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The WoW Lockpicking Guide for The Complete Rogue

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WoW Lockpicking for Rogues

The World of Warcraft Rogue Lockpicking skill is your path to wealth beyond your wildest imagination...

Ok ok, I'll put down the ad. Seriously though, there are a few places in the World of Warcraft where lockpicking is a pretty nice skill to have. Such as when your raid leader has looted some boxes he needs opened. Free lockpicking might get you somewhere...

Plus there's the incidental loot you can pick up from the various boxes and lockers that you find (greens, poison components, healing potions, and other cash and prizes.)

The reason for this guide is to answer my questions while leveling up my own Rogue's lockpicking skills. Other guides answered most of my questions, this one answers the rest. I'll update this page as I find more stuff to add.

The lockpicking quests are obsolete as of Cataclysm, though lockpicking and pocket picking aren't. You can still pick pockets and open boxes to your little black heart's content. See below for more info.

Also, since you lockpicking skill is now 5 times your level you will not be leveling your skill, at all, by working all those boxes. You will simply be collecting boxes to open when you level up.

For the fastest leveling that you can get, short of buying a level 90 off ebay (and Blizzard will ban you for that,) click here now.

Ready for Lockpicking

Ready for Lockpicking

Lockpicking in Mists of Pandaria and Beyond

Here's you are, level 85, entering into Pandaria. You kill a few humanoids and get a pickable box. But wait, you can't pick it. Your skill needs to be higher, BUT your lockpicking levels along with you. You cannot train it, feed it, or buff it (by very much.)

You Lockpicking skill is 5x your level, and those boxes require 450 skill. That means level 90 before you can open any of the boxes that you pick. And if you want more of those boxes you should be pocket picking humanoid mobs, not monsters.

That pickpocketing macro below still works just fine.

I recommend banking them or mailing them to an alt for future reference.

Lockpicking, as in Cataclysm, is still a viable, useful skill. It's just that you can't level it on your own. Wait till 90 and then open all those boxes.

Important note for the rest of this page - Since all of the actual practice to level your skill has been removed, it now levels as you level, much of the "how to" stuff shown below is obsolete. You can still find and pick those boxes, you just won't get any skill-ups for it.

Also all of the lockpicking quests have been removed from the official game. All that remains is youir skill and that assortment of boxes.

People running earlier versions of WoW, on private servers, for example, might still be using the old rules and might still be able to use the info below. So it will be left up.

Gnome Rogue, sneeeeeaking

Gnome Rogue, sneeeeeaking

Lockpicking in 4.0 and Cataclysm

Well, as of the 4.0 patch, and Cataclysm, the lockpicking quests are obsolete. They have been removed from the game. This will not change in Mists of Pandaria. In M of P your lockpicking skill will continue to scale normally.

When your little backstabber hits level 20 you get the lockpicking skill from your trainer. Your skill is automatically five times your level which means that at level 20 you can pick locks requiring skill 100. No quests, tests, or boxes are required to have that skill. Just like the weapons, where you automatically know them and no longer have to level them up.

Scroll to Continue

Your skill will scale with your level, just like all the other skills and abilities in 4.0, and at 85 it will be 525.

Boxes still drop as they always have. You will also get boxes from picking the pockets of humanoid mobs, so lock picking and pick pocketing still have value. Every once in a while the boxes contain something interesting. There are also still doors and chests to open. This means that your lockpicking isn't useless.

One new item that you can only get through your skills is the Rogue's Draught, which is a very nice healing potion. It's good for about 20K at level 85.

So again, lockpicking is not obsolete, just the quests. .

Speaking of Rogues and skills and here

Mists of Pandaria Stuff on Amazon

She'll kill you first, THEN pick your pockets

She'll kill you first, THEN pick your pockets

Wrath of the Lockpicking King and the Pickpocket Macro

Enter the Wrath

If you need some info on how to make macros, see this post.

Northrend brings higher level boxes with the level 71 mobs, so just use this macro when you get there and you will keep your lockpicking skill maxed out all the way.

You will be picking green boxes from 70 to 71, but if you get enough of them, and you aren't already maxed for you level, then you will be by the time you hit 71.

