Skinning Guide


Skinning is one of the primary professions players can choose to pursue in World of Warcraft. Taking up this profession will allow you skin leather, hides, and scales from the dead bodies of various beasts in the world of Azeroth and beyond. These skins can then be sold on the Auction House or used by other professions to create fabulous items.

Training Skinning

As is is with all professions in World of Warcraft you must first train Skinning before you can do anything else. To train this profession seek out a Skinning Trainer. These trainers can be found in all major cities and can be pointed out to you by any city guard. You may unlearn Skinning at any time, however, you will lose any and all skill points you have gained in the profession.

Skinning Trainer

Take a good look at your Skinning Trainer, as you will want to return every 50-75 skill points to increase your rank. Check out the chart below for information on profession ranks:

Rank Skill Levels
Apprentice 1-75
Journeyman 50-150
Expert 125-225
Artisan 200-300
Master (The Burning Crusade) 300-375
Grand Master (WotLK) 375-450
Illustrious (Cataclysm) 425-525
Zen Master (MoP) 500-600

Getting Started

Now that you have learned the Skinning profession you are probably ready and raring to get out there and skin your very first mob. Before you go gallivanting out the front gate, you will need to make a quick stop off at the nearest Trade Supply Vendor and purchase a skinning knife. Apparently skinning animals with your bare hands makes quite the mess.

Skinning Knife

With your skinning knife in tow, head out into the wilds of World of Warcraft and locate a beasty that looks prime for killing. As it is in real life, only some creatures can be skinned. The actual list is quite daunting but some examples are; boars, dragonkin, Nerubains, and bears. After you have located a target, kill it and then loot every object from it. Keep in mind that mobs cannot be skinned until they are totally looted. If the corpse is skinnable it will say so in the tooltip that appears after you move your pointer over it.

Skinnable Boar

Move close to the corpse and right click on it to automatically skin it. A loot box will appear showing what type of skin you have obtained. If you have auto loot on, the items will automatically be placed in your bags.

Congratulations! You have just skinned your first of many creatures in World of Warcraft!

Skilling Up Skinning

Skilling up Skinning is a cinch. You simply need to repeat the process outlined above for skinning various creatures over and over again. Each creature you skin has a chance to award you a skill point. The chance of earning a skill point depends on the color of the word “Skinnable” that appears in the tooltip of the animal. See the chart below to see the colors and what chance for a skill point they provide:

  • Red - Unable to skin.
  • Orange - Difficult to skin; high chance of increasing skill level.
  • Yellow - Moderately difficult to skin; moderate chance of increasing skill level.
  • Green - Easy to skin; small chance of increasing skill level.
  • Gray - Very easy to skin; no chance of increasing skill level.

Besides skinning mobs you have killed yourself, you may also skin mobs other players have killed to earn skill points. When skinning a mob killed by another player, it is best to wait until the person clearly leaves the area to avoid ninja skinning (a practice that is largely frowned upon). Don't hesitate to follow a non-skinner around the world to skin their kills, this is an easy way to get free leather and skill points.

Another great way to get tons of leather and potentially tons of skill points is to seek out areas that are filled with large crowds of skinnable mobs. A great example of this can be found in the Borean Tundra which is literally crawling with Rhinos. Killing and skinning mobs in groups cuts down on the time you would normally spends traveling and earns you skill points in a hurry.


Converting Leather

Another perk to learning the Skinning profession is that you will learn the ability to convert lower-level types of leather into higher level versions. For example 3 Ruined Leather Scrapes can be made into 1 piece of Light Leather. This allows you to turn what might be utterly useless leather into something you can sell and/or trade with ease.

Skinning Profession Bonus

All professions in World of Warcraft provide the player with a unique profession bonus. Skinning is no exception. Players who take up this profession will gain the Master of Anatomy buff, which increases your critical strike rating for every 75 points you have in Skinning.

Recommended Secondary Profession

While you can ultimately pair any profession with any other profession in World of Warcraft, some just go together better than others. In the case of Skinning, Letherworking is the perfect match. Like peas and carrots these two professions work together in harmony, with Leatherworking using almost every item a skinner can provide.

Do you have experience with the Skinning profession in World of Warcraft? Please feel free to share any additional knowledge you may have collected in our profession forums!

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