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Skinning Icon Skinning (Profession)
Leather & HideQuestsTrainers

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, such as 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.

Skinning pointers:

Pointer skin on 32x32.png in range of skinnable corpse
Pointer skin off 32x32.png out of range of skinnable corpse

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, thus skinners will typically be able to skin creatures much higher level than they can kill.

Skinning in Legion

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Legion-level players may learn skinning and raise it to cap all within the zones of the Broken Isles. Though the "scraps gathered", introduced with Warlords of Draenor, remains in effect for lower levels, players in Legion zones will always gather full skins, regardless of skinning level. Learning skinning in the Isles is as easy as skinning a mob.

In addition, the new skins have three ranks and perks associated with them. Ranks 1 and 3 increase the materials found, and Rank 2 increases the chance to find rare materials.

Partial skinning new in Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Starting with the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor expansion, some skins (leathers, hides, and scales) can be gathered with Skinning skill of 1, but the full skin will only drop if the character has the appropriate minimum skill to gather the skin. If the skill is below the minimum, a partial skin will drop that requires 10 to create the full skin. Partial skins will have prefixes like "Patch of", etc. added to the names of the full skin to distinguish them as partial skin.

For Herbalism [Herbalism] and Mining [Mining], this partial result is widespread through most herbs and ores, but with Skinning it is limited to mostly a few World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King type leathers, hides and scales. It should also be noted that this concept actually existed early on for Skinning with [Ruined Leather Scraps] as the first result of skinning in Vanilla.

Proficiencies and training

Proficiency Level Skill
Apprentice 5 1 - 75
Journeyman 5 50 - 150
Expert 10 125 - 225
Artisan 25 200 - 300
Master 40 275 - 375 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Grand Master 55 350 - 450 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Illustrious 75 425 - 525 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Zen Master 80 500 - 600 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Draenor Master 90 600 - 700 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Legion Master 100 700 - 800 World of Warcraft: Legion

eGrand Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King.

Illustrious Grand Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm.

Zen Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria.

Draenor Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor.

Legion Master is only available after installing the expansion World of Warcraft: Legion Legion.

  • Prior to World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria, it was necessary to have a [skinning knife] in your character's bags in order to skin a mob. However absurd it seems, you no longer need the knife.
    • Players could purchase a skinning knife from General and Profession-item traders.
    • Other items could function as a skinning knife, such as the [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 Leatherworking section of Places to farm 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:

See Skinning equipment for more details.

Color Codes

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, Shaman or Monk; 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:

Note as of TBC anyone can learn the Tribal Leatherworking, Elemental Leatherworking, and Dragonscale Leatherworking patterns below 300. After 300, you must specialize to learn the proficiencies.

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 Cloth

Wool is no longer obtainable via skinning sheep (see patch notes).

Abilities gained

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft as of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

Sufficiently skilled skinners gained the [Master of Anatomy] buff, which increased critical strike rating for every 75 points you received in Skinning, with the last rank giving a 40 critical strike rating when you acquired 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 Combat Princess.
  • 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.
Where are some good places to farm for certain types of skins?
See the Places to farm page.
Will I get experience for skinning like herbalism and mining do?
Sadly, no.[1] You get the experience for the kill instead.

See also

Using the same mechanic:


  1. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Vrakthris 2010-12-09. #3 - Xp for skinning?. Official Customer Support forum (US).

Patch changes

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (14-Apr-2009): You can no longer fail when Mining, Herbing, and Skinning
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009): Critters are no longer skinnable, therefore, sheep no longer drop Wool Cloth

External links

For a complete list of leveling guides by profession please visit Tradeskill leveling guides
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