Oblivion lockpicking made easy! Video inside. :)

528kb Windows Media 9 .wmv file.

If your high frequency hearing hasn’t been destroyed by your stint as a 1970’s rock band groupie, there is an easy way to pick any lock in the Bethesda game Oblivion

There are three tumbler speeds. As you can see in the video, the slow tumbler produces a distinct one-two pinging sound, whereas the fast tumblers squish the sounds together close enough for them to sound like a single sound.

The trick is to look away from the screen and click the mouse based solely on what you hear as you jiggle the lockpick. Click the mouse within 250ms of hearing that second ping to lock the tumbler in place every time.

Using this method, you can pick even the hardest locks without breaking any lockpicks.


p.s.- if anyone wants to host this file elsewhere, go right ahead.

Here’s what I love about the lockpick minigame - there’s apparently several methods that appeal to separate skillsets. My method involves tapping the tumblers until they fall at the fastest speed then tap once more. then just time the click when the tumbler is at the top. It’s like there’s a certain rhythm to it, but I lose very few lockpicks this way.

Yea, I have extracted the sounds from the bsa file. There are 6 different “attempt” .wav files, and another one called “ui_lock_clicknow.wav”. I’m not sure if the “clicknow” wav plays after only one of the attempt sounds, or if it randomly plays after any of them.

One of the first mods I’m gonna try my hand at is a new lockpicking interface. I’m thinking something like removing the “pause game” part of lockpicking, making it so guards may catch you while you are picking. Probably some kinda “autoattempt” which lets you just start the process and wait for your character to pick the lock…something like a played out auto-attempt in realtime. Not sure of the specifics, but obviously I’m going for something a little more Thiefish…

Guys, you just watch them. When the rise up slowly is when you want to click. That’s how I do it at least, I don’t even pay attention to the sounds.

Well I think that if you have good ears, listening for one specific sound is easier than trying to gauge the relative speed of the tumbler.

Man, you guys are sweet. Like ninjas.

Thanks. I was kind of homing in on that sound pattern, but this certainly makes it more straightforward. I’ll try both this and the “click at tumbler top” method and see which works better. Problem is, as I said in the other thread, my bad hearing makes the plink-plink really hard if there are any background effects (which there always are – I already turned the music way down…).

You mod people, can you look into the mod and see what the actual rules of the minigame are? In other words, do the tumbler-top method AND the double-plink method both work? Or is the tumbler-top method really a red herring, and does the minigame really only play the double-click sound when it’s possible to settle the tumbler?

I don’t WANT an unpaused lockpicking mod, I just want to know how the current minigame works :-) I have too much fun nipping upstairs to beat the shopkeeper, then picking the lock using my Lockpick Bullet Time to zip through the door before the bugger sees me :-D

Edit: OK, so it looks like the other thread hashed this out already. The rules are (apparently):

  • Each tumbler (or maybe each lock) has a cycle of speeds at which the tumbler drops.
  • For example: jiggle, tumbler drops fast; jiggle, tumbler drops super fast; jiggle, tumbler drops slowly.
  • When the tumbler drops slowly, it plays the Plink Plink!(tm 2006 Roger Wong).
  • You must click the tumbler when it is at its slow-drop point in its cycle. You can detect this either visually, or by timing the cycle, or by listening for the Plink Plink!™.

Incidentally, this is now a Qt3 keeper image:

I was good at lockpicking, but this is above and beyond the call of duty, Mr. Wong. Awesome bit of helpful game stuff.

Nice, but nothing beats the unbreakable lockpick (Skeleton Key) that you get from a quest via the Nocturne Shrine.[SIZE=1][/SIZE]

Sigh. Well, even with Mr. Wong’s tip, even with watching the timing, even with all the help Qt3 has to offer, the truth is clear: I fucking suck at the lockpicking minigame. Time to kick back and just use plain ol’ auto-pick, and heavily abuse the Lockpick Mold.

I’ll have to dig up that quest for the unbreakable pick, too, 'cuz when you suck like I do, even the Lockpick Mold gets expensive…

Thanks for the amazingly awesome video, Roger! Unfortunately it confirmed my worst fear: the second click in the first sequence is completely inaudible for me.

I was under the impression that my hearing is pretty good, and I hear all the initial clicks and the metallic background clatter just fine. But when the line sweeps over the second spike in the first sequence, I hear nothing but the background clatter. Weird… the X-Fi with a Sennheiser HD-590 certainly shouldn’t suppress that sound.

Anyway, it’s picking by sight for me.

Thanks so much for this, I’m picking hard locks by sound with a 9 lockpicking skill. I vote this most usefull Q23 post ever.

You can also drop the console, type “unlock”, and be done with it! :)


Plink! Plink! ™

Console, Mouse-click Door, Type Unlock, Return, Unconsole.

Or does it work just by typing “unlock” with no target picked?

Honestly, I do it by sight in any case. I find it easier. As soon as you notice that the lock has risen slowly, just click. My reaction timing is relatively in sync with the speed of the slow lock, so I have about an 80% success rate on visual alone. If I really take my time I can push that up to 90 or 95% or so.

You are correct, sir!

Yeah, I am starting to get a LITTLE bit better at this. Just enough that I can nail Average locks. Hard locks are still a b*tch for me though.

If you land all but one tumbler, does Auto-Picking have better odds?

Man, after watching that video and trying umpteen times, this simply doesn’t work for me. Must have been all the Pink Floyd blasting through headphones in the 80s. My ears just aren’t catching it.

I do, however, rock hard when it comes to the persuasion minigame. Maybe I should make a video of it: “You don’t say?” “No, enough, I can’t take anymore!” “Ha ha, tell me that one again? How does it go?” DISPOSITION MAXED!!1!


Tom, try turning the sound off and just watching the tumblers…I can’t do it with sound either. I can however pick all locks I’ve come across.

I do too it is called a three second 100% charm spell.

– Xaroc