Sea of Thieves – Beginners Guide to Game Basics

The guide covers a basic intro to the game for people who have not yet decided to buy the game as well as most of the main gameplay mechanics to get newer players used to the Seas.

Before you Buy!

This section is devoted to the people who have not yet bought Sea of Thieves, but would like to know more about the game before they make their purchase.

First things first: I will cover a few issues that seem to pop up often:

  • Sea of Thieves is only available for the Windows 10 Operating System on PC – This means that the game will not run on previous versions of Windows or on other operating systems like Mac or Linux.
  • You will need to link your Steam account with a Microsoft Account – Sea of Thieves was initially developed for the XBOX One and Windows 10 platforms, due to which, all Player Pirates are named after their Xbox Account Gamertag. Choose your name carefully, as changing your Gamertag costs money.
  • You can Demo the game through the Microsoft Store – This is one of the more useful tips for many, who are on the fence about the game. Sea of Thieves can be downloaded and played as a part of the Xbox Gamepass. For those who have not yet tried the Gamepass and would like to try out Sea of Thieves, they can sign up for a 14-day free trial of the Gamepass and play the game free. All progress achieved during the trial will be saved on your Microsoft Account and carry over to the Steam version.
  • Sea of Thieves is always online – Make sure you have a steady internet connection to play this game, as it cannot be run offline. Sea of Thieves is a primarily online experience that values emergent encounters with other Players on the Seas.
  • You will need to repurchase Sea of Thieves on Steam even if you already own it on Microsoft Store or Xbox – Steam offers an alternative platform to play Sea of Thieves on and will need to be repurchased if you already own the game. However…
  • If you already have a Pirate in Sea of Thieves, all of your in-game progress and achievements carry over to the Steam version – If you already have played Sea of Thieves, but are thinking of moving over to the Steam version, fear not, as all of your Account progress is saved on your Xbox Account, which is still used to log-in to the game’s servers.
  • The game shares servers with Xbox One and Microsoft Store Players – Sea of Thieves is a cross-platform game, meaning that if you want to play together with your friends who don’t own the game on Steam, you can still Crew up with them. There is also an option in the settings menu to restrict your Servers to players from the same platforms. This is mainly useful for Xbox players who are not comfortable with playing against people not using the Controller.
  • Sea of Thieves can be played solo – While Sea of Thieves is often more fun with other Players, the game is completely viable to be played solo. Most of the content in-game can be taken on by solo pirates, however they require considerably more time and skill.
  • Sea of Thieves sessions can get long – For players who are not as knowledgeable or skilful as more experienced Pirates on the Seas, it should be stated that this game can require Players to log in for hours-long sessions if they want to experience everything that the game has to offer. This game can be enjoyed by people who don’t have much time to play and there are short Quests or Voyages that they can embark upon, but the more difficult content will usually require players to put aside a couple of hours, especially when players from other Crews are added into the mix, as these interruptions can lengthen already lengthy plans.
  • This game features emergent Player versus Player (PvP) elements – Adding to the “always online” element of the game, players should be aware that their main enemies on the Seas will be other Players. Each Sea of Thieves server has up to 6 Player Crews manning their own Ships and it is up to the Players of each Crew on how they want to play the game. Expect to get into fights when encountering other Ships, as not all Crews are willing to work together. If you are the sort of player who would get irritated by your progress being nullified by other players, then this may not be a game for you. This is one side of the Sea of Thieves debate, where many players are not happy about being attacked by other Crews. Despite this, there are communities out there, who organise “Fleet Servers” where all the ships will be allied to each other where more peaceful players can enjoy a safer experience. On the flip side…
  • Sea of Thieves PvP is fairly simple – This is an addendum to the other side of the Sea of Thieves debate. There are inevitably people who will want to focus on PvP on the seas, but for them, it should be noted that while there is a PvP system in the game, the selection of weapons is small and the system might not be as refined as other PvP focused First Person Shooters. There are a lot PvP oriented people who are not satisfied with the competition or game-mechanics. This is not to say that the game is not fun, but it may not be as engaging as other PvP oriented games.
  • Sea of Thieves has amazing accessibility options – One of the good things about Sea of Thieves is that the developers want to include as many gameplay and accessibility options as possible and are always listening to player feedback. The game includes various options, toggles and sliders for players of all sorts, allowing them to customise nearly everything. This should help players with various visual or physical impairments to still play and enjoy the game.
  • If you are interested in taking part of the Insider Testing Programme, be prepared to have room for a second client on your hard drive – Sea of Thieves has an “Insider Programme” that players can sign up for to test upcoming content and receive in-game rewards, but if they wish to do so, they will have to put aside enough hard drive space for a “second install” of Sea of Thieves, as the test client is in a separate build from the main client.

What is Sea of Thieves?

