When I'm pickpocketing, sometimes it seems like I have a 90% chance to steal, but after a few items, I get detected. I thought I saw a loading screen about this, but it went by too fast and I didn't get a chance to read it.

How do I make sure I don't get detected while pickpocketing?


Spells like Muffle and Invisibility seem to help me remain undetected, or at least escape after detection. Also, pickpocketing while detected by anyone in the area seems to aggro guards most swiftly.

When I really want something that's dangerous to get--pickpocketing a staff of fireballs off an enemy warlock for example--I often save before the attempt. It feels a little like cheating, but becoming a crispy critter somehow didn't make my character's bucket list.

--You probably saw the tip that describes how looking at someone's pockets isn't a crime, but taking anything is.


I find it's easier to pickpocket at night when people are in bed. Pick their door lock, sneak into their house and pickpocket them without them knowing. At the beginning of your skill they will often awake but your skill will get better. I even pickpocketed the Jarl's main assistant!

  • 3
    there is also a perk that pickpocketing sleeping person is 25% easier
    – IAdapter
    Nov 19 '11 at 11:41

The calm spell can open up new pickpocketing opportunities. I've used it on bandits with great success.

Since they are calm, they don't wander around to make sure they see you. It's very easy to stay hidden (just don't move).

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