As I slowly explore the enormous world of Skyrim, I see all sorts of different symbols appear on my compass. I know they indicate that I should go in that direction to find something, and that the symbol tells what type of thing it is. Some are relatively easy to decipher, but many are not. So I'd like to know what the different symbols mean so that I can know whether I should seek them out or save them for later.

1 Answer 1


What we've got definitely isn't comprehensive, and portions may be too specific:

  • big house = Settlement

  • small house = House

  • Mill = Wheat mill

  • Water Wheel = Lumber Mill

  • sickle = Farm

  • horseshoe = Stable

  • anchor = Port

  • mine = Mine

  • shack = Shack

  • lighthouse = Lighthouse

  • imperial = Imperial Army Camp

  • paw = Stormcloak Camp

  • Nord Tower = Nord Tower

  • Tower = Imperial Tower

  • fort = Fort

  • dragon = Dragon + Word Wall

  • stone = Standing stone

  • barrow = Barrow/Tomb

  • helmet = Surface Encounter

  • Tusks = Giant Camp

  • cave = Cave

  • shrine = Daedric Shrine

  • dwarf = Dwemer Ruins

  • tent = Camp

  • orc = Orc Stronghold

  • ship = Ship

  • treehill = Pond/Clearing

  • pine = Grove

  • pass = Mountain Pass

  • shield = Generic point of interest. (Guild halls, some quest encounters, ect...)

  • Quest Marker = Quest Marker - The quest is in the same zone as you.

  • Quest Marker w/ door = Quest Marker w/ door - you must pass a loading screen to get to this destination.

In addition, each city have a unique emblem, as do each palace.

(Images from the UESP)

  • 1
    You might consider making this a Community Wiki answer so others can pitch in with suggestions to make a more comprehensive list. For example, I know that the horseshoe symbol on the map indicates a horse ranch.
    – Mana
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 20:55
  • @Mana Will do. Thought I did that the first time, guess not.
    – thegrinner
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 21:12
  • The Symbol you listed as Daedric shrine is actually the symbol for Dwarven Ruins. The shrines just happen to use the same one.
    – user14258
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 6:57
  • @Mason The shrine has a kind of bar on top that I think the Dwarven Ruins lack. I might have that backwards, operating from memory right now.
    – thegrinner
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 14:15
  • I think the shield icon (currently unclassified) indicates a meeting point of some kind -- I had one appear for me when I was working with the Blades and the reclaimed a temple, and another atop the Throat of the World. An official map Legend wouldn't go amiss.
    – user14323
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 20:19

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