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Skinning

Inv misc pelt wolf 01.png WoW Icon update.png Skinning (Profession)
Leather & HideQuestsTechniquesTrainers
For the enchant, see Spell holy greaterheal.png [Skinning].

Skinning allows players to gather leather, Hides and scales by skinning certain mobs (beasts, demon beasts, dragonkin, silithid, some nerubians and, very rarely, humanoids). Not all mobs of each type can be skinned, e.g. most birds cannot be skinned despite being beasts. Leather, hides and scales are used for leatherworking. Leather is also used for some blacksmithing, engineering, and tailoring recipes.

Skinning pointers:

Pointer skin on 32x32.png in range of skinnable corpse
Pointer skin off 32x32.png out of range of skinnable corpse

This is one of the better gathering professions, since a skinner can skin mob corpses left behind by other characters as long as they've looted all the items from the corpse. Unlike the mining or herb gathering, skinning allows very frequent practice when outdoor hunting resulting in a great deal of leather and very rapid training. You will typically be able to skin creatures much higher level than you can kill.

Official overview

Skinners ensure that nothing goes to waste by removing the hides of dead beasts and amassing piles of fur and leather. Skinning is a straightforward, convenient profession for those already engaged in hunting animals, but it's highly useful, too. Exotic leathers (such as dragonskin) can command high prices, and they are critical to leatherworking plans, as well as some of the recipes of other professions.

Skinners can easily remove a slain beast's hide by ensuring that they have a skinning knife in their inventory, then right-clicking on an animal's corpse. Though not all beasts can be skinned, the vast majority can - and you don't need to have killed an animal to skin it yourself.

As you skin more unusual and difficult creatures, your Skinning skill will improve. High skill values are required to successfully retrieve leather from high-level beasts.

As a gathering profession, Skinning is regularly paired with complementary crafting professions, particularly Leatherworking, though Tailoring also utilizes some leather.[1]

Training

Proficiency Level Potential Skill Cast
Classic 5 300 1.5 sec
Bc icon.gif Outland 58 75 1.5 sec
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Northrend 58 75 1.5 sec
Cata-Logo-Small.png Cataclysm 78 75 1.5 sec
Mists-Logo-Small.png Pandaria 78 75 1.5 sec
WoD-Logo-Small.png Draenor 88 100 1.5 sec
Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion 100 100 1.5 sec
BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small.png Battle for Azeroth % - 150 1.5 sec
  • You will first need to purchase a skinning knife. You can find skinning knives at Profession-related item merchants (or simply at the General trader). Remember to keep the skinning knife in your bag at all times (if you want to gain leather/hides/scales from the beasts you kill).
  • Keep in mind that skinning most beasts will result in you getting leather or hide of some kind. Frenzy and other fish give you shiny fish scales, dragonkin of various types (such as Black Whelps) which give you scales or special skins not found among other monsters or beasts, etc.

Such 'uncommon' skins generally only have specific recipes, such as the Black Whelp Scales, which has a recipe that needs to be obtained from sources other than a trainer.

When you gain enough Skinning skill points (and are the appropriate level), you will need to visit a Skinning trainer to advance to the next skill level!

Skinning Past Your Skill Level

You can obtain enchants and certain weapons that increase your skinning skill above your current skill level. You could also elect to be a Worgen to benefit from a passive racial ability they have.

See Skinning equipment for more details.

Color codes

NPC Level Skill Required Formula
74 375 (lvl*5)+5
75 385 (lvl*5)+10
76 395 (lvl*5)+15
77 405 (lvl*5)+20
78 415 (lvl*5)+25
79 425 (lvl*5)+30
80 435 (lvl*5)+35
81 440 (lvl*5)+35
82 445 (lvl*5)+35
83 450 (lvl*5)+35
84 470 (lvl*5)+50
85 490 (lvl*5)+65
86 510 (lvl*5)+80
87 530† (lvl*5)+95

Any skinnable corpse will have a color code on the "Skinnable" property when you move your pointer over it:

  • Red: Not skinnable.
  • Orange: Difficult to skin; certain chance of increasing Skinning skill level.
  • Yellow: Moderately difficult to skin; moderate chance of increasing Skinning skill level.
  • Green: Easy to skin; low chance of increasing Skinning skill level.
  • Gray: Very easy to skin; no chance of increasing Skinning skill level.

