Elder Scrolls Thieves Guild Guide

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There have been many guilds, factions, and organizations that have operated throughout Tamriel over the years. Of those groups, three groups stand out as the most iconic: the Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, and Thieves Guild.  As you might expect from the name, the Thieves Guild is home to those who enjoy getting a perpetual five-finger discount for pretty much everything. 

Despite their criminality, the Thieves Guild is far from the worst faction in Tamriel. Most iterations of the Thieves Guild fall under the honorable thieves category. That’s not to say that the Thieves Guild isn’t without flaw, as they have had a few dark chapters throughout the eras. 

Thieves Guild Overview

The Thieves Guild operates all over Tamriel, though the various regional sects have little to no communication with the others and operate on their own authority. As a result, the codes of conduct can vary, with one version of the Thieves Guild being more brutal than others. 

The Thieves Guild is the ideal home for players who want to obtain lots of shiny things without paying for them. It’s also a Guild for those who prefer not to go in guns blazing or in the Elder Scrolls, swords waving. Stealth is the name of the game for the Thieves Guild.

They favor taking what they want without anyone noticing (Or at least not until it’s too late for anyone to do anything about it). 

If combat or excitement is what you’re looking for, the Thieves Guild isn’t the faction for you. The Thieves Guild is about riches, not glory. Most quests revolve around pickpocketing someone, stealing from a store, or breaking into someone’s manor.

Generally speaking, they abstain from violence unless absolutely necessary or if a rival pushes them towards conflict. 

The Thieves Guild looks out for its own, and helps its members navigate their lives as wanted criminals. Thieves Guild fences can help you offload your ill-gained goods for top dollar, and your Thieves Guild connections can help you stay out of jail if the authorities catch up to you (A bribe or two also never hurt anyone). 

Some players may find Thieves Guild questlines to be a little boring due to the lack of conflict, and I would agree that the Thieves Guild is definitely not the faction for everyone.

It’s a welcome change of pace if you want to take a break from constant combat, but unsurprisingly, it’s more about loot than excitement (In most Elder Scrolls games).

Thieves Guild questlines do tend to heat up as you near their climaxes, and many of the items you can obtain by working with the Thieves Guild can assist you greatly in your combat or magical endeavors. 

Thieves Guild History


elder scrolls thieves guild
Image Source: UESP.net

The exact year that the Thieves Guild was born is currently unknown. All we know is that it was founded sometime before 2E 549 in a port city called Abah’s Landing on Hew’s Bane. Hew’s Bane is a peninsula on the southern coast of Hammerfell, home of the Redguard. 

The Thieves Guild’s primary issue from day one has been a lack of organization. A loose band of petty thieves with different objectives and codes of conduct doesn’t make for much of a faction. That would be a problem the Thieves Guild would deal with for many years. 

Second Era

The earliest known attempt at a proper organization came sometime during the sixth century of the Second Era when a Thieves Guild member named Bright Ilmund took control of the organization. 

Unfortunately for the Thieves Guild, Bright was more a thug than a proper thief. He lacked the capacity to plan proper heists and would sink so low as to stick up and rob beggars who had little to give. Under Bright’s leadership or lack thereof, the fledging Thieves Guild lost many members. 

After the death of Bright, an Imperial name Nicolas took control of the Thieves Guild. As Guildmaster, Nicolas established three core tenets that members of the Thieves Guild must follow. Under Nicolas’ guidance, the Thieves Guild became a proper organization and more like a family than a group of thieves who could care less about one another.

Its members began to thrive, and its influence in Abah’s Landing grew. While under Bright, the Thieves Guild fought for the scraps of Abah’s Landing’s merchant lords, but under Nicolas, the power dynamic reversed. 

In 2E 582, Nicolas and several veteran Thieves Guild members, Zeira, Edda, and Daldur, went out to steal from the al-Danobia Tomb. The heist didn’t go as planned, and after springing one of the tomb’s many traps, the job went south. Zeira was the only known survivor and went on to become Guildmaster in Nicolas’ absence. 

The heist gone wrong at al-Danobia Tomb drew the attention and ire of Magnifica Falorah. The Thieves Guild’s exploits resulted in the loss of Falorah’s dowry and the desecration of her ancestor Danobia’s tomb.

