Sea of Thieves tips and tricks

Plenty of useful tips for newcomers to the latest Sea of Theives beta.

Sea of Thieves is upon us, at least in beta form for now, but if you've hopped in you might be wondering just how exactly it all works.

It can be oddly unclear at times - although figuring out the analogue functionality of your map and compass is really part of the fun - so here on this page we've put together a selection of Sea of Thieves tips and tricks for getting the most out of the experience this weekend.

Sea of Thieves tips and tricks

Without further ado, here's a big ol' lost of tips and tricks we've picked up so far, starting with general tips and moving on to our advice for what to do first, where to go and how to do it.


General Sea of Thieves tips and things to know

  • PC and Xbox players play together.
  • There is voice chat.
  • The turquoise colour of someone's name denotes them belonging to your crew. Someone with a white name is just another person and you can kill them.
  • There is no third-person camera option but you can see yourself when using some of the emotes.
  • Emotes are on a radial menu, even on PC. Bring them up by holding "G" on PC, or Down on the D-pad on Xbox, and hold "F" or X on Xbox to access more of them. Annoyingly you seem to always say "Ahoy!" whether you select anything or not.
  • Bring up your inventory radial menu by holding "Q" on PC, LB on Xbox, and hold "F" or X on Xbox to access more. It's here you'll find important tools like your bucket, shovel, compass, lantern, spyglass, tankard and musical instrument. It's also where you'll hold wooden plans, bananas and cannonballs.
  • You can hold more than one cannonball, plank and banana.
  • Planks repair holes in the ship. Find the hole and hold the left mouse button or RT to repair.
  • Bananas heal you. Left-click or RT to eat.
  • Cannonballs obviously load the cannon. Check your cannons have balls, so to speak. Take a stack of cannonballs and you can stay in use-cannon mode and simply hit "R" or X on Xbox to reload between each shot.
  • You can find more planks and cannonballs and bananas in barrels on your boat. You can offload them into the barrels, too. Keep them stocked up - you'll find more on islands you visit, as well as in towns.
  • There's a grog barrel on your boat too. Don't get too drunk, said no one ever.
  • Your bucket bails water out of your boat. Left-click (RT on Xbox) to use it and fill the bucket, then left-click (RT on Xbox) again to sling the water over the side or into a friend's face.
  • Pressing "X" on PC or B on Xbox stows whatever you have equipped.
  • Play music by equipping whatever instrument you have and holding your use button - left-click on PC, RT on Xbox.
  • You can change equipment and clothing using trunks below your boat, providing you have bought alternatives to change into or use. The stuff you're using is highlighted a kind of green. To begin with, all the things you see are already equipped.
  • You buy new equipment and clothing in the other buildings in town. You earn money by completing missions.

Setting sail for more Sea of Thieves guides, tips and tricks this weekend? Have a gander at our other piratey guides, including one on the Sea of Thieves beta and how to access it, plus how to download and install Sea of Thieves; info on Sea of Thieves progression and quests, our various Sea of Thieves tips and tricks, and finally our advice for those encountering Sea of Thieves error messages, too.

What to do first and where to go in Sea of Thieves

  • To get a mission, go to the Gold Hoarders' tent on Sanctuary Outpost, the place where you begin. He's fairly slap-bang in the middle of it.
  • You will need to buy missions and you have a time in which to complete them. There is a free mission available to get you going - The Stash of Captain Bones.
  • Once you've bought your mission, go and find your boat bobbing on the jetty nearby. If you have a big boat and you're sailing with three others, you'll probably see them running to it. You can swim. Press jump to swim up. Look for the ladder on the side of the boat.
  • Once you get onto the boat, you will need to Propose a Voyage to start your mission. Do this in the Captain's Quarters or down the first little set of stairs on smaller ships.
  • Once proposed, crew members will need to vote on the mission. You vote in the same area. Once all are in agreement, the mission begins and you will get a map.
  • Press "E" on PC or RB on Xbox to open the radial menu with your map on.
  • The map is important. Equip it and left-click (RT on Xbox) to hold it up. Look at the shape of the island and try to memorise it - you will need to find it and match it to the islands on the ship's larger map to find out where it is.
  • The ship's map is spread out on a table below deck. You can zoom in and out.
  • When you match island shapes, you can click to ring the area. To navigate where you want to go, look at the compass key and decide which way to sail to get there - ie. south-west, north, north-east, and so on. The map will track your boat's progress. It may be a good idea to keep someone by the map to chart how you're getting on.
  • To sail you will need to raise the anchor by turning a capstan (big turning drum thing) - easier with more of you helping - then unfurl the sails using nearby rope cleats (rope tie/hook things) on the gunwale (side of the boat). Press "W" or "S" to unfurl or furl the sail. You can also adjust the direction of the sails using nearby winch.
  • To see which way the wind is blowing, look up and watch the wind streaks. Sails billow when the wind is properly blowing into them. Steer using the ship's wheel and the compass next to it as a guide.
  • It's a good idea to have people play various roles such as watching the map table or adjusting the sails and manning the cannon.
  • When you sail close to an island or place of interest, the game will formally introduce it with a cinematic effect and title card.
  • When you get to your destination, drop anchor and furl sails a little way out - you don't want to smash into the rocks or beach. You can swim, remember, even with chests in your hands.
  • Be warned, though, there may be sharks, and although not incredibly aggressive, they will attack.
  • Jump out, swim to the island and bring up your mission map - the same one you island matched with. Hold it up and look where the Xs are marked. This is where the treasure is. Use visual clues on the map and on the island before you to get to the correct spot, or roughly thereabouts.
  • Whip out your shovel using your "Q" (LB on Xbox) radial menu when you think you're in the right spot, and click (RT) to dig. If you're spot-on, you'll hear bang - you've hit a chest. Keep digging to uncover it, then pick it up ("F") (X on Xbox) and run/swim it back to your ship.
  • Put the chest anywhere on your ship - there isn't a designated spot.
  • When you're carrying multiple chests or are particularly worried about being robbed, it's worth spreading out your chests, placing your least valuable chests in the most obvious places as bait, and finally hiding your chests in places like the crow's nest or in dark corners with the lamps turned off.
  • Yes, you can turn off lamps!
  • Note: when you dig up a chest, skeletons may start to spawn. They're generally pushovers but you may want a friend to fight while you run the goods back.
  • Don't forget to dig up all the X-marked treasure on the map.
  • As you complete parts of missions, other parts will open up. Again, consult your map, island match on your boat's map table, and sail to wherever you need to go.
  • When you're finished, all you need to do is sail back to Sanctuary Island and carry the chests to the same Sea Hoarders tent you began at and sell them using "R" on PC.

Additional writing by Chris Tapsell.

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