Morrowind is a huge game, and it can be a bit tough, especially in the beginning. There are quite a few ways to make the game much easier; some of them were put in by the developers themselves, while others are of the more unintentional variety - problems with the game mechanics. These are tactics that exploit the game's own rules to make the game easier. The dividing lines between clever play, exploits of game bugs/misfeatures, and outright cheats are blurry. Aspects of the game itself (like Constant Effect enchantment by the player character) demand some things that would seem at first to be exploits.
|Please note that Console Commands and Glitches are not listed on this page, even though they are very useful for "cheating". A cheat here is not an illegal modification of the game's variables; rather, it's a "game breaker", an exploit of unbalanced mechanics in the game to better one's character. A glitch, in contrast, is a flaw in the game that is not meant to be there, even if a player can still take advantage of it.
Drain and TrainEdit
(Note: This cheat is not possible in OpenMW. Temporarily draining a skill below 100 does not permit it to be re-trained by trainers, or by skill books; actual skill damage is required (from Damage Skill effects or from jail).)
Training in Morrowind has two major problems. The first is cost, and the other is the scant availability of high-level trainers. A simple way to work around this is to use a Drain Skill spell. This allows a normally high-leveled skill to be trained by a cheaper low-level trainer.
Even after reaching level 100 in a skill, you can continue training it using this method, though it will never be above 100 without an enhancement effect active. Your level keeps increasing as your skills do, so you continue to level up even after all your Major and Minor Skills are at 100, by using this exploit to temporarily lower a skill below 100 and make it trainable again. It is the act of training Major/Minor Skills a total of ten times, not the numbers the skills are at, that triggers a level-up.
It is possible to level up indefinitely using the following. After you've reached the vanilla maximum level by raising all Major and Minor Skills to 100:
- Raise one of your Attributes to 100.
- Find or create an item that will raise that same attribute over 100 as a constant effect.
- Locate a Master Trainer for a skill that falls under that attribute.
- Train over and over. The message underneath will always say that you have raised that skill to 100, but you will still get the skill points and therefore keep leveling.
Go to jail (drop your gear first, for anything the game considers "stolen" will be taken from you). You will lose skill points, but you won't lose levels. Train your skills back up, and you'll still level up. You may have to do this repeatedly, since the skill losses are random, and only Major and Minor Skills count towards leveling; you need 10 of those freed up by jail to level again.
Purchase a spell with a Drain Skill effect. See above "Drain and Train" cheat. This is more effective than the Soultrap cheat because it actually raises your skills, rather than temporarily enhancing them until they are somehow drained.
If you have an armor skill as a major or minor skill, you can reduce them to zero by equipping MW:Fury. You can then level up by re-training your armor skills
- The Official Morrowind Patch, version 1.2.0722, fixes this bug.
Although these cheats will allow you to raise your level, they will not raise your skills over 100.
Those born under the sign of The Atronach may enjoy the benefits of increased Magicka, but the accompanying stunted Magicka does tend to ruin all the fun. Other methods of recharging Magicka, such as Summoning Ancestral Ghosts to Absorb Magicka from them, are time-consuming and eat up more Magicka. As an alternative, simply activate any Shrine of the Tribunal or Imperial Altar, and select Attribute Restoration to refill your Magicka to its max. Note that this trick only works for those born under the Atronach. If you are Breton (comes with native Resist Magicka ability), it helps to temporarily impose Weakness to Magicka in equal proportion, or there's a 50% chance the shrine/altar effect will fail. Likewise, unequip any Resist Magicka items.
A different way to recharge Magicka is with Drain Intelligence 100 for 1 second on self (fixed in MCP 2.0). With an Intelligence drained to 0, you have no Magicka, which the game sees as 100%. When the drain ends, you will keep the 100% Magicka pool, now to its maximum. This is an extreme effect of the standard Magicka pool relativity. Enchanting items with the required spells is fairly cheap, and the spell itself requires very little Magicka. Resist Magicka effects (including that of the Breton race) will interfere with the spell, possibly requiring a Weakness effect to be cast previously.
