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It looks like it is possible to level the sneak skill all the way to 100 early in the game. In the last part of the cave leaving Helgen in the unbound quest, You can sneak walk into the rocks to the right of the bear, just make sure the bear is visible to your character. If the bear wakes up and starts to move, just back up behind the rock to break the line of sight until it lays back down. This does take a quite long time.

Above added by AnonSoul

Not-Quite-Hidden Theft

is it possible that an NPc hires a Dark Brotherhood assasin if you are a member of them?

I don't think merchants/NPC's will hire an assassin for theft but rather for murder. 13:07, November 15, 2011 (UTC)Magmahunter

Despite the note, the "Assassins" you meet in the wilderness seem to be a purely random encounter.  I've met them at points in the game when noone (living) has any reason to want me dead. --Irrevenant (talk) 02:10, December 31, 2012 (UTC)

A small Sneak pumping trick

Just north of Helgen there's a ruined tower called South Skybound Watch. The tower itself has some minor loot, hovewer it is guarded by a Wispmother. The trick is to sprint past her into the tower, then as soon as you're in the tower start sneaking and go all the way to the top and hide in a corner near the treasure chest. Wispmother and her escort will start looking around the tower in search of you but will not go all the way to the top; meanwhile the fact that you're hiding from four (relatively)high level enemies will make your Sneak tick like crazy - I went in there with Sneak 16 at level 1 and after several minutes I had 28 Sneak and was level 3, all from just sitting still. Theoretically you could stay there until you have 100 Sneak(if so, consider moving to the small alcove on the eastern side, you can reach it by walking on the broken wall), but I wouldn't recommend it because of the level scaling shenanigans.

Interestingly, in both cases when I did this, the Wispmother eventually started completely ignoring me; she was looking directly at me and dodging arrows when I was shooting her, but did not attack at all except for summoning Shades when low on health - hovewer these are easily dealt with even with a low level character. So when you're satisfied with your Sneak level, you can just kill Wisps and Wispmother. Or if your game is less buggy than mine, just sprint away from the tower/go down the cliff so the Wispmother won't be able to follow you.

Murder while sneaking makes guards hostile?

I'm doing a mission for the Dark Brotherhood, the first one given by Astrid, and I completed the optional objective (Kill Nilsine Shatter-Shield) without being detected. However, the guards in the area are still hostile to me even though it didn't add to my bounty. What gives? - 18:06, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

You usually have to kill the person inside of a private area like the person's home or another cell that relatively unoccupied. Killing out in public always results in the gaurds knowing, even if you remain hidden the entire time.

Muffled Movement

I would like to know if the Muffled Movement perk stacks with the Muffled enchantment and spell. Anyone? DanTheHitman (talk) 22:28, November 23, 2011 (UTC)

From what I understand, the spell is the better option. If you use the spell, do not take the muffled movement perk as the spell would override it. GrandMoffVixen (talk) 22:32, November 23, 2011 (UTC)

I can verify at least one parameter that spawns Hired Thugs.

It has to do with how much of an NPC's owned wealth you've taken. That is, if you've taken a large percentage of their total monetary value in terms of whatever items they're set as owning, then there's a strong chance Hired Thugs will spawn in that NPCs name.

You'll note that in several of the listed occurences, it features NPCs who don't actually own many items, and since what was stolen was likely a high-value item, that immediately comprised the majority of that NPC's wealth being taken.

You can test this on an NPC like Anise. I have done this myself already. She owns very little in her little shack, you won't have to take much.

Forengar owns very little, so taking his soul gems and a few other things in his workshop represented most of his owned monetary wealth (evidently his store items *do not* count as personally owned items). The elven bow stolen from Hrongar was only one item, but vastly more expensive than anything else he owned, and so met the condition. The Hunter mentioned is, of course, very poor and owns very little, so he was another easy one to meet the condition.

The occurence listed with Arcadia is tricker to explain, but I think I can. If you do Forengar's side-quest for Arcadia (it's an errand of some sort in which you drop something off for him, I forget what), her dispositon becomes high enough that most of the ingredients (even the rare ones) and potions physically laying around the shop can be taken for free (not stealing). I suspect the player who listed his occurence with Arcadia had already done this pryor to stealing the book. After he he had (quite legally) taken all her free ingredients and potions, she subsequently had very little owned monetary wealth left, and so all it took was just a little stealing to meet the condition.

Anyway, just wanna clear this up, since it's not mentioned on the main-page. Hired Thugs may still get spawned for other actions (I see another guy claims they spawned just for repeated trespassing), I don't know about that, but I'm pretty sure this clears up the stealing condition.NinotoreS (talk) 09:04, November 24, 2011 (UTC)

This makes sense. Can we edit the main page a little? I think hired thug anecdotes comprise a majority of the article now; it's a little lengthy... Tyrasis (talk) 07:17, December 4, 2011 (UTC)

Hired Thugs are Tough at Low Level

On master difficulty I can't really fight these guys as my hits only do like 5% damage so I suggest running away and leading them out of town and sneaking back to where you want to be. They are quite tough but if you were good at sneaking to steal you should be ok to sneak away from the thugs right? Hmmm apparently some of your friends will fight thugs with you despite if you stole from them too. I lead one into Hod and Gerdur's and all 3 of them, Hod, Gerdur and Ralof were beating up the thug with me. --an0my(talk) 21:00, November 26, 2011 (UTC)

Sneaking away is possible, but you often don't see them coming. For me, I spawned in between a group of them as I was leaving the Riverwood Trader. They randomly show up after stealing when you enter a new cell. Running away is probably the best option as they can be dangerous.

A good trick at low levels with thugs (and at any level with tough foes) is to find rocks/obstacles that require jumping to get onto. An example in Riverwood is the saw mill's wood pile. NPCs don't jump or run off ledges, so getting onto the obstacle keeps them from attacking you unless they have bows/magic/dragon's breath/long reach attacks such as two-handed weapons (the saw mill wood pile is actually wide enough to avoid two-hand attacks). 06:32, January 10, 2012 (UTC)

I use to quickly fast travel elsewhere when they appear. Because they will always in every case start with "We are here to teach you a lesson" before they attack. Because they are not hostile when they're saying this, you may still fast travel if you're not engaged in another combat already. Saved my live plenty of times on Master and now legendary difficulty... Zlorfik (talk) 18:37, March 11, 2013 (UTC)

Shadow Warrior

Does the Shadow Warrior Perk have any advantege over Shadowcloak of Nocturnal? Or is Shadowcloak just a better version? I know they conflict, Shadow Warrior only activate during combat; and its discription "Crouching stops combat for a moment and forces distant opponents to search for a targe." Hints at it being able to loose enemy's attention with much more ease. I just been wondering if it would be a waste to have the two. Zkooma (talk) 18:02, November 29, 2011 (UTC)

Shadowcloak can be used out of combat, such as if you need to sneak about and open doors, chests, etc. Shadow Warrior, on the other hand, doesn't need to be "cast" and isn't limited to once per day. I'd say they fill very different niches and thus would have minimal overlap, unless you're using Shadowcloak to avoid combat and get caught. Tyrasis (talk) 07:20, December 4, 2011 (UTC)
Shadow Warrior actually has a combat use rather than shadowcloak which is only used for stealth - while Shadow Warrior allows you to escape from combat, its real advantage is allowing you to pull off stealth attacks midfight, allowing stupid ammounts of damage with the 15x sneak attack perk with daggers. 14:04, December 11, 2011 (UTC)

noticed something odd

if you sneak with your weapon drawn you move faster than you would if you weren't sneaking and running normally (without sprinting). test it out to see for yourself, although it may depend on the weight of your equipment as i'm not sure if this was meant to be implemented or its just a bug. H4ck0r1 (talk) 21:59, December 1, 2011 (UTC)

This occurs when you draw your weapon and hold the sprint button. once you have begun to move faster you can release the sprint. sheathing your weapon and holding sprint causes you to do a silent combat roll even without the silent roll perk. holding a one handed weapon and equipping a spell in your left hand seems to cause the combat roll when unsheathing your weapon as well as putting it away (testing needed) Pizzahutm11 (talk) 21:10, February 12, 2012 (UTC)

Hired Thugs - Grelka?

Grelka sent the Hired Thugs after me even though I HAVE NEVER STOLEN ANYTHING from her, or her stand. wtf?

I did steal a lot of stuff from Madesi, but never from Grelka... I just bartered with her.

