Pickpocketing is a skill available to any player the moment they create their character, and no skill points are needed to pickpocket. Pickpocketing is considered a crime and will grant access to the Legerdemain skill line the first time it is performed. Successfully picking an NPC's pocket will reward a random Contraband item, while failing will result in a bounty. If the NPC is a guard, they will immediately attempt to arrest you when you fail. (Pickpocketing guards is the only reliable way to acquire Polished Shillings, which are the crafting material for the Abah's Watch Style motif.)
- The Cutpurse's Craft: Prove to the Guild that you know your way around other people's pockets.
- Idle Hands: Send laborers a gentle reminder to pay their protection dues.
- Plucking Fingers: Remind entertainers that they don't work without the Guild's permission.
- Under Our Thumb: 'Encourage' law-abiding citizens to mind their own business.
Finding Your Mark
Only Justice Neutral NPCs can be pickpocketed, and these appear in-game as NPCs with yellow health bars and white glows. Once you have selected your target, crouch behind them and wait till you are completely hidden. The NPC difficulty and the chance of success will be displayed in white. Waiting a few moments will cause the chance to increase by 20%; this is the "sweet spot" that players should wait for before pressing the pickpocket button. You will hear a tone and the number will turn green to show when you are in the sweet spot. Ensure that no other witnesses are looking at you when you pickpocket, otherwise you may get a bounty even if you are successful. Your chance of successfully pickpocketing increases if the NPC is moving rather than stationary.[verification needed] After you successfully pickpocket an item, you will be unable to try again on the same NPC for a few seconds, as they are "suspicious". If you fail an attempt, the NPC will be "suspicious" for far longer.
NPCs only carry three items; any further attempts to pickpocket the same target will display the "Empty" prompt. This resets when the NPC respawns, which can be expedited through murder if necessary.
NPCs come in three difficulties: Easy, Medium and Hard. Harder difficulty NPCs have lower chances of a successful pickpocket. Consecutive attempts on the same NPC will also lower the chance of success, as shown below:
The default chance can be improved by putting points in the Light Fingers perk in the Legerdemain skill tree, for a bonus of [10 / 20 / 35 / 50]%. Additionally, the Khajiit racial passive Cutpurse increases your chance to successfully pickpocket by 5%.
There are several achievements associated with pickpocketing.
|Pocket Pilferer||5||Successfully pickpocket any citizen of Tamriel.|
|Purse Snatcher||10||Successfully pickpocket one hundred citizens of Tamriel.|
|Sneak Thief Extraordinaire||15||Successfully pickpocket one thousand citizens of Tamriel.||Forest Footpad Green|
|Five Finger Discount||5||Successfully pick pockets at each of the four most popular shops in Abah's Landing.|