You can create insane potions such as +368 Speed for 1000 seconds, +72 Magicka for 209 seconds, Levitate 368 for 500 seconds, etc. If the techniques detailed here are pursued carefully, you can create potions that last for weeks. There are basically two approaches, involving the stacking of potions, or of spells, to achieve some combination of Fortify Intelligence, Fortify Luck, and/or Fortify Alchemy, resulting in potions with increased strength, duration, or both, greatly in excess of stock potions you can buy or find.
Since a) drinking multiples of the same potion causes effects to stack, b) potion effects usually last longer than spells, and c) potions expend no Magicka, drinking a great number of Fortify Intelligence and Luck potions may be easier and more effective than using custom spells with the same effects or with Fortify Alchemy. The techniques can also be combined. Don't forget to also equip and activate any items that provide these buffs, and to have everything you need already in your inventory.
Both techniques practically require high-end Alchemy apparatus (at least Master-level), and definitely require sufficient ingredients to make the super-potions of your choice, and for any "support" potions (e.g. hundreds of Ash Yams, etc., for stacked Fortify Intelligence potions). It is advisable to save a backup game before starting so that you can reload and fine-tune your process after your initial experiments. Because these approaches are expensive in various ways, they should ideally be used when one is prepared to create multiple super-potions.
The Intelligence- and Luck-boosting aspects of these approaches can also be used to boost your Enchant capability, e.g. to do your own Constant Effect enchantments which would always fail without such an exploit. (The developers appear to have intended that CE be something you must purchase from professional enchanters and at a high price.)
The Stacked Potions Method (Works in Vanilla Morrowind)Edit
- A potion to Fortify Intelligence can be made with Ash Yam, Bloat, Netch Leather, and for Bloodmoon players, Horker Tusk. Aside from the last, these are easily bought cheaply from most alchemists, apothecaries, etc., and are common low-end loot. Gets lots of these ingredients.
- Since each potion will be made with ever-increasing, fortified skill, the values for each successive potion will go up exponentially when you use the last such potion you created to make the next, and repeat this process. Focus on potency more than duration for these Intelligence boosters.
- You can also stack other Fortify Intelligence effects, e.g. from items and spells, plus Fortify Luck and (with Tribunal or Bloodmoon) Fortify Alchemy.
- Imbibe your potions and use other buffs with as little delay between them as possible.
- Quickly activate your Alchemy apparatus.
- With your Intelligence and (optionally) other relevant stats fortified to inhuman heights in this manner, you are ready to mix the other super-potions you originally wanted to make.
Merchants who restock ingredients for Fortify Intelligence are: Aunius Autrus at Wolverine Hall, Imperial Shrine; Eldrilu Dalen at Vos Chapel; and Mehra Drora at Gnisis Temple. Eldrilu Dalen can also be exploited to make super-potions of Fortify Endurance and of combined Restore Health, Restore Fatigue and Fortify Luck.
The Stacked Spells Method (Requires Tribunal or Bloodmoon)Edit
- Obtain any Fortify Skill spell. These are only provided by the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions (or the GotY edition of Morrowind, which includes them).
- Visit a friendly spellmaker, and have a spell made to Fortify Restoration 100 min/max for 4 seconds on self. You will cast this spell initially, to enable you to cast more powerful spells afterwards.
- If the above spell is too difficult to cast, create an additional Fortify Restoration spell with a lower value and a 3 second duration. You can probably manage +25 min/max over 3 seconds, even if your skill is very low.
- You can also add potions or other items that stack to boost the Fortify magnitude.
- Create the final custom spell, giving it up to 8 effects. If you add multiples of the same effect, they stack. Fill all eight of the slots with Fortify Alchemy +100 min/max for 1 or 2 second.
- Use a few Fortify and Restore Magicka potions as needed throughout the next steps. If you have the Magicka or potions for it, a Fortify Luck effect will also be helpful.
- Start casting, and avoid any delays between spells:
- If your Restoration skill is low, you will first cast the lesser Restoraton spell. This is probably when you also should drink your first Fortify / Restore Magicka potion.
