Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Many chests in Skyrim are locked... but truth is no one has the key to open them. Do bandits pick the lock every time? With this mod, most locked chests will have a nearby hidden key that can be used to open the chest. You can still pick the lock as usual, but you can now also use the key... if you manage to find it!

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-Locked Chests Have Keys-
There are hundreds of locked chests in Skyrim, but the big majority of these don't have a key. How can the bandits access their valuables without a key? Do they have to pick the lock each time they want to get something out of the chest?

This mod aims to change this by giving many of the locked chests in Skyrim a key. This key will be well hidden nearby. You don't have to find this key if you're capable of picking the lock, but hey, if you find it... you can save yourself the trouble and just use the key.

Not all keys are as easy as this one, believe me.

  • Most locked chests in vanilla now have an actual key that can open them.
  • If the key already existed, the mod uses this key and connects it to the chest, otherwise it adds a new key to the world.
  • The new key will be hidden nearby. Sometimes they're quite easy to find, sometimes it'll be VERY difficult to find it.
  • No need to find the key to open the chests, chests can be lockpicked just in like vanilla.
  • Minimal edits to the world: 99% of the edits add a single well-hidden key to the location.
  • A couple of boss chests that were not locked in vanilla will now be locked, but there's always a hidden key nearby to open them.
  • Different mesh model per type of key: bandit chests, dwemer chests, metal strongboxes have a visually different type of key.
  • DLC chests covered too. Expect around 300 chests that now have keys.

Video Showcase:


- Let other mods overwrite this mod. Locked Chests Have Keys makes very small edits to cells (adding a single key to a cell in most cases), so even if another mod edits the same cell, everything will be fine as long as the other mod takes priority. Place my mod as high as possible in your loard order, so the other mods can do their thing.

Also: a bunch of patches can be found here. If you let the other mods take over (higher prio) the patches shouldn't really be necessary, but the keys will obviously not work in these locations. So not a big deal, but you might want to grab them to have it all working nicely.

Huge thanks to Slarur
Slarur came up with a pretty similar idea 10 years ago now
and kindly allowed me to use parts of his mod here. Thank you, you rock!

〜Andrew, Ares, Macpherb, Red Nick, Vesku〜
& everyone who is supporting me on Patreon or via other means
Thank you! Your support means a lot!

  • Does this mean all locked chests in the game now have a key?
No. Not all, but most of them. I like it this way personally. It makes sense that in some cases, the person that locked the chest died somewhere else with the key on their person, or their key got tossed into the sea or whatever.

  • Is there a key in X location? I cannot find it!
Probably. If there's a locked chest, the chances of there being a hidden key nearby are very high. The chance of you finding that key however... are not as high. Some of the keys are really well hidden.

  • What type of chests are covered?
Bandit chests (regular and boss chests), Dwemer chests, Strongboxes, old draugr chests, display cases... there's about 300 new keys added to the world.

  • Does this modify the contents of the chests in any way? Does it mess with leveled lists?
No, nothing like that.

  • Where should I place this mod in my load order?
Towards the beginning of your load order, towards the top. Let my mod be overwritten by everything else affecting these locations. The mod itself makes very few changes to cells: It adds a key to the location and it connects the key with the chest. That's it. Please, let any other mod overwrite this one, everything will work fine even then.

  • Will this conflict with mods that edit cells?
It shouldn't, as long as you let the other mods overwrite this one. Worst case scenario: you get a key in an odd location (eg: the floor).

  • Requiem?
Requiem is indeed supported. There's an optional patch in the downloads to ensure full compatibility with the overhaul.

  • Why not give the keys to the bandits directly?
Lore-friendly explanation: Because bandits know that when living among master pickpockets, you shouldn't sleep with your most precious key around your neck. Actual explanation: It would be messy to deal with inventories and it'd make it too easy to bypass lockpicking altogether. This is a cleaner way and it adds an extra challenge: find the key!

  •  I need MOAR!
Feel free to check a quick summary of my mods these past 2 years! Take a peek and you might walk out with a couple new mods for your insatiable mod addiction perfectly normal hobby.