Skyrim is a game that gives its players so much freedom that, at times, it can even overshadow its own content. A player who wants to have an adventure full of combat or play as a thief may not bother as much with Skyrim‘s alchemy system. But even for non-mage players, potion crafting is worth taking the time to understand.
There are many potions in Skyrim with dozens of different possible effects, and leveling up the alchemy skill will allow players to create far more potent potions than the ones they can buy from merchants, or loot from dungeons. By taking the time to learn all the recipes, and how to source the ingredients, players will become master alchemists in no time.
This potion will let you do even more damage with Skyrim‘s legendary and powerful bows. The primary ingredients are Canis Root, Elves Ear, and Spider Eggs, any combination of which can create a potion that can increase archery damage by up to 20% for up to 60 seconds.
Canis Root is a plant that can be found throughout Skyrim, but grows most prominently around the cities of Morthal, Winterhold, and Riften. Elves Ears do not grow naturally, however, and are often found in dungeons or homes, hanging as dried bunches. Spider Eggs are the easiest to find, as they can be found in early-game dungeons.
There are no ingredients whose primary effect is to increase one-handed power, but rather several ingredients that have a bonus effect on top of their existing effects. Players can discover the primary effect of an ingredient by eating it, but the rest must be discovered through trial and error at the alchemy table.
As long as the ingredients share a common effect, the outcome is the same. For this potion, the best ingredients are Hawk Feathers, Rock Warbler Eggs, and Hanging Moss. Hawk Feathers can be purchased, or looted from the birds that fly above Solitude or Riverwood. Rock Warbler Eggs can be found in bird nests throughout the mountains, especially in the bridges of Blind Cliff Cave, while Hanging Moss is found in just about every cave and hollow, sometimes in massive numbers.
The perfect potion for those who prefer heavy weapons, the fortify two-handed potion is relatively easy to craft. The only ingredient that is somewhat difficult to acquire is Troll Fat, which can sometimes be looted from defeated trolls, but more reliably (albeit expensively) purchased from merchants.
The other two ingredients are Dragon’s Tongue and Fly Amanita. Dragon’s Tongue is a bright orange flower that grows prominently in Windhelm, Solitude, and Kynesgrove, while Fly Amanita is a bright red mushroom that grows in large groups in the many caves and mines of Skyrim.
One of the best defensive options that alchemy provides, the potion of fortify block is excellent for making the best possible use of a shield or staggering an enemy with a well-timed parry. It’s ingredients are also easy to find throughout Skyrim, or available for cheap from an alchemist.
The three best ingredients are Tundra Cotton, Bleeding Crown, and Honeycombs. Honeycombs can be harvested from an apiary at the player’s homestead, or gathered from wild beehives around Ivarstead and Riverwood. Bleeding Crowns are tall, thin, dull red mushrooms that grow in many caves, although a large number can be found in Irkngthand. Finally, Tundra Cotton is a tall, white flower that grows all around the plains of Whiterun.
Fortify Heavy Armor
This potion is great for players who prefer slower, tougher builds, and will allow them to absorb even more damage. The hardest ingredient to source is Sabre Cat Teeth, which can be purchased from most alchemists, although the price can vary. Braver players can instead attempt to hunt down the Sabre Cats that prowl the hills around Whiterun and Windhelm.
The other primary ingredients are Thistle Branches and White Caps. The Thistle Branch plant is a purple flower that commonly grows along the roads of Skyrim, especially around Riverwood, and White Caps are mushrooms with short, flat tops that grow on the bottom of trees and in caves, especially in Lost Prospect Mine.
Fortify Light Armor
Using this potion is far more practicable than donning some of Skyrim‘s armor sets. Fortify light armor potions are made from Luna Moth Wings, Skeever Tails, and/or Beehive Husks, all of which are easy to find or cheap to buy from alchemists.
Luna Moth Wings can be obtained by catching Luna Moths, which spawn prominently east and north of Whiterun, although only from 8-11 PM. Skeever Tails are found from, of course, Skeevers, which can be found in Lund’s Hut outside Rorikstead, under Honningbrew Meadery, in the Riften tunnels, and in any number of other dungeons and caves throughout Skyrim. Beehive Husks can be collected from beehives, also found at the Honningbrew Meadery.
