As a Relic Hunter you want to "collect 'em all". Finding over 3200 items scattered all across Skyrim is not something that happens overnight. Consider these major tips when adventuring across the wastelands of Skyrim, Wyrmstooth, Falskaar, Hammerfell, Cyrodill,...
- Auryen can wait, look at those books!
The road from the Solitude docks to the Dragonborn Hall is filled with unprotected stuff like books and gems. All of these things belong in the museum and will help get you to those important numbers of displays.
- Useless junk is never truly useless.
Making replicas will be an important factor as soon as you start doing quests. Most of these replicas require fancy crafting materials that aren't used at all in Vanilla. You will need things like Human Skull, Linen Wrap, Quill, Roll of Paper, etc more often than not.
- Carry weight is the key.
Bandolier is good mod to help solve this major problem a Relic Hunter will face. Getting your carry weight to 700+ as soon as possible will help you a long way ahead. Other mods like NFF, EFF or AFT will help you too. Don't hesitate to hire an army of pack mules to follow you around.
- Give that back? Hmm, maybe next year.
- All NPC's lives matter
It is not advisable to go on a killing spree while doing a Relic Hunter run. Most NPC's are bound to one quest or another and even the smallest quests can have a relic at the end, quests like Deceiving the Herd are therefor better avoided. Aside from Nazeem of course, do whatever you want with him.
- The Boots of Springheel Jak
- Right Eye of Coldharbour
- Eagle Eye
- Schneider's Sextant
- Ayleid Waystone
- Sword of Ancient Tongues
Getting your archeology skill up is a major part of a relic hunter run. As soon as you get your Explorer's Society guild house, you have acces to the special skill trees. Look out for excavation dig sites in every dungeon, they yield important fragments for your Hall of Lost Empires. The amount of fragments you need for every craftable item are listed below. Note that these numbers would require over 250 minings to get (without the perks).
Besides mining, the player can send 4 Explorer Society Guild members on excavations (Eriana cannot be sent out) every 3 days to collect fragments. They collect about 5 - 6 pieces each with a decent chance to get keystones.
Skills, perks and effects
- Prowler's Profit (No Stone Unturned)
- Although the quest is a real pain, the reward is a must-have. This effect will allow you to find 3 gems in every single container. That means every single burial urn will contain treasures for you to display or sell.
- The Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers mod will make this significantly easier by adding markers for each of the 24 stones. Available on the Nexus for Skyrim and Skyrim SE.
- Extra Pockets (Pickpocket perk)
- Exhume/Scavenger/Salvager (Academia perks)
Each of these locations can only be visited once, and the relics and artifacts within will be lost forever if they are not obtained during your first (and last) visit.
|Roasted Ox Head|
|Roasted Ox Leg|
|Nord Head (requires BadGremlin's Trophy Heads, the main quest completed esp on BadGremlins Trophy Heads mod page places the head atop the Throat of the World instead)|
|Dragon Priest Staff (Wall of Lightning)|
|Nahkriin's Gloves (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Nahkriin's Robes (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Nahkriin's Greaves (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Cloak of Nahkriin|
|Dovah Luv (Technically also obtainable at player level 75 via smithing. Requires Jaysus Swords)|
|Left Eye of the Falmer|
|Right Eye of the Falmer|
|Morokei's Gloves (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Morokei's Robes (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Morokei's Greaves (requires Konahrik's Accoutrements)|
|Cloak of Morokei|
|If either of the masks Morokei or Nahkriin are missed, Konahrik becomes unavailable. Without Kohnarik, most items from Konahrik's Accoutrements become unobtainable.|
|Jade Dragon 4|
|Ruby Paragon -> Auriel's Shield|
|Circlet of Waterbreathing|
|Bloated Man's Grotto (before 'Ill Met by Moonlight')|
|Bolar's Oathblade (before Ill Met by Moonlight)|
|Summerset Royal Mark|
|Dominion Bronze Piece (also obtainable from a treasure map)|
|Calliben's Grim Retort (requires Oblivion Artifact Pack)|
|Thalmor Head (requires BadGremlin's Trophy Heads)|
|Any Orc Stronghold, except Largashbur|
|The Forgemaster's Fingers (Not obtainable if you are an Orc)|
|Ancient Shrouded Armor (not obtainable if you decided to destroy the Brotherhood or neglect to kill Giaus Maro in public)|
Quests to postpone
- Ill Met by Moonlight
- Makes Bolar's Oathblade unobtainable. Travel to Bloated Man's Grotto before getting to the hunt part of this quest.
