So in pick-pocketing, you have the option to steal from somebody's inventory, and/or place something into it. Outside of leveling exploits and quests, what function does placing actually have? Can you use for stealth kills or something?

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    Not 100% related, but in that other famous Bethesda game (Fallout 3/4) you can do the same thing and plant bombs there... Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:19
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    You can also place heavy items in their inventory to burden them if you plan on fighting them and want to ensure they cant run or move to chase you. Like 100 dragon bones, which most players will have after about 30 minutes of playing the game...
    – TylerH
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 5:46
  • 10
    We call this put-pocketing and some practice it IRL
    – Louis CAD
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 14:04
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    This was one of my favourite things in ES:Oblivion with the item creation - Make a hat that causes Fire damage to the wearer, reverse pickpocket it onto a sleeping NPC, Wake them, step back and be amused as they put their new hat on and slowly burn to death.
    – SeanR
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 8:12
  • 3
    @Adrian SEO injection is a sort of put-pocketing ;)
    – Louis CAD
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 14:24

8 Answers 8


Another lesser known use for reverse pickpocketing is to remove the stolen flag from items.

If you reverse pickpocket a stolen item onto someone and kill them it will no longer be considered stolen.

  • 221
    Skyrim Ethics: 101
    – Ranger
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 14:54
  • 46
    Today I learned.
    – Alan
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 15:15
  • 21
    LOL.... that's awesome... "here, the money I stole" kills whoever he just gave money too SWEET, NOT STOLEN LOOT!
    – Patrice
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 17:35
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    Money isn't marked as stolen though. It's more like "Here is this giant sword I just stole, now plant it on the shopkeeper and kill him to make it unstolen."
    – Nelson
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 2:42
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    I always though it odd that taking an item from a live person permanently marks the item as stolen (and therefor hard to sell), but murdering everyone in the area and THEN taking their stuff is considered socially acceptable.
    – GreySage
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 18:37

Yes, you can poison people by placing poison into their inventory.

Reverse pickpocketing a poison using the Poisoned perk does not count as a crime, even if the magical effect of the poison (e.g. "damage health") would otherwise be considered a criminal act if applied any other way. This makes it entirely possible to kill or weaken innocent enemies, right in front of everyone, without incurring a bounty (unless you get caught, as noted @Kevin).

Also, reverse pickpocketing a paralysing poison into your target's inventory and then pickpocketing them as soon as the effect starts to wear off allows you to take any item without being caught, no matter the chance of success.

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    Reverse pickpocketing does not count as a crime unless you get caught. But then you'll be going for a dinky little ~40 gold pickpocketing bounty, instead of the 1000 bounty for murder.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 6:30
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    What? So you can just place poison in their inventory and they drink it? And i thought the poisoned apples in Oblivion were odd...
    – Gigala
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 8:47
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    @Gigala Think of it as a contact poison
    – Landric
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 11:32
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    @Gigala I think they are writing about giving the NPC an armor with a poison or damage health enchantment, not giving them a potion. Edit: Dragonrage talks about it in his answer with more detail : there is a special perk to allow poisoning people by giving them poisonous potions! It's not by default..
    – Shautieh
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 11:36
  • Finally! I can each that little $#&% some manners so that he can think twice before calling me a milk-drinker again!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 20:00

If you reverse pickpocket fancy arrows onto an archer (and take his lousy arrows) who regularly practices his archery, you can get an endless supply of that type of arrow from his archery target whenever he practices.

  • 21
    Great bug exploit!
    – Shautieh
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 11:37
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    This also works if your follower is naturally an archer, you can pick up daedric arrows off of corpses.
    – durron597
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 22:57

If you reverse-pickpocket equippable items, the NPC may equip them. This is useful if you have an unarmed follower who refuses to trade with you, like Maurice Jondrelle, who appears in the Blessings of Nature quest. If you reverse-pickpocket a sword and some armor to him, he has a better chance of surviving the quest.

For that particular NPC, the Elder Scrolls Wiki says that you have to reverse-pickpocket him before you talk to him for the first time, or it won’t work.

  • 4
    Interesting. So it's a cheat that only works if you're also cheating by taking advantage of knowing who a character is that your character hasn't met yet.
    – Dronz
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 16:21

You can use this to drop poison into their pockets and stealthy kill/damage them, but only if you have the poisoned perk in the pickpocket perk tree.

see here for a description of the perk

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    “The poisoned perk in the pickpocket perk tree” — try saying that ten times fast!
    – PLL
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 10:06
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    @PLL The poisoned perk purchased per the pickpocket perk path.
    – Dronz
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 16:22
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    [blows raspberry] I did it!
    – Ben
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 5:43

I would like to stress upon the "pickpocketing someone while the paralysis effect has just been weared off for anything(as mentioned by @Exerion)" a bit more:

Since Alchemy is quite hard to level up. Whenever my player levelled up, I used to go to an Alchemy trainer, train 5 levels, and steal the money. But, as my level grew in Alchemy, the chances of stealing large amounts became 0 no matter what i did(tried all sorts of potions and stuff). And then I thought of an IDEA. I put a paralysis potion in the trainer's pocket and as soon as the stealing option became enabled, I stole my money back successfully.

Also levelled up other skills like Archery, Enchanting, Smithing etc the same way. It saved me a fortune(hundreds of thousands).

  • 1
    Alchemy is not that hard to level up, you just have to make the right potions, Blue Mountain Flower + Blue Butterfly Wing + Giant's Toe and Glowing Mushroom + Glow Dust + Hanging Moss spring to mind...
    – durron597
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 22:58
  • @durron597 yeah i knew about that, still used to be very hard to level up after 50 or so ;) Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 6:58
  • Alchemy is IMO one of the easiest to level up once you've gotten decent fortify alchemy gear. Just wear four pieces of it, then use garralab.com/skyrim/alchemy.php to tell you what potions to make, then sell the potions to alchemists and buy all their ingredients (even the expensive ones), rinse/repeat. Usually I carry around a bunch of expensive potions and just stop at the alchemist when I'm doing my shop rounds for dungeon loot, eventually you have so many ingredients it becomes a cake walk.
    – durron597
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 19:02
  • hmmm, alchemy is the first thing i level up, so no gear :) Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 19:31
  • You can do this pretty early on if you work on enchanting as well, right from the beginning of the game go to solitude you can probably find at least one piece of fortify alchemy gear in radiant raiment and then you can start the fortify enchanting potion with blue butterfly wings and snowberries. Obviously leveling up alchemy is going to be pretty tough to do in Riverwood, but if you wait a little bit then yeah.
    – durron597
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 20:39

Sometimes it is an optional way to complete some missions, like the Quest where you have to put the ring in the guys pocket


If you reverse pickpocket gold onto a merchant immediately after investing in them, you can increase the investment permanently. There seems to be a 16 bit limit in place where raising a merchant's gold much past 32,500 will cause it to freeze. You can sell items, but won't receive gold in return. Also, it may be wise to reverse pickpocket multiple smaller amounts so you are less likely to get caught.

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