Want to delve into the fascinating but oh-so-complicated word of Crafting in ESO ? Then this guide is for you 😉
Light / Medium / Heavy Armor
Here’s the general rule : Light is for Magicka users (Healer and Magicka DD), Medium is for Stamina users (Stamina DD) and Heavy is for Tanks.
Why ? Because Light Armor increases the potency of Magicka Glyphs, Medium Armor of Stamina Glyphs and Heavy Armor of Health Glyphs ! You will also benefit from more “relevant passives” : the more Light Armor you wear, the more Light Armor passives you will benefit from. Light Armor passives are centered around Magicka & Spell Damage so you want them as a Healer or Magicka DD !
But there’s an extra trick ! There’s a passive in the “Undaunted” skill line, called Undaunted Mettle. I have done tests with this passive and it is beneficial to DDs and Tanks, but not to Healers.
Here is what the different roles will be wearing then :
- Healer : 7 x Light Armor
- Magicka DD : 5 x Light Armor, 1 x Medium Armor, 1 x Heavy Armor
- Stamina DD : 5 x Medium Armor, 1 x Light Armor, 1 x Heavy Armor
- Tank : 5 x Heavy Armor, 1 x Light Armor, 1 x Medium Armor
This is shortened as “5 1 1 VS 7” (if you see people talking about this in chat)
Extra note : PvP is more complicated because players need to be more resistant so, usually, all roles will be wearing some Heavy Armor. But let’s not get into PvP in this guide.
How to craft armor ?
Heavy Armor is crafted at Blacksmithing Station. Light and Medium Armor are BOTH crafted at Clothing Stations.
/!\ At a clothing station, the first 7 are Light and the last 7 are Medium, don’t get them mixed up !
Each crafting material covers a RANGE of levels. One material = several levels. For example, “Ancestor Silk” (for light armor) covers CP150 and CP160. When you select Ancestor Silk it’s automatically set on the lowest (CP150). You need to click the
"+" under the name of the material to increase to CP160 !
/!\ The higher the level with the same material, the more of that material you will use ! For example, CP150 requires ~10 Ancestor Silk, CP160 requires ~120 Ancestor Silk !
Which Style ?
Well, it doesn’t matter 😀 You can’t go wrong with that one.
How to get Styles ?
You can get the basic styles (all up to Crafting Motif 14) in containers (sacks, cupboards, dressers etc.) whereas other styles drop from a specific “thing” : dailies, trials, dungeons, Battleground, Cyrodiil, etc. See the list here for where to find them.
Some add-ons (see end of this guide) list motifs & where to find them.
Outfit styles can only be used on outfits. You cannot craft an item with an outfit style.
Before being able to craft an item with a trait, you’ll need to research that trait for that item. Just go to a crafting station and navigate to the “research” tab. You’ll need an item of that trait to research it. For example, you’ll need to have a Powered restoration staff if you want to research the Powered trait for restoration staves.
You can only research one trait from each station at first, but passives allow you to increase that number. First traits only take a few hours but the very last traits take an entire month ! You should start researching early 😉 I recommend learning the Divines trait first as it is the most widely used & beneficial trait for many builds ! This will allow you to transmute items into Divines asap (scroll to read about Transmutation)
Nirnhoned is the only trait that doesn’t drop (except as a reward when you complete the main storyline of Craglorn). You’ll need to buy Nirnhoned items from guild stores or ask a guildie 🙂
Crafted Sets & Traits
If you want to craft a set, you’ll need to know a minimum amount of traits. For example, Night Mother's Gaze requires 6 traits. This means that if you want to craft a NMG dagger, you’ll need to know 6 dagger traits.
The usual best trait for armor is Divines. That’s the case for Healer and DDs. Healer and DDs might use Infused too to boost their Magicka, Stamina or Health, depending on the glyph applied to the item, but not more than one !
Tanks usually need different traits and will be using a mix of several : Sturdy, Infused and Reinforced. For a Tank, it’s best to check a guide because people do complicated calculations based on CP and the caps (for example : they’ll only use X number of Sturdy items because with the CP put into Block Cost Reduction, they hit the cap).
Usually, Magicka Users go for Arcane, Stamina Users go for Robust and Tanks for Healthy but with the new traits, some people now use Infused (any role), Bloodthirsty (esp. Stamina DD) or Triune (esp. Tanks). Personally, I’m sticking to the good old Arcane/Robust/Healthy because the difference is not that big and I don’t want to spend 50 transmutation crystals on something small.
Jewelry crafting is exclusive to the Summerset chapter. You need to own it in order to access Jewelry crafting stations. Jewelry only drops in Arcane, Robust and Healthy. Jewelry in other traits drop very rarely and from specific places, and you can only use them for research. For example, Exemplary Infused Jewelry can only drop from Psijic Portals. Click here to check the new traits and where to get them. Drops are rare and some are hard to get though, so don’t hesitate to ask a guildie for jewelry to research!
Many weapon traits are actually useful, but if you’re not sure, go for Infused ! You can’t be wrong with that one 😀
Other than that :
- Decisive : used by Tanks
- Sharpened and Precise : used by DDs
- Powered : sometimes used by Healers
- Defending : a little boost to Healers and DDs if they’re struggling with survivability (especially Healers)
The “Nirnhoned situation” : Nirnhoned has been greatly nerfed a while ago, and is not considered a very good trait for damage anymore. However, it is still used by Stamina DDs on one of their dual wielding weapons, to go with Sharpened.
Introduced with the Clockwork City DLC, you can change the trait of your gear at a Transmutation Station ! You do not need to own the CWC DLC in order to access this type of station.
Go to a Transmutation Station and pick the gear you wish to transmute. You need to know the trait for that type of weapon/armor/jewelry in order to transmute it into that trait. One transmutation will cost you 50 Transmutation Crystals. There is a Transmutation Station in the Guild Hall.
Crystals drop as rewards from pledges & weekly trial quests. They can also drop from the last boss of a Veteran dungeon. PvP/Cyrodiil rewards with A LOT of Crystals. If you’re trying to farm Crystals, I recommend going to Cyrodiil, joining a random PvP group and just following along. You’ll get Reward Boxes in your mailbox as you earn AP (Alliance Points) which contain quite a lot of Crystals. You also get up to 50 Crystals (!) if your Alliance “wins” a campaign & you participated.
You can see how many Crystals you’re carrying under Inventory → Currency. You can only carry 500 (1000 with ESO+). You can’t open Transmutation Geodes if you hit the cap!
Stick to purple. It’s more than enough and the difference between gold and purple is very slim. Once you’re approaching your “endgame build” (a build you will most probably keep for a very long time), you can make your weapons & your monster set golden. If you’re really overflowing with golden mats and/or gold, you can also upgrade your armor to golden of course.
This is how it usually goes :
2 x 5 item sets + 1 x 2 item set (= monster set).
For example : Spell Strategist (5 items), Siroria (5 items) and Zaan (2 items). That covers all the armor, weapon & jewelry slots !
Monster sets are sets with only 2 items : head and shoulder (like the shampoo). You get the shoulder from the Undaunted chests and the head from the last boss of a veteran dungeon – they drop in Light, Medium and Heavy indiscriminately.
Now, do you remember, in the first part of this guide, the “5 1 1” armor trick ? Well, the “1 1” part is the monster set 😉
Example for a Magicka DD : 5 x Light Armor (chest, arms, legs, feet, waist) + 1 x Heavy Armor (head or shoulder) + 1 x Medium Armor (shoulder or head).
Monster sets usually have very powerful effects !
Note : You buy Undaunted Chests with Undaunted Keys. You get keys from completing pledges! A normal pledge or veteran non hard mode gives 1 key, veteran hard mode gives 2 keys. You can see how many keys you have under Inventory → Currency. There is no cap.
Urgalarg sells Undaunted chests with shoulders from all DLC dungeons. As for Maj and Glirion, check on the ESO wiki page.
