I love to explore the relationship between the fictional worlds we create for movies, books, games, etc. and the real world.
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 on the map and 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!
More Skyrim Tutorials
- How to Change the FOV (Field of View)
- How to Remove the Compass and Crosshair
- How to Take Screenshots
- How to Change the Timescale
- How to Change Your Appearance and Name
hardflip on April 18, 2013:
you need to type "enablefasttravel FALSE"
person on January 17, 2013:
i never fast travel, and hate quest markers. i wish there was a way to turn off compass without health.
Ratchet233 on December 20, 2012:
My map makers are not showing on the map
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 27, 2012:
I have no idea what most of this meant but it sure was interesting.
j-u-i-c-e (author) from Waterloo, On on June 03, 2012:
@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.
James Robertson from Texas on May 31, 2012:
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 (author) from Waterloo, On on May 17, 2012:
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.
Babylon Badness on May 17, 2012:
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 (author) from Waterloo, On on January 07, 2012:
@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.
Artisto on January 07, 2012:
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 (author) from Waterloo, On on December 30, 2011:
@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.
mover on December 30, 2011:
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 (author) from Waterloo, On on November 28, 2011:
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.
Ooms on November 27, 2011:
Great post for us who like to remove the "handholding for babies" features Bethsoft loves to put in their games