Skyrim talk:Lockpicking

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Undone Edit[edit]

I recently edited this page changing the order and this was undone and I feel I should give my reason for the change rather than entering an edit war. I changed to order so it went novice locks → apprentice locks → adept locks → expert locks → master locks this is similar to alterations, illusions and restorations, currently is in prerequisite order like destruction (which is possible anyway by clicking on the order button) could we decide which is better --dooomninja 22:15, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Torches and Lockpicking[edit]

Apparently holding torches against a lock makes lockpicking easier. Unconfirmed but seems legitimate: — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 09:39 on 13 November 2011

That is taken from a book in thieves guild, this line also appears in Oblivion. I don't think it's a legitimate tactic. --Cdevine 21:10, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Pick flicking[edit]

Is this confirmed that the lock pick flicks in the correct direction? I have personally observed the pick initially flicking opposite directions on the same lock. -Gabe 1700 UTC 15 November 2011

I've also observed that ti seems to flick in a random direction. I tried many times to use pick flicking to divine the location of the opening gap, with no luck. 05:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I believe it does flick in the correct direction but it's very hard to see as only the very first flick will tell you what the direction is; then it goes back to the default position and flicks again, so it starts oscillating, and it's impossible to tell a correct direction from an oscillating movement. 06:52, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that it does not flick in any specific direction, and so am removing that section. Testing on an adept lock, I've had cases where the lock pick clearly flicks to the right when first attempting the lock, and the sweet spot is on the left. I suspect that if it appears to work for someone, they are either lucky, or discounting when it doesn't work as a case of it being hard to tell, and they must have just misread what it did. Vardis 04:27, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Companions lockpicking[edit]

Apparently you can order companions to open chest for you, and they can easily open master chests. I'm not sure if this should be added to the article as this might be some sort of a glitch. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 12:32 on 18 November 2011

I don't think this is a glitch, companions simply don't have actual skill levels so they treat all locks the same, though they will refuse to unlock doors, even in dungeons. It's not really advised to get your companions to do this however, since you'll be missing out on all the experience you would have gotten. With enough saving and loading ANY lock can be eventually picked even without levelling your lockpicking skill, and high level locks give lots of experience - as much as an entire level in the early stages. 19:12, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Effects of treasure hunter?[edit]

What specials does this refer to? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 13:14 on 20 November 2011

I found Dragonplate armor in a chest in a random cave after I unlocked treasure hunter. Also it increased the amount of valuable enchanted weapons and armor drastically — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 13:44 on 27 November 2011
I found dragonscale boots without this perk at level 50. — Unsigned comment by Dragonalumni (talkcontribs) at 20:24 on 6 January 2012
I'd assume "special treasure" refers to a greater chance to find leveled items. For example, let us assume that the player is level 25. Ebony does not spawn until level 32. Perhaps if the player had "Treasure Hunter", they would start to find Ebony at level 25 instead of having to wait until 32. It may also help in finding more powerful enchanted items. For example, on my level 81 Nord, I've found a complete set (all four items) of Peerless Alchemy, yet only one Peerless Smithing. I do not have Treasure Hunter nor the points anymore to obtain it. However I'm sure had I the perks, I'd have a full set of Peerless Smithing. I've spent around 253 hours in the game now, so there's been quite extensive amounts of dungeoneering going on here. Which raises the point: At some point (Around Level 50 for base and 55 for enchanted) the player should be able to find whatever they want, naturally. So it most likely helps a lot before those higher levels, but at and after those levels it really becomes merely redundant as afterward the player should be able to find the stuff they want without in-game aid. Not to mention that if the player simply does not like the yield of items given in a dungeon (Cave, house, fort, ect...), they can merely reload the autosave before they entered, rendering a new pull of every container and enemy. In a way, Treasure Hunter is really useless except for the low-end leveled players (I'd put the "cap" at about 30 - 35). Personally speaking, I've found the entire Lockpicking Skill completely useless for building up other than normal leveling, even for my rogue-assassin. Just saying. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 07:30 on 7 January 2012
Okay, I think I finally understand this perk after looking through chests in the Creation Kit. It actually adds a leveled weapon/armor/spelltome roll in addition to every roll in chests. So basically you can get items from Boss chest on Normal chests and sometimes 2 items on Boss chests. And since the chance to get Dragonscale, Dragonplate and Daedric armor is 20 times smaller than the other tiers I think this perk is really useful for people that dont spec into Smithing. Also since the roll for the last tier starts at level 43 you can hold on getting this perk until then if you have a lot of money through other means190.247.214.213 03:39, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Skill Increases[edit]

