From Melvor Idle
This page is up to date (v1.2.2).
This article is about training the Cartography skill. For the skill itself, see Cartography.

Before Starting Cartography

There are many bonuses that come from other skills and shop-purchases that can significantly boost Cartography. The base interval for Cartography is 5 seconds which can be reduced with various unlocks shown at the end of this guide. It is strongly advised to grab as many of the Cartography/Survey Interval Reductions. The Superior Cartography Skillcape provides -30% Survey Interval which makes Skill XP boosts very valuable (due to the finite number of high level, high xp hexes) as well if you wish to go for full map mastery.

If you are playing a gamemode that caps your experience gain, it is strongly advised you do not survey while at your exp cap. While you will not be locked out of any content, you will be forced to level Cartography by making paper or upgrading maps which is significantly less exp than surveying.

  • Nysa, unlocked at Astrology Level 45, provides upwards of +8% Skill XP and -5% Survey Interval at Mastery Level 60.
  • River Crossing, unlocked at Agility Level 10 and requiring Cartography Level 15, provides -5% Survey Interval and +5% Skill XP.
  • Ocean Drifting, unlocked at Agility Level 80 and requiring Cartography Level 70 and Archaeology Level 70, provides -5% Cartography Interval.

Cartography has 8 Temporary -2% Survey Interval Points of Interest that last for 10 moves. It's important that you know where these are located since they can only be discovered once. The locations can be seen in the image in the second goal section.

You may want to gather the materials required to purchase all Ship Upgrades from the Shop before starting. It is not necessary to do so however it may reduce the amount of times you need to swap obstacles.

Training Cartography

Since Skill XP boosts will change the pathing of this guide, this guide will be using the following to setup. Note this is not the most optimal setup. Check the XP Table and Interval Table below for other boosts.

This gives a total of 26% Skill XP out of the maximum 54% in the Base Game and 57% with .

Getting Old Spyglass and Cartographer's Enhancement

Visual Representation for Section 1, Steps 1-5

An image has been supplied as a visual aid on where to go. The step numbers align with the numbered point on the map.

  1. Follow the Red Path to the Port at (12, 19) and Survey this hex until you are level 10. You will not fully survey the Port yet
    • Make sure to Discover Old Village at (13, 17)
    • If you Survey The Southern Lighthouse at (12, 18), make sure you do not Discover this POI. The temporary -2% Survey Interval Discovery Reward will be used later
  2. Follow the Blue Path until you Discover Monuments at (6, 11)
    • Digging for Tiny Artefacts at Monuments will allow you to get 8 Golden Leaf which can be upgraded into Golden Wreath for +3% Skill XP
    • Spending the extra time at Monuments to get 5 Aranite Brush will increase your chances of getting the Old Spyglass in the next step
    • Discovering The Monolith at (5, 10) can help reduce the map making interval which will be useful when upgrading the Coral Wreckage map, if you go that route
    • At Level 15 you will be able to build River Crossing. Levels 20, 35, and 50 unlocks the first 3 Ship Upgrades
  3. If you are not Level 50, get the Shop Purchase in step 4 then return for this step. Follow the Green Path and Discover Coral Wreckage at (7, 22). You are mainly looking for 1-2 key items
    1. The Old Spyglass for -10% Survey Interval
    2. If travel costs are an issue, you may also get Sailor's Compass for -6% Travel Costs
    • If you have the GP to do so, refining the Coral Wreckage map to reduce the Medium Artefact Value will help get the Spyglass faster
    • With a 4.25 second upgrade interval, upgrading the map will take 2 hours, 16 minutes (while standing on The Monolith, not including any paper making time) while getting the Spyglass will take on average 1 hour, 38 minutes without upgrading and 35 minutes with upgrading. This means upgrading the map will not save you any time however you may want to consider it as it will benefit you later when you do Archaeology.
    • After obtaining the Old Spyglass, you will want to Discover The Vibrant Coral Gardens at (6, 22) which rewards the 500 Coral needed for Ocean Drifting, which will be built later
  4. Follow the Purple Path which will Discover The Jagged Labyrinth at (5, 7) and unlock the ability to purchase Cartographer's Enhancement for 3,000,000GP
  5. Follow the Orange Path towards The Pirate's Treasure Trails at (10, 6) and Discover this hex. It is important this POI gets discovered before Surveying the entire map.

