Elder Scrolls Online – How to Lockpick Chests

Who doesn't like their treasure? Learn how to unlock chests in Elder Scrolls Online.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Loot is found all over Tamriel in Elder Scrolls Online. Often, this treasure is found in locked treasure chests at random locations. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you try to unlock chests, as well as the best way to go about unlocking them.

Recommended Videos
Finding and unlocking chests

Treasure chests are found in levels ranging from easy to impossible and their spawn points are randomly selected. One chest found spawned in the exact same spot three times in a row, within three to five minutes of each other.

Unlike prior Elder Scrolls video games, these chests have a timer that you must beat to unlock the chest. The timer counts down from 20 seconds. If you run out of time, the lock screen will disappear and the chest will be inactive to you for approximately five seconds. Keep in mind that other players will be trying to get these chests as well and may try to get the chest while it is inactive to you following a failed attempt.

Lots of lockpicks

Lockpicks will definitely be needed, and you will want to make sure you keep a handy supply of in your inventory. Since there is no lockpicking skill in this game, anyone has a go at the chests and they do break easily. Lockpicks can be found as loot, but also in various containers (such as crates and furniture) throughout Tamriel.

How to unlock a chest

Hover the lock pick over a pin and press down. Watch very closely to catch when the pin starts to barely wiggle. When you see the wiggle, let go of the pin so that it will lock into place and move on to the next pin. If you keep the pin pressed down too long, there are two options that can happen:

  1. The lockpick will break
  2. The pin will jump to locked position

Either option can become very frustrating with the limited amount of time to open the chest. Lock combinations are random. The second attempt to open the chest will more than likely be different from the first.

Once all four pins are in their open positions, the lock screen will close and you can open the chest and revel in your prize.

For more Elder Scrolls Online tips and information, be sure to check out the ESO Guides Directory and check out the information available.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Mary Yeager
Mary Yeager
I am a wahm mom of two who loves gaming, both electronically and table top.