- Conan Exiles Manifestation of Zeal: The Ultimate Guide - August 16, 2022
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Conan Exiles Siptah - August 16, 2022
- Conan Exiles Tar: A Complete Guide - June 6, 2022
The riddle of steel, the philosophical question at the heart of some of the most famous Conan media there is. It delves into the nature of man, the source of our strength, and even the very meaning of our existence.
Thankfully, steel in Conan Exiles is a bit more quantifiable and is derived from the powerful resource known as steelfire. Steelfire is used to craft many of the resources you’ll need the most in the endgame. It can be used to produce steel from iron, steel reinforcements from iron reinforcements, warpaints to give yourself an edge in combat, and even the dreaded dragon powder used in explosives. It goes without saying that whether you’re playing pve or pvp, steelfire will in some way find its way onto your daily chore list. At least in Conan Exiles, this riddle is much easier to solve.
Steelfire is crafted in a firebowl cauldron from a combination of tar and brimstone, but can also be found in a variety of dungeon chests and other disparate sources. The best way to obtain it in bulk however is to farm the brimstone and tar you need for it.
What is Steelfire?
Steelfire is a resource with a variety of very useful applications. If placed into a furnace alongside 5 iron bars, a single steelfire will give you a steel bar, providing you an easy way to mass produce steel directly. For people who have a blacksmith that is tier 3 or higher, you’ll gain access to a recipe that allows you to reinforce iron reinforcements into steel reinforcements at the cost of one iron reinforcement and one steelfire to one steel reinforcement, which on its face may not seem to useful until you realize this cuts the cost of iron down by 80% with the proper benches and also reduces crafting times significantly. Anyone building a large endgame fortress can see the value in that.
Steelfire is also used in the production of warpaints and explosives – necessary tools for anyone engaging in pvp. Explosive jars require one dragonpowder each, and each warpaint requires two dragonpower, while dragonpowder itself requires 50 to 100 steelfire apiece, depending on the tier of your crafting benches. Whether you’re building a castle or tearing one down, you’ll need a lot of this precious resource.
See also: Conan Exiles Wheel of Pain Guide
Where to Obtain Steelfire
Steelfire can come from a few sources. Firstly, you can find it in loot chests scattered around the world. Siptah loot chests in particular tend to have a much higher likelihood of yielding steelfire. Corrupted variants of normal monsters, marked by a skull on their healthbar and glowing eyes, can also sometimes yield steelfire when harvested after death.
Neither of those sources are particularly good at giving steelfire in large quantities, however. There’s an argument to be made for maybe obtaining some early game steelfire from a few loot chests, but it’s generally much better to consider these as a happy accident as opposed to a main supply. Certainly loot every chest you find and build up your steelfire passively, but the absolute best way to obtain steelfire in the quantities you’ll need it is to farm it.
Farming steelfire simply means obtaining large amounts of tar and brimstone, the prerequisites to crafting it directly. We’ll tackle both of these two resource separately, since there’s a bit of nuance involved with the two of them and mastering these two resources will make a huge difference on any playthrough of the game.
See also: Conan Exiles Corrupted Stone Guide
Tar is the first resource we’ll cover for steel fire production. Tar is produced within tanning benches after placing hides and bark inside, then pressing the play button at the top to begin crafting. Tanning benches use bark as their fuel, so you’ll need to obtain lots of bark, and then, of course, the hides themselves you’ll need in huge quantities.
Bark is obtained by cutting down any tree with a pickaxe, or in higher quantities by cutting down dead trees with a pick. To stress the point, use pickaxes on regular trees – it will not reduce the amount of wood you get at all but will now give you bark as a secondary resource as well as resin, so you only stand to gain from using it.
When cutting down dead trees, however, only use a pick, as a pickaxe will give you dry wood and bark and reduce the overall bark you obtain.
Generally, in Siptah, the densest pockets of dead trees are at the center of the map, while in the Exiled Lands, you’ll want to frequent the desert or in the water immediately around the dead mounds obelisk. This spot is extremely convenient given its proximity to an obelisk, enabling fast travel.
If you don’t mind the travel time, the wine cellar dungeon within Sepermeru also contains a huge quantity of dead trees, making it an excellent farming spot.
See also: Conan Exiles Vines Guide
Animal hides are obtained from almost every creature that has skin, so long as you use a skinning knife. You can obtain hides from corpses using a variety of tools, but the best tool is always the skinning knife. Not all creatures will give hides, of course. Skeletons, dragons, rocknoses, and some other exceptions exist, but they are largely the exception to an otherwise dominant rule.
