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Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Lockpicking Guide

Lockpicking has been a entertaining and rewarding feature found in nearly every Elder Scrolls game to date. Bringing back that experience, ZeniMax added it to The Elder Scrolls Online as well. A satisfying, but sometimes complicated process, lockpicking usually involves exploiting a lock mechanism to open a chest that (hopefully) contains valuable loot.

Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Lockpicking

Lockingpicking is a nifty little feature in ESO that allows players to use lockpicks to pry open treasure chests that spawn all over Tamriel. This process involves using small tools to manipulate the internal mechanisms of a lock to force it to unlock.

When you find a chest and opt to try it you’ll get a screen that displays the insides of a lock including 5 spring-loaded pistons that have to be forced down in a specific sequence before the timer runs out to unlock the chest.

ESO Lockpicking


You’ll have to be rather quick and figure out the sequence. Simply use the tool to apply pressure to the pistons until it starts to wiggle. Once it starts that you need to release and, if timed correctly, the piston should stick. Repeat the process for each piston until all 5 are down and the lock should open.

There’s also the option to force the lock but this has a rare chance of being successful. It’s also worth noting that there’s a chance that you will break your lockpicks if you fail to get the pistons to stick.

The contents of chests vary greatly but they can include potions, crafting materials, armor, weapons, and more. The rarity of the contents also varies wildly. Also, the difficulty of the lock on chests increases with zone levels. So if you’re in a level 40+ zone a treasure chest will be more difficult to unlock than one found in a level 20 zone.

Elder Scrolls Online Lockpicking Skill

As with pretty much everything else you can do in The Elder Scrolls Online there is a skill and leveling system behind lockpicking. Each and every time you attempt to pick a lock you’ll earn experience for the skill. It doesn’t matter if you fail to open a chest or not, you’ll still gain XP for attempting it.

ESO Lockpicking Treasure Chests


As you level up the lockpicking skill the various lock difficulties will become slightly easier to open.

Where to Get Lockpicks

Because you’ll randomly find treasure chests all over the world you’ll want to keep a good stock of lockpicks on your character at all times. Lockpicks can be found in random containers such as urns, crates, or boxes but they can also be purchased from general merchants found in any town.

Lockpicks generally cost around 10 to 13 gold each when purchased from a merchant. Make sure you’ve always got about 25-50 on hand at any time so when you come across chests you’ll have plenty to spare if you break any during the picking process.

Elder Scrolls Online Lockpicking Guide

Having a hard time figuring out how to crack open treasure chests that you come across while traveling across Tamriel? It can be a tricky skill to master but with practice you can easily improve your attempts.

If you need a quick guide to lockpicking you should watch this useful video:

This video provides a short summary of how lockpicking works, where to get lockpicks, and a few pointers for cracking open those treasure chests. It’s a decent little guide.

For additional information, plus tips and tricks for leveling up your characters fast, ridiculously good builds for PvP and PvE, and much more – CLICK HERE NOW.

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