Elder Scrolls

Master Criminal

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Master Criminal (Achievement)

Master Criminal

Master Criminal is an achievement/trophy in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for which a bounty of 1000 gold must be earned in all of the nine holds at the same time.

This achievement is easily unlocked at a high level, as the character can take more hits. Killing a guard in front of witnesses will give an automatic 1000 bounty. The easiest strategy here is to kill a guard, flee and fast travel to another hold. One could also steal a horse at the stables to facilitate the escape. Repeat for all nine holds. Those who want to keep a good reputation could do this achievement on another save file, and reload their "good" game once it has been unlocked.

Master Criminal (Achievement)
Master Criminal
Bounty of 1000 gold in all nine holds
Points 20 Game points
Bronze trophy

 The Holds of SkyrimEdit

General InformationEdit

  • Killing all witnesses will remove the bounty accumulated. Some NPC's should be left alive to tell the tale in order to keep the bounty high.
  • It's easy to unlock this achievement if the Dragonborn has been infected with lycanthropy. Simply turning into a werewolf in front of someone will cause a 1000 gold bounty from transforming. Just leave and repeat in the next hold. This trick also works with the Vampire Lord transformation.
  • The current bounties in each hold are available from the pause menu. Click on 'General Stats' and choose the crime option.
  • If the Dragonborn is the Thane of a hold, they will not technically have a bounty if the Thane's privilege hasn't been used recently. If this achievement won't pop, even if all bounties are 1000+ in the menu, then the Dragonborn can return to the holds where they are Thane. Demand that any bounty be wiped clean as Thane, then commit the crime of choice again.
  • Performing this as a werewolf allows faster escape to fast travel to another hold. Having the Ring of Hircine allows for multiple transformations a day.


This section contains bugs related to Master Criminal. 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.
  • Unlocking this achievement is impossible for non-English versions of the game as the bounties earned are not calculated by holds. Fixed in version 1.4.[1]


Start a Discussion Discussions about Master Criminal

  • Master Criminal award misnamed.

    5 messages
    • I agree with the OP.  A "Master Criminal" achievement should have been calculated by keeping track of the "value" of crimes committed in e...
    • How about "Obvious Criminal?" Yeah, they're aware of you committing crimes, but there's nothing they can do.
  • Master Criminal

    4 messages
    • I got mine by finishing up my last game with a crime spree across Skyrim like none other.  If I agree with Azura--you need a previous save...
    • Eh. I never earned the achievemnt. Probably because I grow bored of Skyrim half an hour in. xD

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