Magnifica would hire the Iron Wheel, a bailiffs organization, to track down those responsible. This incident would be the first recorded serious confrontation the Thieves Guild would have in Tamriel.

It turns out that their family wasn’t as tight-knit as initially believed, and an insider may have been responsible for putting the Thieves Guild and the Iron Wheel on a collision course.

Beyond the exploits of the Abah’s Landing Thieves Guild, the Thieves Guild’s history throughout the rest of the Second Era remains a mystery. 

Elder Scrolls: Arena

The Thieves Guild in Arena is the most barebones incarnation in the series, both lore-wise and gameplay-wise. The Eternal Champion, the playable character of Arena, will sometimes run into members of the Thieves Guild during randomly generated side quests.

These Thieves Guild members can appear both as friendly as hostile NPCs, with the latter making Arena’s Thieves Guild one of the more violent versions. 

It is impossible to join the Thieves Guild in Arena, and there’s little lore on the faction from this time period. 

Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

elder scrolls ii daggerfall
Daggerfall is the first game in the series with the Thieves Guild as a playable.

Daggerfall is when the Thieves Guild chronologically starts to take shape in the Elder Scrolls series and become more renowned and influential lore-wise as a faction. Daggerfall is the first game where you can join the Thieves Guild. 

To join, the player must successfully pickpocket ten people or break into a store without the Open spell to receive an invitation to the Thieves Guild. Like earlier iterations of the Thieves Guild, Daggerfall’s faction generally frowns on freelance thieves. Birds of a feather stick together, willingly or not. 

Once a member of the Thieves Guild, you’ll unlock some initial services and gain more as you progress through the ranks. The Thieves Guild can exert some of its power with various political groups and influential members of society.

You also gain the ability to bribe judges when someone accuses you of theft crimes, and this ability improves the higher your rank. 

Daggerfall Thieves Guild Skills

Factions in the earlier games in the Elder Scrolls series possess favored skills that they like to use. Members of the Thieves Guild must be proficient in some of these skills if they want to climb the ranks. 

The Thieves Guild has seven preferred Guild Skills:

  • Streetwise
  • Stealth
  • Short Blade
  • Backstabbing
  • Pickpocket
  • Lockpicking
  • Climbing

Daggerfall Thieves Guild Ranks

To climb the ranks of the Thieves Guild, you must be proficient in two of the seven Guild Skills and have sufficient Guild Reputation. You can increase the latter by successfully completing quests for the Thieves Guild at any Guild Hall. 

Once a member of the Thieves Guild, you can speak with Shadow Trainers, who can train up your Guild Skills to a maximum of 50%. Along with the seven Guild Skills, Shadow Trainers can train you in the following:

  • Blunt Weapon
  • Dodging
  • Swimming
  • Jumping

There are ten ranks in the Thieves Guild. Each rank has a required Reputation, High Skill, and Low Skill before you can advance. 


  • Reputation: 0
  • High Skill: 22
  • Low Skill: 4


  • Reputation: 10
  • High Skill: 23
  • Low Skill: 5


  • Reputation: 20
  • High Skill: 31
  • Low Skill: 9


  • Reputation: 30
  • High Skill: 39
  • Low Skill: 13


  • Reputation: 40
  • High Skill: 47
  • Low Skill: 17


  • Reputation: 50
  • High Skill: 55
  • Low Skill: 21


  • Reputation: 60
  • High Skill: 63
  • Low Skill: 25


  • Reputation: 70
  • High Skill: 71
  • Low Skill: 29


  • Reputation: 80
  • High Skill: 79
  • Low Skill: 33

Master Thief

  • Reputation: 90
  • High Skill: 87
  • Low Skill: 37

Daggerfall Thieves Guild Quests

While Daggerfall is when Bethesda started to flesh out the Thieves Guild as a faction, the Thieves Guild’s quests in Daggerfall are very simplistic.

There are over a dozen Thieves Guild quests, and most are glorified theft fetch quests. A quest giver tells you to bring them an item. You go out and steal it, then return to the Guild. That’s it. 

Several Thieves Guild quests were initially exclusive to the CompUSA Special Edition version of Daggerfall. Bethesda has since made this version available to everyone via a free CompUSA Special Edition patch.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

elder scrolls iii morrowind
Morrowind’s Thieves Guild arguably has the strongest questline in the franchise.

The Thieves Guild’s influence has grown significantly during the events of Morrowind. The Thieves Guild has taken on an unofficial role as a crime regulator. Their intolerance for freelance criminals and the requirement that members follow an established code of conduct make them more appealing as criminal offenders than freelancers. 

By this point, the Thieves Guild has abandoned pursuits like drug distribution and prostitution. The Thieves Guild largely forbids killing, and it is illegal for Thieves Guild members to engage in misconduct against fellow members or the poor. 

As a result, many officials and those with authority have an unspoken understanding with the Thieves Guild, as the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

Coupled with their willingness to bribe officials (In-game, this allows you to remove bounties by paying a senior Thieves Guild member to make the authorities forget about you), the Thieves Guild has thrived under the leadership of Gentleman Jim Stacey. 

That is not to say that the Thieves Guild is without enemies. Aside from law enforcement who are above bribes and intent on bringing down all criminals, Thieves Guild or otherwise, there is the Camonna Tong, the local Dunmer Mafia. 

Coincidentally enough, the Camonna Tong are heavily involved in drugs and prostitution and are deadset on destroying Morrowind’s Thieves Guild. The Camonna Tong despises all foreigners and foreign organizations.

Since the Thieves Guild encroaches on some of their business territories, they are a natural enemy of the Cammona Tong. 

While they despise foreigners, the Camonna Tong is not above using them as a means to an end. The Camonna Tong has successfully bought the services of some of the Fighters Guild’s most senior members.

As such, they nearly have the entire Fighters Guild at their disposal in their war with the Thieves Guild. With their extensive political influence, the Camonna Tong has been making things hard for the Thieves Guild and is close to their goal of eliminating it entirely. This conflict takes center stage towards the end of the Thieves Guild questline. 

Morrowind significantly improves upon the Thieves Guild gameplay formula set in Daggerfall and adds complexity to Thieves Guild quests. There’s even an actual storyline to follow now. 

Unlike in Daggerfall, Morrowind’s Thieves Guild doesn’t have Guild Halls. Instead, Morrowind’s Thieves Guild has three main hangout spots: the Southwall Cornerclub in Balmora, Dirty Muriel’s Cornerclub in Sadrith Mora, and The Rat in the Pot in Ald’Ruhn.

Each hangout has a Guild Steward: Sugar-Lips Habasi, Big Helende, and Aengoth the Jeweler, respectively. The Guild’s leader, Gentleman Jim Stacey, resides in Vivec.

Players no longer need to prove themselves worthy of joining the Thieves Guild by engaging in some freelance thievery. Everyone can join the Thieves Guild by speaking with any of the three Guild Stewards. 

Bal Molagmer

The Bal Molagmer, or Stone Fire Men, was a faction of thieves with origins dating back to the Second Era. Their name partially stems from the fact that they took fiery hot stones from Red Mountain. 

The Bal Molagmer were the Robin Hoods of Vvardenfell, stealing only from the unjust and using the spoils of their heists to give to the downtrodden. Despite engaging in crime through thievery, many considered their acts to be justice. 

For unknown reasons, the Bal Molagmer ceased operations in the early days of the Third Era. Unfortunately, Bethesda has never fleshed out the Bal Molagmer as a faction beyond what we learn about them here in Morrowind. 

Morrowind Thieves Guild Skills

Morrowind made significant changes to the skill system from Daggerfall, combining some skills and removing others entirely. 

Morrowind’s factions still have favored Guild Skills. The Guild Skills for the Thieves Guild are:

  • Acrobatics
  • Light Armor
  • Marksman
  • Sneak
  • Short Blade
  • Security

Morrowind Thieves Guild Ranks

Morrowind maintains the rank system from Daggerfall and expands upon it slightly to include factions’ Favored Attributes of Agility and Personality. Players must have a minimum faction Reputation, three Guild Skills, and the Favored Attributes at sufficient levels to climb the ranks. 

The Favored Attribute requirements to rank up are low, and nearly every character can meet them at level 1. You earn Reputation by completing quests. The skill requirements are trickier. Various Thieves Guild members around Vvardenfell can provide training in the Thieves Guild’s Guild Skills. 

