Traits are properties of special items that players can add to their items during the manufacturing process. They can be applied to weapons, armor and jewelry and can only be added when the item is made, not after. Before you can add a trait to an object, you must first find it, and each time you search for the same object location, the time it takes to learn another trait is increased.
Since the traits are often a bit confusing for new players and often confused with enchantments, we will take a closer look at them in this guide and hopefully clarify some things for you.
- What are the traits
- Armor traits
- Arms Traits
- Jewelry Traits
- Who uses the traits
- Learning traits
- Get elements with strokes
- What are the jewels of the traits
- How to Obtain Line Gems
- Most useful features
- What traits to use
The types of strokes you can get are different, depending on the type of item it’s on. For example, there is a set of traits specific to armor and a different set that applies to weapons. Certain lines may seem identical between the types of objects, but for the manufacture, they require precious stones which are unique for the version of the line of this object.
Traits are calculated by a percentage value, such as “increases experience gained through eliminations by 5%”. This can be increased by improve quality of the article. For example, this is how the training trait increases when it is on a different rarity / quality arc:
- White – 5% increased experience
- Green – 6% more experience
- Blue – Experience increased by 7%
- Purple – 8% increased experience
Traits are not the same as enchantment. You can have both traits and enchantments on an item. Naturally, Enchantments are placed on the object after it has already been manufactured.
|Line name:||Gem:||Line effect:|
|The divine||Sapphire||Increased effect of mundus stones.|
|Invigorating||Garnet||Improved health, magic and endurance recovery.|
|Impenetrable||diamond||Increased resistance to critical hits and durability damage from items.|
|Infused||Bloodstone||Increased armor enchantment effects.|
|Nirnhoned||Fortified Nirncrux||Increased physical and spell resistance.|
|Solid||Quartz||Reduced block cost.|
|Training||emerald||Increased experience gain by killing.|
|Well adjusted||Almandine||Reduced cost of sprinting and dodging.|
|Line name:||Gem:||Line effect:|
|Accused||Amethyst||Increases the chances of applying status effects.|
|Defend||Turquoise||Increased total physical resistance and spells.|
|Infused||Jade||Increased weapon enchantment effect and cooldown.|
|Nirnhoned||Powerful nirncrux||Increased weapon damage.|
|Specific||Ruby||Increased critical values of weapons and spells.|
|Sharpened||Fire opal||Armor and spell penetration increased.|
|Training||Carnelian||Increase in experience gained through eliminations.|
|Decisive||Citrine||Chance to win extra ultimate.|
|Esoteric||Cobalt||Max Magic Increase|
|In good health||Antimony||Increased maximum health.|
|Robust||Zinc||Increased maximum endurance.|
|Triune||Dawn-Prism||Increased health, stamina and magic.|
|Infused||Amber Aurbic||Increased enchantment effect.|
|Protective||Titanium||Increased physical and spell resistance.|
|Fast||Wax gilding||Increased movement speed.|
|Harmony||Dibellium||Increased synergistic effect.|
|Bloodthirsty||Slaughterstone||Increased damage against low health enemies.|
See our Jewelry Making Guide for more information on making rings and necklaces.
Ornate and complex are two other traits found on the articles. None of these items can be crafted or researched, and only items obtained through quests or monsters have them.
An ornate object sells more gold to merchants, and the complex trait increases the inspiration (manufacturing experience) you gain by deconstructing that object.
Ornate lines of normal quality (white) will sell 280% more gold to sellers, increased by 5% for each quality level (green, blue, purple and gold). The same percentages apply to inspiration gains for complex traits.
Craftsmen who use lines when making objects include:
Herbs technically used for alchemy also have traits, but you don’t have to search for them in the same way to be able to mix potions.
You must search for an item in order to unlock a trait for that item. For example, if you want to make a chest with the Infused trait on it, you must first find a chest object that already has the Infused trait, then use the “Search” option on the appropriate crafting table.
The search for an object to learn its character will destroy this object. You must search for each trait for each item separately, which means you have to search for hundreds of combinations of strokes and objects:
- Forge = 126 research traits
- Clothier = 126 research traits
- Woodworking = 54 research traits
- Jewelry making = 18 research traits
Blacksmith and Clothier can make a total of 14 different objects (14 objects and 9 different traits for each equals 126). Woodworking can make 6 items for a total of 54 searches, and jewelry 2 items for a total of 18 searches.
Research has a cooldown. The search time increases for each trait you have previously searched for on a particular item. The first time you search for an object, it takes 6 hours before you finish unlocking the strokes. The time for each subsequent trait search on the same double object:
- Line 1 = 6 hours
- Line 2 = 12 hours
- Line 3 = 1 day
- Character 4 = 2 days
- Character 5 = 4 days
- Character 6 = 8 days
- Character 7 = 16 days
- Character 8 = 32 days
- Character 9 = 64 days
At the start, you can only search for one object at a time for your trade. This means that if you make bows, sticks and shields with woodworking and you are looking for a bow line, you will not be able to search for a stick and a shield at the same time.
Each profession passive skill tree includes liabilities in which you can spend skill points. These liabilities reduce search times and increase the number of items you can search for:
- Forge – Metallurgy
- Clothier – Couture
- Carpenter – Carpentry
- Jewelry making – Lapidary research
These skills have 4 grades available, and they seem to be the same for the first three blacksmith trades:
- Rank 1 – Requires a profession rank 8 – Research time reduced by 5%, research 2 traits simultaneously.