- Cast the +100 Restoration spell.
- Cast your new Alchemy and optional Luck power-up spell(s).
- Quickly activate your Alchemy apparatus.
- You are now ready to make your super-potions.
Cautions and Other NotesEdit
Beware that excessive use of this technique (or just using a certain potion) can cause the game to glitch or crash. For example, with Intelligence of 55000+ and Luck of 3500+, a Fortify Speed or Levitate potion can cause you to run or fly through the ground or walls, and freeze the game. If you are lucky, you will may re-appear where you left the game, but you could fall into the void or the water table and have to reload from an earlier savegame if Console commands (such as
PositionCell) do not get you back onto the ground; if you are still alive, you can also try Intervention or Recall.
Even aside from glitching, these cheats can really upset game balance, to the point where it can ruin the game for you, especially if it affects combat, spellcasting ability, chance of success to steal, or other carefully balanced game mechanics.
Canceling the effects of very-long-term potions can be problematic; while Dispel will work, it will also cancel the effects of any other spells, potions, scrolls, or on-use enchanted items, which might not be desirable to do in the context.
An actually practical, "convenience" application of these techniques (especially for repeat players who have already been through their exploration-and-mystery phase), is greatly boosting Speed for long-distance running, or similarly creating potions for fast and long-lasting Levitate. Between Speed and fast Levitation potions, you can easily travel from one end of the map to the other in about 10 minutes. This approach is good for mapping out large swathes of the landmass to get rid of the "fog of war" effect obscuring everything. The game itself provides a few helpful things for this, but they're very limited: the Boots of Blinding Speed induce a vision problem one has to work around and are unusable by Argonians or Khajiit; the few fast-levitation scrolls around are rare and do not last long; and the blessing provided by the Shrine of Daring atop the Vivec Temple lasts 20 minutes, but isn't really very fast.
Steal Without FearEdit
In Ghorak Manor in Caldera, you can steal anything you want from the containers and in the open, including several pieces of Orcish Armor. While the NPCs will say things like "stop, thief" or "guards!", you will not get a bounty on your head, and all they do is talk; even their Disposition is unaffected. As an added bonus, the creature merchant Creeper is in this manor.
This technique works for many places without Guards, so, as long as you save before you loot someone's house or whatever, you should be fine. It also works in some unexpected places, like inside the Argonian and Skyrim Missions, and many rooms full of Guards and other NPCs in the castle, at Ebonheart. This wiki's lists of NPCs in places indicate their Alarm (willingness to act on your crime); a surprising number have a 0 value here.
Quite a percentage of containers and items that should be owned are not (including many stacks of gold), and can be stolen with impunity. One has to save first and experiment in "throw-away" games, by not using Sneak, Chameleon, or other stealth, to determine which containers they are, then revert to your original game in progress. The OpenMW game engine distinguishes owned from unowned items and containers when mousing over them; this feature may have also been added in some of the code-patching projects for the original game engine, as well as various third-party mods.
PC only: When stealing items that are out in the open (i.e. not in containers), you can go into 3rd person mode, open your inventory, and click-and-drag items into it from much farther than normal, depending on the position of the camera. This in itself is likely an exploit as the drag-and-drop system was originally intended to be used to arrange 'clutter' in interiors. If you combine this with a 1-second Invisibility or 100 Chameleon effect, you can steal with complete impunity, though it doesn't always work when used very close to an NPC. This still works for owned containers but if using Invisibility must be timed carefully, as the spell must activate during the opening animation; after opening the object but before the menu opens.
- OpenMW fixes this bug.
Killing Without Bounty or Being Expelled from FactionsEdit
In order to kill someone from a faction you are a member in without being expelled or receiving a bounty (e.g., Ordinators in Hlaalu Vaults, if you are Hlaalu), you can use Frenzy Humanoid or Taunt to get them to attack you first, making it self-defense on your part. Alternatively, you can use any weapon attack allowing you to kill them in one hit while undetected by anyone else and receive no bounty for it. Spells have slightly different detection rules: Damage from spells and enchantments can still be used while undetected, but if a surviving NPC with Alarm>0 has a line-of-sight on you or your kill(s) then you will get an assault bounty for it.