Once again, there are ten ranks in the Thieves Guild. 


  • Reputation: 0
  • Required Attributes: 30 Agility & 30 Personality
  • High Skill: 0
  • Low Skills: 0

Wet Ear

  • Reputation: 5
  • Required Attributes: 30 Agility & 30 Personality
  • High Skill: 10
  • Low Skills: 0


  • Reputation: 10
  • Required Attributes: 30 Agility & 30 Personality
  • High Skill: 20
  • Low Skills: 0


  • Reputation: 20
  • Required Attributes: 30 Agility & 30 Personality
  • High Skill:30
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 5


  • Reputation: 30
  • Required Attributes: 30 Agility & 30 Personality
  • High Skill: 40
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 10


  • Reputation: 45
  • Required Attributes: 31 Agility & 31 Personality
  • High Skill: 50
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 15


  • Reputation: 60
  • Required Attributes: 32 Agility & 32 Personality
  • High Skill: 60
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 20


  • Reputation: 80
  • Required Attributes: 33 Agility & 33 Personality
  • High Skill: 70
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 25


  • Reputation: 100
  • Required Attributes: 34 Agility & 34 Personality
  • High Skill: 80
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 30

Master Thief

  • Reputation: 125
  • Required Attributes: 35 Agility & 35 Personality
  • High Skill: 90
  • Low Skills: Two skills at 35

Morrowind Thieves Guild Quests

Speaking with the Guild Stewards, and eventually, Guildmaster Gentlemen Jim Stacey (After you reach Captain rank or higher), is how you take on Thieves Guild quests. As expected, most revolve around stealing items or breaking into people’s houses. 

Morrowind does change up the pace a bit, with one quest requiring you to spring a Thieves Guild member out of prison and another helping the Mages Guild with an alchemy experiment. 

Several quests are about the Thieves Guild bolstering their defenses against the Camonna Tong and Fighters Guild and involve you hiring a mage protector or building a Dwemer creature. After unlocking Gentleman Jim Stacey as a quest giver, the Thieves Guild storyline really picks up and focuses on the conflict with the Camonna Tong and Fighters Guild. 

After earning his trust, Stacey will inform you of his desire to revive the Bal Molagmer. He will give you a special set of Bal Molagmer gloves, and you can take on a handful of quests as a new-generation Stone Fire Man.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

elder scrolls iv oblivion
Oblivion’s Thieves Guild is headed by Gray Fox.

The Thieves Guild of Cyrodiil has been in operation for over several hundred years before the events of Oblivion. It has maintained the code of conduct seen in Morrowind’s Thieves Guild.

Crimes against fellow members are strictly forbidden, as is robbing beggars. You are also not allowed to kill anyone while on a job for the Thieves Guild. Doing so will result in hefty gold fines. 

The Thieves Guild’s leader in Cyrodiil is the enigmatic Gray Fox. No, not the one from Metal Gear. Oblivion’s Gray Fox gets his name from his stealthy abilities and the mask he constantly wears, the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal. The original Gray Fox stole this mask from the Daedric Prince Nocturnal. 

The Gray Fox in Oblivion is not the original Gray Fox. Instead, the title Gray Fox and the mask are passed down from leader to leader of the Thieves Guild. Nocturnal placed a curse on the Cowl out of anger at its theft.

The curse erases the wearer’s identity from all of history, hence why many believe the Gray Fox is the same person who stole the mask from Noctural several hundred years ago. 

Despite the Thieves Guild’s shaky history with Nocturnal, they still view her as their patron god. 

Tamriel’s Most Secretive Thieves Guild

The Thieves Guild in Cyrodiil is the most cautious to appear in the series. Stationed in the heart of the Empire, the relative blind eye to the Thieves Guild’s criminal activity is less lenient in Cyrodiil than in other provinces. The Imperial Watch, in particular, is dead set on taking down the Cyrodiil branch of the Thieves Guild. 

Due to heightened scrutiny from the authorities, you can say goodbye to public Guild Halls or well-known Thieves Guild hideouts. Instead of public Guild Stewards, there are discreet handlers known as Doyen.

These handlers are very good at what they do and can keep you out of jail. By paying them half of any bounty you currently have, Doyen can remove it. 

The Thieves Guild is also back to the way it was in Daggerfall, with players needing to prove their worth before they can join. But first, you need to find the Thieves Guild. 

Finding the Thieves Guild

There are several possible ways of finding the Thieves Guild in Oblivion. The first is to commit a crime, get caught, then spend some time in jail. During your imprisonment or after your release, someone will approach you and give you a note about where you can meet a representative of the Thieves Guild. 

The most common method of finding the Thieves Guild without spending time in a cell is to examine one of the many Gray Fox wanted posters in the Imperial City. After doing so, raise the disposition of any beggar high enough, and they will inform you of a place where you can meet the Thieves Guild. 

On subsequent playthroughs, if you already know where the meeting place is, you can go straight there, and your initiation into the Thieves Guild will begin that way. 

Joining The Thieves Guild

After meeting Armand Christophe, one of the Thieves Guild’s Doyen, you must prove yourself worthy of joining the Thieves Guild. He will ask you to break into a house and steal a diary found inside. The tricky part is the two other aspiring thieves have the same goal, and you must get it before they do. 

If you succeed, you’ll become a member of the Thieves Guild. 

Oblivion Thieves Guild Skills

Oblivion changes how skills interact with various guilds. Gone are skill requirements for rank advancement. 

That is not to say that you can become an adequate member of the Thieves Guild without employing skills expected of a thief; Quite the contrary. Aspiring thieves would do well to become adept at skills like Blade, Sneak, Acrobatics, Athletics, Security, Speechcraft, Mercantile, Marksman, and Illusion. 

Oblivion Thieves Guild Ranks

Faction ranks work very differently in Oblivion than in Daggerfall or Morrowind. Players no longer need to worry about Favored Attributes, Guild Skills, or Reputation.

Instead, you progress through the ranks by completing special jobs only available through the two Doyen, Armand Christophe and S’Krivva, and Gray Fox himself. But unlocking these special jobs is easier said than done. While many fans were disappointed in the removal of Guild Skill rank requirements, Oblivion requires the player to be most engaged in the activities the Thieves Guild is known for. 

To unlock special jobs, you must fence stolen goods to one of the Thieves Guild’s many fences. After selling a certain amount of gold’s worth of goods, you will unlock a special job.  You need to fence 1000 gold worth of goods to unlock every special job. As you complete more of these quests, you will be able to advance to higher ranks within the Thieves Guild.

Players of higher ranks unlock better fences with more gold at their disposal. You can also use fences to remove stolen status from any item by selling it to them and buying it back. 

Oblivion Thieves Guild Quests

Oblivion’s Thieves Guild questline takes a step back from Morrowind’s, having less variety and not much of a storyline. You’re back to mostly just stealing things and returning to your quest giver. Things do get interesting once you start taking on jobs for Gray Fox, as it is during these quests you slowly begin to learn more about the Thieves Guild’s mysterious leader. 

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

elder scrolls v skyrim
Skyrim’s Thieves Guild has fallen out of power and its headquarter lie in the sewers.

The Thieves Guild has seen a significant fall from grace by the time of the events of Skyrim. Skyrim’s Thieves Guild’s headquarters are in Riften, well-known for its corruption and rampant crime. 

Skyrim’s Thieves Guild maintains the code of conduct it has been known for centuries, at least on the surface. Crimes against fellow members are strictly forbidden, and killing someone on the job (Unless given express permission) is grounds for expulsion. 

For many years, they were a powerful organization. That power came with a cost, as they were no longer pseudo-protectors of the poor, and the citizens of Skyrim grew to fear this more violent iteration of the Thieves Guild. 

In the year 176 of the Fourth Era, Skyrim’s Thieves Guild was at the height of its power under then Guildmaster Gallus Desidenius. Gallus was also a member of the Nightingales, a sub-faction within the Thieves Guild dedicated to Nocturnal and protecting her shrines throughout Skyrim.

In exchange for their services, Nocturnal blessed the Nightingales and, by extension, the Thieves Guild. 

Things changed when someone murdered Gallus. Rumors of the Thieves Guild losing favor with Nocturnal and drawing her ire spread, as did their misfortune. Clients began to cease association, citizens began to fear them less, and the Thieves Guild’s luck seemed to be running out. 

