Thieving is a very lucrative skill in Old School RuneScape. You can literally make millions of gold per hour, whether you’re an Ironman or a regular player. It is a skill that doesn’t rely on the current state of the market, as it introduces gold into the game. With that said, that’s also some of the reason inflation exists within the game (along with alchemy and shops) and why gold sinks are necessary.
To begin with, ensure you have an active subscription as an OSRS member. This skill can not be trained whatsoever unless you’re a member, but if you’re just looking into the skill, feel free to read on. You can also get 14 days of free membership (a trial) merely by installing the Old School RuneScape official mobile app by Jagex.
A big complaint about Thieving is that the skill involves lots of tedious clicking, which is partially true. There’s lots of clicking involved in many training methods, but there are minigames you can explore, as well. Additionally, many players opt to use mouse keys, hence they just have to press NumPad 5 whilst watching a YouTube video or their favorite Twitch streamer.
Thieving is important to complete many quests, diaries, and even minigames. The skill is very popular among those looking to earn money in OSRS. Pickpocketing Master Farmers for example yields around 2 million gold per hour. Let’s delve into the best way to train the skill without any further ado.
Quests are something we all have to inevitably do. Jagex doesn’t leave us much of a chance with Barrows gloves requiring us to complete Recipe for Disaster. Completion of just that quest requires 130 quest points. Ever wanted to fight Vorkath? You need to complete Dragon Slayer 2, which requires 200 quest points… not exactly a small amount.
You should complete quests to speed through the lower levels because otherwise, you’d be getting less value for the experience. A thousand experience given to you at level 1 will help you far more than at level 82. You will likely complete these quests at later levels, so you may as well complete the quests in an efficient and optimal manner.
Here are the quests that we recommend you should complete:
- Tower of Life grants 500 experience. You will need 10 Construction, but Construction is an extremely fast skill to level and is largely based on being able to fund it. Construction is said to exist as a skill that provides a gold-sink to the economy, especially as world 330 allows you to have the perks of houses whilst not even having (a good one) yourself.
- Biozard rewards 1,250 experience for Thieving. You do not need to complete any prior quests for this nor do you need any skills trained. You should also complete Plague City whilst you’re doing this quest as general advice. This questline is incredibly important, as you can’t actually teleport to Ardougne without completing this. That includes using a teleport tablet, even that can’t mitigate this requirement for you. As you may have noticed, quests also unlock areas as well as the aforementioned bosses and gear.
- Hazeel Cult will give you 1,500 experience. No requirements here! However, just realise that if you pick the good side you need to technically complete the quest twice. You will get the quest completion screen prior to getting the Thieving reward. This is because you need to prove the butler is a traitor by taking an extra minute to search the cupboard and provide evidence. Don’t forget to do this or else you won’t get your experience.
- Fight Arena provides 2,175 experience. Technically, there are no requirements, but as the name suggests there’s fighting involved. You can safespot if you’re confident in that, but these enemies are high level. Having 43 Prayer for protection prayers would certainly be useful here and decent combat stats.
- Icthlarin’s Little Helper gives you 4,500 experience and has no requirements. The quest is a little long but the reward is very compelling.
- Ratcatchers provides a further 4,500 experience and has no requirements aside from prerequisites.
- The Fremennik Trials gives 2,812 experience and has no requirements. A lengthy walking quest.
- Contact! Will give you 7,000 experience in Thieving. There’s a couple of easy quests that are required to start this one, but you will need to fight a level 191 boss here. So, do come prepared or skip out on this one unless you’ve already trained your combat or are willing to do so (before progressing your Thieving).
- Creature of Fenkenstrain provides 1,000 experience. You do need to have level 25 Thieving and 20 Crafting already though.
- The Golem will give you 1,000 experience but requires 25 Thieving to start with and 20 Crafting, similar to the Creature of Fenkenstrain – this time just set in the desert!
- The Hand in the Sand rewards 1,000 experience. You need 49 Crafting and 17 Thieving.
- Spirits of the Elid will give 1,000 Thieving experience if you have 37 Thieving, 33 Magic, 37 Ranged, and 37 Mining.
- The Giant Dwarf will present you with 1,500 experience and all you need is level 14 Thieving, 12 Crafting, 16 Firemaking, and 33 Magic. Those stats can all be achieved in under an hour, so don’t skip out on this quest just because it has four skill requirements.
