Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Addon Spotlight: Getting started with TradeSkillMaster Crafting


Today, we're really getting into it with TradeSkillMaster. This is the big daddy of the gold making addons -- an incredibly powerful addon that revolutionizes your crafting and auction house play. There are alternatives to TradeSkillMaster (TSM) available. Many players use Auctioneer or other similar addons instead, but there's a reason TSM's popularity remains.

With this column, I'm not going to be getting into the real fine details of TSM. For starters, I don't have the space, and furthermore, I don't think you need to to start making a bit of gold. What I plan to do for you today is to just walk you through the basic setup of this addon to start making some gold the easy way.

First and foremost, you have to install it:

Download TradeSkillMaster:, Curse.

For now, it's probably best to download and install the entire suite of addons. You may find once you start using it that there are some sections you barely use and others you use all the time. Then you can simply switch off chunks of TSM, thereby lowering your memory usage. I mainly use Auctioning, AuctionDB, Crafting, Shopping and Destroying, as well as the core program.

Addon Spotlight Getting Started with TradeSkillMaster
So, head over to your faction's auction house and interact with the auctioneer. You'll be greeted with the screen you see here.

First and foremost, what you want to try and do every time you remember is run a GetAll Scan. This is a high-speed scan of the auction house, available for use every 15 minutes. It comes with a warning that it may disconnect you -- it's never disconnected me, but of course, bear that warning in mind.

You'll also want to run a Profession Scan if this is the first time you're using TSM. A profession scan, as the name suggests, scans the character's professions, allowing TSM to see what you can make. TSM bases its calculations on your scanned data (unless you set it up differently -- more on that another time), so try to scan as much as possible.

Setting up TSM Crafting

Crafting is a really powerful part of TSM. Once you've gathered your auction house data, TSM can basically tell you what to craft and even takes the hard work out of crafting.

First, let's have a look at a few options. Open TSM by typing /tsm into chat or clicking the minimap icon.

Click on the lower-most icon on the right side of the window (the one that looks like a chimera's eye, if you're into jewelcrafting). This will bring up your crafting options menu. I would really recommend that you have a look at all the options regularly -- a lot of them will make no sense to you whatsoever at first, but as you get more involved with the addon, it'll start to become clear.
Addon Spotlight Getting Started with TradeSkillMaster
There are only a few important settings here for a beginner. First, make sure you've got Enable New TradeSkills checked so that when you pick up a new recipe, TSM knows to add that to its database of things you can make. Head along a tab, and have a look at where TSM is getting its price data from. The default is AuctionDB, if you have it installed, and there are a few other options as well.

If you're happy with how that's set up, head on over to Queue Settings. This is how TSM decides what it's going to put in your crafting queue. What's a crafting queue? Well, when you have TSM set up, it'll tell you what to make and set those items up in a queue or list of items you're going to craft. It takes the cost of materials from the database you specify and works out what's going to make the biggest profit.

Your important settings in Queue Settings are the Restock Quantities. If TSM is told you should have 10 of an item -- your Max Restock Quantity -- and you have three, it'll queue seven for you. Min Restock is if you don't want to bother crafting one glyph.

Profession settings

OK, deep breaths, people -- we're going to be able to actually start using it soon. Now, head over to the left side of the window. Click the button for the crafting profession of the character you're on or the one you know best. There are some great guides available for individual professions such as enchanting, so I'm not going to go into detail here for every profession.
Addon Spotlight Getting Started with TradeSkillMaster
So, we've clicked on Jewelcrafting. TSM knows what recipes we have and splits them all up into categories in the Crafts list to the side. This is where your brain comes into play! We're looking at red gems here, which are probably the best-selling gems in the game. Now, the canny player knows full well that nobody's going to buy a Bold Carnelian, and what's more, if you're making Bold Carnelians, you're taking a valuable material and turning it into an almost worthless gem.

Looking at this window here (if you can read it), the cost of a Bold Carnelian is 25g, and its market value is 4g90. TSM won't ever advise you to craft something like that that doesn't give you a profit, but due to the strange data that can sometimes be generated by scanning the auction house, it might think that some lower-level cuts are worth more than they are.

It's entirely personal and up to you what you set up here. I decided to only have TSM even consider Inferno Rubies in the red gems. So I disabled all crafts and went through re-enabling all the Inferno Rubies. Then I did similar things for the other colors. If you happen to be on a realm with a big twinking community, you should probably consider what they might be buying when doing something like this! I wouldn't recommend such decisive disabling for professions like enchanting. You can also do things like setting minimum item levels to craft within the craft options, to exclude things more efficiently if, for example, you're a blacksmith only wanting to craft the latest belt buckles.

The eagle-eyed reader will have noticed a button called Additional Item Settings. Well done! Remember earlier, when we were talking about restock quantities? How many of one item we had? Well, that's very easily altered on several different levels. We had the general crafting settings max restock quantity that we mentioned above. That is the basic setting for everything. We also have an options panel under each crafting profession (you can see it at the bottom of the list in the above image), where you can override the general crafting settings on restocking and minimum profit calculation for that profession. And then, for each individual item (for example, the Bold Inferno Ruby), you can set restock quantities and queue settings. These override the general profession settings.
Addon Spotlight Getting Started with TradeSkillMaster Crafting
Your Crafting queues

Strewth, as they say in Australia. We're nearly there, folks. I promise you it's worth it.

Once we've done all of the above, we're ready to check out the fruits of our labor in the crafting window itself. Open your crafting pane, and click the bar that appears above it. You'll get the window you see above.

Now look to the right, where you should hopefully be able to see the Restock Queue button. The list in the lower panel is what TSM has decided you're making today. It's done so based on all the information and instruction we've talked through above, so if things look weird, you can always go back and rework your settings.

There are two queue options here. Restock Queue will tell you to queue everything that will make you a profit, within the constraints of the options you've set. This will work out the total cost to you of the materials you need to buy (if any) and the effective cost of the ones you already have. It will also work out the profit you will generate based on your data. Fire this up by the auction house, talk to the auctioneer, and hit Crafting Mats, then search, and TSM will find all the mats you need and give you the option to buy out auctions.

The other option is the On-Hand Queue. This will only use materials that you have in your bags or in your banks or that are purchasable from profession vendors. For example, it will tell you to go get Jeweler's Settings but not to go to the auction house to get Queen's Garnets. Once you arrive at the vendor in question, it will add an option to their screen to automatically buy the materials you need to craft your queue.

If you want to remove something from your queue, either find it in the top left window and right-click it to remove, or go back through the above steps to alter your settings for that item.

Crafting items

Phew, OK, we're there. All you have to do now is push the button, and TSM will craft the top thing in your queue. If the queue says 3x Artful Ember Topaz, one button click will craft all three. Same if it says 100x Nightstone Choker; one click will craft 100. (Bag space may be an issue!) When you've crafted one line, hit the button again to craft the next line.

All you need to do every day from a crafting perspective is hit the Get All Scan, open your craft window, check your queue, get mats if you need to, and click the craft next button. It does all the math for you and tells you what to make. Sure, the setup's a grind, but the outcome is good.

Next time, we'll look at a similar guide for selling your hard-won crafted items!

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr