Iron ingots are the most common material in the game. Iron ingots are created by smelting iron ore and require no smithing experience. You might think, why waste your time collecting such a low-quality ore? Well, I’m about to burst your bubble.
Iron ore is actually one of the most valuable smithing materials in the game. Yes, on its own, you are limited to crafting crummy iron daggers and swords. But paired with the Transmute alteration spell, iron becomes extremely valuable. You will be able to convert iron ore to silver and gold ore.
- Acquire the Transmute spell from Halted Stream Camp to improve the value of iron ore significantly by turning it into gold.
- Embershard mine, Halted Stream Camp, and Fort Fellhammer Mine are the best places to mine iron ore in the game. But take thirty in-game days to replenish.
- Iron ingots and ore can be purchased from general traders and blacksmiths for a low price.
- Iron Ingots are used with higher quality materials to craft higher-level gear, such as Dwarven, Orcish, and Steel gear.
- Not feeling up to mining the ore and smelting it yourself travel to blacksmiths in major cities and steal ingots that are lying around. Just remember that these items will be classed as stolen goods.
Acquiring Iron Ore and Ingots
Key Iron Ore Locations
Iron ore is a very common ore found in Skyrim, and you will discover many veins on your travels. However, I recommend using Halted Stream Camp, Embershard Mine, and Fort Fellhammer Mine to gather iron. These mines include many iron ore veins.
You can return to mines every ten days to begin mining again; however, clearable locations take thirty days to replenish ore. Therefore, you will have to wait long before these mentioned mines respawn ore.
Revisiting a mine before the ten days or thirty days will reset its respawn time. Meaning you will have to wait more time for the ore to replenish. It may sound like a long time, but utilizing the waiting mechanic will speed up this process considerably.
Halted Stream Camp
Halted Stream Camp should be your first choice when looking for an iron ore mine. Located north of Whiterun and within walking distance, the camp has a total of sixteen iron ore veins, making it a bountiful location to fill your backpack full of ore.
Displayed on the map as a bandit camp, Halted Stream Camp is heavily guarded by bandits, and you may want to bring some backup if you have a low-level character.
There are two entrances to the camp, but I recommend entering through the main entrance rather than attempting to enter from the back, where deadly traps are set up around this area. Entering through the main door, you will be greeted by a group of angry bandits, so be ready for a fight.
After battling your way through the Mammoth poachers, you will come across a large room with a dead mammoth lying on the floor. There is some good loot here and a copy of the Transmute spell left on a wooden table.
Fort Fellhammer Mine
Located southeast of Dawnstar, Fort Fellhammer contains ten iron ore veins and an additional ten iron ores to pick up. However, to get to the Fort Fellhammer mine, you will have to fight your way through a garrison of bandits. Alternatively, the Silver Hand will inhabit the fort if you have ventured there prior with Aela for the “Stealing Plans” Companion quest.
You can find the Fort Fellhammer mine within the central courtyard. Make sure to bring lockpicks, as you will have to unlock an expert lock to gain access to the mine.
Embershard Mine is one of the best iron ore mines in the game and is the first mine you will be encouraged to visit. Embershard Mine is located next to Riverwood and includes eight iron ore veins. There is an additional iron ore vein located next to the exit of the mine.
This is a great place to start collecting iron ore early in the game. Bare in mind that you will have to wait thirty days before iron ore veins replenish. Embershard Mine is inhabited by low-level bandits and shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to clear.
Left-Hand Mine is located next to Markarth city gates and features five iron ore veins. Additionally, iron ore is located next to the smelter at the entrance to the mine. Visiting Left-Hand Mine for the first time, you will be met with a gathering of NPCs in distress explaining that the nearby gold mine Kolskegger Mine has been assaulted and taken over by Forsworn.
Naturally, you are given the quest to clear the mine. On completion returning to Left-Hand Mine will allow you to freely pick up iron ore lying about the area.
