Skyrim: How to Get Iron Ore & Ingots
Iron ore is one of the most important early game materials in Skyrim, as it's used for forcing heavy armor and iron weaponry. Though these weapons are the lowest quality weapons in the game, and the heavy armor is the weakest of its kind, they're some of the few things you can forge without smithing perks, so it's very important to have it early in the game. In this guide, we'll tell you where to find iron ore, and how to get iron ingots.
How to Get Iron Ore and Ingots in Skyrim
Where to Find Iron Ore
Iron ore is obtained by mining iron ore veins with a pickaxe, of which there are an infinite number to find, as they reset every 30 in-game days.
There are a grand total of 668 veins, scattered all around. They appear as brighter, streaky rocks with orange-ish tints to them, like the ones pictured below.
If you're looking for large amounts of quick iron, then your go-to locations to hit up are Halted Stream Camp in Whiterun Hold, Fort Fellhammer in Winterhold, and Embershard Mine in Falkreath Hold. These three locations contain the highest numbers of iron ore veins, all of which regenerate on monthly cycles.
The best way to find the exact locations of the veins is to use this map. As long as you are zoomed in to either the highest, second, or third highest setting, you will see all ores highlighted on the map.
Halted Stream Camp is just north of Whiterun, so head there to begin, then use the map to help you. After that, Fort Fellhammer is about halfway between Morthal and Winterhold, then Embershard Mine is northeast of Falkreath, past Lakeview Manor.
Once you find these ore veins, simply attack them with your pickaxe to collect your iron ore. If you'd rather not need to grind out hunting iron ore veins, your other option is to buy iron ore directly from blacksmiths and merchants. Blacksmiths of any level may sell iron ore, as well as general goods merchants at any level. Feel free to travel from shop to shop, exhausting shopkeepers of their resources.
How to Get Iron Ingots
Once you have iron ore, you can smelt them to create iron ingots. Iron ore is the only ore in Skyrim that smelts to ingots at a 1:1 ratio. Simply place your iron ore in a smelter to receive an equal amount of iron ingots, which you can then use for crafting and tempering.
Like iron ore, many of Skyrim's merchants have ingots for sale. All blacksmith merchants of all levels will sell them, as will many general goods merchants at all levels. It can also be found on enemies as loot, as well as scattered throughout the world in houses, shops and mines. The best way to get them, however, is definitely through smelting.
That should be all you need to know about getting iron ore and ingots in Skyrim. Take full advantage of that map and merchants to deck yourself out in iron gear, so you're better suited to tackle those difficult quests. If you're interested in learning more about Skyrim, do consider checking out our guides hub!