When you start pickpocketing level 71 mobs you will start seeing Reinforced Junkboxes, which will require a 350 skill. Those will take you the rest of the way to the 400 skill at level 80.

The Feralfen Village in Outland is still a viable place to level your lockpicking, for 380+

Another option to consider is the Violet Hold door in Dalaran, which can be picked at 365. I don't know what the reset timer is, though.

Pickpocketing Macro

Here's a macro that I use that makes the business of pickpocketing trivial. This assumes that you are putting yourself in a position to pickpocket in the first place (meaning that you're stealthed.) If you're a "charge and smash" Rogue then this won't help.

This macro also assumes you're a subtlety Rogue, if you aren't just delete the Premditation part of the macro. Next, replace Cheap Shot with Ambush or whatever you use as an opener.

  • open the macros tab (use /macro)
  • select "new macro"
  • Pick an icon and name it
  • enter the following into the text box

    /cast Premeditation

    /cast Pickpocket

    /cast Cheap Shot

Move the new icon to your action baruse the new macro whenever you attack.

This macro will pickpocket your opponent first, then attack. It's free cash, so go for it. If the mob cannot be pickpocketed the attack will still happen.

Another macro which makes pocket picking easier, if you're just doing that and not attacking, is this one:

  • /cast Sap
  • /cast Pick Pocket

Stun them and pickpocket. This pretty much eliminates the chance that the mobs will catch you with your hands in their pockets.

Rogues do it From behind - Nothing to do with Lockpicking, but lots of fun.

First you stab them, and then...

First you stab them, and then...

Getting Your WoW Lockpicking Skill to 100+


There are a couple of quests which will put your Rogue in front of the chance to work up that lockpicking skill. One's the basic Rogue Lockpicking quest and the other's the poison quest.

Once past the poison quest towers there isn't any particular "lockpicking quest" so start yer grindin"! To get past 300 skill you'll need to have The Burning Crusade installed.

Poison Quest Chest: At one point I thought that the chest at the end of the poison quest had been nerfed. It seemed that it could only be picked once and only with the key you pickpocket off the appropriate guy. As it turns out...

The chest shows no gears or anything when you hover over it, but if you click your lockpicking tool first, for every attempt to pick the chest, it works just fine. This chest will let you get your skill to an easy 160 or so, and to 175+ if you have lots of patience.

Remember that the basic skill rank formula is 5 x level, so the max Lockpicking skill for a level 50 character is 250.

You'll get the lockpicking skill from your rogue trainer at level 16 and the tools from any trade goods vendor.

The head Rogue trainer will give you a quest, which is optional, but go do it and hand it in. Open all the chests in the quest area until your skill is high enough.

By the way, once you've finished this quest don't forget to occasionally ask your friendly Rogue trainer where to go for lockpicking. Sometimes the info is actually useful.

Blood Elf Lockpicking 1-100

If you had the good taste to roll a Blood Elf then here's what you do: You'll pick the chests in the Armani Catacombs, just west of Farstrider Enclave. Kill trolls and pick locks until your lockpicking is 100, the chests turn grey, or you just can't take it anymore. There's a quest that goes along with the, "Greed", that youi can grab in Tranquillan.

Your skill will cap at 5x level, so at lev 16 you'll max out at skill level 80. make sure you're at least level 20 to get to 100 skill.

Blood elves can also find lockers in Zeb'Nowa and Zeb'Tela in the Ghostlands.

Other Horde 1-100 Lockpicking

Rogue Polly Quest - Go to Ratchet, Talk to Wrentex (just north of the flypoint,) get the quest and get the tools and ECAC from the widget nest to him,

Go to the beached ship south of Ratchet, unlock chests on the boat until they're grey, unlock the chest at the botton rear of the ship to complete the quest, and use the ECAC to feed Polly a cracker before Polly eats you.

You don't actually need the quest to pick the locks, but since you're a Rogue you might as well do the quest anyway.

If you are Alliance and you're on a PvP server and you like to live dangerously, then this is a good place to go since Ratchet is Horde territory.

See below for the video.

Alliance 1-100 Lockpicking

In Alther's Mill, in the Redridge Mountains region, there is a quest to lockpick a series of chests to find a quest item. Like all your skills it's capped at 5x level. Like the other lockpicking quests this one is optional, but why not do it?