Skinning skill required is:

  • 1 for level 1-10 mobs.
  • (10 times mob level) minus 100 for level 11-20 mobs.
  • 5 times level for level 21-73 mobs.
  • Wrath of the Lich King - Requires 5-point skill increases per mob level up to 73. Requires 10-point skill increases from 74-80.
  • Cataclysm - Requires 5-point skill increases per mob level from 80-83. Requires 20-point skill increases from 83+.

† Cataclysm Dungeon and Raid Bosses require 530 skinning to skin. Nefarian requires 550.

Up to skinning 100, you can find out the highest level mob you can skin by: ((Skinning skill)/10)+10.

Suggested 2nd professions

  • Leatherworking. Make your own armor (Druid, Rogue, Hunter or Shaman benefit from Leatherworking, doubly so for Hunters and Shamans), sell your wares, or get fodder for disenchanting.
  • Tailoring. Some Tailor recipes require leather, such as bags and boots. In the long run, Tailoring/Enchanting is a stronger combination, but Skinning/Tailoring is a good way to start out.
  • Mining or Herbalism. Having two gathering professions can ensure a strong income. Some people are willing to pay quite a bit of money for materials for crafting professions, in lieu of time to farm the materials.
  • Enchanting. It's good to have as a second profession for any that don't necessarily need another to work.
  • Blacksmithing or Engineering. While Blacksmithing and Engineering use leather in some plans and schematics, Mining is a much better match for blacksmiths and engineers in the long run.

What you gather

Leather

Leather is gathered by skinning beasts that have been slain and looted. Leathers can be used directly by the Leatherworking profession without prior processing or treatment. The type of leather is usually directly related to the level of animal being skinned.

Leather Level Notes
Inv misc pelt bear ruin 05.png [Ruined Leather Scraps] (lvl 5-17 mobs)
Inv misc leatherscrap 03.png [Light Leather] (lvl 5-27 mobs) (with recipe, made from 3 Ruined Leather Scraps)
Inv misc leatherscrap 05.png [Medium Leather] (lvl 15-38 mobs) (with recipe, made from 4 Light Leathers)
Inv misc leatherscrap 07.png [Heavy Leather] (lvl 26-46 mobs) (with recipe, made from 5 Medium Leathers)
Inv misc leatherscrap 08.png [Thick Leather] (lvl 35-58 mobs) (with recipe, made from 6 Heavy Leathers)
Inv misc leatherscrap 02.png [Rugged Leather] (lvl 45-60 mobs) (with recipe, made from 6 Thick Leathers)
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 09.png [Knothide Leather Scraps] (lvl 58+ mobs, in Outland)
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 10.png [Knothide Leather] (lvl 58+ mobs, in Outland) (with recipe, made from 5 Knothide Leather Scraps)
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 11.png [Heavy Knothide Leather] (with recipe, made from 5 Knothide Leathers)
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherscrap 16.png [Borean Leather Scraps] (lvl 68+ mobs, in Northrend)
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherscrap 15.png [Borean Leather] (lvl 73+ mobs, in Northrend) (made from 5 Borean Leather Scraps)
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherscrap 19.png [Heavy Borean Leather] (with recipe, made from 6 Borean Leathers)
Cata-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherscrap 17.png [Savage Leather Scraps] (lvl 80+ mobs in new Cataclysm zones)
Cata-Logo-Small.png Item savageleather.png [Savage Leather] (lvl 81+ mobs in new Cataclysm zones) (made from 5 Savage Leather Scraps)
Cata-Logo-Small.png Item savageleatherhide.png [Heavy Savage Leather] (with recipe, made from 5 Savage Leather)
Mists-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherscrap 18.png [Sha-Touched Leather] (lvl 90+ mobs in new Pandaria zones)
Mists-Logo-Small.png Inv tradeskill skinning shaleatherscraps.png [Exotic Leather] (lvl 91+ mobs in new Pandaria zones) (made from 5 Savage Leather Scraps)
WoD-Logo-Small.png Inv misc startannedleather.png [Burnished Leather] (made from 20 Raw Beast Hides and 10 Gorgrond Flytraps)
Legion-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherstonehide.png [Stonehide Leather] (lvl 100+ mobs in Broken Isles zones)
Inv misc leatherscrap 06.png [Thin Kodo Leather] Obtained from Kodos
Inv misc pelt 03.png [Devilsaur Leather] Obtained from Devilsaurs
Inv misc pelt bear ruin 05.png [Warbear Leather] Obtained from high-level Bears
Inv ammo firetar.png [Core Leather] Obtained from core hounds in the Molten Core. Requires 310 Skinning.
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 12.png [Crystal Infused Leather] Obtained from basilisks and ravagers.
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 14.png [Thick Clefthoof Leather] Obtained from clefthooves and Elekk Demolishers
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc pelt 14.png [Arctic Fur] Obtained from beasts in Northrend

