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This page contains general information regarding methods of traveling in Daggerfall (such as fast-traveling, running, levitating, etc.), as well as detailed descriptions of a number of traveling loopholes and various statistics.
- 1 Travel Modes
- 2 Relative Speeds of Travel Modes
- 3 Navigation
- 4 Travel and Exploration Tips/Strategies
- 5 Traveling Loopholes
- 6 Void Ranger Techniques
Due to the vast size of the Iliac Bay in which Daggerfall is set, it is inevitable that you will need to do some traveling at some point. There are number of ways to accomplish this, ranging from walking to fast-traveling via ships in the Bay.
The most immediate modes of travel, walking and running, are most commonly used to navigate the immediate vicinity, which ranges from towns and graveyards to sprawling dungeons. Walking is accomplished by pressing the "Forward" key, in which case you will travel in the direction you are facing, while running can be activated by pressing "P" while you are walking. In addition, it is possible to jump and surmount small obstacles or gaps, which is activated by pressing "J." It should be noted, however, that both running and jumping tax your fatigue, and thus cannot be used indefinitely without rest.
It is also important to note that the efficiency of both running and jumping is governed by skills of the same name as well as your Speed and Strength Attributes. In general, higher running and jumping skills will mean faster running and higher jumping, respectively.
Swimming can be divided into two distinct categories: above-ground swimming and below-ground swimming. When swimming above ground (i.e., outside), you will be unable to submerge (no matter how deep the water is) and will instead be restricted to slowly wallowing through the water at about chest height. When swimming below ground (i.e., in a dungeon), you will be able to submerge and swim freely (albeit rather slowly) in any direction.
Forward/backward movement while underwater is accomplished in the same fashion as normal walking and running. To ascend and descend, you will need to use the "Pg Up" and "Pg Dn" keys, respectively. It is important to note that the amount of time you are able to stay submerged is regulated by the breath meter, which will appear and begin depleting the moment you submerge. Exceeding this limit (i.e., the breath meter fully depletes) will result in steadily taking damage until you exit the water or die. Below-ground swimming can be made easier though an increased Swimming skill and spells (such as Water Breathing and Water Walking).
Detail on tips relating to swimming (especially above-ground) can be found below.
If you elect to purchase a horse (1000 gold), you will be able to ride it in any outdoor environment. You may mount your horse by pressing the "T" key to open the Transport Mode menu and then selecting the Horse option from those listed. To dismount, you must return to the Transport Mode menu and select the Foot option. While on horseback, you will move at a rate slightly higher than the maximum running speed, and will not suffer the normal fatigue brought on by running. In addition, horses will never become fatigued, and thus may be ridden indefinitely.
If you do not have enough money to purchase a horse, you can instead elect to buy a cart. Carts are significantly cheaper than horses (150 gold versus 1000), are pulled by a horse (which is not detachable from the cart), and can be ridden just like a horse (by selecting Cart in the Transport Mode menu). In addition, carts can be used to store a massive amount of items, freeing up your inventory and reducing encumbrance. However, carts are somewhat slower than horses and can't jump. (though still far faster than normal walking speeds).
Details on loopholes relating to horseback/cart riding can be found below.
Fast Travel is the premier method of efficiently traveling great distances for most players. Regardless of the length of the journey, trips embarked upon with Fast Travel will always take place instantaneously in real-time (though game-time will still advance accordingly). Thus, a trip that might take you hours in real-time will be over in a split-second using Fast-Travel. To activate Fast-Travel, you must first open the Travelmap by pressing the "W" key. From here, you will need to navigate the map of Iliac Bay using the cursor to select the province and then specific place you wish to travel to.
Once the specific place has been selected, the Fast-Travel menu will appear. From here, you will be able to select the speed you wish to travel at (Cautious or Reckless), what method of transport you wish to use (Foot/Horse or Ship) and whether or not you wish to use Inns or Camp Out during the journey. The amount of time and cost (if any) the trip will require based on these selections is located in the bottom-left section of the menu. Once you have made the necessary selections, you can then select the Begin button in the lower right section of the menu to begin the journey. After a few seconds in real-time, you will arrive at the desired location.