Resist fire potions is incredibly useful when facing down dragons, or hostile mages. There are many possible ingredients for this potion, but the ones that are easiest to find are Mudcrab Chitin, Fire Salts, and Snowberries.
Mudcrab Chitin is easy to loot from defeated Mudcrabs, which inhabit the shores of the many rivers and lakes of Skyrim, and Snowberries are bushes of bright red berries, which grow all throughout Skyrim’s mountains, most especially on the 7,000 steps that lead to High Hrothgar. Fire Salts are a bit more tricky. They can be purchased, of course, but can also be looted from mages or found in small numbers throughout the game.
This potion will allow players to face down Skyrim‘s many powerful, ice-wielding bosses with ease. Though there are many possible ingredients, many can be found right at the beginning of the game. These include Silverside Perch, Slaughterfish Scales, and Purple Mountain Flowers.
Purple Mountain Flowers grow in huge numbers on the path from Helgen to Riften, allowing players to stock up early in the game. Silverside Perch and Slaughterfish Scales can both be purchased from alchemists, or obtained by taking the plunge into the depths of the rivers of Skyrim.
An excellent choice for combating mages or enemies with enchanted weapons, the potion of resist magic is incredibly easy to make. The primary ingredients are Chicken Eggs, Lavender, and Nirnroot.
Chicken Eggs are barely an inconvenience to source, as players can raise their own chickens, while Lavender grows in vast numbers on the plains outside of Whiterun. Nirnroot is somewhat rarer, but the fact that it glows and chimes makes it easy to find, and dozens grow along the Northeastern shore of Skyrim.
A necessity for facing down the many venomous creatures that prowl the depths of the caves of Skyrim, potions of resist poison are easy to brew. The main ingredients are easy to source and cheap to purchase, and the best ones are Garlic, Grass Pods, and Slaughterfish Eggs.
Garlic can be found throughout homes in Skyrim (especially House Grey-Mane), or in barrels in dungeons, while Grass Pods are a red, cat-tail-like plant that grows in the coastal regions of Skyrim. Walking the coastline from Winterhold to Dawnstar, players can find 70 or more Grass Pods growing. Slaughterfish Eggs can be found in riverbeds and on the shorelines of lakes, and at least two nests are located just outside Riverwood.
This potion sees less use than the other defensive potions, but a mage player would be wise to carry them, as shock drains magicka in addition to health. Luckily, its ingredients are commonplace throughout Skyrim.
Players will need Pine Thrush Eggs, Glowing Mushrooms, and/or Blue Dartwings to make this potion. Pine Thrush Eggs are obtained from nests on the ground, commonly in the eastern portion of Skyrim, or in the houses of farmers. Glowing Mushrooms grow prominently throughout Skyrim’s caves, and a trip to Tolvald’s Cave can yield 200 or more of these hanging blue mushrooms. Finally, Blue Dartwings are dragonflies that favor the lakes of Skyrim, and several can be found around Lake Illinalta, north of Falkreath.
Whether it’s from eating something that they probably shouldn’t have, or from facing down a wild beast, players in Skyrim may find themselves suffering from many different diseases. Fortunately, a potion to cure them is easy to whip up!
The main ingredients are Charred Skeever Hides, Hawk Feathers, and Mudcrab Chitin. Charred Skeever Hides are somewhat difficult to source as they can only be found, not looted or purchased, but players can farm them from the giant camp at Stonehill Bluff. Hawk Feathers can be looted from hawks, which fly throughout Skyrim, but several soar above the path between Riverwood and Bleak Falls Barrow. Mudcrab Chitin is the easiest to source, as all players need to do is walk alongside rivers or the coast and defeat mudcrabs.
The fortify health potion is a bit different, because it doesn’t restore health. Instead, it increases a player’s total health points instead. It can be made from a few different ingredients, but the best ones to use are Wheat, Blue Mountain Flower, and Giant’s Toe. Giant’s Toes are usually somewhat expensive, and killing giants to loot them can be difficult for lower-level players, but several can be found in the White Hall in Dawnstar. They’re worth the risk, however, as they make the potions five times more effective!