Here are the basic Quest details.

  1. Talk to Lucius (screenshot) on the warfs in Lakeshire (Redridge.) He's at 28,52.
  2. He'll give you the quest to get the certificate of thievery, done at the mill.
  3. Hike up there (screenshot,) but watch the Level 22 Orcs if you're too low for them. Of course, that's what the stealth button is for, right?
  4. At the mill you'll see your target chest and several "practice chests." Practice your skill till it's maxed or is at least 100 or so.
  5. Then open the other chest and get your item
  6. Take it back to Lucius and he'll give you your certificate and some snide remarks.

I went into the mill at 18 and leveled my skill from 1-90.

Horde who are on PvP servers might find this Alliance lockpicking area interesting.

WoW Lockpicking from 100 to 200+

Dwarves, with their Treasure Finding ability will have the rest of this a bit easier, since that ability will detect pickable boxes. If you're Horde and on A PvP server, well... you know what to do with Dwarves. ;)

There are a couple of ways to go here, depending on your level. You can pickpocket level 30+ mobs for their worn junkboxes (lockpicking 75 to open) or you can find a bunch of footlockers to open.

You can also swim around in Lake Everstill if you're alliance (lockers are orange at skill 90, watch for the 25 elites swimming around) or off the Zoram Strand (Horde or Ally) for "waterlogged footlockers." I suggest an elixer of water breathing to make your swim easier.

The Poison Quest Chest - It used to be that you could pick the chest, at the end of this quest, over and over again, and bring your lockpicking skill up to 170 or more.

Blizzard made a slight change to this. The golden gears no longer show when you hover your pointer over the chest. Now you need to actually click your lockpicking tool first, and then pick the chest. Tough deal, huh? ;) You can still use this chest to get your skill to an easy 160 or so, and even to 175+ if you have lots of patience.

You will need to do this quest if you want to use poisons, even though you don't have to make poisons anymore (you buy them from a vendor.)

Other Lockpicking Areas

Durnholde Keep in Hillsbrad Foothills. There are footlockers scattered around the grounds requiring a 110 skill. Kill off the level 20 something mobs in the area and work these until you get bored (or hit 170 or so.) You can also pick lockboxes off the mobs here, but they require skill 1 to open, so are probably worthless to you.

The Grind to 200+ Lockpicking:

As your Lockpicking gets to around 150 or so, the skill leveling will be slow. Boxes that you pick out of pockets are very green, so you won't get skill ups from them very often, and the next pickable boxes need a 175 skill.

So getting to 175 might take awhile. If you're up for a swim then you can try the sunken footlockers off the Naga area of Sar'theris Strand in Desolace (bring your Elixer of Water Breathing.)

You also have the choice of looting the the footlockers in the upstairs area of Angor Fortress in the Badlands (the upper floor footlockers require a skill of 155, the lower floor footlockers require 175+.)

One you hit 175+ you can go to the lower level of Angor (for dented footlockers) or swim a bit deeper off Sartheris Strand (for mossy footlockers.)

At 175+ you can also start picking pockets for higher level junkboxes. Since you're going to be killing piles of thee guys anyway you might as well check their pockets first, right? This will get you to well over 200 skill.

Pickpocketing for Ultimate Glory

As mentioned above: pick the pockets of all humanoids - ogres, goblins, humans, centaurs, Nagas, undead, etc., always. You'll get boxes every now and then which can be picked. These boxes generally contain rogue poisons making materials and flash powder (for your vanish) so you should be pick-pocketing them anyway.

Obviously you'll come across lots of humans, orgres, nagas, cetaurs, etc. while doing quests, in your travels, and while / target=new>grinding, so pick all those pockets before you kill their owners.

Note: It's good etiquette to kill them after you pick their pockets, so that the rogues coming after you, if you haven't already killed them don't have to pick empty pockets.

The boxes need lockpicking 70 until the mobs hit 42+, then they'll need lockpicking 175.

If your skill isn't 175 by the time you're hunting these guys just save the boxes in your mailbox or in the bank until you can open them.

Battered junkboxes can be picked from level 22-32 mobs and require lockpicking 1

Worn junkboxes can be plucked from level 32+ mobs and require skill 75.

