Leveling your skills is vital in Skyrim. It’s the only way to progress to the later stages of the game and the only way to deal with the most difficult opponents. And while some skills are leveled along the way, notably the offensive and defensive skills, some you more often than not forget about, and this is how you find yourself to be level 50 and your smithing skills horribly under-leveled when compared to the rest of your abilities. There used to be a simple exploit that allowed you to boost your smithing skill in record time by using relatively cheap materials. Let’s see what it is and whether you can still use it.
Iron Dagger exploit was a surefire way to level your Smithing without a big initial investment
If you’re not really struggling with money or gear in Skyrim at initial levels, the chances are you’re not really thinking about smithing. This makes sense up until you hit higher levels, and you’re supposed to refine your equipment to be able to get the most out of it.
Your first encounter with Smithing is probably in Riverwood at the start of the game, and you forget about it until you need it. And once you need it to refine your higher-end gear, you’re going to have to unlock special perks that correlate to higher-end types of gear, and you can’t do that without tons of experience.
There used to be a way to rapidly increase your smithing skill by investing a little in the process. Iron Daggers granted a ton of experience, and they are relatively inexpensive to craft.
All you needed were some Iron Ingots and Leather Strips. Both Iron Ingots and Leather Strips are inexpensive, and you can come across a ton of them by simply exploring the areas. You can also purchase the materials in bulk in the cities and craft away. Naturally, just like with every skill, you eventually hit the ceiling when it’s no longer convenient to keep spamming low-level items, but it does give you a decent initial boost.
Iron Daggers are not really an investment in themselves, but if you get the materials for free, they can earn you a decent amount of money in the early game.
Can you still use the Iron Dagger exploit?
You can no longer use the Iron Dagger exploit. The exploit was patched some time ago, and now the amount of experience you get depends on the item value, and since Iron Daggers are cheap, they don’t grant as much experience as some other items.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t level up by crafting Iron Daggers any longer. It only means that it’s going to take much longer. The exploit really only sped things up. You can still go from level 15 to level 100 by crafting nothing but Iron Daggers. It’s just going to take a lot of time.
The general rule that creating many cheap items rather than fewer expensive items is still valid as far as leveling Smithing goes.
What is the alternative to the Iron Dagger exploit?
Since the exploit was patched, no equal alternative was created to level up Smithing fast, at least not when cheap materials are concerned. Currently, the fastest and most profitable way to level up Smithing is to craft jewelry; however, this requires a big initial investment as more expensive jewelry that generates the most XP has demanding materials.
The best way to level Smithin in Skyrim is to complete the “No Stone Unturned” Quest because one of the rewards is the “Prowler’s Profit” buff. This buff increases the odds of finding valuable gems in the containers as you explore the world.
Leveling up smithing by crafting gold jewelry
Gold is valuable in Skyrim, and it’s kind of rare. Jewelry made out of Gold can net you quite a bit of experience and coins, but only if your starting materials are free. You can pick up the Transmute Mineral Ore Spell Tome at Halted Stream Camp and pick up the nearby Iron Ores, which are plentiful in the area. Using the spells will transmute the Iron Ores into Golde Ore without any additional costs. You can repeat the process as much as you want.
With a single gold ingot, you will be able to craft 2 Gold Rings, which are the cheapest jewelry created with Gold. However, that would be a waste of perfectly good Gold, as combining Gold bands with Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, and Diamonds costs quite a bit more. Gold Diamond Ring is the most expensive vanilla ring, going for 900 septims, and grants the most experience.
As far as necklaces go, the Gold Diamond Necklace is the most expensive one, going for 1200 septims.
Leveling up smithing by crafting inexpensive items
If you have no means to create expensive jewelry, you can always boost your smithing skills with relatively inexpensive items. Leather Bracers are crafted out of 1x leather and 2x leather strips, and leather is really plentiful in Skyrim as it can be farmed for free from wild animals or purchased in bulk. It takes 1,858 leather bracers (1,858 leather and 3,716 leather strips) to get from level 15 smithing to level 100 smithing.
If you’re often traveling on foot and you’re often being attacked by wolves, mountain cats, and the like, it shouldn’t take an unreasonable amount of time to farm those materials in addition to purchasing them and simply looting them from containers.
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