Rare Thief

Treasure Vaults

Sea of Thieves

Treasure Vaults and Vault Puzzle Guide

updated as needed

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So you have yourself a Vault Key, and you think you’re ready to take on a Treasure Vault. Perhaps you are.

Then again, the vaults are a timed challenge with heaps of gold and treasure at stake. So, you might want to glean a bit of insight first, and ensure you arrive prepared.

You’ve come to the right place! This guide will give you the lowdown on everything you should expect once you are inside a Treasure Vault.

You will also learn how to solve the Treasure Vault puzzle that guards the most elusive treasure the Treasure Vault has to offer: The Chest of Ancient Tributes!

Solving the Treasure Vault Puzzle and escaping with the Chest of Ancient Tributes will put a nice chunk of change in your pocket. It will also advance your progress towards unlocking the new Ancient Tribute Sails.

Hopefully with this prior knowledge, you’ll leave the Treasure Vault alive and a much richer pirate!

For pirates who would like a more visual guide, we have a video just for you! We have quite a few more details in the article, but the video should give you a good grasp of the basics. Whether you watch or read, you will soon be ready to raid a Treasure Vault like a true Gold Hoarder!

YouTube video

I need Puzzle Help, Now!

To maximize your haul, this guide covers a lot you might want to know before even entering the Vault.

However, if you’re already in the vault, the timer is ticking, and you’re in a panic to solve the puzzle… we’ve got ye, me hearties.

Skip to the Puzzle

What are Treasure Vaults?

Ah, yes. These are also known as “Ancient Vaults.” Long before the Pirate Lord and his crew arrived, an Ancient Civilization inhabited the Sea of Thieves. They made rock paintings, carved statues, erected shrines, and—yes—built these Ancient Vaults.

Since then, pirates have made good use of these vaults. In the Tall Tales, we find that pirates used these vaults to stash away their most prized and priceless possessions: the Shroudbreaker, the Shroudbreaker stones, and the Vault Tokens needed to open the Path to Forsaken Fortune.

Well, since us pirates found that Forsaken Fortune, the Gold Hoarders decided to hide the remaining fortune among the Ancient Vaults. Filled with trinkets, chests, and piles of gold—these are now aptly called “Treasure Vaults.”

Art of the Trickster Vault
In Art of the Trickster, pirates find themselves trapped in an Ancient Vault as waves of Coral Skellies spawn from below.

How do you open Treasure Vaults?

You will need to place a Vault Key at the Vault’s entrance. In the Tall Tales, these keys were also often referred to as “Totems”—in case you hear that term bandied about.

To obtain a Vault Key, you must complete the Gold Hoarder’s new Golden Wayfinder Voyage.

Want to know a bit more? We’ve got a whole guide dedicated solely to this new voyage right here: Sea of Thieves: Golden Wayfinder Voyage Guide.

Then again, you could also just steal a Vault Key. If you see a Gold Hoarder Emissary ship, you might just go see what’s aboard.

Where are the Treasure Vaults?

If you earn, find, or steal a Vault Key, the key’s name will tell you the Vault’s island. You might also notice an inscription on the key. This inscription will give you a hint as to where you’ll find the Treasure Vault on the island.

Nevertheless, many a good pirate has searched tirelessly for these well-hidden vaults. So, we have a written guide and a video guide to help you on your way.

Written Guide: Treasure Vault Locations

Video Guide: Treasure Vault Locations


Treasure Vault Types: Stone, Silver, and Gold

There are three types of Treasure Vaults: Stone, Silver, and Gold. Which Treasure Vault you unlock will depend on your Vault Key.

A Stone Vault Key unlocks a Stone Treasure Vault. A Silver Vault Key unlocks a Silver Treasure Vault. A Gold Vault Key unlocks a Gold Treasure Vault. Simple.

This means the type of Treasure Vault is not based on the Treasure Vault location.

For example, on the very first day of this “Vaults of the Ancients” update, we dug up a Gold Vault Key for Crescent Isle. We then “found” a Silver Vault Key for Crescent Isle collecting dust on an enemy brig. So, we put both to good use.

Devil's Ridge Gold Key

Stone, Silver, and Gold: Differences in Loot

Seeing as the Gold Hoarders stashed this treasure away, these Vaults are all filled with Gold Hoarder treasure.

