The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim is one of the most pivotal games when it comes to open-world RPGs. While certain elements of a truly open world existed in many games before Skyrim, this was the first time that the players could really explore anything they could lay their eyes on. Want to see what’s beyond that mountain? Sure, you can do that. Hey, can you catch that weird fish? Absolutely. What's behind that door? Let's find out. Don’t feel like even touching the storyline and instead exploring the whole map? Of course, even though some items and regions will be only available when you do certain quests.
Set on the larger continent of Tamriel, the world of Elder Scrolls has managed to enchant its fans like no other, and we’re not just talking about Skyrim. Every one of its predecessors has done its part in contributing to the intricate and sprawling storyline of the continent, but with Skyrim, the full scope of the story is visible and open-to-exploration unlike any of the games before it.
You could still find many players hooked to the game, as despite being almost seven years old, Bethesda has made sure that fans are kept interested with its slew of additional content and remastered editions, as well as an active modding community that just doesn’t let it die. A fully-modded Skyrim looks and plays better than any modern game, thanks to the dedicated community.
Because of the vastness of the world, there are many items to explore and collect. Here are the 20 Rare Hidden Items In Skyrim (And How To Find Them).
20 Nightweaver's Band
The Nightweaver's Band is a rare item that could only be obtained by completing the bonus part in the Dark Brotherhood quest, A Recipe For Disaster. The band provides 10% perk towards your sneak ability, as well as reduces 10% of the cost of casting Destruction spells.
It also holds a handsome value of 1131, so if you’re too experienced to make use of it anymore, you can always sell it.
To get it, you’d have to complete the bonus parameters; namely getting rid of and putting the body of an Orsimer known as Balagog gro-Nolob in a body of water (you can do both with the right abilities). Note that you need to dump the body in water to be able to receive the band.
19 Shield of Solitude
The Shield of Solitude is a powerful shield belonging to the guard order of the town of Solitude. It provides a number of perks, the primary ones being their ability to resist magic by 30% and blocking 35% more damage. It can also be disenchanted to learn Resist Magic.
To get the shield, you’d have to first complete the The Man Who Cried Wolf quest, and have to be at least level 10 after its completion. The quest called The Wolf Queen Awakened will follow the former quest, and the shield would be given to you as a reward for its completion by a Nord called Falk Firebeard. Note that the shield cannot be upgraded at any workbench, as it’s a leveled item, so make sure you need it if you’re going to carry it around.
18 Ancient Helmet of the Unburned
In Skyrim, elemental resistance, i.e. resistance to various forms of magic like fire, frost and lightning, is offered by many items, though none of them are helmets. The Ancient Helmet of the Unburned is the only headgear in the game that provides any sort of elemental resistance, which could be stacked up with other armor with similar properties to turn yourself into a fearless Supergod (only talking about magic here).
The Ancient Helmet of the Unburned provides resistance of 40% to all fire attacks, in case you’re planning to lock horns (the male version of the helmet has horns too, actually) with some Fire Mages.
To get it, you’d have to look for a locked gate in Labyrinthian in one of the College of Winterhold quests. The helmet could be found besides other loot behind that gate, though do make sure to carry enough lockpicks.
17 Ironhand Gauntlets
Gauntlets in the game are varied and provide a variety of armor bonuses. Ironhand Gauntlets are a unique type of gauntlets that provide you 15 points towards the Fortify Two-Handed effect, turning you into a bit more formidable than you already must be before obtaining it. Unlike the usual gauntlets or other pieces of armor, the gauntlets could be disenchanted at the arcane enchanter to learn the Fortify Two-Handed Enchantment, allowing you to apply it to other items.
You will find the owner of Ironhand Gauntlets - Hajvarr Iron-Hand - at White River Watch; a cave east of Whiterun. If you’re low on level, try to level up before facing this guy, as he has Iron-Hand in his name. Other than that, it should be fairly easy to find.
16 Ebony Mail
Ebony Mail is one of the artifacts of the Daedric Prince Boethiah, but is now held by his rebelling former supporter - Champion of Boethiah - who you’d have to face at the end of the quest Boethiah's Calling. You’d have to finish him and his followers silently as a part of the quest, so it certainly won’t be easy, but it’s going to provide a lot of increments in the Stealth skill tree for sure.
The mail is a heavy piece of armor that gives you the muffle ability (otherwise only restricted to footwear) as well as poison damage of five points to foes nearby.
It’s one of the few pieces of heavy armor you can use for a stealth oriented gameplay, gives its Muffle skill bonus.
15 The Gauldur Amulet
The Gauldur Amulet is a item that doesn’t just look fashionable as hell, but also provides some pretty useful perks. It offers+30 to Health, Magicka as well as Stamina, and if stacked up, that’s a pretty big bump in overall stats for lower level players. It also weighs 0, compared to other amulets which carry some weight, no matter how negligible.