The Gist of It:

Sea of Thieves is a fairly unique video game in the fairly niche “Pirate Game” genre. Sea of Thieves takes place in the golden age of piracy in the magical titular Seas surrounded by a thick killer fog that keeps the outer world away. The Sea of Thieves is a pirate’s paradise, where anyone can make a name for themselves by gathering Treasure, defeating mystical foes or beasts, discovering all the locations and history of the region or simply looking around for adventure! The game should interest anyone who has previously enjoyed other Pirate Games like Sid Meier’s Pirates, Pirates of the Carribean titles, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag or even the Monkey Island series – Sea of Thieves is influenced by all these games. It mixes the charming visual style of Monkey Island with the open-seas RPG elements of Pirate Games like Questing, Ship management, Melee & Ship Combat, Island discovery, Treasure Hunting and much, much more. Sea of Thieves manages to pull all of this off in a modern way, leaving the gameplay open to emergent player encounters.

The nature of Sea of Thieves is open-ended and emergent. This means that any Player can take command of a Ship and do whatever they want. Players can either play solo or with a crew of up to four people. Aside from Skeletal Foes or the mythical Beasts that populate the Sea of Thieves, the only other Ships and Crews that Players will encounter on the seas are those of other Player Pirates. It is up to every Crew on what they want to do and how they want to interact with other crews. Players can decide to work together and share their loot and riches, or they can simply take on any opposing Ship and Crew, fight and sink them and take their hard-earned loot for themselves. The emergent nature of contact between Crews guarantees that no two sessions start or end the same, there is always the element of other Pirates and their own motives.

One of the charms of Sea of Thieves is that it combines modern game design with some old-fashioned ideas. For example, the game tries to be as accessible to as many people as possible, while still keeping an air of mystery around its game mechanics. All players will go through an introductory Maiden Voyage, followed by an Onboarding Voyage on the Seas themselves to get acquainted with the basic mechanics, but it will do its best to not tell Players how to do everything and leave it all up for discovery and word-of-mouth. In this game, knowledge is power. The game is designed in a way where all players have equal opportunities and tools available for them, but trusts them to find out for themselves how these tools can be utilised on the seas. Every mistake is the player’s or crew’s own and all that they can do is to learn from them. The more players learn about how different mechanics and elements work, the better they will become at the game. The more ways they know how things can go wrong, the less likely they are to run into potential troubles. The game rewards attentiveness and understanding as well as skill. A good Crew will use their knowledge of the game against the environment and other players and overcome all and any difficulties. The interesting thing about the game leaving many mechanics in the dark is that Players are just as likely to spread myths and rumours about the Seas as actually accurate information, which is well welcomed by the game community itself.

Before Setting Sail

This section of the Guide will cover the main features before setting sail on the Seas themselves.

Infinite Pirate Generator

Pick your Pirate wisely, for this will be the only one you get! – Every new player of Sea of Thieves will first be greeted by the “Infinite Pirate Generator” where they will be able to choose their Player Pirate. Players cannot customise the body type, features or gender of their Pirate once they have made their decision, which is why this choice needs considerable thought. If players are not satisfied with the round of Pirate models that they received, they can press the “Page Down” key for the game to generate them a new round of Pirates. Players can also press the “1” key to set favourites for later. Once players found their suitable Pirate, they can select it and continue to the Sea of Thieves.

This Pirate Model will become your Player Pirate for all sessions. If players want to reroll their Pirate, they will have to delete the character with all in-game progress and create a new one, or purchase a Pirate Appearance Potion from the Pirate Emporium for Ancient Coins (which can be purchased for real money or rarely found in-game via Ancient Skeletons).

The main features that stick with Player Pirate Models and cannot be changed later are as follows:

  • Their gender
  • Their body type (skinny, fit, chubby, etc.)
  • Their skin colour
  • Their natural hair colour
  • Their eye colour
  • Various imperfections like scars, beauty marks, skin spots, eye shadow, lack of an eye or stubble

Game Types & Crews

There are two Game Modes in Sea of Thieves: Adventure and Arena. Both of these game modes allow Players to select between different Ship sizes and Crew types.

Crew Types

The Crew type determines what types of people the player will be playing with. Crew Type can always be changed in-game through the Game Options menu.

  • Open Crews – Open Crews pit Players together with other Open Crew players. If you do not wish to sail alone and are fine to be paired up with whomever, select Open Crew to immediately Crew up with other people
  • Closed Crews – Closed Crews only allow specific people to join a Player on the Seas. In a Closed Crew, a player will always spawn on the Seas alone and can only be joined by Friends. If one does not wish to sail with other people, they should go for a Closed Crew as well.

Ship types

Every Crew will have their own Ship on the seas by default. Choosing the type of Ship determines the possible size of the Crew and the difficulty of managing the vessel.

