I received the "Lights out!" quest from Jaree-Ra, but it does not match with the personality of my characters. Since I cannot report him to any guard or other authority, I decided to kill him without doing the quest in order to see what happens. However, I assume that he is marked as essential.

How can i check if an NPC is marked as essential or not without dropping them to low HP before realizing they cannot be killed?
Console commands are an option.

I know there is a console command to set them to non-essential but I am specifically trying to check their essential status in advance.

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    Save, attempt to kill, load
    – DCShannon
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 19:28
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    @Dragonrage i'm not sure i understand what you mean, am i unclear on something in my question?
    – Vahx
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 19:34
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    @DCShannon yes that is an option but does require mt to go through the killing process to test essential status.
    – Vahx
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 19:34
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    i'm just wondering why you don't want to attempt to kill to determine if they are essential, as there are several ways to do it without taking hardly anytime, or causing the person to try to attack you
    – Dragonrage
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 19:38
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    if you are using the console it takes all of a half a second to kill the person. open console, click on the person, type kill, hit enter, close console. if they are not lying on the ground dead, they are essential. pretty quick and easy. if this works for you, i can make it an answer.
    – Dragonrage
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


According to this wiki of Skyrim console commands, you can select the NPC in question (generally using your cursor) and enter the command IsEssential which will return 1.00 if they are, in fact, essential.

Related functions: To check whether an NPC is essential to begin with, select him/her in the console (so that the ref ID appears), and enter IsEssential - if the console returns "1.00", the NPC is essential.

  • the simple answer i was looking for; tested and works
    – Vahx
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 22:17
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    Related: If you don't mind breaking the set quest pattern, you can use SetEssential 0 which makes the NPC killable.
    – March Ho
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 1:54

If you have 100 points in Pickpocketing and the perk that allows you to pickpocket equipped items, you can test them. You will not be able to remove equipped items on essential NPCs, even with the trait.

Source: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Essential_NPCs

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    +1 because this would be a good way to check on consoles where commands are not an option
    – Vahx
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 22:16

An alternative way to do this using the console is to use the kill command on them. You avoid combat, and if you want them dead and they aren't essential they will be dead. Otherwise they will lay on the ground for awhile. To use the kill command open the console and click on the target then type kill and hit enter.

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