Don’t let the title of this article put you off – alchemy might seem like the most boring thing Skyrim has to offer, but it can be the difference between living and dying in the latest Elder Scrolls game.
From invisibility potions to paralysis poisons and health flasks, we show you all you need to know about alchemy in Skyrim. This includes a full list of recipes and where to find ingredients.
Boost your alchemy skill
First things first. Find The Thief Stone (located near Helgen at the start of the game) or The Lover Stone (North East of Markarth) to level up your alchemy skill faster than usual.
Alchemy in Skyrim boils down to three things. Discovering how to make certain potions, finding the ingredients and then actually concocting them. The latter is the easy part.
How to make potions in Skyrim
All you need is an Alchemy Lab – simply select the potion from the list, choose the correct ingredients and click create. You can find Alchemy Labs in magician’s areas, dungeons, certain shops and inns, or you can buy one for a property you own.
Figuring out how to make potions is the tough part. We’ve explained how below.
Discovering potion recipes in Skyrim
When you first interact with an alchemy table, you might notice the list is completely bare. Don’t panic – this will fill over time.
The traditional and more long-winded way of discovering potions is to find ingredients scattered across Skyrim from both creatures and plants, like flowers, vampire dust and even giant’s toes, before selecting them from your inventory and eating them. It might sound disgusting, but thankfully games don’t have taste sensors just yet. You’ll discover one of four effects that ingredient has.
Minor spoiler below
The quicker way is to talk to certain merchants and purchase potion recipes from them. For example, as thief in Skyrim, we bought an invisibility potion recipe from Babette in the Dark Brotherhood (spoiler over). This showed us that they can be created by mixing Chaurus Eggs with Ice Wraith Teeth. It really is as simple as that. Make some potions, assign them to your favourites menu and viola – you can temporarily turn invisible whenever you like.
You can mix two or three ingredients together which have the same magic property to make a potion. Mixing ones which have the same negative effect which create a poison.
You can also take the even easier route and check out this full list of potions and their necessary ingredients below, courtesy of G4TV.
- Cure Disease – Charred Skeever Hide, Hawk Feathers, Mudcrab Chitin, Vampire Dust
- Damage Health – Crimson Nirnroot, Deathbell, Ectoplasm, Falmer Ear, Human Flesh, Human Heart, Imp Stool, Jarrin Root, Nightshade, Nirnroot, Red Mountain Flower, River Betty, Skeever Tail, Small Antlers, Troll Fat, Void Salts
- Damge Magika – Butterfly Wing, Chaurus Eggs, Daedra Heart, Eye of Sabre Cat, Glow Dust, Hagraven Feathers, Hanging Moss, Human Heart, Jarrin Root, Luna Moth Wing, Namira’s Rot, Nordic Barnacle
- Damage Magika Regen – Bear Claws, Blue Butterfly Wing, Blue Mountain Flower, Chicken’s Egg, Glow Dust, Hanging Moss, Human Heart, Jarrin Root, Nightshade, Spider Egg, Spriggan Sap
- Damage Stamina – Blisterwort, Blue Butterfly Wing, Bone Meal, Canis Root, Crimson Nirnroot, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Giant’s Toe, Jarrin Root, Nirnroot, Rock Warbler Egg, Spider Egg