The Gauldur Amulet could be obtained by completing the Forbidden Legend quest. While the quest takes places in different locations across Skyrim, the three amulet fragments to make the The Gauldur Amulet could be found in the dungeons of Saarthal, Folgunthur, and Geirmund's Hall.
14 Black Star
Soul gems in the game are used to trap souls and in turn use them to enchant (or re-enchant) weapons or armor at the arcane enchanter, though all the soul gems in the game are destroyed after one use. Black Star is a soul gem that doesn’t just trap both human (black) and animal (white) souls. It’s also reusable any number of times, as it doesn’t get destroyed in the enchantment.
It’s one of the two rewards for the quest Black Star, the other one being Azura’s Star that can only trap white souls.
To get the Black Star, just take the broken Azura’s star at the end of the quest to Nelacar instead of Aranea. He’ll give you the black star, and in the case of Aranea, the Azura’s Star, if you choose to go that route.
13 Oghma Infinium
Oghma Infinium is a tome of knowledge you can read which gives you some pretty cool skills and knowledge, and is one of the most powerful items in the game to get your hands on. Upon reading, you can choose to take one of three paths; Path of Might, Path of Shadow, or Path of Magic. Each gives you +5 points in six skill trees related to the respective paths (like One-Handed and Two-Handed for the Path of Might, and Pickpocket and Sneak for the Path of Shadow).
The best part is that the perk-ups count towards your usual levelling up process. To obtain the tome, you’d have to complete the Daedric quest related to the prince Hermaeus Mora; Discerning the Transmundane.
12 Dwemer Lexicon
The Dwemer are one of the most fascinating aspects of the Elder Scrolls lore. An ancient race of beings who were surprisingly more advanced than any other race of the time, they went extinct from Tamriel before the events of Skyrim for unknown reasons. The advanced machinery and structures they built still form a big part of the backdrop of Dwemer quests available in the game.
The Dwemer Lexicon is an item (precisely a glowing-red cube that looks pretty important) invented by the Dwemer to store their culture’s knowledge.
It can be obtained from an Argonian NPC, From-Deepest-Fathoms, at Riften Docks. Accessing the knowledge activates the Ancient Knowledge passive, granting a 25% armor bonus everytime you’re wearing any Dwarven armor.
11 Notched Pickaxe
The pickaxe is a pretty useful item in the game in itself. It can be used for mining and cutting through rock, as a lot of us who’ve found a shiny ore only to realize they need to visit a merchant to get one has found out. It’s certainly not a weapon, though the Notched Pickaxe, a rare item in the game, certainly changes that a bit.
With its approximately 5 shock damage, the Notched Pickaxe can, at desperate times when you’re low on levels and skill, does make for a good weapon. It also gives you 5 towards smithing, and it can be disenchanted to learn the Notched Pickaxe enchantment. It can also be an Easter Egg honoring Notch, Minecraft’s creator, given its bonus to Smithing, though that has never been confirmed. To find it, you’d have to make your way to the top of the Throat of the World, just below the highest peak.
10 Arch-Mage’s Boots
Boots in the game are a pretty normal item, pretty much like real life boots. With a value of 2 (OK maybe not as much like real life as we thought), a normal pair of boots could be enchanted to exhibit whatever properties you want. Not these ones, however; with a base value of 603 and shock resistance of 40%, the Arch-Mage’s boots are anything but your normal boots in the game.
You can acquire them once you become the Arch-Mage in the College of Winterhold questline.
To find the boots, you’d have to make your way to the Arch Mage’s quarters, head towards the bed on the left, and look around the cupboard right after it. While there are normal boots to get confused with right next to it, too, the ones you’re looking for aren’t as difficult to find.
9 Targe of the Blooded
Unlike most of the other items on this list, this one isn’t exactly as deadly as it sounds (given how powerful the other, less-dramatically-named heavy shields are), though it’s still a rare item and a valuable addition to the Dragonborn’s kit at lower levels. It’s not that weak either, as it provides bleeding damage of 3 points per second to anyone unlucky enough to be in its bashing range. The damage can be stacked up, providing utility over other heavy shields of the same variety. It also works on targets who don’t generally bleed (like Draugr).
It can be found in the Dwemer ruins of Alftand south of Winterhold (this is also a place of other important Dwemer quests, like the above-mentioned Ancient Knowledge) by defeating a Redguard named Umana.
8 Ancient Shrouded Armor Set
Shrouded armor is one of the most fabulous-looking pieces of armor found in Skyrim, though Ancient Shrouded Armor, an upgraded version of the former, also provides some quite powerful perks. If you’re wearing all the parts of this set, the armor provides poison resistance by 100% (armor), 0.5 points towards the Muffle ability (boots), a 35% boost to bow damage (cowl) and double damage while doing sneak attacks with one-handed weapons (gloves).
Together, the armor provides armor rating at par with some of the best in the game.
It can be obtained at the completion of the Dark Brotherhood quest; Locate the Assassin of Old. To trigger the quest, all you need to do is go talk to an elderly woman named Olava the Feeble in Whiterun.
