A Trait in ESO is a special property on added to a crafted item which makes that item do nifty things in Elder Scrolls Online. Traits exist on weapons, armor, and jewelry. The kinds of Traits you can get are different, depending on what kind of item it's on. For instance, there is a set of Traits specific to armor, and a different set of Traits that apply to weapons. Some Traits might seem the same between item types, but they will take gemstones which are unique for that item's version of the trait. Traits are calculated by a percentage value, such as "increases weapon attack speed by 20%" The percentage value of a Trait is increased with increased improvement quality of the item. For example, here is how Traits increase when you improve a bow with the Charged trait:

  • White - increased chances to apply status effect by 70%
  • Fine - increased chances to apply status effect by 80%
  • Superior - increased chances to apply status effect by 90%
  • Epic - increased chances to apply status effect by 100%
  • Legendary - increased chances to apply status effect by 110%

What is a Trait?

Traits are not the same thing as an Enchant. You can have both Traits and Enchants on an item. Naturally, Enchantments are put on the item after it's already been crafted. A personal note: Trait Crafting might be considered to be Advanced Crafting. It's not hard to do or understand, but it has enough complexity and time-commitment to separate out the hard core crafters from the casual crafters. There is nothing wrong with the concept of ignoring all this, only learning to craft basic level items to help yourself and friends to gear up reasonably nice, and leaving it at that! I think the concept behind this complexity is to help our ESO community value and treasure the true Craft Masters that spend the time and effort to tackle this particular small mountain.

Update 16, for the Clockwork City DLC, added Transmutation: a system to change the traits in your gear!

Who Uses Traits?

Crafts that use Traits are:

Non-Craftable Traits

Some traits cannot be crafted or researched, and others apply to Jewelry that is currently outside of the crafting capabilities of players. To obtain this traits, there's no option but to keep farming whatever drops the item you are looking for.

  • Ornate — Increase sell price by X%.


How do I Learn to Craft Traits?

  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)

You must research an item, in order to unlock a trait for that item. For example, if you want to craft a bow with Precision Trait on it, you must first find a bow that already has the Precision Trait and then research it at the appropriate crafting table. Researching an item to learn its Trait will destroy that item. You have to unlock each trait for each item separately. So that means you really research # of items x 9 traits!!

There are fewer traits to research in Woodworking because there are only 6 craft items while the other two smith crafts have 14 each.

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.

At first, you can only research one item at a time for your craft. This means if you craft bows, staffs, and shields and you research a bow, you won't be able to research a staff and a shield at the same time. There is a skill you can spend skill points in that decrease research times and increase # of items you can research:

Blacksmithing, Clothier, Woodworking

  • Rank 1 - Requires craft rank 8 - Research time reduced by 5%, Research 2 traits simultaneously
  • Rank 2 - Requires craft rank 18 - Research time reduced by 10%, Research 2 traits simultaneously
  • Rank 3 - Requires craft rank 28 - Research time reduced by 20%, Research 3 traits simultaneously.
  • Rank 4 - Requires craft rank 42 - Research time reduced by 25%, capped at 30 days, Research 3 traits simultaneously.


  • Rank 1 - Requires craft rank 8 - Research time reduced by 5%
  • Rank 2 - Requires craft rank 18 - Research time reduced by 10%
  • Rank 3 - Requires craft rank 28 - Research time reduced by 20%
  • Rank 4 - Requires craft rank 42 - Research time reduced by 25%, capped at 30 days.

Since you can research one Wood, Metal, Jewelry and Cloth/Hide item at the same time, at the bare minimum:

  • 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
  • 8 items, all 9 traits = 432 hours or 144 hours with rank 3 bonus.

Not so scary...

Finally, if you work in two separate crafts, you can research an item from each craft at the same time. For instance, you can research something from Blacksmithing and Woodworking at the same time if you want to. You can research the trait from an item crafted by another player. Many thanks to Elder Moot for all the mathematics assistance in this section!

How do I Get a Trait on an Item?

Items dropped in the world can sometimes have a Trait already attached to it. Otherwise, a Trait can only be applied to an item during the process of creating it in the crafting system. Adding traits to crafted items might be considered either Intermediate or Advanced level crafting, not because it is difficult, but because
it takes a commitment of time into researching traits. Another aspect of advanced crafting is the special set-bonus crafting benches. Traits affect your ability to craft the set-bonus gear, because you are required to have 2 (or more) traits learned on the specific item you want to craft. For instance if you want to make a Death's Wind style axe, you need to have unlocked 2 traits on the axes before you can craft it. The number of traits required to craft set-bonus gear goes up as you get to higher leveled set-bonus benches. For example the Magnus' Gift set-bonus gear shown in the ESO Blacksmithing Walkthrough video requires that you have 4 traits unlocked. You can add a trait to a crafted set-bonus item when you craft it.

What are Trait Gems?

Traits are applied to items with a Trait Gem during the craft process. You do not have to craft an item with a trait, it is optional. Adding a Trait to an item only costs you one Trait Gem, unless you are crafting a set, which requires a Trait Gem for each of the traits added. There is a gem unique to each type of Trait.


Armor Traits

In cases where it is numbers and not percentages are listed, values are for Champion Rank 160.

Trait Gem/Material Trait Properties Normal Fine Superior Epic Legendary



Increases Mundus Stone effects by:

5.1% 6.1% 7.1% 8.1% 9.1%



Increases Magicka, Stamina and Health Recovery by:

8 10
12 14 16



Reduces item's durability damage 50%
Increases Critical Resistance
(amount scales on gear's level)

116 118 121 124 127



Increase Armor Enchantment effect by:

9.0% 13.0% 17.0% 21.0% 25.0%


Fortified Nirncrux

Increases Spell Resistance/Physical Resistance by:

220 228 236 244 253



Increases this item's Armor value by:

12.0% 13.0% 14.0% 15.0% 16.0%



Reduces Block cost by:

2.0% 2.5% 3% 3.5% 4%



Increases experience gained from kills by:

7.0% 8.0% 9.0% 10.0% 11.0%



Reduces the cost of Roll Dodge and Sprint

1.2% 2.4% 3.6% 4.8% 6.0%



Weapon Traits

In cases where it is numbers and not percentages are listed, values are for Champion Rank 160.

Trait Gem/Material Trait Properties Normal1h2h



Increases chance to apply Status Effects by:

70% 1H140% 2H 80% 1H160% 2H 90% 1H
180% 2H
100% 1H
200% 2H
110% 1H
220% 2H



Increases total Armor/Armor Penetration
(scales with gear level) by:

1428 1H
2856 2H
1485 1H
2970 2H
1542 1H
3084 2H
1580 1H
3160 2H
1638 1H
3276 2H



Reduces enchantment's cooldown by 50%
Increase Weapon Enchantment effect by a %:

10% 1H
10% 2H

15% 1H
15% 2H

20% 1H
20% 2H

25% 1H
25% 2H

30% 1H
30% 2H


Potent Nirncrux

Increases Weapon Damage:

11% 1H 11% 2H 12% 1H
12% 2H
13% 1H
13% 2H
14% 1H
14% 2H
15% 1H
15% 2H



Increases healing done by:

2.5% 1H
5.0% 2H
3.0% 1H
6.0% 2H
3.5% 1H
7.0% 2H
4.0% 1H
8.0% 2H
4.5% 1H
9.0% 2H



Increase Weapon and Spell Critical values by:

1.6% 1H
3.2% 2H
2.1% 1H
4.2% 1H
2.6% 1H
5.2% 2H
3.1% 1H
6.2% 2H
3.6% 1H
7.2% 2H


Fire Opal.png
Fire Opal

Increase Armor and Spell Penetration (scales with gear level) by:

1428 1H
2856 2H
1485 1H 2970 2H 1542 1H
3084 2H
1580 1H
3160 2H
1638 1H
3276 2H



Increases experience gained from kills by:

2.5% 1H
5.0% 2H
3.0% 1H
6.0% 2H
3.5% 1H
7.0% 2H
4.0% 1H
8.0% 2H
4.5% 1H
9.0% 2H



Chance to gain 1 additional Ultimate anytime that Ultimate is gained:

19.1% 1H
38.2% 2H
21.2% 1H 42.4% 2H 23.3% 1H
46.6% 2H
25.4% 1H
50.8% 2H
27.5% 1H
55% 2H



Jewelry Traits

In cases where it is numbers and not percentages are listed, values are for Champion Rank 160.