- Damage Stamina Regen – Creep Cluster, Daedra Heart, Frost Mirriam, Giant’s Toe, Histcarp, Juniper Berries, Large Antlers, Silverside Perch, Skeever Tail, Wheat
- Fear – Blue Dartwing, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Daedra Heart, Namira’s Rot, Powdered Mammoth Tusk
- Fortify Alteration – Grass Pod, River Betty, Spriggan Sap
- Fortify Barter – Butterfly Wing, Dragon’s Tongue, Hagraven Claw, Tundra Cotton
- Fortify Block – Bleeding Crown, Briar Heart, Honeycomb, Pearl, Slaughterfish Scales, Tundra Cotton
- Fortify Carry Weight – Creep Cluster, Giant’s Toe, Hawk Beak, River Betty, Scaly Pholiata, Wisp Wrappings
- Fortify Conjuration – Blue Butterfly Wing, Blue Mountain Flower, Bone Meal, Frost Salts, Hagraven Feathers, Lavender
- Fortify Destruction – Beehive Husk, Ectoplasm, Glow Dust, Glowing Mushroom, Nightshade, Wisp Wrappings
- Fortify Enchanting – Blue Butterfly Wing, Hagraven Claw, Snowberries, Spriggan Sap
- Fortify Health – Bear Claws, Blue Mountain Flower, Giant’s Toe, Glowing Mushroom, Hanging Moss, Wheat
- Fortify Heavy Armor – Ice Wraith Teeth, Sabre Cat Tooth, Slaughterfish Scales, Thistle Branch, White Cap
- Fortify Illusion – Dragon’s Tongue, Dwarven Oil, Mora Tapinella, Scaly Pholiata, Taproot
- Fortify Light Armor – Beehive husk, Hawk feathers, Honeycomb, Luna Moth Wing, Skeever Tail
- Fortify Lockpicking – Falmer Ear, Namira’s Rot, Pine Thrush Egg, Spider Egg
- Fortify Magicka – Briar Heart, Ectoplasm, Histcarp, Jazbay Grapes, Red Mountain Flower, Tundra Cotton, Void Salts
- Fortify Marksman – Canis Root, Elves Ear, Juniper Berries, Spider Egg
- Fortify One-Handed – Bear Claws, Canis Root, Hanging Moss, Hawk Feathers, Rock Warbler Egg, Small Pearl
- Fortify Pickpocket – Blue Dartwing, Nordic Barnacle, Orange Dartwing, Slaughterfish Egg
- Fortify Restoration – Abecean Longfin, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Salt Pile, Small Antlers, Small Pearl
- Fortify Smithing – Blisterwort, Glowing Mushroom, Sabre Cat Tooth, Spriggan Sap
- Fortify Sneak – Abecean Longfin, Beehive Husk, Frost Mirriam, Hawk Feathers, Human Flesh, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Purple Mountain Flower
- Fortify Stamina – Chaurus Eggs, Garlic, Large Antlers, Lavender, Slaughterfish Egg, Torchbug Thorax
- Invisibility – Chaurus Eggs, Crimson Nirnroot, Ice Wraith Teeth, Nirnroot, Luna Moth Wing, Vampire Dust
- Lingering Damage Health – Imp Stool, Mora Tapinella, Orange Dartwing, Slaughterfish Egg, Slaughterfish Scales
- Lingering Damage Magicka – Hagraven Claw, Purple Mountain Flower, Swamp Fungal Pod, Torchbug Thorax, Wheat
- Lingering Damage Stamina – Butterfly Wing, Chicken’s Egg, Nightshade, Small Antlers
- Paralysis – Briar Heart, Canis Root, Human Flesh, Imp Stool, Swamp Fungal Pod
- Ravage Health – Cyrodilic Spadetail, Eye of Sabre Cat, Giant Lichen, Jazbay Grapes, Silverside Perch, Skeever Tail
- Ravage Magicka – Frost Mirriam, Grass Pod, Lavender, Orange Dartwing, Red Mountain Flower, White Cap
- Ravage Stamina – Bee, Bone Meal, Deathbell, Honeycomb, Thistle Branch
- Regenerate Health – Garlic, Juniper Berries, Luna Moth Wing, Namira’s Rot, Nordic Barnacle, Vampire Dust
