Emissary guide - Sea of Thieves

Everything you need to know about the Emissary feature for all trading companies in Sea of Thieves.

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The Emissary system is a brand new mechanic in Sea of Thieves. This feature was introduced at the end of April 2020, and allows players to represent a trading company of their choosing for added rewards. There are a lot of rules and mechanics at play here, so knowing all about the Emissary system is going to be critical if you want to make smart decisions while out on the sea.

How to become an Emissary

sea of thieves become an Emissary

Before you can go representing a trading company as an Emissary, you will first need to buy-in to the program. Whether you want to earn more gold from the Gold Hoarders or hunt ships for the Reaper’s Bones, the price is always the same: 20,000 gold.

To purchase an Emissary flag, go to any Outpost and visit the trading company you want to represent. You can buy one from the Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, Merchant Alliance, and a flag from the Pirate Lord if you’re a Pirate Legend. For those that want to represent the Reaper’s Bones, you will need to sail to the Reaper’s Hideout near the center of the world.

Once you have your Emissary flag, find one of the little tables beside the company you want to represent. Throw down a vote to raise the company’s Emissary flag and have your crew do the same. You can only represent one company at a time. The Reaper’s Bones table is often hidden somewhere on an Outpost away from the others.

At the end of your session, vote to lower your Emissary flag at the table to get some extra gold.

What do the wooden boats mean?

Sometimes you might see a little wooden boat on the trading company tables. These boats indicate that another ship has pledged to that trading company. This is a great way to assess what type of server you’re on and whether there are any like-minded pirates out there.

How to rank up Emissary flag

Sea of Thieves Reaper's Bones Grade 5 Emissary flag

Ranking up your Emissary flag grade can be a bit confusing. For the likes of Reaper’s Bones, nearly everything you do seems to increase the flag grade. Picking up treasure, stealing treasure, sinking other Emissary ships and more. For the other trading companies, it’s a little more sophisticated.

To level up your Emissary flag grade, you must complete that trading company’s specific voyages. That means Orders of Souls will need to hunt skeletons, Merchant Alliance will need to catch animals and sell supplies, while Pirate Legends will need to complete special Athena’s voyages.

Increasing your Emissary grade will cause the ribbon at the top of your ship to grow longer. This will be a clear sign to other crews what it is you are doing and will make you a juicy target!

Emissary grade bonuses

Sea of Thieves Emissary flag Grades

Increasing your Emissary flag grade offers bonus gold and XP. At Grade 1 you will be earning an additional 25% and at Grade 5 you will get an additional 150%. Try to hold off turning in your treasure until you reach Grade 5.

After reaching Grade 5, you can visit your trading company and get a special Emissary Quest. These reward the highest tier treasure for your company.

Emissary Grade Bonus Gold/XP
Grade 1 +25%
Grade 2 +50%
Grade 3 +75%
Grade 4 +100%
Grade 5 +150%

A popular strategy is to raise one trading company’s Emissary flag, sell all their wares, change to another trading company to sell theirs, and so on until all your treasure is sold. This would take advantage of the additional 25% gold and XP at Grade 1.

Emissary Quests

Sea of Thieves Emissary quest

As mentioned above, reaching Emissary Grade 5 for a trading company unlocks a special Emissary Quest. These quests offer another shot at getting some of the highest valued loot in the game.

The only company that doesn’t get an Emissary Quest is the Reaper’s Bones. The reason for this is that they are unique among the trading companies and don’t care much for treasure. Instead, at Emissary Grade 5, a Reaper’s Bones ship will have all other Emissary ships shown on its map. This makes hunting down other ships for their flags much easier.

Emissary Ledger and rewards

Sea of Thieves Emissary Ledger

There is also a new type of leaderboard in Sea of Thieves called the Emissary Ledger. This ledger keeps track of how much you have done for a trading company. By doing more for a trading company, you can increase your Ledger Position, which will help you ascend through the ranks.

To see your Emissary Position for a trading company, open that trading company's reputation page and then select the Emissary Ledger. Here you can see your current Emissary Value on the left as well as what ranks you have unlocked on the right. The top two ranks for a trading company offer a unique reward. These rewards change every month. For the first month, the reward was a set of sails.

You can also see how you compare to other players around the world. This is done by selecting the View Top Emissaries button. Here you can see who is currently leading the trading company for Emissary Value as well as the values of others at the various brackets.

For some players, reaching the top rank each month for each trading company will be easy. If this doesn’t sound like you, just focus on the trading company who’s rewards you really want.

What do the Emissary costumes do?

Sea of Thieves Emissary costumes

As part of representing a trading company as an Emissary, players can also purchase a costume for tens of thousands of gold. Some people might wonder if the Emissary costume offers more gold and experience. It does not.

These costumes are just a way to add a little more flare to your crew. Although, there are some Achievements tied to wearing an Emissary costume and having your ship fully decked out in the cosmetics of the company you’re representing.


There’s a lot to learn about the Emissary feature in Sea of Thieves. It drastically changes up how players think about earning gold and XP for their chosen trading company while also adding new rewards. Set sail for our comprehensive Sea of Thieves guide and walkthrough for more pirating assistance!

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 Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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