Skyrim Skeleton Key Guide – The Unbreakable Lockpick!

Skyrim is known for its unique quests. And where there are quests, there are quest items.

While some quest items in Skyrim have no use but occupy space in your inventory even though you didn’t want to start that particular quest (I’m looking at you, Meridia’s Beacon).

Some quest items hold utility and provide such amazing powers that you don’t want to complete the quest, leading to the item being removed from your inventory.

The Skeleton Key is one such amazing quest item, which, once you get it, you don’t want to let go of. I’m sure there are many gamers out there wondering if they could keep the Skeleton key while also completing the side quest it’s associated with.

The Skeleton in Skyrim is an unbreakable lockpick given to you as part of the thieves guild mission. You can keep the lockpick by not completing the mission. However, if you gain level 100 in lockpicking, you can buy a perk that stops lockpicks from breaking. You can then complete the mission and keep the key.

In this guide, we’ll check out the Skeleton key in-depth, how you get it, and how you can keep it.

Spoiler alert: You can’t keep the Skeleton Key forever; you can, however, use two methods:

1) Use the console command to add the object to your inventory.

2) Exploit the key till you can upgrade Lockpicking to the max.

Read on and find out!

Wait! But before you read on, have you exhausted every quest in Skyrim? Are you tired of the same old dungeons, draugrs, and dragons? It may be time to set sail for new adventures. Discover new quests and mythical lands with our guide to games like Skyrim. Click through to my Games like Skyrim article and discover your next RPG addiction today.

What Is The Skeleton Key?

Players aren’t expected to keep the Skeleton Key permanently, even though it’s an incredible addition to the inventory.

To get this rare item, the Dragonborn must become a full-fledged member of the Nightingales, a cult devoted to Nocturnal.

The Skeleton Key is a unique item that allows players to pick locks without having to reach the end of the Lockpicking perk tree.

The Skeleton Key is not an item seen in Skyrim only; it has been a part of the Elder Scrolls series for a long time and has been seen in multiple instances throughout the Elder Scrolls series.

Players witness Nocturnal using the Skeleton Key to enter Sotha Sil’s mind in the climactic portions of ESO’s Clockwork City DLC, proving that the key can open more than just doors. However, in the hands of the Dragonborn, it serves only as a lockpick (what a shame).

The Skeleton Key can only be obtained towards the conclusion of the Thieves Guild questline, which is a group that most players who aren’t primarily focused on stealth usually avoid. Just remember that while playing as a thief, it’s easy to get lots of bounty. So it might be worth you checking out my Skyrim bounty guide before proceeding.

It is an unbreakable lockpick and can be used to exploit the entire lockpicking minigame of the game.

The Skeleton key will help you unlock any lock in Skyrim without a problem. Moreover, you can easily escape any jail cell in Skyrim because you will find the Skeleton key in your inventory when you’re thrown in jail.

How do I Get The Skeleton Key?

Skyrim players will learn about the skeleton key for the first time after finishing the mission “Hard Answers,” revealing that the current guild head, Mercer, took it from its resting place in the Twilight Sepulcher.

As a result, he made Nocturnal angry and sealed off access to her domain of Oblivion, which had previously provided the Thieves Guild with good fortune. The next step is for the player to find Mercer and get the skeleton key from him.

Keep completing missions for the guild as you approach the “Blindsighted” quest. This is the hardest task in the guild plot, requiring the Dragonborn to battle a massive Dwemer ruin before facing off against Mercer in a boss fight.

Mercer is an extremely tough boss, so ensure you’re stocked up on healing potions and food items as you proceed to the big fight.

After killing Mercer, you can pick up the Skeleton key from his corpse. How lovely.

Because it is a Daedric relic, this tool will never break, no matter how poorly you pick locks. It will always appear on the screen as a key-shaped lockpick.

The player must return the key by completing the “Darkness Returns” quest. Until you don’t travel to the Twilight Sepulcher to return the Skeleton key, it is yours to exploit and unlock every lock in Skyrim!

