How does Skyrim determine if a dungeon is “cleared”

Skyrim adds an awesome feature, that lets you know if you have cleared a dungeon or not. This saves a lot of time and effort, because you do not have to revisit every dungeon you have been through like in Oblivion. Now I was wondering, how does the game determine if you have completed/finished/cleared the dungeon. I figured there are some options, including:

  1. You have killed every enemy
  2. You have obtained every ‘important’ treasure
  3. A combination of the above

There might be even more options that I have not thought of. Can anyone shed some light on how the system works out if you have finished a dungeon?


Most dungeons are cleared when you have killed all important inhabitants, and as a result of doing that, you have seen the whole dungeon. The game doesn’t force you to loot stuff (e.g., Werewolf form can’t loot) so it comes down to just killing; you don’t have to do your quest.

A victorious sound will play once you clear the dungeon, and the ambient sound will stop.

If you don’t kill all important inhabitants, inhabitants might respawn and the dungeon will not be seen as cleared. Another occasion where inhabitants respawn in a dungeon is when you start a new quest that involves that dungeon; however, it won’t change the cleared state of a dungeon.

There are reports that some dungeons don’t get cleared, or are cleared a different way. Some report that whatever they try to do, the dungeon doesn’t get cleared; this might be because they still have a quest to do in the dungeon. Other report that a dungeon gets cleared after looting a chest or learning a new dragon shout word. Please note that not every dungeon has a word wall.

Source : Link , Question Author : Wimpey , Answer Author : Community

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