Thief Cache Barrel in Skyrim
Screenshot via Bethesda Game Studios/Microsoft

Free loot in any game is greatly appreciated, especially in an arduous game like Skyrim: Elder Scrolls V. If you love getting free stuff in games, you definitely need to hunt down some Thief Caches in Skyrim! Thief Caches are a great way to give your character a powerful boost in your playthrough if you find yourself falling behind.

Even if you’re not falling behind and are at the top of the food chain in your game, these free loot caches are still valuable, as they can provide some gnarly powerful weapons at high enough levels. These free loot caches aren’t always easy to find, however, and identifying them in large cities can be hard. Thankfully, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about finding Thief Caches in Skyrim!

What are Thief Caches?

Thief Caches are barrels full of precious loot that can be found all over Skyrim! These valuable caches aren’t available to just anybody, however; Thief Caches are only available to those who have joined the Thieves Guild. Once you join the Thieve’s Guild, you will immediately be able to find all sorts of Thief Caches hidden away throughout Riften. Thief Caches can be found in most major cities in Skyrim, such as Markarth, Windhelm, Whiterun, Solitude, and Solstheim. However, to access these different cities’ Thief Caches, you’ll need to complete special missions for Delvin Mallory, a high-ranking member of the Thieve’s Guild.

These missions from Mallory aren’t too difficult, however, and the Thief Caches these missions unlock are more than worth the effort! Thief Caches usually have randomly spawned loot inside that can vary depending upon your level and your game difficulty, similar to dungeon chests. These Thief Caches usually contain a considerable number of flawless gemstones, formidable weapons, various potions, powerful arrows, lockpicks, and enchanted weapons. Once you’re a high enough level, these caches can even contain enchanted Daedric weapons!

All Thief Cache Locations

Most Skyrim cities compatible with the Thieves Guild offer three Thief Caches each, excluding Solstheim. Solstheim only has one Thief Cache, though this cache is still worth hunting down for its substantial rewards. Here are the locations for every Thief Cache in each city in Skyrim:


Look for Riften’s Thief Caches in these locations:

  • Among the fish barrels on the lower decks of Riften, near the Ratway’s entrance.
  • In the back of the garden next to Honeyside. It should be among a few other barrels.
  • In the corner of the second-floor balcony of the Mistveil Keep Barracks. Once you get inside the Barracks and get to the second floor, there will be a door that will lead out to the balcony.


Look for Whiterun’s Thief Caches in these locations:

  • In the corner of the small cow pen next to House Grey-Mane. There should be three barrels stacked on top of each other, with the barrel on top being a Thief Cache.
  • Behind Carlotta Valentia’s house, along the river. There should only be one or two barrels.
  • Directly behind The Bannered Mare, right up against the establishment’s wall. It should be the only barrel up against The Bannered Mare’s wall.


Look for Markarth’s Thief Caches in these locations:

  • Beneath the giant waterfall below Markarth’s blacksmith. It will be half-submerged in the water right at the base of the waterfall.
  • Right outside Vindrel Hall’s entrance, in plain sight.
  • On the walkway directly above The Treasury House, among a few other barrels.
Searching Barrels in Skyrim
Screenshot via Bethesda Game Studios/Microsoft


Look for Windhelm’s Thief Caches in these locations:

  • Tucked away in the corner of the courtyard by Niranye’s house.
  • Among a couple of barrels located right next to Sadri’s Used Wares. (It really is directly next to the door, you won’t have to look very hard for this one.)
  • All the way at the end of a small alley next to Hjerim’s entrance, in the corner.


Look for Solitude’s Thief Caches in these locations:

  • At the end of a small alley next to The Winking Skeever, in a dark corner behind the establishment. There should be a small patch of Nightshade growing right next to it.
  • Right behind Vittoria Vici’s house, tucked in the back of a small, dark alcove. (This one’s easy to miss, search for it in the daylight to see its hiding spot better.)
  • On the right side of Erikur’s house, amongst the numerous other barrels. The Thief Cache should be the only barrel standing upright.


Look for Solstheim’s Thief Cache in this location:

  • In the corner of Grover Mallory’s basement. (You’ll need the Glover’s Guild Key to get into the basement, but you’ll be able to pick the lock on his front door without needing any keys.)

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You’ll never run out of money again as long as you keep emptying these caches! Thief Caches in Skyrim reset every ten days, so you’ll be able to keep a steady supply of valuables coming in constantly. All you need to do to gain access to these amazing sources of loot is join the Thieve’s Guild and follow their storyline, which is actually considered to be one of the most engaging storylines in Skyrim anyways. Fast Travel makes regularly emptying these sixteen caches easy, so you’ve got no excuse to not hunt these treasure troves down in Skyrim!