Encumbrance affects the total amount of weight of items a character can carry in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Maximum carrying capacity is a crucial element of all Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim included.
Effect on movementEdit
The weight of an object is displayed within the Item Menu. The default carrying limit is 300. Exceeding this limit causes the Dragonborn to become encumbered, preventing them from running or sprinting. Additionally, encumbered individuals cannot use carriages or Fast Travel (unless riding a horse). When playing on PSVR being encumbered causes the teleport range to be significantly shorter.
Means of improvementEdit
Carrying capacity can be improved by a number of means:
- Leveling up Stamina increases carrying capacity by 5 per level.
- The Steed Stone adds 100 and negates the weight of worn armor.
- The "Extra Pockets" Pickpocket Perk increases carrying capacity by 100.
- The "Unhindered" Light Armor Perk reduces the weight of worn Light Armor to zero.
- The "Conditioning" Heavy Armor Perk reduces the weight of worn Heavy Armor to zero.
- Obtaining unique armor:
- Thieves Guild Armor adds 20 (or 35 if upgraded after completing "Scoundrel's Folly").
- The mask belonging to Dragon Priest Volsung adds 20.
- Guild Master's Armor adds 50.
- Blackguard's Armor adds 50.
- The Locket of Saint Jiub DG adds 50.
- Deathbrand Boots DR add 10 to carry capacity for each piece of Deathbrand Armor DR worn, for a maximum of 40
- Taking a Fortify Carry Weight potion temporarily increases carrying capacity by an amount proportional to the strength of the potion. The Slow Time shout can be used together with the potions to increase the duration of the effect.
- The Werewolf Beast Form power temporarily adds a static 1,900 carry weight limit.
- Followers and Spouses can be used to carry extra items, although they too have their own limit that cannot be exceeded. (Total carrying capacity is approximately 290 units of weight)
- However, it is possible to use the glitch in Multiple Followers to gain 3 to 4 followers, thus effectively multiplying the player's total capacity to 1,000 units of weight. This can be performed using Cicero and Dark Brotherhood Initiates, along with a fourth companion.
- Followers can also benefit from the Fortify Carry Weight enchantment, although this is bugged. Should their original (unfortified) limit be exceeded, only one item or stack of items can be added, then the menu must be closed and reopened to add more, up to the absolute maximum capacity.
- Fortify Carry Weight enchantments may be applied to Rings, Amulets, Boots and Gauntlets, increasing carrying capacity relative to enchanting skill (having the Insightful Enchanter perk and all 5 Enchanter perks make the enchantments most effective).
- The maximum possible enchantment acquired from Fortify Carry Weight with the above perks active and a Grand Soul Gem or Black Soul Gem is an increase to encumbrance by 34 points. This can be further increased to 38 points with the Seeker of Sorcery reward from "Black Book: The Sallow Regent." The maximum benefit is gained if a Fortify Enchanting potion is used together with Ahzidal's Genius allowing a player to increase this even more.
- Using the console command
tgm(Toggle God Mode) will enable running, sprinting, and fast-traveling while encumbered, but will not remove limitations on the use of carriages.
- Drawing a bow will add a small amount of speed when encumbered. This is enhanced by the "Ranger" Archery Perk, which allows faster movement with a drawn bow.
- Walking forward and using a melee power attack while encumbered helps the Dragonborn gain additional ground, making for faster travel while encumbered. If the weapon is sheathed before the actual swing of the weapon takes place, the Dragonborn still moves forward, but no stamina is lost. If the Dragonborn has the Dual Flurry perk from One-handed, using the third person camera and wielding two weapons, using power attack and sheathing, will cause a short sprint almost as fast as a full-blooded run.
- The Whirlwind Sprint shout can be used while encumbered to briefly speed up travel. The more words are used, the longer and faster one can travel.
- Manually moving an item can be used to carry a heavy item if the Dragonborn would be encumbered by carrying it normally. Dropping the item(s) (in a stack if need be) and holding "Activate" on them allows them to be dragged. Held objects do not add to encumbrance weight, so sprinting is possible without losing anything. This is particularly useful when hauling Dragon Bones or firewood.
- Depositing items in a small dead body, such as a skeever, can be particularly useful, for it can hold any number of items.
