Sea of Thieves: Piracy Without Rape or Scurvy


No idea how to get that aligned to the centre yet so it’s going to look wonky and lame for now but I blame leetcheese and change and I hate it and I’m old.

What is this shit?

Sea of Thieves is a game being developed by Micro$hit Studios owned Rare. If you want to know the other good games Rare has developed, they include banjokazooie, donkey kong, Goldeneye 007 (N64), Perfect Dark (N64), and Viva Pinata. You may be asking: That’s all well and good, but what has Rare done for me lately?

Well they did Kinect sports for a bit back in the early noughties (i.e. 2010-2015) but then did nothing until this game.

Wikipedia describes Sea of Thieves as “a pirate-themed action-adventure cooperative multiplayer game played from a first-person perspective” and it is “a shared world game, which means groups of players will encounter each other regularly throughout their adventures.”

Essentially you play as a team of up to four cartoonish pirates who get together on a ship and sail around looking for booty or what have you, but importantly the only other ships that exist in the game are other players, and there are NO safe areas in the game, meaning PvP is inevitable.

How does this shit work?

Well luckily for you I’ve played the technical alpha four times so I am pretty much considered to be an expert. There is a Beta in January for everyone who has done an alpha and for all pre-orders which will give us a much better idea of the finished product, so take what I’m saying with a pinch of sea salt.

Firstly, to address the elephant in the room, you buy the game from Windows Store and install the Xbox app on your PC. There is no steam version. Yes I know you hate microsoft, but the reason for this is that it is an “Xbox anywhere” title, meaning if you happen to own an xbone, you can play this game on your PC OR your Xbox. This also means that the game is fully cross-platform, with xbox and PC players sharing the same servers.

Once you’ve complained about using the microsoft store, you load into the game with a choice of Solo, Duo, or Four Pirate crews.

If you’re flying Solo or you’re a Duo, you sail a sloop, which is a navy term for “small shit ship”. In real life a sloop actually had quite a few sails and probably 10 cannons, but in this a sloop is no better than a small yacht, with one sail and two cannons and two decks.

If you play as a four person crew, your ship has three sails, eight cannons, and three decks.

When sailing your boat you actually have to sail it. So you need to raise the anchor, let down the sails, and then angle them into the wind. The dude steering may not be able to see where they are going, so people need to tell them their heading.

If you don’t have enough friends there’s a matchmaking system that matches you with other players.

You will sail your ship around an instance. Right now it seems every instance has the same map (not sure if that was just for the alpha) but I’ve never personally seen more than three crews in one instance, so it’s hardly crowded.

Tell me some of the game’s key features por favor

  • Work together to sail a ship around a map of islands infested by skeletons and possibly prowled by other human pirates
  • Open world PvP where it is certainly most non-consensual
  • Gorgeous looking and semi-real feeling water and weather, wind direction determines speed, storms will really fuck you up
  • A “voyage” system and loyalty system which is sort of like handing out quests. I suspect these will be a bit grindy
  • There is NO weapon progression, a cutlass is just a cutlass, a pistol is just a pistol. Right now it seems the main reason to git gud is because of some pirate legend system where you become internet famous
  • You can drink grog until you’re so drunk you throw up in people’s faces and fall off the ship in the middle of a battle
  • You can play songs on musical instruments and they actually all sync up so it doesn’t sound like an awful racket (unless you’re all drunk on grog)

When is this out and why is it so expensive?

The game costs 50 squids in the UK, and about 70 dollarydoos in Freedom Land. This is fairly expensive, particularly because on paper this seems like a relatively content light game.

Some points to consider:

  • This has to be priced as a console game as otherwise you could buy the cheap PC one and then just play it on your Xbox anyway
  • If you do own an Xbone you can play the game on your sofa or your PC, which is cool but not a huge use in my view
  • Even light on content this game was super fun, though chasing cowards around while they ran from my impressive galleon was a bit dull


I’m almost certainly buying this when it comes out, if anyone else is buying it we need to rule the zulu seas and generally kill people who just want to dig up treasure in peace.


this sounds dope.

are the items/ships you keep persistent? or is it just an instance?


Not sure yet.

Some stuff carried over on the alpha, so I couldn’t design my own pirate, but you kept the same guy (I think in the actual game you design your own).

The blunderbuss and all the clothes and equipment skins I bought carried over. The only other weapon I’ve seen in videos though is a sort of sniper rifle, but probably with appalling accuracy.

The ship was different every time, but I’m positive ship customisation will be a thing in terms of looks, they have mentioned before that all the players can combine ship parts to make a ship.

Realistically though I suspect it’s all going to be pirate and ship dress up because they want a crew of four new players to fight a crew of four old players and the only win/lose factor being luck and skill. So like you can’t upgrade your sword or anything.


Looks neat and somehow it flew under my radar. How is it being distributed on Windows? Steam?


Also, my crew will be known as the Rabid Butt Pirates sailing on-board the Booty Supreme, the scourge of the seven seas.


It’s on Windows Store only, AKA no steam.

Reason for this is if you buy it you can play it on your xbone or your PC, so having a steam version doesn’t work.

Honestly though I used the xbox app in the technical alpha and it was fine, steam would be slightly better but since the crossplay functionality means more players which means more content, I’m OK with it.


I’m still traumatized by Games For Windows Live


The Windows Store still needs a lot more work to become FULLY OPERATIONAL.

It was one of the games that interested me at E3 at least.


99AUD, you can fuck right off Microsoft.


Yeah, because it’s a console price you gotta pay the Australian tax sorry.


As if we needed proof that Australasia is literally hell on Earth


Being that its exclusively on the MS store and at ludicrous price it pretty much guarantees the game will be dead on release, at least in Aus and other smaller regions.
Guess i’m skipping it.


Depends really, I suspect they are going to carry in developing it and either the price will eventually come down in a sale or over time, or people will basically encourage their friends to join.

Realistically most AAA games are that price in Australia etc, so I guess it’s sort of assumed they either don’t sell well there or they at least sell as well as similar titles.

I mean in the one hand if feel sorry for Australians with stuff like this, but on the other hand Australians are terrible. Sorry.


nah recently AAA titles have been at around the 80 dollarydoo mark, but most people hold out until it gets to ~60 or less.
most other titles are parity with US prices, its usually Activision or MS that stiff us on price.


You have a WAY too optimistic view about how MS is going to support that platform.

Regardless of how well they plan on supporting the game, the MS App Store is DOA.


To be fair most GFWL games ended up on steam so I’m not hugely worried no.

Also thinking of it I think 90 kangaroo bucks is about £50 which is the UK price.


Those games were third party that MS was paying to include GFWL. Ironically causing a lot of problems because GFWL has an install limit which fucked your user base if they tried to install your game X+ times. (Guess what the average Steam user does if their game doesn’t work 100% on install.)

This is a first party game, and will never appear on Steam.


Thanks michaelsoft


So for anyone who’s definitely pre-ordering this, the closed beta is 24-29 January. So pre-order before then and you get access to the closed beta.