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Pros and Cons of Upgrading the Pickpocket Skill Tree

ByMary M. Ward

Dec 16, 2021


Although riskier than the other rogue skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the rewards for pick-pocketing are often worth the danger. This is especially true after investing a few edge points in the skill tree to make pocket picking easier. Unlike lockpicking or speaking, the Pickpocket skill also has some synergy, albeit minimal, with the game’s combat skills.

While the difficulty of picking is determined by the level of the lock itself (ranging from novice to master), Pickpocket works a little differently. There is no mini-game involved, but there is a complex formula that determines whether a Pickpocket attempt is successful. It is also important to know which NPC is targeted, as some are more suspicious than others. Other factors could be what perks the player has gained, what the target NPC is currently doing, and the type of gear the player is wearing. For example, let Skyrim The Dark Brotherhood or Thieves Guild have armor to enhance Sneak and / or Pickpocket.


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It is quite possible to complete a Skyrim play without ever leveling the Pickpocket skill tree. There are very few times during questlines where the skill is needed, and it’s usually more of an optional route that either saves a few seconds or grants extra gold. Pick-pocketing keys, for example, are a convenient way to bypass annoying locks. NPC living in Skyrim cities will carry keys that can be sneakily taken from them. Often, however, their homes will contain safes or chests that will still require a hook for entry.

There are pros and cons to leveling Skyrim’s pickpocket skill tree

There are pros and cons to joining the Thieves Guild and being a pickpocket in Riften.
Image source: [TheGreyLight]/[nexusmods.com]

While the skill is not strictly necessary, it can be useful during the Hard Answers quest. This quest involves several locked doors that are faster and easier to get around by stealing keys. Again, however, the player could alternatively just pick the lock. Pickpocket pairs well with a pure thief build, however, as it’s a way to get the most out of break-in missions or even just hang out. Skyrim cities. It comes down to a recurring problem with the game itself: the economy.

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Once Skyrim players have reached higher levels, gold is rarely a problem. Between looting fallen enemies and digging Skyrim The deepest and longest dungeons, hardly worth the time (or advantage points) to dig for gold in the pockets of non-hostile NPCs. It’s even less worth digging into the pockets of hostile NPCs, as they can simply be looted once they’re killed. The main benefit of leveling the Pickpocket skill tree is that it makes it easier to steal rarer and more valuable items.

High levels in Pickpocket also allow the player to steal things that otherwise would not be listed as an NPC’s possession. This includes jewelry, weapons, and even clothing or armor. Leveling up the Light Fingers perk also makes it easier to steal these items, making failed attempts less frequent. For this reason, the Perfect Touch and Misdirection perks are two of the best reasons to invest advantage points in Pickpocket, as they open up avenues of play that would otherwise be impossible.

A man dressed in guild master's armor in Skyrim

Reaching a skill level of 70-100 is a long road, however, and players will undoubtedly endure many unsuccessful attempts at pickpockets to get there. Unsuccessful Pickpocket attempts are much more costly than unsuccessful Sneak, Lockpicking, or Speech attempts. Hostile NPCs will be notified of your presence and the Dragonborn will be forced to fight at close range. This is generally not recommended for malicious builds, especially when Skyrim archery is such a powerful option for combat. It is more advisable to assassinate an NPC with a bow from a distance, or simply use a dagger once within range of Pickpocket.

Getting caught stealing from non-hostile NPCs is even worse, as it places a bounty on your head, alerts nearby guards, and results in a fine, loss of any stolen goods, or jail time. . Players can save and reload failed attempts to try again, but doing so is tedious, breaks the dip, and usually isn’t worth it. In addition, the probability of successful Pickpocket attempts can be just as easily increased via Skyrim craft skills like alchemy, enchantment, and blacksmithing.

Related: Skyrim: Pros & Cons of Upgrading Light Armor Skill Tree

One of the best reasons to level up Enchanting in Skyrim is that items can be equipped to enhance any playstyle. This includes Pickpocket and it’s at the expense of the Pickpocket skill tree as a whole. Players can easily reach the “90% pass rate” cap just by wearing gear that improves Pickpocket skills. If those players reach level 100 in enchantment, then they can double enchant their gear to increase both Pickpocket and Sneak. This reduces the need to invest advantage points in either tree.

Alchemy works in tandem with Pickpocket in two main ways. First, swallowing a Fortify Pickpocket potion can dramatically increase the chances of pickpocketing attempts. Considering the boost this gives (and increases stacks with enchanted gear), this is all the more reason not to invest in Light Fingers, which is far less versatile than enchantment and enchantment. alchemy. Second, there is the Poisoner advantage.

Use the Pickpocket skill to turn Skyrim NPCs into walking lootable containers

Elder Scrolls Skyrim Stealth Stealth

Which advantages to choose

  • Poisoner: For rogue playstyles who are fed up with seeing Skyrim Repeating sneaky crossbow killing animations, being able to silently kill enemies using poison is a much needed change of pace. Both creative and stealthy, Poisoner finally gives players a reason to carry dozens of poisons. While planting a single vial of poison at a target doesn’t do much damage, what many players don’t realize is that they can reverse multiple poisons at once. This causes a target to take damage from all poisons at once until they are all consumed or the target dies; whichever comes first. The remaining poisons will be left on the corpse and can be collected.
  • Additional pockets: Different from other skills in Skyrim, However, it’s the perks that make Pickpocket interesting rather than the usefulness of the skill itself. Additional inventory space is always useful, and the benefit of additional pockets increases the load capacity by 100 points. This can replace or stack with The Steed, one of the Skyrim best standing stones.

Related: The Best Skyrim Stealth Archer Build (Skills, Perks & Weapons)

What advantages not to choose

  • Master of Keys: While it is useful to steal keys, it is seldom necessary. Picking locks is generally less risky than picking pockets, and it’s always more convenient than trying to find the NPC that matches the door in question. Keys carried by NPCs are also usually for doors, which are always easier to lock than safes or chests behind the door.
  • Light fingers: Surprisingly, getting extra ranks in Light Fingers is usually not worth the advantage points. It’s more economical to rely on enchanted gear, high stealth skill, and possibly some of the later perks higher up the tree instead. If a player commits to picking a particularly difficult pocket, it’s easier to just quickly load up and try again rather than spending advantage points to increase skill.

Next: Skyrim: Pros And Cons Of Upgrading The Lockpick Skill Tree

Skyrim is available on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, and Nintendo Switch.

Secondary Image Source: TheGreyLight / nexusmods.com

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