Hides

You get hides the same way you get skins, however the drop rate is lower, and they require curing via Leatherworking to before they can be used as materials for crafted items.

Hide Source Cures to
Inv misc pelt wolf ruin 02.png [Light Hide] (10-27 lvl mobs) Inv misc pelt wolf 01.png [Cured Light Hide]
Inv misc pelt boar ruin 02.png [Medium Hide] (15-38 lvl mobs) Inv misc pelt bear 02.png [Cured Medium Hide]
Inv misc pelt wolf ruin 03.png [Heavy Hide] (26-46 lvl mobs) Inv misc pelt wolf 02.png [Cured Heavy Hide]
Inv misc pelt bear ruin 01.png [Thick Hide] (40-57 lvl mobs) Inv misc pelt bear 01.png [Cured Thick Hide]
Inv misc pelt bear ruin 02.png [Rugged Hide] (47-59 lvl mobs) Inv misc pelt bear 03.png [Cured Rugged Hide]
Bc icon.gif Inv misc leatherscrap 13.png [Fel Hide] Demons and Warp Stalkers in Outland Does not need to be cured to use.
Cata-Logo-Small.png Inv misc pelt 12.png [Pristine Hide] 81+ lvl mobs Does not need to be cured to use.
Mists-Logo-Small.png Inv misc pelt 08.png [Magnificent Hide] Mobs in Pandaria, crafted Does not need to be cured to use.
Mists-Logo-Small.png Inv misc pelt 15.png [Hardened Magnificent Hide] Crafted Does not need to be cured to use.
WoD-Logo-Small.png Inv misc nativebeastskin scrap.png [Raw Beast Hide Scraps] Mobs in Draenor Does not need to be cured to use.
WoD-Logo-Small.png Inv misc nativebeastskin.png [Raw Beast Hide] Mobs in Draenor Does not need to be cured to use.
Legion-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherfelhide.png [Felhide] Demons in Broken Isles Does not need to be cured to use.

Scales

These are used in Leatherworking patterns, and drop when certain mobs are skinned, such as Dragonkin. Scales are used to create Mail armor with Leatherworking, which is useful for Hunters and Shamans beyond level 40.

