Zlinka's lockpicking guide
Zlinka's lockpicking guide

This guide is for young rogues interested in improving their skills at picking locks. With enough skill, a young rogue can open boxes for friends, pick doors to dungeons, or engage in... *cough*... more shady dealings.

Lockpicking skill required to open lockboxes:
(red to orange transition)

Heavy Bronze Lockbox
Ornate Bronze Lockbox
Iron Lockbox -- 75
Strong Iron Lockbox -- 125
Steel Lockbox -- 175
Reinforced Steel Lockbox -- 225
Mithril Lockbox -- 225
Thorium Lockbox -- 225
Eternium Lockbox -- 225

Lockpicking skill required to open doors:
(red to orange transition)

Gnomeregan -- 150
Scarlet Monastery -- 175
Searing Gorge Gate -- 225
BRD Shadowforge Gates -- 280
BRD Prison Cells -- 250
Scholomance -- 280

Useful tidbit from the forums: Doors outside instances are usually on some sort of timer. In other words, you can't repeatedly pick the same door for skillups. The mechanisms of the timers are poorly understood. Some people say if you pick something else (anything else) between attempts it will reset some timers. Others say if you pickpocket a mob, or kill a mob, or do something else, that this will reset the timers. It may be different for every door. For doors inside instances, an instance reset will reset any doors inside.

Opening Lockboxes

How to open other peoples' lockboxes: Have the other person place the box in the "item will not be traded" slot of the trade window. Click on your lockpicking icon from your skill book, then click on the lockbox to open it. It is possible to gain skill-up points for boxes in this slot.

Footlockers: skilling up lockpicking

A word about green footlockers: I've found that footlockers that have just turned green still provide a skill-up point 75% to 100% of the time for another ten to fifteen points. After that the boxes go through a hidden transition and their productivity drops off steeply (but they remain green). They turn grey a little later. Therefore, the colors don't map perfectly onto the boxes' ability to give you skill-up points. So don't leave an area just because the boxes have turned green. It's worthwhile to stick around and pick the locks for another 10-15 easy points.

Getting started

Pirate ship south of Ratchet

This is the first place you are sent to pick locks. By picking the chests in the stern of the boat you can skill up from zero to about 80. At lockpicking 80, you can open Polly's box in the bow of the boat.

Skill of around 100

Polly's box in the pirate ship south of Ratchet.

Once you have a skill of 80, you can complete the lockpicking quest by opening Polly's box. But don't stop there! You can pick Polly's lock again and again. Polly's box turns grey at 125.

Early to high 100s

Windshear Crag and Mines in Stonetalon Mountains.

This is where Zlinka skilled up from the early 100s to 167. The easier footlockers are scattered all around the logged area, from the lake in the west to the mine in the east, both north and south of the creek. Harder footlockers are located in the kobold mine in the east. In my experience, the footlockers scattered outdoors turned green at around 150. The footlockers in the mine turned green at 160.

Durnholde Keep in Hillsbrad Foothills

Zlinka went here at 167 and skilled up to 182. However, all the lockers were green when Zlinka arrived and overall seemed quite similar in range to the Windshear Crag Mines. Durnholde Keep would probably be most suitable for a rogue with a lockpicking skill in the mid-100s.

There are two types of Battered Footlockers in Durnholde Keep. Those in the pit and pit buildings are easier: they turn green at around 145. They were green for me when I arrived at 167, but provided skill-up points to 170. They turned grey at 175. The Battered Footlockers around the rim of the pit are harder. They were green when I arrived at 167 but continued to provide skill-up points about 75% of the time until level 182. I left Durnholde at that point so do not know when the upper Battered Footlockers turn grey.

Murloc Camps in the Wetlands.

Like Durnholde Keep, this area contains two types of Battered Footlockers. The more difficult ones are around the murloc buildings near the shore, the easier ones are a little further inland. The inland ones were grey and the shore ones were green when I arrived with Lockpicking 186. The green ones gave me no points. This area appears to be similar in difficulty to Durnholde Keep.

Zoram Strand in Ashenvale Forest.

According to the forums, there are two levels of lockboxes in this area. The easier ones are scattered among the ruins on the beach near the Outpost, and are good around lockpicking levels 120-130. The more difficult ones are underwater. I did not use this area myself.

High 100s to mid 200s

Sar'theris Strand in Desolace.

There are underwater lockboxes scattered between and around the two small islands in the far northwest coastal area of Desolace, in the naga area, slightly north of the first sunken ship.

This area has Waterlogged Footlockers and Mossy Footlockers. Waterlogged Footlockers go from red to orange at 160, turn yellow at 175, and green at 200, according to the forums. They were green when I arrived but provided me with a skill-up point 100% of the time until lockpicking 215. After 215 they provided a point about 75% of the time until 230. After 230 they became much less productive: I picked about 5 boxes in a row without getting a point, decided they were no longer worth it, and left. I do not know when they turn grey.

