This guide describes the most effective methods to train the Thieving skill. The experience rate estimates in this guide do not incorporate the use of any experience boosting items or bonus experience.
Thieving is a support skill which involves using techniques such as pickpocketing, coshing and lock picking to steal items and to gain access to restricted areas. As players level up the Thieving skill they gain the ability to steal from NPCs and scenery objects which award greater amounts of experience when they are successfully stolen from. Levelling up Thieving also decreases player's chance of failing Thieving activities where there is a chance of being unsuccessful.
Useful equipment and abilitiesEdit
Different tiers of the Ardougne cloak are awarded on completion of the easy, medium, hard and elite sets of Ardougne achievements. While an Ardougne cloak 3 or 4 is worn it increases the player's chance of success when pickpocketing NPCs anywhere in RuneScape.
While wearing a featherfingered necklace the player has a chance to take no damage and avoid being stunned while pickpocketting. The necklace contains 10 charges and can be made by enchanting an opal necklace or bought from the Grand Exchange for 1,854 coins.
A soul-in-a-box is an item whose blueprint is unlocked by completing Nomad's Elegy. It's a reusable item which can be activated to summon a Distracting Soul, which aids in pickpocketing. Each Distracting Soul costs 100 charges from the charge pack and lasts for 1 minute. It is currently unknown the exact effect the Distracting Soul has for pickpocketing, and because of its expensive cost, the soul-in-a-box may not be worth using.
The Enhanced Excalibur heals 20% of total life points over 20 seconds and has a cooldown of 5 minutes and the Elite Enhanced Excalibur heals 40% of total life points over 40 seconds. It is only useful when pickpocketing targets that can damage the player.
Gloves of silenceEdit
Gloves of silence increase players' success rate while pickpocketing by 5% while they are equipped. A Hunter level of at least 54 is needed in order to wear the gloves. Gloves of silence can be bought from the Grand Exchange for 2,143 coins each or created at the Fancy Clothes Store in Varrock from 2 dark kebbit furs for a cost of 600 coins. Gloves of silence are damaged each time that the player is unsuccessful in a pickpocketing attempt and they are destroyed after 62 failures if counted from when they are new. If a player has multiple gloves of silence then they will all display the same status when their condition is checked. However, if the gloves of silence currently being used do fall apart, then any other pairs that the player owns are reset to the "new" condition. The condition of the gloves is only relevant to the player owning them, and is not a property of the gloves themselves. Players with at least level 64 Crafting can restore their gloves of silence to "new" condition by using 1 dark kebbit fur, costing 103 coins, and thread, costing 14 coins, on the gloves.
Black ibis outfitEdit
Wearing components of the black ibis outfit gives a percentage increase in the amount of base experience that is gained while thieving. There are four pieces in the set: the mask, body, legs, and boots. Items from the outfit can very rarely be found while looting urns and sarcophagi within the Pyramid Plunder minigame. The chance of finding a piece of the black ibis outfit is increased if the player is wielding a sceptre of the gods. The sceptre of the gods is obtained as a rare reward from looting the engraved sarcophagus in the final room of the minigame. The engraved sarcophagus requires level 91 Thieving to access and level 75 Runecrafting to open. If all pieces of the outfit are worn, then an additional set bonus effect is given.
|Black ibis mask||1%|
|Black ibis body||1%|
|Black ibis legs||1%|
|Black ibis boots||1%|
|Total experience boost||5%|
Trahaearn exoskeleton setEdit
The Trahaearn exoskeleton set is a reward obtained upon completing the Plague's End quest. The set consists of the exoskeleton headband, exoskeleton torso, exoskeleton legs and exoskeleton bracers. When wearing a complete set, players gain the following bonuses:
- 25% chance of avoiding being stunned and damaged following an unsuccessful pickpocketing attempt.
- 25% chance of avoiding being bitten by a snake during an unsuccessful attempt to loot an urn at Pyramid Plunder.