- If you choose to save Sinding, you will not be able to craft Savior's Hide (Replica). Therefore it is advised to kill & skin Sinding, since you will still be able to craft Ring of Hircine (Replica).
- A Daedra's Best Friend
- Lost to the Ages
- Find the Helm of Winterhold
- Civil War
- It is recommended that you become Thane of every hold before completing the Civil War questline, as siding with either the Empire or the Stormcloaks will make certain quests and unique items unavailable.
- Finishing this questline will change guards in some holds, making their outfits unobtainable.
- If you side with the Empire:
- Maven Black-Briar will become Jarl of Riften. She will not give you the option to become Thane of Riften if you have completed the 'The Raid' prior to siding with the Empire.
- Jarl Korir will not be available for the aforementioned Helm of Winterhold quest.
- 'Blood on the Ice' cannot be started, making the Necromancer's Amulet unobtainable. You may be able to start this quest by purchasing Hjerim and entering the home.
- If you side with the Stormcloaks:
- Thongvor will become Jarl of Markarth. He will not give you the option to collect Hrolfdir's Shield.
- Season Unending
- Will cause certain Jarls to step down making their quests unavailable and change the outfits of town guards, making them unobtainable.
- To Kill an Empire
- Revealing the Unseen
- If you are using Royal Armory, the Dagger of Shalidor will no longer be obtainable after this quest.
Dawnguard vs Volkihar Clan
Not sure what side holds the most relics for you to display? They're listed below.
|Amulet of Bats|
|Amulet of the Gargoyle|
|Ancient Vampire Leg|
|Ancient Vampire Ribcage|
|Ancient Vampire Hands|
|Ancient Vampire Arm|
|Ancient Vampire Head|
|Ring of the Beast|
|Ring of the Erudite|
|Staff of Ruunvald|
Note: The Dwemer Crossbow schematics are made available to Vampires by Legacy of the Dragonborn through the Ancient Technology quest.
With V5 of Legacy of the Dragonborn, all artifacts should be obtainable regardless of which side you pick.
In addition to Bandolier, some very helpful mods that work nicely with Legacy are as follows.
Allows you to get both artifacts from quests where you would normally have to choose only one of two.
Allows you to get both side's artifacts from the Dawnguard quest chains. A third party legacy patch exists for this mod, be sure to get it. No longer needed with V5, and may be incompatible.
Prevents more artifacts like Bolar's Oathblade and The Forgemaster's Fingers from being missable.
Gives you a way to get more aetherium ore in the Aetherium Armor and Weapons Compilation mod. In the original mod, you can't find more than a certain amount of it.
For users of the Elemental Dragons supported mod, this mod will fix all typos, but more importantly add some scales you can acquire in the world. Normally you would outlevel the dragons which carry scales, meaning you can never get them once you are a high level. This mod rectifies that by adding hidden ones throughout the world.
Keeps your unused training sessions for later. Good if you are looking to boost your pickpocket to high levels to get equipped artifacts, or activating the skill related displays.
Mainly helpful to provide a way to obtain the Royal Armory weapons in a reasonable way. You are able to challenge a NPC and take their artifact. Note that it reduces their disposition towards you however.
If you would rather barter with people for their items, NPC Bartering allows you to do just that [Note: unknown if NPCs will sell their weapon].
Will show books as having been read or not simply by hovering the cursor over them in the world.
This mod allows you to quickly scan bookcases etc for unread books, without having to hover over every book individually.
This mod adds over 700 new map markers, allowing you to bypass the usual once-per-playthrough restrictions on Japhet's Folly and Skuldafn, should you miss any of the artifacts at either location.
Quick display count
A fast way to boost your display count, which is most effective on a new character, is to go to the Arcanaeum in the College of Winterhold and steal every book from the bookshelves. A large number of these will be displayable within the museum library. There are also many displayable books in the Bards College in Solitude. If you have VIGILANT installed, there is a library in the Temple of Stendarr where you can repeat this process. Every unique, displayable book counts as one relic. Additionally, Master Neloth sells a lot of books, yielding potentially 100+ extra displays if you buy them all.