How to Turn Off Quest Markers and Fast Travel in Skyrim

Updated on June 28, 2016
Questing in Skyrim can be a lot of fun. Turning off your quest markers just makes it a little more challenging.
Questing in Skyrim can be a lot of fun. Turning off your quest markers just makes it a little more challenging.

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

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.

The quest marker on the in-game map.
The quest marker on the in-game map.
Quest markers for active quests also show up on the compass.
Quest markers for active quests also show up on the compass.

Buy Skyrim

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.

The Journal is used to review quest objectives and turn on and off quest markers.
The Journal is used to review quest objectives and turn on and off quest markers.
After deselecting the Before the Storm quest, the map marker is no more!
After deselecting the Before the Storm quest, the map marker is no more!

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.

The floating quest markers show you which door will lead you to your next destination.
The floating quest markers show you which door will lead you to your next destination.

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.

You can disable the floating quest markers in the Display menu of the Settings menu.
You can disable the floating quest markers in the Display menu of the Settings menu.
The floating quest marker is now gone.
The floating quest marker is now 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:

[GamePlay]
bShowFloatingQuestMarkers=1
bShowQuestMarkers=1

Just set one or both of these settings to 0 and save the file:

[GamePlay]
bShowFloatingQuestMarkers=0
bShowQuestMarkers=0

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:

enablefasttravel 0

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:

enablefasttravel 1

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!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        hardflip 

        5 years ago

        you need to type "enablefasttravel FALSE"

      • profile image

        person 

        5 years ago

        i never fast travel, and hate quest markers. i wish there was a way to turn off compass without health.

      • profile image

        Ratchet233 

        5 years ago

        My map makers are not showing on the map

      • GetitScene profile image

        Dale Anderson 

        5 years ago from The High Seas

        I have no idea what most of this meant but it sure was interesting.

      • j-u-i-c-e profile imageAUTHOR

        j-u-i-c-e 

        6 years ago from Waterloo, On

        @BraidedZero: Yeah, I don't have a problem with fast travel. I understand why people like it, and I use the wagons myself now from time to time, just for variety. I still prefer walking everywhere. It just makes for a better experience, imo, though I understand people have real time constraints. Thanks for reading.

      • BraidedZero profile image

        James Robertson 

        6 years ago from Texas

        Having fast travel and markers is definitely Bethesda's way of babying us. It helps people get through the game much faster than they should. Honestly I prefer the Morrowind way where we had to flip through pages of our journal to remember where we need to go, but I understand why they added these features.

      • j-u-i-c-e profile imageAUTHOR

        j-u-i-c-e 

        6 years ago from Waterloo, On

        Quest markers can be turned off just by deselecting the quest in your journal. They're set to be on by default, but after getting a quest, you can just turn them off. There's no way to turn off the compass without changing the HUD opacity without editing the INI file. It's kind of silly how easy it would have been to avoid this whole issue just by putting a couple more options in the settings.

      • profile image

        Babylon Badness 

        6 years ago

        Good article, I was wondering if there was any way to turn off just the compass and quest markers, as health/stamina is too important to turn off completely. I play on xbox (I know how shit it is).

      • j-u-i-c-e profile imageAUTHOR

        j-u-i-c-e 

        6 years ago from Waterloo, On

        @Artisto: There is a setting under Display for HUD Opacity. If you turn it all the way down the HUD will become invisible (compass, health bars, enemy health bar, crosshair). You'll still be able to use all of the menus and map normally.

      • profile image

        Artisto 

        6 years ago

        Thank you for thos informations up there.

        I wonder whether it's possible to disable hp and stamina bar of my character and disable the hp bar of enemies?

      • j-u-i-c-e profile imageAUTHOR

        j-u-i-c-e 

        6 years ago from Waterloo, On

        @mover: Hm. I didn't know that. I don't use fast travel but I just ignore it. If that's the case, it might be fixable via the .ini file if anyone figures out a way to get the game to recognize it.

      • profile image

        mover 

        6 years ago

        When I use the console cmd Fasttravel is off and don't work, but when I enter a Building and go back outside then fast travel works again :( I want to disable it once for all.

      • j-u-i-c-e profile imageAUTHOR

        j-u-i-c-e 

        6 years ago from Waterloo, On

        One of the great things about their games is that it's usually pretty easy to customize them to the way you want to play. If you don't like something, you can generally fix it, either by changing a setting, tweaking the SkyrimPrefs.ini, or installing/making a mod. Glad you liked the post.

      • profile image

        Ooms 

        6 years ago

        Great post for us who like to remove the "handholding for babies" features Bethsoft loves to put in their games

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