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Trait Research Guide - Elder Scrolls Online


Welcome to the Trait Research Guide for The Elder Scrolls Online. This guide will showcase how trait research works and how you can optimize your research to finish as fast as possible. However, it will take a while to get all traits researched no matter what you do, because there are plenty of traits and plenty of different items that you will have to research!

Learning traits will also enable you to use crafted eso sets. All crafted sets require you to have a certain amount of traits researched before you can craft the sets. You can learn more about crafted sets in the ESO crafted sets category.

Trait Research Guide ESOTrait Research Example

Table of contents

Why do I need Trait Research?

Trait research is necessary for you to alter or create gear items. All gear pieces have traits, armor, weapons and jewelry. For you to create a craftable set you are required to know X amount of traits. For example the Hunding's Rage set requires you to have 6 traits researched before you can even attempt to craft the set. To pick the trait of your choice when you craft a set you also need to have that trait already researched.

Traits are also used for Transmutation Stations. A Transmutation Station allows you to alter the trait of an already crafted set, or any set for that matter. For example I could change the trait on my necklace from the Arcane trait to the Triune trait.

That leaves us with 3 major use cases:

  • Craftable sets that require X traits researched
  • Trait choice when you craft a set
  • Transmuting a trait

Trait Research Time

Any long time player can tell you that trait research is an ongoing project in The Elder Scrolls Online. The first few traits can be researched in no time, the more traits you have already researched, the longer it will take to research the next trait, it gets exponentially longer as you can see in the table below.

Trait ResearchResearch Time
16 hours
212 hours
324 hours
448 hours
596 hours (4 days)
6192 hours (8 days)
7384 hours(16 days)
8768 hours (32 days)
91536 hours (64 days)
Total3066 hours (127,75 days)

Ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to research a trait:

  • ESO Plus offers a 10% trait research time reduction, therefore you will need slightly less time to complete this.
  • The ingame Crown Store also offers Instant Research Scrolls that can reduce the time needed for trait research.
  • Crafting skill line passives exist that reduce the time and allow you to research more than one trait at a time. The passives are called: Metallurgy, Stitching, Carpentry, Lapidary Research

How Many Traits Exist?

There are 3 different types of traits in The Elder Scrolls Online. One for armor, one for weapons and one for jewelry. Each of them has 9 different traits that need to be researched on each piece!

Weapon TraitsArmor TraitsJewelry Traits

Now lets take a look at how many item pieces that you will have to research.

Jewelry Crafting

  • Ring
  • Necklace

That means you will have to research 9 traits on each piece. Jewelry Crafting only allows for one trait research at a time, you can get a 25% research time reduction when you have the passive Lapidary Research.


  • 2H Greatsword
  • 2H Battle Axe
  • 2H Maul
  • 1H Sword
  • 1H Axe
  • 1H Mace
  • 1H Dagger

Heavy Armor
  • Chest
  • Sabatons
  • Gauntlets
  • Helm
  • Greaves
  • Pauldrons
  • Girdle

That means within Blacksmithing Crafting you will have to research 9 traits on each of the pieces, 14 x 9 = 126. The passive Metallurgy allows you to research 3 traits at the same time in addition of reducing the trait research time by 25%.


Light Armor
  • Robe
  • Shoes
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Breeches
  • Epaulets
  • Sash

Medium Armor
  • Jack
  • Boots
  • Bracers
  • Helmet
  • Guards
  • Arm Cops
  • Belt

That means within Clothing Crafting you will have to research 9 traits on each of the pieces, 14 x 9 = 126. The passive Stitching allows you to research 3 traits at the same time in addition of reducing the trait research time by 25%.


  • Fire Staff
  • Frost Staff
  • Lightning Staff
  • Bow

  • Shield

That means within Woodworking Crafting you will have to research 9 traits on each of the pieces, 5x 9 = 45. The passive Carpentry allows you to research 3 traits at the same time in addition of reducing the trait research time by 25%.

Trait Research Order

Always research the more important traits first, because once you have these unlocked you can already use them at the Transmutation Station or you can already craft items with the trait of your choice. Always research the most useless trait at the end if possible!

Trait List

The quality of an item improves the trait and makes it stronger; a common quality item will have a less powerful trait bonus than for example a Legendary upgrade.

Armor Traits

DivinesIncreases Mundus Stone Effects by:5.1%6.1%7.1%8.1%9.1%
InfusedIncrease Armor Enchantment effects by:9%13%17%21%25%
InvigoratingIncreases Magicka, Stamina and Health Recovery by:810121416
ImpenetrableReduces item's durability damage by 50% and increases Critical Resistance by:116119122124127
NirnhonedIncreases Spell and Physical Resistance by:220229238244253
ReinforcedIncreases Armor by:12%13%14%15%16%
SturdyReduces Block Cost by:2%2.5%3%3.5%4%
TrainingIncreases Experience gained from kills by:7%8%9%10%11%
Well-FittedReduces the cost of Sprinting and Roll Dodge by:1.2%2.4%3.6%4.8%6%

Jewelry Traits

ArcaneIncreases Max Magicka by:767797827847877
RobustIncreases Max Stamina by:767797827847877
HealthyIncreases Max Health by:844877914932965
ProtectiveIncreases Physical and Spell Resistance by:10531091112811531190
TriuneIncreases Max Health, Stamina, & Magicka:422
InfusedIncreases Enchantment Effectiveness by:24%33%42%51%60%
SwiftIncreases Movement Speed by:3%4%5%6%7%
HarmonyIncreases Synergy Effectiveness by:12%14%16%18%20%
BloodthirstyIncreases Weapon and Spell Damage against enemies under 90% Health by up to:70140210280350

Weapon Traits

Unlike armor, weapons can hold two slots or be wielded twice, so these stats are for one weapon. For two weapons the bonuses count double, unless otherwise indicated.

1 Handed: Stats shown in the Weapons table
2 Handed: 2x Stats

ChargedIncreases chance to apply Status Effects by:200%210%220%230%240%
DecisiveChance to gain 1 additional Ultimate anytime that Ultimate is gained by:19.1%21.2%23.3%25.4%27.5%
DefendingIncreases total Physical and Spell Resistance by:14281485154215801638
Reduces Enchantment cooldown by 50%
Increases Weapon Enchantment effect by:
(doesn't count double for 2H)
NirnhonedIncreases Weapon Damage by:
(doesn't count double for 2H)
PoweredIncreases Healing done by:2.5%3%3.5%4%4.5%
PreciseIncreases Weapon and Spell Critical values by:1.6%2.1%2.6%3.1%3.6%
SharpenedIncreases Armor and Spell Penetration by:14281485154215801638
TrainingIncreases Experience gained from kills by:2.5%3%3.5%4%4.5%

Other Purpose Traits

As you might have already seen, we have two more traits which you can find on all items. These traits offer no combat bonuses, and are not meant to be worn or wielded. You can't research or craft them either.

OrnateIncreased value upon sale to an NPC vendor.
IntricateIncreased Inspiration Experience gained upon deconstruction.

Conclusion Trait Research

There is a total of 27 different traits (Armor, Weapon, Jewelry) that have to be researched on each individual piece in The Elder Scrolls Online. Researching all traits is not an easy task, it will take a long time, especially since you will probably forget about it a few times, therefore planning is key!



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