Fully Surveying all of the Temporary POI Hexes

Visual Representation for Section 2, Steps 1-5

An image has been supplied as a visual aid on where to go. The step numbers align with the numbered point on the map.

When surveying the following POIs the goal is to Survey them, not Discover them unless explicitly stated. After you survey POIs a pop-up will ask you to choose between Travel or View Later. It's crucial to always select View Later as this will not bring you to the POI you just surveyed. Additionally, exercise caution to avoid inadvertently travelling through Hexes that will be discovered in the next step.

  1. Follow the Blue Path and Survey The Pink Kraken at (4, 16) and The Western Lighthouse at (1, 18)
    • The Port at (2, 19) can be Discovered which can help reduce the travel costs later
  2. Follow the Green Path and Survey The Southern Lighthouse at (12, 18), The Watchful Ship at (14, 20) and A Sadge Kraken at (12, 21)
    • The Port at (12, 19) can be Discovered which can help reduce the travel cost {GP} later
  3. The next POIs will be towards the South side of the map along the Purple Path. Survey The Sea Noodle at (23, 25). You will need to Discover Fisherman's Enclave at (22, 22) before Surveying the entire map
    • Along the path to Fisherman's Enclave, there is a Port that can be Discovered at (21, 20)
    • At Level 70, you will unlock another Ship Upgrade as well as the Obstacle, Ocean Drifting. It is recommended you get both of these if possible.
      • You will need Archaeology at Level 70 for Ocean Drifting. The next step passes by Secret Mines (21, 15) and Quarry (20, 13). Along with Coral Wreckage, you can get all of the Rare and lower Artefacts (plus an extra if it's a useful item) at these dig sites. You could also go to Ancient Market (0, 14) and Stoneworkers (24, 14) for the Aranite Trowel and Aranite Shovel first which would increase Archaeology xp rates.
  4. Next up is the Orange Path. You will want to Discover both Old Mine at (23, 14) and The Abandoned Vein Mine at (22, 15). These POIs need to be Discovered before Surveying the entire map
  5. Along the Gray Path, Survey Capital City Lighthouse at (27, 13), and The Pushy Sailor at (29, 9)
    • The Port at (27, 14) can be Discovered which can help reduce the travel cost later. It is recommended to discover this before heading to The Pushy Sailor

Revealing the full Map

For this step, it's crucial to be adequately prepared. Once initiated, you'll find yourself committed and unable to switch to other activities seamlessly. The Auto Survey action extends beyond your current visibility range, disregarding any boosts you've obtained. Therefore, it's essential to carefully consider any ongoing costs, such as those related to the Township, as there will be limited opportunities for earning fresh income during this process. Additionally, attempting to reveal the full map without following the outlined steps is not recommended. You may encounter difficulties fully exploring the map due to levelling requirements.

Moving to The Edge of Darkness will cost up to 50,000,000GP, depending on discounts. If you wish to cut this cost down, you can Survey ONE of the following 2 POIs then Survey The Shimmering Sands Outpost at (18, 15).

  1. Seashade Village at (7, 20) which is conveniently located above Coral Wreckage
  2. Rosedale at (27, 18). While this would take a bit longer, it's along the way to Bandit Hideout which is good if you plan to do some Thieving.

When you are ready to get the interval POIs, Discover one of the first 2 POIs for -5% Cartography travel costs, THEN Discover The Shimmering Sands Outpost for -10% Cartography travel costs.