The selections made on the Fast-Travel menu will not only have an impact on journey time and cost, but can also impact both player condition and environmental condition on arrival. If you select Cautious speed when setting out, then you will arrive at the target destination with health, spell points and fatigue fully recharged. In addition, you will always arrive during daytime hours. However, if you select Reckless speed, then you may arrive at any time and will not have recharged health, spell points or fatigue. On the other hand, traveling cautiously will increase in-game travel time, while traveling recklessly will do just the opposite.
Ships will reduce your travel time immensely, though they are highly expensive (100,000-200,000 gold). Selecting Inns will subtract from your travel time but make the journey more expensive, while Camping Out will do just the opposite. One modifier on travel time that is not readily apparent is the weather (rain, snow, etc.), which can actually delay travel times. Another is whether or not you are a Vampire. If you are a Vampire, all Fast Travel times will double (for more information on travel as a Vampire, see below).
Details on loopholes relating to Fast Travel can be found below.
If you have acquired the necessary spells or magic items, then levitation will become possible. Levitation acts as a spell effect centered on you, which allows you to temporarily ignore the effects of gravity and fly about. While levitating, the normal walking and running controls will still apply, but if you wish to ascend or descend then you must use the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys, respectively. Jumping while levitating will also result in ascending upwards, though this method will rapidly drain your's fatigue. The spell effect governing levitation will only last as long as it is set to; for more information on spells and how to make them, see this page.
Levitation is especially useful when in dungeons, as it allows you to bypass many time-consuming puzzles and traps with ease. It is also a key aspect of Void Ranging.
Teleportation is much like Fast-Travel in the respect that it transpires instantaneously in real-time, without the time-consuming need to manually traverse large distances. However, teleportation differs from Fast-Travel in the sense that it also transpires instantaneously in game-time. It is also somewhat more specialized and technical than Fast-Travel, and requires a bit more know-how on your part.
There are two main methods that you can use to teleport: first, you may buy or make a spell or magic item that allows you to cast teleportation magic, or second, you may rank up in a guild (namely, the Mages Guild) that offers teleportation until you are able to access this service.
Both methods have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to utilize magic to teleport, you must first have enough spell points to cast the spell. Even then, teleportation spells can be costly in terms of spell points. If you elect to use this method, you will first have to travel to the desired teleport location and set an "anchor" there. Once this is accomplished, you can instantly return to the anchor location at any time by recasting the teleport spell.
If you decide to utilize a guild to teleport, you will not have to set an anchor, which means you will be able to instantly travel to any location on the map. However, you will be restricted to one-way travel, which can be inconvenient (especially when teleporting to remote areas). Thus, a combination of both methods is recommended: first, set an anchor at a guild that offers the teleportation service. Then, use the guild service to teleport to the desired locale. Once there, you may instantly return to your anchor by recasting the Teleport spell.
There is an annoying bug involving traveling by ship and letters of credit.
When you own a ship and carry one or more letters of credit, two issues may occur, apparently depending on the route which the game calculates from your current location to your final destination:
- An exorbitant sum for the traveling expenses is shown in the fast-travel menu, although the actual sum deducted from your wallet is not bigger than usual.
- Any letter of credit will be converted to hard gold when you arrive at your destination, leaving you overburdened in most cases.
This only happens in case your character owns a ship and you choose to travel "recklessly" while staying at inns for the night in the traveling menu.
There are however two ways to avoid this bug if you travel across the sea (inland waters seem to be safe):
- Choose "cautiously" in the traveling menu when you are traveling.
- Choose "camp out" in the traveling menu if you want or need to travel "recklessly".
Storing the letters of credit in your wagon or on your ship does not work; the letters will be converted to gold as soon as you reach your final destination.