By the events of Skyrim, Mercer Frey, is Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild. In their decline, they have only gotten worse and soiled their already poor reputation in Skyrim.

They associate with the equally hated Black-Briar Crime Family and have a working relationship with the Dark Brotherhood. Desperate to turn their misfortune around, they’ve resorted to things like loansharking and extortion. 

Despite their fall from grace, being a member of the Thieves Guild still has many benefits. Fences have some of the most gold available of any merchants in the game. One of Skyrim’s many Shouts is only obtainable by completing some of the Thieves Guild’s main quests. 

You can bribe guards to have them look the other way, and random thieves you run into on the road will no longer attempt to rob you. In holds where the Thieves Guild has regained influence, you can pay guards half your bounties, and they no longer take your stolen goods. 

Joining Skyrim’s Thieves Guild

Joining Skyrim’s Thieves Guild is very simple. Go to Riften and into the town’s marketplace during the day. A man named Brynjolf will approach you and invite you to help him with a scheme he’s planning. 

One of the stall owners is giving the Guild some trouble, so he wants to put him out of play by framing him for a crime. He asks that you steal a ring from Madesi and plant it on Brand-Shei. Upon discovering Brand-Shei with the stolen ring, guards will arrest him. Afterward, Brynjolf will invite you to join the Thieves Guild. 

Here’s where Skyrim starts to rear its streamlined head; you don’t actually need to do this. Drop the ring, and inform Brynjolf you lost it, and he will still invite you to join the Thieves Guild. Fail to plant the ring on Brand-Shei? You still get an invitation. 

After receiving an invitation to join, Brynjolf states you must prove yourself worthy by making it to the Thieves Guild headquarters, The Ragged Flagon, alive. They are beneath Riften in The Ratway, home to Riften’s worst criminals. 

Skyrim Thieves Guild Skills

Like Oblivion, there are no skill requirements for advancing through Skyrim’s Thieves Guild. However, skills related to stealth and thievery, like Sneak, Pickpocket, Lockpicking, Short Blade, Archery, and Light Armor, are very useful to any aspiring Thieves Guild member. 

Once a member of the Thieves Guild, you can seek out training from members Vex, Niruin, Vipir the Fleet, and Delvin Mallory, who are Master trainers in Lockpicking, Archery, Pickpocket, and Sneak, respectively. 

Skyrim Thieves Guild Ranks

The streamlining in Skyrim’s design also affects Guild Ranks, which no longer exist. There’s no need for Guild Skills, Favored Attributes (Attributes also no longer exist outside Health, Magicka, and Stamina), or Reputation.

You progress through the Thieves Guild by completing its main quest line. After finishing the main quest line, you can become the leader of the Thieves Guild. 

Skyrim Thieves Guild Quests

What Skyrim’s Thieves Guild lacks in skill or rank requirements, it makes up for with its quests, of which there are many. 

The main quest of the Thieves Guild starts off slow, with things like collecting debts and putting competition out of business. It slowly shifts towards getting to the bottom of the Thieves Guild’s misfortune and looking for ways to turn it around. 

Along with the main quest, there are special job radiant quests that you can take on from Delvin or Vex for gold. These jobs range from pickpocketing unsuspecting civilians, robbing stores, or planting evidence in someone’s house. 

Completing radiant quests for these two will also fill the Ragged Flagon with trophies, improving its appearance and helping the Thieves Guild regain its former high status. You must complete 125 jobs to receive all standard trophies.

The Crown of Barenziah is an item of importance to the Thieves Guild and a special trophy. Barenziah, Queen of Morrowind and former consort of Tiber Septim was allegedly once among Skyrim’s Thieves Guild’s ranks. Restoring her Crown requires finding all missing 24 Stones of Barenziah in a different questline. 

Completing some of these radiant quests is required to finish the main quest line. To begin the Thieves Guild’s final main quest, you must first complete five special jobs in four holds: Whiterun, the Reach, Eastmarch, and Haafingar. 

After completing five jobs in a hold, Vex or Delvin will give you a reputation job to improve the Thieves Guild’s reputation in that hold.

Completing reputation jobs in all four holds is required to restore the Thieves Guild to its former glory and make way for your ascension to the rank of Guildmaster. The Ragged Flagon’s appearance will improve, and there will be more and better furnishing, new merchants, and Guild members. 


