12 Easy Exploits to Raise Thief Skills in Skyrim
Here is the final part in Null Byte's series on mastering the skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. We have already covered the slick and brutal methods to raise our Spellcasting and Combative skills. Skyrim's intelligent new leveling system has trumped the former methods of spamming repeated moves to raise levels quickly. Rather than casting a spell, or jumping up and down constantly, the new system requires that we use our skills in practice to get experience for them. This causes leveling to be a thing that doesn't happen so often.
Using the skills in practice means that we have to hit our opponents with a blade, or conjure a wolf that actually kills something to gain experience in the respective skill areas. Well, I missed leveling up a few times after I headed into a dungeon. So, I decided to start nitpicking at the way the game gives experience, and I've come up with my lists of exploits for them. We are going to raise all of our thief skills to master level (100) in this tutorial! This tutorial will be presented by listing the skill school, and then a description of the skill, followed by each exploit to raising that skill to 100. Here is what you need to know:
- These exploits do not require you to have skill perks.
- It is recommended that you have the Thief Stone active to receive a 20% experience boost.
Alchemy is the art of making potions and poisons.
- Do not eat ingredients. This does not give you experience because a potion is not created.
- Wear as much clothing as you can to raise your alchemy skill. Having a higher alchemy while crafting potions actually raises it faster.
- Create potions out of all of your ingredients. Use them all, it will maximize experience.
- Buy as many ingredients as possible. Shops replenish daily and Markarth is exactly 25.5 hours away from Riften. Fast-traveling from Markarth to Riften will make sure you get into town during the same time you left—plus 1.5 hours, a day later. This will cut down on waiting for shops to open if you arrive during nighttime, and will allow a near infinite supply of ingredients.
Those trained to use Light Armor make more effective use of Hide, Leather, Elven, Scaled, Glass, and Dragonscale armors.
- Turn the game to an easier difficulty setting. After, travel to any major city, and hit one of the guards. Resist arrest and then proceed to run around the city until you round together 5-10 guards (the more, the better). Make sure you have healing spells or plenty of potions, then let all of the guards beat on you for a good while. Your skill should be level 100 within an hour.
- If you are not strong enough to fight guards, find something small like a Wolf or a Skeever and let them hit for a while.
The art of Lockpicking is used to open locked doors and containers faster and with fewer broken lockpicks.
- Lockpicking is a bit harder to level than the rest of the skills. The best way of boosting the skill is to get the Skeleton Key as soon as possible by completing the "Blindedsided" quest for the Thieves Guild. Upon getting the key, simply find a master-level lock, and purposely break the pick every time (the Skeleton Key can never actually break, though). Every pick attempt that fails will give you quite a bit of experience. This will raise your lockpicking skill very quckly.
- Simply put...pick every lock that you come across. Most of the time, one picked lock is equal to a whole skill level when you are below a lockpicking skill of 50.
Sneaking is the art of moving unseen and unheard. Highly skilled sneaks can often hide in plain sight.
- Right at the start of the game, you can repeatedly sneak attack Hadvir. He won't even attack the player back, and every successful sneak attack yields huge experience. 20 minutes is all you need to get to sneak level 100. This works because Hadvir can't die, and will not fight the player.
- Turn the difficulty up to Master. Fast travel to High Hrothgar and sneak up on anyone who is praying. Perform sneak attacks on them with a fast swinging one-handed weapon, like a dagger, and watch the huge amount of experience you get per successful hit. Make sure you save, you will die often if you don't.
The stealthy art of picking an unsuspecting target's pockets. A skilled pickpocketer is less likely to be caught and is more likely to loot valuables.
- The heavier an item is, the more valuable it is, or the more you steal from pickpocketing, the more likely you are to be caught. However, the bigger the risk of getting caught, the more experience your character will farm from it. The easiest way to level your pickpocketing is to bring your most valuable items with you to a sleeping NPC's house, and then dump your inventory into theirs. After, you can "steal" your stuff back, and get large amounts of experience. Be careful though, and make sure you save after every item you steal, because it is quite easy to get caught if your skill is low.
Speechcraft is a stealth arts skill that allows the player to influence and persuade NPCs to like and trust him or her, sometimes divulging vital information that they would not normally reveal to the average person, and lowering bartering prices.
- Head to Haelga's Bunkhouse, it's in Riften. Find an NPC named Ungrien, and then ask him about the Maven Black-Briar. Keep pushing until you get to the pursuasion speech challenge. You can repeat this challenge over and over, it's only requirement is a speechcraft skill of around 25. This can easily be achieved wearing amulets or jewelery that raise the skill.
There you have it! All of the skills in Skyrim exploited and mastered. Someone should see how fast they can max a character's levels out and post it here. If you'd like to chat about Skyrim with fellow gamers and hackers, head over to the IRC. You can also follow Null Byte on Google+ and Twitter to get updated on our latest articles.