Elder Scrolls

Encumbrance (Skyrim)

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Encumbrance message

The message shown when the limit is exceeded

For Encumbrance in Oblivion, see Encumbrance (Oblivion).

Encumbrance affects the number 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.

Carry Limit is not only a realistic challenge to players, but it is also a means of preserving the performance of the game. For example, if a player were to use a glitch to bypass the Carry Weight completely, and reached an overall encumbrance of 5,000, game performance would significantly decrease. 

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 Fast Travel (unless riding a horse) or use carriages.

Means of improvementEdit

The Steed Stone Map

The Steed Stone improves carrying capacity.

Carrying capacity can be improved by a number of means:

Giants toe

Potions made from Giant's Toes improve carrying capacity.

  • Guild Master's Armor adds 50.
  • Blackguard's Armor adds 50.
  • Taking a Fortify Carry Weight potion temporarily increases carrying capacity by an amount proportional to the strength of the potion.
  • 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.
  • 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 Locket of Saint JiubDG increases carrying capacity by 50 points. 
  • Deathbrand BootsDB add 10 to carry capacity for each piece of Deathbrand ArmorDB worn, for a maximum of 40 
  • Using the console command "tgm" (Toggle God Mode) will enable running, sprinting, and fast-travelling 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, using the third person camera and wielding two weapons, using power attack and sheathing, will cause a short sprint almost as fast as if running.
  • The Whirlwind Sprint Shout can be used while encumbered to speed up 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 any items. This is particularly useful when hauling Dragon Bones or firewood.
  • Another way to deal with encumbrance is to place unnecessary items on a dead body before raising it as a minion. This will allow it to be used as a "pack mule" to temporarily carry extra items.
  • Another useful method is to purchase a house, then store items in a chest. The items will stay in the chest until taken back out.
  • Transforming into a Vampire Lord will allow movement at the vampire lord's regular pace, making travel faster than in reverted form.
  • Horses can be used when carrying too much to travel faster. If suddenly encumbered, use of the Summon ArvakDG spell will summon a horse anytime.
  • Werewolves travel at normal speed, despite any possible encumbrance.

Fast TravelEdit

  • 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 traveling 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:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  •  PC   360   PS3  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 Solitude for the first time and witnessing the execution, if the executed's body is looted and his Amulet of Talos taken, it will stay in inventory (seemingly) forever
    • 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 isn't removed. However, the amulet can now be dropped.
    • However, most quest items are weightless, so this shouldn't be a problem.
  •  PC   360   PS3  The carry limit for followers is ignored when the follower is told to pick things up using the "I need you to do something" conversation. However this may not work on multiple items of the same type, which may vanish from the companions inventory.
  •  PC   360   PS3  Even after dropping all items and stripping, weight will still remain above zero.
    •  PC   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.

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