Trading Companies and Progression

Progression in Sea of Thieves is something that we all wanted to know more about. However, a lot of Community members were kind of disappointed after the Game Awards didn’t bring any real news on the Topic. The real Information about the Progression wasn’t put into the trailer, but onto the Sea of Thieves Website. We have combined the new pictures with older news to create a clearer picture of what to expect from the Progression!

P. S. The Pictures are a bit small by default, click on them to properly read the text

Trading Companies

What are Trading Companies?

  • They are basically NPC Factions
  • You can earn Reputation with them
  • There are different Trading Companies with different Motives supporting every Playstyle
  • Trading Companies play a major Role in Progression
  • They Offer Quests/Voyages to the Players
  • They are part of the Pirate World, you don’t choose between taking part in a Trading Company or being a Pirate
  • Each Company has their own Unlockables
  • There are Ranks within each Trading Company

So, Trading Companies are basically the factions of the game. They are the ones giving you Quests/Voyages and in return, you receive gold and Reputation. With more Reputation, you can climb the Ranks of a Trading Company to unlock better voyages with new mechanics and rewards, Outfits and other Things.

Example for a Trading Company

This is a normal Scene showing the Outpost and the Shipwright that exchanges Chests for Gold. This picture only shows a Situation known to all of us, but what is important to note is the appearance of the Shipwright. Especially the fact that there is no Necklace is important.

This is a Picture of the Person shown next to the Trading Companies on the official Website. The appearance is basically the same as the normal Shipwright, but there is a small difference. The Necklace showing the Symbol of an Anchor. This hints that Trading Companies will be recognizable through Different Emblems and possibly even Outposts.


These Trading Companies bring a whole new level of Gameplay to Sea of Thieves. Not only does the world now have a much deeper lore, but also we get the reason why we are hunting for treasure. Before you were just completing one Voyage after another and cashing the Chests in between them. Now you choose your voyages and your Trading Company to fit your playstyle and unlock new Items and Titles that represent you as a player. The Concept of writing your own Story becomes much more influential. Suddenly, you can recognize a good player from the title and clothing and you immediately know that he has a lot of great voyages to share.


Voyages are the Quest system in Sea of Thieves. X marks the Spot Maps or Riddles are part of them right now. The Trading Companies will also be part of the Voyage system.

How do Voyages Work?

  • They are the Quests in Sea of Thieves
  • You unlock new Types of Voyages through progressing in the Trading Companies
  • Voyages can be shared with Crew Members. It is enough if 1 person has a voyage unlocked for the whole Crew to take part in it and get the rewards
  • Voyages can be voted on (Confirmed Future Feature)
  • You get Chests and Reputation from Completing Voyages
  • A full voyage is made out of multiple Riddles/ X Marks the Spot Maps
  • They are one of the major Unlockables in Progression

Linking the 3 parts

Trading Companies are the Faction in the Game. You can Complete Voyages and Quests for them to gain Gold and Reputation. The Reputation is used to progress in the Ranks of the Trading Company. With higher Ranks, you get access to better Voyages and New Items, as well as Unique Titles.

Deeper Analysis of Trading Companies

This is another new Picture Shown on the website. You can see that the pirate is holding 2 different Papers/Contracts in his Hands. If you zoom in really close on the Picture You might be able to read the Text on them. The left, mysteriously Glowing Contract says “Order of Souls”  and the one on the right seems to spell “By Orders of the Gold Hoarder“. interesting, right? Let’s take a Closer Look.

Order of Souls

That Glow, the Skull Symbol. You have seen those already somewhere, haven’t you?

That’s right, we saw them in in the “Quest Team Update: Curious Object” on the Forums. It was very mysterious back then and no one really knows what it means. But now it makes sense. The Symbol on the wooden Plates is the same as on “The Order of Souls” and the Glow within the Box comes from the Paper/Contract itself.

What is the “Order of Souls“?

We don’t really know yet for sure. My guess is that it is some kind of Quest Type, possibly from a Trading Company. The mysterious Glow and Symbols hint towards a more complex theme and the Name might have to do with Ghosts. If you want to learn a bit more about Ghosts in Sea of Thieves and why I think that the order of Souls might be related to them, read my article here.

Orders of the Gold Hoarder

Gold Hoarder. It rings a bell, doesn’t it?