Even when alone, you still have to kill an NPC in one hit or they will immediately give you an assault bounty. Some locations are manned by lone NPCs who can be killed like this and then their location looted free of consequence, however they will never respawn, rendering any services they may have provided defunct forever.
Sneak attacks with a ranged weapon don't automatically break steath. While the target will beeline for you you can continue to pepper them with arrows until either they're close enough to detect you or they die. The latter does not incure a bounty.(This may only work with openMW).
In Morrowind, (melee) weapon type does not affect sneak attack damage, so using the most damaging attack, a fully-charged Chop with a Daedric Battle Axe, is the most effective against tougher opponents such as guards. With high Strength and maintaining the weapon, you can kill almost all NPCs easily without needing to use a Fortify Strength effect. Seemingly all, if not almost all, NPCs that are stronger than guards have 0 Alarm and will not give you a bounty anyway.
For remaining undetected and boosting your damage, you can use a custom 3-4 second spell or on-use enchant including Fortify Strength (and weapon skill if you find yourself with a low chance to hit) and Chameleon for 3-4 seconds, sneak, then strike. For 'chaining' kills, this can be maintained with either a longer-duration spell or an identical on-strike enchantment, do not put any damaging effects in the enchantment or it will be treated with the same detection rules as spells. With 110 Enchant, all uses only cost 1 Charge. Alternatively, you can use Sujamma and any Invisibility spell you know if nothing else. Hand-to-Hand sadly does not work as you will still get a bounty, and sneak attacks with ranged weapons will only deal 1.5x normal damage instead of 4x.
An outlandish mass-murder approach is to instead kill everyone in sight instantaneously. You will only be expelled and get a bounty if A) you or one of your kills is seen by someone outside your circle of death, or B) someone survives the initial burst. Without the Morrowind Code Patch to allow you to make 0-second duration spells, you cannot use a custom spell for this, as all player-made spells have a functionally minimum 1-second duration, which will cause NPCs to register your attacks and give you bounties before dying. One method to do this is a spell with Weakness to Magicka 100 in 50 ft, Damage Health 100 in 50 ft, and Drain Health 100 in 50 ft, cast while you have the sneak icon. Be wary of Reflect. This spell is strong enough to kill all types of Guards.
(Note: This cheat is not possible in OpenMW. You cannot put items into the inventory of pickpocket victims.) Another way to do this is to create a piece of armor, such as a gauntlet, with a Constant Effect: Damage Health enchantment, then go into pickpocket mode and drop it in their inventory. If they are not already wearing armor of the type you used, they will put it on and be damaged by it. Even if caught, you will only incur a bounty for attempted theft, not murder. You could also use Damage Fatigue to cause a permanent knockout, but you will need a slightly stronger enchantment than 1pt to counter the natural fatigue regeneration (needs experimentation; the regen rate doesn't seem to be known). Knocked-out bodies also may not be able to be looted without MCP/MPP (needs confirmation). [verification needed — May be fixed in MCP 2.0. This cheat is not possible in OpenMW.]
Saving and ReloadingEdit
If you're being chased by an enemy, put some distance between the two of you, then save and reload. If you are distant enough, they will break off their pursuit.
Saving and reloading can also be used to make containers reset with a new set of random loot. Save your game before you take anything out of the container; otherwise, its contents will not change. You can stand beside it for quicker sampling of the new loot. While some chests will have different loot by simply reloading your save, you can force most containers to reset by removing all its items then reloading your save.
Easy Armor Skill UpgradeEdit
You can use this to easily raise your Unarmored, Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor skills to 100. Simply equip whatever type of armor you wish to train, enable the Xbox health replenish cheat from the section below, or (on any platform) equip a Constant Effect: Restore Health item, and find an enemy or two. Just make sure you pick an enemy that isn't likely to be able to beat you down faster than you can regenerate; swarms of Slaughterfish and Nix Hounds work well for this. The same basic principle applies if have a stack of Restore Health potions.