Hides can either be tanned into leather or thick leather, and the amount of leather varies. This is actually quite a big distinction since once a tannery produces a piece of leather, it also produces a piece of tar, so prioritizing the hides that give you the most leather will give you the most tar.
Regular hide, literally named “hide”, as well as furs will tan into leather at a ratio of 3:1, meaning 3 pieces of hide will give you one tar, making it one of the worst sources of tar. Humans, birds, gorillas, shalebacks, and other lesser creatures will give you these hides when skinned, making them a poor source of tar.
You can still farm them, but try to keep it as a side project – say you’re clearing an NPC camp while looking for thralls, then there’s no harm in skinning the ones you kill… just don’t make that your main source of hides or you’re likely to go mad.
The second best sources of hides are the hides that tan directly into leather at a 1:1 ratio. This includes hyena pelts, feline pelts, bat skin, wolf pelts, and reptile hide. To give you an idea of the difference we’re talking about here, if you harvest a shaleback and obtain 50 regular hide, then harvest a crocodile and get 50 reptile hide, you’ll get 16 tar from the first example and 50 tar from the second. It’s a huge difference and worth planning around.
The best sources of hides, however are the hides that convert into thick leather. When placed into a tannery, elephant hide, rhino hide, bear pelts, and thick hide all convert into thick leather at a 1:1 ratio. The secret to getting the most out of these pelts is in the Tanner’s Table.
Placing elephant hide, rhino hide, or bear pelts into a tanner’s table allows you to stretch them into thick hide at a 1:2 ratio, meaning every single one of those hides will give you 2 tar as opposed to the 1 tar you’d get if you tanned them directly or used a lesser hide.
Getting the most tar per hour means prioritizing those hides specifically, as they’re the most efficient source of tar when processed. Areas like the Savannah in Exiled Lands are filled with rhinos and elephants, while in Siptah the center of the map is likewise covered with creatures that yield these pelts. Prioritizing these areas will make a difference of several thousand tar per hour, especially since these larger creatures tend to give more hides overall compared to smaller creatures, which then stretch into even more thick hide.
And while a deep dive into all the best hide spots is a bit out of the scope of this guide, if you’re in the Exiled Lands, the best spot to farm hides is within the midnight grove, otherwise known as the Jhebbal Sag dungeon. It’s got the best density of animals that yield either 1:1 hides or 1:2 hides.
Hyenas, panthers, bears, wolves, and so on all are found in this dungeon and in high quantities, and because the dungeon is so packed with creatures, they often respawn before you’re done clearing it, meaning you can farm it endlessly. If you’re on the original map, I highly advise farming there whenever possible. Just be careful if you’re on a pvp server, it is a highly trafficked area.
As I said before, the grasslands around the center of the map in siptah are densely packed with rhinos, elephants, and other siptah specific creatures that give either thick hides in large quantities or hides that stretch into thick hides.
That said, these are by no means the only spots to farm hides effectively, as both maps have a variety of locations that can be argued for, so feel free to experiment and find what works for you!
Brimstone is the second component of steelfire, and is thankfully the most straightforward. You won’t have to worry about conversion rates, just finding them and mining as much as you can with the best tools you have.
Brimstone looks like either yellow-colored stones or yellowish brown stalagmites found in certain map areas, so they will stand out considerably from other resources. Using either a pick or a pickaxe will work just fine on these, so don’t worry too much about your tool choice.
Brimstone Locations in Exiled Lands
Located in C8, this is your largest source of brimstone in the game. It’s located just next to an obelisk, making access to it very easy. Be warned, however, as it is completely stuffed full of hostile rocknoses and a rocknose boss.
To make matters worse, the entire area is covered with a thick poisonous smog, so you’ll need a sandstorm mask to enter without taking poison damage. If you can brave the dangers, it’s well worth the reward, netting you as much as twelve thousand brimstone per clear with the right tools.
Located in G4, this cave is filled with brimstone from the entrance all the way to the back of the cave. It’s filled with exile thralls and has a guaranteed named thrall of a random type, making this cave worth visiting for a variety of reasons. While there are many thralls inside because they’re just exiles, the relative danger of this cave is quite low and can be cleared even at low levels.
Located in H4, this cave also is filled with brimstone. This cave is filled with crocodiles and even has a boss crocodile at the very end of it. The regular crocs are easy to kill, and the boss is relatively easy to avoid, so you can still clear this cave at a relatively low level. Just be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the big one.
