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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Scott Peers

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
    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.
  • How to complete every storyline quest.
  • Where to find and conquer every side-mission.
  • Location of every powerful Dragonwall.
  • Search out and defeat every Dragon.
  • How to find hidden, powerful weapons.
  • Over 200 captioned screenshots provide even more help.
  • Dragonborn DLC covered in full.
  • Dawnguard DLC covered in full.
  • Screenshots for the major side-missions.
  • Achievements/Trophy descriptions (includes all 3 DLC packs).
  • Character Creation guide.

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