How to Rank Up Quickly in Sea of Thieves

The most efficient way to farm reputation to rank up the three companies in Sea of Thieves.


Becoming a pirate legend is a long and gruelling process, requiring you to rank up with each of the three companies in Sea of Thieves. Gaining reputation with the different companies can take a while, so it’s important to know how to rank them up quickly. While there is no outright shortcut, there are things you can do to help speed up the process.

How to Rank Up Quickly

The three main companies in Sea of Thieves (Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, and Merchant Alliance), must each reach higher levels if you want to become a pirate legend. This is part of a multi-step quest you receive from the Mysterious Stranger in the tavern. While you can only do one voyage at a time, if you plan carefully and follow a few simple steps, there’s a good chance you can rank them up fast, while also earning reputation toward each of them simultaneously.

  • Propose a Merchant Alliance voyage to get crates and cages, cancel the voyage
  • Propose whatever voyage you want to do (might be another Merchant Alliance voyage)
  • While on the voyage, stop at any sunken shipwrecks
  • When you arrive at an island, scour it for treasure chests and cages
  • Use cages to collect Golden animals
  • Complete a skeleton fort if it is safe to do so

Before you set out to rank up the Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, and Merchant Alliance quickly, you’ll have a better chance of gaining reputation fast if you’re working with a full galleon. A solo player is going to have a difficult time, as there is no division of labor and you’ll be extremely susceptible to attack.

The first step that is worth undertaking – if you can spare the gold – is to purchase, propose, and vote on a Merchant Alliance voyage. This gives you access to several cages that can be used to catch chickens and pigs, and even snakes. Collect the cages and bring them aboard and then vote to cancel the voyage. The goal is to fill these cages with golden animals. Because Merchant Alliance voyages are the most time-consuming, it can be better to complete them as an auxiliary task unless you’re specifically looking to level up your Merchant Alliance reputation.

Propose whatever voyage you prefer, a Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, or Merchant Alliance quest, and then set sail. As you travel to the island, find sunken ships and collect whatever loot they hold. When you arrive on the island, take the cages to land and capture any golden animals you find as they sell for the most.

Islands will often have more than just the rewards from a voyage. Hidden around ledges, in bushes, and inside caves are treasure chests that can be collected. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s worth scouring an island for hidden gems – including messages in bottles. Taking the time to search an island can easily reward a patient pirate with several hundred gold pieces.

Gunpowder barrels are also an underappreciated resource. It seems that every island will contain gunpowder barrels, and when each barrel can net between 100 and 300 gold, it’s worth grabbing them. Furthermore, gunpowder barrels will directly help rank up the Merchant Alliance.

Before heading back to the closest outpost to deliver the goods, consider proposing another voyage. Typically, voyages will pick islands within close proximity, allowing you to gather more loot in quick succession.

During all this adventuring to rank up the companies quickly, keep your eyes to the horizon and look for a skull cloud. As soon as a skeleton fort begins, head to the nearest outpost, complete the voyage, and set sail to the raid. Completing a skeleton fort offers some of the best rewards for the amount of effort put in, but it does have its limits.

Ideally, a skeleton fort should only be attempted when the outcome is going to be positive – especially if your goal is to fast track ranking up. Fighting off other galleons and sloops for an hour and losing a portion of the rewards is not an efficient means of ranking up your companies in Sea of Thieves. However, if you can quickly finish the skeleton fort and turn in all the reward, it’s quite possible to rank up each of the companies once or even twice (depending on the starting rank).

As you progress through Sea of Thieves, the amount of treasure chests, skulls, and goods you need to rank up the companies will increase. If you can meet this increase with good decisions and efficient use of your time, ranking up the companies quickly will not be too much of an issue. Check out Shacknews’ Sea of Thieves Guide and Walkthrough for more useful tips and strategies for being a pirate.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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