Kolskegger Mine is a dangerous location filled with powerful Forsworn bandits and Hagravens. Therefore I recommend bringing a follower and a lot of health potions, especially if you are a low-level character. However, if you manage to clear this mine, you will be rewarded with a bountiful seventeen gold ore veins to mine.
Iron-Breaker Mine is located next to the Jarl’s hall in Dawnstar. Even though it contains fewer ore veins than previously mentioned mines with a total of six veins, you can pick up additional iron ore outside the mine entrance; however, the ore is under the ownership of the mine and will count as theft for picking it up.
Merchants and Blacksmiths
Iron ingots and ore can be bought from any blacksmith or general trader under the miscellaneous item category. Luckily for you, purchasing iron ore and ingots is cheap because they are such a shared resource. If you have exhausted your local trader and blacksmith, you can wait two days to replenish their stock.
If you feel a little sneaky, you can steal ingots and ore left around blacksmith’s forges and homes. Note, however, that any created items with stolen resources will still count as stolen items. Therefore you will not be able to sell them without the “Fence” perk. To unlock this perk, you will need a level 90 speech skill.
Many blacksmiths are situated all over Skyrim. Some towns and cities will even be home to multiple blacksmiths like Whiterun. Typically blacksmiths will always have an assortment of raw materials, and you can purchase iron ore and ingots at a cheap price.
Alvor is the first blacksmith you will meet in Skyrim. You will meet him in Riverwood at the start of the game. Talk to Alvor, and he will give you the option of taking part in a short tutorial on creating and improving equipment. If you choose to flee Helgan with Hadvar, you will be able to freely take items from Alvor’s house and forge. Including the stack of ingots located next to the workbench. Luckily for you, the ingots will respawn after time!
Masters of their Craft
Although Alvor is useful in the early game, the main plot will soon move you onto Whiterun. Which is a great location to serve as a base for your character as the city has everything you need to support your adventure. Two blacksmiths work in Whiterun:
The blacksmith who works Warmaidens located at the entrance to Whiterun’s gates and right of Breezehome. Adrienne Avenicci co-owns Warmaidens with her husband Ulfberth War-Bear, who sells Adrienne’s equipment to customers.
Completing Adrienne’s quest to deliver a Jarl Balgruff’s sword to her father, Proventus Avenicci will allow you to pick up some items in Warmaiden’s without counting as theft. Talking to Adrienne outside while she works will give you access to smithing materials, making her a good source of iron ore and iron ingots.
Owner of the Skyforge in Whiterun located on the cloud district next to the Companions. Eorlund Gray-Mane is revered as one of the best blacksmiths in Skyrim.
You can create special Skyforge Steel, and Eorlund will create Skyforge Steel weapons and unique companions armor after joining the companions. Eorlund can also train you in smithing up to level ninety and has a range of smithing materials to purchase, making him a good source of iron ore and iron ingots.
Although Riften is far away from major cities such as Solitude and Whiterun, it is a bit tougher to travel to if playing on survival mode. Riften is an excellent location to visit as it is home to multiple blacksmiths once joining the thieves guild and completing Delvin’s third contract. You can meet the following blacksmiths in Riften:
- Balimund – Owner of the Scorched Hammer located next to Riften’s market. Stacks of iron and steel ingots can be found situated around Balimund’s forge as well as additional stacks can be found within the basement of the Scorched Hammer. These ingots will spawn back after thirty in-game days. Completing Balimund’s quest by bringing him ten fire salts will reward you with a sum of gold and will count as a favor to become thane of Riften. Balimund can also train you in smithing up to level 75.
- Zanskar Ember-Master – is a unique blacksmith that is only accessible by joining the thieves guild and completing the third contract for Delvin. Another good source of iron ingots and iron ore.
- Beirand – the owner of Solitude Blacksmith, Beirand may not be able to train you in your smithing level but he does have an ample supply of wares in his inventory. Talking to Beirand you will learn that he makes weapons and armor for the Imperial Legion and will actually share this armor with you if you join the faction. The Solitude Blacksmith is worth the visit for a thief as there are lots of items scattered around. There are a total of 27 iron ingots inside Solitude Blacksmith however, you will have to break in so be sneaky!
