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In Cataclysm-DDA, there are many different things you can craft via the crafting screen (accessed by pressing &).

To craft an item you'll need the specified tools and components. You'll also need at least the same skill level for the specified primary skill and at least one level on the required secondary skill. Having 25% more than the required skill level will always allow you to craft anything without problems. Below that, there's a chance of you not being able to craft it and lose some components in the process.

The required tools and components don't need to be in your inventory. They can be anywhere in a six-square radius around you. When more than one possible component is available, you'll be asked which one to use for the crafting process.

Not all recipes are learned from the start. Some you will get at character creation, others at levelling up a skill, but the most important ones are learned from books. Before the experimental version you could learn the recipe from books by reading it. Now you need to keep the book on (or within the six-square radius of) you and use it as a guide, and eventually you will memorize the recipe.

Your character will refuse to craft anything if her or his morale is lower than -50.

When crafting armor or clothing, the item is always crafted with the FITS modifier if it supports it.

The different crafting skills and related industry are listed below:This list is incomplete, please add to it

Primary Skill Crafting
Cooking Cooking Industry
Fabrication Fabrication Industry
Mechanics Mechanics Industry
Tailoring Tailoring Industry
Survival Survival Industry
Construction Constructions and furniture


For autolearned recipes, which survivors are presumed to work out on their own, "Difficulty" denotes the lowest skill level needed to unlock the recipe, and your skill in the specified secondary skill must be at least one.

For example, the crossbow requires mechanics and archery, and has a difficulty of 3. Therefore, to unlock the recipe you need level 3 in mechanics and at least level 1 in archery.

Unfortunately, most crafting recipes in-game are fairly complex and not something a survivor would be able to just work out on their own. Some things you can take apart to see how they work, and then assemble other copies later on as needed. The skill requirement for this is generally one less than that needed for the primary skill.

In almost every case, though, you'll need to find outside help to work out how to build that thing. Books on topics you're interested in make an excellent first place to look, and sometimes study in an unrelated topic will prompt the survivor to come up with a way to make something they just hadn't thought of. Books that contain crafting recipes you don't have will highlight when in inventory, and you can check any reading material to see what recipes it contains. You will need to use the book as a guide for crafting, and doing the recipe enough time you might memorize it.

If you're just wanting to track down what you'd need for a specific recipe, there also are a few lookup tools. There's an ingame recipe-search function in the crafting menu, alternately, you can look for the recipes in the individual item pages.

Item browser

There is also an online Item Browser, which includes recipes for every item. The online browser keeps up as best it can, but supports all recipes, rather than just the ones you know.


This is the file you need to tinker with if you want to create a new crafting recipe. The syntax is quite simple:

           "result": "pointy_stick",
           "category": "CC_WEAPON",
           "difficulty": 0,
           "time": 800,
           "reversible": false,
           "autolearn": true,
           "tools": [
                            ["hatchet", -1],
                            ["knife_steak", -1],
                            ["knife_combat", -1],
                            ["knife_butcher", -1],
                            ["pockknife", -1],
                            ["scalpel", -1],
                            ["machete", -1],
                            ["broadsword", -1],
                            ["toolset", -1]
           "components": [
                                 ["stick", 1],
                                 ["broom", 1],
                                 ["mop", 1],
                                 ["2x4", 1],
                                 ["pool_cue", 1]

  • Result: Item to be crafted. It should be defined separately in the proper .json, found in the data/raw/items directory
  • Category: The category of the crafted item (and in which tab it will appear)
  • Difficulty: Amount of primary skill needed in order to craft that item
  • Time: Amount of turns it takes to craft that item
  • Reversible: Whether the item can be disassembled or not
  • Autolearn: Whether the recipe is already known at character creation or not
  • Tools: Multidimensional array of tools needed in order to craft that item. Each tool is in its own array, with the name of the tool as first element and the amount of charges used when crafting this item as the second (only for hotplates, integrated tools, etc)
  • Components: Multidimensional array of components needed in order to craft that item. Each tool is in its own array, with the name of the tool as first element and the amount of items of that type needed as the second

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