This somewhat winding and confusing cave is located at the bottom right corner of I6. This one is not for people with arachnophobia, as you will frequently be drowning in over twenty spiders at a time. That said, the spiders are relatively easy to kill, but the deeper you go, you’ll encounter skeletons and a serpent skeleton boss. If you have the means and the gear, it’s another fantastic source of brimstone.
All throughout the jungle’s waters in the far east of the map, as you swim around you’ll find sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean. These vents are covered with individual tiny brimstone rocks.
With the right swinging angle, you can technically mine these with a tool which will give you large amounts of brimstone, but because of their placement this can be very difficult. If you’re having trouble hitting them, you can pick them up by hand with little effort.
There’s a surprising amount down there, and while it is a much slower source of brimstone, if you’re on a packed pvp server and your other options aren’t safe to farm, it’s not a bad option to keep in mind. Just be sure to bring some fish gill potions, or you might wind up breathing in a bit more water than you planned.
Brimstone Locations in Siptah
Outside of every vault, there will be sporadically placed brimstone stalagmites. They’re much larger than the stalagmites in exiled lands, so they’ll be very hard to miss.
Center of the Map
In the very center of the map, as well as on either side of the center and around the wayshrines scattered in the same area, you’ll find brimstone in huge quantities. It’s not as densely packed as the shattered springs, but it’s a very respectable source of brimstone.
Just be warned, the very center of the map is dangerous. It’s cold, covered with monsters, and if a maelstrom triggers while you’re farming, you’ll have to fight your way out against all kinds of demons. If your gear isn’t up to snuff, stick to safer sources of brimstone like around the vaults and outer edge of the center of the map.
The Isles of Dusk and Dawn
The Isle of Dawn has brimstone located under the water to the south of it, in relatively high quantities. These are regular brimstone rocks that should be easy to mine, so they’re worth using as an alternate source if you can’t safely farm the center of the map.
In the Isle of Dusk, brimstone is scattered about in smaller quantities.
It’s worth noting that rocknoses on either map will also give a small amount of brimstone when harvested. It will never be enough to be your main source of farm, but given that many areas that contain brimstone are also covered with rocknoses, they’re worth harvesting if you or your thrall kill them as you farm.
What Bench To Use
Steelfire as previously mentioned is crafted in a firebowl cauldron, but it’s worth taking a look at the benches you have available before crafting as it can safe you an immense amount of time.
For the purposes of producing large amounts of steelfire, prioritize using Improved Firebowl Cauldrons and Precision Firebowl Cauldrons. The reason for this is very simple because these benches reduce the cost of items crafted within them, the amount of tar you need will be reduced from 2 to 1. So, instead of spending 2 tar and 1 brimstone per steelfire, it will be one tar and one brimstone. This cuts your tar requirements in half, which by itself will save you hours and hours of time.
It can be tempting to consider the giant’s firebowl cauldron for its crafting speed, but in every case, the time you save while crafting will not be worth the extra time spent farming.
You can leave your firebowl cauldrons cooking as you explore and move around, and because you only need an improved firebowl cauldron to cut the cost of tar in half, you can use a large amount of these cheap benches to mass-produce steelfire and save yourself the trouble.
It should be noted as well that firebowl cauldrons do not require any fuel to do their cooking, so there’s no need to worry about crafting speed or fuel efficiency when crafting large amounts of steelfire.
See also: Conan Exiles Alchemical Base Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do you craft steelfire?
Answer: Place tar and brimstone into any firebowl cauldron, select the recipe from the list, then press the play button at the top of the screen to begin crafting.
Question: Is it better to farm steelfire or obtain it from other sources?
Answer: It is always better to farm steel fire. In the quantities you’ll be needing it, no other way of obtaining it will give you what you need.
Question: What is the best place to farm steelfire?
Answer: Tar is best farmed in the midnight grove, brimstone is best farmed in the shattered springs. In siptah, the center of the map is the best place for farming both tar and brimstone. Combine these resources to best farm steelfire.
Whether you’re cooking explosives, building a vast fortress, or producing steel for tools and upgrade kits, the riddle of steel will forever be on your mind as you trudge through the unforgiving wastes of the exiled lands. With the proper knowledge however, even a lowly barbarian can build wonders, and maybe even break a few, using the same information. Farm your resources efficiently, and you’ll never run out of steelfire again.
That is, unless someone else uses their steelfire to take all of yours… but at least now you’ll know how to replace it all quickly!