How to Turn Off Quest Markers and Fast Travel in Skyrim
Quest markers, or map markers, are icons that show you the location of the next stage of a quest on the in-game map, or the direction of the next stage on your compass. Fast travel is the ability the game gives you to instantly travel from one location on the map to another location that you have discovered.
If you are a die-hard role-player, you may find the quest markers and fast travel in Skyrim to be overly helpful. Fortunately, Skyrim gives you the option to selectively enable and disable fast travel and quest markers.
Quest markers appear in two locations: on the in-game map (M), and on the compass at the top center of the screen when playing.
You can add or remove quest markers for any quest by using the Journal (J). To enable or disable markers, just select the quest in the Journal. A small arrow pointer icon will appear to the right of the quest when it is selected. Markers for selected, or active, quests will appear in the map and on the compass. They will disappear when you deselect the quest in the Journal.
To enable markers for Miscellaneous quests, you have to select both the Miscellaneous quest and specific quests within the Miscellaneous tab. This requires an extra step, but it does give you a quick way to disable or enable all of the markers for all of your active Miscellaneous quests.
Turning Off Floating Quest Markers
Floating quest markers are the little icons that appear over doors, people, and locations in the game world that represent the next stage of your quest. With floating markers enabled, you always know who to talk to and which door to take to get to your next destination.
If you prefer to challenge yourself, you can turn off the floating markers as well.
To turn off a floating quest marker, just go into the Settings menu (Esc key by default) and select the Gameplay option. Scroll down to where it says 'Show Floating Markers' and disable it by clicking on it. The game will save your settings when you exit, and when you resume playing, the markers will be gone.
Only on the PC Version
You can only edit the SkryimPrefs.ini file if you are playing the PC version of Skryim.
Using the SkyrimPrefs.ini File
You can also disable quest markers by using the SkyrimPrefs.ini file which is located in the Documents\My Games\Skyrim\ folder. As always, before making any changes to any .ini file, make a backup and save it in a safe place in case you screw something up and want to return to default settings.
You will be looking for the following section:
Just set one or both of these settings to 0 and save the file:
The next time you load up Skryim the floating quest markers and/or quest markers will be gone.
You only need to change the SkyrimPrefs.ini file once and it will remember the changes every time you play.
Note that when you use the SkyrimPrefs.ini file, you won't be able to activate the markers in-game using the Journal. You will have to exit, re-edit the file and re-start the game. This can be a good way to avoid temptation if you want to play without the markers but can't resist the urge to turn them on now and then while playing.
Only on the PC Version
Note that you can only use the console with the PC version of Skyrim.
Disable Fast Travel
Skyrim doesn't give you an option to disable fast travel in the Settings menu, but it is easily done with a simple console command.
To disable fast travel, open the console by pressing the tilde key '~' and type the following:
Hit enter and press the ~ key to exit the console. The fast travel setting will be saved along with your game.
If you change your mind and decide that you want fast travel back, just open up the console again and type:
Hit enter, ~, and save.
I haven't been able to get this option to work by editing the SkyrimPrefs.ini yet, but if you figure out where to put the command to get it to work, let me know!