Relative Speeds of Travel Modes
The following is a table of most travel modes and their approximate in-game speeds. These measurements were made on a character with a Speed attribute at 100 and Running and Stealth skills at 100%. Please note that all speeds are estimations and may not accurately reflect actual game speeds. Also, individual character modifiers like Skills and Attributes may increase or decrease some of the shown speeds.
|Levitate (Up/Down)||2 mph|
|Levitate (Up While Jumping)||4 mph|
|Running (Speed Cheat)||120 mph|
|Walking (Speed Cheat)||72 mph|
|Sneaking (Speed Cheat)||36 mph|
Navigation in Daggerfall is accomplished primarily through the use of the in-game compass, located in the bottom-right section of the screen (though the "look" of the compass differs when in full screen or non-full screen, functionality is unchanged). Other features (like maps) can help you find and travel to specific locations.
Often, you will run into situations while traveling in which directions are needed; this can occur during a quest or when you are simply exploring the world. The easiest way to acquire directions is to speak with one of Daggerfall's many NPCs.
Daggerfall's NPCs can be divided into three main categories. The first category consists of enemies, which are hostile to you. These NPCs cannot be spoken to, and thus are useless for directions. The second category consists of the commoners found in the streets of every town, who are available in abundance and can easily be asked for directions. The third category includes shop owners, guild members and nobles. This category can also be spoken to for directions, but there are a few minor differences: firstly, this category of NPC is capable of giving quests, which can sometimes occur randomly when you speak to them. If you are already on a quest or do not want to start a new one, then it may be safer to ask commoners for directions instead (who cannot give quests). Second, there are a few specialized members of this NPC class who will give extremely reliable directions (as well as other information).
To ask an NPC for directions, approach the desired NPC and then press the "Space" key (it is important to make sure player interaction is set to "grab" or "dialog" before doing this, which can be accomplished by pressing "F1" or "F4" keys, respectively). Doing so will bring up the NPC interaction menu, from where you will be able to ask for directions to any local place known to the NPC (among other things). It is important to note that there is no guarantee any particular "normal" NPC will know the way to a particular place, so you may have to do some asking around until you find an NPC who is able to direct you to the desired location (the exception to this are the NPCs who specialize in the information business, mentioned above).
The type of directions an NPC gives you can vary significantly. While some NPCs will be able to mark the desired location on your Automap (see Maps below), others will simply give you the general direction (North, South, etc.) in which the location lies in respect to the your current position. In this case, you will need either ask around until you receive more specific directions or use the compass to find your way there.
If you wishes to fully map out a local area (like a town) by having every building marked, you can keep re-asking for directions to the same buildings until the NPC finally marks them on your map. For instance, if the NPC says "go east," then you can simply ask again and again until the NPC inevitably marks the location. The only exception here is if the NPC says "I don't know," in which case they really don't and another NPC must be asked (still, it shouldn't take more than 3-4 NPCs to map out an entire city).
Another way you can obtain directions is to acquire a "random map". Random maps are items obtained from monster drops, random loot piles and quest rewards. When a random map is found, it will resemble an ordinary bit of parchment until you place it in your inventory. When this is done, the map will disappear and you will receive a message detailing the location (which will always be a dungeon) revealed by the map. This location will be marked on the Provincial map for the region in which the map was found (see Maps below). Random maps are valued as they are one of the only ways new, unexplored dungeons can be discovered.
Maps (Local, World, and Provincial)
There are several types of maps that you have access to in Daggerfall. First is the Local Map, or "Automap," which can be accessed by pressing the "M" key. Bringing up the Automap will display a detailed bird's-eye view of your immediate vicinity. The function of this map varies depending on if you are indoors or outdoors: if you are outdoors, the map will be a fixed top down view that will display your position as a flashing yellow dot and structures (such as houses, castles and walls) as colored 2D rectangles. If you are indoors, the map will be 3D, displaying any and all corridors, rooms and passages you have discovered in detail. The grid button in the lower right and the up, down, left and right buttons in the lower left will also become usable: when activated, the grid button will change the axis (x or y) of view, while the other buttons will allow you to navigate the 3D map.