- Tribal Totem will give you 1,775 experience if you have 21 Thieving.
- Death to the Dorgeshuun rewards 2,000 experience as long as you have 23 Thieving and 23 Agility. Note that this quest is a little long.
- The Queen of Thieves grants 2,000 Thieving experience as long as you have 20 Thieving. You will need completion of the Client of Kourend, which is just a walking quest, you will also need 20% Port Piscarilius favour. Note that gaining favour in a new house will diminish your favour in any other house unless you lock it in at 100%. If you’ve started gaining favour in another house, see it to completion at 100% even if you can’t do the optimal methods. To lock it in, you must start Architectural Alliance and speak to the house’s architect, you do not simply need to reach 100%.
- Fairytale II – Cure a Queen rewards 2,500 experience if you have 40 Thieving, 49 Farming, 36 Woodcutting, and 57 Herblore. You will need to complete Lost City and Fairytale Part I to start with, which involve some boss fights. But this questline is vital to unlocking Fairy Rings and is a quest you will inevitably complete.
- The Slug Menace will give you 3,500 Thieving experience. You must have 30 Thieving, 30 Crafting, 30 Runecrafting (lengthy), and 30 Slayer to start this quest.
- Darkness of Hallowvale gives a gobsmacking 6,000 Thieving experience, but it does have lengthy requirements. The requirements are as follows: 22 Thieving, 5 Construction, 20 Mining, 26 Agility, 32 Crafting, 33 Magic, and 40 Strength. This is a matter of quantity over quality. Those stats really aren’t hard to get and can be done in under 3 hours easily and passively. It looks overwhelming in volume but the container isn’t filled to capacity.
- Grim Tales will give you 6,000 experience. This quest requires you have 58 Thieving, 45 Farming, 52 Herblore, 59 Agility, and 71 Woodcutting. These requirements are reasonably tough to achieve.
- Dragon Slayer II will give you 15,000 experience, which sounds fantastic but requires 200 quest points and still requires things such as 70 Smithing and 75 Magic.
- The Feud will give you 15,000 experience, but this time is far more reasonable. You only need 30 Thieving. You will have to kill two level 75 enemies but that’s relatively easy with the correct setup.
- Monkey Madness II will give you 15,000 Thieving experience but requires 55 Thieving. You must additionally have 69 Slayer, 70 Crafting, 60 Hunter, and 55 Agility.
- Mourning’s End Part I will give you 25,000 experience as long as you 50 Thieving and 60 Ranged. The prerequisite quests means you must essentially have at least level 60 Agility. It’s a very long questline, and this quest itself is also lengthy. At least the reward correlates to the effort required, somewhat.
Before we get into the minigames section of this guide, be sure to check out RuneScapeGoldMarkt, our sponsor, for the best rs gold on the market!
Thieving is a unique skill in that there are four different minigames you can participate in. The first being Blackjack. Blackjack can only be done in the desert, and you essentially knock out different NPCs and pickpocket them while they’re down. EXP and GP per hour vary as this activity can be done with numerous NPCs. We will explore this in the training sections.
The second minigame is Pyramid Plunder. It is actually one of the fastest methods to train Thieving and provides a plentiful supply of gold coins.
The third minigame is the Sorceress’ Garden. You essentially navigate a maze, avoid guardians and pick fruit. You will be rewarded according to your level. This minigame isn’t exactly optimal in money or experience, however, Thieving can be a pain to train. In many instances, you’re just repetitively clicking. This minigame adds a lot of fun to the training process, so for this reason alone, is worthy of consideration. The ultimate end goal of any game is to ensure you do have fun.
Rogues’ Den is the final minigame and one of the more rewarding ones. You will also navigate another maze, but this time, there are obstacles. These obstacles will require Agility and Thieving to beat. You can start the minigame at around level 50. Completing this minigame enough will grant you the Rogue equipment, which gives you double loot from NPCs if you wear the full set. This is very lucrative when you’re pickpocketing for money – if you get a 250K GP seed, you’d get two of them rather than one. To get the outfit, it only takes up to 2 hours.
Building on the Rogues’ Den, there’s some other equipment you can also look into for Thieving:
- Gloves of silence. Costs 2,000 gold from the Grand Exchange. Requires level 54 Hunter. Destroyed after 62 failures. Increases the success rate of pickpocketing by 5% when equipped, which speeds up the training process as you have fewer failures. Particularly useful at lower levels.
