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 eight 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.
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
6 hours
6 hours
12 hours
18 hours
24 hours (1 day)
42 hours (~2 days)
48 hours (2 days)
90 hours (~4 days)
96 hours (4 days)
186 hours (~8 days)
192 hours (8 days)
378 hours (~16 days)
384 hours (16 days)
762 hours (~32 days)
768 hours (32 days)
1530 hours (~64 days)
1536 hours (64 days)
3066 hours (~128 days)


  • 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, Infusing 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.
    The most popular Healing Trait is Powered.

For more info on researching Traits, please click the link aforementioned.

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