With all of the Temporary -2% Survey Interval POIs fully Surveyed, it's time to Discover all of them without traveling to any unnecessary hexes in between. These boosts will only last for 10 moves and there are 8 POIs (+2 if you chose to decrease travel costs). Even though you have 2 spare moves, it is important you do not waste these. You will need to move once at Level 100 and again after fully Surveying the North East corner. The order for the first 7 POIs is not important however you want to make sure you end on The Pushy Sailor at (29, 9).

Start Auto Surveying at (26, 8). This will require you to Survey (28, 9) and (27, 8) first. To ensure that Auto Survey covers the higher-level hexes at the top of the map and extends the survey beyond your current visibility level, it's crucial not to interrupt the auto-surveying process while it is idling. Occasionally, you will see POI prompts appear and for these you should click "View Later" to avoid moving from this position. At Level 90 you will want to restart the Auto Survey at (28, 12) so the Level 90 Hexes around (30, 16) get Surveyed. Levels 85 and 99 unlock 2 more Ship Upgrades.

Upon reaching Cartography Level 100, you want to manually Survey towards the East wall of the map then upwards, leaving the last hex so you can start Auto Surveying without moving. Ideally you want to be active here so you can immediately move when The Edge of Darkness at (31, 0) is fully surveyed so that you can benefit from this Hex immediately. Moving to (31, 0) will unlock the Shop Purchase, Cartographer's Knowledge for 50,000,000GP. Traveling to this hex will also cost up to 50,000,000GP.

After moving to The Edge of Darkness, Auto Survey until the remainder of the map is revealed. You can start Auto Survey from one of the hexes near to your current position. Depending on how much of the map is already surveyed so far, it is unlikely that you will want to move from Hex (31, 0) because the temporary travel bonuses should still be active, which will continue to greatly reduce your survey interval.

Mastering the Map

With the map fully revealed you will unlock the ability to master all tiles, which allows you to survey every Hex up to level 5, and gain extra XP and bonuses along the way.

Cartography Map showing the level requirement for each hex. Credits: @draedon123 on Discord

To reach level 120 you will want to explore areas with higher XP. Hex experience is based on the level of the hex, and the best XP can be found clumped near important POIs. The provided map can help visualize where the highest XP zones are.

  1. The first location you will want to move to is the snowy area in the bottom middle, around (17, 25) since this is a dense, compact area
  2. The top middle is going to be the second location, around (12, 2) so you can grab the level 80 and 90 hexes to the East and West
  3. The last location will be the center of the map, around (16, 11) and start surveying the higher level hexes in the area, ignoring the level 35 hexes. You may utilize Auto Survey here so that you can idle as this is likely to take a while.

Upon reaching Cartography Level 120, you will want to purchase and equip the Superior Cartography Skillcape then Auto Survey until all 944 hexes have they are fully Mastered.

With the map mastered, you can now explore all of the POIs that you have unlocked. Good luck!


Ship Upgrades

Other Shop Purchases

Upgrade Name Level Cost Purchase Requirement X Y Modifiers
Cartographer's Enhancement 3,000,000GP Discover The Jagged Labyrinth 5 7 +2% Cartography Skill XP
-5% Cartography survey interval
-5% Cartography travel costs
Cartographer's Knowledge Cartography Level 100 50,000,000GP Discover The Edge of Darkness 31 0 +2% Cartography Skill XP
-5% Cartography survey interval
-5% Cartography travel costs
Travel Token Archaeology Level 80 100,000 Donate 150 Artefacts to the Museum -10% Cartography travel costs
Cartographer's Knowledge Cartography Level 50
Archaeology Level 50
10,000 Donate 75 Artefacts to the Museum When combined with Old Spyglass
+5 Cartography Sight Range
+4 Cartography Survey Range
-10% Cartography travel costs


The following things can be used to increase the amount of Cartography XP received.

Action Time

This table lists boosts to Survey, Map Upgrade, and Paper Making intervals.

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