Players can improve items using a variety of media, tools, and skills and often do so in order to reap the benefits of higher item quality (depending on the item being improved: increased efficiency, resilience to wear and tear damage as well as decay damage, increased trade value, etc.).
- Containers and the inventory usually show an extra imp-column to show you the tool you need to improve the items. This can be enabled or disabled by right-clicking the name header, and selecting toggle imp column.
- The lighter an item is, the less material it will need for improving (5% of its weight or 0.5kg at max). This means a 60kg raft will only need 0.5kg of log and a 0.6kg spindle will need 0.03kg of log.
- To improve the item, right-click it, click Examine, read what item is needed to improve it, activate the necessary item, and right-click the first item again to attempt to improve it.
- Some items require certain conditions in order to be improved. For example, smithing items need to be glowing hot to improve, hence it is best to improve them while they are still in a forge or other fire container.
- Most items need to be at 0 damage (repaired) to be improved. Notable exceptions include wooden fences, wooden gates, and stone walls. Fences and walls also have a unique property that allows the player to improve the quality even when using materials which are lower in quality then the fence or wall section being improved. The amount of increase in the quality is less, however, than it would be if using materials of a higher quality then the fence or wall section.
- Some items cannot be improved and will reflect that when the examine command gives no information for improvement. For example: new player starter kit tools, most building materials (dirt, planks, etc), yoyos, raw materials (which can, however, be combined with higher quality materials to be improved, at the expense of the higher quality material), unrepairable items, etc.
- Unfinished items can't be improved until finished. The improve keybind won't work on them, use finish instead.
- The quality level a player can improve something up to is only limited by two factors:
- the player's prowess in the specific skill that is used for improving the item
- the quality of the materials that are needed for improving
- The quality of the tools used in the imping process does not affect the maximum attainable quality of the item being improved.
- Tool quality does affect the chance at success/failure of each imping action. The better the quality of the tool, the higher the chance that the imping action will succeed.
- Higher quality tools will give less skill gain whilst improving while lower quality give more skill.
Toolbelts can often make the improving process much easier. With a toolbelt, the player can bind the number keys 1-10 with key bindings so as to quickly toggle and utilize the imping tools held therein.
To setup a toolbelt:
- First, open the in-game console and type "Bind 1 Activate_Tool1". Do so again 9 more times with the appropriate bind keys until the number keys 1-10 are all tied to the toolbelt.
- Afterwards, use the console and type "Bind R Repair" and then "Bind I Improve".
- You now have all of your key bindings set. Now drag the common imping tools to the toolbelt. You can also add metal lumps here. With the item to be improved in inventory, drag the mouse over the item and press the number keys 1 through 5 - according to whatever next step of imping it needs. Then, as needed, press "I" for improving with that tool, and "R" for repairing.