Trait Gem/Material Trait Properties Normal Fine Superior Epic Legendary


Increases Maximum Magicka by: 767 797 827 847 877


This trait grants up to 350 Weapon and Spell Damage against targets under 90% Health, scaling linearly per 1% missing Health 70 140 210 280 350


Increases damage, healing, resource restore, and damage shield strength of synergies you activate by:  12% 14% 16% 18% 20%


Increases Maximum Health by: 844 877 914 932 965


Aurbic Amber
Increases jewelry enchantment effectiveness by: 24% 33% 42% 51% 60%


Increases Spell Resistance and Physical Resistance by: 1053 1091 1128 1153 1190


Increases Maximum Stamina by: 767 797 827 847 877


Gilding Wax
Increases Movement Speed by: 3% 4% 5% 6% 7%


Increases Health, Magicka and Stamina by: 422, 384, 384 429, 390, 390 451, 410, 410 467, 425, 425 482, 439, 439

How do I Get Gem Traits?

Gem Traits are a semi rare loot item found in loot containers such as barrels, crates, trunks, bookshelves, nightstands, etc. You have a chance to get a trait gemstone when you refine raw materials. You also can get Trait Gems by deconstructing an item. You will always get the Trait Gem that matches the trait on an item you deconstruct. So for instance if you deconstruct a bow with Charged, you should have a chance to get Amethyst. To clarify, you don't always get a gem when you deconstruct, but if you do it will be the one for the trait already on the item you tear down.

Your chances of getting a trait gem are higher based on how you try to do it. For instance the % chance of a trait gem for refinement of raw materials is approximately 10%. It seems to vary a bit based on which raw material you refine--Iron ore versus Maple wood versus Jute/Rawhide Scraps. You have a higher % chance of a trait gem from deconstructing a white traited item. Then the % chance for getting a trait gem goes up when you deconstruct a green traited item, and so on. I am still in the process of getting good percent values in my tests for these item drops. Sadly I was hoarding all my greens for researching external image smile.gif


Common Traits 

The following traits are available on both armor, weapons, and as of Update 18, jewelry as well. They can only be found, but not researched or crafted.

Trait Trait Properties Normal Fine Superior Epic Legendary


This item sells to merchants for …% more. 280% 285% 290% 295% 300%


Increase inspiration gained from deconstruction of this item by …, and gain additional refined material upon deconstruction of this item. (Armor/Weapons) 280% 285% 290% 295% 300%
ncrease inspiration gained from deconstruction of this item by …, and gain additional refined material upon deconstruction of this item. (Jewelry) 300% 325% 350% 375% 400%



Companions in Elder Scroll Online (ESO) currently cannot use the same sets as Players. Instead, they have Companion Gear, which comes in 9 Unique Traits that further customize your Companion's Combat Role.

Companion Equipment Traits in ESO




Aggressive Increases Companion Damage Done per piece equipped.
Augmented Increases duration of all Companion Buffs and Debuffs per piece equipped.
Bolstered Reduces Companion Damage Taken per piece equipped.
Focused Increases Companion Critical Strike Rating per piece equipped.
Prolific Increases Companion Ultimate Generation per piece equipped.
Quickened Reduces Companion Ability Cooldowns per piece equipped.
Shattering Increases Companion Penetration per piece equipped.
Soothing Increases Companion Healing Done per piece equipped.
Vigorous Increases Companion Maximum Health per piece equipped.




  • Can I research an item with a trait crafted by another player?

Yes you can!

  • I see 10 traits on things. There are Ornate and Intricate traits?

Yes! These traits are not craftable. I believe this is because both of them give you a special gain within the game mechanic. One gives you extra gold when you sell to a vendor, one gives you extra IP when you deconstruct it. Imagine how this could be exploited if we could craft them ourselves!

  • Does the Intricate trait work?

The Intricate trait is supposed to give you extra Inspiration Points (IP) when you deconstruct it. As of our last research, done by @McLeod25 and @Mordraig, they compared IP gains from three versions of a duplicate item. Wearing the Intricate item did not boost IP gain when you deconstructed either a world dropped or player crafted item. But deconstructing the Intricate item did give you more IP than if you'd deconstructed a non-intricate version of the same item.