  • Sloop – Sloops can be crewed by up to two people. This small ship is ideal for solo or duo sessions, as it can effectively be sailed by just one person alone. Sloops also take quite a while to sink, giving players time to manage repairs while sailing.
  • Brigantine – Brigantines can be crewed by up to three people. This ship is relatively fast, but more difficult to handle alone. Additionally, Brigantines are the fastest to sink.
  • Galleon – The largest Ship, Galleons can be crewed by up to four people. This Ship is slow to maneuver, but fast to sail. Galleons are difficult to manage alone, or even by two people, requiring at least three people on board for most efficient sailing.

Game Modes

As stated above, Players can choose between Adventure Mode or Arena Mode.

  • Adventure Mode is where the core game takes place. Adventure Mode throws players into The Sea of Thieves to make a name for themselves. Adventure Mode servers can include up to 6 Crews/Ships who all have their own goals or motives on the seas.
  • Arena Mode is a competitive game mode. Arena mode pitches up to five Sloop or Galleon Crews against each other in a constrained portion of the map. Players will compete for “Silver” points by digging up chests or fighting and sinking each other’s ships in 15 minute matches. It is recommended to try this game mode out, when Players are more comfortable with the sailing and combat mechancis of the game.
  • Maiden Voyage – While not technically a separate Game Mode, this is where all new Pirates find themselves before reaching the Sea of Thieves. The Maiden Voyage acts as the main introduction to the game and its base mechanics. This Voyage also has hidden secrets for players to uncover. Players can always return to redo the Maiden Voyage from the Main Menu.

On the Seas!

The next sections cover the main in-game mechanics of Sea of Thieves starting with a general introduction to Game Sessions.

Starting a Session

Every player starts every session on equal grounds!

Sea of Thieves is quite unique among its peers in that there isn’t a linear progression system for Player’s equipment or items. Everything that you start your first session with, you will have with you at every session. There are no mechanical upgrades to your Ships, Weapons or Equipments. This ensures that all players are on an equal grounding at all times and that there are no boosts that would give someone an unfair advantage. All improvements to Player’s equipments and Ships are purely Cosmetic and it is these Cosmetic items that players will gather Resources for. This system ensures that players will have advantages based on skill and knowledge instead. To balance these equal grounds, most Items have unique ways or methods in which they can be used and these methods are not told to you by the game. The game expects players to explore and find out for themselves or learn from others how things work.

Outposts

Every session starts at an Outpost Tavern. On Outposts, Players have access to the Trading Companies with whom they can earn Reputation by completing Quests or Voyages and selling Company-specific Treasure for them. The Reputation Ranks with Trading Companies form the main linear progression system of the game. Every 5 or 10 levels, players can earn Promotions with the company, gaining access to Company-specific Cosmetics. Aside from Trading Companies, Players can also find various Shops on Outposts. These Shops sell Cosmetic skins for your Equipment, Clothing, Weapon and Ship Items. These are mainly purchased with Gold that is earned by selling Treasure or working for Trading Companies.

Pirate Legends

Players are also guided to become a Pirate Legend – a title that is rewarded to anyone who has reached a Promotion level of 50 with at least three Companies. Pirate Legends have access to the secret Pirate Legend Hideout where they can aquire more complex Voyages or buy legendary Cosmetics.

Treasure

Gathering and selling Treasure acts as the main method of earning Reputation Ranks and Gold. Treasure can be found all over the Sea of Thieves and is the main thing that Players risk to lose on the Seas when their Ship sinks. While Gold, and Reputation carry over between Sessions, any gathered Treasure does not. As such, the main motivation of Player Crews is to go on Voyages to acquire, battle for or steal Treasure and then return it to the Trading Companies for Gold that they can then spend on fancy Cosmetics.

The Dock & the Ship

The final element of note on Outposts is the Dock, where every Crew’s Ship is stationed. In Sea of Thieves, players do not need to buy or upgrade Ships like in other Pirate Games. They will always start with the type of Ship they selected from the Menu. The Ship acts as a portable base for the whole Crew, holding Barrels for storing Supplies and various Chests where Players can change their loadouts and Cosmetics. When a Ship Sinks, it will appear anew with stock Supplies at a random point in Sea of Thieves. When a Player gets too far away from their Ship, a Mermaid will appear in the Seas, willing to swim them back aboard. A sunk ship will take all of the gathered Supplies with it and any Treasure stored on the Ship will float to the top until it starts to sink after about 5 minutes.As such, Crews are tasked with taking care of their Ships, because it is not only their spawn point, but their main method of transporting Treasure between the Seas and Outposts.

Player Death

Whenever players die, they get sent to the Ferry of the Damned, where they can interact with the ghosts of any other dead player pirates. The Ferryman is willing to let Pirates back into the Seas after they have served their time on the Ferry (approximately 30 seconds). Players get taken back to their Ship when they respawn. Before they get sent to the Ferry, Players can also be revived for a short time.

These are the main gameplay elements of Sea of Thieves. The next sections explain all the various Items that Players get to take with them on the Seas.

Equipment

Players will acquire all of their Equipment Items during the Maiden Voyage. These Items will stay with them for the rest of the game. Players can select to equip any Equipment item at any time. There are various Cosmetic variations for all of these items.

The following is a list of all the player’s Equipment and their main uses:

  • Compass – The Compass is mainly used to determine your compass direction (duh!) and will see use while sailing and on land. Every Ship’s Helm has an additional Compass for the Captain to determine the Ship’s orientation. The game often requires people to be able to determine their compass heading when trying to solve Treasure Maps. But did you know that you can take a closer look at the Compass with secondary interact to walk and count steps? It is very useful when trying to solve Riddle Maps that require you to face a certain way and count your paces to buried Treasure.
  • Bucket – The Bucket is undeniably useful on the Ship for bailing water out when leaks or Fire are present, but it also has other uses. First of all, when on fire, Players can throw water on themselves to douse the flames. Players can also use filled buckets to bail water on other ships or weaken Golden Skeletons. But did you know that when players get Sick, they can catch their own Vomit in the Bucket and throw it at other People to make them sick and blur their vision. Players can also douse fires with Vomit.
  • Lantern – The Lantern has quite a few uses aside from lighting your way. You can use it to light Beacons or Campfires, but it is also useful in fighting Shadow Skeletons who don’t take any damage at night unless lanternlight is raised at them. Aside from this though, players can acquire various coloured Flames of Fate for their Lanterns. In order to get a flame of fate for their Lantern, players need to die in a specific way and then raise their Lantern at the beacon in the middle of the Ferry of the Damned. These coloured lanterns can be used to relight Lanterns on their Ship by raising their coloured Lantern at any Ship Lantern. Players can also turn off Lanterns on their Ship to be less visible at night.
  • Shovel – The Shovel is used for digging up things, mostly buried treasure. The locations of buried Treasure are mostly marked on Treasure Maps and require the combined use of Compass and Landmarks. Players can also dig up Bait that is used for Fishing different Fish. This will be covered in a future Fishing Guide.
  • Spyglass – The Spyglass is used to look further ahead on seas. It can be used to determine the nature of various threats. Skeleton Ships and Player Emissary Ships play distinct tunes when investigated on the seas. The Spyglass has a weakness in that it will always reflect the Sun or Moonlight, meaning that using a Spyglass will also reveal your location with a white glint.
  • Pocket Watch – The Pocket Watch is mainly used to tell the current time and date. The Pocket Watch is needed for Merchant Voyages that usually have a set time, date and location where Goods need to be delivered. An expired Contract cannot be turned in. Every day lasts for 24 minutes on the Sea of Thieves, with each hour corresponding to 1 minute. Trading Companies reset their Voyages every morning at 6am, whereas Sea Post Traders reset their stock at midnight. If you are having trouble determining whether it is morning or evening, use your Compass to see if the Sun is East or West. The Sun rises East and sets West.
  • Fishing Rod – The Fishing Rod is used to fish, well, fish! Different kinds of Fish are found at different locations and require different types of Bait. Look for the Hunter’s Call Reputation Menu for tips on where to find specific Fish and what Bait they like.
  • Speaking Trumpet – The Speaking Trumpet is used to enhance your voice. If you hold the Speaking Trumpet up, your voice is louder and can be heard from farther away. Usually used by people to talk to Crews on other Ships. Note that voice communication used to be on by default, so make sure you go to the game settings and toggle push-to-talk if you don’t wish your microphone to announce your presence to everyone.
  • Tankard – The Tankard is used to store Grog, which is used to get drunk. The Tankard mainly serves a social function. Tankards can be refilled at Taverns or Grog Barrels in ships. Drunk players start to sway uncontrollably, get blurred vision, start to vomit and play instruments out of tune. Great for a laugh. Vomit can be caught in Buckets to throw on other people.
  • Instruments – There are four Instruments in the game: The Concertina, Hurdy-Gurdy, Drum & Banjo. These are used for playing sea shanties. Every Shanty has the lead melody player and backing instruments. The one to start playing a Shanty will be the lead instrument. Other Players can join in as backing instruments. If the lead stops playing, another player will pick up the tune as the lead instrument instead. All instruments can be used to play together.

Weapons

As with Equipment, Players will acquire all of their Weapons during the Maiden Voyage. While Players get to play around with just the Cutlass and Flintlock Pistol during the Voyage, they can later switch their weapon loadout at any Outpost or their Ship’s Armoury. Players can only carry 2 weapons at a time. Every firearm has 5 ammo. Firearm ammunition can be restocked at the Ship’s Ammo Chest.