Question, what does increasing the skill actually do aside from getting perks? It seems like my pick health has increased, since on easier locks my picks never break anymore. But does it also widen the acceptable pick range as well? --Cdevine 21:11, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Erm, if increasing the skill affects the lockpick difficulty wouldn't that make the entire main perk tree pointless? For example you need 75 Lockpicking for Expert Locks, but if you have 75 Lockpicking then opening Expert Locks wouldn't be that hard in the first place. 06:46, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Same with Alchemy. If you leveled up alchemy very high you probably already know most recipies, and that would make the perk that let you discover two effects when you eat kinda obsolete. The more alchemy skill level you get, the less use you have of perks in alchemy. Same in lockpicking really. Personally I am quite skilled at the lockpicking mini-game and I can open expert and master locks without any perks in lockpicking and even with a low-ish lockpicking skill. But your YMMV. Some people will focus a lot of their game-play around lockpicking or have a very hard time picking locks in general but still want to open locks, they will still benefit from perks in it guess. --X 11:43, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in my experience at least increasing the lockpick skill without picking any perks does make it easier. For instance start a brand new character and try picking some master locks. The "window" is fairly small and your pick will immediately break if you try an incorrect spot. Then level your picking up to 30-40 without getting any perks and try picking another master lock. You have maybe 1 second of incorrect pressure before the pick breaks and the "window" is about 4-6x larger. JimmyDeSouza 00:02, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

() Values inside the .esm suggest something like

sweet spot size = base size * (1 + 0.6 * (skill/100)) * (1 + effects)
Difficulty Base Size
Novice 30
Apprentice 15
Adept 7.5
Expert 3.75
Master 1.875

--Evil4Zerggin 02:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

In my experience you get a very small decrease in difficulty overall, so much so that it's not something you'd notice without the actual perks. You can still get unlucky and break picks on easy locks unless you invest in the Unbreakable Picks perk. The comparison with Alchemy is inaccurate - in that case, while you'll already know most recipes, any potions you create will benefit from your skill with increased effects. Identical potions crafted at level 10 Alchemy are much weaker that those created at level 100. It makes no sense for your 'skill' to suddenly make locks pop open regardless of the pick being in the wrong position. 19:17, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Just "effects" in general? Does that mean the Novice/Apprentice/Adept/etc. Locks perk works for ALL locks and not just for the lock level in the perk description? 20:37, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I mean relevant effects. --Evil4Zerggin 00:41, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
In the descriptions of the perks is the phrase "much easier". How much easier is "much easier" exactly? Mudeye 22:34, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
No hard data, though I would guess the size of the sweet spot would double. --Evil4Zerggin 00:41, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
It's amusing how those fractional numbers become whole when multiplied by 1.6 (the effect of 100 skill). It also implies that getting 100% bonus from magic makes a master effectively expert, and an expert into adept, and so on. Does anyone know how big the partial areas are compared to the sweet spot? Or what the difference in values are from all the way left to all the way right? Then we could convert numbers to angles. It would be nice to compute that at skill lvl X the "not quite there" region of a master lock takes up 15%, so when a lock only turns 1/3 of the way, the sweet spot is +/- 10% . Alternately it would be nice to know how big an area the non-complete failures are so we can decide if magic would help, and how much to move right/left when a pick breaks immediately. NFR 21:48, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

() I was wondering about this, so I did a simple experiment. I used the Fortify Restoration potion loop to produce ~+4000% enchanting potions and enchanted a ring with a huge (~+10000%) Fortify Lockpicking enchantment. Attempting to pick an Adept lock without the ring showed a "sweet spot" of about 15-20 degrees. After putting the ring on, the entire lock is the sweet spot - it can be rotated from any position. Looks like enchanted gear has the potential to be more effective than perks, although I'll have to throw together a legit suit to see how it works. 22:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Using bracers, necklace and ring with each 40% in fortify lockpick and pickpocket and a lockpicking level of either 60 or 61 (I think) with only the Novice perk, I have been totally unable to pick Master locks, while I've been much more successful picking them with a 30% lockpicking bracer or even no lockpicking gear at all. It's ridiculous. What the hell? With the gear, trying to pick the Fort Greymoor cage and the Master Chest in (I think) Hamvir's Rest, I was at counting the pixels on the screen to try every possible position. I never ever succeeded. I will go back and try again without the gear. I think there is something wrong going on there. Maybe someone else can look into this...-- 02:02, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
See le bugs section. 22:59, 30 June 2012 (UTC)


I don't quite understand why stating lockpicking is like Fallout 3. Why not referring to Morrowind ? (I seem to remember it was the same thing, no ?) — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 23:31 on 9 December 2011

The lockpicking mini game is the same one in fallout3. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 17:27 on 15 December 2011
In Morrowind didn't you just attack the lock with your pick and the chance of it opening was based on your skill level? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 08:12 on 30 December 2011
Yes, in MW you had no minigame, and the minigame in SR is vastly different from that in OB. --Velyanthe 18:48, 30 December 2011 (UTC)


there seems to be no information about lockpicks themselves or where to find them. the items pages redirects to here. it would be useful if the merchants who sold lockpicks or places that have alot of lockpicks were listed H0110wPeTaL 12:06, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

The redirect at Lockpick has been fixed so that it points to the correct location. --NepheleTalk 04:04, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Locks that will give experience every time[edit]

So far I've found only a few (though I've not rentered any cleared areas that have reset), but the chests in the practice room of the thieves guild reset after 48 hours. This gives an endless stream of experience and leveled loot — Unsigned comment by Artemis Enterei (talkcontribs) at 15:37 on 20 December 2011

Are you sure? From the page, The Ragged Flagon, I was under the impression that the chests relock after 10 days. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 03:59 on 26 March 2012
The locks in the practice room restock at 48 hours independant of whether you come back early. The chests in the main room restock after 10 days away and are not locked. Saying that they dont give me experience for opening them more than once, but breaking lockpicks still does. The Silencer 04:06, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
So (if I'm correct in what you just wrote), if I unlock the chests in the training room once, then wait 48 hours outside the Cistern, I can't get more experience by unlocking those chests again? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 04:10 on 26 March 2012
Right, but you will get experience when you break lockpicks trying to open them. The Silencer 04:13, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm just trying to find a method to easily level without having to break 10,000 lockpicks. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 04:21 on 26 March 2012

() I'm resurrecting this old thread because, at least as of 1.9, this doesn't appear to be the case. I have found no chests, not even the ones in the Thieves Guild, that will give XP if you've opened them before. Does anyone experience anything different? Robin Hood  (talk) 20:41, 3 August 2013 (GMT)

Magic Teleporting Sweet Spots[edit]

Just yesterday, I tried to pick a lock, broke a few picks, gave up and... uh, attacked the chest, tried again, and I swear the sweet spot was on the other side of the lock. I didn't go to an earlier save, either; the sweet spot goes to another location every time you pick the lock. Can someone confirm that this isn't a one-time bug, please? 10:16, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

