Skinning is a very useful gathering Profession to pick up in World of Warcraft, especially if you play a character that uses Leather armor (like a Rogue, for example) or if you want to make some extra gold on the Auction House.
It can feel like somewhat of a grind to level up Skinning in WoW though, especially if you’ve never leveled up a gathering Profession before.
To help save you some time, this guide on leveling Skinning quickly in Dragonflight includes where to find key NPCs, the best spots for farming, and important items to keep an eye out for.
I’ve also included my recommendations for an optimal route and the best places to start off.
Where to Learn Skinning
Unlike other Professions like Herbalism and Mining where you need to learn a Dragonflight-specific version of the Profession before you start, you can jump straight into Skinning on the Dragon Isles.
If you’ve not learned Skinning before coming to The Dragon Isles, you can pick it up from the first zone in The Waking Shores. The NPC Toninaar can be found in Wingrest Embassy, and you’ll be able to pick up Skinning by speaking to him.
There is also a Skinning trainer in Valdrakken, called Ralathor the Rugged.
Once you’ve made sure that your character has learnt Skinning, you will be able to start your speed leveling run without any further requirements.
How to Quickly Level Skinning
Skinning is quite unique when it comes to leveling, as unlike other gathering Professions there are no specific modifiers or requirements to be mindful of when trying to level it up.
You can level your Skinning 1-100 using any skinnable creatures, so the most important thing is to find a solid location that is densely packed with mobs that respawn quickly and drop the items you’re looking for.
There are different materials that can drop from different mobs, which are worth knowing about to help you level up efficiently and level up other Professions quickly like Leatherworking, too. The different drops include:
- Adamant Scales. You can get these from both Dragonkin and Scalehides.
- Cacophonous Thunderscale. This item comes from Thunder Lizards.
- Crystalspine Fur. This item comes from Crystalspines.
- Dense Hide. This is a rare gather that you can get from Beasts.
- Exceptional Pelt. This item is a common drop.
- Fire-Infused Hide. This type of hide comes from Magmammoths and other fire-touched creatures from the Dragon Isles.
- Lustrous Scaled Hide. This is a rare item that you can gather from Scalehides and Dragonkin.
- Pristine Vorquin Horn. You can get these from Vorquins.
- Resilient Leather. Aside from Dragonkin, this drops from almost every Beast that you’ll come across while leveling Skinning.
- Rockfang Leather. This comes from Rockfangs.
- Salamanther Leather. You can get Salamanther Leather from Salamanthers.
- Windsong Plumage. This item comes from Ohunas.
- Woolly Mountain Pelt. You’ll need this item for the quest To Tame A Thunderspine.
The type of mobs and materials that you end up finding will depend on where you decide to level up Skinning in the game.
Regardless of where you decide to farm, make sure to keep hold of your materials as they can help you earn gold quickly through reselling on the Auction House or fulfilling Crafting Orders for other players.
As noted earlier, there’s no particular level requirements or location requirements to consider when looking for places to level up Skinning in Dragonflight. The most important things to consider are respawn times and ease of movement, along with your own level.
While searching for the optimal route, I decided to stick to The Waking Shores as I was leveling Skinning on a level 66 toon and wanted to make it as easy as possible for myself by killing low-level mobs.
I flew around The Waking Shores for a while looking at the different mob packs available, and decided to take a circular route in the location shown below.
This area contains 3 unique kinds of mobs (Hornswogs, Basilisks, and Ottuks) which all had quick respawn rates. Some of them are relevant to nearby quests, meaning that it’s possible to stumble across corpses that you can skin without much effort.
In terms of competition, I play on a high population server and still found minimal competition farming the mobs here.
While there are plenty of other areas that you could check out for a speedy Skinning experience, this is the area that I found to be the most efficient and the one that offered me the fewest challenges in terms of difficult mobs, tricky terrain, or sparsely populated areas.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Knowledge boosting items as you go, too.
Items like Saturated Bones have a chance of dropping when you kill and skin random mobs, and they can help make your Skinning speed run a lot more efficient.
