Sea of Thieves Gold Hoarders guide: How to level up fast and find all the treasure chests

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Call it what you want - loot, treasure, booty, plunder - but a pirate is nothing without their gold. Thankfully, the folks over at Rare know that and have introduced the Gold Hoarders faction, which - as the name suggests - is all about the shiny stuff hidden away in treasure chests buried all over the Sea of Thieves map. You might be given a treasure map with a telltale X marking the spot, but finding the pesky plunder can be more complicated than it sounds. But with this Sea of Thieves Gold Hoarders guide, you’ll be sitting on a small fortune in no time, especially with our essential Sea of Thieves tips by your side too. 

Also check out our guides for the other two factions too:

How to grind Sea of Thieves Gold Hoarders reputation

Of all the factions in Sea of Thieves, the Gold Hoarders missions are the easiest to grind, because they’re the easiest to complete. You’ll find the Gold Hoarders’ small purple tent, with a gold key on the side, at every outpost, manned by a minion with actual gold embedded in their skin. Keen, or what? Grab yourself one of their Voyages, then head to your boat, put it on the captain’s table, vote for it and then you’ll receive your maps. 

Early on, the maps simply take the form of a drawing of the island you’ll need to head to, with a red X marked somewhere on it. You’ll need to scour the ship’s map to match the one on your paper, but they tend to be in close proximity to where you picked up the voyage, so don’t scroll too far in your search. Once you’ve found your target location, sail on over there and grab your compass. Use the compass points to locate where you think the X is and then use your shovel to start digging. You’ll know if you’re successful straight away, because your shovel will collide with the earth with a hearty thunk as it hits the chest. Jackpot. Then it’s just a case of taking your finds back to any Gold Hoarders’ outpost point. 

Later on, when you buy the mission upgrades at the outposts, you’ll have to solve riddles to find the treasure, with the first line of the clue telling you where to go, and the rest of the riddle only appearing when you get to that location. You’ll then have to find whatever point of interest it specifies and then use your raised compass to walk a set number of steps in a specific direction to find your plunder. But these are higher worth chests, so you’ll get more gold for each find and they’ll boost your reputation faster. 

How Gold Hoarders progression works

Once you start grinding through the free missions for the Gold Hoarders, you’ll start building your reputation. Once you hit level five, you’ll be able to unlock the first promotion, which gives you those aforementioned riddle-based treasure hunts. Then you’ll start unlocking promotions every five levels, increasing the amount of maps per voyage you’ll get, the complexity of the riddles, and the value of each chest. Of course, the voyages stop being free once you’ve hit level five, but they are worth much more in terms of progression and, more importantly, value. 

How to complete Gold Hoarders missions solo

Because Gold Hoarders missions are simply a case of working out where the treasure is and then going to get it, they’re the easiest to complete solo. Of course, there are some great tips for how to play Sea of Thieves solo generally, but if you want to pick the easiest missions to captain yourself, head for the Gold Hoarders. You very rarely get ambushed by too many skeletons to take down yourself when you dig up a hearty chest, and the instructions are pretty easy to follow without help from your fellow pirate folk. You might just need to make a few more trips back and forth from the ship to cash in your chests.

Gold Hoarders rewards

There are rewards for moving up the ranks for every faction and, as you’d expect, the perks for climbing Gold Hoarders promotion levels are themed around gold. As you move through the levels, you’ll unlock golden versions of all your equipment, starting with a golden compass and a slightly-more-gilded shovel. If you want your pirate to look totally bling-tastic, you’ll need to work your way through the Gold Hoarders levels. 

There are rewards from other merchants for getting high enough reputation with the Gold Hoarders too, take a look, although you'll sense a theme very quickly:

  • Royal Sovereign Figurehead at Level 50 from the Shipwright Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Hull at level 50 from the Shipwright Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Sails at level 50 from the Shipwright Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Bucket at level 31 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Compass at level 46 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Concertina at level 41 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Hurdy-Gurdy at level 41 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Lantern at level 38 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Shovel at level 31 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Spyglass at level 46 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Tankard at level 38 from the Equipment Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Blunderbuss at level 48 from the Weaponsmith’s Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Cutlass at level 48 from the Weaponsmith’s Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Eye of Reach at level 48 from the Weaponsmith’s Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Pistol at level 48 from the Weaponsmith’s Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Belt at level 33 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Boots at level 28 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Dress at level 33 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Eyepatch at level 47 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Gloves at level 28 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Hat at level 49 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Hook at level 47 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Jackets at level 36 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Pegleg at level 47 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Shirt at level 36 from the General Clothing Shop
  • Royal Sovereign Trousers at level 33 from the General Clothing Shop

What happens at Gold Hoarders max level?

Every faction is currently capped at level 50. Anyone reaching that point in all three factions can take the voyage to become a Pirate Legend. The dream. But, the actual reward for reaching level 50 for the Gold Hoarders is currently unknown. It takes a long time to hunt treasure, don’t you know? Hopefully we’ll end up looking like one of the Gold Hoarders gang, with more than just a set of gold gnashers to our name. 

Gold Hoarders mission tips

Although completing Gold Hoarders missions are pretty straight forward, here are a few tips just to help you get started. 

Your compass is your best friend - If you don’t know the difference between north, south, east and west and all the variations in between, you’d better start learning quick. Finding the X, unravelling the riddles and other clues for the Gold Hoarders means you’ll need your compass more than anything else. 

If you get stuck, go exploring - If a clue asks you to find specific items on a specific part of an island, and you just can’t find it, keep exploring. It’s amazing how many northwest regions there can technically be on a small island. It’s not always the most extreme point that you need to head to, as it can tend to be more of a general heading to take.

Don’t get greedy - Although it might be tempting to keep sailing until you’ve got a ship’s belly full of loot, the more chests you’ve got, the bigger the risk. If anything happens to your ship and it sinks, you’ll risk losing every single chest you’ve managed to dig up.

For more ways to make the best pirate life, check out our Sea of Thieves Order of Souls mission guide.