I found Waterlogged Footlockers in a roughly rectangular area between the two little islands and between those islands and the coast. In that area, I found them scattered out in the open, around the air fissures, and among the underwater ruins. I did not find any footlockers in the rocky chasm just to the north, though I did not look very closely. To pick Waterlogged Footlockers, I ended up swimming back and forth in this area, taking advantage of an underwater air fissure. A waterbreathing potion would be extremely useful here! Here's where I found the Waterlogged Footlockers:

[Image: DesolaceLockers.jpg]

Mossy Footlockers are harder: according to the forums they go from red to orange at 175 and turn green at 225. Rogues who have visited them say Mossy Footlockers are located in an underwater ruin, but I was not able to find them.

Pool of Tears in Swamp of Sorrows.

Mossy lockboxes are underwater in the Pool of Tears. You can sneak past the guards around the pool then go underwater. Mossy Footlockers are yellow at 200 and turn green at 225. I found one mention in a forum that there might be a more difficult type of lockbox here, which is yellow at 245 and turns green at 265, but I was unable to find any of these.

Zlinka arrived in this area at lockpicking 232. I found the Mossy Footlockers underwater among the ruins, on the submerged parts of the main temple building, and scattered along the bottom. These Footlockers were green at 232 but still provided several skill-up points.

Angor Fortress in the Badlands.

There are two types of lockboxes here: Battered and Dented. The Battered ones in the top floors are easier and are green in the 205-225 range. The Dented ones downstairs are harder. The downstairs boxes apparently switch from red to orange at 175 and are yellow in the 205-225 range. I visited this area at 235 and found both Battered and Dented Lockboxes to be green to me.

As Zlinka's lockpicking was already maxed for her level when she visited this area (level 47, lockpicking 235), I am unable to tell whether these boxes would have provided skill-up points above 235. However, the boxes were all green to me, so I suspect that this area is similar in level to the Pool of Tears in the Swamp of Sorrows.

Early to high 200s

Lost Rigger Cove in Tanaris Desert.

Dented Footlockers lie in and around the little tents outside the compound, inside the compound and the compound buildings, on the pier, and inside the ships. These lockboxes are reputed go from red to orange at 225. They turned yellow for Zlinka at 250, and are reputed to turn green at 285.

Zlinka arrived in this area at lockpicking 235 and all the Dented Footlockers were orange to her. They did indeed turn yellow at 250 but provided a skill-up 100% of the time until lockpicking 265, when Zlinka's skill was maxed for her level.

The Slag Pit in the Searing Gorge.

According to the forums, there are two levels of boxes here. The lower level ones turn green around 255. The harder ones, in the upper levels of the pit, are still orange at 255. Another rogue reports that the boxes here are orange at 200, turn yellow at 255, and green at 275. Zlinka took a peek at this area at lockpicking 248, and all the boxes were orange for her. She gained a few skill points but was busy questing so did not stay for long.

Bay of Storms in Azshara.

These lockboxes are difficult to find. You need to swim out from the beach and search the ruins underwater. According to the forums, lockboxes here turn green at 275. Zlinka never used this area.

High 200s

Tyr's Hand (elite) in Eastern Plaguelands.

According to the forums, these lockboxes turn yellow at 275. Zlinka's experience corroborates this: she arrived here at lockpicking 276 and found the boxes to be yellow. The boxes provided a skill-up point every time until she left the area at lockpicking 280. (Zlinka was busy fighting in a group and was not focusing on lockpicking at that time).

Zlinka found the lockboxes scattered in the central plaza area and in the chapel, the only areas she visited on that trip.

Cloudjumper adds: The Scarlet Lockboxes at Tyr's Hand (elite) in Eastern Plaguelands go yellow at 275 and change to green at 300. However they continue to give a skill up every time until at least 305.

Zlinka's Path

To skill up her lockpicking, Zlinka picked locks in the following areas:

From 1 to 80: Pirate ship south of Ratchet
From 80 to about 125: Polly's chest in pirate ship south of Ratchet
From 125 to 167: Footlockers in the logging camp and mines of Windshear Crag, Stonetalon Mountains
From 167 to 182: Battered Footlockers in Durnholde Keep
From 182 to 230: Waterlogged Footlockers in Sar'theris Strand in Desolace
From 230 to 235: Mossy Footlockers the Pool of Tears in Swamp of Sorrows
From 235 to 265: Dented Footlockers in Lost Rigger Cove in Tanaris. Brief interlude in the Slag Pit in the Searing Gorge, which has footlockers of similar difficulty to those in Lost Rigger Cove.
From 265 to 276: picking high level lockboxes for friends and strangers
From 276 to 300: Tyr's Hand in the Eastern Plaguelands + lockboxes from friends and strangers.
Lockpicking in the Burning Crusade

With the release of the Burning Crusade, rogues can now increase their lockpicking again! Our max lockpicking skill increases by 5 per level until it maxes out at 350 at level 70.