To level up Skinning quickly, the most important thing is to make sure that you find a good location with plenty of mob options. Leveling up Skinning on a character with good AoE damage, like any of the Mage specs, will make your run even more efficient.
How to Pick a Skinning Specialization
As with any other Profession in Dragonflight, Skinning has several specializations that you’ll be able to pick from when you get to level 25. You’ll then be able to pick a second one at level 50, and then the final one at level 100.
The three specs that you can pick from when leveling Skinning in Dragonflight are:
- Tanning. This spec focuses on improving the amount of materials you can gather and the quality of the materials that you can gather. You can refine your skins or scales, and there are sub-specializations called Leather Mastery and Scale Mastery. These sub-specs improve your stats when working with the relevant material.
- Harvesting. Harvesting lets you create and gather more interesting items, and it boosts your damage against Beasts and Dragonkin too. The sub-specs that you can pick from when you specialize in Harvesting are:
- Lure Crafter. This sub-spec lets you craft specific lures for the different fish in Dragonflight, which is useful if you’re trying to level Fishing quickly. It also lets you find specific fishing lure materials that only players with the Skinning ability can find, which is great for making gold.
- Meat Carver. This sub-spec can reward you with meat when you skin creatures, which is great if you’re trying to level up Cooking.
- Trophy Collector. This particular sub-spec can reward you with some rare materials and reagents that are species-specific when you skin a creature.
- Bait Crafter. This specialization is ideal for all the Hunter specs and for folk who want to see rare and interesting mobs. It allows you to create Baits which can summon rare and Elite mobs. Hunters can tame these mobs. The sub-specs for Bait Crafter are:
- Mastery. This sub-spec improves your Deftness and it improves the overall quality of the Bait that you can craft.
- Elemental Infusion. This sub-spec lets you create Infusions, which are items that you can use to infuse creatures with Elemental powers. This means that you can create Rousing Essences.
Choosing the best Skinning specialization in World of Warcraft can be tricky, but the main one that I would suggest picking up for the first time is Harvesting, purely because it gives you a damage boost and can help you to make more gold.
How to Get Knowledge Points
Earning Knowledge Points in Skinning can be quite tricky, as it’s very different to other gathering Professions like Herbalism or Mining. You don’t get Knowledge Points by just finding different kinds of mobs to skin, and it’s very tricky to get them before you hit level 70.
The majority of Knowledge Points that you can get for Skinning come from World Quests and Profession Trainer Quests, the latter of which can be found in Valdrakken.
You can also find a Profession Master in the world, which can also help you with gaining Knowledge Points. The Profession Master for Skinning is Zenzi, who can be found sat on the shoreline to the East of the Ruby Life Pools in The Waking Shores.
Farming Renown for certain factions can also help you get extra Knowledge Points. In particular, Skinning is relevant for the Iskaara Tuskarr and Maruuk Centaur. Hitting Renown level 14 and 24 with these two factions will reward you with Knowledge Points.
There are also rare drops that you can get from Skinning, like the aforementioned Saturated Bones, and quest items that you can get like Dragon Shards of Knowledge. There’s a questline to get four of these which starts at Forkriver Crossing in Ohn’ahran Plains with Miguel Bright, finishing with the ability to find the Dragon Shards in the world.
Going after these is a great way to get Artisan’s Mettle, too.
If the Darkmoon Faire is up, you can also get a few Knowledge Points by interacting with the Profession content found on the island.
What to Do Next
Now that you know where to start with your Skinning speed run, here’s my advice on what you should do next:
- Make sure you’ve got plenty of bag space. You’ll pick up a lot of materials as you go, and you can sell some of them to make gold quickly on the Auction House.
- Learn another Profession to go along with Skinning, to earn extra gold and double the efficiency of your run. Leatherworking is a popular pick, but another gathering Profession can be just as valuable.
- Get your Dragonriding mount if you don’t have it already, and pick up some glyphs so your run is as smooth as possible.
With plenty of bag space, a fast Dragonriding mount, and an hour or so to kill, you’ll be able to max out your Skinning in Dragonflight in no time at all.