#eso gear and skills for stealth

(Updated for Blackwood Chapter) I’m writing this to try to gather all stealth and thieving passives in one place,  mostly for my own benefit (for my non-NB characters) but maybe it will be useful to others.

I use stealth for general stealing, for reaching objectives quickly (when questing), for the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood dailies, and also for moving quickly around Cyrodiil (pvp).  It’s very easy on my NB (as it should be!) but you can get non-NBs to a very reasonable level of stealth.

The passives I look for are to increase stealth speed, reduce cost of stealthing and decreasing the detection range.

gear sets

  • Crafted – Night’s Silence – 5 set bonus: Ignore Movement Penalty speed while sneaking (only requires 2 known traits per armour piece)
  • Dropped (medium) – Night Mother’s Embrace – 5 set bonus: Reduce the range you can be detected while hidden by 2 meters. Reduces crouch cost by 25%
  • Dropped (medium) – Night Terror– 3 set bonus: Decrease detection radius by 2 meters. Reduce Sneak cost by 25%
  • Dropped (light) – Shadow Dancer’s Raiment – 5 set bonus:  Ignore movement penalty of sneak
  • Dropped (medium) – Vesture of Darloc Brae – 4 set bonus: Reduces the radius you can be detected while Sneaking by 2 meters. Reduces the cost of Sneak by 10%.  5 set bonus: While crouching and not blocking, you restore  Magicka and Stamina and heal.

Night’s Silence | Night Mother’s Embrace | Night Terror | Shadow Dancer’s Raiment  | Vesture of Darloc Brae    

I use AlphaGear 2 to save gear & skill sets and have separate sets for pve, pvp and thieving.  You can keybind your builds to quickly switch when out of combat.  I find a lower level / lower quality of set for thieving, heists and sacraments works just fine as you don’t tend to need to fight. (cheaper).  I recommend having either Night’s Silence or Shadow Dancer’s Raiment combined with Night Terror.  The dropped sets include jewellery.

passive skills

General skill line passives:

  • Medium armour passives – Windwalker (increase stamina recovery) and Improved Sneak (reduces cost of sneaking and reduces detection area).
  • Legerdemain passive – Improved Hiding (reduces stamina cost of sneaking).
    • Legerdemain also has Force Lock (very good for Heists), plus pickpocketing, fence interactions and reduction of bounties.

Nightblade skills & passives:

  • Shadow Cloak (invisibility* for 2.5 seconds)  If you have high magicka, you can stay invisible for quite a long time…
  • Veiled Strike > Concealed Weapon (increases stealth speed – with Night’s Silence  or Dark Stalker, you basically sprint stealthed – really tough decision as the other morph is an excellent dps choice)

Bosmer skill line passive:

  • Y’ffre’s endurance (inc stamina regen) and Hunter’s Eye (increases detection radius)

Khajiit skill line passive:

  • Feline Ambush (reduces detection radius)

Vampire skill line passive:

  • Dark Stalker ignores the movement penalty of sneak  (I need to check if this still stacks with Concealed Weapon, I suspect it will)

Thieves Guild skill line passive:

  • Veil of Shadows (Witness range and Guard Accost range reduced by 10%)

Dark Brotherhood skill line passive:

  • Shadow Rider: Aggression radius from hostile monsters is decreased by 50% while mounted


  • Invisibility potions are good for busy, hard to hide areas.  Take the relevant alchemy trait for longer potion effects.

champion points

The craft tree now has many options for a stealthy character:  Fleet Phantom (reduces the movement penalty of sneak – good for non-nightblade/vampire characters); Sustaining Shadows (reduces the cost of Sneak); Treasure Hunter (increases quality of items you find in chests); Fortune’s Favour (increase amount of gold in chests and safeboxes); Out of Sight (reduces detection radius); Friends in Low Places (reduces bounty costs); Infamous (increases value of fenced items); Shadowstrike (invis after Blade of Woe); Cutpurse’s Rat (increased chance of higher quality loot from pick pocketing); Fade Away (escaping from a guard heat decrease).

Tough choices in this tree 🙂  Some of those traits could potentially replace the need for thieving gear, on the other hand increased loot…  That’s not including the other traits which increase your mount speed etc.

*Invisibility and Stealth are two different mechanics.  Stealth is not being noticed and you are less likely to be seen if you are not in their sight path or the further away you are (stealth radius).  Invisibility means just that and as far as I know isn’t affected by any skill or set bonus.

Let me know if there’s anything to add or you’ve spotted a mistake 🙂

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