The core conceit of Kingdom Come: Deliverance is realism. That means Henry is not going to be hammering together new armor or weapons out in the wilds over the course of an afternoon. It also means there are no magical invulnerability potions you can mix up out of mushrooms you find on your journeys.
That doesn’t mean you’re without options, though. There is no crafting, per se, in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but there are two mechanics that are similar: alchemy and repairs. We’ll discuss them each below. Alchemy is a lot more complicated, so we’ll spend a lot more time talking about it.
You can’t make magic potions, but you can make various concoctions, tinctures and potions. There’s nothing that will make you invincible, but you can make potions that will let you see better in the dark, be better at public speaking or let you save your game. Alchemy is a, frankly, time-consuming process.
Before anything else, you need to know how to read. You can learn to read by completing the “Mightier than the Sword” side quest (relatively) early in the game. Head to Uzhitz and talk to the scribe there — he should be marked with a quest objective icon on your map.
Now that you can read, you’ll need to talk to the apothecary in Rattay — his shop is between the armorsmith and the church on the west end of town. Pay him 60 groschen for your first lesson and you’re ready to start brewing.
Before you do, though, you need ingredients. These are the plants and mushrooms (and a few other things) you find scattered around the game world. Alternately, you can just buy them from an apothecary.
We recommend buying them — they’re reasonably cheap and seeking out ingredients in the world takes a lot of time. If you want to collect your own, check the recipe book at any alchemy bench. There’s a section at the back that describes all of the ingredients and where, in general terms, you can find them (like, “along a roadside” or “on a sunny hill” kind of general terms).
There are several alchemy benches in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The first you’ll find — and the easiest to get to — is behind the apothecary. Go around to the right when facing the front of the shop, then look for a door on your left. There are two more in Sasau — both in the monastery. A few other benches are scattered around in the woods between cities that you might stumble across in your travels.
Brewing your first potion
Now that you can read, have started your alchemy training and have found a bench, it’s time to brew your first potion. There is a lot going on here, so we’re going to walk you through brewing some savior schnapps. There’s a video above of the entire (three minute) process.
- Start with the book on your right. Flip through the pages until you find the recipe you want to start with. The trick here is that you have to memorize, write down or screenshot this recipe so you can keep referring back to it. You can hold down the X/A button (or the PC equivalent) to automatically set out the ingredients for the recipe you choose.
- Add your base. The four bases are on a high shelf to your left. These are spirits, oil, wine and water. The recipe will tell you which you need. For our savior schnapps, we start with wine.
- Grab your first ingredient. Pull your first ingredient off the shelf and add it. Just make sure you read the recipe carefully. Sometimes things are out of order or worded weirdly, and sometimes you need multiple handfuls of an ingredient. Our schnapps calls for one handful of nettles.
- Boiling and turns. Recipes will say something like “boil for two turns.” Boil means you have to work the bellows (with the left trigger or its PC equivalent) until the mixture in the cauldron boils. And turn means you flip (turn) the hourglass. You’ll have to pump the bellows periodically to keep the mixture boiling. For our schnapps, we have to boil the mixture of wine and nettles for two turns.
- Grind. Grinding means you have to drop an ingredient into the mortar on the bench in front of you. Once you have the right amount, you can pick up the pestle on the bench a little to the right of the mortar to mash it up. After that, you can drop it into the cauldron. Our schnapps needs us to grind two handfuls of belladonna. That gets dropped into the cauldron and the whole mixture gets boiled for one more turn.
- Finish. When you’re done with the recipe, grab a phial from your left and dump your potion into it. That’s it. Some recipes say you have to distill the mixture, but you can’t actually interact with the still, so it just happens automatically. You can ignore when a recipe says distill. We don’t have to worry about that for our schnapps. Just grab a phial and fill it and you’re done.
A lot of the in-game text about alchemy stresses following a recipe exactly. You shouldn’t stress about this, though. It applies to the amounts, but you have some wiggle room with boil times and letting things cool completely.
When to alchemy
Making your own potions is a good way to save some money if you really need them — the ingredients are cheaper if you make one from scratch. But it’s a substantial investment of time.
The video of us making savior schnapps above is nearly three minutes long and we weren’t taking our time. This makes alchemy a pretty big time investment that doesn’t result in a huge payoff. It makes sense for important potions like savior schnapps or vitality potion (which makes wounds deal 50 percent less damage), but you’re not going to sell them to get rich. Use alchemy to make useful things that let you go do something more productive — until you reach level 10 (and level 13) of your alchemy skill.
At level 10, you unlock a perk point and have the option to choose the Routine 1 perk. This will let you automatically brew a potion (one you’ve made before) without going through the entire process. At level 13, you can brew three at once. This turns alchemy into less of a chore and more of a, well, routine.
While you’re out adventuring and fighting Cumans, Henry’s armor, weapons, clothing and shoes will get damaged. You can pay a vendor to fix your gear, but you also have the option to do it yourself. Each type of vendor — armorers, blacksmiths, cobblers and tailors — sell small and regular-sized kits in their shops. You select those kits out of your inventory to repair each type of gear yourself.
What you’re capable of repairing depends on the size and quality of the kit as well as your Maintenance level (under Skills in your Player menu). The perks you can unlock as you level up Maintenance are very useful. You can get Charisma bonuses from clothes you’ve mended yourself or damage bonuses from weapons you’ve sharpened or repaired on your own.
You can also use kits to make the loot you sell — enemies’ gear, for example — worth a little more money. It’s rarely worth it to pay to have a vendor repair everything you’ve picked up before you sell it, but if you repair it yourself, it adds enough value to offset the wear on your repair kit.