In Stone Vaults, you’ll find lower value chests and trinkets, though certainly enough for a respectable haul.

In Silver Vaults, you’ll find even more loot, and the treasures will be higher value chests and trinkets.

In Gold Vaults, you’ll find the most loot, and the treasures will be the Gold Hoarders’ most coveted chests and trinkets.

Stone, Silver, and Gold: Differences in Scaffolding

The Gold Vault has more and higher-value treasure, but you’ll need to do a bit more to get it.

The more treasure inside, the higher you’ll need to climb to reach it all. The Stone Vault has only one level of platforms. Platforms in the Silver Vaults reach a bit higher. The Gold Vault has scaffolding and ladders that will take you all the way up to the ceiling!

More on this below…

Treasure Vault

Treasure Vaults: Strategy Considerations

Crossing the vault’s threshold, you will find yourself surrounded by mounds of gold and treasure galore! There’s also a Chest of Ancient Tribute, trapped behind a stone wall.

Of course, you’re free to tackle this room however your piratical heart desires. However, if you’d like to maximize your plunder, there are a few key features or ideas you might take into consideration.

Treasure Vaults: Time!

While this glorious sight of mountainous treasure might stop you dead in your tracks, you better snap out of it and get a move on! Your time inside Treasure Vaults is limited!

You have three minutes.

It is also important to understand how this time feature is different from the Tall Tale Vaults.

Yes, in the Tall Tales, you had a limited amount of time to solve Vault Puzzles. However, if you solved the Vault Puzzle, the Vault would open and stay open.

For Treasure Vaults, there is also a puzzle, but:

Solving the puzzle will neither keep the vault open, nor open a closed vault.

No matter what, after three minutes, a Treasure Vault’s Door will close, and water will rush in. Any pirate remaining inside will soon find themselves on the Ferry of the Damned.

Treasure Vault

Preparation: Before you Enter the Vault

Do not place your Vault Key until you’re absolutely ready to go inside.

The Vault Key will open a rock face barrier exposing a tunnel. This tunnel leads to a stone Vault Door. After you’ve placed the Vault Key, you’ll want to scamper on over to that door. That way you’re ready the second it opens.

Once the Vault Door opens the Treasure Vault timer will begin to countdown from three minutes.

So, what do we mean by waiting until you’re absolutely ready?

Roll Call

Well, first, you’ll just want to make sure no crew member is off on their own little adventure. This is no time to fish.

Timers Set

While scurrying around the vaults, it’s hard to know how much time you have left. Knowing how much time you have can help you and your crew prioritize.

We like having a timer for three minutes ready before we place the Vault Key. That way we can start the timer the second that inner Vault Door opens.

Horizon Check

Get in your crows nest or fire yourself from a cannon straight up in the air. You’ll want to get a 360 degree look at your horizon to know if any enemy ships are approaching.

After all, for the next three minutes you and your crew won’t be able to defend your ship.

Crew Duties

If you’d like, you can assign roles. Some pirates might be assigned to treasure, while others might be assigned to the puzzle.

If you’re really skittish about some other ships on the server, you could even designate a lookout to remain on the ship.

Ship Placement

Any ship who sees another ship parked at an island with a vault now has even more incentive to come over.

They know you’re likely all tucked away inside the vault. So, they can freely sink your boat. Then, wait to slay you and your crew when you emerge.

So, while this might be going a little overboard for some, if the pirates on your server are particularly sweaty—or if you’re a solo slooper—you might consider a few additional strategies.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

You could take a rowboat over to the island. After completing the vault, you can either row your treasure away, or you can hide your treasure in a place where you can easily collect it once you’ve sailed your ship back to the island.

Sacrifice your Ship

You could sacrifice your ship. Lower the sails, jump off on the island, and allow your ship to sail off into the distance. Afterwards, just take a mermaid to your new ship, and sail on back.

Find a nice Parking Spot

For five of the six Vault islands, could also simply park your boat a bit more discretely.

Crescent Isle, Mermaid’s Hideaway, and Devil’s Ridge

These three Vault islands are found on the outer edges of the map. If you park your ship on the side of the island facing the “Red Sea,” you’ll be far less visible to the rest of the map.

