This page details an overview of the Lockpicking skill in Skyrim, including recommended perks, leveling tips, and where to find Lockpicking trainers.
Lockpicking increases the “target area” area of a lock, making it easier to pick locks. Most perks in the Lockpicking tree make Lockpicking even easier, increase the treasure you’ll find in containers, or make your lockpicks unbreakable.
There’s only so much one can say about Lockpicking. Most of the skills help you pick locks easier, with a few loot-building perks thrown in.. presumably because the developers understandably couldn’t think of real innovations to deal with Lockpicking. If you played Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, you know what you’re in for. The fine folks at Bethesda wisely took their better lock-picking mini-game and transplanted it into Skyrim. Just make sure you don’t get caught doing it, guards don’t take kindly to innocent mechanical inquiries.
There’s not really much to say about the perks in this tree - none of them are worth investing in unless you have over-leveled to an absurd degree and you really, really hate picking locks. The mini-game is easy enough, and simply increasing your skill should suffice to make it trivial. You can buy plenty of picks from Tonilia to offset what you lose. If you absolutely hate the mini-game, get Unbreakable, then there’s absolutely no chance of failure or resource management, but even that requires six perks to reach.
Fortunately the skill levels fairly quickly as you succeed at picking locks, so just go around towns at night and unlock doors. No need to pillage and plunder, just unlock and leave, and don’t get caught by the guards. The only real way to “grind” this skill aside from increasing it via trainers is to simply buy lockpicks from Tonilia at the Thieve’s Guide every time you visit, presumably between Delvin and Vex’s radiant quests. At the end of this process you’ll end up with a massive amount of lockpicks, which you can use to increase your skill, if you don’t mind wasting them. Every time you break a pick in a lock, you get some experience, so simply find a Master lock (there’s such a chest in the Thieve’s Guild) and break your lockpick off in it. Weigh down your analog stick to keep the picks breaking and you’ll slowly inch this skill up.
Lockpicking Trainer Locations
|Expert (Lv. 51 - 75)
|Member of the wandering Khajiit caravan.
|Master (Lv. 76 - 90)
|Riften, Thieve’s Guild (The Ragged Flagon)