Sturdy Junkboxes come from level 42+ mobs and require a skill of 175 to pick. The pirates of Ogres of Tanaris dropped a number of these for me. There are also dented footlockers in the pirate area.

You should be able to find these sturdy junkboxes from 42+ mobs just about anywhere.

Other places to Work Your Lockpicking to 200+

The Scarlet Monastery - The doors in SM should work to get you to over 200. The ones outside the instance are on a timer so you can only do those a few times every so often. What you do is hit up all the doors on the way in, go into an instance, unlock more doors, open chests, and pickpocket junkboxes all the way to 225. Keep your vanish ready, just in case...

Gadgetzen/Ferales/Badlands - pickpocket ogres, humans, pirates, etc. You'll get those 175 sturdy junkboxes. Keep working those until they grey out.

The Sunken Temple, in the swamp of sorrows, has submerged footlockers that are calling out for your 175+ lockpicking skill.

Sar'theris Strand - off the Naga area swim a bit deeper and look for those mossy footlockers and bring your 175 skill.

The Bay of Storms in Azshara is supposed to have a a few mossy footlockers (skill 225,) but I only found a couple. One on land, one under water.

Get Your Lockpicking Over 225

The Lockpicking Trade

Any time you're in the big city you can post announcements (in chat or trade) offering free lockpicking (and list your skill.)

You don't actually have to take possession of the box first. Your skill level will still go up if they put it in the "will not be traded" section of the trade window. Some people feel that doing this won't allow a skill increase. Having seen my skill increase through doing this I'd say you're good to go with this route.

Of course, if your skill is far higher than that required to open the box, then you won't see a skill up.

Back to the locker hunt:

At 225, go to Searing Gorge. Down in the slag pit are Dented Footlockers. You can open all of them and pickpocket the mobs for junkboxes. Stay here until you have at least skill level 250.

Being the lone Horde of any level (48 at the time) in an area that, at the time, was dominated by higher level Alliance, on a PvP server, was interesting...

250+ lockpicking: Rowg sent in this tip: "Just wanted to add to your suggestions for 250+ lockpicking help. In the Blackrock Depths dungeon, when you first enter, to your immediate left is a locked door requiring the Shadowforge key to enter OR lockpicking skill of at least 250 (mine was 252). If you pick that, you skill will go up. Just inside that door (avoiding the fire elemental) is another door you can pick too. Then exit the instance, reset, and repeat. I'm not sure how far this will take you, but it's another place to skill up that isn't too hard."

Got Plague?

A solid place to go to get your skill from 250-300 is Tyr's Hand in Eastern Plaguelands. Pickpocket the mobs and find all of the Scarlet Footlockers. In the time it takes to make a full circle of Tyr's Hand, the starting point will be pickpocketable and have boxes respawned. Do this until 300.

From 270-320 you can go to the far southeast corner of the Eastern Plaguelands. Forget about the boxes on the ground -- there are very few and they're surrounded by 53-57 elites. Instead, pick-pocket everyone! The guards there drop junk boxes about 10% of the time. You can easily gain 30 skill levels in an hour.

Misc. Lockpicking Stuff

For that little bit extra...

Get 5 point skill boost with these gloves, for those times when you need just a bit more...

Since a lot of pickable boxes are underwater you should grab a potion or elixir of water breathing from the auction house. Heck, since there are a few quests which involve deep swimming you might want to do that anyway.

WoWwiki has several tables which list the various boxes you can come across.

Fishing for loots - while fishing you'll pick up the occasional box that will require picking (most of these boxes won't require it.) If you fish the wreckage pools you find here and there you'll get more of the boxes.

Lockpicking for the 300+ crowd

Why get to Lockpicking 350? Bragging Rights!

You'll be able to open anything, plus you'll have the bragging rights that go with any 350 skill. Since your lockpicking skill is locked to your level (5 x level) you won't get past 350 without some kind of buffs, but then again, you don't need to.

Once you're in the Outlands, whether you're Alliance or Horde, you'll have the opportunity to pick the pockets of lots of orcs and demons and other humanoids. Do this regularly and your lockpicking skill will keep pace with your level.

