Thief Beginners Tips: How to Avoid Guards and Find More Loot

Fill your pockets with loot as you guide Garret through the shadows of The City.

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Now that Thief is available on all major platforms, players are busy wandering the streets of The City, picking pockets and performing aerial takedowns on unsuspecting guards. Of course, with a game this new, there is bound to be a high learning curve. Luckily for you, we’ve been hard at work mastering all of Garret’s skills to help you avoid some of the dangers.

Trust the Shadows

Right from the prologue, it was difficult to judge when Garret was safely hidden in the shadows as opposed to when he was in danger of being discovered. You have to trust the shadows. Even though it might seem like a guard will spot you, if you’re in the shadows, it’s almost a certainty he cannot. To give you a perfect example, at one point in the story, you are at the back of an elevator with a guard at the door looking in. Even though you’re almost close enough to reach out and touch the guard, the elevator is dark and you’re safely hidden. If that same elevator was illuminated, you would be spotted almost instantly, forcing you into hand-to-hand combat, the worst situation you can be in when playing a stealth game.

Stock Up on Arrows

There are quite a few ways you can increase Garret’s skills and abilities. While picking locks faster sounds appealing, nothing beats a quiver full of different arrows. Whether you’re heading into one of the chapters or just exploring, you never know when you’re going to need the right tool for the job. In Thief, there’s an arrow for almost every situation. Take a look at the list below.

  • Blast Arrows – Creates a large explosion on impact. Unlocked in Chapter 4: A Friend in Need.
  • Blunt Arrows – Ideal for hitting switches from a distance or creating distractions.
  • Broadhead Arrows – A sharp arrow that is designed to wound and kill Garret’s enemies.
  • Choke Arrows – Releases a cloud of noxious gas ideal for neutralizing caged birds and dogs.
  • Fire Arrows – Creates a small, fiery explosion ideal for igniting flammable liquid.
  • Rope Arrows – Fire them at anchor beams to climb up to previously unreachable areas.
  • Sawtooth Arrows – Have sharp, serrated edges ideal for penetrating armor.
  • Water Arrows – Release a small burst of water that can douse flames and darken areas.

If you’re wondering what arrows are the most important, that’s tough to say. Each situation calls for a different approach. If we had to choose some essentials, never leave home without a few Rope Arrows, Broadhead Arrows and Water Arrows. Although they are the most practical, make sure to compliment your play style with a similar arrow type. When backed into a corner, we tend to shoot our way out. For that reason, we never leave home without the trusty Broadhead Arrow. Even if you don’t end up needing them, it’s comforting to know they’re available when things go bad.

Watch Your Step

Thief is full of things that can trip you up. Whether it’s the sound of your feet grinding through broken glass or a deadly floor trap, danger is everywhere. You have to watch your step at all times. Use Focus to spot potential hazards. It will light up any dangers ahead, allowing you to tread lightly and remain undetected. It will also guide you to the location where you can disable the trap. Just make sure you picked up the Wire Cutter Tool from the Shady Merchant. Most traps will require this to be neutralized.

There are a few common warning signs that a trap is nearby. Broken glass can often be found near snoozing guards or even common paths. Floor traps are normally found near wall paintings or safes. Keep an eye out for raised floor panels or control boxes. Spot either of those and a trap is probably nearby.

Look to the Sky

It’s easy to miss loot right in front of your face. It’s even easier to miss loot sitting on a high shelf or in a crawl space. You would be surprised at the number of secret rooms and passages found in the rafters. In fact, sometimes the most valuable, collectible loot is right above you. Always look up, using Focus to spot hard-to-see anchor beams. If there’s a crate or cabinet nearby, climb on top of it. You never know what you’ll find.

Complete Thieving Challenges

Each chapter or side mission gives players several optional objectives. Common ones include killing a certain number of guards, remaining undetected or picking a specific amount of pockets. Although your primary source of Gold will always be from the loot you steal, these challenges will reward players with large sums of currency. For a complete list of the thieving challenges for each chapter and side mission, why not try the official Thief eGuide? Not only does it elaborate on the helpful tips we provided, but it also helps you navigate every nook, cranny and rooftop in the game.

Trust us, you’re going to need it!

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Prima Games Staff
The staff at Prima Games.