Are there always enough lockpicks in a level to satisfy all of the level's locks? For instance, if I pick a safe before a door in a level, is it possible that I'll run out of lockpicks and be stuck, or are there always enough scattered about a level to accommodate?
+1 Great question as I have wondered the same. I have to save up and then revisit old areas to unlock safes– ZeroApr 3, 2013 at 17:06
Lockpicks always unlock optional/bonus areas.
You'll notice that certain locks are marked "hairpin" and this means that Elizabeth can open them without needing any lockpicks. These locks are almost always story related, and are just there to keep you from skipping the combat sections. Elizabeth won't pick a lock while you're in a fight.
As far as these optional areas go, I've only ever seen one safe that I had trouble opening with my current lockpick count, and it was very soon after getting Elizabeth. Every other instance of pickable locks I've found there have been plenty of lockpicks to open. In fact, eventually I hit the cap of 30 later in the game.
1I must have missed a ton of lockpicks, because I ran into trouble with some of those "takes 5 lockpicks to unlock" safes. I also had the option turned off that highlighted objects, so that might have been why I had issues.– SternoApr 3, 2013 at 17:08
@Sterno probably. I had highlighted objects on, and I ended the game with about 30 extra lockpicks as well.– Unionhawk ♦Apr 3, 2013 at 17:12
1@Sterno, yeah, there are tons of them in a lot of areas, usually hidden just under an object or in a corner. Sometimes Elizabeth will note them for you. Also, I believe you can purchase lockpicks sometimes from Dollar Bill vending machines - I've only ever seen one, when I was really low.– agent86Apr 3, 2013 at 17:12
1Sidenote: I found that you can purchase lock picks from some late game vendors where you buy ammo.– ZeroApr 3, 2013 at 17:17
1Note to googlers: The first safe (behind the very first locked door) requires you to backtrack after you've found enough lockpicks (there's one right out on the boardwalk, near the carousal). Also, if you open the first safe, you will not have enough lockpicks to open the second one (in the hall of heroes) right away. However, later you will come back through that room on your way out with enough lockpicks (if you've been finding them all). Apr 7, 2013 at 11:05