Crook’s Hollow

For Crook’s Hollow, you could tuck your ship into that little cove. Just remember, point your ship’s bow outward. That way you’ll be able to quickly sail out of the cove, too.

Kraken’s Fall

For Kraken’s Fall, you might want to park your boat on the Southeast side. This is the side that faces the Devil’s Roar, which is usually less populated than the rest of the seas.

The Roar will likely be particularly less populated during the weeks following this “Vaults of the Ancients” update, since many pirates will likely be focused on these vaults.

The Uncharted Island

For the Uncharted Island, there’s really nowhere to hide. Take a rowboat, sacrifice your ship, or park your boat bold as brass.

Maybe the other ships will assume you’re beginning the Shroudbreaker Tall Tale and leave you in peace.

Treasure Vault Loot

Inside the Treasure Vaults you will find all kinds of loot including the brand new gold mounds! You’ll want to get all the loot you can just outside the Treasure Vault before the timer is out.

You only need to move it on the other side of the large stone door that immediately opens up to the Vault. The loot will be available there to pick up after the Vault Door has shut.

Gold Mounds

Various sized piles of gold litter the floors and scaffolds of the Treasure Vaults. The unique thing about gold mounds is you can collect the gold from them right on location. The gold goes straight into your pocket! No one can steal it from you. This is similar to the gold found in Collectors Chests.

Your crew will also given gold earned from the gold mounds. Though the gold will not be awarded to alliances or increase your Emissary Grade.

Chests and Trinkets

You’ll find dozens of treasure chests and artifacts around the Treasure Vault. As we mentioned, you only need to move these to the other side of the Vault door. You’ll be able to pick them up and carry them back to your ship after the timer has run out.


You will not be able to raise your Emissary Grade when taking treasure from the Treasure Vault. Though placing the treasure from the Treasure Vault on your ship will increase your Emissary Grade.

Treasure Vault Scaffolding

With limited floor space, the Gold Hoarders are making use of the vertical space inside the Treasure Vaults. You’ll find lots of ladders, beams and scaffolding to climb on. You’ll want to scour every inch of the wooden structures built inside as there is loot littered on all of it. Climb up ladders, jump across platforms and walk across beams to reach every piece of treasure.

Some of the best loot in the Treasure Vault is on the hanging platform at the highest point. You’ll want to make your way up top immediately if your goal is to get the most valuable items first.

Treasure Vault Door

The Treasure Vault Door is booby trapped! It is timed to drop and lock all inside after a short period of time. The Treasure Vault Door timer starts immediately after the door is raised and is fully open.

You’ll have about three minutes to get in and out with as much treasure as you can! About ten seconds before the Vault Door closes it will drop about half way and stop. Rocks will fall and the room will shake. This is your queue to finish your business and run to the other side.

The music will ramp up in intensity as the timer goes on giving you another hint to your time remaining in the Treasure Vault.

Solving the puzzle after the Vault Door has shut will not open it back up. This will be new for pirates who have completed the Tall Tales before. If you find yourself trapped inside the Treasure Vault after the door has closed, your time will be better spent picking up leftover Gold Mounds.

After the Vault Door has shut, the room will then quickly fill with water. Any pirates remaining will shortly find themselves on the Ferry of the Damned.

Treasure Vault Medallions

There are three medallions found inside each Treasure Vault. These medallions can be used to solve the Treasure Vault Puzzle that is guarding the most valuable loot in the Treasure Vault.

Treasure Vault Medallion

Treasure Vault Puzzle

While it is easy to get distracted by all the incredible amount of loot inside the Treasure Vault, there is a piece of treasure more valuable than all the rest. To retrieve it, you’ll need to solve the Treasure Vault Puzzle!

How to solve the Treasure Vault Puzzle

To solve the Treasure Vault Puzzle you’ll first need to find all three medallions stashed away in the Treasure Vault.

While all the treasure will glint inside the vault, the medallions needed for the puzzle will glint more than other treasure. Keep your eye out for them anywhere in the vault. Vault Medallions can be found laying on the scaffolding, inside wooden crates or even laying against a stone wall or pillar.