The sweet spot does change every time you exit the lockpicking minigame, probably to prevent you from picking a master lock with only 1 pick by saving/loading. [PC] — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 06:06 on 29 December 2011

Fortify Skill bug[edit]

Appears to be fixed after 1.3.10 patch. Additional testing welcome to confirm. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 02:02 on 29 February 2012

wax key[edit]

are wax keys droppable? otherwise it feels like i could be missing out on lockpick skill xp with this perk. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 04:49 on 2 March 2012

it doesn't matter, two reasons. One, you have to pick the lock first to get the wax key, two, picking a lock that you've already picked won't grant you Exp. Even if you could drop them, picking the lock wouldn't grant you exp, the perk is made so you don't have to re-pick the same lock (to a store, for example) over and over again if you periodically rob the same place (Seventhsage 09:01, 10 April 2012 (UTC))
One caveat with this is that sometimes picking a lock with the Wax Key perk produces a key which is able to pick a multitude of locks in the same general location - for example all of the cell doors in Whiterun Prison will be automatically unlocked with a Whiterun Prison Key you'll that automatically get the first time you open one without one in your possession. You can drop wax keys, but you'll get another each time you pick a lock which that key would have opened. I wonder if a lock that was previously opened by a key will give lockpicking experience if it is later picked when the cell is reset and has not actually been picked previously? 19:01, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Trap Experience[edit]

While it's impossible to get into a locked chest without first unlocking it, it's quite easy to simply not spot (or plain ignore if you're in a rush) the trap triggers that are on the side of some of the chests. Opening the chest without disarming the trap will spring the trap meaning that you don't get a chance to pick it. Does anyone know if, once the locations reset, these chests become trapped again, and do trap triggers that were not previously disarmed give experience if they're picked second time around? 19:07, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Stolen Lockpicks bug[edit]

On my PS3, when I steal a lockpick, the whole stack of lockpicks in my inventory becomes marked 'stolen'. Selling the stolen lockpicks doesn't change this. First of all, is anyone able to replicate this bug? If so, should this be added to the 'bug' section of this article, or does it belong somewhere else? 14:29, 8 October 2012 (GMT)

As far as I can tell, stolen items are placed at the top of your pile when the game lists them. In your lock picks example, lets say you had 7 "clean" lock picks and 3 stolen ones. They are not separated out in your inventory but simply show 10 lockpicks with the "stolen" designator so it looks as if all 10 are stolen. If you want to separate them out, drop the entire stack of 10 on the ground and the game will keep the 7 "clean" ones grouped and you should also have 3 single ones marked stolen. This should work with all items. 01:47, 28 October 2012 (GMT)
Additionally you CAN'T sell stolen goods to most merchants so the stolen picks just stay in your inv. 05:17, 25 March 2013 (GMT)
You can sell stolen goods to any merchant when your Speach is at 100 21:46, 20 August 2013 (GMT)

Undead Treasure Hunter?[edit]

I just wanted to ask, does the Necromage-Vampire buff work with the Treasure Hunter perk? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 03:23 on 19 December 2012

Locksmith Perk[edit]

While testing the Lockpicking perks using the Lockpick Pro mod (which allows you to see the sweetspot), I noticed that Locksmith seems to have no effect on the location or position of the sweetspot in relation to the lockpick. The sweetspot can still appear anywhere within the full range of motion for the lock. I then tried editing the value of the perk in the CK (higher and lower) and again saw no visible difference in game. Can anyone else confirm whether this perk is indeed broken? 22:07, 17 January 2013 (GMT)

