TESO Lockpicking Guide

While exploring through the Elder Scrolls Online you’ll come across locked treasure chests. In order to pick the lock you need lockpicks, that can be obtained from chests, drawers, boxes, wardrobes scattered all over the world, or you can buy them from vendors.

How to pick a lock in TESO

  • Position the lockpick over a pin. You can position over any pin you want, there is no particular order in which you have to pick the pins.
  • Press and hold down your left mouse button until the pin starts wiggling
  • Release the left mouse button as soon as it starts wiggling or you will break your lockpick. If you release too early or too late the pin will reset, and you have to start over with the same pin. For harder chests, you have less time to do that, thus, try not to repeat any of the pins, try to do them doing the first time.
  • If you’re successful, the pin stays locked down when you release the mouse button
  • Move the lockpick over the next pin and repeat

Don’t forget that you have limited time for this activity, until the timer bar empties, or the lock piking will fail, and you’ll have to start over. Some locks are more difficult to pick than others, so practice with easier ones. Practice makes perfect, so in time you’ll learn to release the mouse button even before wiggling starts.

Tamriel is a dangerous place. If you let your guard down while you focus on lockpicking, you might get attacked. Enemy NPCs might do this anywhere in the world, and hostile players will love the opportunity to surprise you in Cyrodiil. But then again, you never know what loot might be in that chest … maybe it’s worth bringing a friend to watch your back?
Source: Ask Us Anything: Variety Pack 11

5 thoughts on “TESO Lockpicking Guide

  1. kolgrim

    With the higher level chests you get locked out from the chest for a few seconds upon failure. I guess this is to allow other players to get a chance at picking the lock.

  2. DavidDavid

    Don’t recall all the levels, but there were Simple, Intermediate, Advanced, Master, and Impossible that I have done. You can’t let one pin reset on impossible.

  3. Dave Hofmann

    Hey so I’m having trouble finding the higher level chests. I’m level 45 in Ebonhart pact and so far 99% of the chests I’ve found are simple. I’ve opened at least 100 chests (don’t quote me on that) and I regularly scour every nook and cranny of every area I travel through. To date I’ve unlocked about 10-15 intermediate chests and I tried to open a master lock but it was the 3rd chest I’d found and some guy immediately took the chests upon my first fail.

    I don’t know if something about my situation is preventing more advanced chest drops but I have a few theories.

    1) the time it takes to pick a lock
    I rarely unlock chests within the first 15 seconds of the 30 second window allowed for picking simple locks. I’ve often wondered if the complexity of chest drops increase for those who regularly pick a lock before the halfway mark.

    2) My level is too high for the area I’m in
    I’m a little OCD about finishing every quest before I move to a new area. That said, I almost never have a quest that is higher difficulty than yellow for me. That ONE time I found the master chest, I was a young level 15 in Deshaan. I can’t help but wonder if I were in areas that were a bit more dangerous for me that the chests would at least upgrade to intermediate locks.

    3) Race
    Alliance overviewss seem to describe the Daggerfall Covenant as a merchant alliance, the moneymakers. I’ve also noticed that the guild halls in the Aldmeri Dominion a packed full of chest, desks, closets, and drawers. My character is allied with the Ebonhart pact which occasionally has 2 chests and 1 cupboard in the guild halls. Are chest drops different for each Alliance?

    4) My Race
    Much like theory number 3, I’ve wondered if race affects drops. In Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the Imperial race had a racial bonus that improved treasure drops. Are there different treasure drop percentages per race in ESO too?

    What are your thoughts?

  4. sagesource

    Chests should be taken out of the game. Their contents are no longer worth the effort of finding and picking them, and their incongruous and improbable appearance over and over again at the same place breaks immersion (a plant might grow again, a mineral deposit might erode to show a new surface, but a chest doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere). I simply throw away treasure maps.


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