Research is the option within crafting that allows you to extract traits from an item in exchange for the destruction of said item. Not all items are researchable.

Researching new traits will take a very long time, as well as destroying the item involved, so it it advised you pick carefully. There are a total of nine Traits that you can research for a single piece of gear, and traits are researched for a specific item type (ie. Axe) and item slot (ie. Head); this means that If you research a trait for Axes, you will not learn the trait for Swords. If you learn a trait for Helms, you will not learn it for Sabatons, etc.

  • Please see Transmutation for details on how to use your researched traits to change the assigned traits of any weapons or armor you have.

How to Research Traits in ESO

  • You must own an item with the trait you want to research
  • Go to the crafting station for the Item type, such as blacksmith or clothier
  • Find the research tab and select your item. It will be destroyed during the process and cannot be reclaimed 
  • Agree to the warning and wait.

Consider the following exponential time investment when researching: Research has a cooldown timer which varies per item based on how many traits you've already unlocked. The first time you research an item it takes 6 hours before it completes the Trait unlock. The time for each item after that doubles.

  Per Trait Total
1st 6 hours 6 hours
2nd 12 hours 18 hours
3rd 24 hours (1 day) 42 hours (~2 days)
4th 48 hours (2 days) 90 hours (~4 days)
5th 96 hours (4 days) 186 hours (~8 days)
6th 192 hours (8 days) 378 hours (~16 days)
7th 384 hours (16 days) 762 hours (~32 days)
8th 768 hours (32 days) 1530 hours (~64 days)
9th 1536 hours (64 days) 3066 hours (~128 days)


ESO Research Tips

  • Investing into Trade Skills that allow for simultaneous and faster research is vital. These skills are: Metallurgy, Stitching and Carpentry.
  • 1 item, all 9 traits = Without any skills reducing research time: 1 item, all 9 traits: 127.75 days; with Rank 4: 77.8125 days
  • Armor research:
    The most popular PvP trait is Impenetrable.
    The most popular PvE trait is Divines. However Reinforced, Infused and Training are also popular. Nirnhoned used to be popular but its popularity is decreasing with the changes from Dark Brotherhood.
  • Weapon research:
    The most popular Damage Traits are Sharpened and Precise. Some people also like Nirnhoned.
    The most popular Healing Trait is Powered.

For more info on researching Traits, Please visit the page located Here.

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    • 10 Apr 2021 17:54  

      9th trait time should be updated, the first 8 are currently (2021) still correct
      No plus 0/4 skill = 960 hours (40 days)
      No plus 4/4 skill = 30 days
      Plus 0/4 skill = 36 days
      Plus 4/4 skill = 27 days

      • Anonymous

        12 Jun 2018 07:28  

        The "How to Research" section literally doesn't say a single thing about how to research things. Is there a menu somewhere? Do I need to be at a specific crafting bench? Please offer a single piece of information of any kind.

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