(Thank you to RebelWeasel for contributing this)


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    • Anonymous

      I think you need to update the nirnhoned trait for armor, I've seen it boost over 2k and you have it's highest set at 253, try making it max level then add nirnhoned then upgrade it's quality one step at a time, one your max level character, with that you should get more accurate results
      I've also seen that on lower level characters, higher-level-gear traits seem Worse than their-level-gear traits

      • Anonymous

        How do I craft an item that is later researchable for another player? I’m a master crafter and finishing up researching all my traits, I tried making a nirncrux shield because those traits are all learned/researched. But it’s just a normal shield, no ability to be researched. Help.

        • Anonymous

          Hello everyone. i have a character at level 26 and recently i learned, as much as i can things, about crafting etc. Now things seem much clear than before. My only issue is i started researching traits at level 20-22. Since then i research the traits i want to and the others of course. My only issue is if start doing this pretty late. Many people say to start doing this asap and not late game. So at this level am i ok or im going to have a bad time with all this? Thanks in advance

          • Anonymous

            Could anyone please explain to me how the jewelry infused trait works? Does it just "infuse" the enchantment added by a glyph? Or, does it also improve the other characteristics of the item, e.g. if a ring is part of a set and provides X more of this, Y more of that etc. are X and Y also improved by, say, 60% as that would be awesome.

            • Anonymous

              This crafting system is literally retarded and one of the worst and most laboriously un-fun I have ever seen in an MMO

              • Anonymous

                Ive never ever researched anything since i purchased it for ps4. I know how it works since i played ESO a lot on pc. But still i cannot research any trait, weapons, armor etc. Pls help im out of ideas x.x

                • Anonymous

                  What does this "H" mean? I've researsched defend trait on my lighthining stuff but when I try to craft it gives less than I've researched.

                  • Anonymous

                    This could use List of traits for jewelry;

                    Robust — Increase Max Stamina by X.
                    Arcane — Increase Max Magicka by X.
                    Healthy — Increase Max Health by X.
                    Ornate — Increase sell price by X%.

                    • Anonymous

                      so complicated take the fun out of it.i have trait of all sort never been able to do better than what i found.
                      same with kuta there is not enough hard to experience.i am at level champion 260. never have the right stuff.
                      i have 900 RA runes and i had a total of 12 kuta . by the way 900 RA runes take 4 spaces in the inventory
                      keep 200 max

                      • Anonymous

                        I'm sorry but.....

                        Is ZS stupid !

                        This incremental time gate on traits, where the last one takes a whole fking month is FKING STUPID !

                        I'm a new player and finding this BS out has totally taken away my will to fking play the game.

                        I was aiming for a set of twice born star, but after finding this BS out thats a big NO NO ***** YOU Zenimax !!!

                        • Anonymous

                          Why might an item not be researchable? I have several items that Have traits that I would like to research, but they are not showing up at the respective crafting table as available. I have repaired items, tried bound and unbound, attempted to use different leveled items, but I still do not understand why some inventory items are available and others are not.

                          • Anonymous

                            I would like to know if the trait training(increase xp gained from kills) is stackable i.e. 7% cuirass + 7% gauntlets + 7% boots Ect.?

                            • Anonymous

                              Also curious what changed about the nirnhoned trait making it less desirable. Is it still worth the effort to research and apply since the mats are costly if you can't find them.

                              • Anonymous

                                What does N-pin? Npin, inpin, enpin? Mean. I have heard this term and have no idea. Also have heard it is possible to have 2traits on an item. I have found jewelry that will take 2 enchantments? Thanks.

                                • Anonymous

                                  This is my second read page of this site and I am impressed by the content/ingredients and the presentation/form. Healthy

                                  • Anonymous

                                    By the Eight, I swear this stuff is for the birds....... But it is EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL. My issue is finding stuff I need. Lol.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      im looking for the light armor skill boost trait for the headpiece is there a place to buy it or can somebody help me get it plz

                                      • Anonymous

                                        https://elderscrollsonline.wiki.fextralife.com/Traits = legendary is 24% and https://elderscrollsonline.wiki.fextralife.com/Nirnhoned = legendar is 4.5%

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Becoming a crafter in ESO is pointlessly, stupidly long and requires no real 'skill' and works best if you have no real 'life' ether.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Hello, fairly new to this so forgive me. I'm a High Elf in Auridon, im lvl 14 and looking to create a staff when I reach level 16. I understand the trait system but cant seem to find any staffs with the traits I want to then research and craft my own. So is it possible to buy weapons with traits already on? If so, where? Thanks

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