Skinning Guide 1-525

cataclysm skinning guide

Skinning is a gathering profession that lets you collect leather from beasts and a few other types of mobs. You can use the leather you get from skinning mobs to craft armor and kits via the leatherworking profession. In this guide, we’ll walk you through leveling your skinning profession, where to go for trainers, and cover some useful information related to the profession!

Skinning as a profession pairs well with:

  • Leatherworking – All of the leatherworking recipes naturally require leather, which you’ll get via skinning. This means you can easily level both professions at once without spending gold buying materials.
  • Tailoring – A significant number of tailoring recipes also require leather, making it a nice pairing with skinning since it will save you purchasing materials from the Auction House.

Important Info

There are a few things to keep in mind when beginning your Skinning journey:

  • You can only skin mobs that have been completely looted
  • A player must tag a mob before it dies to skin it — mobs killed purely by pet damage will not be skinnable
    • You can skin mobs killed by other players, so long as they fully loot it
  • You can only skin specific types of mobs: mainly beasts, but also some demon beasts, dragonkin, and occasionally humanoids.
    • Not all beasts can be skinned — most birds, for example, are not skinnable; neither can crabs
  • You cannot skin mobs in the starting areas (Valley of Trials in Durotar, for example)
  • Higher level beasts require a higher Skinning skill level. If your Skinning is too low for a mob, you will be unable to skin it.

Additional useful info has been collected below, which should hopefully answer any questions you have outside of the leveling path!

Color Codes

The Skinnable tag on mobs when you hover them is color coded just like mob levels, and the meaning is similar as well. Here’s what each skinning color indicates:

  • Grey: No chance of Skinning level up, very easy to skin
  • Green: Low chance of Skinning level up, easy to skin
  • Yellow: Moderate chance of Skinning level up, somewhat difficult to skin
  • Orange: Very high chance of Skinning level up, very easy to skin
  • Red: Impossible to skin

Skinning Level Required for Mobs

  • Level 1-10 mobs – requires Skinning (1)
  • Level 11-20 mobs – requires Skinning (10 x mob level)
  • Level 21-73 mobs – requires Skinning (5 x mob level)
  • WotLK Level 74-79 mobs- requires Skinning (+10 per mob level)
  • Cataclysm Level 80-83 mobs – requires Skinning (+5 per mob level)
  • Cataclysm Level 84-87 mobs – requires Skinning (+10 per mob level)

The 74-87 mobs can be confusing, so here’s a table with the formula:

NPC Level
Skill Required

Professions Leveling Table

Each rank of Skinning beyond the first requires both a minimum character level and a minimum skill level. Note that you can train the next rank before reaching the max skill level of that rank — the leveling sections of this guide will note when you should go to the trainer and train the next rank.

Skill Levels
Required Skill Level
Required Character Level
Grand Master
Illustrious Grand Master

Training and Equipment

Before you can start leveling Skinning, you’ll need to find a Skinning trainer and learn the Apprentice rank of the Skinning profession. You should also make sure you purchase a Skinning Knife, assuming you don’t have another item that can serve as a Skinning Knife. Here are a few other items that will allow you to skin mobs:

You should also look to acquire the Formula: Enchant Gloves – Skinning, as it will allow you to skin

Skinning Trainer Locations

The simplest way to find a trainer is to go to the most convenient capital city of your faction, and ask one of the city guards where the Skinning Trainer is. Doing so will put a red flag on your map that you can use to find the trainer. We’ve also listed all of the trainers below for your convenience, with capital cities listed in bold.

  • Yonn Deepcut (45.6, 57.8), Bloodhoof Village, Mulgore
  • Mathreyn (53.8, 51.2), Eversong Woods
  • Rand Rhobart (65.6, 60.0), Tirisfal Glades
  • Malux (23.2, 69.8), Shadowprey Village, Desolace
  • Tyn, (85.4, 78.4), Walk of Elders, Silvermoon City
  • Killian Hagey (71.0, 59.6), Rogue’s Quarter, Undercity
  • Mooranta (44.6, 42.8), Thunderbluff
  • Thuwd (63.2, 45.2), The Drag, Orgrimmar
  • Kulleg Stonehorn (74.4, 43.0), Camp Mojache, Feralas
  • Moorutu (56.2, 38.6), Thrallmar, Hellfire Peninsula
  • Tiponi Stormwhisper (76.2, 37.6), Taunka’le Village, Sholazar Basin
  • Roberta Jacks (78.2, 28.2), Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord
  • Seymour (63.4, 65.5), Lower City, Shattrath City
  • Dremm (37.6, 27.2), Aldor Rise, Shattrath City
  • Irduil (40.8, 63.4), Scryer’s Tier, Shattrath City
  • Derik Marks (35.2, 28.4), Magus Commerce Exchange, Dalaran

Important routing note: The sections below are organized by the level ranges of Skill Ranks (Apprentice, Journeyman, etc). However, the subsections will sometimes level you past the section’s stated Skill Ranks, simply because its the most convenient way to level — so don’t be surprised when the 151-225 section takes you all the way up to Skinning (265)! It’s intended.


If you aren’t on a fresh character, or if you don’t want to travel, you can start your Skinning journey in your race’s starting area. Otherwise, your best bet is to travel to Durotar (Horde) or Dun Morogh (Alliance). Depending on your character level, you may be able to head to the next area (the 76-125 locations) once you reach Skinning (60).

You can train Journeyman at level 50, but we suggest doing so when you decide to move on to the next section, or whenever it’s convenient.


Durotar is the best spot to find beasts at this level range, especially in the area indicated below.

durotar 1 60 cataclysm classic skinning map

However, it may not be convenient to reach on some new characters. With that in mind, we’ve listed the other starting areas as well:

  • The Lost Isles (Goblin starting area)
  • Eversong Woods (Blood Elf starting area)
  • Mulgore (Tauren starting area)
  • Tirisfale Glades (Undead starting area)

Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

Dun Morogh is ideal due to the high number of beasts, especially in the area indicated below.

dun morogh 1 60 cataclysm classic skinning map
Dun Morogh

However, it may not be convenient to reach, especially on new characters. With that in mind, we’ve included other starting areas as well:

  • Elwynn Forest (Human starting area)
  • Azuremyst Isle (Draenei starting area)
  • Ruins of Gilneas (Worgen starting area)
  • Teldrassil (Night Elf Starting area)


Don’t forget to train your next Journeyman Skinning before heading to the next area! As with the previous section, you can — and should — move on earlier than 150. Depending on your character level, you’ll likely be able to head to the next area between Skinning level 110-130.


Northern Barrens, like Durotar, is full of beasts. Heading from Crossroads south to Ratchet, and then up the coast, is a good route.

northern barrens 61 110 cataclysm classic skinning map
Northern Barrens

There are plenty of other places to farm as well for players who’ve ended up far from Orgrimmar:

  • Silverpine Forest (Undead continuation)
  • Ghostlands (Bloodelves continuation)
  • Azshara (Goblin/Orc/Troll/Tauren continuation)

Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

If you started in Dun Morogh, Loch Modan is where you want to head next. The eastern side of the lake is the densest pocket of skinnable mobs.

loch modan 61 110 cataclysm classic skinning map
Loch Modan

If you started in another area, you may want to instead head to a more convenient location:

  • Westfall (Human continuation)
    • You can go to Redridge Mountains at Skinning (100) to speed up leveling
  • Darkshore (Worgen/Night Elf continuation)
  • Bloodmyst Isle (Draenei continuation)


This section is broken into 2 parts, as you’ll need to head to a new zone not once, but twice, on your way to 225.



Ashenvale is the best place to level Skinning from 110-185. Starting at Splinter Tree post, going up the river and following the ridge, then continuing to follow the river before heading north towards Raynewood Retreat, is the best route to find beasts you can skin. Note that you will have to return to your trainer when you reach Skinning (150), so plan accordingly.

ashenvale 110 185 cataclysm classic skinning map

Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

The Wetlands will see you through 110-185 skinning — the area west of Whelgar’s Retreat works up to 150 — at which point you’ll need to go train Expert and then you can head east and do a loop east of Greenwarden’s Grove.

wetlands 110 185 cataclysm classic skinning map
The Wetlands



The area east of Blackhoof Village in Dustwallow Marsh will see you to Skinning (205). It’s worth noting that you could head to Thousand Needles around 200 if your character level is getting too high for these zones, but some mobs in Thousand Needles will be unskinabble until you reach 205. In either case, visit the trainer before continuing to the next zone.

dustwallow marsh 185 205 cataclysm classic skinning map
Dustwallow Marsh

Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

Head to the Hinterlands, and farm beasts in between Aerie Peak and Hiri’watha Research Station. Keep in mind that you could head to Thousand Needles around 200 if your character level is getting too high for these zones, but some mobs in Thousand Needles will be unskinabble until you reach 205. In either case, visit the trainer before continuing to the next zone.

hinterlands 185 205 cataclysm classic skinning map


Horde/Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

Both factions should go to Thousand Needles at this point, and farm beasts on the coasts northwest and west of Fizzle and Pozzik’s Speedbarge. You’ll stay here until Skinning (265), then head to Un’Goro as indicated in the next section.

thousand needles 205 265 cataclysm classic skinning map
Thousand Needles


Horde/Wow Alliance CrestAlliance

You’ll want to remain in Thousand Needles until you reach 265. At that point, head to Un’Goro Crater, and farm beasts in the pond-filled area east of Fire Plume Ridge.

ungoro crater 265 300 cataclysm classic skinning map
Un’goro Crater

You can level Master training in Thrallmar/Honor Hold, so don’t worry about doing so before heading to Hellfire Peninsula.



Head to Hellfire Peninsula, and farm the Starving Helboars north and west of Zeth’gor to Skinning (305). At that point, head west and farm the Derenged Helboards south-southwest of Honor Hold to Skinning (310). Finally, you can farm Razorfang mobs on the path that leads to Terokkar up to (330).

hellfire peninsula 300 330 cataclysm classic skinning map
Hellfire Peninsula


Nagrand has Clefthoofs and Talbuks you can skin south and west of Garadar until you reach Skinning (350).

nagrand 330 350 cataclysm classic skinning map

You’ll now need to train Grand Master Skinning before starting on the next bit of farming in Borean Tundra, since you’ll stay there through Skinning (375) up to (395). You can find trainers in Howling Fjord (Roberta Jacks/Wow Alliance CrestFrederic Burrhus) and in Borean Tundra, where you’re headed anyway (Tiponi Stormwhisper/Wow Alliance CrestTrapper Jack).


Head to Borean Tundra, and farm near Warsong Hold — the Wooly mobs that can be found to the north and south are skinnable, and likely offer very warm fur.

borean tundra 350 395 cataclysm classic skinning map
Borean Tundra


After reaching Skinning (395) in Borean Tundra, go to Sholazar Basin and farm the Hardnuckle Foragers and Chargers near Frenzyheart Hill all the way to (450).

sholazar basin 395 450 cataclysm classic skinning map
Sholazar Basin

Before farming in Mount Hyjal, you’ll need to train Illustrious Grand Master Skinning at any trainer.


These levels will be done in Cataclysm zones. To start, make your way to Mount Hyjal, and from there to Sethria’s Roost, where you can farm mobs throughout the area. If you’ve done all the quests in the zone, you’ll instead need to farm the Young Twilight Drakes at Sulfuron Spire, or else go to the Shimmering Expanse and farm the mobs on the cliffs immediately south of Nespirah.

mount 450 525 cataclysm classic skinning map
Mount Hyjal

Once these mobs stop giving skill points, around 505 skill, move to either Twilight Highlands or Tol Barad and focus on level 85 enemies. Tol Barad is a great spot because it has a lot of potentially hyperspawning crocolisks, while Twilight Highlands is a nicer place to casually farm, especially if you are running other gathering professions alongside Skinning.


About the Author


An avid reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and history. Believes disagreement should mean discourse, not flame wars. Still searching for that next game that grabs him the way (those mimics in) Dark Souls did.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

This will only take you to 505

1 month ago

guide is clearly taken from wow-proffessions site, and they made a terrible guide… so many better places with better packed mobs. this was a horrible guide!

Smiling Jack
Smiling Jack
1 month ago

Skinning goes grey at 520 for anything that isn’t at least level 85. You literally cannot max skinning outside of raid instances and Twilight Highlands.

Reply to  Smiling Jack
25 days ago

Dont forget your 5 Points from Darkmoon

Last edited 25 days ago by Punny
Reply to  Smiling Jack
8 days ago

No it doesn’t. Skinning in Feralas right now 520+

Scroll to Top