OSRS Thieving – Runescape Guide

Thieving in Old School RuneScape is a members only skill that allows you to acquire items and coins by pickpocketing NPCs, stealing them from chests or stalls and by disarming traps and picking door locks. 

The game features certain quests that require you to have thieving experience while there are other quests that don’t require you to have the experience but reward you generously if you do. 


You can pickpocket certain NPCs by right-clicking them and then selecting Pickpocket. Successfully doing so will earn you thieving experience and depending upon the NPC, some loot as well. However if you end up alerting the NPC, he will yell at you and you will get stunned and damaged for a couple of seconds. It is a good idea to bring some food along if you plan on pickpocketing. 

Additionally, pickpocketing is a fairly clink intensive task and it is wise to go to the game controller in the options menu and select “Hidden” under NPC Attack options. This will change the pickpocketing to a left click instead of a right click which is far more convenient. 

Thieving Stalls: 

OSRS has a large number of stalls throughout the game world with a lot of them in the Ardougne Market. Stealing from stalls is easier and more successful than pickpocketing as there are no failed attempts. All you need to do is to not stand in the line of sight of the stall owner and you are pretty much guaranteed a loot. 


Chests are just as abundant in RuneScape as stalls and you can disarm their traps using your thieving skills. You need to select the “Search for traps” option from the drop down menu or you will get damaged while attempting to open the chest. 


You need to pick the locks of certain doors in order to access what’s inside. You need a certain thieving experience to pick a door’s lock and there are certain doors that can only be picked via a lockpick. 

Useful Equipment: 

There are a lot of useful items in the game that greatly increase your chances of successfully stealing and we will go through these items one by one. However, keep in mind that these items are the exceptions and most of the other equipment you wear has no effect on thieving. 

Rogue equipment: 

Rogue equipment consists of rogue gloves, rogue mask, rogue trousers, rogue top and rogue boots. The complete set doubles the loot you receive from pickpocketing an NPC. However if you don’t have the complete set, each individual component significantly increases your chances of scoring more loot than normal. 

You can find the complete Rogue Equipment in the safe at the end of the Rogues’ Den minigame. The minimum requirement for looting the safe is Level 50 Thieving, giving you a 1 in 8 chance of finding a rogue component. However, with Level 80, you get access to a shortcut that makes the whole process much faster. 

Gloves of silence: 

Gloves of silence reduce your chances of failure by 5% during pickpocketing. You can buy them from the Grand Exchange as a pair or individually for 2923 coins each. Additionally you can also create them from two dark Kebbit furs at the Fancy Clothes Store in Varrock for 600 coins. The minimum level required to wear these gloves is Hunter Level 54. It’s a good idea to grab multiple pairs because they get damaged every time you fail in a pickpocket attempt and are destroyed completely after 62 failed attempts. However, if you have Level 64 Crafting, you can restore their condition back to “New” by using one dark kebbit fur and a thread costing 915 and 10 coins respectively. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Gloves of Silence are only useful if you have not completed the Ardougne diary (See Below) as that grants you the Ardougne Cloak whose 10% effect overrides the gloves’ 5%, making them obsolete. Since Level 38 Thieving is the minimum requirement for the Ardougne Cloak, you can use gloves of silence for earlier levels. 

Ardougne Cloak: 

You can go to Ardougne to complete different tiers of the Ardougne Diary. Each of these tiers including easy, medium, hard and elite grants you an increased chance at successfully pickpocketing an NPC. Completing the medium tier grants you the Ardougne Cloak 2 that gives you a 10% increased chance but limits the benefits to Ardougne while the Hard and Elite tiers reward you with Ardougne Cloaks 3 and 4 which expand the rewards to all of Gielinor. As mentioned previously, the minimum requirement for the Ardougne Cloak is Level 38 Thieving.  

Dodgy Necklace: 

You get stunned and receive damage every time you fail at a pickpocketing attempt. However, if you need some time mastering the task, you can get a dodgy necklace which gives a 25% chance of not getting stunned and damaged. One of the new silver jewelry items in the game, the dodgy necklace can be used 10 times before it loses its effect. 

H.A.M. outfit: 

When you fail to pick the pockets of H.A.M. members, wearing the H.A.M. outfit will reduce your chances of getting kicked out of the H.A.M. Hideout. 

Now with all the necessary equipment out of the way, lets get to how you can earn the most thieving experience in the shortest duration possible. 

Method 1: 

Levels 1–37: 

There are several quests that reward you with thieving experience. You can complete the following quests to go from Level 1 Thieving to Level 24 Thieving collecting 7200 Experience points along the way. 

  • Biohazard 
  • Hazeel cult  
  • Fight Arena 
  • Tower of Life  
  • Tribal Totem 

Additionally, you can complete The Queen of Thieves, The Giant Dwarf, Death to the Dorgeshuun, The Golem, Creature of Fenkenstrain and finally, the most rewarding quest The Feud. All of these combined yield you 22,500 experience points which are enough to get you to Level 37. You can then continue following the guide below. 

Method 2: 

Levels 1–5: 

You don’t have much of choice besides pickpocketing Men/Women in the earlier levels. You need a total of 49 successful pickpockets in order to go from level 1 to 5. The easiest way to do this is by going to Draynor Village where there is a man in a house right by the Agility Course. You can trap him by closing the door and then pickpocket him repeatedly until you get to Level 5. 

One thing to keep in mind is that coins are rewarded in the form of coin pouches and only 28 coin pouches can be stacked in your inventory at once. After that, you must open up the pouches to free up space in your inventory before you can pickpocket again. 

Levels 5–25: 

The fastest way to gain experience from level 5 through 25 is by stealing from the Ye Olde Tea Shoppe in Varrock or from Cake stalls in the East Ardougne Market. You can also steal from the cake stalls in the courtyard outside the Kourend Castle. There are some guards walking around the latter two locations but it is fairly easy to find a safespot. 

Levels 25–45: 

The fastest way to get from level 25 to level 45 is by stealing from the fruit stalls located in Hosidius. You need 15% favour in Hosidius and the best place to do this is the easternmost house near the beach where you will find two unguarded fruit stalls right next to each other.  

You get 28.5 experience points per fruit. However, banking the fruits significantly lowers the experiencing points. 

If you plan to bank the fruits for use in cooking skills, the more viable option is to steal from the stall in the market and use the bank right west of it. However the stall is heavily guarded by dogs and you will need to trap them first in order to get to the stall. 

Level 45 to 55: 

The fastest way to get from Level 45 to Level 55 is by blackjacking Bandits in Pollnivneach. You must have completed the Feud quest in order to blackjack bandits. The basic method in Blackjacking is to knock the Bandit out and then pickpocket them twice while they are passed out. If they catch you while you are trying to knock them out, you get hit for 4 Hitpoints. There are three types of Bandits but the method more or less works the same for all three. The Bandits do frequent damage and it is wise to bring Saradomin brews with you. You can also buy jugs of wine from Ali the barman located in the south end of Pollnivneach. Also recommended is the Hitpoint cape for faster health regeneration. 

At level 45, you can also steal from the Fremennik fish stalls. The ideal Fremennik for pickpocketing is Pontak who lives just north of the gate. A huge advantage is that since you are stealing from the fish stalls, you don’t need to bring any food. You can just steal the fish from Rellekka and use one of the many fires all over Rellekka to cook it. The caveat with this method is that completing the Freminnik Trials is a requirement. 

Once you get to Level 50, you should get your rogue equipment from the safe in the Rogues’ Den minigame. This will double the loot you receive from pickpocketing and speed up the whole process going forward. 

Level 55-65: 

You can start blackjacking non-bearded Bandits once you get to level 55. The method is similar as described previously and blackjacking them continuously will get you to Level 65 fairly quickly. 

Levels 65-91: 

When you get to Level 65, you can start blackjacking Menaphite Thugs in the southern end of Pollnivneach.  

Alternatively, you can pickpocket the Knight of Ardougne and gain experience that way. Ardougne Knights can be found in the Ardougne Square in East Ardougne. You should lure one inside a house.  

Keep a distance of at least a few tiles before starting to pickpocket the Knight and it is a good idea to bring five or more Dodgy necklaces in addition to your Ardougne Cloak.  

Level 91-99: 

The quickest way to get from Level 91 to Level 99 is via the Pyramid Plunder minigame. You will need the following items inside the pyramid 

  • Access to Sophanem 
  • Stamina Potions 
  • Antipoison 
  • High Healing Foods 

It is wise to get a couple of Pharoah’s Sceptres as they will allow you to teleport directly to the Guardian Mummy. You are also going to need some gold artefacts to recharge these Sceptres. If you can’t get Pharoah’s Sceptres, you can complete the quest named “Contact!” in order to get access to a bank near the pyramid. 

It takes around 335 minigames to get from Level 91 to Level 99. It is important to note that the experience points you gain per hour can significantly be increased by having a duo partner. 

The Thieving Skill Cape: 

Now its time to reap the rewards of you hard work. The thieving cape gives you another 10% chance of successful pickpocketing an NPC. If you have the Ardougne Cloak and the Dodgy Necklace, you will get a total of 45% extra chance of successful looting.

More OSRS Quests:

OSRS X Marks the Spot Quest – Runescape Guide
OSRS Getting Rune Pouches – Runescape Guide
OSRS Best In Slot Defence Items – Runescape Guide
OSRS Herblore – Runescape Guide
OSRS Sand Crabs (How To Reach) – Runescape Guide
OSRS Farming (From Level 1 to 99) – Runescape Guide
OSRS Horror From The Deep – RuneScape Guide
OSRS Dwarf Cannon – RuneScape Guide
OSRS Holy Grail – RuneScape Guide
OSRS Gertrude’s Cat – RuneScape Guide
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