The following is a list of all the player’s Weapons:

  • Cutlass – As the main melee weapon on the Seas, the Cutlass is a versatile weapon. The Left Mouse Button can be used to perform up to three strike Combos, each dealing damage equal to a quarter of a Player’s health. When held down, Players can perform a sword lunge that leaps ahead, dealing damage equal to a little over half a Player’s health. The Right Mouse Button is used for Blocking and Evading. Blocking is only useful against other Cutlass attacks. When players jump to the sides during a block, they can perform evasive leaps. Expert players use the Cutlass Lunge to leap to larger distances. This leap is especially effective at jumping into the seas. For this manoeuver, a player needs to start a sword lunge on the side of a cliff or a beach and then jump at the last moment of the lunge, which will make them leap forward and cover a sizeable distance in the water at speed.
  • Flintlock Pistol – A balanced firearm that can be used in both close and mid-range combat. The Flintlock Pistol does approximately half a health-bar’s damage to other Players and is quick to reload, making it a great sidearm. Many players use the flintlock in combination with the Eye of Reach to finish off any players that took a hit from the Rifle.
  • Blunderbuss – The Blunderbuss is a close-combat firearm that shoots ten pellets in the shape of a cone. This weapon is only ever useful in close-quarters. The blunderbuss can kill a Player at full health if all 10 pellets hit. As such, it is advised to keep a distance from any players using the Blunderbuss. The Blunderbuss is an excellent weapon to guard your Ship’s ladders from enemy crew boarders as it also knocks back enemies.
  • Eye of Reach – The Eye of Reach is a scoped rifle, excellent for taking down enemies at a distance. The cracks on the Scope act as a viewfinder, but have the same weakness as the Spyglass in that the scope reflects sun and moonlight and reveals the location of the Rifleman. A single shot from the Eye of Reach does damage equal to three-quarters of a Player’s Health.

The Ship

The Crew’s Ship is essentially a part of the Player’s Equipment, staying with them throughout the Session, acting as a spawn point and a “hold” for all gathered Supplies and Treasure. All three Ship types have the same features, with the main difference being the number of players needed to sail the Ship effectively.

Note that Ships can be Scuttled or voluntarily Sunk if you find yourself in a difficult situation and want to respawn in a different location. Scuttling is voted on in the Game Options menu, accessed by pressing the Escape key.

The following is a list of all the Crew’s Ship’s elements:

  • The Hull – This is what surrounds your Ship. The Hull can be damaged by Cannonballs, Explosives and Storms. Any damage in Hulls appears as holes that will start letting seawater through. Players need to repair holes with Wooden Planks and use their Bucket to get rid of excess water. If the water fills the Ship up to the top deck, the Ship sinks. Hulls can be customised with various Cosmetic liveries at an Outpost Dock.
  • The Wheel – Also called the “Helm”, the Wheel is used to steer your ship left and right. Every Wheel is accompanied by a mounted Compass to help the user determine the ship’s heading. Larger Ships require more rotations of the wheel, making them more difficult to manoeuver. Wheels can take damage from Cannonballs and Explosions, losing pins. A broken wheel is even harder to turn and needs to be fixed with Wooden Planks. Wheels can be customised with various cosmetic skins at an Outpost Dock.
  • Sails – Each Sails have three interactable features to them: The Mast, the sail Length Cleat and the Sail Angle Pulley that rope the Sails to the sides of the Hull. Sails are used to control the Ship’s speed. The Length Cleat is used to lower and raise sails to lower or raise the Ship’s sailing speed. The Angle Pulley is used to turn the sails left and right to help them catch the wind and gain speed. Larger ships have more Sails that require more hands to be handled effectively. Every main-mast of the Ship has a ladder that leads up to the Crow’s Nest that houses the Ship’s Flag Box. The Masts can take damage from Cannonballs and Explosions and break, after which the Mast needs to be pulled up from the length cleats and repaired. The sailcloth can be cusotmised with various cosmetic skins at an Outpost Dock.
  • Cannons – Cannons are used to shoot Cannonballs or Bombs, or Players. Cannons are most useful in Ship Combat. Players can shoot themselves out of Cannons to cover large distances.
  • Capstan – The Capstan is what holds your Ship’s Anchor. Every Ship starts out with the Capstan lowered. The Capstan needs to be raised for the Ship to be able to sail. The Capstan is the main target of most boarders as it completely stops the Ship’s movements. Raising anchor takes time and makes Crewmates vulnerable. Players can use the Capstan to perform anchor turns at higher sailing speeds if they push their wheel to the side and drop the anchor. The Capstan can take damage from Cannonballs and Explosions, losing pegs in the process. The larger the ship, the slower the anchor is to raise, needing more hands to get it up faster. The Capstan can be cusotmised with various cosmetic skins at an Outpost Dock.
  • Harpoon – Every Ship has two Harpoons mounted on the front of the Ship. These can be used in various ways. The Harpoon can be used to add maneuverability to the ship by hitting Landmarks and pulling the ship on the side to perform quick turns. The Harpoons can also be used to turn a ship around faster by shooting the ground in shallow waters and pulling the ship to the side. Another use is to Harpoon enemy Ships and get closer to them or anchor them by lowering your anchor while holding on to their ship. Any Harpoon attatchments can be disconnected by attacking the Harpoon gun. The Harpoon can also be used to grab any Treasure items or Players back to your Ship. The Harpoon cannot be customised as of yet.
  • Figurehead – Serves a purely cosmetic purpose, can be cusotmised with various cosmetic skins at an Outpost Dock.
  • Ship Flag Box – Placed on top of the Crow’s Nest on the main-mast of a Ship. The Flag box can be used to raise a Flag. Out of the regular flags, only the Flag of the Reaper’s Mark has an unique effect in that it displays your Ship on every Map Table. Alliance Flags can be used to form Player Alliances. Any Ship that has the “Offer Alliance” Pennant up, can be joined with into an Alliance if the Ships are close enough. Allied Ships can see each other on the Map Tables and share any Gold and Reputation Gains from sold Treasure. 50% of all rewards are shared with Allied Ships (while your own crew gets 100%). Players can also sail as Trading Company Emissaries by raising an Emissary Flag, but these require to be raised at Emissary Tables on Outposts. Players can buy additional Flags at an Outpost Dock.
  • Lanterns – Every Ship has numerous Lanterns on it. The flame of each Lantern can be unlit or changed to a different coloured Flame. Coloured Flames of Fate are rewarded in the Ferry of the Damned if players die in specific ways. These flames need to be picked up by raising the lantern at the central Beacon on the Ferry. Many players prefer to get rid of any lantern flames on top decks to make their ship less visible on the seas, especially at night.
  • Resource Barrels – Every Ship has three types of Resource Barrels for storing supplies. The Cannonball Barrel can store any Cannonballs or Throwables. The Food Barrel can store any Food type items and the Wood Barrel stores Wooden Planks.
  • Map Table – Every Ship has a Map Table that can be used to take a look at the Map of Sea of Thieves. The Map Table can be zoomed in and out on to see Island Names. The Map Table shows your Ship’s location and travel history at all times. Players can leave Map Markers with the Left Mouse Button.
  • Voyage Table – Every Ship also has a Voyage table, where Player Crews can put up Voyages or Tall Tale Quests for voting. If a Voyage receives enough votes it will become the active Quest for the Crew. Voyages can also be cancelled at this table by a majority vote.
  • Rowboat Dock – At the back of every Ship, there is a small dock that can hold a single Rowboat. Rowboats can be found beached on Islands in Sea of Thieves. Rowing a rowboat behind your ship will offer a prompt to Dock the Rowboat. Rowboats are useful for hauling Treasure, especially if your Ship sinks, as Rowboats do not sink with Ships.
  • Water Barrel – The Water Barrel can store up to three bucket’s worth of water. Mainly used to quickly get water to put out Fires. Additional water can be pumped in the Barrel.
  • Stove – The Stove is used to cook Food. Players can put any Food items on the Stove, but only Fish or Meat can be cooked. All other Food items will become burnt. Cooked Food will give players health regeneration effects aside from health restoration. When items are left to cook for too long, the Stove will cause a Fire on the Ship.
  • Brig – The Brig is the solitary jail cell of a Ship. If a player is misbehaving, the Crew can vote to lock them in the Brig from the Game Options Crew Menu.
  • Cosmetic Chests – Every ship has all the required Chests necessary to change your Cosmetic skins or Weapon loadout. These are the Clothing Chest, Vanity Chest, Equipment Chest, Pet Chest, Armoury and Ammo Chest.
  • Bells – There are various Bells on Ships that can be used to notify your Crew. Bells are usually used as an indicators of Storms, as it will start ringing uncontrollably with the winds in heavy storms.
  • Grog Barrel – Used to refill a Player’s Tankard.

Resource Items

Resource Items are one of the few items that Players do not get to keep throughout Sessions. Every Ship starts out with a handful of stock resources of each type to prepare the Crew for their adventures. Resources are mainly found inside Barrels that can be found all over the Sea of Thieves. All Resource Items can individually be offered to other Pirates by holding down the Right Mouse Button.

The following section lists all of the Resource Items and their main uses.

Food Items

Food items are important to have on hand, as these are the main items to replenish or restore your health with. Players can carry up to 5 pieces of Food items on them at any time.

  • Fruit – There are five types of Fruit with varying healing powers in-game. Every Ship starts out with 8 Bananas per barrel (in Arena, Ships start out with Coconuts instead). Fruit can be found from Barrels, or simply laying around on beaches or floating on Shipwrecks. Pineapples are the rarest Fruit and are special in that they can be used twice to restore oneself to full health.
  • Meat – All fleshy Creatures of Sea of Thieves drop raw Meat. Each Meat item has two bites worth of substance. Eating meat Raw does not give a big health boost and will make the Player sick. Instead, it is recommended to cook the Meat at a Campfire or the Ship’s Stove. Cooked meat will heal quite a significant amount of health and will also provide players with a health regeneration effect. Health Regeneration kicks in after players have not sustained any further damage for 5 seconds. Animals that die to Fire mostly leave behind burnt meat, but can also drop cooked meat. Meat of all levels can be found inside sunken Shipwrecks, Flotsam Barrels, Storage Crates or Rowboat Chests. Cooked Meat can be sold for Gold and Reputation to The Hunter’s Call Company on Sea Posts.
  • Fish – Fish is mostly caught with a Fishing Rod, but they can also be found in Shipwreck or Flotsam Barrels, Storage Crates or Rowboat Chests. As with Meat, Fish can be cooked to receive health regeneration effects. Fish can be sold for Gold and Reputation to The Hunter’s Call Company on Sea Posts. Some Fish are worth quite a considerable amount of money, so they are best sold instead of eaten.
  • Bait – While Bait is mostly used to catch fish, it can also be used as Food. Bait only heals 10% of a Player’s health and makes them sick and throw up. Players can carry up to 10 Bait in their Inventories (and one on the Fishing Rod) though, making this extra food, if no other Food can be found.

Cannonballs & Throwables

  • Cannonballs are used in combination with Cannons to damage Ships or Enemies. Players can carry up to 10 Cannonballs in their inventory at one time.
  • Cursed Cannonballs – These come in two types, Purple and Green and are rare finds from Barrels or other Resource Containers. Purple Cursed Cannonballs are used to curse various aspects of Enemy Ships. Green Cursed Cannonballs are used to curse Enemy Crews with various ailments. Players can carry up to 10 Cursed Cannonballs on top of regular Cannonballs.
  • Chainshot – These unique Cannonballs are mainly used to completely damage the Masts, Wheel or Capstan of a Ship. Chainshot do half the damage of Cannonballs to Ship Hulls and Players. Players can carry up to 5 Chainshot on them. A handful of Chainshot can be found in every Ship’s Cannonball Barrels.
  • Firebombs – Firebombs are Throwable Grenades that can either be thrown by hand or shot with a Cannon. Firebombs set things on Fire. Fire is especially deadly on Ships as it will slowly spread and damage all things around it if left unchecked. Players can carry up to 5 Throwables at a time. A handful of all Throwables is found in every Ship’s Cannonball Barrels.
  • Blunderbombs – Blunderbombs are Throwable Shrapnel Grenades that can be thrown by hand or shot with a Cannon. Blunderbombs push any hit players back and deal some damage. When shot at a Ship with a Cannon, a Blunderbomb will not damage the Ship, but will push it back and change its trajectory or facing. A handful of all Throwables is found in every Ship’s Cannonball Barrels.

Wooden Planks

Wooden Planks are used to repair the Ship. There are only currently one type of Wooden Planks in game. Wooden Planks can be found inside every Ship’s Wood Barrel or all over the Sea of Thieves. Players can carry up to 5 Planks at one time. One Wooden Plank is enough to repair one hole, crack or peg of damage. If players

Trading Companies & Factions

There are numerous Trading Companies and Factions in the Sea of Thieves that Player Pirates can work for to earn Reputation Ranks, Commendations and Promotions with. Each Trading Company is focused on a specific type of Treasure, Quest or other aspect of The Sea of Thieves. Most Trading Company Representatives can be found on every Outpost.

Trading Company Features

Trading Companies offer Player Pirates and Crews various services on the seas:

  • An opportunity for Crews to sell their Treasure for Gold and Reputation.
  • A set of Promotion Titles achieved by acquiring enough Reputation Ranks with the Companies.
  • Access to various Commendations (in-game achievements) that unlock Titles, or new Cosmetics for your Pirate.
  • Access to Voyages composed of themed Quests that send Crews on Adventures relevant to each Company. These Voyages lead Players to the type of Treasure the Company is interested in buying.
  • Access to Emissary Flags, which are hoisted to represent the Company on the seas in return for higher Gold and Reputation gains and high-value Quests.
  • Access to Company-specific themed Cosmetic Sets, including Equipment items, Costumes and Ship Cosmetics.
  • A way to become a Pirate Legend via reaching at least Reputation Rank 50 with any three companies.

The Companies

There are currently 8 Factions/Companies in Sea of Thieves that Players can earn Commendations or favour with. Any Commendation or Reputation Progress can be tracked from the Reputation Menu, accessed with the Tab Key.

Gold Hoarders

The Gold Hoarders are a greedy gold-loving, bunch serving the Gold Hoarder and his interest of amassing great hoards of Gold. Their Treasure of choice is locked Treasure Chests and valuable Trinkets. Gold Hoarders send Player Crews on Voyages composed of Riddle Maps and X Marks the Spot Maps. Those seeking favour, Reputation and Promotions with the Gold Hoarders can work themselves up to Rank 75. High ranking Gold Hoarders can show off unique Gold Hoarder Set Cosmetics, such as upgradable Compasses and Shovels, and Ship Cosmetics. Gold Hoarder followers also gain access to the Royal Sovereign Set. Gold Hoarder Representatives can be found at every Outpost, rubbing their hands together inside their Green and Gold Tents.