Locksmith seems to be ... somewhat broken. It seems to usually place the lockpick closer to the sweet spot, but not all of the time. I would say roughly 3/4 of the time the lockpick has been moved to be closer to the pick. I usually don't play with lockpicking perks though, as I'm one of those people who can pick Master locks with a 20 skill. --Morrolan (talk) 13:11, 4 February 2013 (GMT)

easy lockpicking[edit]

first up, this is to pick locks without glitches or any form of power ups to any stats. to easily pick adept and higer locks easily, use the game engine's own "lock reset" effect to make it easy. this is best demonstrated on master locks and lots of picks. from a 12o clock location (no perks sets picks to this as default) try turning the lock for a few "flicks". if the pick doesnt move, exit the minigame and activate the locked item again. the lock's "sweet spot" will have reset to a new location. this means that after a few tries you will learn to get two tries from each pick per master lock. the game will eventually reset to the default open. this takes on average three picks before it will turn even a little. however a patient player can use that slight turn to find the true sweet spot from just a little turn.

i do hope this helps those who havent thought of or tried this. ive done this on xbox, and should work for all systems. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:03 on 6 July 2013

Lockpicking in reset areas seems to give XP.[edit]

At least - I leveled lockpicking on a character the other day while opening a lock that I'm sure I had picked before, which normally never happens. The area was one that I hadn't visited in an awful long while; is it possible that if you spend 30+ days away from a city, then its locks will give XP for being picked again? --Morrolan (talk) 18:25, 17 July 2013 (GMT)

Just *how* do you pick locks? Basic minigame description missing.[edit]

I'm somewhat surprised that the fundamental mechanics of lockpicking are not discussed on the page, i.e. I'm missing the somewhat essential answer to the question: "How do you pick locks?" By just blowing picks on gradually blocking in the correct position for the pick? I mostly try to use the audible cue to find out the correct spot for opening locks. When you slowly slide the lockpick from one side to the other, there are tiny grating/clicking sounds. Sometimes this noise lets up for a few ticks, which is usually a good guess to start lockpicking there. It seems that sometimes it's only audible if you swipe clockwise or counterclockwise. The irregularity in "grating noise" seems to be the more audible the easier a lock is to pick, as you'd expect. For more difficult chests it can sometimes take me 2/3 complete swipes to pin this spot, but I hardly ever break my lockpicks using this method. -- In any case, I think a corresponding section should be added, but I'm not entirely certain mine is the only or the best way. In fact, I would appreciate confirmation that the audible cue is, in fact, part of the minigame and not just a figment of my imagination, even if I believe it to be true and proven by me not knowing where to stow my excess lockpicks any more... 18:30, 31 July 2013 (GMT)

I saw a discussion on this a long time ago, back near the beginning of the game, though I don't remember if it was here or on a forum somewhere. As I recall, not all users experience this, and I think some people suggested it was platform-dependent. I don't remember the exact outcome of the discussion, though. There's even a video demonstrating it here. At the very least, I can tell you that on the PC, unlike in the video, there are always clicks, no matter how little or how slowly you move the mouse. Robin Hood  (talk) 23:48, 31 July 2013 (GMT)
Fascinating. Thanks for the video link! I wonder what configuration was used to record it (Linux maybe? possibly even Windows versions or soundcard drivers matter?). It's a completely different experience from the one I'm having; almost the inverse. Clicks for wrong positions, less clicks for correct ones. Eh... I guess a) this is a bit late anyway and b) most people will figure it out via trial and error before long. I wanted to slightly reword one passage anyway, so I'm going to go out on a limb and toss an open-worded bullet point under 'notes'. Further opinions/edits more than welcome. 21:49, 2 August 2013 (GMT)
Yeah, I think as long as it's worded as an open-ended thing that not all users seem to experience, it's probably suitable as a note. My thinking is that if some people are finding it works in an unmodded game, we should document it somehow or another. Robin Hood  (talk) 21:57, 2 August 2013 (GMT)
Okay, the scope of my rewrite got larger and larger as I went along because taking out one redundancy made me stumble across another. Have a read and see if there's anything wrong. I'm not entirely certain about:
  • the follower tactic (will try to confirm that later tonight/tomorrow)
  • if the experience gained per failed attempt is influenced by the difficulty of the lock (since I never powerlevel)
  • I feel there should be a more precise statement about when they game randomises the correct position. My note just warns of the effect of reloading, but what exactly causes it to reset? zoning? time? ...
  • I'm not entirely certain about resetting previously picked locks and xp, see section above.
Thanks, good night :) 00:14, 3 August 2013 (GMT)
Overall, it looks pretty good. I'm curious why you took out the section on alternative methods of opening locks, though. Was it just because those methods don't involve lockpocking per se? Also, just FYI, we use US spellings on the site, so "leveling" should've been only one "l", not two. (Being Canadian, I'm forever making this mistake, myself.)
As to your specific questions, I've done some testing of my own, as you'll see in my previous post, and here's what I've discovered so far, in the same order as your questions:
  • I have no clue about followers picking locks, as I avoid followers like the plague. I find they just get in my way, spoil my sneak chances, and rob me of XP.
  • XP gained for a failed attempt doesn't change based on lock difficulty. I haven't tested with and without the Thief Stone, however.
  • As far as I can tell, randomization occurs only on a reload, or if the lock is reset.
  • Successful picking only seems to give XP if you haven't picked the lock before (including the Thieves Guild practice chests), but you always get XP for breaking a lock. Robin Hood  (talk) 20:59, 3 August 2013 (GMT)

