The closed Beta for Sea of Thieves is here, but you might want to brush up on some tips, tricks, strategies, and secrets before heading out on the open seas. Hit the links to jump to each section:
The Beta will run for five days from January 24 (3am EDT) to January 31 (3am EDT). Access to the closed beta is open to those that signed up for the Insider Program before December 1 and those who have pre-ordered the game. If you participated in the Technical Alpha, you’ll have access too.
These tips are meant for players starting Sea of Thieves for the first time. And hey, even if you’ve played for a bit, you may find a few new details here or there!
EditFirst Things First
Whenever you begin, you’re going to want to stock up on items found on your current island. Find Bananas to help restore health, planks to help patch holes in your boat, and cannonballs for, well, your cannon.
Once you’re full, head back to the ship and drop them into the barrels found in the lower decks. Now you’ll always have some of these items handy and you’ll have room for the next time you leave the ship.
Communication is key, but it’s also important to know what everything is called, especially in quick and tense situations.
- Bow – Front of the ship.
- Stern – back of the ship.
- Hull – The main body of the ship (between bow and stern).
- Mast – The large wooden pole the holds up sails.
- Rigging – Rope that supports the sails and masts.
- Port – Left side of the ship (when facing bow).
- Starboard – Right side of the ship (when facing bow).
EditHow to Sail
Everyone likes to pretend they know what they’re doing at first but we all start somewhere. Understanding how to operate the ship can come a long way. Keep in mind that the larger your crew, the bigger your ship.
- Anchor – Located near the bow. Quickly drop the anchor with X or take the time to turn and raise the anchor. You don’t need to hold X while raising it.
- Sails – Each sail has two options. The left rigging allows you to raise and lower the sail. Have it lowered when you want to sail to allow the wind to push your boat forward. Raise it when you’ve stopped and you don’t want your boat to move. The rigging on the right will let you turn the sail. Turn the sail into the direction of the wind to have it work properly.
- Map – Having someone keeping an eye on the map is always a good idea. As everyone works outside, the player watching the map can communicate with the player behind the wheel. You can mark locations on the mark with a circle and don’t forget you can zoom out and in to see finer details of each island.
- Wheel – The wheel isn’t as daunting as it looks. Turn left to go left, right to go right. Just like driving a car, you’ll need to position the wheel back to the center once you’ve got the direction you want.
- Crow’s Nest – There’s a ladder that takes you up the main mast and into the Crow’s Nest. Use this handy spot to spot obstacles and islands of interest in the distance. This is a great way to keep an eye out for danger as well.
EditCommunication is Key
If you want to experience Sea of Thieves to the fullest, you’re going to want to pull out that headset. Communication is vital in completing voyages and simply navigating the ship. Ideally you’ll want everyone in your crew to have voice chat enabled, but even having one member speaking can make a big difference.
If you really can’t pull out a microphone, there are a few in-game options that will give your partners something to work with. Hold the D-pad to reveal a circle wheel of premade text messages. Simply move the left control stick to select a message and let go to send it. Don’t forget that hitting X can reveal an additional set of dialogue. Ahoy!
Hitting the D-Pad while holding certain items or interacting with objects can yield a different set of messages. Use it while holding a telescope to alert your crew of a ship, or select one of the cardinal directions when viewing the map. If you pull out your pocket watch, you’ll have the option to suggest voting on a new voyage.
EditRepairing Your Ship
Sometimes your ship gets damaged and it starts filling up with water. It happens. When it happens, whip out your plank and seal the damaged area. From there, grab a bucket, scoop up some water, then toss it overboard. Each scoop picks up a surprising amount.
If there’s a window in area or any of the floors before the main deck, fill up your bucket and toss the water through the window. This will speed up the process!
Enemy cannons aren’t the only way your ship can be damaged. Sailing into wreckage or slamming into an island doesn’t help your ship at all. Even riding through a storm can cause leaks to appear.
EditKnow Your Ships
Before you hop into the game, you’ll be asked what kind of crew size you want. The ship you start with depends on the size. A crew of four will get a galleon featuring three sails and additional decks, a duo will get you a vessel, and going solo will start you off with the smallest boat.
Larger ships will take longer to turn over their smaller counterparts, but they do offer a different advantage. The galleon is a faster boat overall, provided you are sailing with the wind. Be able to turn quickly can help you evade enemy attacks, so keep this in mind!
Check out some of these lesser known tips that’ll help you better navigate the open sea and help you get the upper edge on enemies.
YOUR CREW LEFT YOU AGAIN! Don’t sweat it! If you took too long checking out a new island or the nearby shipwreck, you’ll get the chance to warp back to your ship. Once the ship has made some distance, a mermaid will appear in the water. Look for the plume of smoke rising from the water to locate it. Interact with it to rejoin your crew.
This also works if you jump overboard while you’re out on the open seas. No big deal!
It’s good to have the element of surprise, right? Make sure to shut off those lanterns when the sun goes down. The moon offers plenty of light, so there is no need to light up like a Christmas tree for any treacherous foes to see. Lanterns give off a yellow glow and can easily be seen from a distance.
EditBlast Off to Your Destination
Cannonballs aren’t the only thing you can place in the cannon. If you want to get from ship to land in a hurry, throw yourself into the cannon and get blasted off to the island. Seriously.
To do this, first aim the cannon to wherever you’d like to land. Do not equip a cannonball and make the sure the cannon is not already loaded. Load up the cannonball like you would normally and release the same way as well.
You may end up taking some fall damage once you land, so keep that in mind. To stay on the safe side, you can always aim for the water near the shore.
Ah yes, the cannon. Looks awesome and it’s super effective, but let’s make sure we’re using it to its full potential.
First off, before you even start a battle, prepare your cannons by loading up them up with cannonballs. When a fight does occur, the loaded cannons can be quickly used and they can be the slight edge you needed to walk out victorious. Leave one or two cannons open in case you want to use them to blast yourself to land.
When fighting another ship, try not to shoot your cannon at the same spot. Blasting a hole is the first step, but there’s no point in continuing to fire in the same location. Find a new spot!
Take note of the part of the ship that floats below the water. You’ll want to aim your shots to land here so that water starts to fill the enemy ship once it’s been hit. Aim just above where the water hits the ship to better your chances.
If you an enemy ship is hit, they’ll need one person to fix one hole. Now imagine if three holes were made at once. More work for one person to clean up and hopefully more chaos for your foes. Coordinate with your crew to try and attack at the same time to make it harder for any enemies.
EditVotes that Count
There are two things you can vote on. The first is sending someone on your crew to the brig. Dealing with someone who is causing chaos for no reason? A troll of some sort? If a majority votes to send them to the brig, the player will be locked up on the bottom deck of the ship where other members of the crew can taunt, mock, or even vomit on the troublemaker. That player can be voted out by the rest of the crew. Otherwise, you’re stuck there until you quit. Make better choices!
If you’re playing for the first time and wondering why you’re locked in a cage you can’t escape, well, that’s why.
The second voting option is for scuttling ships. Did you get yourself in a tight situation you can’t seem to get out of? Vote to scuttle your ship to have it appear at a nearby island.
EditBetter in Numbers
This one may be a little obvious but it can easily overlooked. Having multiple players perform a single task can help speed up the process. Clearing out water from inside the ship? Yes. Help bring up the anchor? Definitely. Digging out a treasure chest? You bet.
Want to flip your boat with a sharp turn? Start turning the wheel in the direction you desire, then drop the anchor jolt the boat in the same direction. This is a nice tactic if you’re being pursued, but you’ll still want the rest of the crew pulling the anchor back up quickly.
EditEyes for the Captain
The view from behind the wheel can be breathtaking, provided you can see past the sail. For the center mast, try raising it a bit to allow the player controlling the wheel to see some of the water directly in front of the ship.
EditCenter of the Wheel
It’s important to straighten out your ship after you’ve successfully turned it in the right direction. One of the handles on the wheel is plated in gold, indicting the center. For larger ships like the Galleon, the wheel can make two full rotations. Listen for a specific loud smack as the gold handle passes to confirm the center.
EditThe North Star
The compass is great, but there is an additional way to easily navigate. At nighttime, look up and search for the brightest star. It’s the North Star!
EditEnemy Ships at an Outpost
Treasure found in the world of Sea of Thieves will need to be dropped off at an outpost where you can claim your reward. Naturally, different crews will be entering and exiting outposts quite often.
Be careful! If you see a ship already docked at an outpost, that can mean trouble. You may get lucky and nobody will bother you, but let’s be real. You can try and take care of the enemies first before handling the treasure, or you can send out your crew to protect the person transporting the chest. The last thing you want is to reach the end of your voyage only to have your treasure stolen at the last second.
EditHide Your Treasure
Surprise! Pirates are common in the world of Sea of Thieves, so you’ll want to safeguard your treasure as much as possible. If you’ve collected a chest and you’re on your way back to an outpost, look around your ship for unique places to hide your prized possession. Hide it on the balcony area of the Captain’s Quarters or try dragging it all the way up to the Crow’s Nest. You can even drop the chest on the sails.
EditSalvage the Treasure!
Your boat is sinking and there’s no saving it. But what about the treasure?? Thankfully, treasure chests will float to the surface where you’ll get a chance to salvage them. This won’t last long, so be quick. Keep this in mind for downed enemy ships too.
While it’s not available at the start of your game, getting a hold of the Blunderbuss can be a worthwhile investment. This shotgun like weapon can take down an enemy in a single shot if you’re close enough. The Blunderbuss will run you 960 gold, so start completing voyages and saving up the doubloons!
EditGross But Effective
Drinking up grog at the bar will eventually get you to vomit. If this vomit manages to get on anyone, it’ll affect their movement and their visuals. Have your bucket ready and vomit into it. Now you can run over to any of your pals and splash them at your own pace! Take it a step further and put the puke-filled bucket away to store it for any unsuspecting enemies.
Got an enemy on your tail as you speed through the open waters? Consider this. Keep your boat sailing forward and let it go on its own. Abandon ship and jump off the side of your boat, then wait underwater as the enemy boat draws near. Swim up, board their ship, and wreak havoc by surprise.
EditCount Your Steps
Are you trying to count your steps yourself? No need. Pull out your compass and hold down the right trigger to bring the compass closer to the center of the screen. Every step you take will leave a rumble, indicating each and every step. Use this voyages with riddles and step counts!
EditWhen Chased By a Large Ship, Sail Into the Wind
The larger galleon seems to be much faster than the smaller, more maneuverable sloop when sailing with the wind, but the opposite appears to be true when sailing into it. It would stand to reason that more sails mean more drag when the wind isn’t blowing in the galleon’s favor, and if all else fails, use the snoop’s maneuverability to make frequent and drastic heading changes.