- If the player owns pieces of the black ibis outfit, then they will receive their increased base experience effects while wearing the exoskeleton set.
- If the player has at least level 75 Thieving and level 75 Hunter, then they will gain a 5% increased chance of success when pickpocketing with the exoskeleton bracers equipped (this effect is equivalent to that given by equipping gloves of silence, so it is recommended that players use the bracers instead of gloves of silence if they are able to do so).
Parts of camouflage outfits could be won as a prize from Treasure Hunter during the Camouflage Thieving Sets promotion which ran between 5 and 9 May 2016 or created through the Invention skill with camouflage fragments obtained through training Thieving. The desert camouflage outfit, Keldagrim camouflage outfit and Prifddinas camouflage outfit consist of a head slot, body slot, leg slot, hand slot and feet slot items. When wearing a complete version of any of these three outfits, players gain the following bonuses:
- 5% chance of double pickpocketing.
- 5% chance to avoid being stunned when pickpocketing.
- Increased chance of finding black ibis outfit pieces and sceptres in Pyramid Plunder.
- Increased chance of not being hit by snakes in Pyramid Plunder.
- Increased chance of passing doors in Pyramid Plunder.
- If a player owns a black ibis outfit, they will receive its 5% increased base experience effect while wearing a camouflage outfit.
- If a player owns a Trahaearn exoskeleton set, they will receive its effects while wearing a camouflage outfit.
Players who own all pieces of the desert camouflage outfit, Keldagrim camouflage outfit, and Prifddinas camouflage outfit could combine these outfits' components to form the master camouflage outfit. This outfit gives superior benefits to those given by the other camouflage outfits. Players gain the following bonuses from a master camouflage outfit in addition to those given by a regular camouflage outfit:
- 7% chance of double pickpocketing (as opposed to 5% with the other camouflage outfits).
- 7% chance to avoid being stunned when pickpocketing (as opposed to 5% with the other camouflage outfits).
- Teleports to Lletya, the Thieves' Guild, Pollnivneach, the Consortium in Keldagrim, Pyramid Plunder, and the Prifddinas clan districts (Iorwerth, Ithell, Cadarn, Amlodd, Trahaearn, Hefin, Crwys, and Meilyr).
- Increased chance of pickpocketing Seren's symbol pieces.
- Auto-pickpocketing to a maximum of 10 pickpockets in a row.
There are 2 Summoning familiars available which can be used to give a temporary visible boost to a player's Thieving level if their special move scroll is used while they are summoned. This can be used to allow the player to access content which they do not currently have the required level for as well as giving a slight improvement in thieving success rate.
|Image||Name||GE cost of a pouch||Summoning level required||Familiar duration (minutes)||Special move scroll||Thieving levels boosted||Scroll cost|
|Magpie||1,607||47||34||Thieving fingers scroll||3||101|
|Abyssal lurker||5,791||62||41||Abyssal stealth scroll||4||672|
Five-finger discount aurasEdit
Five-finger discount auras increase a player's chance of thieving successfully by a fixed percentage while they are activated. These auras' effects last for one hour after they are activated. Players may use 5 or 10 vis wax to extend a five-finger discount aura's activation time by 50% or 100% (costing 42,515 or 85,030). This effect must be applied before the aura is activated. Once a five finger discount aura has been used the player must wait 3 hours before using it again. Five-finger discount auras can be bought using Membership loyalty points. All lower tiers of the aura must be owned before a higher tier aura can be purchased.
|Tier||Percentage chance of thieving successfully increased by||Loyalty point cost|
|2||Greater five-finger discount||5%||14,000||19,000|
|3||Master five-finger discount||7%||33,500||52,500|
|4||Supreme five-finger discount||10%||58,500||111,000|
|5||Legendary five-finger discount||15%||119,000||230,000|
Seren spells and prayersEdit
Access to Seren spells and prayers, which can be found in the ancient magicks and ancient curses spell and prayer books, is unlocked upon completing The Light Within quest. Crystal Mask requires level 90 Magic and 7 earth, 6 fire, 5 body and 4 soul runes to cast. For 5 minutes after it is cast, Crystal Mask increases the player’s chance of pickpocketing successfully by 15% and gives a chance to not be stunned by NPCs who stun the player following a failed pickpocket attempt. With at least level 80 Prayer players can use the Light Form prayer, which enhances the effects of Seren-aligned spells while it is activated, to further increase their chance of pickpocketing successfully. Players will need to consume around 53 doses of prayer potion per hour, with level 99 Prayer, to maintain the prayer points required to keep Light Form activated. Use of prayer renewal potions can be used to help regain prayer points.
The level 34 Defence ability Freedom instantly breaks free of stuns, and therefore offers the opportunity to significantly decrease time spent in stun, however, it does not allow any thieving actions until the stun's original duration is over.
|Levels||Method||Experience per hour||Alternative methods|
|15-41||Thieves' Guild Jail doors||61,000 (with level 15-35 Thieving)|
83,500 (with level 35-41 Thieving)
|41-62||Coshing volunteers||89,000–140,000||Players can thieve from menaphite marketeers with level 46 Thieving, for around 80,000 experience an hour.|
|62-76||Safecracking in Misthalin||Up to 300,000|
|76-83||Safecracking in Asgarnia||Up to 400,000|
|83-99+||Safecracking in Kandarin||Up to 500,000, or 700,000 (with hidden safes)||Alternatively, Dwarf Traders using Crystal Mask for 447,500 xp/hr with level 99 Thieving.|
You may opt to start training at elven clan workers with level 96 Thieving; this gives up to 373,000 experience an hour at level 99.
Levels 1-5: Pompous merchantsEdit
Players should begin their Thieving training by pickpocketing pompous merchants. Around 6,000 experience an hour can be gained from this method with level 1-5 Thieving. However, as only 388 experience is needed to achieve level 5 Thieving, players with no previous experience of the skill should achieve level 5 in approximately 4 minutes. Pompous merchants are found in Taverley, just east of the lodestone. Players will gain a few coins each time that they successfully pickpocket a merchant but will lose some life points and be stunned for several seconds if their pickpocketing attempt is unsuccessful.
Levels 5-15: Bakery stallsEdit
At level 5 Thieving players can begin stealing from bakery stalls to gain approximately 11,000 experience an hour. As only 2,300 experience is needed to reach level 15 Thieving it should take players around 11 minutes to reach level 15 Thieving. When stealing from stalls in general, players should stand on the opposite side of the bakery stall to any market guards or guards present in the area; otherwise these NPCs will attack the player when they attempt to steal from the stall. Providing players are not spotted by the guards, attempts to steal from the stalls are always successful and result in the player gaining items depending on the type of stall. Each successful theft from bakery stalls will randomly yield bread, cake, a chocolate slice, or a chocolate bar. After an item has been stolen from the stall, the player must wait for the shop stall's stock to replenish before they can steal from the stall again.
The best bakery stall location for training is at the Catherby (south of the bank). There is a spot behind the stall that can hide players from the lone guard. Same can be said for Taverley marketplace although it is further from a bank. East Ardougne also has bakery stalls, but the high density of guards means that the player will suffer more frequent interruptions and thus lower experience rates.
Levels 15-41: Thieves' Guild doorsEditThe jail doors require level 24 theiving because of the quest requirement.
With at least level 15 Thieving players should start training by opening doors in the practice chest area of the Thieves' Guild. To access this area of the Thieves' Guild the player must have completed the Buyers and Cellars quest. The practice chest area is located south-east of the main training room within the guild; it is composed of 6 jail cells containing practice chests. Players should train their Thieving by opening the jail cell doors within this area. Once a door has been opened it will remain open for around 5.5 minutes, so players should change worlds (using the "join" option on any player added to their friends list or the "hop worlds" option in the options menu) to find a world where the doors are closed after having opened all the doors on their current world.
With level 15 Thieving players will only be able to open the 3 doors on the northern side of the corridor. At level 35 Thieving players will also be able to open the 3 doors on the southern side of the corridor. A lockpick is required in order to open the doors on the southern side of the corridor. Between levels 15 and 35 Thieving players can gain approximately 61,000 experience an hour using this method. With level 35-41 Thieving players can gain around 82,500 experience an hour, opening all the doors in the practice chest area.
Levels 41-62: Coshing volunteersEdit
At level 41 Thieving players can begin thieving from coshing volunteers to gain between 89,000 experience an hour and 140,000 experience an hour at maximum ehp, with around level 65 Thieving. To thieve from coshing volunteers the player must have completed the Buyers and Cellars quest in order to gain access to the Thieves' Guild. Completion of the From Tiny Acorns and Lost Her Marbles capers and partial completion of The Feud quest (up until the point where the player is taught about blackjacking techniques) is also required in order to expand the guild so that it contains Dodgy Derek's Dirty Deals, from which the player can purchase a rubber blackjack. Alternatively, one can attempt to cosh a volunteer with a normal wooden blackjack, and they will give the player a rubber one for free.
To steal from coshing volunteers a rubber blackjack must be equipped. To begin coshing, use the "lure" right-click option on any coshing volunteer to distract his attention. Once a volunteer has been lured they will follow the player for a short period of time, so it is recommended that the player firstly lures the volunteer to a spot where the NPC cannot move away, such as behind the door of the room containing Dodgy Derek, in order to make it easier to steal from the volunteer. After luring the volunteer the player should use the right-click "knock out" option. If the player succeeds in knocking the coshing volunteer unconscious then they can use the right-click "loot" option up to 3 times to gain Thieving experience before the volunteer regains consciousness. Players will also receive hanky points which can be exchanged for Thieving experience once per week. If the player fails to knock-out the coshing volunteer then they will be dealt 1 damage and be stunned for several seconds, during which they will be unable to interact with the coshing volunteer.
Players can hold down their space bar while thieving from coshing volunteers; this will skip the dialogue that takes place between the player and coshing volunteer and speed up training. Only the first dialogue (said by the player) needs to be skipped before the volunteer can be coshed; even if the volunteer's "oh no" dialogue is on-screen, they can be coshed. Using Freedom decreases the amount of time the player is stunned for.
Menaphite marketeers (46-62)Edit
At 46 Thieving, players can pickpocket menaphite marketeers. This can provide up to 80,000 experience per hour, and offers a somewhat less click-intensive form of training than coshing volunteers. Menaphite marketeers are found in the merchant district of Menaphos, near Shifting Tombs' entrance. Tier 8 reputation with the Merchant district gives the player a permanent increased chance of success when thieving from menaphite marketeers. This method is particularly nice as "Pickpocket" is the left-click option of the menaphite marketeers. As this method requires access to Menaphos, it also requires completion of The Jack of Spades quest.
Levels 62-76: Safecracking in MisthalinEdit
At level 62 Thieving, and with the Thieves' Guild capers completed, players can begin safecracking. First, players should speak to the safe-cracking trainer in the Thieves' Guild if they haven't already to receive a stethoscope and a small loot bag, and then begin looting from chests in Misthalin.
The best route is to loot the safes upstairs in Varrock Palace (requires a lockpick or hair clip and 65 Thieving), the one in Edgeville, and the two in Lumbridge. This can provide up to 300,000 experience an hour. Ensure that you click on the safe when it flashes blue for quicker experience.
When your loot bag is full, turn it in to Chief Thief Robin at the Thieves' Guild for even more experience.
Levels 76-83: Safecracking in AsgarniaEdit
At level 76 Thieving, players should continue to crack safes, moving to Asgarnia.
Levels 83-99+: Safecracking in Kandarin and beyondEdit
At level 83 Thieving, players should continue to crack safes, moving to Kandarin.
The best route is to loot the safes upstairs in the two buildings in Ardougne Market, teleport to the Yanille lodestone and loot the two safes within the wall and in the pub, then teleport to Camelot and loot the two safes on the ground floor of the castle. This can provide up to 500,000 experience an hour.
At level 90 Thieving, players should begin to incorporate hidden safes into their route, most notably the safes in Rogues' Castle in the Wilderness. Do not bring any items that you would not want to lose. This can increase experience per hour to up to 700,000.
Dwarf traders with crystal mask (90-99)Edit
With at least level 90 Thieving players can pickpocket from dwarf traders at the Trade Octagon in Keldagrim. Because of the high rate of failure when pickpocketing from traders, players should only train at them if they are able to use the crystal mask spell and light form prayer to increase their chance of pickpocketing successfully. Players can obtain up to around 447,500 experience an hour, with level 99 Thieving, by training at traders using crystal mask and light form. Use of additional methods to improve pickpocket success rate is highly beneficial when pickpocketing from traders.
It is recommended that players steal from the trader wearing a yellow apron located near a lamp on the northern side of the Trade Octagon, as this trader always stands on the same spot, allowing for easier thieving. Simply click on the trader to steal from them. Upon successful pickpocket the player will receive Thieving experience and items including bronze-rune bars, copper/tin-rune ores, harvest heaven seeds, coins, hard clue scrolls, court summons and crystal triskelion fragments. When the player is unsuccessful in pickpocketing the trader they will be dealt 10 damage and stunned for several seconds. They will also be attacked by a trade floor guard if there is one in the near proximity and will be unable to continue thieving while they are engaged in combat with the guard.
There are two ways to deal with the guards. The easiest way is to simply lure the guards into one of the rooms. There are eight guards in total; four on the north, and four on the south. Attack each group before luring them into the room, and shut the door on them when they are inside. This will ensure that the guards cannot attack the player(s) at all. The other way is to ask your Trade Octagon director to bribe them; they will ask for some ores or bars and once they are delivered, the guards will turn a blind eye to the player for 15 minutes.
Since the latter method hampers experience rates, its best to simply lure and trap the guards in the rooms. A populated world can also help - world 48 is the best for players pickpocketing traders, due to the presence of other players. Accessing this world requires a total level of 2600 or higher.
Elven clan workers (96-99+)Edit
Players who are unable to use crystal mask should begin training at Elven clan workers at around level 96 Thieving. Eight different types of elven clan workers are found in Prifddinas; with each clan's district containing a different kind of worker. Completion of the Plague's End quest is required in order to access Prifddinas. To steal from a clan worker simply click on the worker; elven clan workers are automatically pickpocketed, so there is no need to continually click on them in order to steal loot.
Elven clan workers follow a different pickpocketing mechanic compared to many other pickpocket targets in RuneScape; when failing a pickpocket, you are not damaged. Instead, there are "strikes":
- Strike one - the worker will say "What was that?" and a game message will appear stating "You have raised Clan (name) suspicions. 1 out of 3 strikes."
- Strike two - the worker will say "What are you doing?" and a game message will appear stating "Clan (name) is starting to notice your sneaky ways. 2 out of 3 strikes. They'll catch you the next time."
- Strike three - the worker will say "You think clan (name) is easily fooled? We will be watching you (player name)." and a game message will appear stating that "Oh dear, they've caught you and they've warned the rest of clan (name). All workers of that clan will be alert of the player and cannot be pickpocketed for 20 minutes.
During the first two strikes, the player's chances of getting caught will increase drastically. A will appear over the pickpocketed worker, and will persist for a short period of time; the worker cannot be pickpocketed from again until this icon disappears. When the third strike occurs, all workers of that clan cannot be pickpocketed from.
While successfully pickpocketing from an elven clan worker the player can receive various items such as hard and elite clue scrolls, crystal motherlode shards, Prifddinian musician's robes pieces, crystal triskelion fragments, crystal acorns, clan symbol pieces, and brawling gloves. In addition to these lucrative rewards, players may also obtain items related to the skills that are favored by that clan. All successful pickpockets will always yield a small amount of coins.
