Skills are the basic physical, mental, and magical tasks that your character is able to perform. As skills are used, their values will increase. Higher values in skills indicate a better mastery of that specific skill, and will allow you to perform the skill more efficiently and with greater success.
Parent skills help the success chance of their sub-skills by a small amount. Using sub-skills increases parent skills as well, although bonuses from the tool (including quality and enchantments) are not applied.
Skills can have characteristics as parent skills. Raising the skill will automatically raise the characteristic, although at a very low rate. As with other parent skills, increase of a characteristic is not affected by bonuses from the tool (including quality and enchantments). A high characteristic help the success chance of all the skills that use that characteristic.
For details on which skills increase which characteristics, see the characteristics page on the wiki.
Most skills can also give titles when reaching a certain level. The usual level requirements for a title are 50, 70, 90, and 100. See the titles page.
Enemy Presence on PVP server
When an enemy player is within your local area for a while, you will getting warning messages about decreased skillgain until you are outside the enemy's local range. This only applies on PVP servers.
Most actions give skill in a specific pattern: Each action has a chance of giving skill. The chance is determined by the character's skill level, the difficulty of the action and, usually, the quality of the tool being used. The amount depends on the length of the action timer. If the action timer takes twice as long the gain is twice as high too. The amount is also affected by sleep bonus and tool enchantments like Circle of cunning.
Improving actions will usually give much more skill than creating actions.
The maximum skill increase you can get in one attempt is 1.00 (including a [3x] on the skill and sleep bonus).
You may gain skill even failing an action, depending on the action being performed.
In most cases you gain much less skill when you have no stamina left.
For effectively tracking skill gain it is helpful to set the Skillgain tab updates in the Wurm game settings to always. That way you can monitor how much gain each action gives.
Improving for Skill
Sweet spot improving is a method of improving (imping) quality way over your skill level and that gives double the skill and attribute gain on top of Sleep Bonus and other skill gain bonuses. The formula to find where sweet spot ql starts at is x*0.77+23. LINK to graph to visually find it quickly for your skill (X is your skill and Y is the quality you need to improve over)