Sea of Thieves from esteemed developer Rare is still proving to be a resounding success and it’s certainly come a very long way since its release back in 2018. Thanks to a slew of updates, what was once a fairly barebones affair, is now a sprawling ocean with new exciting things to find, fight and collect. And with the fairly recent free ‘A Pirate’s Life DLC, there’s bound to be a wave of new players joining, but it doesn’t have to be a case of sink or swim. To lend a helping hand (or hook) to new players, we’ve compiled a handy list of five things players should keep in mind when setting sail for the first time. 

Source: news.xbox.com

Pockets and barrels 

The first place you’ll spawn is on an Outpost. Scattered around the ocean’s map are more of them which act as a small hub to turn in Quests, and they’re useful for gathering resources that will keep you alive, and afloat, too. After getting to grips with the basic controls, you’d do well to scavenge every scrap of food and every cannonball you can before you pull up your sails. There are dangers that lurk in every corner of the Seas and being prepared with stock to consume and use is paramount to your survival. See those barrels dotted around the island? Walk up to them, press X and stuff your pockets – leave the earth worms if you want as fruit and cannonballs will suffice. You’re allowed a certain amount of each item in your pockets, so head to the ship when you’re at capacity, and find the corresponding barrels to unload your small but important treasures. Rinse and repeat until you’ve scavenged most of what the Outpost Island has to offer. 

Source: news.xbox.com

Know your vessel 

Familiarising yourself with your ship sounds like an obvious hint – and it really is – but when you’re out on the ocean sailing to your first few islands, forgetting where you’ve put things can be deadly and painfully annoying. When you’re under attack by other players or tackling a group of Sirens, remembering where your food is kept or your wood is stowed away will secure higher rates of survival because you won’t be wasting time scurrying around at the wrong ends of your ship. There are three different types of ship to choose from and it’ll depend on your party size for which size ship you’ll be using. The Sloop is the smallest one and is built for 1-2 players; the medium sized ship Brigantine caters for 3 players while the largest vessel is the Galleon which is available for four Pirates. Each comes with pros and cons, but it’s worth taking the time to locate the food storage barrels, cannon ball barrels, different sail inputs on the deck (length and angle) and of course the Capstan and the ship’s wheel. Oh, and someone should stick to viewing the map. 

Plan your voyage

Chances are you picked up a quest from one of the barrels while snooping around for sustenance for your voyage. You didn’t? Don’t fret! Just speak to one of the Traders at an Outpost Island. Each Outpost has the same set of voyages on offer: 

  • Gold Hoarders Voyages
  • Order of Souls Voyages
  • Merchant Alliance Voyages
  • Athena’s Fortune Voyages 

Source: seaofthieves.com

It’s entirely up to you and your crew with which one you go for but all of them will yield you bags of gold. Once you’ve snatched up some Quests, head over to the table on the ship and place your chosen Quest down. Your Pirate friends will have to vote on it too for it to activate, so shout them your way to get going, and head to the map to mark which locales you’ll be visiting. It’s well worth mapping out your journey, keeping tabs on the closest Outposts to cash-in your findings. Keeping track of where they are will be useful and lessen the chances of losing your hoard in one sitting, plus it’s a good chance to stock up your supplies, too. 

Shiny things, birds & floating goodies 

Once you’ve ordered your crewmates on-board your ship to help steer the vessel, eagle-eyed Pirates will see shining objects floating in the water and on land. This means that there’s treasure, so anchor down if it’s safe to do so, and assign someone to jump in and grab it. Take caution as the same shining animation in the far distance could be another player, and possibly an enemy if they’re inclined to play dirty. It pays to have someone on the lookout on the deck for twinkling treasure; positioning someone at the bow means you’ll have the anchor covered as well. You may also stumble across circling birds – this is a good sign. Steer the ship over to the patch they’re swooping across and there’s a decent chance that there’s some riches to nab. Remember, every bit of gold counts. 

Source: seaofthieves.com

Know your Skeletons 

The main enemies in Sea of Thieves – apart from other players – are skeletons. Knowing how to approach and destroy each one will benefit the whole crew by saving time and minimising chances of defeat. If you all die, it’s back to square one and all of your hard-earned booty will be wiped from your ship. Away from the ‘A Pirate’s Life’ DLC, you’ll encounter variants of these bony bastards. The standard variant  and the most common  can be taken down with a few strikes of your Cutlass. The key with all of them though is to keep moving; strafe while swiping and they’ll go down soon enough. Gunpowder Skeletons are best kept well away from as one blowing up in your face will give you a free ride to the Ferry of The Damned, so equip your Sniper and shoot from afar. Skeleton Captains will have a red name next to them and they just take a little longer to beat, but they’ll be turned into dust with your Cutlass and Blunderbuss and will often appear after a larger group of regular Skeleton’s spawn or on specific quests. The hardy Golden Skeletons are weak to water so the key here is to lure them to the ocean or splash them with water from your bucket before pelting them with attacks – explosive attacks will be your best bet here. Then there’s the Shadow Skeletons who are invulnerable to combat until you expose them to light. Lifting your Lantern to make them materialise will ensure they’re meaty enough to return them to their grave, just keep your wits about you as a swarm of them can be deadly. 

Rare’s Sea of Thieves is currently available via Game Pass for Xbox Series X |S, Xbox One and PC. 

Richard Atkinson

Article Lead

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