|Leather & Hide • Quests • Trainers|
Skinning is a primary profession by which one skins leather, hides and scales off the corpses of fallen mobs. As in real life only certain creatures have skins. Some of those that do have skins are boars, wolves, dragonkin, Silithid, some Nerubians and, only very rarely, humanoids. The materials obtained from skinning are used primarily in the recipes of Leatherworkers and occasionally by Engineers, Blacksmiths and Tailors.
A skinner can skin corpses that were killed by other characters as long the corpse has been looted and the other character has not skinned it already. Unlike mining and herb gathering, skinning is frequently practiced and thus skinners will typically be able to skin creatures much higher level than they can kill.
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- It is necessary to have a skinning knife in your character's bags in order to skin a mob. Players can purchase a skinning knife from General and Profession-item traders or can purchase a Gnomish Army Knife from an engineer or at the auction house to function as their skinning knife.
- It is possible to find rare and valued scales, hides and leathers from various creatures living in World of Warcraft. For instance, Dragonkin in and around Blackrock Depths have special scales that aren't found on other creatures. See Places_to_farm#Leatherworking for more about where to find valuable skins.
When you gain enough Skinning skill points, you'll 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 beyond your current skill level:
- +5 Skinning:
- +10 Skinning:
- +15 Skinning: Flayer - Worgen Racial Ability (passive)
See Skinning equipment for more details.
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; high 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.
Up to skinning 100, you can find out the highest level mob you can skin by: ((Skinning skill)/10)+10.
From skinning level 100 and up the formula is simply: (Skinning skill)/5.
Suggested 2nd Professions
- Leatherworking. Make your own armor (Druid, Rogue, Hunter or Shaman; mail armor for hunters and shamans are available via the Dragonscale Leatherworking specialty), 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. Skinning is a nice companion, because it does not use the minimap resource tracker, freeing the tracker for the companion gathering profession.
- Enchanting. It's good to have as a second profession for any that don't necessarily need another to work.
- Blacksmithing or Engineering. Blacksmithing and engineering use some leather, but mining is a much better match for blacksmithing and engineering.
Suggested Classes and Specialties
Selling leather and hide can be profitable, but also useful if you take Leatherworking. All the classes listed here can wear leather armor. Leatherworking also produces mail items from scales obtained by skinning with attributes useful to hunters and shamans. There are three specialties of leatherworking which produce armor more suited for some classes than others:
- Druid (Tribal Leatherworking or Elemental Leatherworking recommended)
- Rogue (Elemental Leatherworking recommended)
- Hunter (Dragonscale Leatherworking recommended)
- Shaman (Dragonscale Leatherworking recommended)
What You Gather
- See also: Places_to_farm#Leatherworking
In this sense, leather is collected by skinning beasts. These items can usually 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.
See: Leather for details.
You get hides the same way you get skins, but the drop rate is lower. All of the standard hides require Leatherworking to cure the hides before they can be used as ingredients for crafting items.
See: Hide for details.
These are used in Leatherworking patterns and drop when certain mobs are skinned. Scales from high-level mobs are used to create Mail class armor with the Leatherworking skill which is useful for hunters and shamans at level 40 and beyond.
See: Scale for details.
Wool is no longer obtainable via skinning sheep (see patch notes).
Sufficiently skilled skinners gain the Master of Anatomy buff, which increases your critical strike rating for every 75 points you receive in Skinning, with the last rank giving you a 40 critical strike rating when you acquire a Skinning level of 450.
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.
- Any skinnable mobs will say "Skinnable" in their tooltip after they are dead and completely looted, and this is color coded like other skills. 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". After the "startup levels", mobs require 5 Skinning ability per level, so a level 25 mob requires 125 skill points in Skinning.
- 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.
- In very uncommon circumstances, a corpse can contain a quest item that you can't see because you already filled your quota for that item. This usually happens when killing several mobs at once before looting and skinning them. There is no way to skin such a corpse other than to drop at least one of the quest items so you can then loot the item one more time. Due to game mechanics, random drops from mobs are almost always determined at the time of looting, rather at some previous time. And almost all looted items required for quests can be acquired beyond the quota for the quest. Rarely, this can happen with bosses who are supposed to drop a single quest item that respawn before their previous corpse has been looted, such as .
- If you possess a Unique item somewhere in your inventory (bags/bank), and the mob has dropped that exact same item as lootable, you will be unable to loot it because you can only have one of any Unique item. As such, you will be unable to skin that mob.
- To prevent farming of easy leather, beasts found in starting areas can not be skinned.
Using the same mechanic:
- For a complete list of leveling guides by profession please visit Tradeskill leveling guides