What do the different symbols on the map represent?

  • As I slowly explore the enormous world of Skyrim, I see all sorts of different symbols appear on my compass. I know they indicate that I should go in that direction to find something, and that the symbol tells what type of thing it is. Some are relatively easy to decipher, but many are not. So I'd like to know what the different symbols mean so that I can know whether I should seek them out or save them for later.

  • thegrinner

    thegrinner Correct answer

    9 years ago

    What we've got definitely isn't comprehensive, and portions may be too specific:

    • big house = Settlement

    • small house = House

    • Mill = Wheat mill

    • Water Wheel = Lumber Mill

    • sickle = Farm

    • horseshoe = Stable

    • anchor = Port

    • mine = Mine

    • shack = Shack

    • lighthouse = Lighthouse

    • imperial = Imperial Army Camp

    • paw = Stormcloak Camp

    • Nord Tower = Nord Tower

    • Tower = Imperial Tower

    • fort = Fort

    • dragon = Dragon + Word Wall

    • stone = Standing stone

    • barrow = Barrow/Tomb

    • helmet = Surface Encounter

    • Tusks = Giant Camp

    • cave = Cave

    • shrine = Daedric Shrine

    • dwarf = Dwemer Ruins

    • tent = Camp

    • orc = Orc Stronghold

    • ship = Ship

    • treehill = Pond/Clearing

    • pine = Grove

    • pass = Mountain Pass

    • shield = Generic point of interest. (Guild halls, some quest encounters, ect...)

    • Quest Marker = Quest Marker - The quest is in the same zone as you.

    • Quest Marker w/ door = Quest Marker w/ door - you must pass a loading screen to get to this destination.

    In addition, each city have a unique emblem, as do each palace.

    (Images from the UESP)

    You might consider making this a Community Wiki answer so others can pitch in with suggestions to make a more comprehensive list. For example, I know that the horseshoe symbol on the map indicates a horse ranch.

    @Mana Will do. Thought I did that the first time, guess not.

    The Symbol you listed as Daedric shrine is actually the symbol for Dwarven Ruins. The shrines just happen to use the same one.

    @Mason The shrine has a kind of bar on top that I think the Dwarven Ruins lack. I might have that backwards, operating from memory right now.

    I think the shield icon (currently unclassified) indicates a meeting point of some kind -- I had one appear for me when I was working with the Blades and the reclaimed a temple, and another atop the Throat of the World. An official map Legend wouldn't go amiss.

    The shield symbol is for guild entrances, I think. One marks the Thieves' Guild in Riften on my map.

    I don't know, the shield also marks Orphan's Rock, Sky Cloud Temple, Reachwood Eyrie... maybe it's a generic marker for things that don't otherwise fit?

    The shield icon just tells you what quests you have active in your journal!

    @GmNoob no, I just updated it with the active quest icon.

    @ScottChamberlain nevermind, just checked you are correct my bad.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM