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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition

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Overview of Lockpicking in Skyrim

All across Skyrim you’ll find loot that rightly belongs to you, but malevolent or ignorant people have separated you from your treasure by locking in in containers or behind doors. The nerve! Fortunately a bit of trial-and-error and a lockpick are all you need to restore the balance of nature and claim what should be yours.

Locks come in five grades, from easiest to most difficult; Novice, Apprentice, Adept, Expert and Master. You don’t need any specific perks or skill level to attempt any grade of lock, but the higher the grade of lock and the lower your Lockpicking Skill Level, the smaller the “sweet spot” of any lock will be.

Lockpicking is simple; when you interact with a lock a lockpicking mini-game will begin, the goal of which is to maneuver your lockpick around a 180-degree field using the [LEFT ANALOG] stick. Apply pressure to the lockpick with your [RIGHT ANALOG] stick and, if you’re in or near the right spot you’ll be able to rotate the lock. If not, you’ll strain the lockpick, perhaps breaking it if you damage it enough. Lockpicks, then, are the currency you pay to attempt to pick locks. If you find the “sweet spot” you’ll be able to rotate the lock from its vertical starting position to a horizontal position - at which point the lock will be picked.

Keep in mind that picking locks is not something guards will look fondly at, not to mention the owners of said lock. It’s another reason to work on your sneaking skills. Also be sure to stock up on Lockpicks whenever possible, and if you break a few picks here and there, never fear; breaking Lockpicks will make progress towards levelling up your Lockpicking Skill. The higher the skill, the easier it will be to pick even Master locks.

Locks are an unfortunate reality of life in Skyrim, and come in a variety of difficulties (left). Rotate your lockpick in the lock until you find the sweet spot to open locked containers.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    11 November 2021
  • Last Updated
    7 November 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are well suited for the bitter cold and mountainous terrain which defines the land. Now scarred by civil war, Skyrim faces its darkest days with the return of the legendary dragons and their leader, the World-Eater Alduin. The future of Skyrim and even the lands beyond hangs in the balance, as the people await the prophesized Dragonborn, a hero born with the power of The Voice and the only one who can contend with the dragons. You are that Dragonborn; your task is to investigate why the dragons are returning, and discover a way to defeat them. At the same time, you’re free to explore Skyrim at your own pace, uncovering its many wonders along the way.

Version 1.2

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