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[[File:SkillsTreeLockPickingCC.png|thumb|The Lockpicking Skill Tree.]]
<p style="text-align: center">''The art of Lockpicking is used to open locked doors and containers faster and with fewer broken lockpicks.''</p>
<p style="text-align: center">''The art of Lockpicking is used to open locked doors and containers faster and with fewer broken lockpicks.''</p>

Revision as of 23:46, February 12, 2012


The art of Lockpicking is used to open locked doors and containers faster and with fewer broken lockpicks.

Lockpicking is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Lockpicking is one of the 18 skills and falls under The Thief play-style.

The lockpicking mechanic is more similar to Fallout 3's system than the Security skill from Oblivion, except that a player can unlock a lock of any difficulty regardless of their skill level. To open locks you must feel for the correct tumbler position with a lockpick while turning a tension wrench clockwise in the lock. Caution should be used, as the lockpick will break if too much pressure is applied while it is in the wrong position. The higher the level of the lock, the less pressure allowed before the pick breaks. Taking certain perks in this skill will widen the correct tumbler position for picks, making locks easier to open.

Governing Guardian Stone: The Thief

Skill Books

The following Miscellaneous Quest increases the Lockpicking Skill:

  • Retrieve Amulet for Shahvee in Windhelm Argonian assemblage, (note: also increases light armor)
  • Retreive Finn's Lute for Inge Six Fingers at the Bard's College in Solitude, (note: also increases the Sneak, Alchemy, Pickpocket, and Speech skills



The following are the perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Novice Locks None Novice locks are much easier to pick
Apprentice Locks Lockpicking 25, Novice Locks Apprentice locks are much easier to pick
Quick Hands Lockpicking 40, Apprentice Locks Able to pick locks without being noticed
Wax Key Lockpicking 50, Quick Hands Automatically gives you a copy of a picked lock's key if it has one
Adept Locks Lockpicking 50, Apprentice Locks Adept locks are much easier to pick
Golden Touch Lockpicking 60, Adept Locks Find more gold in chests
Treasure Hunter Lockpicking 70, Golden Touch 50% greater chance of finding special treasure
Expert Locks Lockpicking 75, Adept Locks Expert locks are much easier to pick
Locksmith Lockpicking 80, Expert Locks Pick starts close to the lock opening position
Unbreakable Lockpicking 100, Locksmith Lockpicks never break
Master Locks Lockpicking 100, Expert Locks Master locks are much easier to pick


Lockpicks are easily obtained, as almost all merchants carry at least 1 of them. Some of the easier ways are:

A Lockpick in Skyrim.

  • The Thieves Guild fence Tonilia carries around 30 picks for sale.
  • The Khajiit trader outside Whiterun also carries 30 or more picks for sale.
  • Babette in the Dark Brotherhood usually sells between 15 and 20 picks.
  • General goods traders such as Belethor often carry 5 to 10 picks.
  • Nearly all merchants, even food vendors will generally carry at least 1 lockpick in the miscellaneous category.
  • Checking chests, bags and other storage units.
  • Killing or pickpocketing bandits or humanoid monsters.
  • The Skeleton Key. This lockpick is unique in that it will never break; the animation for the pick "breaking" will still occur if you put too much pressure while in the wrong position, but the pick itself doesn't break, meaning that you can try an infinite number of times. Here can be seen what it looks like in-game.

Console Commands

This only works on the PC

  • Add code for lockpicks is "player.additem 0000000a amount". Note: you can also shorten the code by removing zeros. For example, to add 5 lockpicks, type "player.additem a 5" (without the quotes).
  • Enter the console. Click on the chest/door you want to unlock, and type "unlock". The chest/door will unlock.


  • Your companions can open any chests you come across, including locked chests with a master lockpick rating.
  • Lockpicks are more common than in some of the older games in the franchise.
  • No matter what level your skill is, any lock may be picked. Essentially, you can never put a skill point into the tree for lock picking and still pick every master lock in the game. At lower lockpicking scores this can be difficult without booster items or perks however.
  • Saving prior to a lockpicking attempt can control the number of lockpicks that are broken.
  • Equipping items which fortify lockpicking will stack for a significant advantage, 100 in the skill and the maximum number of booster items removes all need for any perks in the skill tree as even "Master" locks become easy to open.
  • The Skeleton Key is one of the most useful tools for a thief in the land of Skyrim. It is a Daedric artifact obtained via the Thieves' Guild. At the end of the quest you are asked to return it to the Twilight Sepulcher, this is required to finish the Thieves' Guild, but it is beneficial to keep it, at least for a while. The Skeleton Key acts as a lockpick that never breaks, and continues to power up your skill in lockpicking.
    • If looking for locks to pick, wait until night comes, (around 9pm), in a city such as Whiterun, then all houses and shops will be locked. Once you have unlocked all the doors in the town, you can wait one full day, and all the locks will be relocked so this process can be repeated.
    • The Heist Job from Vex is also good for leveling lockpicking. You will be able to pick at least one often high level lockbox per mission, and some high level doors between you and the treasure with some luck.
  • Once you discover the Dwemer Museum, you can significantly increase your lockpicking level by lockpicking the holding cases; most of which are Adept and Expert locks.
  • Every time you enter the lockpicking mini game the solution changes. This can be exploited to more easily pick harder locks. To do this enter the mini game then turn the pick slightly. If it resists exit and try again. Keep doing this until the pick moves. Doing this you can avoid spending a lot of time dozens of pick and moving the pick little fracions trying to find a staring point. (PS3 and pc confirmed).
  • Another good place to level up your lockpicking skill is in the training room of the Thieves Guild, there is one chest to each lock difficulty, Apprentice, Novice, Adept, Expert and Master. The locks relock after 30 in game days.


Pick 50 locks and 50 pockets
Points 30 Gamer points
Silver trophy

See also


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