Treasure Vault Medallion

If you have multiple levels of scaffolding in your vault, be sure to check each level for a medallion. One can be found near the very top!

Each medallion you find must be placed in the puzzle table found in the middle of the room. Once a medallion is placed in the puzzle table, the puzzle table top will reveal the solution to one of the pillars in the room.

If the first medallion reveals a Chalice symbol, walk over to the left most pillar in the room and rotate the block on it until the Chalice symbol is facing front toward the center of the room.

If the second medallion reveals a horizontal Chain, head over to the second pillar from the left and rotate the block until a horizontal Chain is facing front toward the center of the room.

The third and last medallion will reveal the third pillar’s solution. If the third symbol shown on the puzzle table is a Lock and Key, head over to the third pillar from the left and rotate the block until a Lock and Key are facing front toward the center of the room.

The orientation of the symbols is very important! Horizontal Chains are not the same as vertical Chains. A Lock and Key is not the same as a Key and Lock.

Treasure Vault Puzzle Orientation

The Fourth Pillar

The fourth pillar’s block does not have a corresponding medallion. Instead, you’ll need to figure out what the symbol should be. If you are paying attention, you’ll notice that the symbols on the fourth, rightmost pillar are comprised of many symbols.

The last piece of the puzzle is to rotate the block on the fourth pillar until you find a grouping of symbols that has all the symbols from the previous three pillars.

If the first pillar has a Chalice, the second pillar a horizontal Chain, and the third pillar a Lock and Key, the fourth pillar’s block should be rotated to show those four symbols on it.

The correct block face for the above example should have a Chalice, a horizontal Chain and a Lock and Key on it.

Once you believe you have the correct combination of symbols, press the Enter Solution button on the puzzle table to confirm your solution. If you are correct the secret stone door will drop and reveal a Chest of Ancient Tributes!

Treasure Vault Puzzle Solution

Chest of Ancient Tributes

If you successfully solve the puzzle you’ll find the Chest of Ancient Tributes waiting to be taken. You can sell the Chest of Ancient Tributes to the Gold Hoarders or Reaper’s Bones for about 3,600 Gold. Selling the chest will also progress your commendation needed to acquire the new sails that Larinna is selling!

Treasure Vault Rewards

You will want to collect as many Chest of Ancient Tributes as you can! This will help you work towards completing the corresponding commendation needed to unlock the Ancient Vault Sails and Ancient Vault Tribute Sails.


The commendations for this new Voyage can be found under your Gold Hoarder commendation page. Here you’ll find three new commendations with multiple grades to complete.

Seeker of Ancient Vaults – Open Gold Hoarder Treasure Vaults using a Vault Key

Hoarder of Ancient Tributes – Return Chests of Ancient Tributes to the Gold Hoarders

To the Tavern!

Aye, we pirates do love a good tavern. ‘Tis a place to share our findings and adventures. ‘Tis a place to clap each other on the back. ‘Tis a place to glean further insight.

Happily, we’ve found proverbial taverns on several social outposts—each bustling with a vibrant pirate community! Want to join in the merriment? Ye will always find a hearty welcome at our table!

Follow Along

To the Tavern!

Aye, we pirates do love a good tavern. ‘Tis a place to share our findings and adventures. ‘Tis a place to clap each other on the back. ‘Tis a place to glean further insight.

Happily, we’ve found proverbial taverns on several social outposts—each bustling with a vibrant pirate community! Want to join in the merriment? Ye will always find a hearty welcome at our table!

Want to keep a weather eye out?

Jot down yer email, and we’ll be sure to let ye know when there’s something new on the horizon.

7 thoughts on “Sea of Thieves: Treasure Vaults and Treasure Vault Puzzle Guide”

    1. Ahoy there! Sorry to hear that you ran out of time during your puzzle 🙁 We have a link near the top of the article that goes directly to the puzzle solving section for pirates such as yourself only looking for how to solve the puzzle. Hopefully you’ll be ready for the next time you take on a Treasure Vault!

  1. If you are aiming for profitability it is more effective to stay in the vault when the door closes to grab gold piles. Eat food to last longer. All this costs you is a trip to the ferry

  2. Even more profit can be gained if you hustle as many treasures out of the door before it closes and then grab piles when it does that’s what I did on my first run in with a vualt

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