Thief Thievery Guide, Tips and Tactics to Complete All Challenges

By   /   Feb 26, 2014

Knowing how to be shady, sly, and nearly invisible to enemies is something all thieves should know, but you wouldn’t be a thief if it weren’t for one skill: thieving.

“But that’s just picking up stuff and running away,” you say? Not quite.

For more help on Thief, read our Unique Loot Locations, Collectibles Locations and Ghost Walkthrough Guide.

Thief Thievery Guide

Thieving involves more than just swiping everything that looks interesting – it’s an art that needs awareness, and Garrett is more than well-equipped with his master-thief sixth sense to carry his dirty work out efficiently.

Focus Garrett, Focus
After the Prologue, Garrett acquires the ability “Focus”. This little trick highlights essential objects in your environment. Yes, it’s very similar to the Survival Instincts ability in Tomb Raider.

Instead of randomly pressing buttons hoping to sweep valuables, the Focus skill simplifies things by highlighting them. Note though that Focus requires energy, and it comes in a limited supply. Focus energy can be replenished by consuming collected Poppy flowers.

Oh Garrett, what are you teaching the kids…

Note that some things may be highlighted blue, while others are red.

Red indicate traps and hostile entities, acting like a big caution sign for you. Blue are mostly collectables and interactable objects, including suspicious paintings that may contain a locker behind them, trigger bricks, trigger books, and more.

Another good use of the Focus skill is to ensure you have searched the entire place. Once you have opened a drawer, it will no longer glow blue. This way you can get back to any place you may have missed accessing.

Prying Windows
Windows are great, they let air in, they let bad smell out, and they also invite thieves like Garrett and bugs like mosquitoes to enter your house. The latter are obviously more tolerable than the former.

Garrett can pry open some closed windows. Note the use of “some”.

Windows with light leaking through the sill are the ones that can be accessed, and if that’s not a good enough indication for you, simply use your Focus ability to identify which window can be accessed.

Make sure you’re not doing this in front of anyone though. If you’ve been spotted, you won’t be able to pry windows until you become undetected again.

Picking Locks
You’ll often come across locked doors, chests, drawers and cabinets – the last three are of the most interest, since a locked container means valuable goodies. There are various kinds of locks in the game, but the common tumbler lock is what you’ll be coming across most of the times, which are a no-problemo for Garrett.

Inspect a lock and the master thief will pull out his lock picks. Picking locks is something you’ll be doing quite regularly, and the first few you encounter should allow you to get hang of the method.

You’ll have to search for each pin’s sweet spot, locking each pin into position. The more pins there are in a tumbler lock, the more challenging it is to find their sweet spots. If you’ve come across a slightly complicated lock, ensure that no one is nearby, since locks with more pins will take a longer time to pick.

Combination Locks
Cleverer fellows will mostly have their most prized possessions locked away in a wall safe of some kind. Unfortunately, these cannot be picked. Instead, Garrett has to rely on his keen eye to find out the combination code.

Try finding documents in the same building – more often than not you’ll find the clue to the combination in them. Most of the wall safes are located behind suspicious paintings. Use your Focus ability to find out which painting seems a bit dodgy.

Complex Locks and Puzzles
Sometimes even combination locks aren’t enough. In such cases you’ll probably come across brain-wrecking puzzles. These puzzle locks will either require you to use your wit, or find documents to recognize the patterns, or even finding a unique kind of key.

Hidden Switches
Switches are triggers that could give you access to new locations or disable traps. Many of the wall safes are hidden behind paintings, which need to be removed by accessing these switches.

You can identify suspicious paintings through your Focus ability, after which you can approach them and perform a search around the frame for the switches. Press one when you find it; once you’ve pressed all of them, the painting will come off to reveal a wall safe.

Many other switches are disguised as books on a bookshelf. You can identify a suspicious book shelf through Focus, and then slide your hand across the books to find the trigger.

There are many other generic switches that can be disguised in open places, such as a switch under the table or a button on a crate. All these can be identified through your Focus skill.

Picking Pockets
Last but not least is picking pockets. This is a risky but rewarding feat that defines a thief. Often you’ll notice guards and NPCs carrying a coin purse around there waist. Some even have as many as two coin purses.

Approach such a person from behind quietly by sneaking, preferably in the shadows, and gently snatch his purse.

Retreat quickly to the shadows and the poor fellow won’t know a thing. Guards carrying two coin purses need to be picked twice, once for each purse, unless you get the “Dexterity” Focus ability.

Note that it’s not only coin purses that you can get. Sometimes NPCs will be carrying shiny earrings and other goodies, while some won’t be carrying a single thing. If you can’t see anything shiny nor spot a purse on some person, you can assume that they’re broke.

Don’t forget to share your own tips and tactics for Thievery challenges by commenting below!

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