Second is the World Map, or "Travelmap," which can be accessed by pressing the "W" key (as detailed above). This map displays an atlas-like aerial view of the Iliac Bay region and its sub-regions. Clicking on any of the individual sub-regions shown on the Travelmap will bring up the Provincial Map and expand the region (which can be zoomed in by right-clicking the desired area), displaying a filterable list of all discovered dungeons, homes, temples and towns (displayed as colored dots) within its borders. The dots representing dungeons have several different colors, which change when they are visited. Tombs are red, new dungeon locations are orange, and visited dungeons are light red.
Skywriting is both a navigational tool and a type of in-game art. The simplest method of Skywriting in the game is accomplished through "laying eggs" by walking or levitating and dropping items to leave little floating "treasure piles". By laying lots of treasure piles, you can write messages, draw pictures, etc. Unfortunately, when you leave a town or dungeon that you have written in the location immediately resets, removing the writing. However, if you own a ship, the whole grid/square location on which the ship rests acts like a house and saves any item dropped in or around it (as long as ownership of the ship is retained). So, by Skywriting at your ship's location, you may leave permanent writing.
Skywriting can also be useful when exploring both indoors and outdoors: the dropped treasure piles can serve as "bread crumbs" for you to follow, which can come in handy (especially in labyrinthine dungeons).
Travel and Exploration Tips/Strategies
Once you have gotten used to Daggerfall's basic modes of travel and navigation, you will likely discover and put to use innovative strategies designed to streamline the adventuring process. Below are a number of such strategies and methods that have been developed over the years.
Dungeon Exploration Method
- Check your position (red dot) and the exit position (blue dot) in the dungeon layout diagram.
- When crossing to a new internal block the texture style changes, but not always. Sometimes there is a small pause in the game. Check the dungeon layout diagram to be sure to see when a new block is transitioned.
- Thorough exploration:
- Always explore one block fully before going on to the next block. If possible, you should start from the bottom to the top.
- If top-to-bottom is not possible, fully explore by following a given direction (such as only taking left-hand turns) until you have exhausted all such turns, then go backwards one decision point trying the right-hand path, until you have fully mapped the dungeon.
- Mark the fastest path to exit on each block with junk if you may not cast teleport.
- Corridors with a very step inclination are usually reflexive connections to the same block.
There will be times in almost any dungeon where you will encounter a locked door, red brick door, teleporter (can be a floating skull or other item), trapdoor (usually with teleporters), water, traps, and magically locked doors.
- For locked doors and magically locked doors, there are a few solutions; try picking the lock, cast an 'Open' spell (homemade or circinate both work), cast a spell like Fireball, or just use your hands, feet, or weapon to bash the door open. If you use the last, use either a low material item (like iron or steel) or your hands and feet. While using a weapon will open the door faster, it will also damage/wear down the weapon.
- Water can be overcome with Water Walking or Water Breathing spells, or, in some cases, completely avoided if the quest location is not past the water.
- Traps can be found if walking along and your vision starts to sway and you don't have any monsters in the passageway/room/etc and either your health or magicka are drained. If you don't have the means to cast a Levitate spell, don't go on.
- Red brick doors have a few possibilities, but before even going near one you should always save. They can be in a doorway (where another part would connect) or can be in the middle of a room (these are activated by clicking on them). If you enter, you can be teleported, hurt, or nothing at all will happen.
- Trapdoors usually have a series of teleporters in the dungeon. To get through a trapdoor, go through the teleporters until you see a lever, activate it, and go through the teleporters until you're back at the trapdoor. Go down with a levitate spell to avoid having broken legs at the bottom.
After you have played the game for a while, you will start to notice patterns to the dungeons. This is a by-product of the dungeon creation process. Daggerfall dungeons are modular. The Main Quest dungeons were painstakingly constructed by hand, but the random dungeons take pieces of the Main Quest dungeons (and other pieces) and sling them together in random forms. This is why players get a strange sense of "deja vu" in the random dungeons. They really have been here before. Once you reach this point, finding quest objects becomes much easier because each module only has one or two object locations.
