With April’s Ships of Fortune update to Sea of Thieves came the Emissary system, a major addition that’s been in the works for quite a while. As all pirates on the seas are now exploring this new way of playing for the first time, we thought we’d offer an overview and answer some of the most common questions!

What is an Emissary?

An official representative of one of the Trading Companies active on the Sea of Thieves. Your crew can choose to play as an Emissary of the Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance, Order of Souls, Athena’s Fortune or The Reaper’s Bones. By doing so, you’ll proudly hoist the sigil of that Company for all to see on the central mast and at the rear of your ship, and you’ll be rewarded by the Company for your service while flying this special Emissary Flag.

Who are The Reaper’s Bones?

A new Trading Company comprised of those who believe themselves to be at the top of the pirate food chain. They’re on the hunt for the most fearless pirates to undermine the other Trading Companies by stealing loot from under their noses and, in particular, to assert their dominance over those Companies by targeting their Emissaries.

Because of this, representatives of The Reaper’s Bones are not entirely welcome at the Outposts and have instead established themselves at The Reaper’s Hideout, following extensive work to make it a little more… homely. All loot bound for The Reaper’s Bones must be delivered to the Servant of the Flame who can be found at the heart of The Reaper’s Hideout.

Emissaries Explained - Official Sea of Thieves Gameplay Guide

Duration 3:44

How are Emissaries rewarded?

While sailing as an Emissary, you are graded based on how well you’re representing the Company. The Companies want Emissaries to represent their values to the best of their ability, so embarking on Company Voyages to acquire loot (by honest or dishonest means), tackling the most dangerous threats on the seas and defending the Company’s honour will all raise your Emissary Grade.

The higher your Grade, the more gold and reputation you are awarded when you bring your haul of loot back to the Company vendor, so it pays to hold on to your spoils until you reach a higher Grade before you cash it in to maximise your gains. Reach the highest Emissary Grade and the Company will reward you with a perk.

How do I become an Emissary?

The Trading Companies won’t let just anyone represent them on the seas – to seek out those who are worthy, the Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance and Order of Souls require players to have earned three promotions with them, before asking for a donation of 20,000 gold to purchase that Company’s Emissary Flag. Once you have it, you’ll be able to raise and lower the Emissary Flag by casting a crew vote at the Emissary Table found at each Company’s tent.

No rank or promotion barriers are in place for Athena’s Fortune – they simply ask for the 20,000 gold donation from any Pirate Legend.

Becoming an Emissary of The Reaper’s Bones simply requires a 20,000 gold donation from anyone who is able to find them at The Reaper’s Hideout.

Can I become an Emissary of more than one Trading Company?

Absolutely, if you have the gold in your coffers to purchase more than one Emissary Flag and meet any rank requirements stipulated by those Companies. However, you can only raise one Emissary Flag and actively serve one Company at a time.

Can I become an Emissary of The Hunter’s Call or Sea Dogs?

At present, only the four Trading Companies on the Outposts and newcomers The Reaper’s Bones are accepting Emissaries. As The Hunter’s Call and the Arena-centric Sea Dogs operate a little differently, they’re waiting to see how the whole Emissaries movement works out before making any plans of their own.

How do I raise my Emissary Grade for the Trading Companies?

For the most part, just serve your Company! Embarking on Company Voyages is the most straightforward way, and progressing through these Voyages will see your Grade increase consistently. Acquiring treasures desired by the Company you represent and bringing these treasures to your ship will also help to raise your Grade.

Tackling the most dangerous threats on the seas while representing a Trading Company is also appreciated: defeating Forts, Skeleton Ships, Megalodons and the Kraken will all give your Emissary Grade a boost.

Finally, defending the Company against those who serve The Reaper’s Bones will also advance your Emissary Grade.

How do I raise my Emissary Grade for The Reaper’s Bones?

Again, by serving them. Acquiring loot and bringing it to your ship will see your Emissary Grade advance, especially if you’ve stolen that loot from someone else – but above all else, the Reapers want their representatives to assert dominance over other Emissaries on the seas. This even includes other Reaper’s Bones Emissaries. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and The Reaper’s Bones are seeking to reward the top dogs. Defeating Emissaries will raise your Emissary Grade, as will retrieving Emissary Flags. So sink Emissary Ships to cause their flag to break away, allowing you to pick up this trophy of your victory to bring back to The Reaper’s Hideout.

What are the risks involved in playing as an Emissary?

By hoisting an Emissary Flag and staking your allegiance to a Company, you make yourself a target, not just to those serving The Reaper’s Bones but to anyone with a mind to steal the loot you’ve been accumulating to raise your Emissary Grade. Not only that, your Grade is visible on your Emissary Flag – the higher your grade, the more you’re worth to The Reaper’s Bones, and the more loot you’ve likely accumulated to get there. If you’re sailing the seas as a high-grade Emissary, you should be doubly alert to other crews on the horizon, particularly if you choose to take on more visible threats such as Forts and Skeleton Ship battles.

What do I get for reaching the highest Emissary Grade?

Reaching the highest Emissary Grade for the Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance, Order of Souls or Athena’s Fortune will grant you a special Gilded Emissary Quest. Head back to any Outpost and speak to the Company vendor there to accept your Emissary Quest, which will send you immediately back out to sea to retrieve a sizeable haul of high-value loot.

Reach the highest Emissary Grade for The Reaper’s Bones and you’ll be granted the ability to spy the locations of all active Emissaries on your ship’s map table.

Does my Emissary Grade persist between sessions?

No. Every time you raise your Emissary Flag to set sail as an Emissary, you must build up your Emissary Grade from its starting point. If your ship sinks, your Emissary Flag will break away. This requires you to return to an Emissary Table, raise another Emissary Flag and build up your Emissary Grade once more.

What are Emissary Ledgers and how do they work?

Each Trading Company keeps track of its Emissaries’ performance in a monthly Ledger, incentivising the most productive among them with rewards at the end of the calendar month. You can check your own standing in the Ledgers and read a Ledger-specific FAQ by logging in to the Sea of Thieves website and visiting the dedicated Ledgers page.

Is there a way to lower my Emissary Flag?

Yes. Return to the Emissary Table for your Company and you can cast a crew vote to lower your Emissary Flag. Based on the Emissary Grade you reached, the Company will reward you with additional gold and reputation for ending your Emissary session successfully in this way.

Happy sailing!