- Regenerate Magicka – Dwarven Oil, Fire Salts, Garlic, Jazbay Grapes, Moon Sugar, Salt Pile, Taproot
- Regenerate Stamina – Bee, Fly Amanita, Mora Tapinella, Scaly Pholiata
- Resist Fire – Bone Meal, Dragon’s Tongue, Elves Ear, Fire Salts, Fly Amanita, Mudcrab Chitin, Snowberries
- Resist Frost – Frost Mirriam, Frost Salts, Hawk Beak, Moon Sugar, Purple Mountain Flower, Silverside Perch, Slaughterfish Scales, Small Pearl, Snowberries, Thistle Branch
- Resist Magic – Bleeding Crown, Chicken’s Egg, Crimson Nirnroot, Hagraven Claw, Lavender, Nirnroot, Tundra Cotton, Void Salts, Wisp Wrappings
- Resist Poison – Beehive Husk, Charred Skeever Hide, Falmer Ear, Garlic, Grass Pod, Mudcrab Chitin, Slaughterfish Egg, Thistle Branch, Troll Fat
- Resist Shock – Blue Dartwing, Glow Dust, Glowing Mushroom, Hawk Beak, Pearl, Pine Thrush Egg, Snowberries, Swamp Fungal Pod
- Restore Health – Blisterwort, Blue Dartwing, Blue Mountain Flower, Butterfly Wing, Charred Skeever Hide, Daedra Heart, Eye of Sabre Cat, Imp Stool, Rock Warbler Egg, Swamp Fungal Pod, Wheat
- Restore Magicka – Briar Heart, Creep Cluster, Dwarven Oil, Ectoplasm, Elves Ear, Fire Salts, Frost Salts, Giant Lichen, Grass Pod, Human Flesh, Moon Sugar, Mora Tapinella, Pearl, Red Mountain Flower, Taproot, Vampire Dust, White Cap
- Restore Stamina – Bear Claws, Bee, Charred Skeever Hide, Eye of Sabre Cat, Hawk Beak, Histcarp, Honeycomb, Large Antlers, Mudcrab Chitin, Orange Dartwing, Pearl, Pine Thrush Egg, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Purple Mountain Flower, Sabre Cat Tooth, Silverside Perch, Small Pearl, Torchbug Thorax, Wisp Wrappings
- Slow – Deathbell, Large Antlers, River Betty, Salt Pile
- Waterbreathing – Chicken’s Egg, Histcarp, Nordic Barnacle
- Weakness to Fire – Bleeding Crown, Frost Salts, Ice Wraith Teeth, Juniper Berries, Moon Sugar, Powdered Mammoth Tusk
- Weakness to Frost – Abecean Longfin, Elves Ear, Fire Salts, Ice Wraith Teeth, White Cap
- Weakness to Magic – Creep Cluster, Dwarven Oil, Jazbay Grapes, Rock Warbler Egg, Salt Pile, Scaly Pholiata, Taproot, Torchbug Thorax
- Weakness to Poison – Abecean Longfin, Bleeding Crown, Chaurus Eggs, Deathbell, Giant Lichen, Pine Thrush Egg, Sabre Cat Tooth, Small Antlers
- Weakness to Shock – Bee, Giant Lichen, Hagraven Feathers, Void Salts
IGN has posted this handy list of ingredients and where you can find them in Skyrim:
- Bear Claws
- Beehive Husk
- Bleeding Crown
- Blue Butterfly Wing
- Blue Dartwing
- Blue Mountain Flower
- Bone Meal
- Briar Heart
- Butterfly Wing
- Canis Root
- Charred Skeever Hide
- Chaurus Eggs
- Chicken’s Egg
- Creep Cluster
- Crimson Nirnroot
- Cyrodilic Spadetail
- Hagraven Claw
- Hagraven Feathers
- Hanging Moss
- Hawk Beak
- Hawk Feathers
- Human Flesh
- Human Heart
- Sabre Cat Tooth
- Salt Pile
- Scaly Pholiata
- Silverside Perch
- Skeever Tail
- Slaughterfish Egg
- Slaughterfish Scales
- Small Antlers
- Small Pearl
- Spider Egg
- Spriggan Sap
- Swamp Fungal Pod
More Skyrim tips and guides
- Skyrim: How to be a master thief
- Skyrim skills and race guide
- How to steal almost anything in Skyrim
- Skyrim: How to get married
Do you have any alchemy info to share? Simply post a comment in the box below.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.