- Ardougne cloak. The Ardougne cloak 2 will give you an extra 10% pickpocketing success rate when equipped, but only if you’re in Ardougne. Ardougne cloak 3 or 4 will extend the effect anywhere in Old School RuneScape. However, using this will replace the effect of gloves of silence, not stack on top.
- The dodgy necklace costs 800 coins from the Grand Exchange. Has 10 charges, gives you a one-in-four chance of not being stunned and hurt after failing a pickpocket. This does speed up training and is useful for lower-level players who may not have enough HP to tank the hits from failing pickpockets, as you can lose an extensive amount of hitpoints.
To start with, you should utilize the quests we listed above to boost you to the higher levels. You certainly don’t have to complete all of them and nobody is expecting you to. By picking a few quests intelligently based on your current account, you can get a significant boost.
If you refuse to quest, you can pickpocket men and women in Lumbridge from level 1-5. From levels 5-25, cake stalls are fantastic in East Ardougne. From levels 25-45, Fruit Stalls are the best in Hosidius. You will need 15% Hosidius favour and the advice for Queen of Thieves applies here as well. You should trap the guard dogs to inside the shop by initiating an attack and then closing the door when they’re inside and you’re outside. You must steal from both fruit stalls to gain optimal experience so should have your own world for this activity.
Alternatively, if you can’t gain the favour, simply continue the cake stalls from 25-38 and then do Master Farmers in Draynor Village. Do Master Farmers from levels 38-45.
From levels 45-91, here is where Blackjacking becomes the optimum method. Note that you must have completed The Feud quest here, and it is the only quest that we actually require you to complete in this guide. Here’s the exact breakdown of which enemies you should target in Pollnivneach:
- From levels 45 until 55, blackjack Bearded Pollnivnian bandits.
- From levels 55 to 65, blackjack Pollnivnian Bandits.
- 65 to 91, blackjack the Menaphite Thugs.
To partake in Blackjacking, you simply knock out the bandit and pickpocket them two times whilst they remain unconscious. You must ensure they are unconscious, else you will be hit by the bandit and they will initiate an attack on you. Carry food to ensure any mistakes aren’t fatal. If you do get hit, the best course of action is to try and knock them out rather than pickpocket them again.
At level 91, until level 99, the minigame Pyramid Plunder provides the most experience. Talking numbers here, it’s 200,000+ experience per hour. However, you must have at least partially Icthlarin’s Little Helper. We also recommend completion of Contact! This will make banking far easier. An interesting fact is that you only need to complete around 300 matches of Pyramid Plunder to get to 99 from 91.
The profit route here is extremely simple. Complete the quests that we previously mentioned to avoid wasting time training at extremely slow rates and clicking any more than you need to. If you simply don’t want to complete quests, that’s fine, just follow our experience guide up until level 38.
There are numerous money-making methods for Thieving. However, we are only going to cover the best ones based on experience and money. The others are simply a waste of time and ineffective money makers.
- Pickpocketing the Master Farmer in Draynor Village. You can start exactly at level 38 Thieving, but will obviously be stunned a lot more and have more failed attempts. Hence, at level 38 you can only make around 40,000 experience per hour, maximum. At level 90+ you can exactly well above 125,000 experience per hour. You can make anywhere from 500,000 GP to 2,000,000 OSRS gold per hour dependent on your current Thieving level. The Ardougne cloak 3 or 4 as we previously mentioned increases success rate by 10% for each pickpocket. The Rogue Outfit provides double loot so it’s something you must focus on after getting level 50 thieving. Most of the income from this method is derived from the Ranarr and Snapdragon seeds.
- You can also pickpocket Ardougne Knights at level 55 Thieving. You simply trap a knight in the house in the north-east of Ardougne. With the Rogue outfit, which you should have at your level, you can make around 100,000 gold per hour. This may not be as impressive as Master Farmer but is only worth it because you can make anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 Thieving experience here dependent on your level here. Hence, this is a very reasonable hybrid method.
- Pyramid Plunder is another method if you’d like to play a minigame at above level 70 Thieving, that provides a lot of experience and a considerable amount of gold.
Best of luck with your training! Do feel free to pick & choose methods from this guide and use what works for you best.