A small, underestimated feature in Skyrim makes looting so much better
Joining the Thieves Guild in Skyrim grants players access to features that make them more proficient thieves.The Thieves Guild has a series of shado...
Joining the Thieves Guild in Skyrim grants players access to features that make them more proficient thieves.
The Thieves Guild has a series of shadowmarks, symbols carved into buildings that convey messages to the guild's members. These symbols provide valuable information about establishments and their potential loot.
Players can also utilize the shadowmarks even if they are not part of the Thieves Guild, but joining the guild offers advantages such as improved lockpicking and sneaking skills to facilitate looting and evade capture.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is most famous for its core gameplay mechanics such as shouts, the sneak system, and spells. However, players can also discover and unlock other useful features by completing quests or joining factions. For example, by joining a guild in Skyrim, such as the Companions or the Dark Brotherhood, they can earn a regular income through radiant quests after completing the faction's main questline. These are also available in the Thieves Guild, but this organization has an additional interesting feature that makes finding and taking loot much easier.
The Thieves Guild is one of the oldest joinable factions in Skyrim and in the Elder Scrolls series as a whole. It has survived for so long, even though it is dedicated to an organization of crime, because some local authorities have accepted its existence as a regulatory body for criminal activity. It also binds its members to a code of conduct that prohibits them from robbing each other, killing during thefts, and robbing the less fortunate. Violators are unconditionally expelled and must make amends if they wish to rejoin the guild.
Skyrim’s Shadowmarks are an Overlooked Feature That Makes Thieving a Breeze
Loyal and committed members also gain access to features that make them more skilled thieves, such as the blessing of Nocturnal, the Daedric patron, and knowledge of Shadowmarks. Shadowmarks are symbols that guild members carve onto buildings to convey messages to each other. Players can find the legend for the marks in a book created by guild member Delvin Mallory.
Copies of Shadowmarks can only be found if one has progressed far enough in the Thieves Guild questline in Skyrim and has access to the Ragged Flagon Cistern. Players can find multiple copies of the book near their assigned sleeping area. There are a total of nine marks, but some are more useful than others.
Useful Shadowmarks Players Should Look Out for in Skyrim
The simplest symbol is "Safe." This marks that the establishment is a safe place for Thieves Guild members to loot, as previous members have made it more easily accessible by finding alternate routes or disabling traps. Unfortunately, these are quite rare and do not provide players with protection if they are being pursued by guards.
A more useful and common symbol is "Guild." It informs the player that the establishment belongs to the guild or that the nearby NPC is friendly with the faction. Players usually find this symbol at the alternate entrance/exit to the Guild Cistern near Riften's Hall of the Dead.
Another important symbol to watch out for is "Loot," which is marked by a striped square within a circle. This guarantees that valuable items are located inside or near an establishment. On the other end of the spectrum, the "Danger" symbol indicates to players that it may not be worthwhile to plunder the building, as someone who constantly patrols the area is hostile towards visitors. Some may see it as a challenge to rob such establishments and escape unscathed.
Players who end up in jail can escape their captors by looking for the "Escape Route" marking, which usually points to a route of escape. These routes have novice locks that the player can easily pick with the one lockpick they receive when entering jail. This is much more promising than attempting to pick the main lock or serving one's punishment for the offense committed.
What's great about these shadow marks is that players can use them even if they're not part of the guild. They just need to know what each shadow mark in Skyrim means in order to utilize them. However, individuals who are part of the guild still have a significant advantage when using these marks, as they have access to items and trainers that greatly improve their lockpicking and sneaking skills. This makes it easier for them to acquire loot and escape captivity.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is now available for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.