Note, though, keeping the key with you will leave the Thieves Guild questline incomplete, and you won’t be able to lead the guild or get the loot, armor, and special Nightingale skills which come after completing the Thieves Guild questline.

Fret not, fellow Skyrim fanatics! I will tell you how you can complete the Thieves Guild questline and get the unbreakable lockpick in your inventory.

Eager to learn? Read on, traveler!

How do I Keep The Skeleton Key?

The main question that players ask once they taste the power of the skeleton key is, “How do I keep the Skeleton Key in Skyrim?”.

Well, the answer’s pretty simple: You can’t.

Not officially, though, but don’t worry, gamers always find backdoors to get what they want in a game.

After killing Mercer, you can pick up the Skeleton key from his corpse. How lovely.

If you’re playing on PC, you can simply use mods (namely the Unbreakable Lockpick mod or the Easy lockpicking mod) or type in a console command to get the skeleton key.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to use the easy way or you’re gaming on a console, then simply use the Skeleton key to get the unbreakable lockpick.

Confused? Stick with me and I’ll explain.

How Do I Use Console Command To Get The Skeleton Key?

Using console commands to get the Skeleton key is the easiest way to complete the ‘Darkness Returns’ quest and get the key in your inventory.

  1. Complete the quest and return the Skeleton key to the Twilight Sepulcher.
  2. The key will be removed from your inventory, and the quest will be marked complete.
  3. Press the (~) key, and type:

“player. additem 003a070 1”

followed by

“player. addperk 10F13F”

  1. Press the Enter key, and a new Skeleton key will be added to your inventory.

This is the easiest way to complete the thieves guild storyline while keeping the Skeleton key in your inventory.

But if you’re an adventurer like me, and you don’t like the easy way out, read on to find out how you can get the unbreakable lockpick without using mods or console commands.

How Do I Use The Skeleton Key To Get The Unbreakable Lockpick?

You might think, “Isn’t the Skeleton Key the unbreakable lockpick?”.

Yes, the Skeleton key is the unbreakable lockpick in Skyrim, but if you navigate to the last upgradable perk in the Lockpicking skills tree, you’ll find the unbreakable lockpick perk that you can unlock at Level 100 Lockpicking.

Reaching Level 100 is not easy, but it is extremely easy with the help of the Skeleton Key.

  1. Once you get the Skeleton key, start unlocking locks throughout Skyrim!
  2. In the thieves guild, you will find many treasure chests with different levels of expertise.
  3. Keep unlocking Master and Expert locks with the Skeleton key to quickly upgrade your Lockpicking skill.
  4. Once you reach Level 100, upgrade the Unbreakable perk in the Lockpicking perk tree, and complete the ‘Darkness Returns’ quest.
  5. Voila! You have the unbreakable lockpick now, and you can complete the Thieves Guild quest line!

Read more amazing Skyrim blogs on the website to learn more Skyrim tips and tricks!


  • The skeleton key Lockpick can be obtained by starting a thieves guild mission.
  • The key has been featured in multiple Elder Scrolls games.
  • The lockpick can open any lock in the game instantly.
  • The key is a Daedric relic that will never break.
  • The lock can be taken from Mercer’s corpse after defeating him.
  • The skeleton key lockpick can be acquired on PC by using the Command Console.
  • You can keep the lockpick by not completing the last thieves guild quest and getting the unbreakable lockpick at level 100 lockpicking.

What will your next RPG be?

Do you feel like you’ve explored every inch of Skyrim and exhausted every quest available? Are you itching for new lands to conquer and fresh adventures to embark on? Don’t settle for a lackluster gaming experience – there are countless other games out there that can offer the same thrill and excitement as Skyrim.

Discover your next epic adventure with our guide to games like Skyrim. From mythical creatures to enchanted landscapes, our curated selection of games will transport you to new worlds and challenge your inner hero like never before. So don’t let boredom hold you back – click through to my games like Skyrim guide and unlock a new realm of endless possibilities today.


Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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