Sea of Thieves: 5 Tips for Being the Ultimate Pirate

The Sea of Thieves can be a harsh place for fledgling swashbuckler.

Rare’s new pirate sandbox adventure game throws you in the unforgiving world of pirate life without any life vest or even a tutorial, so it’s up to you the navigate yourself and your crew to pirate infamy. Thankfully, we put together some handy tips you should know before heading out to sea.

Know your factions and always be prepared

In of Sea of Thieves, you’ll pick up different voyages to go on from three different factions, the Gold Hoarders, Order of the Souls, and Merchant Alliance. Each voyage involves having you and crew sail around in dig up treasure chest, hunt down some skeletons, or capture livestock in order to turn in for gold and reputation that’ll unlock new cosmetic gear for your pirate and your ship. As you gain rep, the voyages become more elaborate requiring to solve a riddle or bounce around between a couple of islands in order to complete your objective. So stock up on bananas for health, wooden planks for repairs and cannonballs to fend off any bloodthirsty brigands.

Ship Sailing 101: the anchor is your friend, so is the wind

Once you’ve figured out where you're sailing, there are a few things you should know about that’ll make your life easier on the seven seas.

First off, raise your anchor while your sails are still up. This will let you steer your ship in any direction without bumping into a pesky dock or some inconveniently placed rocks.

When you’re ready to drop your sails, you have the option of adjusting the angle at which you can turn your sails. This is key for gaining top speed at sea. Occasionally visible wind gusts will appear and if you simply have a crew member adjust the sails to catch these gusts, your ship will move considerably faster.

One last fun tip for the anchor: if you need to quickly turn around at sea, drop your anchor while turning fully in any direction and your whip your ship around in a 180 degree turn, essentially using your anchor as an emergency brake.

Communication is key

Unless you’re sailing alone, life as a pirate will be a lot easier with friends on board. Though the smaller Sloop ship is easier to sail on your own or with a buddy, the Galleon requires a lot more coordination, don’t be afraid to bark out orders to your crewmates.

Whoever is at the helm won't be able to see through drawn sails, and will need someone to perch in the crow’s nest to make sure they don’t sail into anything. When dealing with a rival pirate ship, the team that wins is usually the team with a better plan. This means you also need someone manning the sails and the anchor, and someone playing a utility role making sure your cannons are loaded or patching up the ship during a battle. This type of coordination can make the difference between standing afloat and victorious and sinking down to Davey Jones’ locker. 

Death is common, so turn in rewards often

Sea of Thieves can often be a pretty brutal game and death is a common occurrence when you live the pirate life. So if you got poisoned by a cobra or shot in a face with a cannonball, you’ll end up on the Ferry of the Damned. Think of it as a sort of purgatory that you have to stay for a bit before you respawn back on your ship, assuming it hasn’t sunk. If it did sink, you and your ship will respawn at the nearby island, good as new. Unfortunately, any rare treasure you may have accumulated on your voyage will be left floating in the ocean at the last place your ship was before it sank, up for grabs. So be careful and turn in your rewards before other bloodthirsty players do it for you.

Keep an eye out for adventure

Half the of fun of Sea of Thieves is going out into the wild blue yonder and getting into all sorts of trouble. From messages in bottles, sunken treasure to epic battles against waves of skeletons, there’s an adventure to be had behind every rogue wave. It’s always good to have someone in crow’s nest with binoculars to point any points of interest or potential ship to raid. You have the freedom to do what you want, and if you have someone who isn’t down with the program, you can literally vote unruly crewmembers to the brig for some pirate justice.

Credit: Microsoft

Jorge Jiminez is a reporter, game critic, and writer from New Jersey with more than 10 years of experience. He writes primarily for PCGamer, although his work has appeared on other sites, including Tom's Guide, DualShockers, WCCFTech, and more. He specializes in reviewing games and gaming hardware, and greatly enjoys Pop-Tarts.