When using the console to affect NPC characters you always need their RefID. I always get this on one of the two Skyrim wikis because the following help command returns only their BaseID:

help <npc name> 4

Is there a way to get their RefID through the in game help search?

  • 1
    Try help <npc name> 0. To the best of my knowledge that should return everything containing the npc's name, including the RefID.
    – Fambida
    Feb 15 '12 at 16:16
  • 1
    Yay for not reading the question!
    – kotekzot
    Feb 15 '12 at 17:12

You can either get their RefID by clicking on them with the console open to target them, which should display their RefID at the top of the screen (source: UESPWiki), or by looking at an exhaustive list like this one (also UESPWiki).

I haven't heard of any other ways but will update my answer if I find anything.

  • This is as good an answer as there's going to be, wish I had more votes.
    – kotekzot
    Feb 15 '12 at 20:04
  • to expand: you must click on the npc which displays their RefID at the top of the consolen but it is displaying it because clicking also performs a Prid command with the thing you just clicked. very handy!
    – Adam
    Feb 16 '12 at 2:17
  • Adam, good point, I've put that in my answer
    – Alex
    Feb 16 '12 at 8:05
  • Do some NPCs just not have one?
    – Hashbrown
    Sep 28 '13 at 3:02
  • @Hashbrown, yes some NPC do not have a REF ID. This commonly occurs when they are general NPC, such as Guards, and not a specific NPC, such as Ysolda Oct 12 '14 at 7:56

If you can't see or click the NPC you want to get the RefID but you know its name, then on the console type "save funclist 1". It will open a txt file with every refID in your save game, just search for its name.

  • this is really cool, the only thing that helped me find Serana's refID, without knowing where she is, thank you!
    – Al Jey
    May 24 '15 at 18:00
  • Thank you, this helped me find my follower...who was in a jail for some reason :D
    – Vahx
    Jan 10 '16 at 21:23
  • This should be the flagged answer. Sep 2 '20 at 2:14

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