I tried to work the Optimizing Enchanting trick from UESP last night, and ran into a bit of trouble. The Fortify Enchanting potion says that it will work for 30 seconds. However, I only saw the benefit successful for one enchantment. I'm sure it didn't take me more than 30 seconds to do my first two enchantments.

Since many of the ingredients for this potion are rare-ish, and I'm trying to do this enchanting with Grand soul gems, I didn't do any further testing just yet.

Could someone verify the actual duration of Fortify Enchanting? Does it actually last for 30 seconds? Is that game time, or real time? Can it be extended by actions that pause that timer? Or, does it only really stay effective for the next enchantment?

  • Slow time shout after you use potion, activate enchanting post and you have the ability to create at least 3 items
    – user48026
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 0:40

2 Answers 2


Time does not stop while at the enchanting table.

I have been able to do 2 enchantments with one potion but if you add in a renaming of the item, which I wanted to do, then you simply do not have enough time to really do more than one item.. Just the length of time the UI takes to select all three pieces is about 15 seconds in and of itself..

My suggestion is to just always play it safe. If you have enough money on hand to be trying to super-enchant your items, then you should have no problem finding the ingredients at the various shop keepers. I make a loop through Whiterun, Solitude, Windhelm, Falkreath and Morsomethingorother (I can never remember the name of this one!). Takes me a few moments, costs me maybe 1000g each to clear out their inventories and I can always make the set of potions I need to do whatever crafting I am up to plus enough misc ingredients to more than make my money back if I do not want to get more gold via enchanting :)

As for your final questions, 30 seconds has been fairly accurate to me. It is real time, as long as the game is not paused (If you have your inventory open or the like it wont tick down the duration, if you are in the enchanting table though it does). Honestly its the slowish interface.. I believe they timed these potions specifically to get you a single guaranteed enchantment, and then maybe 1 more if you are just rushing it (But since the price doesn't really go up at these levels its rather pointless to be rushing these :))

More Info: Here is probably one of the handiest websites relating to Skyrim for crafters. http://rp.eliteskills.com/skyrim.html This is a potion calculator that is very easy to use (Click the Add All Components and away you go) and will allow you to find what possible combinations can make the potion/poison in question, how many ingredients you want to use and as luck would have it, is always focused on showing you the most expensive first (So when crafting for skill/money go with the top, when crafting for use go with the bottom :)).You can use this to get rid of all the extra ingredients and gather your money back on having to buy the more expensive items.

And now a video:

I enchant 5 daggers to give them level 26 banish instead of level 25. Just watch the timer of the video, it is not bugged.

  • 1
    this is the key point. Most people don't realize that time still continues while at the enchanting table. The most telltale sign of this is conversation continuing and npcs moving in the background.
    – l I
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 22:18
  • 1
    +1 The most salient point here is to just use one potion per item. You can find the ingredients easily. Blue butterflies (2 wings per butterfly) are everywhere in places like Talking Stone Camp and snowberries are just plain everywhere, plus both are sometimes available at merchants. Just make a bunch of Fortify Enchanting potions and don't try to beat the clock.
    – brymck
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 3:58
  • 1
    @James Checked out the potions finder you suggested. You're right - it totally beats the competition in pretty much every way. Not only is it easier to use as you describe, but it also shows every available potion - not just the high-value ones.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 9:11
  • 1
    Does time freeze while you're in the name editing screen? I'd hate to have to forgo changing the names of my enchanted items, just because I have to worry about my potion running out.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 23:31
  • 1
    @Iszi -- from my experience (xbox360), it pauses the 30 seconds during the naming process. Thank goodness!
    – kenny
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 23:32

Time remains in effect while at Enchanting, Alchemy, and Smithing equipment. During the "confirm" screens while crafting time pauses until you hit ok. For the 360, bringing up the renaming of the item also pauses the game, as with any other instance of pressing the guide button. The best way to do as much as possible while under the effect of enchanting/smithing potion is to dump all your other gear into a crate nearby, and know exactly where the enchantments are on the list. I can do about 4 under 1 potion with renaming on the 360 (Double Enchantment perk). It is just a matter of knowing exactly what you are going for, and not having to fumble through a ton of gear to find the right stuff. Have an order in mind, and use the screen to take a breath and plan out the next item. After so many enchants, you know exactly what the list looks like, and can find the proper ones in 2 seconds. If I am speeding through a mass production of daggers or something for gold, I can do 7-8+ in 30 seconds. If you watch the video above, the guy loses almost 10 seconds just scrolling inventory.

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