The Skeleton Key is an unbreakable lockpick that increases your Security skill by 40 points whenever the key is in your possession. You can receive this key by completing Nocturnal's Daedric quest. The Skeleton Key's effect is not a typical skill boost, because the Fortify Security effect is implemented as an ability.
- Even when other lockpicks are in your inventory, locked chests will not use the lockpicks and will instead immediately refer to the Skeleton Key to open the lock.
- In order to break out of a jail cell via lockpicking, it is still necessary to keep an ordinary lockpick in your inventory. The game does not treat the Skeleton Key like a lockpick. If you are arrested, it will be removed from your inventory.
- Having the key in your possession provides access to all "Fortify Skill" options while using spellmaking and enchanting altars.
- Because of the way the key increases your Security skill, it enables you to start the Security Training quest when your base skill is only 30.
- The Skeleton Key makes the lockpicking mini-game impossible to lose: simply use the auto-attempt lockpicking option repeatedly until the lock opens. This is much quicker than picking it manually.
- You can speed up Security leveling by safely storing the key out of your inventory. If the skill progress bar is then full lift a tumbler to advance a level. Reacquire the key at the now higher level.
- See skill boost abilities for details on how the key's Fortify Skill ability is different from a standard enchantment.
- If you give Martin the Skeleton Key to complete the Blood of the Daedra quest, you may still have the +40 bonus to Security.
- This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch.