Gunpowder Barrel

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A Gunpowder Barrel is a type of Explosive in Sea of Thieves that can be carried and detonated. Gunpowder Barrels can be commissioned by the Merchant Alliance as part of a Trade Good Commission, for which an increased reward is offered for the barrels.

Gunpowder Barrels are found scattered all over the Seas or carried by Gunpowder Skeletons.

Where to find


Primary Use of a barrel in hand will light a 5-second fuse to detonate, but can be cancelled by Secondary Use. The barrel can be picked up whilst the fuse is lit. The barrel will immediately detonate if shot by a player, struck, caught in an explosion, or upon contact with the outside of a ship hull. The explosion will damage all nearby pirates and Creatures (based on distance) within 10 paces of the detonating barrel, and put 4 holes into the hull of any nearby Ship as well as breaking nearby ship parts such as the Mast or the Wheel. Other barrels in the area will explode depending on the distance.


Gunpowder Barrels can be sold to:

The following is the reward chart for the sold Barrel when not commissioned:

Emissary Grade Gold (Min.) Gold (Max.) Emissary Value
No Emissary 100 Gold 200 Gold 0
I 100 Gold 200 Gold 432
II 133 Gold 266 Gold 574.56
III 167 Gold 334 Gold 721.44
IV 200 Gold 400 Gold 864
V 250 Gold 500 Gold 1080

And the following is the reward chart for the sold Barrel when commissioned by the Merchant Alliance:

Emissary Grade Gold (Min.) Gold (Max.) Emissary Value
No Emissary 500 Gold 1,000 Gold 0
I 500 Gold 1,000 Gold 2160
II 665 Gold 1,330 Gold 2872.8
III 835 Gold 1,670 Gold 3607.2
IV 1,000 Gold 2,000 Gold 4320
V 1,250 Gold 2,500 Gold 5400


  • Picking up and placing Gunpowder Barrels on a Ship for the first time does not give Emissary Grade Reputation to Trading Company Emissaries. Only selling a Barrel as part of a Trade Good Commission offers Emissary Grade Reputation as Merchant Alliance Emissaries.
  • Gunpowder Barrels do not emit a Glint or Glow from a distance.
  • Storing Gunpowder Barrels in the Crow's Nest or on top of a sail maximizes safety, preventing the likelihood of being destroyed during a fight and causing minimal damage to the ship (not including the Stronghold Gunpowder Barrel). Be wary that an exploding Gunpowder Barrel on top of a Crow's Nest will break the Masts. Be careful when using this tactic on a sloop, as a successfully detonated Gunpowder Barrel can leave you without a Mast until it is re-raised.
  • Ship collision will not detonate the barrel while carried in hand, however sailing into one even slowly will cause the barrel to detonate.
  • Gunpowder Barrels can be grabbed with a Harpoon, even from the hands of Pirates and Skeletons.
    • A harpooned Gunpowder Barrel may explode if grabbed at an angle that causes its geometry to intersect with the ship's hitbox.
  • Blowing up a Gunpowder Barrel in your hand on a Ship will count as a Cannonball hit, meaning that a player can destroy a Skeleton Ship with a Keg and it will count as a kill.
  • Gunpowder Barrels will blow up if they are within the area of effect of a thrown Throwable.
  • A Gunpowder Barrel held by a player or Skeleton who is on fire will explode after a short period of time.


Merchant Alliance Commendations:

Reaper's Bones Commendations:

Bilge Rats Commendations:

Gunpowder Skeletons Commendations:

Black Powder Stashes Commendations:

Pirate Chat

Here is the Pirate Chat Wheel of the Barrel:

Gunpowder Barrel Wheel.png

Patch history

  • 2.9.0 (October 19, 2023)
    • Crews who sneak aboard a rival ship and place a Gunpowder Barrel will no longer cause a ‘Treasure Donated’ notification to be shown to the rival crew. Consider a more thoughtful ‘donation’ next time!
  • 2.4.0 (December 2, 2021)
    • While many treasure items found across the Sea of Thieves can be buried, sneaky pirates might also choose to bury Gunpowder Barrels to create traps for whoever digs them up.
  • 2.0.22 (February 18, 2021)
    • Exploding a Gunpowder Barrel on the crow’s nest should now damage the mast.
  • 2.0.19 (October 28, 2020)
    • Emergent locations on Discovery Ridge for Gunpowder Barrels have been updated to ensure they can be reached by players.
  • 2.0.17 (July 29, 2020)
    • Gunpowder Kegs being carried by rival players while they climb a ladder can be blown up.
  • 2.0.13 (March 12, 2020)
    • Explosions caused by Gunpowder Barrels will now display hit notifications in the same manner as explosions from cannonballs.
  • 2.0.10 (December 11, 2019)
    • Firebombs no longer cause a Gunpowder Keg to ignite when exploding underwater.
  • 2.0.9 (November 20, 2019)
    • Gunpowder Kegs on Fire? – Firebombs, Ship fires and even Campfires can now be used to ignite a Gunpowder Keg, causing them to explode instantly.
    • Gunpowder Barrels now create fires.
    • Gunpowder Kegs spawned inside the Fort vault will no longer explode if a nearby keg is detonated prior to the vault being opened.
  • 2.0.8 (October 16, 2019)
    • When igniting a chain of Gunpowder Kegs, they will now explode in chain order.
    • UNDOCUMENTED: Chain detonation timing increased to 1 second from 0.
  • 2.0.7 (September 11, 2019)
    • Improvements have been made to ensure hitting gunpowder kegs at range is more consistent with ranged weapons.
    • Explosive Damage on Ships – When ships are affected by explosions (gunpowder kegs, volcanic rocks etc.) they now use a new more realistic damage model using an inner and outer blast radius. This new setup ensures that greater damage is applied closer to the explosion, and less damage further away.
    • UNDOCUMENTED: Chain detonation timing reduced to 0 seconds from 1.
  • 2.0.6 (August 14, 2019)
    • Harpoon That Keg! – Harpoons can now latch onto gunpowder kegs to enable you to pull them back to your ship.
    • When placed on a moving ship, gunpowder kegs will once again take damage from sword attacks.
  • 2.0.5 (July 17, 2019)
    • Resolved a stability issue causing Gunpowder Barrel and Stronghold Kegs to sometimes explode during server migration.
  • 2.0.2 (May 23, 2019)
    • Harpooning a Gunpowder Skeleton – Latching on to a gunpowder keg from a gunpowder skeleton will now detonate the keg on impact.
    • Gunpowder keg explosions will now have the correct VFX in underwater caves.
  • 1.4.1 (December 12, 2018)
    • Dropping a Gunpowder Barrel on a Rowboat attached to the rear of a Sloop will no longer cause it to explode.
  • 1.4.0 (November 28, 2018)
    • Gunpowder Barrels - Explosions from Gunpowder Barrels now damage Kraken tentacles.
    • If there is a Gunpowder Barrel explosion inside a Skeleton Fort, it will no longer cause Gunpowder Barrels within the vault to explode.
  • 1.3.2 (October 31, 2018)
    • Explosion VFX correctly occurs when a gunpowder barrel is held by a player/skeleton and it explodes.
  • 1.3.1 (October 10, 2018)
    • Rowboat Damage - Increased damage now taken by Rowboats from Gunpowder Barrels.
  • 1.1.5 (July 4, 2018)
    • VFX for lighting a gunpowder barrel now correctly appear connected to the fuse.
  • 1.1.4 (June 28, 2018)
    • Explosive Force - When detonated, gunpowder kegs now have the force to rock and push ships.
    • Fuses - When holding a gunpowder keg, players can now light a five-second fuse by pressing the primary action button (Right Trigger on controller or left click on mouse).
  • 1.0.7 (May 15, 2018)
    • Gunpowder Barrels will no longer cause two explosions if detonated when being held by a player.
  • 1.0.5 (April 24, 2018)
    • Resolved issue where Gunpowder kegs could spawn outside of player reach.
  • 1.0.4 (April 18, 2018)
    • Players will now correctly take damage from gunpowder kegs whilst underwater.
  • 1.0.1 (March 27, 2018)
    • Fixed tinnitus sound which persists after being killed by multiple explosive barrels.

fr:baril de poudre