Traveling as a Vampire
Being a Vampire can present you with some unique travel-related dilemmas. As mentioned above, Vampirism will increase all fast travel times two-fold. Also, it is difficult for Vampires to survive for extended periods of time in direct sunlight (though it can be done), which means most Vampire characters will have to operate primarily at night (18:00 to 6:00). Fast-Traveling also presents a new problem: Vampires will be unable to open the Fast-Travel menu during the day, and whenever you "cautiously" Fast-Travel to a walled city or town, you will always arrive at night (which means the gates will be locked and there will be no NPCs in the streets). Furthermore, most guilds and all shops will be locked down (though high-ranking guild members may be able to access their guild house 24/7). There are ways around some of these obstacles, however.
- Levitation or a high Climbing skill will help you make your way over city walls at night; from there you can travel to an Inn for refuge.
- Shield spells or magic items that offer healing will also help reduce or even prevent damage from the sun, allowing you to move about during the day (necessary for some quests and other activities like banking), though caution should still be exercised.
- Owning a Ship will also make undeath much easier, as you can instantly travel to your ship at any time (by opening the Transport Mode menu and choosing "Ship"), which can serve as a shelter from the sun if you go below deck.
- Teleportation can serve as an excellent travel method for Vampires, as it allows you to cover great distances instantly without the need to feed on the way.
In general, Vampire characters should carefully plan their journeys and have healing/regeneration methods available if things go wrong (i.e., you get stuck outside during daytime). It also doesn't hurt to save the game from time to time.
- Attacking: If your opponent has no ranged attack, it is possible to fly above them and assault them with ranged attacks from the air.
- Horse Tricks: If you cast Levitate while riding a horse or cart they will fly as well, enabling you to move much faster than you would normally be able to move while levitating.
- Jumping Tricks: If you jump while levitating, you will float upwards about twice as fast as normal. You will also increase your jumping skill immensely.
If you wish to cross a large above-ground body of water without slowly wallowing through it, you may opt to ride a horse through it instead. While on a horse, you will not sink up to the normal chest-height (as happens when on foot); instead, you will gallop across the surface of the water as if it wasn't even there.
Finding Your House
After buying your house, you may need to find it: check the Automap; if it is not marked, you may have to ask an NPC where it is (see Directions).
Daggerfall is full of bugs and issues (known euphemistically as "Loopholes") relating to travel that may be exploited. A number of these loopholes are detailed below.
There is an interesting loophole (or bug) involving fast-travel in the game. There are two methods for fast-travel: reckless and cautious. If you choose reckless, it will take less time, but when you arrive at the destination your health, stamina, and magicka will be the same you had when you left. If cautious is chosen, it may take twice as long to travel, but you always have your health, stamina, and magicka fully recharged. Also, if you are not a vampire, you will always arrive during daytime. The loophole here is that if you are at a destination, you can fast travel to the destination you already are. By choosing cautious, and fast traveling you can fully recharge your health, fatigue, and magicka. If you fast travel during the daytime, the game clock will advance one minute; if it is nighttime, you will arrive at the next morning. So, you can have practically unlimited magicka during the daytime outdoors. There are only two drawbacks:
- You always arrive at the edge of the destination. So if you are, for example, in a huge town like Daggerfall City, you will need to run around town again.
- You cannot fast-travel when there are enemies nearby. However, you can always run away until you have shaken off the enemy, and then fast-travel to recharge yourself.
This is ideal for training your magic skill. Some hints involve custom practice spells. After you have used up all your spell points to practice the six schools of magic, you rest in a tavern to recharge the magicka. This isn't necessary. Just make sure it is still daytime, fast-travel to the same town you are currently in, choose cautious, and you will arrive fully recharged, ready to practice magic again. If you have quests pending and cannot waste time staying in a tavern, this does the trick. After discovering this trick, you may end up using the inn or the Fighters Guild for resting less frequently.
When you have high skill levels in the six schools of magic, you really need this trick to get enough spell points to practice spells. If you are the type who swears never to cheat, here is a small variation. Run outside the town toward any direction. You can also view some scenery along the way. Then fast-travel back to the town. It will take less than one hour in-game time, and you will never recover the same amount of magicka by resting one hour.