There are 2 types of chests : “regular” chests that can contain any shoulder type from any set that the NPC sells. They cost 1 key. And “specific” chests that can contain any shoulder type from one of 2 possible sets. These cost 5 keys. I recommend only spending 1 key if you’re buying from Maj or Glirion but go for 5 keys if you’re buying from Urgalarg as there are a loooot of DLC dungeons now.
How to choose your set ?
You can find build guides on Alcast (good for starting out but pretty “single-minded”) or Xynode (more original builds but DPS might be lower). On Youtube, SkinnyCheeksGaming and Liko regularly post optimized build guides for high DPS.
DDs will usually end up with 2 configurations : one for single target and one for mobs.
For example : Siroria + Spell Strategist + Zaan (single target) / Master Architect + Julianos + Grothdarr (mob)
Tanks will usually need several sets to choose from depending on the situation. Ebon Armory (CoH), Alkosh (MoL) and Torug's Pact (crafted) are some basic tank sets.
Healers will also usually have several sets to choose from depending on the situation and on the other healer. Basic healer sets are : Olorime (CR), Worm's Raiment (VoM), Mending (AA), Sanctuary (BC) and Hollowfang Thirst (MF)
Glyphs can be crafted at an Enchanting Station. Glyphs can then be applied to Armor, Weapons & Jewelry. Right click on an item and choose Enchant to do so. In order to be applied to an item, a glyph needs to be of the same level or under.
Types of Runes
There are 3 types of Runes :
- Potency : this will determine the level of your glyph. There are 2 sub-types of Potency Runes : Additive and Subtractive. For example
[Additive Potency Rune] + [Fire Rune] = Increase Fire Damage.
[Subtractive Potency Rune] + [Fire Rune] = Fire Resistance.
- Essence : this will determine the effect of your glyph. For example Frost, Fire, Stamina etc.
- Aspect : this will determine the quality of your glyph. You can stick to Purple (Rekuta) while you’re still playing around with your build, but Golden Aspect Runes (Kuta) aren’t very expensive (and you only need 1 per glyph, as opposed to needing 8 [golden mats] for each piece of gear) and they really help. I recommend using Golden Glyphs whenever possible.
You’ll need to craft a Glyph with X Rune for your character to know what X Rune does. Of course you can also look it up.
Types of Glyphs
There are 3 types of Glyphs :
- Armor : Adds Health/Stamina/Magicka (or all 3)
- Weapon : Deals [X] Damage, Recovers Health/Stamina/Magicka while attacking, Reduces Target’s Resistance/Damage etc.
- Jewelry : Adds [X] Resistance, Health/Stamina/Magicka Recovery, Spell/Weapon Damage etc.
Leveling up Enchanting
The best way to level up Enchanting is to deconstruct Glyphs made by someone else. Ask a guildie for help ! And of course, deconstruct any Glyphs you get in dungeons/trials/world.
There is only one rare Rune : Hakeijo (Prism). With an Additive Potency Rune, it adds Health + Stamina + Magicka (Armor), with a Subtractive Potency Rune, it deals [X] Magic damage to Undead & Daedra (Weapon). You can find it in the Imperial City (1 Rune = 5.000 Tel Var Stones, or as a drop from Treasure Scamps), or very VERY rarely in the world (drop from Psijic Portal or Enchanting nodes). Mostly used in Tank builds (with Additive Rune). The Subtractive “version” is not used much.
Which Glyphs to use ?
- Armor : you will usually go for 7 x Glyph of [your main resource]. For example, you’ll be using 7 x Glyph of Magicka if you’re a Healer or a Magicka DD. This is only a general rule. A Magicka character may use 1 x Glyph of Health to help with their survivability. Tanks use the Prismatic Glyph (Hakeijo) on some Armor pieces.
- Weapon : there are so many possible Glyphs to use on Weapons, this will be very specific to your build. As a general rule though, Healers will use Absorb Magicka, DDs use Damage Glyphs, and Tanks need the Crusher & the Weakening Glyphs.
- Jewelry : Jewelry glyphs are a good opportunity to adjust your stats ! Low on damage ? Use damage Glyphs ! Running out of resources ? Use recovery Glyphs ! Squishy ? Use Resistance Glyphs !
