How to join the Skyrim thieves guild

The Skyrim thieves guild lies in the underbelly of Riften, and is made up of a group of roguish folk looking to take from others for their own benefit. Sure, that doesn’t sound very nice, but there’s no central government giving out benefits here, buddy. Some people need to steal in order to survive, and if it’s a way to keep themselves afloat in this economy, we can’t judge too harshly. Joining the shifty group is the start of one of the best guild-based questlines in the game, and is also incredibly easy. In fact, it’s harder to not join the Thieves Guild than it is to become a member.

For less seedy things to do in Bethesda’s massive RPG, check out our Skyrim marriage, Skyrim enchanting, and Skyrim followers guides to stay up to speed. Or, if the underbelly is where you’re comfiest, check out our Skyrim werewolf guide.

Here we go, everything you need to get started in Skyrim’s thieves guild.

How do I join the Skyrim thieves guild?

To join the Skyrim thieves guild, head to Riften (you can use a stagecoach to do this super quickly for a small fee) and follow these steps:

  • Find Brynjolf (in the market during the day, The Bee and Barb at night)
  • Listen to his instructions to steal Madesi’s ring
  • Tell him you’re ready to go (during the day only)
  • Head over to the jewelry stall and open it, then the lockbox, to grab the ring
  • Plant the ring on Brand-Shei
  • Head to Ragged Flagon in the Ratway to chat Brynjolf again

Easy peasy. Just be sure to have a good handful of lockpicks before you begin his request if you want to succeed. Success isn’t essential, however. Even if you fail, you can still join, which is a bit silly really, isn’t it?

Should I join the Skyrim thieves guild?

Uhh, I dunno. I’m not your mother. But there are benefits you can gain by following the questline if you want to make up your own mind. From the Chillrend sword to various armor sets, there’s lots of stuff up for grabs, especially just lying around the guild.

You can also avoid thieves on the road, not lose stolen items when arrested, and gain various other benefits along the way. Not all of these are instant, nor are they across-the-board true, but in general there’s quite a lot to gain.

Skyrim thieves guild: A dragon flues in a wintry sky above a large mountain pass on which a horned-helmeted soldier stands in a screenshot from Skyrim.

Skyrim thieves guild armor

Here are the different armor sets you can get throughout Skyrim’s thieves guild questline (as if you needed any more convincing to become a master thief):

Fortify lockpicking, pickpocket, and carrying capacity

Fortify lockpicking, pickpocket, prices, and carrying capacity

Fortify stamina, illusion, lockpicking, and muffle footsteps

Fortify stamina, sneaking, one-handed, and bows

Fortify lockpicking, pickpocket, prices, and carrying capacity

That’s all we’ve got on the Skyrim thieves guild for now. For more, check out our Skyrim maps guide to keep you on track, plus we have Skyrim Serana and Skyrim Lydia character guides, and if you’ve grown pointy teeth and want to return to humanity, we have a guide on Skyrim cure vampirism.