The Thieving level required to pickpocket from an elven clan worker varies from level 91 to 98 Thieving, depending on the clan that the worker belongs to. As it typically takes around 4 minutes to reach 3/3 strikes for a particular clan (5-6 minutes with Crystal Mask), it is recommended to pickpocket workers when the player can pickpocket from four clans at any given time. Boosts can be used to pickpocket elves, and it is possible to start pickpocketing them at level 90 Thieving as long as Crystal Mask is being used.
To gain the most Thieving experience per hour players should prioritise thieving from elven clan workers within the 2 districts that are currently affected by the Voice of Seren as often as possible, as base experience obtained from pickpocketing clan's workers is increased by 20% while the Voice of Seren is active. In between stealing from these clans, the player should steal from the other clans that they are able to access in order of descending level requirement, as elven clan workers with a higher Thieving level requirement award more Thieving experience per successful pickpocket. Crystal teleport seeds can be useful for teleporting between districts. It is possible to gain around 373,000 experience an hour by pickpocketing from elven clan workers while wearing a Trahaearn exoskeleton set at level 99 Thieving (with Meilyr and Ithell clans being affected by the Voice of Seren). The amount of experience that can be gained per hour while pickpocketing elven clan workers depends on which clans are currently affected by the Voice of Seren, as well as the player's ability to access clans which give a greater amount of Thieving experience upon successful pickpocket.
|Worker type||Thieving level required||Thieving experience (with Voice of Seren)||Clan symbol|
|Meilyr worker||98||170 (204)|
|Crwys worker||97||155 (186)|
|Hefin worker||96||150 (180)|
|Trahaearn worker||95||145 (174)|
|Amlodd worker||94||140 (168)|
|Cadarn worker||93||135 (162)|
|Ithell worker||92||130 (156)|
|Iorwerth worker||91||125 (150)|
Alternative methods of gaining experienceEdit
See here for a list of quests that grant Thieving experience on completion.
Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top BonanzaEdit
Players can do a Thieving performance at the Circus Distraction and Diversion once per week if they have completed the Some Like It Cold quest. To enter the circus the player must gain a circus ticket from the ticket vendor, which is randomly located in one of 12 possible locations each week. Players can start their Thieving performance by standing on the star next to Teddy.
During the performance players have 5 attempts to perform up to 5 different tricks. Thieving experience is received upon the first successful attempt of each trick that the player performs: repeating a trick more than once does not grant additional experience. Each trick has a recommended Thieving level to attempt; however this level is not required in order to perform the trick, as it is possible to successfully perform or fail to perform a trick at any Thieving level. It may take several attempts for a trick is successfully performed. However, when a player performs a trick that has a higher recommended Thieving level than they currently have, the experience received will be the same as that given for performing a trick with half the recommended Thieving level, rounded down.
To gain the most experience from the Thieving performance players should begin by performing the highest recommended level trick for their current Thieving level, and work down to the trick with a recommended level half of their current Thieving level. After this players should perform any tricks with a recommended Thieving level which is greater than their current Thieving level and then finally perform any tricks with a recommended level of less than half of their current Thieving level. The Distraction and Diversion's interface will display the recommended Thieving level for the performance's tricks, as well as show which tricks the player has performed successfully. Players can receive a total of 14,260 experience, in about 45 seconds, if they successfully perform all 5 tricks with level 90 Thieving or higher. With completion of the Back to the Freezer quest players may gain up to 1.5 times as much experience from each trick, at level 99.
|Name of trick||Recommended Thieving level||Experience|
|Flowers from Sleeves||70||2,794|
|Rabbit from Hat||80||3,088|
Money making using the Thieving skillEdit
|Pickpocketing elven workers||670,000|| 91-98 (93 recommended)|
| 200,000 - 280,000