The high-level lockboxes that I've seen so far are Thorium and Eternium Lockboxes, which are the same as the ones seen pre-expansion. They are green at lockpicking 300 and continue to give the occasional skill-up point. I have yet to see a lockbox made of one of the new Burning Crusade metals.

Lockbox-mailbox interaction bug: There's currently a lockbox bug in which lockboxes that have been unlocked and sent through the mail re-lock themselves in transit. Until this is fixed, rogues should unlock boxes sent to them, unpack them, and return the contents to the sender.

Locked Doors

Rumor has it that a rogue can pick the locks of all the level 70+ dungeons at lockpicking 350 (Shattered Halls, Arcatraz, Shadow Labs). So, no need for a key.

305+ Lockpicking

To start picking footlockers in the Burning Crusade, you will need to be level 61 and have lockpicking 305. So after turning 61 you will need to get those 5 points picking lockboxes for people or traveling back to Azeroth to pick a few footlockers there.

Feralfen Village in Zangarmarsh

For lockpicking over 305, Feralfen village in south central Zangarmarsh has lockboxes scattered in and around the huts. These are called "Wicker Chests." They are orange at lockpicking 305 and turn yellow at 325. They continue to be yellow at 340, when Zlinka maxed lockpicking for her level.

325+ Lockpicking

Kil'Sorrow Fortress in Nagrand

I've heard rumors that there are dented footlockers here that turn orange at 325. More on this after I check it out.

I'll be updating this as I learn more!
Thank you so very much for this information! I've been having a lot of trouble with Heari only finding boxes that are grey or red to him, so this is a HUGE help!
Added new information on lockpicking from TBC. And color. And a note on the lockbox-mailbox bug.
Great work Ms Queen of the Stabbification! Smile
Does anyone (hint; Zlinka) have info on post 305 lockpicking? I am just about to the 305 mark, so am wondering where to go next for skillups.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
Blizzard made lockpicking much easier to level in The Burning Crusade.


For 305 to 375: Feralfen Village in south central Zangarmarsh. This is directly south of Coilfang Reservoir and west of the Lagoon. There are three groups of buildings. Wicker Chests spawn in and around the huts. The Wicker Chests are orange at 300, yellow at 325, green at 350, and grey at 400. This is by far the fastest way to blast through the early 300s.

For 325 to 385: Kil'sorrow Fortress in Nagrand. This is the shadow council fort in southeastern Nagrand near the border with Terokkar Forest. It has Dented Footlockers which are orange between 325 and 350.

385+: There are no footlockers in Northrend, BUT there are Scarlet Onslaught Trunks in Icecrown (on the island west of the mainland) which are used for a daily quest and can also be picked in the high 300s.


In the old world, the doors to Scholomance and Stratholme, and the Crescent Door to Dire Maul are orange at 300 and turn yellow around 320. They are on a 5-minute timer, however.

In Outland content the doors to Karazhan, Shadow Labyrinth, Shattered Halls, and the Arcatraz turn orange at 350 (leave your keys in the bank to pick the lock). These are also on a 5-minute timer.

The Violet Hold door in Dalaran turns orange at 365. It's on a cooldown timer of unknown duration.


If you're skilling lockpicking while leveling up, pickpocket mobs before you kill them while questing. You'll get lots of junkboxes to pick.

TBC: Strong Junkbox. Orange at 300, yellow at 325, green at 350, grey at 400
Wrath: Reinforced Junkbox. Orange at 350, yellow at 375

Places to pickpocket for junkboxes:

If you're already done questing and leveling, and want to grind reinforced junkboxes in Wrath, I recommend pickpocketing mobs at Skorn, in Howling Fjord (that's the vrykul village just south of Camp Winterhoof). The mobs are very dense there and they just stand around, making them easy to pickpocket.

Another good place is along the coast in southwestern Borean Tundra: the Kvaldir (mistweavers and mist lords) have a high drop rate for junkboxes.


Khorium Lockboxes: Orange at 325, Yellow at 350
Froststeel Lockbox: Orange at 375
Titanium Lockbox: Orange at 400

The best path for a level 80 character

I recommend wicker chests in Zangarmarsh for the early 300s (305 to around 325) followed by the dented footlockers in Nagrand for the mid-300s (around 325 to about 385). For the final push to 400, go to Icecrown for Scarlet Onslaught Trunks and/or use an assortment of reinforced junkboxes from pickpockted mobs in Wrath (e.g. Skorn in Howling Fjord, or Kvaldir in Borean Tundra), locked instance doors, and lockboxes from friends or strangers.
Just to confirm the Scarlet Lockboxes at Tyr's Hand (elite) in Eastern Plaguelands do go yellow at 275 and change to green at 300. However they continue to give a skill up every time until at least 305.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
Thanks Cloud! I've added your information to the original guide.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)