Potions & Poisons
Potions & poisons can be crafted at an Alchemy Station.
There are 2 components in potions & poisons :
- Solvents : it’s basically either water (for potions) or poison. There’s 9 of each, covering a range of levels. You can only equip/use potions & poisons of your level or under.
- Reagents : they determine the effect. Each reagent has 4 effects. You need to have at least 2 reagents with the same effect for your potion/poison to have that effect. For example, you need 2 reagents with the [Restore Health] effect to make a Potion of Health. But be careful : some reagents have opposite effects. For example, the opposite of [Restore Health] is [Ravage Health]. If you mix together 2 reagents with [Restore Health] and 1 reagent with [Ravage Health], your potion will not give Health. You can mix up to 3 reagents together.
In order to “discover” what 4 effects a reagent have, you’ll need to make potions/poisons with each effect. For example, in order to discover that X Reagent has the effect [Restore Health], you’ll need to craft a Potion of Health with Reagent X + Reagent Y that also has the effect [Restore Health]. Of course you can also look it up.
Leveling up Alchemy
The best way to level up Alchemy is to simply make potions & poisons. Pick a solvent of your level, and reagents you have a bunch of, and craft away !
When to use poisons
Stamina DDs, and Nightblade in particular, are the ones using poisons the most. If you want your poisons to actually do damage and be useful, you’ll need a build around poisons : poison passives, CPs, sets etc.
Which potion to use ?
Best is to go for a potion that Recovers Health + Recover Magicka/Stamina (your main resource) + 1 “Boost” (Spell/Weapon Damage, Spell/Weapon critical, Unstoppable, etc.) but this is only a general rule. Keep in mind that you can’t make potions with any 3 effects though.
Food & Drinks
You can craft Food & Drinks at a Provisioning Station. You’ll need to acquire & use a recipe in order to craft the corresponding food or drink. Recipes can be found in world items (wardrobes, sacks, crates, urns etc) or from special places/dailies.
Food VS Drink
Food increases Maximum Health/Stamina/Magicka and Drinks increase Health/Stamina/Magicka recovery.
Special Food & Drinks can mix the two.
Type of Food & Drinks
- Standard : Mono-stat (green)
- Difficult : Bi-stat (blue)
- Complex : Tri-stat (purple)
- Delicacies : Special (any color)
Standard, Difficult & Complex are level-specific. Delicacies are scaled.
Special Food & Drinks
You can acquire them in DLC zones or from Festivals :
- New Life Festival
- Jester’s Festival
- Witches Festival
- Clockwork City
These can mix Max [Stat] & Recovery, and have up to 4 effects ! Some also have unique effects. Double Bloody Mara takes you down 1 vampire level. Disastrously Bloody Mara does the opposite. You can find the whole list here. Some of these food are also considered “Endgame” for several builds.
How to level up Provisioning
You’ll need to make Food & Drinks in order to level up. Pick one with ingredients you have plenty of and make a bunch !
Writs are daily crafting quests. You need to get certified in each profession to unlock them all.
Pick up the starter quest from a Writ Board. You’ll then need to talk to an NPC in your starter city (Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall or Davon’s Watch). NPC in the Fighters Guild can certify you in Blacksmithing, Clothing and Woodworking. NPC in the Mages Guild can certify you in Alchemy, Provisioning and Enchanting. You can only have one certification quest active “per NPC”.
You need to own Summerset to unlock Jewelry Crafting. The NPC who can certify you is in Alinor (Summerset) and is called Felarian.
Once you’re certified in a profession, you’ll be able to pick up a writ daily from writ boards for that profession ! Completing a writ rewards you with Crafting mats (including golden mats!) and XP. You have a chance of getting 2 other interesting rewards :
- Crafting Surveys : this map directs you to a spot with a bunch of resource nodes.
- Master Writs : complete one of these to earn Writ vouchers (and lots of XP) that you can use to buy furniture, motifs, recipes etc.
Some add-ons can help you with Crafting :