The other ingredients are easy to source. Blue Mountain Flowers line the road between Riften, Helgen, and Riverwood in huge numbers, while Wheat grows on just about every farm in Skyrim.
Regenerate health potions don’t straight up restore lost health points, but rather increase the rate at which players naturally regain their lost health. The main ingredients are Nordic Barnacles, Namira’s Rot, and Juniper Berries are also a breeze to find.
Nordic Barnacles can be found in pretty much any body of water, especially around docks, but one to two dozen can be found in the waters around Bronze Water Cave. Namira’s Rot is a tall, beige-ish mushroom that grows all over Skyrim, but more than 60 can be found in Chillwind Depths near the Cliffside Retreat. Lastly, Juniper Berries are a pale green berry that grows in bushes in The Reach, with several bunches growing in the river around Karthwasten.
One of the most important potions in the game, potions of healing immediately replenish a player’s health points. As it is so essential to many players, the ingredients to make it are plentiful and common.
The best ingredients for a healing potion are Blisterwort, Swamp Fungal Pods, and Imp Stools. Both Blisterwort and Imp Stools are mushrooms that can be found in huge numbers of 50 or more in Chillwind Depths, while Swamp Fungal Pods look almost like a white and brown cabbage, and can be found in large quantities in and around the waters between the city of Morthal and Movarth’s Lair.
Great for mages who want to wear magical, not physical, armor, potions of fortify alteration only have one ingredient that can be difficult to source. That would be Spriggan Sap, which can be bought at a decent price from other alchemists, taken from the alchemy room of the College of Winterhold.
The other main ingredients are Grass Pods and River Bettys. Grass Pods grow in huge numbers along the northern coast of Skyrim, between Winterhold and Dawnstar, while River Bettys can be found by diving into the lakes of Skyrim, or by just checking the barrels at the Riften Fishery.
For those mages who want to summon magical weapons or allies, or just for those who need more soul gems for their enchantments, the fortify conjuration potion is perfect. It’s also relatively easy to make, the only ingredient that can be hard to find is Frost Salts.
Frost Salts can be purchased, but they are expensive. They can be more reliably taken from the enchantment room of Mistveil Keep, or looted from Frost Atronarchs, but be careful with these foes. Blue Butterfly Wings and Bone Meal, however, are easy to find. Blue Butterflies can be found around Whitewatch Tower and Whiterun, while Bone Meal can be looted from Draugr or Skeletons.
A great potion for anyone, mage or not, to have on them, fortify destruction potions can be a bit difficult to create. Nightshade, one of the primary ingredients, is easy to source, as over a dozen of these tall, thin purple flowers grow in Solitude. Ectoplasm and Glow Dust, however, are harder to find.
They can, of course, be bought from alchemists, although they can at times be pricey and are often not available in large numbers. However, several of both Ectoplasm and Glow Dust can be looted from the Shrine of the Mehrunes Dragon.
A potion that is useful for all players, especially those who want to improve their armor and weapons, fortify enchanting potions can be easily created from Hagraven Claws, Snowberries, and Blue Butterfly Wings. Hagraven Claws can be, of course, looted from Hagravens, but lower-level players can more affordably purchase them, or take them from the White Hall in Dawnstar.
Bright red Snowberries are much easier to find and can be taken from Driftshade Refuge or Bloodlet Throne in large numbers. Blue Butterflies can be found throughout Skyrim, but appear prominently in and around Falkreath.
An essential potion for thieves, or those relying on stealth, fortify illusion potions are made from Dwarven Oil, Mora Tapinella, and Taproot. Dwarven Oil is found all over the place in Dwemer Ruins, and can commonly be looted from Dwemer Constructs.
Mora Tapinella are short, round, brown mushrooms that grow on the bases and stumps of dead or fallen trees throughout Skyrim, with five or more found in Autumnshade Clearing. Taproot is a bit harder to find. It can be looted from Spriggans or purchased from alchemists, but a few can also be found in the Nightcaller Temple.
An absolutely crucial potion for mages, the fortify magicka potion increases the total amount of magicka a player has available. Fortunately, this utterly important potion has simple ingredients consisting of Histcarp, Jazbay Grapes, and Red Mountain Flowers.