Scales Notes
Inv misc monsterscales 03.png [Black Whelp Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 03.png [Green Whelp Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 17.png [Worn Dragonscale]
Inv misc monsterscales 09.png [Blue Dragonscale]
Inv misc monsterscales 11.png [Green Dragonscale]
Inv misc monsterscales 07.png [Black Dragonscale]
Inv misc monsterscales 15.png [Red Dragonscale]
Inv misc monsterscales 07.png [Scale of Onyxia]
Inv misc monsterscales 17.png [Brilliant Chromatic Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 11.png [Dreamscale]
Bc icon.gif Inv misc monsterscales 10.png [Nether Dragonscales] Obtained from nether dragons and nether whelps.
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc monsterscales 19.png [Icy Dragonscale] Obtained from dragons in Northrend.
Cata-Logo-Small.png Inv misc rubysanctum2.png [Blackened Dragonscale] Obtained from dragons affiliated with Deathwing.
Inv misc monsterscales 02.png [Deviate Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 01.png [Perfect Deviate Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 01.png [Naga Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 02.png [Slimy Murloc Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 03.png [Thick Murloc Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 11.png [Turtle Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 02.png [Scorpid Scale]
Inv misc monsterscales 03.png [Heavy Scorpid Scale]
Bc icon.gif Inv misc monsterscales 18.png [Cobra Scales] Obtained from serpent's and Coilskar Cobras.
Bc icon.gif Inv misc monsterscales 04.png [Fel Scales] Obtained from basilisks and ravagers.
Bc icon.gif Inv misc monsterscales 06.png [Wind Scales]
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc monsterscales 18.png [Jormungar Scale] Obtained from jormungars.
Wrath-Logo-Small.png Inv misc nerubianchitin 01.png [Nerubian Chitin] Obtained from nerubians.
Cata-Logo-Small.png Inv misc deepseascales.png [Deepsea Scale] Obtained from crocolisks and other sea beasts in Cataclysm zones.
Mists-Logo-Small.png Inv tradeskill skinning prismaticscale.png [Prismatic Scale] Obtained from turtles, mushan's and crocolisks in Pandaria Zones.
Legion-Logo-Small.png Inv misc leatherstormscale.png [Stormscale] Obtained from scaled beasts on the Broken Isles.

Volatile elements

Cata-Logo-Small.png This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

When skinning Cataclysm mobs, there is a small chance of obtaining a Inv misc organ 11.png [Strange Bloated Stomach] in addition to leather, hide or scale(s). These lootable containers contain a stack of one random volatile element (~20% chance of each), either 1-4 Volatile Air or 1-2 Volatile Earth, Fire, Life or Water.

Cloth

Cloth is used by tailors in patterns for cloth armor, and in First Aid for Bandages. Cloth drops off humanoids in the world, with the Cloth that drops determined by enemy level. Cloth can also be used by blacksmiths and engineers.

Frequently asked questions

Why can't I skin certain mobs?
There are several reasons:
  • While most beasts can be skinned, some can't. Also, most demons can't, while most dragons can. See the Creature Types page for more details.
  • All the items from a corpse must be looted before it can be skinned. This requirement can be somewhat annoying, since you basically end up filling your bags with worthless bits and pieces of whatever you're killing. You may want to get an addon, like LootDestroyer and ReagentHelper, to help you with figuring out what's worth keeping. Auctioneer is also worthwhile if you plan to sell the raw materials.
  • Any skinnable mobs will say "Skinnable" in their tooltip after they are dead and completely looted, and this is color coded in line with other gathering professions. If it is Red, you cannot skin that mob. If you attempt to skin it, you will receive an error telling you the required level: "Requires Skinning 110" for example. After the "Starting Levels", mobs require 5 Skinning ability per level, so a level 25 mob requires 125 skill points in Skinning for you to be able to skin its corpse.
  • Skinning follow the usual loot claiming rules for establishing whether a mob can be skinned at all: mobs killed exclusively by pets with no player damage contribution are not skinnable no matter what type they are, while mobs killed by guards will only be skinnable if the players initiated combat with the mob and did the majority of the damage to it.
  • If you're trying to skin something that is lootable by another player, that player must take all loot from the corpse, or you won't be able to skin it.
  • To prevent farming of easy leather, beasts found in starting areas cannot be skinned.
  • If another player has started to skin a mob, the corpse is "tapped", and you cannot attempt to skin it.
Where are some good places to farm for certain types of skins?
See the Places to farm page.

Patch changes

  • BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small.png Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Each expansion now has a separate profession skill bar, with smaller caps for each expansion, instead of one gigantic profession skill bar for all expansions put together
  • WoD-Logo-Small.png Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Inv misc organ 01.png [Master of Anatomy] was removed, along with all other profession bonuses.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Critters such as Sheep, Cows and Rabbits are no longer skinnable.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): You can no longer fail when Mining, Herbing, and Skinning.
  • PTR client.png Patch 0.6 (2004-04-13):
    • Skinning a beast will always produce a skin of some quality.
    • Skill increases and time to skin have both been reduced.
    • Some ambient creatures can now be skinned.
    • You can now right click a creature that has no loot to skin it.

See also

Using the same mechanic:

References

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