Sea of Thieves

A Better Merchant Cheese guide. The “Chick-N-Cheese”.

SOT E3 2016 Desktop 2 1920x1080 1024x576 - A Better Merchant Cheese guide. The "Chick-N-Cheese".


It seems many of ye landlubbers in the Discord don't be knowin' how to cheese properly! I wrote this here guide to help all you scurvy bilge rats figure out your chickens from your snakes! This guide is fairly "noob friendly" so if you're more experienced with cheesing, feel free to skim each part for highlights. Keep your chickens close, but your snakes closer!

I understand people might not want this shared as awareness will obviously go up and it might be fixed sooner. The original cheese has been out for a while now and they've probably already got fixes lined up. My hypothesis is that any fix they put out for this will likely cause ALL versions of it to no longer work, so posting this can only help those that need a more efficient method now. All they'd have to do really is make animal respawns based on ship location and not player location. Boom, no more sitting at islands resetting them. Ship within 5 squares of an island? Nothing can reset on it. Just make it further than cannon+reasonable swim range and the cheese is gone.

  1. Cycle voyages collecting crates. Firstly, vote for and then cancel all non-merchant voyages in your inventory, everyone do this. You'll need every space available for merchant voyages. 3 of you vote on a voyage, have 1 person standing at the vendor to collect the crates. Cancel the voyage when all crates are collected, rinse and repeat until everyone is out of voyages and you have a nice little stockpile of coops/baskets All but 1 person leaves and rejoins to reset voyage stock at the vendor for all those who rejoined. Rinse and repeat until you have the amount of coops/baskets you're happy with. Typically we have the lowest level person collect since the higher level voyages being cycled can have more animals on them and yield more coops/baskets.
    • Notes: Ignore pig crates, as you can't do pigs since they'll all die. Vendor stock also resets at 6am, and you get more voyages every time you get a promotion. Be sure to watch for these things as they can make this process a bit quicker.
  2. Sail in a circle around the map and complete a merchant voyage at every outpost except 1. This will be the outpost you turn in and cycle voyages at, so choose wisely based on skull fort location/enemy location, etc. For some reason the game knows you completed a voyage at every other outpost and then lets you only get the last one as a turn in location.
    • Notes: An example, just to be clear; You complete a voyage at every outpost except Plunder Outpost. Now every time you start a voyage, as long as you DON'T COMPLETE any more, you'll get Plunder as your turn in location. So if you're sitting at the dock AT Plunder and start a voyage, the turn in location will be at the merchant right there in front of you, at Plunder, every time.
    • Fill crates with golds while you sail around completing the voyages to increase efficiency, but don't stay longer than you have to searching for every last one. I typically only do golden/black chickens in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, and golden snakes. Forget pigs, don't even try.
  3. Use the merchant/island cheat sheet in conjunction with the interactive Sea of Thieves map, or just the in-game map, to pick an island that has chickens/snakes and go loot up. Once the island is clear or mostly clear of your animals of choice, everyone has to die. Doesn't matter how, but all 4 of you must be on the Ferry of the Damned at the same time. After you get some snakes on board, you can just go sit in them until you die. After the last guy appears on the Ferry, wait like 2 seconds for the server to recognize him actually being there, and you can all respawn. This will reset the island with all new spawns of everything. Animals will all be new spawns, barrels will refill, and there is a chance of gunpowder barrels and random treasure spawns every time.
    • Try to not die all at once as this can cause it to not refresh sometimes. So don't all stand around a gunpowder barrel and die simultaneously basically. Anything else should be fine.
    • I like Crooked Masts for it's small size and high animal density, but it can be mentally draining since it's always overcast and sickly looking. You'll notice your crew get quiet and tired eventually, but this is the best place for the chicken/snake combo in my experience. If you decide to do only chickens (which is also viable), then go to Mermaids Hideaway and park the bowsprit on top of the small rocky cliff area on the Southwest side, as it's the same height as the deck, and just run on and off the ship from there. High density of chickens on Mermaids and fairly fast to clear, plus it's sunny and beautiful. Your crews morale will be higher, at the cost of a small decrease in efficiency.
  4. All of you sail to the Outpost you didn't complete, with all your animals in tow. Cycle voyages and turn them in to collect that sweet sweet gold and rep. Collect coops/baskets while turning in if you want to do more afterwards. You can repeat this as many times as you want since you'll only EVER get that one outpost as a turn in location so long as you don't complete any voyages.
  5. Since you can only get the 1 outpost as a turn in, this means all 4 of you will be there to cycle voyages and turn in at the same time. All 4, plus the ship, able to defend your haul. None of that garbage "leaving 1 person behind with the whole haul and hoping they don't get ganked" nonsense. This is the advantage of this method over the more widely known one. It takes a little longer to set up than the other one, but it's well worth it in the end, trust me. Typically we have the lowest level person turn in/collect since the higher level voyages being cycled can have more animals on them, thereby increasing the odds of receiving golden animals.
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Important notes:

  • Do not complete any voyages after you have done the 5 required to lock out the other outposts. This includes picking up messages in bottles and mysterious journal voyages. If they give you a merchant voyage, you're screwed, as it will count as being completed when it eventually expires. You'll have to reset and do a voyage at each outpost again if this happens. So just don't pick up any messages in bottles or read any mysterious journals and be sure not to complete any of the voyages you cycle while turning in. If the voyage calls for 3 Golden chickens and nothing else, you're turning in TWO and then cancelling it. Since the cheese takes a few hours to complete, it's good to mention this to your crew, as a reminder, from time to time. It's easy to get careless and screw it all up.
  • Be careful not to leave a voyage active when you're done cycling, if it expires while you're sailing around you can screw yourself and have to start over fresh on a new server when no one knows which outposts are "locked out" anymore.
  • You may want to keep the coops/animals on the boat as opposed to offloading them on to the island you plan on farming at. A lot of people will arrive at the farming island and offload all the coops to land. This is risky. If you get server migrated anything not on your ship will be lost. Migration is rare, but imagine losing 3+ hours of chicken farming cause you wanted to save yourself an extra couple minutes. Up to you, just making you aware of the risk.
  • If you find yourself engaged in a long-term losing battle with another galleon where they've just made it their lifes goal to follow you around and bother you, you may as well swap server. With the amount of time it takes to load all the coops/animals/etc on to or off of the ship, the galleon can just come back and stop you before you can complete anything. It's also very easy for them to just keep sailing back and eventually kill/turn in all your animals if you're trying to turn them in. Since it takes you an hour or two to turn them in since you have to cycle voyages, you'll still be there every time they come back until they eventually win. You can try sailing away and evading them with your haul on board, but you'll have to go back to that outpost eventually and if they know that, they'll be waiting. If they sink you ONCE, you WILL lose your entire haul, it's just not worth the time imo. Either the animals will all drown, the galleon will just turn them in quickly for chump change, or more likely they'll just kill them all. Swap server and start over. It sucks, but it's faster in the end.
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When you're all done your cheese and everyone is tired and leaving, you can "give away" your ship/server to others in the Discord since you did the setup already and they will just have to collect coops, fill them and cycle voyages to turn in at your chosen outpost. The setup of completing a voyage at each outpost stays completed for some reason. I guess it's based around ship/server and not player. The Discord is in the sidebar for those that don't know. Join the #looking-for-crew channel and get to it.

Be advised: If you do the cheese, you'll never want to see another animal again but you'll be a millionaire and never have to do another filthy merchant voyage again until you're a Legend. Do this once and then imagine how long it would take to do it legit. No thanks.

I've probably forgotten some stuff, so sorry in advance for that. Feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll edit it as it comes up.

Thanks for reading my text wall. See you on the seas!

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