My larcenous Dark Elf has just received the Skeleton Key from Nocturnal and now I'm wondering if there is any point to keeping my enormous (100+) collection of keys around.
Are there any situations where a regular key or lockpick is preferred over the Skeleton Key, or can I get rid of all of those and spend far less time scrolling through my extensive inventory?


Unlike a lockpick or the Skeleton Key, a key unlocks the relevant door/container instantly, without you having to play the lockpicking minigame. Moreover, some doors/containers can only be opened with their key. Overall, I doubt you would save much time by stashing your keys somewhere, and if you do you'll run the risk of not having the necessary key on hand for the few locks that require keys.

If you're playing on PC, you can use Darnified UI mod to collapse item groups in the inventory, hiding keys from view.

  • Hmm, since I've happily used SkyUI in Skyrim, I really should check out DarNified UI. Thanks for the tip. – oKtosiTe Feb 11 '14 at 12:59
  • Keychain mod can be used to hide keys when entering inventory or a container menu – user598527 Jun 6 '17 at 9:24

As per the wiki:

The Skeleton Key is an unbreakable lockpick that increases your Security skill by 40 points whenever the key is in your possession

It is only a skill boost. Doors which require keys will still need their respective key, and you still get an insta-unlock by having the respective key in your inventory.

  • Is there any way to know which doors cannot ever be opened by lockpicks or the Skeleton Key so that I could selectively clean my inventory? – oKtosiTe Feb 11 '14 at 12:57
  • Check out this comprehensive list of keys, there are abbreviations there that allow you to filter the keys you possess. – user66184 Feb 11 '14 at 13:38

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