Order of Souls

The Order of Souls is a mystical company that desires control over the magical forces of The Sea of Thieves. Order of Souls Mystics send Crews on Bounty Voyages to hunt and kill Skeleton Captains for their cursed Skulls, for which they pay Gold and increase the Player’s Reputation with their company. Order of Souls use these Skulls to retrieve their memories, which they put on parchments that make up the majority of Maps in The Sea of Thieves. Those seeking favour, Reputation and Promotions with the Order of Souls can work themselves up to Rank 75. High ranking Order of Souls followers can show off unique Order of Souls Set Cosmetics, such as upgradable soul Tankards and Lanterns, and Ship Cosmetics. Those working for the Order of Souls can also gain access to the Rogue Sea Dog Set. Order of Souls Madames can be found at every Outpost, laying low in their gloomy purple tents.

Merchant Alliance

The Merchant Alliance are rogue merchants who value efficiency, quality and speed. They seek to control the Trade of The Sea of Thieves, by issuing orders for several types of Consignments, such as prized Animals, Cargo Crates, Trade Good Crates, Resource Crates, etc… Each of their Voyages order Players to pick up an order or find a certain valuable commodity on the seas and then deliver them to a specific NPC or Trader on the seas in good condition and by a set date and time. Those seeking the favour, Reputation and Promotions with the Merchant Alliance can work themselves up to Rank 75. High ranking Merchant Alliance followers can show off unique Merchant Alliance Set Cosmetics, such as upgradable Spyglasses and Pocket Watches, as well as Ship Cosmetics. Busy merchants can eventually also gain access to the Grand Admiral Set. Merchant Alliance Senior Traders can be found on the docks of each Outpost, impatiently waiting to give out their next assignments.

Reaper’s Bones

The Reaper’s Bones stand for true piracy on the seas. They seek to steal and plunder everything without limits, accepting any and all Treasure at their pirate haven on The Reaper’s Hideout. Reaper’s Bones do not offer Voyages and send Players as Emissaries to sink any other Trading Company representing Crew, claim their valuables and return them to The Servant of the Flame on the Hideout. Due to their rivalry with the other Companies, Reaper’s Bones do not have any representatives on Outposts, instead hiding Reaper’s Shrines there. Those seeking favour, Reputation and Promotions with the Reaper’s Bones have 75 Ranks they can progress through. High ranking Reaper’s Bones followers gain access to unique Reaper’s Bones Set Cosmetics, such as upgradable Cannons and Figureheads, as well as other Ship Cosmetics.

The Hunter’s Call

The Hunter’s Call is a Trading Company set up by the Megalodon-hunter Merrick, who sends Crews on the hunt of Animals, powerful Beasts and Fish. Hunter’s Call Representatives are found camped on Sea Posts, waiting for any Ships to bring them Fish and Meat, preferably cooked. The Hunter’s Call offer 50 Reputation Ranks with various Promotions and Commendations. The only Cosmetics offered by The Hunter’s Call are The Killer Whale Set Ship Cosmetics and Animal themed Tattoos.

Sea Dogs

The Sea Dogs value a fair and glorious fight on the Seas. They have separated themselves from the rest of the Trading Companies, by building a massive Arena in the center Peak of the Sea of Thieves, based in The Glorious Sea Dog Tavern on top of it. In the Arena, players can form teams against each other that compete for Sea Dog Chests in 15 minute organised matches. By playing in the competitions and earning Commendations, Player Pirates can work through 50 Reputation Ranks and Promotions, earning Glorious and Triumphant Sea Dog Set Cosmetics.

Athena’s Fortune

The Athena’s Fortune is a Legendary Trading Company set up by the equally legendary Pirate Lord. In order to join the Athena’s Fortune, players will have to achieve Rank 50 with three out of the 6 other Trading Companies, after which they are granted the title of Pirate Legend by the Mysterious Stranger in every Tavern. Pirate Legends can buy Athena’s Fortune Voyages that send Crews on longer, mixed Quests with the intent of finding high-value Athena’s Fortune Treasure items. After completing Commendations or investigating the hidden Athena’s Fortune Hideout, Pirate Legends can purchase various Legendary Cosmetics belonging to the Legendary and Ghost Set. Players can progress through 20 Reputation Ranks with Athena’s Fortune by selling Athena’s Treasure to the Mysterious Stranger or sailing as Athena’s Fortune Emissaries. Their Hideout can be accessed inside every Tavern if a Pirate knows the Legendary Shanty.

Bilge Rats

Less of a Trading Company and more of a faction of Adventurers, the Bilge Rats ditch the Reputation system in favour of achievable Commendations that send Player Crews to the newest and most exciting Adventures of the Seas. The Bilge Rats are represented by Duke in every Tavern, who also operates a Black Market, where players can buy various expensive Cosmetic Sets, Mercenary Voyages, claim favour with other Companies by buying Reputation levels or exchanging Bilge Rat Doubloons for Gold.

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Written by: Ed Keppler


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