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Skyrim uses a Radiant system for dynamically generating game content. This helps to make each playthrough unique, but it is also designed to try and get you to visit each location at least once.


The Radiant quest system is a quest generator that creates quests from a series of components such as location, enemy type, and reward. Some, but not all, of these components are randomized. The randomized components are generated every time the quest is triggered. Radiant quests are used throughout the game in various faction questlines, and in miscellaneous quests.

While this quest system cannot create large, complicated, or particularly interesting quests, it can create a near infinite number of quests with a fraction of the time and effort required to create a traditional quest. With a system that actively seeks to send you to a location you have not yet discovered, it also works to keep you engaged with fresh and interesting discoveries.

Quest Locations

Most radiant quests have a set of about a dozen possible locations where you may be sent to complete the quest. Typically, those locations are selected based on the location's occupants and/or hold. For example, a quest might take place in any Hagraven nest, or any Bandit camp in Falkreath Hold. In these cases, the quest page contains a list of all possible locations, and that quest is listed as a related quest on the page describing each of those locations.

However, some radiant quests have a much longer list of possible locations. All such quests are listed here, but these quests are not listed on each possible location page.

  • Houses
    • Animal Extermination (A): Fulfill a contract given to the Companions to kill an invading beast.
      • Most houses (not inns) occupied by regular citizens (40+ possible houses)
    • The Burglary Job: Steal a special item from a wealthy home.
      • All wealthy homes (25+ possible houses)
    • The Shill Job: Place an item as evidence inside a wealthy home.
      • All wealthy homes (25+ possible houses)
    • The Sweep Job: Steal three specific valuable items from a wealthy house.
      • All wealthy homes (25+ possible houses)
  • Stores/businesses
    • The Numbers Job: Alter the business ledger of a store.
      • Most stores with a ledger (25+ possible stores)
    • The Heist Job: Steal a particular item from a store.
      • Most stores with a strongbox (25+ possible stores)

Quest NPCs

Most radiant quests only involve a limited number of NPCs. In some cases, there may be a few different quest-givers, in which case those quest-givers are listed on each quest page, and the quest is listed under each NPC's list of related quests.

However, cases where any one of a large number of possible randomly chosen NPCs are listed here. These quests are not listed on each possible NPC page. Note that quests tied to the NPC's home (rather than specifically to the NPC) are listed under Quest Locations.

  • Quest Targets
    • Hired Muscle: Fulfill a contract for the Companions to bring a citizen back in line.
      • Most citizens in the game (400+ possible NPCs)
    • Rescue Mission: Fulfill a contract given to the Companions to rescue a kidnapped citizen.
      • Most citizens in the game (235+ possible NPCs)
    • Animal Extermination: Fulfill a contract given to the Companions to kill an invading beast.
      • Most regular town citizens who have a home (60+ possible NPCs)
    • The Fishing Job: Steal an item out of a target's pocket.
      • Most citizens living in a major city
    • Enchanting Pick-Up: Sergius wants you to pick-up an item from a client for enchanting.
      • Many citizens living in cities (55+ possible NPCs)
    • Hunting the MonsterDG: Destroy the vampire target.
      • Most citizens in the game (for the initial target, the person who gives the location of the vampire)
    • RescueDG: Rescue a victim from vampires.
      • Any NPC with a relationship rank of at least 1 with you and is not part of any of the factions excluded from selection

NPCs and Creatures

Many NPCs and creatures have characteristics that are randomly generated. Although past Elder Scrolls games have used leveled lists to generate generic enemies, in Skyrim that ability now extends to named and unique characters.

For example, Krev the Skinner is the boss bandit for the quest The Silver Hand. Although he or she will always be a bandit, Krev's race is randomly determined from a leveled list of possible bandit bosses. In this case, even Krev's gender is randomly determined.


  • NPCs and locations added by mods or add-ons can be assigned as targets or givers in radiant quests if they fit the parameters for the given quest.
    • If a quest has been assigned to a target on SolstheimDB or any other new lands added by mods, there will be no quest markers while you are on mainland Skyrim, and the same is true in reverse (if you are on Solstheim or a new land, there will be no markers pointing to Skyrim).
  • Randomly generated quest locations do not take your character's level into account, so it is possible to be given a radiant quest target in a dungeon that has a minimum level well above yours.