Histcarps are bright orange fish found in just about every lake, but several can be found in the water near the Guardian Stones at the beginning of the game. Jazbay Grapes are light blue grapes that grow in bunches all over Skyrim but almost 30 can be found on the road southeast of Kynesgrove. Red Mountain Flowers are tall thin plants that grow in the hills, but over a dozen can be found in between Whiterun and Honningbrew Meadery.
Everyone should carry this potion, not just mages, as it will increase the power of a player’s healing spells, making them regenerate more health even faster. Made from Cyrodilic Spadetails, Salt Piles, and Abecean Longfins, some of the most common ingredients in Skyrim.
Cyrodilic Spadetails are deep red fish that can be found in most rivers, and often have dragonflies hovering above the water near them, such as at the Riften Docks. Abecean Longfins are a small, greyish blue fish that are also prominent in Skyrim’s rivers, but the best place to look would be the swamps around the Apprentice Stone. Finally, Salt Piles can be looted from Falmer, but can also be bought from almost any merchant, or found in barrels.
This potion will increase the rate at which the player regains magicka, allowing them to cast more spells in quicker succession. Made from Moon Sugar, Dwarven Oil, and Garlic, only Moon Sugar is hard to find. It can be bought from Khajiit traders, but at a high price, although a few can be taken from Cragslane Cavern.
Dwarven Oil abounds in Dwemer ruins, and can be bought for cheap from merchants. Similarly, Garlic is carried by most merchants, especially alchemists or general stores, and can also be found in just about every home in Skyrim.
Potions of magicka will immediately refill the player’s magicka count, making it perfect for casting powerful spells one after another. Luckily, this important potion has ingredients that can be easily found throughout Skyrim, including Elves Ear, Giant Lichen, and White Caps.
Elves Ear can be bought from alchemists or found dried and hanging inside many homes in Skyrim. White Caps are tall mushrooms that grow in bunches in the caves of Skyrim, especially Chillwind Depths. Finally, Giant Lichen are a long greenish fungi that can be found in large numbers in the marshes to the east of the city of Solitude.
This potion will give a player more stamina points, allowing them to sprint for longer durations, or make more power attacks in a row. The best ingredients are Lavender, Torchbug Thoraxes, and Chaurus Eggs.
The only hard part about finding Chaurus Eggs is fighting off the Chaurus who guard them, but if players succeed, over 500 can be found in the caves of Frostflow Abyss. Lavender can be easily sourced from the hills and plains around Whiterun, and Torchbug Thoraxes are obtained by catching Torchbugs, who only spawn from 8-11 PM, but are easy to spot since they glow, and can be found often in Solitude.
Regenerate stamina potions will cause a player to regain stamina faster, making them perfect for players who rely on their speed. There are a few possible ingredients, but the ones that are easiest to find are Bees, Fly Amanita, and Mora Tapinella.
Bees spawn near beehives, which themselves spawn in the forests of Skyrim. However, outside Honeystrand Cave is a large beehive, and players can farm Bees from it by entering and exiting the cave, which causes the Bees to respawn. Fly Amanita are tall, red-capped mushrooms that grow in caves, with almost 70 able to be looted from Pinemoon Cave. Lastly, Mora Tapinella are short brown mushrooms that grow on tree stumps, but a few can be found underneath Helgen at the start of the game.
This potion that will immediately give a player more stamina points, making it perfect for getting out of the range of high-level mages or archers. The primary ingredients for a stamina potion are Silverside Perch, Orange Dartwings, and Bear Claws.
Silverside Perch are small silvery-blue fish that are found in just about every river in Skyrim, especially in the waters around the Guardian Stones. Orange Dartwings are dragonflies, and many can be caught hovering above the pond outside of Lost Knife Cave. Finally, Bear Claws are looted from bears, and several bears can be found at Bloated Mans Grotto.
This potion is fantastic for selling off loot and saving up to buy one of Skyrim‘s luxurious homes. Especially useful in the early game, bartering potions can be made from Dragon’s Tongue, Tundra Cotton, and Butterfly Wings.
