A Sea of Thieves walkthrough might sound like a bit of an odd idea, given how largely non-linear much of the game can be, but actually, given how much of your progression is tied to the game's three alliances and their quests, knowing exactly what to do first in Sea of Thieves - and what to do next - can be pretty handy.
Here in our Sea of Thieves guide and walkthrough hub, we'll highlight all of the quests we've encountered so far in linear order, and link out to dedicated guides on any particularly challenging or intruiging ones that you might need a hand with.
Likewise, this page will act as a hub for all of our other Sea of Thieves guide pages, which are set to cover everything from installing the game to finding the Kraken.
Sea of Thieves voyages - quest structure and how Sea of Thieves progression works
Sea of Thieves has an odd but rather wonderfully open structure. In essence, it's this: go and do what you want, how you want, when you want.
In a little more detail - because I know that wasn't very helpful - Sea of Thieves has three core quest-givers, known as the three Trading Outposts of three key groups: the Merchant Alliance, the Gold Hoarders, and the Order of Souls.
Sea of Thieves voyages and quest structure:
The Trading Outposts that represent these three associates are physical places in the real world. They're found on the island you start on - just go up and talk to one of the vendors at one of these Outposts to see what's what.
Each vendor has up to three quests "for sale" at a time, and you can only "own" three quests at a time yourself - so say you buy one from the Gold Hoarders and two from the Order of Souls, you can't buy a fourth from the Merchant Alliance, for instance. You need to clear one of the other two first.
I say "for sale" because you do actually have to buy these quests from the vendors with gold yourself. The first quests you buy from each vendor, however, are free, so don't worry that you have no coin at the start of the game.
Complete quests to earn more money, to spend on more quests - that's the simple side of it!
Sea of Thieves progression explained:
Alright, so how do you actually progress in Sea of Thieves? Quite simply, do more quests.
Completing quests for a vendor will level you up with that vendor. As you hit certain milestones, like Level 5 with the Gold Hoarders, you'll unlock more advanced types of quests with them.
Their quests always have the same central premise - Gold Hoarders are always about collecting chests and returning them, the Order of Souls always about killing skeletons to get special Skulls, and the Merchant Alliance about rounding up animals and items in time-restricted circumstances - but the complexity of the tasks increases as you rise through the tiered ranks with them.
As you rise through the ranks of an Outpost you'll also unlock special items that have both cosmetic and game-affecting merits. Think shovels that dig faster, or have a wider radius for finding chests, and so on. The higher the rank of course, the better the gear.
Eventually, you'll max out your level with a vendor, and that's where things get interesting. In the late-game, your aim is to become "Pirate Legend" and dive into special, late-game activities like Skeleton Forts, Sea of Thieves' take on special Raids. Expect more detail on those activities to come.
Treasure hunting for more guides like this? Best to start with our main Sea of Thieves guide, including voyages, quests, progression and what to do first, or if you're right at the end of the game, take a look at our guide to Pirate Legend rewards and the Mysterious Stranger explained. We also have step-by-step instructions on how to download and install Sea of Thieves; there's also a guide on the Sea of Thieves map and how to find every island location, shape and name, along with our guide to Sea of Thieves' chicken, pig and snake locations for Merchant Alliance Voyages, a guide to loot values and how to earn Sea of Thieves gold fast, info on the full set of Sea of Thieves controls for Xbox and PC, a long list of various Sea of Thieves tips and tricks, an in-depth explainer on the dastardly Skeleton Forts, Skull clouds and Stronghold Keys, a massive collection of advice on Sea of Thieves sailing, ship combat and how to sail into the wind, plus how to find and kill Sea of Thieves' Kraken, and finally some advice for those encountering Sea of Thieves LavenderBeard, CyanBeard and CinnamonBeard error messages, too.
Sea of Thieves guide - all our Sea of Thieves guides in one place
We have a number of Sea of Thieves guides up and running for the game, but expect plenty more to come in the near future after the game's launched. For now, here's a collection of all of our Sea of Thieves guides in one place:
Sea of Thieves guides
- Sea of Thieves tips and tricks
- Sea of Thieves controls for Xbox and PC and how to change control schemes
- Sea of Thieves installation - how to download and install Sea of Thieves on Xbox and PC
- Sea of Thieves error messages explained
- Sea of Thieves gold - chest and treasure loot values and the best ways to get gold fast
- Sea of Thieves sailing - how to sail into the wind, win ship combat and sailing terms explained
- Sea of Thieves Kraken - how to find the Kraken location, killing the Kraken and loot explained
- Sea of Thieves map - Island locations, names, shapes and how to find every island
- Sea of Thieves chicken, pig and snake locations - how to find and catch animals and Merchant Alliance quests explained
- Sea of Thieves Pirate Legend and Mysterious Stranger explained - riddle solution, rewards, and how to become Pirate Legend
More to follow!
Where to start and what to do first in Sea of Thieves - how to start a Voyage and vote for a quest
The technical term for quests in Sea of Thieves is a "voyage", as one way or another you're going to be some seafaring and travelling to complete the task - more likely tasks - at hand.
The first thing that will happen in Sea of Thieves, after you've chosen you character, is you'll wake up in a tavern on the starter island.
After flexing your fingers and covering the very basics in there, you'll be told you need to find and embark on a Voyage.
These are the things you get from the Trading Outposts we mentioned above. To get one, head outside into the little settlement on the island, and look for the three vendors. If you're a little lost, watch out for the signs in the image above, which point you in their general direction.
When you've decided what type of quest you fancy - killing Skeletons, digging up buried treasure or rounding up animals - pick the related vendor and have a chat to them. You can "buy" up to three quests in total, from any selection of vendors you like, for free at the start of the game.
When you've bought some, decide which one you want to do first, and then head to your ship, which should be moored up at the dock nearby.
On board, regardless of your ship and crew's size, you need to place the quest - sorry, Voyage - on the captain's table and actively vote for it.
To do so, head to one of your ship's inner areas (the Captain's quarters on the 4-player ship, or the middle level on the smaller one) and look for the slightly smaller table that doesn't have the big map on it.
You'll be prompted to put a Voyage down on it. Do so, and then you - and the majority of your crew - all need to vote for it for the Voyage to begin. Do so by running up to the actual scroll that's on the table and interacting with it when prompted, which will stick a knife in it rather dramatically. When a majority's reached, the Voyage begins.
You'll notice a map, or several maps, have appeared in your inventory at this point. These only appear when you start a Voyage, and disappear from your inventory when it's complete (often you don't actually have to turn in stuff like your recovered treasure to actually complete the quest, just complete the actual task at hand, like finding the treasure and digging it up).
With the maps at hand, that's it! Your quest has begun - it's up to you now to go and solve it.