Loot is an important part of the fun in any RPG, but it isn’t always taken from treasure chests, broken crates and the bodies of fallen foes. Sometimes, the player just helps themself to whatever they want. That's called stealing, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has an entire guild dedicated to it.

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Skyrim players looking to pursue a life of crime will first need to select an appropriate race for their character, then look to practice and level up the most useful skills. But these are thieves we’re talking about. They like taking shortcuts towards their goals, and they like obtaining items of value. With that in mind, certain items can be a boon to those looking to get rich through unscrupulous means.

10 Potion Of Fortify Sneak & Lockpicking

lockpicking in Skyrim

This potion boosts a thief’s two favorite activities in one go. Since its ingredients are all fairly abundant, it’s easy to make a plentiful supply. Under the influence of this potion, a thief has a much higher chance of sneaking into an off-limits area without getting caught.

There are various recipes for this potion, but the easiest ingredients to gather are:

  • Ashen Grass Pod, which is found anywhere there is ash on Solstheim.
  • Namira’s Rot, a common fungus. A high concentration of grows in Chillwind Depths in The Reach.
  • Purple Mountain Flower, which grows next to nearly every mountain road in Skyrim.

9 Blackguard’s Gloves

Glover Mallory's house in Skyrim

These gloves grant the wearer the highest possible Lockpicking bonus, making them an essential accessory for any would-be burglar. To get them, the player must first join the Thieves Guild in Riften, complete the “Taking Care Of Business” quest, receive the Thieves Guild armor, and talk to both Delvin and Vex.

Then the Dragonborn must travel to Solstheim, speak to Glover Mallory (the Raven Rock blacksmith), and complete his quest, “Paid in Full”. He’ll then award the player with the key to his basement, where the entire Blackguard’s armor set can be found.

8 Blackguard’s Boots

pickpocketing in Skyrim

Like the rest of the Blackguard’s armor set, these boots are just as good as the Guild Master’s equivalent (if not better), but the player can get them without completing the entire Thieves Guild questline first. While wearing these, the player will be a much more effective pickpocket.

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All the budding thief needs to do is take a quick detour to Solstheim, following the same steps above to gain access to Glover Mallory's basement.

7 Chillrend

Chillrend in its display case in Skyrim

This legendary one-handed sword inflicts heavy ice damage and has a chance to paralyze its target. It's very useful for thieves less interested in winning a battle and more interested in slowing or stopping a foe, so as to be able to escape.

Chillrend is inside a display case at the end of the tunnels beneath Riftweald Manor in Riften. This area is accessed during the Thieves Guild quest “The Pursuit” during the Thieves' Guild questline. The sword is leveled, so to get the greatest benefit, the player should wait until they are level 46 before acquiring it.

6 Ring Of Peerless Alteration

Alteration magic can be extremely useful for thieves, but none of the unique items associated with thieves’ quests provide any boosts to it. There are also no unique rings well suited to a life of crime, so it makes sense for a thief to craft their own ring of alteration (if they can’t steal one).

For mages, Alteration is most useful for providing protection in the absence of armor. However, thieves will get more use out of the spells which detect creatures and people through walls, and those that cause paralysis. Telekinesis is also useful for a thief, allowing the player to take items that would otherwise be out of reach.

5 Nightingale Blade

Nightingale Blade - Skyrim Best One Hand Weapons

This sword absorbs 25 points of both Health and Stamina on every strike. Thought this won’t directly help a thief to steal anything, but it will certainly help them to win a fight on those occasions where thievery turns to thuggery.

The blade is awarded to the player for completing the “Hard Answers” quest, which is part of the main Thieves Guild questline. It’s also the quest before “The Pursuit”, during which Chillrend, an equally useful sword, is found. The player will then either have a tough choice to make between the two, or can take up dual-wielding.

4 Amulet Of Articulation

using persuasion in Skyrim

While most of a thief’s deceit occurs hidden in shadow, out of sight and hearshot of their victims, sometimes they have to employ guile face-to-face. That’s where the Speech skill comes into its own. This amulet not only boosts Speech, it also makes Persuasion checks almost impossible to fail.

It’s one of several useful items granted to the player upon completion of the main Thieves Guild questline. In what appears to be a bug, the degree to which the amulet boosts Speech is random, ranging from 5% to 35%. Unfortunately, there’s no way to improve the chance of getting a bigger boost.

3 Blackguard’s Armor

talking to Glover Mallory in Skyrim

This armor grants the wearer 50 extra points of carrying capacity, which is very useful for any thief on a stealing spree. Compared to the Guild Master’s Armor (which has the same enchantment) the Blackguard’s Armor doesn't offer as much protection, but it is lighter. Additionally, it can be obtained early in the Thieves Guild questline, instead of at the end of it.

RELATED: Skyrim: Mistakes Everyone Makes Playing A Stealth Build

Since it's available early on, the player can actually make use of it while completing the bulk of the Thieves Guild quests. It’s located in Glover Mallory’s basement in Raven Rock, along with the rest of the Blackguard’s Armor set.

2 Nightingale Bow

Skyrim nightingale bow

During a thief’s career, they’re likely to have to fight off a variety of pursuers – some with physical attacks, some with magi. This bow (one of the best in the game) is useful against both. It inflicts both freeze and shock damage, and so reduces the target’s Stamina and Magicka. If the target doesn't die, they’ll at least be less dangerous.

The bow originally belongs to Karliah, but she gives it to the player after they complete “Blindsighted." It’s another leveled item, meaning the player should be at least level 46 at the time of obtaining it in order to get the maximum benefit.

1 Volsung

a thief wearing the Volsung mask in Skyrim

This mask boasts three powerful enchantments, all of which are useful for thieves:

  • Increases carrying capacity by 20, allowing the thief to carry more stolen loot.
  • Improves prices by 20%, so stolen loot can be sold for more profit.
  • Allows the wearer to breathe underwater, which is handy when using flooded routes for entry or escape.

In order to obtain it, the player must defeat the Dragon Priest of the same name, who resides in Volskygge, a nordic tomb in the northwest of Skyrim. The bad news for thieves is that it cannot be pickpocketed.

NEXT: Skyrim: Every Dragon Priest & Their Stories

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