A key is a metallic object allows a person to open specific locks which grant access to items or areas that otherwise are not accessible.
- Keys (Arena)
- Keys (Morrowind)
- Keys (Oblivion)
- Keys (Skyrim)
Keys can be used to avoid the need to pick locks to open doors and chests. They can be obtained by stealing them from their owner's pocket, looting the bodies of the owners, found or being given them by characters for a quest. Some areas will be inaccessible until the proper key is acquired. Other areas for which a key is available may be accessible by picking the lock.
Keys have no weight or value. They cannot be dropped after they are acquired, though they can be stored in chests, corpses, and other containers.
Keys cannot get the stolen tag. However, stolen keys will still be confiscated by guards if sent to jail or if the bounty is paid. Like all confiscated stolen items, they can be stolen back by picking the lock of the evidence chest found within the jail.
Possessing a key sets a flag on the player's character that does not get unset when the key is dropped or taken, allowing the player to unlock doors without actually having the key in their inventory. It thus impossible, for example, for a Dragonborn to lock themselves out of their own home in Skyrim by leaving the key inside the house.