Alchemy is one of the eighteen skills that are available in Skyrim. It is a skill that is used to create poisons and potions from various ingredients, such as food and plants at Alchemy labs, which can be found throughout the world, including Army Camps, Forts and Dungeons.
All ingredients have four effects. You can learn the first effect of any ingredient by selecting it in your inventory and eating it. To learn other effects, experiment with it.
At an Alchemy Lab, you can combine any two or three ingredients and attempt to make a potion with them. If the ingredients share at least one effect, you succeed: you get the resulting potion or poison and learn all of the effects that matched. If none of their effects match, crafting fails and you lose the ingredients.
The resulting item is a potion if its strongest effect is beneficial, and a poison if its strongest effect is harmful. Potions may have weaker harmful effects, and poisons may have weaker beneficial effects - it all depends on the effects of the ingredients you used.
To use a poison, activate it in your inventory and apply it to your equipped weapon.
To use a potion, activate it in your inventory to drink it. If you drink two potions with the same effect, on the most powerful is applied, so wait for one potion to wear off before drinking the next.
As you discover ingredients with matching effects, the Alchemy Lab menu will remember the matches for future use. Continue to experiment to learn new effects and find better combinations.
Your alchemy skill will increase as you make potions and eat ingredients. For a modest price, you can also purchase an Alchemy Lab for any of your houses, with the cost varying by location.
Third party alchemy helper apps
- Skyrim: Alchemy Recipe Helper – This web application is able to find all the recipe combinations for a given ingredient. By default it will show the recipes which discover the effects of the ingredient, for example, given 'Glow Dust' it will find the three unique recipes which will discover all 4 of the Glow Dust ingredient's effects. You can also select the optional 'Display all recipes' flag to show all the recipes, some ingredients can create some awesome potions with 6 effects. Play around with it and see what you find!
Levelling up Alchemy
Alchemy increases proportionally to the cost of the potion being brewed. Cost of the potion depends on its effect types and strength. Potions with multiple effects cost more (effect costs are additive, even if the effects themselves do not mix well, such as "Damage Health" and "Restore Health"), and different effects have different costs (for example, "Slow" effect costs a lot, while "Damage Health" is very cheap). Effect strength increases with skill level, perks, and certain apparel enchants.
The most expensive single effects are invisibility, paralyze, slow and the regeneration types (health, stamina, magicka). These are two to three times more effective than other potions when giving skill points. Since the effect costs are additive, a potion with more effects may have higher cost than a potion with one of these high value effects. Hanging Moss + Bear Claws and Vampire Dust + Luna Moth Wing are the best cost/reagent combinations.
It is also best to make big batches of potions at one time. First visit the Thief Stone and if eligible get the Well Rested benefit. With these two bonuses and mixing high value potions this can greatly reduce the time it takes to level up alchemy.
Enchanting apparel is an excellent way to create more potent and valuable potions. Bracers, Headgear (helm, circlet), ring , and amulet can all be enchanted with Fortify Alchemy , and the effects stack additively to create an alchemists wardrobe to wear while mixing potions. Creating/collecting an "alchemy suit" of four +25% (or higher) items can more than double the cost of the potion (and thus the skill increase.)
|Alchemist||None||Potions and poisons you make are 20% stronger.|
|Alchemy 20||Potions and poisons you make are 40% stronger.|
|Alchemy 40||Potions and poisons you make are 60% stronger.|
|Alchemy 60||Potions and poisons you make are 80% stronger.|
|Alchemy 80||Potions and poisons you make are twice as strong.|
|Physician||Alchemy 20, Alchemist||Potions you mix that restore Health, Magicka or Stamina are 25% more powerful.|
|Benefactor||Alchemy 30, Physician||Potions you mix with beneficial effects have an additional 25% greater magnitude.|
|Poisoner||Alchemy 30, Physician||Poisons you mix are 25% more effective.|
|Experimenter||Alchemy 50, Benefactor||Eating an ingredient reveals first two effects.|
|Alchemy 70||Eating an ingredient reveals first three effects.|
|Alchemy 90||Eating an ingredient reveals all four effects.|
|Concentrated Poison||Alchemy 60, Poisoner||Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits.|
|Green Thumb||Alchemy 70, Concentrated Poison||Two ingredients are gathered from plants.|
|Snakeblood||Alchemy 80, Concentrated Poison, Experimenter||50% resistance to all poisons.|
|Purity||Alchemy 100, Snakeblood||All negative effects are removed from created potions, and all positive effects are removed from created poisons.|
- De Rerum Dirennis
- A Game at Dinner
- Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
- Mannimarco, King of Worms
- Song of the Alchemists
- This helm is likely improperly named "Dwarven Helmet of Eminent Alteration" because it is actually a helmet of Alchemy.
- Artificer - Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion.