Fancy getting your sea legs and starting up a voyage in Sea of Thieves? If you’re new to the game, look no further than our Starter Guide to help you through the start of the game and onto your grand adventures – whether playing alone or with friends.
First things first, you’ll need a decent looking mug if you want to be roving the seas. While the game is primarily first person (except when emoting), your character is how others will see you in the world.
You’ll be given your pick among a roving circle of pirates of both male and female. They come in all sizes and shapes, sporting tattoos or scars – and you’ll need to pick the one that you fancy the most.
Note that once you pick a character, you cannot pick again without deleting your pirate and all of your progress; although you can customize your outfit, hair styles, and add vanity items later on.
If you don’t like the current slot of randomized pirates, you can summon a new batch, and hold some by adding them as favorites while you compare them against newly added avatars until you can finally decide which one is for you.
After you’ve created a decent looking sea dog, your next step is to choose the kind of adventure you want to go on. Your first task is choosing the kind of ship you want to be on – and by extension how many crew mates you want to rove the seas with.
By choosing a Galleon, you’ll be paired up with two or three more characters up to a crew of three or four. This can be either with friends from your friend list, or you can be paired up with a random crew. The Galleon is a fair-sized ship, and needs a bigger crew to man it effectively. To compensate, it has the most amount of cannons, a bigger hold, is more sturdier against attacks, and is unmatched in speed when sailing with the wind.
If you prefer the solo life or have just one matey you plan on sailing with, consider the Sloop. The Sloop only needs one person to man it, or you can join with a friend or random partner to divy up tasks. The Sloop is much smaller than the Galleon – but things on the ship are placed closer together to make multi-tasking easier, and while it can’t match the Galleon in full speed, it’s better at fast maneuvering and going against the wind.
Once you’ve selected your ship of choice, and selected who you want to play with (or go on your own), you’ll be ready to start your pirate adventure.
As you begin your session, and every time you rejoin the game, you’ll be placed in a random Outpost upon the Sea of Thieves. If you’re playing with friends, they’ll all show up on the same island – but where in the wide world you’ll be can change to a number of islands.
The tavern you start in is a great place for getting warmed up, bantering with your pals, and drinking grog. It’s also where a Mysterious Stranger lurks in the back – be sure to go back and visit him once you’ve gained some reputation with each of the Trading Companies.
You’ll have three different inventories so to speak: Your Item Inventory, Weapons, and Map Inventory. Both Items and Maps are located in separate radial menus, while weapons can be swapped with (Y) on the controller and the mousewheel on the PC.
As it happens, you have one map in your possession – the one you grabbed at the start of the game. You can lift it up and inspect it, and also turn it around for a small objective: Find a Trading Company and seek your fortune.
EditThe Lay of the Land
Outside the tavern, you’ll find that every Outpost has a few necessities. Each of these islands has small merchant shacks: The Equipment Shop, General Clothing Shop, Weaponsmith’s Shop, and the Shipwright Shop.
Each of these stores can be accessed to purchase cosmetic skins for the items you already possess in your inventory, and for your ship. You’ll note that they’re pretty costly – and you’re pretty broke.
There are also many cosmetic skins that can only be purchased once you have a good reputation with different Trading Companies!
There are three Trading Companies on each of the Outpost islands: The Gold Hoarders, the Order of Souls, and the Merchants Alliance. If you have trouble locating them, just look for the nearby signposts:
The Gold Hoarders are marked by the yellow key, often found in a small tent.
The Order of Souls is marked by the purple diamond, located on the first floor of a building wreathed in baubles.
The Merchants Alliance is marked by a blue wheel, and is often along the docks by the Shripwright.
Your main adventures in Sea of Thieves will revolve around completing tasks for these different companies. The tasks they perform and the rewards they give are all different. The Gold Hoarders require you to chase down buried treasure and often follow treasure maps or solve riddles. The Order of Souls needs the skulls of powerful skeletons, requiring you to do battle with bony baddies. The Merchants Alliance is all about finding and ferrying cargo to customers as fast as possible.
Each of the companies will sell you Voyages – or quests. These will start out easy, but slowly rise in complexity and difficulty as your reputation increases with them. You can hold three at a time, but be warned: If you log out or are kicked for being idle, you won’t have the Voyages when you log back in.
Once you and your friends have grabbed a few good-looking Voyages, it’s time to set sail. Follow the anchor signpost to the docks where your ship is ready and waiting.
Oh no – is your ship not there? If ever your ship is sunk or even stolen by no-good rapscallions – fret not! Just scan the banks of the shore for a blue flare, and follow the sirens call to find a mermaid or merman. Speaking to them will warp you to wherever your ship might be – and if it’s at the bottom of the ocean, you’ll appear near your resurrected ship at a new island.
As you board your ship, take note of its layout. The Galleon and Sloop differ slightly in placement, but the commodities remain the same. Cannons line the main deck, and the wheel and anchor nearby. Near them are the mast lines for furling and unfurling the sails.
Down below in midship you’ll find the voyage table and main map – while you may find treasure maps in your travels, the world map must remain on the ship at all times.
Below deck you’ll find the rest of your belongings tucked into weapons and vanity chests – and barrels will be stocked with provisions you might need like bananas, cannonballs, and wood planks. You can find more of these in barrels on most any island to resupply on your travels.
To begin your voyage, you and any crewmates you are with must place your chosen voyage on the side table. Once placed, you can view each others missions, and vote on which task you want to undertake first. The winning vote will begin your voyage, and place necessary quest items like treasure maps in your inventory.
The location to your goal is usually vague and missing island names – so you’ll have to consult the main map, or have a friend hold the treasure map up to you as you compare the landmarks against the larger backdrop.
When you’ve found you’re heading – all that’s left is to set sail. If you’re going alone, you’ll have to do it yourself – which requires reeling in the anchors by holding down the prompt. With the anchor away, unfurl the sails using the ropes on either side of the ship. Finally, take the helm and start spinning that wheel to match the heading to the place you desire. The galleon can turn a lot farther using the wheel but goes slowly, while the Sloop is much faster with shorter turns.
If you ever get off-balance in turning, remember to look for the gold-studded peg that denotes the center position for the ship’s wheel – you’ll hear a clank each time you pass over it, and it can help you set a steady course.