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Sometimes when you try to fast travel, you are unable to and a message is displayed that tells you that you cannot fast travel with enemies nearby. What determines when enemies are "nearby"?

Is it purely distance? Or are there other things that factor into it?

3 Answers 3

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Sometimes, there are no enemies around at all, and that message still appears. In this case, just walk about 10 meters forward, and try again.

You will get it eventually.

(Enemies are 'nearby' when they are hostile. If they cant see you, then you are safe, and can fast travel.)

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  • I don't think they have to be able to see the player, they don't even have be actively searching for the player.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 9:57
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Look around on your compass, that bar like thing on top of your screen. Then find red dots, and kill them.

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    It's not necessary to kill them, just make sure you are a certain distance away from them and not aggroed by them. The main factor is indeed distance, mobs that are not currently trying to attack you within that range (I don't know any numbers) will prevent you from fast traveling/waiting/sleeping as well as attacking mobs.
    – Assile
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 11:45
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"Enemies are nearby" is a very misleading way of describing this condition. The combat system is mostly independent of distance and doesn't actually care how close the enemies are. Instead, this message appears when you are in a "combat state," which (in most cases) means that there must be some enemy, anywhere in the loaded area, who is either actively trying to attack you, or actively searching for you. Rarely, it can also get stuck after combat should have ended; if that happens, you can use the console command described below to fix it. For non-PC players, you might be able to fix it by save/loading or by picking a fight with something and then ending combat again.

If you run away from an enemy, combat ends when that enemy loses track of you, just the same as if you were sneaking. Unfortunately, that can take awhile. In order for combat to end automatically, all of the following things need to happen:

  1. The enemy loses line-of-sight to you for more than a few seconds, at which point they go to "searching" mode (you may hear dialog such as "where are you?" if in earshot).
  2. You regain enough stealth points for the game to consider you fully hidden. You can check how close you are by briefly going into sneak mode. The more closed the eye is, the closer you are to ending combat.
  3. It may take another couple of seconds for the game to actually realize that you are hidden and end combat.

Stealth points are very complicated, but in short, if you're more than 2500 units (~36 m = ~39 yd) away, then enemies flat-out can't see (or hear) you at all, and so you will regain points as fast as possible. The Sneak skill, and any "harder to detect while sneaking" bonuses (including the perks), should make you regain stealth points faster and end combat sooner, but I have not actually tested this. You might need to be sneaking in order to benefit from those bonuses.

If all this is a little complicated for you, you can also cheat and use the console command player.scaonactor to immediately end combat. This only ends combat; it does not pacify enemies or do anything to prevent them from re-initiating combat. If you are near hostile NPCs, they may decide to immediately start attacking you again (provided they can detect you). If the attacker is a guard, they might instead try to arrest you. Most "civilized" NPCs will walk away with a snide remark such as "you're not worth it." Bandits, wild animals, etc. will usually just attack.

(scaonactor is a targeted command. You can also use it on NPCs who are attacking each other.)

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