Perhaps it has something to do with Helga's Bunkhouse? I "stole" the Dibella Statue from there (as part of the Debt collecting Thieves Guild quest) and I hear Grelka is technically a member of that "faction" (she sleeps there every night). 01:17, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

Nope. Apparently they're just psychic. Helga sent her own thugs against me and they attacked me when I entered her place again. One the same playthrough, Helga sent thugs as well. NovaZero (talk) 04:00, December 14, 2011 (UTC)

Sneak Nerf?

I noticed lately that sneaking has suddenly become much, much harder. I'm not sure if the last patch bugged it, or if my level has reached a point where the NPC's and enemies have better sight, but my character, who has 100 Sneak, all Sneak perks, the Dark Brotherhood muffled Shrouded Boots, and some sneak fortifying gear, can't even sneak past a bandit anymore. It's getting frustrating because I'm being forced to fight tough, tanky enemies in heavy armor sets, sometimes 1v1, and other times alone versus a group. I used to be able to drop into a moment of stealth with Shadow Warrior, but that doesn't even work nowadays, they continue to attack as if I didn't even do it.

EDIT: Possible SW Fix on PC

If Shadow Warrior isn't working on PC, try the console command to remove it, then add it again:

player.removeperk 00058214

player.addperk 00058214

My shadow Warrior never worked, even before the patch. I just thought it was absurdly difficult to use until I saw a video of it working properly. Since I did this yesterday, though, it's worked better than it ever has before (as in, at all).

Hope it helps. 09:01, December 4, 2011 (UTC)

I conted this is due to a bug very similar to the pickpocket bug. I just enchanted my armor with Fortify Sneak and I sneak dramatically worse. Take off your Fortify Sneak gear and compare your mileage. It would be nice if we can confirm this on the consoles. 21:09, December 11, 2011 (UTC)

Leveling and Skill progression

I've noticed that the NPCs don't even need to be hostile. It requires the following conditions:

  • That you are sneaking.
  • That you are hidden.
  • That you are in their proximity.
  • That you are moving.

Sneak attacks also level it up quite a bit... and I've yet to test it, but it kind of feels like sneak attacks from daggers or one handed weapons level it up faster than ones made with bows. Could just be me (haven't made the time to actually check the difference after either). Haven't even checked how it works with spells with that certain illusion perk (I don't play mage characters much).

In short, find a static NPC, get into a corner behind them and auto-walk/run. NovaZero (talk) 04:05, December 14, 2011 (UTC)

Red Eye

I've noticed that when being detected by the dragon that appears near Kolskeggr Mine, the "Detected" eye turned red for several seconds upon being detected. Does that mean something? Twentydragon (talk) 21:19, December 30, 2011 (UTC)

Further detail: It seems to be linked with the casting of a spell more than sneaking. Twentydragon (talk) 21:52, December 30, 2011 (UTC)
When the eye turns red, it means that you are trying to place a spell too far away from your current position. I think this only happens with conjuration spells and the rune spells.

Sneak attack multiplier on Entchantments

It feels like the Damage caused by Entchantments like Frost Damage will not be multiplied during a Sneak attack.

It it just me or does it happen like this? 15:31, January 8, 2012 (UTC)

Sneaking attack with bow ?

Basically, you can improve your output damage with bow by using Overdraw perk, Fortify archery (Enchantment and potion). But do they get multiple when you execute a sneak attack ?

Please let me know, thank you. 03:51, January 23, 2012 (UTC) A Certain Nord

I haven't done the extensive math or used any sort of tracking, but I can tell you this: With 100 Skill level, 5/5 Overdraw, 144% increased damage from enchantments, as well as having an improved Daedric Bow from 100 Blacksmithing plus ~80% increase in smithing from enchantments and %40 smithing bonus from a potion, the damage is stated as 300+ damage, before arrow quality or elemental damage enchantments are considered. Add to that, the fact that the optimal sneak attack bonus of a bow is x3, and you've already got over 1000 damage in a single attack. That's more than enough to one-shot a standard dragon without a critical hit. A crit pretty much gaurantee's a one-shot on any enemy except elder and ancient dragon's. Also, using fire enchantments is highly recommended, as this will multiply the damage dealt by subsequent hits to absurd levels. Incrognito (talk) 15:42, February 23, 2012 (UTC)

Spouse doesn't always see you

"Your spouse (if you have one) will ALWAYS see you whether your sneaking or not. The only spouses that seem to not be able to spot you are Housecarls and the Companions."