Devised by Delvin Mallory, shadowmarks are signs Thieves Guild members use to relay information about buildings to other members without speaking to one another. There are nine shadowmarks in total, each representing something different, like danger, empty, cache, or escape route.

Elder Scrolls Online

elder scrolls online

Chronologically, the Thieves Guild in the Elder Scrolls Online is the oldest iteration of the Thieves Guild. Released as DLC in 2016, players can join the Thieves Guild and experience their conflict with the Iron Wheel. 

Elder Scrolls Online Thieves Guild Quests

Quests in MMOs often leave much to be desired, and Elder Scrolls Online is no different. The quests on hand for ESO’s Thieves Guild are pretty standard fare, with most just being fetch quests. The main quest line of the Thieves Guild is fairly interesting but doesn’t last long. 

Elder Scrolls Online Thieves Guild Skills

Joining the Thieves Guild in ESO is a good idea for any aspiring criminal. By progressing through the Thieves Guild’s ranks, you unlock passive abilities. These include Haggling, which increases the value of stolen goods sold to fences, and Veil of Shadows, which decreases the detection range of guards and witnesses. 

Elder Scrolls Online Thieves Guild Ranks

While ranks have no names in ESO’s Thieves Guild, they still have number designations. You need to reach higher ranks in the Thieves Guild if you wish to unlock every rank of the Thieves Guild’s passive abilities. 

Players increase their Thieves Guild rank by improving their reputation, which they can do by completing quests and jobs for the Thieves Guild. Players receive 5-20 Reputation points per quest/job and need 475 Reputation points to reach rank 12, the highest in the Thieves Guild. 

Karl’s Hit List, an unmarked quest where you steal legendary treasure for the Thieves Guild, gives a significant amount of Reputation points. 

Elder Scrolls Thieves Guild Guide: FAQs

Question: How Do I Get Assigned Jobs from Vex or Delvin for the Right Holds I Still Need Influence in?

Answer: You can cancel their repeatable tasks. Save beforehand just in case Skyrim does it just works things, and keep canceling jobs until they give you ones in the correct holds. 

Question: Can I Be a Member of Morrowind’s Thieves Guild and Fighters Guild Even though they are at War?

Answer: Yes, you can. The quest that forces you to choose a side is the Code Book quest. You can’t give the code book to the Fighters Guild if you’re already a member of the Thieves Guild. And after giving the book to the Fighters Guild, you can’t join the Thieves Guild. 

But if you join the Thieves Guild during the code book quest, you can remain a member of both guilds. There will be some Fighters Guild quests you have to avoid (Since some will downright make you kill Thieves Guild members), but you can eventually lead both Guilds. 

Question: Does Skyrim have a Nightingale Quest Line?

Answer: Unfortunately, no. Despite you being able to join the reformed Nightingales, they don’t have their own faction questline. And that’s a shame since they could’ve been a more combat-oriented Thieves Guild. 


As one of the three premier Imperial Guilds, I suspect the Thieves Guild will always be around in every Elder Scrolls game. Technically speaking, it was the only Imperial Guild in Skyrim, with the Companions and College of Winterhold replacing the Fighters and Mages Guilds, respectively. 

Gameplay-wise, the Thieves Guild is fine. But something that has often held the Thieves Guild back is weak main quests. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racconus, these are not.

And while I can cut them some slack since it is a little hard to make an epic quest line about people who go around swiping things, and that’s pretty much it, there has been some potential. 

Morrowind’s quest with the war between the Thieves Guild, Camonna Tong, and Fighters Guild was as close as this faction has gotten to a meaty questline. ESO had the most opportunity to come up with the Thieves Guild’s best story, but instead, the MMO has the worst of the modern Elder Scrolls games. 

We still don’t know which province Elder Scrolls 6 will be taking place in, but there could be big things happening for the Thieves Guild, depending on where that is. There’s Elsweyr, home of the notoriously shady Khajiit.

Valenwood, home of the sneaky Wood Elves. Or Hammerfell, home of the Redguard and originating province of the Thieves Guild. All three provinces are ripe for a fantastic Thieves Guild storyline. All we need is for Bethesda to pull through. 

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