Skyrim modders replace boring, basic locks with beautiful and bizarre new ones

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Weird how every lock in Skyrim looks exactly the same, innit? Over your career as the Dragonborn, you'll pick locks on hundreds of doors, chests, crypts, and other containers, and depending where you are in the world these locks may be of Dwemer, Falmer, Nord, Ayleid, or some other origin.

So why do they all look identical? Is there some company in Skyrim that's had a monopoly on lock manufacturing and distribution for hundreds of years? Are Dwarven Spiders and Draugr Scourges dragging themselves out of their dungeons and tediously filling out lock request forms at Skyrim's only hardware store?

Well, you'll never have to hunch over that same boring-ass no-frills Skyrim ACME lock again. The Security Overhaul Lock Variants (opens in new tab) and Security Overhaul Add-Ons (opens in new tab) mods add a whole bunch of new lock designs for you to peer at while you're heroically robbing Skyrim of its every last Septim. The locks range from startlingly beautiful to mystically eerie to fairly disgusting, but they're all lore-friendly and wonderfully animated. There are even new sound effects to accompany some of the weirder designs.

There's an Ayelid lock, a Nordic lock, and Soul Cairn lock (which requires an additional mod (opens in new tab) since the Soul Cairn doesn't have locks in vanilla Skyrim). The tension cable lock is really cool, too, giving those trapped locks in forts and ruins a more distinctive look while you fiddle with the mechanism to disarm them. If you're picking a lock on an underwater chest it'll be covered in barnacles, just like it most likely would be.

Dwemer chests have a series of bronze gears that rotate when you pick them, which is awesomely fitting. Falmer chests, like pretty much anything else the Falmer make, are crafted from chaurus, which are huge gross insects. You'd expect their locks to be made of bug parts, too. And now they are! You're literally sticking your pick into a bug carapace and twisting it, and the mod even adds a disgusting sinewy sound to accompany the disturbing visual of the lock:

Note that these mods don't change the actual lock-picking system, but they add a ton of variety and loads of immersion. Makes me want to jump back into Skyrim Special Edition and start the Thieves Guild missions all over again. 

There's a version for Skyrim VR (opens in new tab), too, and you can even find instructions on how to add your own lock models on the mod's page on Nexus Mods (opens in new tab).

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.