() Thanks. And sorry for diluting post quality with my Oxford-isms!

  • Re: alternative methods: yes, it appeared to me that circumventing lockpicking mechanics entirely, by cheesing the game (follower 'exploit') or by using powers, should not feature as prominently on the 'skill' page as it did previously. I therefore demoted that content to a bullet point under 'notes' so it's still there. Feel free to remove it if you think it's too much anyway!
  • I like your xp edit. I think I'll pass on the remainder of the questions for now as they seem to drift into esoteric regions ;) 20:29, 13 August 2013 (GMT)

Do torches help?[edit]

I heard on the internet that using a torch makes lockpicking easier according to a book found in Skyrim. Is this true or is this another internet lie? 17:25, 4 January 2014 (GMT)

That book would be Advances in Lockpicking. But I don't think it gives game mechanic advice. It appeared in Oblivion too and it didn't seem to work there either (see Oblivion talk:Advances in Lock Picking). --Alfwyn (talk) 17:37, 4 January 2014 (GMT)
Has anyone tried heating locks, e.g. with Flames, before picking them? --◄mendel► (talk) 12:53, 22 February 2014 (GMT)

Lockpicking XP Missing?[edit]

I think I may have found a bug. I made my Lockpicking skill Legendary, resetting it to 15. Since then, I've opened a lot of tough locks but my skill has only risen 5 levels. Many times after picking an Expert, Adept, or Master lock, I'll check my progress bar and it won't have moved at all. Granted, in this file I've picked just about every possible lock at least once, I don't have the Wax Key perk, and before setting the skill Legendary I think I could still get XP from a lock I've picked before if I give it enough time to reset. The only thing I can think of that might be interfering with the XP gain is that I have gauntlets with an insanely high Fortify Lockpicking enchantment, courtesy of the potion glitch. I thought that the Fortify Lockpicking only made it easier to open harder locks, but in the process of making certain locks easier to open, could it be lowering the amount of XP you gain from those locks? I think I've actually come across a couple of difficult chests that I haven't opened before, and with them my skill went up very fast, but with locks I've opened previously, it seems that my XP progress is at a standstill. Has anyone else experienced this? I play on the PS3. Chocoholic (talk) 12:24, 5 December 2014 (GMT)

You are probably trying to open locks you've opened before, which means you won't get XP for them. Even though the dungeon resets after a few days, the game remembers that you opened that lock before and won't give XP for it. At least that's how I understand the situation. I'm running into the same problem. With huge bonuses to lockpicking, your sweet-spot is likely huge so you aren't even getting experience from breaking picks. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 19:37 on 10 March 2017 (UTC)‎