- Another way to overcome encumbrance is to place excessive items on a dead body before raising it as a Dead Thrall. This will allow it to be used as a "pack mule" to temporarily carry extra items.
- Theoretically, a Dead Thrall can also benefit from the Fortify Carry Weight enchantment, but this only works if the armor they were wearing was enchanted. In other words, it is possible to remove the corpse's armor to enchant it, then replace it on the dead body. It will not be possible to enchant armor which the character did not wear in life and have them wear it. Corpses which were equipped with more clothing slots when they were alive will fully maximize the value of this enchantment, because the more armor they wore in life, the higher the carry weight they can benefit from.
- Alternatively, the player can purchase a house and store items in any container without fear of said items disappearing. The items will stay in the chest until taken back out.
- There are certain free houses such as Anise's and Drelas' homes, both of which contain safe storage containers, if the player elects not to purchase properties.
- If all else fails, the Abandoned House in Markarth is free to use, being a place with permanently safe containers, regardless of whether the Dragonborn is Thane or not.
- The Dremora ButlerDR ability acquired as a reward for completing "Black Book: Untold Legends" will allow the player to transfer a total of 248 base carrying weight to a temporary servant for 15 seconds.
- As with the werewolf, transforming into a Vampire LordDG will allow movement at the vampire lord's regular pace, making travel faster than in reverted form, even if the player has exceeded normal carrying limit.
- Horses can be used when carrying too much to travel faster. If suddenly encumbered and no visible horse is within the player's reach, use of the Summon ArvakDG spell will summon a horse anytime outdoors. However, while Arvak appears on Solstheim and in Blackreach, the horse does not show up in the Forgotten Vale.
- Werewolves travel at normal speed, despite any apparent encumbrance.
- If one has a follower, one can drop an item on the floor, and command a them to pick it up. This seems to negate a their weight limit, allowing them to carry an apparently infinite amount of items. Keep in mind that this method will mean one is unable to actually give an item to said follower, however.
- Normally, Fast Travel is disabled while encumbered. However this does not apply if riding a horse, making for easier trips back to sell carried goods, especially in towns which allow horses inside the walls.
- Another option is to dump unlimited amount of heavy equipment into a corpse and reanimate it using a Spell, Staff or power, such as the Resurrection power gained by using The Ritual Stone. The Dragonborn can then fast travel to any destination and the corpse follows. If the time it took is enough for the spell to run its course, the corpse will die again upon reaching the destination, and the Dragonborn can loot the body for all the equipment they gave it initially.
- If the Dragonborn lacks a reanimation ability, a corpse can be filled and then flung ahead by holding activate to lift it, then dual-casting Lightning Bolt. Care should be taken not to fling it into water.
- Drinking a "Draught of Strength" or any other type of fortify carry weight potion and fast travelling before it wears off is a viable option, as it temporarily increases the carry weight capacity. This is similar to the second tip in this section, in that it allows fast travel to start, but once the destination is reached, the potion will have worn off.
This section contains bugs related to Encumbrance (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Solitude for the first time and witnessing the execution, if the condemned man's body is looted and his Amulet of Talos taken, it will stay in inventory (seemingly) forever
Quest items are generally not droppable. Some items, when picked up, may be tracked as quest items, resulting in a "permanent" loss of carrying capacity. For example, when entering
- This can often be resolved by completing the quest related to the item. For example, the Amulet of Talos can be removed by finding a little girl running around Solitude and talking to her about her mother going to temple. Afterward, talking to her mother, Greta, will get her to say that she wants the amulet taken from the man's body. Since it is already in inventory, she says, "Here's something for your trouble." Nothing is received and the amulet is kept, and the side quest is not removed. However, the amulet can now be dropped.
- However, most quest items, even ones that display a weight, are weightless, so this should not be a problem.
- The carry limit for followers is ignored when the follower is told to pick things up using the dialogue option, "I need you to do something." However this may not work on multiple items of the same type, which may vanish from the followers inventory.
Even after dropping all items and stripping, weight will still remain above zero.
- This bug can only currently be resolved through console commands.
- Occasionally on reloading a save the Dragonborn will become encumbered if they are reliant on a Carry Weight increasing enchantment.
- Opening and closing the inventory usually fixes this.