I want to level up my blacksmithing, but I can't find enough ores to do it. I've farmed all dungeons, that I've farmed so far (I'm level 11) and bought all ores\ingots from NPCs. So are there respawn timers on ore sources, and what are the best places to farm it?


8 Answers 8


I've found that fast traveling between blacksmiths as they restock is much more efficient than mining as a method of leveling smithing. Ore veins are few and far between and as far as I know, the respawn time is when the area resets. Furthermore, the act of smelting does not by itself give you experience.

For that reason, I found bouncing between War Maiden's in Whiterun, Alvor in Riverwood and Beirand in Solitude, buying their entire stock of usable ore, ingots and leather, turning it into weapons or armor then selling those back to them was the fastest method.

Since you gain experience in smithing proportional to the value of the items you create, there are a few items that can make the process more efficient. Those are the Forgemaster Fingers and the Notched Pickaxe. You can use the enchantments on these items to improve the items you create beyond you current skill level.

I also found that for each type of item you can create (Orcish, Elven, etc.) there is an item with the highest input to value ratio. If you are going to grind smithing, it is best to grind whatever item this is for your level. You can refer to the tables on the relevant type. For instance, for Dwarven smithing, the bow has by far the highest ratio as it requires only two dwarven ingots and an iron ingot.

  • Thats exactly method i started to use, after reading article on uesp
    – Avdept
    Aug 13, 2012 at 14:58
  • I would also recommend the Ars Metallica mod. It provides more smithing possibilities and will reward small amounts of skill advancement for mining and smelting. Mod link: nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/16084?
    – Michael K
    Mar 24, 2015 at 10:58
  • If you've done enough "small jobs" for the Thieves' Guild, there will be 3 ore selling vendors in the Ragged Flagon. As an added bonus Tonilia will have more than enough cash to buy all the jewelery you make from the iron ore. A nice Gold & Diamond Necklace can really boost your smithing skill
    – tjd
    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:51

As ever with Skyrim, UESPWiki is your friend.

Region          Location            Veins       Ores    Ingots
Whiterun Hold   Halted Stream Camp  16          4       
Solitude        Solitude Blacksmith             5       42
Winterhold      Fort Fellhammer     10          10      
Falkreath Hold  Embershard Mine     9           2       2   
The Rift        Treva's Watch       1           3       18  
Hjaalmarch      Sorli's House                   4       19  
Haafingar       East Empire Company Warehouse           21  
Falkreath Hold  Knifepoint Ridge    6           3       
The Reach       Blind Cliff Cave    6           
Eastmarch       Gloombound Mine     6           
The Pale        Iron-Breaker Mine   6           
Riften          Blacksmith                      2       15  
The Reach       Left Hand Mine      5           
The Reach       Nchuand-Zel         4           
Hjaalmarch      Rockwallow Mine     4           
The Pale        Forsaken Cave                           11  
Haafingar       Haafingar Stormcloak Camp               10  
The Pale        Nightgate Inn                           10  
Hjaalmarch      Stonehills                              10  
The Rift        Forelhost                       5       5   
Haafingar       Jala's House                            9   
Haafingar       Solitude Lighthouse             1       8   
Eastmarch       Lost Knife Hideout  3           
The Rift        Northwind Mine      3           
Solitude        Proudspire Manor                        8   
Solitude        Evette San's House                      5   
Whiterun Hold   Riverwood                               5   
The Reach       Understone Keep                 4       1   
  • 1
    This would be more appropriate as a comment since it doesn't answer the question at all. At least quote the relevant section.
    – user1978
    Aug 13, 2012 at 8:17
  • 1
    How about respawn? Are they respawn, or there are limited amount of ores?
    – Avdept
    Aug 13, 2012 at 8:28
  • @kotekzot The way i just did in this edit. Just takes a little effort but this is a Q&A site, not a link collection to wikis.
    – user1978
    Aug 13, 2012 at 8:44
  • 1
    @Avdept They respawn after a while. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:13
  • 1
    It helps a great deal to install one of the mods that make ore veins glow. There's a lot more of them than you might realize, since they blend in to the scenery so well.
    – Tacroy
    Aug 13, 2012 at 15:44

The one that I've found more easy to farm is going to Halted Stream Camp, northeast of Witherun, there will be few guys to kill, go into the mine, kill everyone and in the table of the chief bandit will be a spell book, use it, it will transform iron ores to gold and etc, if you're low in magicka use the wait tool, and put in one hour every time your magicka is low, hope it helpd :D

  • thats actually good one, but it doesn't solve question where to get other ore to transform it to gold
    – Avdept
    Apr 3, 2014 at 7:07

I've found that farming ore is too time consuming.

Find a vendor that sells it, buy them out, sell them something (if you have something) that will get your money back, then quick-save, attack them, quick-load and they have money and inventory back in full.

Rinse and repeat as long as you want to. Works great for grabbing ingredients too.

I use it for buying the following:

  • black soul gems (as well as the others) (Falion)
  • ingredients (anyone that is an alchemist)
  • ore/ingots/leather (any blacksmith)
  • building materials (any general sales vendor)

First off, go to Halted Stream camp. Mine all of the ore since you're there, but remember to pick up the spell tome on the table, Transmute, and process to turn your iron to silver and silver to gold. Go around to every blacksmith you can find and buy all their iron ore. (Also should be jotted that general traders also sell ore.)

Another mine you might try is Iron-Breaker Mine in Dawnstar. After you've turned all of that iron into gold, smelt it and make gold rings. (The gold rings sell for more than the Emulates and you don't have to waste precious gems on them. Also I would suggest having the warrior stone activated as well as having Lover's Comfort.)


Get the dwarven smith feat and raid dwarf fort/mines.

They are usually so loaded with scrap that you can't get enough of it.

If you cant get the feat then focus on raising money and buying smith materials. Improve your speech feats until you are getting good deals on your stuff.

Enchanting and Smithing were the first skills I got to a hundred on, fairly rapidly. The better you get the more you can resell your products for and thus buy more crafting materials. Eventually you start clearing out smiths inventories.


You're going to want to go to Halted Steam Camp just like a bunch of other people said before me (gather ore, get the spell book, bla bla bla...), until this point it was rather self-explanatory, but now you're going to want to use for your best soul gems and enchant a helmet, armor, ring and amulet with fortify alteration. A good idea would be drinking an enchanters elixir first, And if you're enchanting Skill is good enough you can reduce the magica cost of your transmute spell to 0%. As for ore, there's the aforementioned Halted Steam Camp, Iron Breaker Mine, traveling between blacksmiths and general traders and there's even a Forsworn mine in the Reach that exclusively has gold ore (can't remember what it's called though). Rinse and repeat with the traders until the mines are replenished and you're golden [literaly].


Its better to buy from blacksmith in all town finding ore is much harder and need more time funny thing the first and only time i found ore in the world i didnt have a pick axe to farm it with

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