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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Lockpicking

By
Scott Peers

This page details an overview of the Lockpicking skill in Skyrim, including recommended perks, leveling tips, and where to find Lockpicking trainers.

Lockpicking, Skyrim.

Lockpicking Overview

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.

Recommended Perks

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.

Leveling Tips

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

Trainer Skill Level Location
Ma’jhad Expert (Lv. 51 - 75) Member of the wandering Khajiit caravan.
Vex Master (Lv. 76 - 90) Riften, Thieve’s Guild (The Ragged Flagon)

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    24 October 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 used to the bitter cold and mountanous terrain that mark the lands of Skyrim. Wracked by civil war, and threatened by the return of the legendary dragons, Skyrim faces its darkest hour. You must make sense of this maelstrom, explore the frozen tundra and bring hope to the people. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons. You are that Dragonborn.

Version 1.2

  • Introduction to the Races.
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  • Location of every powerful Dragonwall.
  • Search out and defeat every Dragon.
  • How to find hidden, powerful weapons.
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  • Dragonborn DLC covered in full.
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  • Screenshots for the major side-missions.
  • Achievements/Trophy descriptions (includes all 3 DLC packs).
  • Character Creation guide.

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