Sea of Thieves gold comes from all kinds of sources - in fact you earn it from completing almost every task in the game - but some of those gold sources are a lot more efficient than others.

Seeing as Sea of Thieves' cosmetics are just so darn expensive, learning how to grind out gold quickly is pretty important, and so below we'll provide a list of treasure and chest types and rank them according to how much gold they provide you with, as well as explaning the best ways to earn gold - or at least our favourites - and any other tips we've picked up on how to earn money fast in Sea of Thieves, too.

Sea of Thieves gold sources explained - how to get gold in Sea of Thieves

Gold is the only in-game currency in Sea of Thieves. You get it for handing in the items earned from your Voyages and your general adventuring, and it can spent on just two things right now: cosmetic upgrades, and more Voyages.

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That might sound a little bit pointless - not to mention rather circular - but for one, buying cosmetics is pretty great when it means making your ship look awesome, and likewise more Voyages means higher Reputation levels, and higher Reputation means you're edging closer and closer to Sea of Thieves' Pirate Legend endgame.

With that in mind, grinding gold is going to be one of the central things you end up doing once you breeze past the early hours of the game, and knowing how to do that efficiently really does help.

Before we dive into the best ways to do it, here's a quick list of every way you can earn gold in the game (that we've discovered so far).

  • Selling chests and trinkets to the Gold Hoarders.
  • Selling skulls to the Order of Souls.
  • Selling animals and goods like Tea, Silk, and Spices to the Merchant Alliance.
  • Selling other items, like Gunpowder kegs.

In other words, you get gold by selling stuff to the various Outpost Traders in game. What you need to know, then, is what stuff sells for the most gold, and what stuff is the easiest to get in bulk.

Sea of Thieves treasure and chest gold values list

As you might have come to expect, the Sea of Thieves community has been nice and busy over on the subreddit for the game. Users Jake_Smith81 and homeless0alien in particular have now created some spreadsheets detailing the different prices people earned for different items that they sold in-game.

Here's a breakdown of what sells for how much on average according to their collected data - along with a few other additions from our own experience - so you know what to protect on your ship and what to trade in first. Note that loot in Sea of Thieves seems to vary slightly in value from case to case, so the below tables are split into the highest values recorded so far, the lowest, and the average of all of those submitted by community for each item.

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Gold Hoarders loot value list:

ItemMax ValueMin ValueAverage
Stronghold Chest 3339 1416 2468
Chest of Sorrow 1536 1021 1332
Chest of 1000 Grogs 1467 838 1057
Captain's Chest 1020 599 824
Opulent Curio 984 603 813
Peculiar Relic 919 600 760
Adorned Receptacle 750 593 676
Gilded Chalice 458 408 433
Golden Reliquery 442 412 427
Marauders Chest 516 300 411
Elaborate Flagon 235 151 194
Seafarers Chest 258 140 193
Silvered Cup 240 165 192
Golden Flagon 190 190 190
Decorative Coffer 196 156 178
Mysterious Vessel 116 116 116
Bronze Secret-Keeper 116 105 111
Castaway Chest 129 70 99
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Order of Souls loot value list:

ItemMax ValueMin ValueAverage Value
Stronghold Skull 3953 2311 3347
Villanous Skull 1347 909 1121
Hateful Skull 686 401 567
Disgraced Skull 348 194 275
Foul Skull 167 96 132
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Merchant Alliance loot value list:

ItemMax ValueMin ValueAverage Value
Exquisite Spices 1859 1243 1638
Gold Snake (Voyage) 1844 1428 1601
Gold Striped Pig (Voyage) 1802 1059 1342
Gold Chicken (Voyage) 1706 1031 1336
Gunpowder Keg (Voyage) 832 832 832
Black Chicken (Voyage) 862 734 800
Black Coated Pig (Voyage) 900 653 798
Exotic Silks 916 568 748
Blue Dappled Snake (Voyage) 444 334 382
Rare Tea 558 264 374
Pink And Black Spotted Pig (Voyage) 375 368 372
Red Speckled Chicken (Voyage) 381 283 337
Pink And Black Spotted Pig 281 266 275
White Chicken (Voyage) 233 165 212
Fine Sugar 232 136 191
Gold Chicken 174 171 173
Pink Bristled Pig (Voyage) 183 143 157
Gunpowder Keg 186 102 148
Red Striped Snake (Voyage) 168 137 148
Gold Snake 147 135 142
Gold Striped Pig 103 103 103
Black Coated Pig 80 80 80
Black Chicken 56 56 56
Red Speckled Chicken 63 41 52
White Chicken 20 16 18
Pink Bristtled Pig 16 16 16

Treasure hunting for more guides like this? Best to start with our main Sea of Thieves guide, including voyages, quests, progression and what to do first, or if you're right at the end of the game, take a look at our guide to Pirate Legend rewards and the Mysterious Stranger explained. We also have step-by-step instructions on how to download and install Sea of Thieves; there's also a guide on the Sea of Thieves map and how to find every island location, shape and name, along with our guide to Sea of Thieves' chicken, pig and snake locations for Merchant Alliance Voyages, a guide to loot values and how to earn Sea of Thieves gold fast, info on the full set of Sea of Thieves controls for Xbox and PC, a long list of various Sea of Thieves tips and tricks, an in-depth explainer on the dastardly Skeleton Forts, Skull clouds and Stronghold Keys, a massive collection of advice on Sea of Thieves sailing, ship combat and how to sail into the wind, plus how to find and kill Sea of Thieves' Kraken, and finally some advice for those encountering Sea of Thieves LavenderBeard, CyanBeard and CinnamonBeard error messages, too.

The best ways to get gold fast in Sea of Thieves

So, we know from the above that the Skeleton Fort loot - Stronghold Skulls and Chests, Exquisite Spices, and various other assorted trinkets and items - consistently comes out on top as the most valuable when sold.

Outside of that, the Merchant Alliance seems to have the widest range of high-value items you can trade in. Gold animals, when required for Marchant Alliance Voyages, all grant well over 1,000 gold when handed in, as well as the highly valuable Equisite Spices and the range of other items that sell for seven or eight hundred gold and up.

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But we also know that just noting the most valuable items isn't going to do much for knowing the best ones to farm - it's all very well saying Skeleton Forts are the way to go, but that would be ignoring the fact that they can take a long time on average, and an awful long time if you get some particularly aggressive fellow pirates in your server.

What's our recommendation? Well, there's no definitive best, so here are our general thoughts from experience so far:

The best ways to get Sea of Thieves gold fast:

  • Skeleton Forts - To get the obvious one out of the way first, Skeleton Forts soom to consistently reward a total of around 15,000 gold, if you can collect all the loot for your crew alone. The issue is they're time consuming - even just getting to them can take a while if they spawn on the other side of the map - and quite challenging, especially if other crews get involved. Likewise, the more who join you the more there are to share the loot with, or, worse, the more there are who want to steal your own. If you do these, prioritise grabbing the Stronghold loot and Exquisite Spices first!
  • Merchant Alliance quests - They might seem tedious, and it does rely on some luck, but if you're assigned Gold animals to be retrieved that's some easy four-digit rewards right away, and other quests like those for the Gold Hoarders seem to punish unlucky players even more severely (imagine doing multi-step riddle quests only for some Seafarer chests, which happens!)
  • Shipwrecks - The other consistently-rewarding source of gold is raiding shipwrecks. These appear randomly out at sea, but are identified by a flock of swarming seagulls circling in the sky above it. Dive underground and retrieve the items from the ship's multiple levels, one at at a time, and you'll consistently get about 3,000 gold's worth of loot. The only issue is there's no telling where the next one can be found, so it's more of a "always do these when you see them" thing, as apposed to a method you can rinse and repeat.

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About the author

Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.