Sea of Thieves Renown Guide: How to maximize your rewards in Sea of Thieves Seasons

Sea of Thieves Renown
(Image credit: Rare)

Sea of Thieves Renown is a new seasonal XP system, that arrived as this sailing adventure joins the mass of live-service games by moving to seasonal updates featuring new ways to play, new challenges to complete, and plenty of Renown to earn in Sea of Thieves. In this guide, we'll walk you through all you need to know about this new seasonal XP system, Sea of Thieves Renown, including how to earn it, what it gives you, and how to track it in the seasonal Plunder Pass.

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1. What is Sea of Thieves Renown?

Sea of Thieves Renown

(Image credit: Rare)

Sea of Thieves has had gold since day one, then came Doubloons, then Ancient Coins, and now Sea of Thieves Renown. While Renown isn't a currency like the others in that you can't spend it at stores, it does come with its own plethora of rewards, with more coming to the seasoned pirates who stick around for much or all of a Sea of Thieves Season - or about three months, Rare estimates.

Think of Renown as seasonal XP that gets wiped with each new season. During a season, virtually every action you take in the game will earn you Renown. Unlike Sea of Thieves Emissaries, which reward players only for the loot they turn in to different Trading Companies, Renown manages to reward you for almost anything one can do in Sea of Thieves.

Renown is designed to entice players to stick around for the long haul, so if you find yourself playing Sea of Thieves a lot, expect the rewards to come pouring in like there's a hole in your hull. Earn enough Renown and you'll climb all 100 levels of Sea of Thieves' Plunder Pass, which will trade your gameplay hours and seafaring successes for in-game currency, new clothing for your pirate, and new customization options for your ship.

2. What is a Plunder Pass?

Sea of Thieves Renown

(Image credit: Rare)

Like other games which offer Season Passes, often called Battle Passes, the Sea of Thieves Plunder Pass is an incentive system which gives players more rewards the longer they play. You can see all of the rewards laid out at any time in the game's menus, and if you're familiar with the concept, you may notice Sea of Thieves' Plunder Pass behaves a bit differently than other similar passes.

With 100 levels to unlock by earning Renown, only 10 are locked behind the paywall of the Plunder Pass' premium version. Following the free track will earn all pirates virtually every reward on offer, with just a few more reserved for Pirate Legends. This makes the Plunder Pass a more generous system than others, though the rewards also include a lot fewer cosmetics and is mostly made up of in-game currencies like gold, Doubloons, and Ancient Coins.

But paid or free, Pirate Legend or seasick landlubber, no matter what you'll need Renown to level up your Plunder Pass.

3. How to Earn Sea of Thieves Renown

Sea of Thieves Renown

(Image credit: Rare)

As mentioned, virtually anything you might think of that the game can track in some quantitative way is rewarded with Renown during each Sea of Thieves Season. Thankfully, though, we are able to get to specifics so you know exactly what's expected of you if you're chasing that Plunder Pass level 100.

First, you'll want to understand that actions you take are split into three branches: Swift(green), Grand (Blue), and Epic (purple). This color-coded system hints at each action's level of difficulty, and naturally the more challenging actions reward more Sea of Thieves Renown. To make it even easier, here's a list of what each tier consists of:

  • Swift Actions:
  • Compile sailed nautical miles
  • Visit islands 
  • Dig up treasure
  • Sell treasure
  • Stash treasure on your ship
  • Catch fish
  • Catch Trophy fish
  • Eat well cooked meat
  • Sell meat
  • Defeat ghost ships (note: not skeleton ships)

  • Grand Actions:
  • Complete Voyage chapters
  • Complete whole Voyages
  • Cook meat
  • Cook sea monster meat (Kraken, Megalodon)
  • Complete Tall Tale chapters
  • Complete whole Tall Tales
  • Take down Kraken tentacles

  • Epic Actions:
  • Defeat skeletons
  • Defeat skeleton captains, ashen key masters, and ashen chest guardians
  • Defeat the Kraken
  • Defeat Megalodons
  • Defeat skeleton ships
  • Complete other world events (i.e. Burning Blade, Forts, Ashen Lords, et al)

4. Sea of Thieves trials pay a lot of Renown

Sea of Thieves Renown

(Image credit: Rare)

While actions are repeatable and will always earn you Sea of Thieves Renown each time, there are also one-time challenges called Trials which dole out huge portions of Renown upon completing them. Each Trial consists of multiple Deeds, which are pretty straightforward tasks - catch a fish on a particular island, sell a particular meat to a Sea Post, etc. Some of these Deeds are even included in the actions above and thus reward you a bit extra the first time you do them as they are counted as both actions and one-off Deeds. 

In Sea of Thieves Season One, there are 57 total Trials, with each tending to require three Deeds are completed. Upon completion, watch as your Renown level rises faster than any other means. Also notice that these too are color-coded in the same Green-Blue-Purple indicators, so if you're new or looking for a good place to start, follow the green Trials first and work your way up.

5. Other Ways to Earn Renown

Sea of Thieves Renown

(Image credit: Rare)

Currently, Trials are the best way to unlock Renown at a satisfying pace according to most pirates, but there are other ways too. When Rare hosts special events, like the Friday Night "Fort Nights" weekly event, players also earn Renown for participating. It's likely new events will arise over time and in that case they will likely also reward players with Renown for whichever season is current while the events are running. 

It should also be noted, if you haven't noticed by now, that Sea of Thieves hardly rewards any PvP actions with Renown, which is clearly a design decision intended not to increase griefing or other frustrating encounters for some players. Much like the Emissary system takes care not to pit players against each other except for specific circumstances that are largely opted into, Renown is also given out almost entirely to PvE play. You will still find some nefarious swashbucklers at sea from time to time, no doubt, but take comfort in the fact that Rare is choosing not to inspire anymore pirate-on-pirate violence than we've already seen for the last few years since launch.

Freelance Journalist

Mark Delaney is a prolific copywriter and journalist. Having contributed to publications like GamesRadar+ and Official Xbox Magazine, writing news, features, reviews, and guides, he has since turned his eye to other adventures in the industry. In 2019, Mark became OpenCritic's first in-house staff writer, and in 2021 he became the guides editor over at GameSpot.