From Junk to Treasure!
Once you have collected abundant iron ore now, it’s time to utilize the transmute spell you acquired clearing Halted Stream Camp to turn your crude iron into valuable gold. I recommend creating Gold Rings (worth 75 gold) to get the most out of your ingots.
- Iron Ore value: 2
- Silver Ore value: 25
- Gold Ore value: 50
This is why iron is one of the most valuable ores in the game due to its abundance and potential to make your character rich!
Iron Ingot Crafting
Iron ingots are a fundamental crafting resource. They can be used for more than just basic iron weapons and armor. You will need a supply of iron ingots if you want to create Steel, Dwarven, and, Orcish equipment.
For a few modest scraps of leather and ingots, you can get yourself some basic iron equipment. However, it is the weakest in the game, add an extra corundum ingot into the mix, and you will be able to craft Banded Iron armor, a slight upgrade to iron equipment.
Steel weapons and armor exist as an upgrade to iron equipment and are among the most commonly found material types of equipment used by low to mid-level enemies and NPCs in the game. Alternatively, you can use the Skyforge located in Whiterun to create unique Skyforge Steel and upgrade to standard steel equipment.
Iron ingots are given further use with the Hearthfire DLC installed. You will need iron ingots to create small building materials for more significant items to place in your house. While you will need many of these building items, they require little iron to make.
- Hinges – Using an iron ingot, you can create two hinges used for building, doors, safes, chests, display cases, and even coffins!
- Iron Fittings – Using an iron ingot, you can create one iron fitting to be used in crafting a smelter, grindstone, blacksmith’s forge, as well as a countless number of furniture and decorations to fill your home with.
- Nails – One iron ingot creates ten nails used to craft most homestead items.
- Lock – To create a lock, you will need one iron ingot and one corundum ingot used for doors, chests, and safes.
Question: How can I spawn Iron Ingots into Inventory in Skyrim (cheating)
Answer:You can add Iron Ingots to your inventory by pressing the “tilde” key in-game and typing the following into the console command player.additem 0005ACE4 1. The item id for Iron Ingot is 0005ACE4. This will spawn 1 iron ingot into your inventory.
Question: Why can’t I Mine Ore in Skyrim Caves, Dungeons, and Mines?
Answer:Sometimes ore veins will glitch when entering mines, dungeons, and caves making your character unable to mine the ore. You can fix this bug by exiting and re-entering the location. Or, if playing on PC, you can open the console, select the ore vein, disable it, and then enable it.
Question: What is the Best Pickaxe in Skyrim?
Answer: The Notched Pickaxe is a unique item that can only be found perched at the top of the Throat of the World. While equipped, the pickaxe will grant you bonus points for your smithing skill and will additionally deal five points of shock damage to your foes. The Notched Pickaxe is a reference to the Minecraft creator Notch.
Question: Where can I Find Free Skyrim Mods?
Answer:You can find free Skyrim mods at Nexus Mods, a website home to thousands of mods for hundreds of games. To easily access Nexus mods, download the Nexus Mod Manager, and the manager will apply the mods to your game. Alternatively, you can get free Skyrim mods by using the Steam Workshop. Here you can filter and browse through thousands of mods. Simply subscribe to the mod and all linked mods to install a mod. Once downloaded, the mod will automatically be installed on your game.
Iron Ingot Skyrim Guide: Conclusion
In conclusion, there are many locations to obtain iron ore and obtain iron ingots. Although iron ingots are required in crafting many types of equipment and house materials, I recommend stashing your iron ore away to be used later with the transmute spell.
I also recommend saving your iron ingots to craft more valuable equipment rather than basic iron and steel equipment. However, do not underestimate Skyforge Steel as it is very powerful when crafted with a high smithing level.
To make the most out of your time, stick to the mentioned iron mines and locations, and avoid the surrounding area of Winterhold as this area has a limited amount of iron veins and resources.