7 Ring of Namira
The Ring of Namira is a Daedric rare item that allows you to feed on corpses (yes) and derive some much needed perks out of it - precisely 50 stamina and 50% stamina regeneration for five minutes. While not exactly as dark as a lot of the rest of the game, it still features in one of the scariest missions you can attempt alone in the dead of the night.
You can obtain the Ring of Namira at the end of the mission The Taste of Death, which is as literal as the game has ever been. The mission takes place in the Hall of the Dead of Markarth, and could be triggered by speaking to an NPC called Kleppr at the Silver-Blood Inn. To get it, you must defeat Brother Verulus, a Priest of Arkay, and feast on his corpse.
6 Amulet of Articulation
Amulet of Articulation is a rare and powerful item that grants you the ability to succeed at all persuasion attempts in the game regardless of your Speech skill. Apart from Fortify Persuasion, it also provides you with a Fortify Speech bonus of upto 35 points, depending on what version of the amulet you receive. It doesn’t depend on the level, though, so you can probably reload the save again and again to get the one you want. It can also be disenchanted to learn the Fortify Speech enchantment.
To get it, you’ll have to complete the Thieves’ Guild quest called Under New Management.
As the name suggests, the quest would end with you becoming the new guildmaster of the Thieves’ Guild, and with the amulet, you can now act like it, too.
5 Aetherial Shield
Like we mentioned above, the Dwemer were known for their craftsmanship, metal-working, knowledge of different materials and other technological advances the rest of the world couldn’t catch up with even years after their mysterious extinction. Like Dwemer artifacts spread across Skyrim, the Aetherial Shield is a rare Dwemer shield that provides some awesome perks.
For one, you can trigger the Become Ethereal dragon shout on the enemy just by bashing the shield on them. The effect lasts for 15 seconds, and could be used to chain some pretty cool ability combos. It also puts Fear on them, making them escape the fight as soon as possible, so you'd have to be quick if you're intending to finish them off. The shield could only be forged at Aetherium Forge in the Dwemer quest called Lost to the ages, and you’ll receive all the materials required in the course of the quest.
4 Savior's Hide
The Daedra are the beings inhabiting the planes of Oblivion, as anyone who has played the previous installment of the series or kept their ears open in Skyrim would be aware of. The Daedric princes are close to Gods, and it’s difficult to nail down what they exactly are due to the many accounts explaining them.
They're some of the most powerful beings in the game's lore, and have some of the best items in the game’s lore - and Savior’s Hide is one of them.
It’s a rare light armor cuirass that provides Resist Magic of 15 points and Resist Poison of 50 points to the wearer. To get it, you’d have to complete one of the Daedric quests called Ill Met by Moonlight. Not to mention that this looks pretty cool to be prancing about the whole place in.
Speaking of powerful Daedric items, Spellbreaker definitely deserves a mention in any list of rare items in Skyrim. Belonging to one of the Daedric princes known as Peryite, Spellbreaker has been a crucial part of the Skyrim history, especially during the Battle of Rourken-Shalidor.
It’s a rare shield that also exists in Oblivion, and provides the holder with the power of countering any spell cast at them. Blocking with it casts a ward that resists any magic, with a Resist Magic value of 50. Spellbreaker could be obtained by completing the Daedric quest called The Only Cure, which also features Peryite. You’d have to be a certain level to be able to trigger this quest, though (level 10 or 12 depending on which character you get the quest from), so make sure to be prepared before taking this one on.
2 Skeleton Key
Lockpicks in the game are used to break open locks of varying degrees of difficulty, though the thing with them is that they break quite easily. Any novice trying to open those civilian houses to increase their lockpicking perk is familiar with the problem of running out of lockpicks. Skeleton Key is an unbreakable lockpick and one of the rarest item in the games. Not only does it not break, but using it on locks still gives you the same bump in the perk as usual lockpicks.
You can get the lockpick by joining the Thieves’ Guild and completing the Blindsighted questline.
While you do have to return the lockpick to complete the Thieves’ Guild questline, you can easily choose to not do that. If you really want to, though, you can just use the Skeleton Key to max out your Lockpicking skill and unlocking Unbreakable which does the same thing, and promptly returning the key.
1 Masque of Clavicus Vile
Another one of the powerful artifacts of Daedric princes, the Masque of Clavicus Vile is a unique mask belonging to Clavicus Vile with a bloody history. We’d love to get into it, but due to it being way way out of scope of this article, we’d highly recommend you to check it out on your own.
Coming back to the item, the Masque of Clavicus Vile provides Fortify Banter of 20 points, Fortify Speech of 10 points and Fortify Magicka Regen of 5 points. While none of that translates to badass abilities in combat, it makes sure that everyone you talk to respects you, and is a huge bonus when you’re bartering. To get it, you’d have to complete the Daedric Quest - A Daedra's Best Friend. It’s one of the potential rewards, the other one being the Rueful Axe.
Are there any other hidden items in Skyrim that we forgot to mention? Let us know how to find them in the comments!