Dragon’s Tongue is a tall bright orange flower that grows throughout Skyrim, especially on the roads south of Windhelm. Tundra Cotton is a tall flower with pale white petals and bulbs, which grows in large numbers in the land around the city of Whiterun. Lastly, Butterfly Wings are gained by catching monarch butterflies, many of which spawn at Autumnshade Clearing.
Fortify Carry Weight
Players who horde every item they find, whether it’s for smithing and enchanting practice or just to sell for extra gold will get a lot of use out of this potion. The primary ingredients are River Bettys, Hawk Beaks, and Creep Clusters.
River Betty is a small purple-ish fish that abounds in the freshwater of Skyrim, with several able to be caught in the water near the Abandoned Shack. Hawk Beaks can be bought from alchemist or looted by shooting down the hawks that fly over Solitude, and Creep Clusters are dark red roots that grow all over Skyrim, though many grow near the Atronach Stone.
A great potion for thieves, or for those struggling to pick a high-level locked chest or door, lockpicking potions are incredibly easy to make. The best ingredients to use are Pine Thrush Eggs, Namira’s Rot, and Spider Eggs.
Spider Eggs are found in almost any cave or dungeon with spiders, and several can be looted from the caves underneath Helgen at the game’s start. Pine Thrush Eggs are looted from nests built on the ground in eastern Skyrim, especially around Heartwood Mill, and Namira’s Rot is a mushroom that grows in huge numbers in Chillwind Depths.
A necessity for thieves, this potion is also useful for those who need some extra gold or want to get back their investment from a skill tutor. Pickpocketing potions are made from Blue and Orange Dartwings as well as Slaughterfish Eggs.
Blue and Orange Dartwings are Dragonflies that perfer watery habitats, and several of both can be caught at the pond near Lost Knife Cave. Slaughterfish Eggs can be found alongside most shorelines of Skyrim, and several are available at the bottom of the pond inside Chillwind Depths.
This potion is perfect for fighter builds, or just those who want to try their hands at the forge. The primary ingredients are Glowing Mushrooms, Sabre Cat Teeth, and Blisterwort.
As usual, Chillwind Depths is a gold mine for mushrooms, and the tall red Blisterwort grows here in staggering numbers, while the hanging blue Glowing Mushrooms can be found in the hundreds in Tolvald’s Cave. Sabre Cat Teeth are a bit harder to find. They can be somewhat reliably purchased from alchemists or hunters, but can also be looted from dead sabre cats outside of Greenspring Hollow.
For those who rely on stealth and sneak attacks, this will be one of the most important potions available. The best ingredients for a sneaking potion are Frost Mirriam, Abecean Longfin, and Purple Mountain Flowers.
Purple Mountain Flowers grow in huge numbers on the fields in and around Goldenglow Estate, while Frost Mirriam can be found hanging and dried in hundreds of homes across Skyrim, with several found at the back entrance to Cracked Tusk Keep. The blue-gray Abecean Longfin can be found throughout Skyrim’s rivers, especially in the river near Markarth.
The ultimate stealth potion, potions of invisibility allow to player to become completely unseen, letting them sneak up on or pass right by their enemies. The easiest ingredients to find are Chaurus Eggs, Luna Moth Wings, and Nirnroot.
Nirnroot is rare, but its glow and humming chime make it hard to miss when it’s nearby, and over 40 can be found in Blackreach. Chaurus Eggs are guarded by vicious Chaurus, but surviving their attacks will yield over 500 Chaurus Eggs within the Frostflow Abyss. Finally, Luna Moths spawn at night, between 8-11 PM, and can be caught northeast of Morthal.
The final craftable potion, waterbreathing potions are perfect for sneaking up on enemies, or for exploring the map and looking for secrets. The primary ingredients are Nordic Barnacles, Histcarps, and Chickens Eggs.
Chicken Eggs can be farmed by the player on their homestead or taken from their nests on farms across Skyrim. Nordic Barnacles and Histcarps can both be found in the waters of Skyrim, the bright orange Histcarp fish is prominent in the waters around Riften, while large numbers of Nordic Barnacles can be harvested from the wreck of Hela’s Folly.
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