You can also do this without quite cheating by exploiting the Vivec Puzzle Canal, Center, where you must drown yourself in order to open the secret gateway. Once you drown yourself, your health will go back up to full. If you attack the Dremora, Krazzt, and don't kill him, he will keep attacking you until you die, but each time your health is low or you die, you will be resurrected and your health restored to full. This will allow you to raise your armor level as much as you wish.
Note, however, that for all of these exploits, your armor will still degrade unless you're skilling-up Unarmored. Furthermore, doing this cheat is best when high-durabilitiy armor is equipped, like Daedric. It will, of course, only help time-wise, in the case that you leave the game unattended for long periods of time. You can also bring multiple sets of armor of the same general class (or even different classes to train Light, Medium, Heavy, and Unarmored in series) and re-equip as you go. If you can run away, you can also repair your armor and return for more.
Something for NothingEdit
(Note: This cheat is not possible in OpenMW.)
Items can be sold individually (by using Ctrl+Click) or in stacks (Shift+Click). You can use this to sell and then rebuy the same product for different prices. When starting out, your mercantile will likely be bad and selling a stack of 100 arrows will generally sell for less than 100 gold. However, if you sell them one by one, each arrow will always sell for 1 gold.
Exploiting this fact, you can sell all of your 1-gold items one by one, then without clicking the Accept Transaction button, use Shift+Click to buy the whole stack back. You will now have a situation in which no exchanges are being made but the merchant is offering you gold. Rinse and repeat. When satisfied, click Accept Transaction.
- You have to eventually have something on the table in order to complete the transaction. Offering nothing for 500 gold is unacceptable but offering one arrow or one goblet for 500 gold is just fine.
- The price being offered is the base price, so you can still negotiate on top of that with your mercantile as you would normally when buying/selling an item.
- This works because when you buy back the stack, the game subtracts the price the merchant would have normally given you for the entire stack at once which is much less than the full value of the stack.
- This trick does not work with the Mudcrab merchant and Creeper. Since they are creatures, they will always buy and sell at the base price of items because they have no Personality. When you buy back your items, the value subtracted is the item's base value, causing you to make no money.
Xbox Cheat CodesEdit
Several cheat codes are available on the Xbox version of the game. To activate cheats, go to the stats window and highlight the statistic you want to replenish. Then use the following button combination to activate. On the Xbox 360 controller, Left Bumper replaces White and Right Bumper replaces Black.
- Restore Health
- Black, White, Black, Black, Black, and hold A
- Restore Magicka
- Black, White, White, Black, White, and hold A
- Restore Fatigue
- Black, Black, White, White, Black, and hold A
- Unlimited Health
- Black, White, Black, Black, Black, and hold A
- Unlimited Magicka
- Black, Black, White, White, Black, White, and hold A
- Unlimited Fatigue
- Black, Black, White, White, Black, and hold A
If you close the stats window while holding the A key down for any of the cheats mentioned above, it will replenish constantly. But if you enter any other page in your menu, the chosen statistic will cease to constantly replenish. After activating one of these cheats, access anything which has an inventory and allows you to use right trigger to switch over to your own inventory. (In the wild, random monsters work well for this but also any of the various plants which provide Alchemy ingredients will work. In more civilized situations chests, drawers, closets and other such things work great.) Hit the right trigger so that you are on your own inventory, then hit B and exit. If all went well, you can now access the other 3 menu pages with the cheat still active. Beware: going to the stats page will force you to repeat. Warning: These cheats only act as replenish, you can still be killed with the refill health cheat active. Don't take on high hitting opponents even with this cheat because they can still kill you quite easily.
To further explain, you can use restore health – for example with the constant replenish code – to restore your health. So long as you do not take a hit hard enough to kill you or several quick shots, you may enter the stats page and not press anything and simply watch your health auto replenish without taking more shots. When you exit the screen back to the play mode you may continue to battle and repeat. You can use this to defeat practically anyone in the game, so long as you have enough health, weapons, armor, time and patience in regards to the enemy.