There are several ways to go from 300-350. One of these is pickpocketing the Boulderfists in Nagrand for Strong Junkboxes.

Khorium Lockboxes are randomly dropped in the Burning Crusade zones, but mostly found in the new Burning Crusades instances. Just make it known that you'll be happy to pick everyone's box during, or at the end of, the run/raid. For free, of course.

A great location for leveling lockpicking between 300 and 350 is in Feralfen Village in Zangarmarsh.

This is located south of Coilfang Reservoir and Twin Spire Ruins, west of the Lagoon and east of Quagg Ridge. There are three areas of buildings clumped together with a handful of wicker chests in each.

The tower in the western section of the village has wicker chests on the first floor and on the top floor. You can also pickpocket the mobs (levels 61-63) with an 11% chance of getting a Strong Junkbox (requires Lockpicking 300.)

Another place at 70 is outside of Black Temple in Shadowmoon Valley (very east side, hunk of land sticking out). Stay near the Blood Elves that are not the demon hunters. Pickpocket these and kill them to have them respawn. Continue this from 300-350 for the most efficient skilling up.

The Ultimate Rogue

Would your rogue perform better with swords, maces, or daggers? Is that Hunter getting you down only because you got the wrong talent build? Does it take so long to get your final mount, because you do the wrong quests or farm gold in the wrong places?

Imagine that you simply knew the answer. You wouldn't need to spend endless hours on frustrating trial and error attempts. Instead you would be standing in front of the auction house answering tells about that devilish looking sword at your side. The World of Warcraft Rogue Guide shows you how to get there! (And it's fully updated for the level 80 builds and Wrath of the Lich King!)

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Gotta lock to pick with this lens? Leave a comment!

rollingtool3 on December 15, 2011:

Thanks for such a nice lens, i like it...keep it up.


rolling tool chest

anonymous on June 21, 2011:

I haven't leveled a rogue yet, but I have a ton of lock boxes in my bank vault for when I do! Thanks for the lens, i will be referring to it.

jillian22 on June 08, 2011:

Nice lens!

nadjaiskeniskie on May 15, 2011:

Thanks for the macro $$

moneysquid on February 13, 2011:

I loved it, very informational

Henrywilliams on December 24, 2010:

Really good stuff, loved the video. Personally I've always found the Zygor leveling guides to be well worth it. They've helped my game a LOT!

Julia Wildman on October 18, 2010:

Really helpful lens - I can see me referring back to this when I get back to levelling my level 48 rogue!

tomz11 on July 21, 2010:

lock picking will make you do a lot of cool things.

anonymous on November 27, 2009:

Is there really a point to get lockpicking up??? i have 2 lvl 80 rogues and nither of them have lockpicking up except for the quests that were given to me for them, but that only got it up to about 60:P

Glassjaw009 on November 08, 2009:

Great lens! Bravo indeed! Also, If you have time, check out my Zygor Leveling Guide Review! Thanks!

DragonAsh on July 05, 2009:

My next toon is going to be a rogue so this info will be very helpful thx. 5*

watchsunshinecleaningonline on June 23, 2009:

Very nice guide, havn't seen many on this topic so glad i found it. Check outWorld of Warcraft Strategy Guides

Rayzorblades on April 30, 2009:

The chick at the front is awesome, Rogues are the best. keep up the good work, and if you are interested in taking a look at my writing on this subject take a look at my Horde Guide blog.

LukeG28 on January 13, 2009:

V nice guide PLease check mine out see what you think!

Onemanmob on November 09, 2008:


wowgoldpower on September 05, 2008:

fantastic guide! lensrolling it on:

World of Wacraft Tips, Addons and Guides

i will also be adding a link to you in my Tips section.

thank you.

SQuest on August 25, 2008:

Great lens, I want to start playing WOW again! :)


bob_g on August 16, 2008:

this is a must visit lens for any rogue. Well done, top marks and a favorite :).

gmarlett lm on August 08, 2008:

Awesome lens, 5-stars!

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teamlane on August 08, 2008:

Blessed by an Angel today! :o)

Riey on August 04, 2008:

Nice lens check out mind for Eve Online!How To Make ISK In Eve Online

anonymous on February 26, 2008:

Nice lens

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