I don't think this is quite correct. Jenassa (my spouse) has a bad habit of wandering into my line of fire while sneaking and firing a bow. When she is hit (and she inevitably dies) the "Sneak x3.0 damage" alert appears and accompanying sound effect plays. So while the character animation may always "see" the character, it would appear that you can still be hidden from them while Sneaking.

Do the one hand perks make more powerfull the sneak attacks? 20:34, March 4, 2012 (UTC)

Ancano becomes Hostile

Contrary to what the Leveling Guide says, Ancano became hostile to me when after I sneak attacked him [Xbox 360]The WZRD (talk) 04:48, March 7, 2012 (UTC)

Another note: this seems to be a result of constantly attacking him while he's downed. Disregard above. The WZRD (talk) 04:48, March 7, 2012 (UTC)

High Fortify Sneak

It seems like that Sneak (or better the Indicator Eye) gets screwed up if you have items with very high fortify sneak enchantments on it (i have 4 Items with 258% fortify sneak (took me 4 hours crafting)). And when i put them on it seems like Sneak doesn't work anymore, the Eye is always open. Does someone know the point behind that?

I found on the page In the Bugs section - "If you have forify sneak enchants under 'active effects' that cumlate to over an extra 100%, every percent over 100 will cause it to reverse making you less stealthy. e.g: if you have a fortify sneak effects cumulated to 150%, your sneak effectiveness will be of 50% (confirmed on xbox 360)."

while i was looking for a reason why my pickpocketing skill actually went down the higher i got it. So it might be some weird coding glitch attached to a few skills. Kinelfire (talk) 23:02, July 27, 2012 (UTC)


There is a part where you have to sneak into the party and give the elf your equipment to sneak in for you, yeah I didnt give him anything and saved it after he walked away.. Is there any way to beat this quest without bringing anything in??

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A couple of changes

Changed the Not-Quite-Hidden-Theft section as a list of NPCs that can send Hired Thugs is unnecessary due to almost every NPC in Skyrim having the capacity to do so. Including generic NPCs such as Bandits or Forsworn. For example one can pickpocket a Forsword Briarhearts heart and have that Forsworn send thugs despite his instant death. Valadez (talk) 20:00, March 21, 2013 (UTC)

Sneak throatcut bug

I need to report a bug when sneak atacking from behind with one dagger equipped.

The result is throatcut but the charater is teleported behind the victim. If the victim is near a wall and facing away from it your character will get behind the wall and fall either to infinty or as in my case down the stairs to skyrim out of Solitude (just lucky).

Can someone confirm on other platforms (i'm on PC).

Also another fix for PC could be to open the console and type the noclip command this will make you fly and get back where you should be, just don't forget to turn it off after that.

Silent Roll doesn't work anymore

Since I installed the Dragonborn add-on, the Silent Roll perk no longer works, no matter what I do. Has anyone else experienced this? It's already a game-wrecker that I can't use bows after installing Dawnguard, but this is too much.... - Erik the Mad (talk) 02:00, July 15, 2013 (UTC)

Will the 25% sneak bonus as a vampire trigger the fortify sneak bug? 03:31, August 1, 2013 (UTC)anon

While using the silent roll perk can you hold down RB on the xbox to do consecutive rolls? I can only seem to do it in third person

Silent roll only works consecutive in third person.

I can only use silent roll consecutive by holding down the RB button on the xbox version in 3rd person. Should you be able to use it in both 1rst and 3rd?

Standing, yet rolling?

I'm not sure if this has been covered by any of the other bugs and/or trivia on the Sneak page, but it seems that you can roll while standing. All you must do is initiate a silent roll, and whilst rolling, exit sneak. If you simply continue to hold sprint, or at least don't stop moving for over 1 and a half seconds, you can continue to roll whilst standing. Would someone mind making sure that this is a thing, and that it's not just my game going crazy? Z3R0xSH4D0W (talk) 02:40, August 5, 2014 (UTC)

Extra note: Entering third person stops the glitch. Z3R0xSH4D0W (talk) 02:55, August 5, 2014 (UTC)
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