Another use for this trick is for dungeons. If you happen to arrive during the daytime, you can use the trick to strengthen yourself. You can cast all kinds of spells on yourself to fortify your attributes, fast-travel to the same dungeon, have magicka fully recharged, cast more spells, and repeat until satisfied. If you do it quickly, the spells you just cast will not expire until you are deep in the dungeon. Then, you can rush to the dungeon door with all kinds of spells active, and with full magicka. Some recommended spells for this occasion are: Troll's Blood (regenerate health), Orc Strength, Jack of Trades, Shield, Invisibility, etc. Since you have "free" spells for use, make use of them. This will make you very powerful and "brave" during the first few minutes inside the dungeon. A custom made health regeneration spell is strongly suggested as well. Long duration is more important than large magnitude, since you can carry it "free" into the dungeon. There is only one drawback: since you must do this outside the dungeon, you better know where the dungeon door is after you have fast-traveled. Otherwise, all your spells will expire before you step inside the dungeon. It is still a good exercise though.
Indoor Horse/Cart Riding
While not normally possible, there is a method involving the Recall spell that allows your to ride a horse indoors. First, you must cast a Recall spell and set an anchor inside the building or dungeon you wish to ride in. You must then exit the indoor location, mount your horse, and then recast the Recall spell to teleport. When you appear at the anchor location, you will still be on horseback. This method is not recommended, however, as you cannot access the Transport Mode menu to dismount while indoors, which can result in your becoming trapped indoors on horseback.
Flying Without Levitation
A useful bug when playing v1.07.213. It lets you fly up only without spells or magic items etc. It may be fun or useful only for those without the Levitate spell or who have run out of magic.
- Hold Jump button for duration of fly time.
- Equip your Weapon (some work better than others).
- Attack the air as quickly as possible.
- You should now float upwards one jump height at a time. Be careful, there is a height limit (but it is quite high). If you reach it, the game crashes.
Void Ranger Techniques
Most players have experienced the nasty sensation of falling through the floors/walls in a dungeon, ending up in a black expanse named the void. Hopefully the below tips will help you with getting into and out of this void with ease.
Getting In (Method 1)
The easiest way into the void is to cast Levitate, and then levitate up to either a corner where two types of dungeon connect, or a sloped passage. The slopes are usually easier. Use "D" to duck down, then go as high as you can. Next, turn around so your back is to the wall, and go up again if you can. Then, back into it and stop just as you touch it. Then hit "D" again and stand up. Usually you stand right through the ceiling/wall. You may have more luck on the slopes.
Getting In (Method 2)
Alternatively, you may also enter the void through the use of levitation and savegames. This method is highly useful as it enables you to Void Range in areas where normal entrance methods don't work (i.e., lack of sloped passages, boxes, etc), but it may not work in every location. First, you will need to enter the indoor location you wish to Void Range in, and stand directly below the spot you want to enter the Void. At this point, you will need to save game. Then, exit the indoor location and find an outdoor area where you have plenty of room to levitate in a vertical direction. Proceed to levitate: the actual height you will need to reach varies depending on the height of the ceiling where you saved game, but ~50 feet should do the trick. Once you have reached the desired height, hit ESC and load from the savegame you made while indoors. When you spawn, you will appear on or slightly above the ceiling in the Void directly above the spot you saved in (if you don't, you may need to try again and levitate a bit higher).
First and foremost is the trusty Anchor and Teleport method. Do not cast Recall when falling as you will die when you appear. If you cast Levitate first, this seems to avoid this nasty consequence. Second, if you can find a sloped passage, use it to wedge yourself back into the dungeon. Duck down, walk up it, and then stand back up. You can also do this by levitating. Duck, float up to a floor. Stand upright through the panel and float up into the room. It usually works best on edges of dungeons and slopes, and works exactly the reverse of getting in (i.e., ease up to it, wiggle through, etc.).
Always save first! This can't be stressed enough. While uncommon, it IS possible for spellcasting enemies to hit you with offensive magic if you stray too close to them in certain areas. It can also be hard to get away from the monsters, and sometimes hard to find all of them in your area (making resting rather difficult). It is unknown if saving in the void is safe; it may need testing.