At the Comic-Con Panel in 2016, the Developers talked about this Figure. He is one of the “Skeleton lords” that are a topic of another article. What really is important about him is his name. He is named “Gold hoarder” because he is so obsessed with the expensive material that he replaced Parts of his body with Gold and Gems. You know who else did that?

That’s right, the representative of a trading Company that we can see in the Picture above. Not only that, his whole tent is filled with Coins and Gems.

“Gold Hoarder” doesn’t refer to the Skeleton Lord, but to a Trading Company called “Gold Hoarders“. The guy we can see in the Picture seems to be the “Gold hoarder”, who gives you Quests and Voyages.

Gold Hoarder

And that’s how we found out about the first Trading Company. If our assumptions are true and the Anchor Symbol from the lady earlier stands for another Trading Company we already have 2 of them. What’s Special about the “Gold Hoarders” is the explicit name. We immediately know that their only goal is to get as much profit as possible. I can imagine that they are involved in a lot of Shady activities and aren’t valuing morale too hard.

I am expecting to see some smuggle missions coming from this Trading Company. As you progress in ranks you get access to new voyages and start to look more and more like a notorious pirate.

Rare posted this in a thread on the forums a few months ago. it is clear that the Trading Factions are meant when they say “Groups of NPCs” and the black market smuggler type sounds exactly like the Gold Hoarders to me. This hints that we will see more Trading Companies, each representing a different Feeling and playstyle.


Trading Companies aren’t named Factions for a reason. Trade plays a big Part in the Gameplay of Sea of Thieves. Let me first show you 2 older Statements from rare on the Topics of Player Merchants and trading overall.

It is clear that we will be able to trade with some kinds of resources and now we know that Trading Companies play a major role in that. Keep the words “Merchants”, “Ferrying Different Types of Cargo” and “Trade Routes” in mind.

This is the Picture under the heading “Trading Companies“. It looks like some kind of Station from a Company. There are some interesting things about it.

  1. The Map (?) Table. It is blank or painted in this picture, so it’s hard to tell what purpose it will serve. I can imagine that it shows you where you have to deliver a special kind of cargo.
  2. The Globe. Together with the Map table, it could serve to find out what Outposts are trading what goods. This could come in handy when looking for a good trade route.
  3. The Sign. Now, this is an interesting one. At the top of the sign, we see A Symbol that represents the Globe from 2. Then we can see a resource on the left side (Bananas) and a Time on the right side (11.45). Above those two is a bit of erased chalk, hinting that the time and goods displayed change, depending on what time it is.

Did I hear “time”?

Again, this keyword has fallen within the Sea of Thieves community a while ago.

This Picture from a tease on the Forums showed the Clock. Again, we couldn’t really figure out what it would be used for. In Combination with keywords like “active trading routes” and the picture above it makes sense now.

The Companies are a core part of the game and with them, trading. You can trade different Ressources like Bananas at Outposts. But each Outpost only buys/sells a certain resource at a certain time. This forces the Players to actively plan their routes for Maximum Profit. A clock is an important tool, but you also have to know where what is sold and how long it will take you to reach your destination. To me, this seems like a great and complex system with lots of possibilities.


From the picture above we can see that Bananas will definitely be one of the Resources to trade with. What else could there be?

Chickens? Why would we trade Chickens?

Well, in the release date announcement trailer we could see the Chickens in action for the first time. We found out that you can put them into cages and travel with them. But what really is their purpose? Trading them seems like a reasonable thing, as a pirate wouldn’t really be able to do much else with them.

These 2 Screenshots from the Trailer show something important that happens so quickly that you can barely even see it at 0.25x Speed. In the video, we can see the character carrying a cage with a chicken and in front of him, there is 1 more pirate carrying a Gunpowder barrel and another one carrying one more chicken. They are running towards a Destination on an Islands, most likely to sell the resources. I can’t think of any other (child-friendly) Situation in which you would carry 2 chickens and a barrel full of gunpowder somewhere on an Island.

This brings me to the Conclusion that bananas, Gunpowder, and Chickens will be tradeable at the Company Stations. I am sure that we will see a lot more about this in the future.


Thanks a lot for reading this article and don’t forget to come back regularly to see my new articles. The release date announcement trailer has many more secrets that I want to talk about!

Till then, Happy Sailing!

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