, and provide marker requirements for estimates based on IBD. We formally show that the informativeness of polyallelic markers for relatedness inference is maximized when alleles are equifrequent. Estimates based on IBS are sensitive to allele frequencies, which vary across populations and by experimental design. For portability across studies, we thus recommend estimates based on IBD. To generate estimates with errors below an arbitrary threshold of 0.1, we recommend ∼100 polyallelic or 200 biallelic markers. Marker requirements are immediately applicable to haploid malaria parasites and other haploid eukaryotes. C.I.s facilitate comparison when different marker sets are used. This is the first attempt to provide rigorous analysis of the reliability of, and requirements for, relatedness inference in malaria genetic epidemiology. We hope it will provide a basis for statistically informed prospective study design and surveillance strategies.