RegenFortify Enchanting
Chaurus Hunter AntennaeDamage StaminaFortify ConjurationDamage Magicka RegenFortify Enchanting
GleamblossomResist MagicFearRegenerate HealthParalysis
Poison BloomDamage HealthSlowFortify Carry WeightFear
Yellow Mountain FlowerResist PoisonFortify RestorationFortify HealthDamage Stamina Regen

Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire DLC Alchemy List
Ingredient NameEffect 1Effect 2Effect 3Effect 4
Hawk's EggResist MagicDamage Magicka RegenWaterbreathingLingering Damage Stamina
Salmon RoeRestore StaminaWaterbreathingFortify MagickaRegenerate Magicka

Comments (1)

Vingdel says...
In the "Slaughterfish Scales" the Effect 4 is Fortify Block instead Fortify Stamina. It needs to be corrected.
4th February 2014 10:49am
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