- Rank 2 – Requires rank 18 of the craft – Research time reduced by 10%, Research 2 traits simultaneously.
- Rank 3 – Requires rank 35 of the craft – Research time reduced by 20%, research 3 traits simultaneously.
- Rank 4 – Search time reduced by 25%, search for 3 traits simultaneously and search time limited to 30 days.
Jewelry making Lapidary search only reduces the search time. It does not allow you to search for multiple traits at the same time.
The search for all traits for a single item without decreasing the search time takes 18 weeks. With 4 skill points and a 25% reduction, you can reduce the total time to 11 weeks. The search for all the traits on all the objects to be manufactured in clothing or the manufacture of weapons takes 1827 days, or 385 days with 25% of bonus of the liabilities.
Have a ESO + the subscription also reduces all search times by 10%. You can also buy research scrolls in the Crown Store (no cooldown) or from Rolis Hlaalu seller (20 hours of charging per use).
Finally, if you work in two or more distinct trades, you can search for an object of each trade at the same time. This means that you can search for traits in both Forge and Clothier without spending skill points, or you can search for 6 traits in these two professions if you invest skill points in passives.
Either way, finding all of the features on all of the objects takes almost a year (real time) even with reduced times via liabilities and subscription. Research is clearly a huge waste of time, so be sure to start early. If it is a consolation, the search continues while you are offline.
Objects deposited in the world can sometimes have a line already attached. You can also buy them from other players, or receive items with rare traits as quest rewards (keep an eye out for them!).
Adding traits to artifacts can be considered an intermediate or advanced level of craftsmanship, not because it is difficult, but because it takes some time to find traits.
Another aspect of advanced craftsmanship is the special craft benches. Traits affect your ability to craft set bonus equipment. Each set requires learning 2 or more traits before you can craft the bonus.
For example, if you want to make a dead wind ax, you must have 2 unlocked lines on axes before you can make it. The number of traits required to make bonus game equipment increases as you reach higher level bonus game benches. For example, the bonus in the Magnus gift box requires that 4 lines be unlocked. You can add a trait to a set bonus item made when you make it.
Items can have both traits and fixed bonuses.
To make lines on objects, you will need a line gem. You don’t need to add a stroke to an element when creating it, but if you want to add a stroke, you will need a gem specific to the stroke you want to add. Adding a trait to an item only costs you one trait gem, unless you make a set, which requires a trait gem for each of the added traits.
The gem used for the strokes is an element commonly found in loot containers such as barrels, crates, trunks, shelves, night tables, etc. You also have the option of getting a gemstone when you refine the raw materials.
In addition, you can get line gems by deconstructing objects, in which case you will always get the line gem corresponding to the line of an object you are deconstructing. So, for example, if you deconstruct a bow with Charged, you 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 line already on the object that you are tearing down.
Your chances of getting a trait gem are higher depending on the quality of the item. The percentage chance of winning a characteristic gem thanks to the refinement of raw materials is around 10%.
All weapons and armor gems are very common, but Nirncrux can only be obtained by looting raw resources in Craglorn. Most jewelry trait gems come only from specific sources.
Although this is by no means a rule, here is a list of the armor traits that I think are most useful for research, in this order:
- Infused (increased enchantment effect)
- Divine (increased stone mundus effect)
- Robust (reduced block cost)
- Impenetrable (resistance to critical hits)
- Reinforced (increased armor values)
- Nirnhoned (increased physical and spell resistances)
- Well adjusted (reduced sprint cost)
- Prosperous (improved health, magic and endurance recovery)
- Training (increased experience by killing)
Different classes, constructions and styles of play may have different priorities. For example, well-equipped would be better for archers and thieves, for example (you will still want to keep a decent portion of your stamina pool available for attack). Trait traits can be very useful when upgrading, but personally I would never prioritize them for research.
You also need to consider the preferences of other classes, as you will inevitably want to make and sell armor to other players – there is certainly a much smaller market for training or well-adjusted traits.
Most of the weapon enchantments used are Sharp, Precise, Defensive, Decisive, Infused, Nirnhon, Fed, Charged. You can search for them in that order.
If you have any doubts about which features to use on which objects, the table below is your best bet:
|Light Armor||Medium armor||Heavy armor|
|Shoulders||Divine, strengthened||Divine, strengthened||Reinforced, Divine|
|Boots||Divine, strengthened||Divine, strengthened||Reinforced, Divine|
|Gloves||The divine||The divine||The divine|
|Belt||The divine||The divine||The divine|
- Reinforced only if you plan to tank or take tons of damage (or if you use a Mundus buff, like the additional running speed).
- Enchantments give different bonus amounts depending on the location of objects, so The divine may be better than Infused on certain equipment locations.
- Impenetrable trait only works in PvP.
- The tables with the best characters and the recommended research recommendations are not always up to date with the latest patches.
For weapons, in most PvE cases, you will want to opt for Sharpened or Specific (increased penetration or critical chance) as a damage dealer or healer, while tanks Defend. The damage differences aren’t huge between Infused, Precise, Sharpened, Nirnhoned and Weighted.
Adding lines to objects is an important part of the manufacturing process. Finding all of the traits for all of the items in a single profession takes an enormous amount of time, but being able to add several different traits to the objects is what separates dedicated artisans from the rest.
For a more detailed look at crafting in Elder Scrolls Online, be sure to read our craft guide. It also contains links to guides for specific professions which are even more detailed.