Sea of Thieves Review 2024 - Is It Worth It?

Two pirates enjoying Sea of Thieves in 2024

Saying 2018 was a big year for gaming would be more than an understatement, with new releases from major game franchises including Red Dead Redemption, God of War, Assassin's Creed, Super Smash Bros. and many, many more. But among those big name hits, a gem hid right in plain sight. That gem was Sea of Thieves, and to this day, the popular live-service game is still going strong.

About Sea of Thieves

 Sea of Thieves is a live-service multiplayer game released by Rare in 2018. The game is all about setting sail into the sea to plunder loot and battle enemies, which are real life players with their own crews. You may encounter sea monsters, ghostly NPC ships, and even generated shipwrecks, all of which will give you loot, which you then have to defend as you make your way to one of the many outposts to sell your loot to the desired trading company. This game’s lively islands and engaging voyages make up the most captivating, exciting swashbuckling video game experience.

Sea of Thieves Story

Flameheart vs Pendragon: Promo Image for Return of the Damned event where players pledged their allegiance to good or evil

A group of islands somewhere in the Caribbean, the Sea of Thieves is surrounded in a dangerous smoke called the Devil’s Shroud. A group of heroic pirates led by the Pirate Lord must defend the legend of the sea and fight off the evil Flameheart and his crew. The story of Sea of Thieves is a very fun and engaging one, sometimes giving players the option to choose their side and decide who will win the conflicts in community events, most recently the Flameheart/Pendragon event which resulted in the heroic Pendragon meeting his fate at the hands of the evil skeleton lord. There are also side stories in the form of Tall Tales, such as A Pirates Life which featured Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones, and the recent Legend of Monkey Island, which featured characters and settings from Lucasarts’ Monkey Island game series.

Sea of Thieves Gameplay

Enthralling naval battles take place constantly throughout game sessions, as depicted above

When booting up Sea of Thieves for the first time you will be given a few character models to choose from, and they can be cycled out until you find one suitable for your liking. Once you have picked a character, you must complete a short tutorial, and then you can dress your character up and customize their style to your hearts’ content (while there are only a few options at the start, you will unlock more and can purchase more as you play the game further). Every time you launch the game you will start on one of 7 outposts, and there you will find 4 of your 5 trading companies: Gold Hoarders, where you will travel the Sea of Thieves in search of chests and other valuable loot, Merchant Alliance, where you will transport cargo to NPCs and hunt for shipwrecks, Order of Souls, where you will be tasked to take down skeleton captains and ghost ships, and the Reaper's Bones, in which you must sink other player ships and sell their emissary flags to the Servant of the Flame on the Reaper’s Hideout.

The final company is the Hunter’s Call, where you will fish and sell meat at the various Seaposts around the world. Once level 50 is reached in at least 3 of these companies, you unlock the 6th company, Athena’s Fortune, where you will complete missions for the Pirate Lord and earn very high value loot. And of course, as you venture across the sea you will have to defend your loot from player vessels, krakens, megalodons, and skeletons, just to name a few.

Sea of Thieves Combat

If there is one thing you need to learn in Sea of Thieves, it is how to defend yourself. Whether it is through the 3 guns, the Flintlock, Blunderbuss, and Eye of Reach, or the most pirate-y one of the bunch, the Cutlass, you will be doing a hefty sum of dueling players and skeletons alike across the sea. While hand-to-hand combat is admittedly not the most exciting in this game, consisting of mostly repetitive sword fights, the naval combat is where Sea of Thieves shines. Before you start though, you will need to stock up on cannonballs. Lots, and lots of cannonballs.

There is a pretty wide variety of ways to go about sinking ships, whether you want to load them full of cannonballs, burn them down with Firebombs, or even shoot your ship’s harpoon into the enemy’s hull and let them drag you along while you board their ship. While combat does not necessarily contribute directly to your trading company levels, sinking ships can help raise your emissary value, and the ships may contain loot which you can steal and sell for yourself. Taking out enemies and ships will also contribute to your season renown, unlocking levels in the games’ version of seasonal rewards, the Plunder Pass.

Sea of Thieves Quest/Mission System

While sailing to islands, obliterating sea monsters, and sinking ships are obviously vital to the pirating experience, the trading companies and voyages are what really make the game. Unless you are sailing for the Reapers, the best way (and in Athena’s Fortune’s case, the only way) to push through the levels of a trading company are their specific quests. As of season 11, you can access all voyages and factions right from the comfort of your vessel at the quest table. You can select your company, and then sift through the many quest options, and select one to complete. If you are playing co-op, your friends will have to then vote on the selected voyage to begin it. Then you can work through the mission, scooping up treasures as you go.

If your emissary value isn’t full yet or you are not ready to sell, then you can keep doing missions and reaping rewards until you are ready to sell. Then you will take your plunder to the representative of your company at an outpost, or straight to the Sovereign if you are sailing a captained ship, and you will receive gold or dubloons in return. While some voyages can drag on, such as the Legend of the Veil for Athena’s Fortune or the Ghost Ship Voyages for Order of the Souls, most voyages will be easy to get through, especially with friends.

Sea of Thieves Graphics

Sea of Thieves features many beautiful landscapes: depicted above is Sanctuary Outpost, located in the Shores of Plenty

If there is one game that’s graphics improve with age, it is Sea of Thieves. Having released the same year as Red Dead Redemption 2, a game well known for its game changing graphics and incredible landscapes, it would be easy to gloss over Sea of Thieves. However, that is one big mistake, as today, in an age of gaming where even the biggest companies seem to be stitching together unfinished games to barely make a launch date, Sea of Thieves, while cartoony in style, still has some of the most satisfying graphics to look at.

While this may not seem accurate if you are playing on a last gen console such as Xbox One where it can often run a little slow with smooth textures, it is an entirely different story for next gen, and if you have the right settings for pc it becomes a new experience. The sweeping landscapes never fail to satisfy, and even just drifting across the open sea can be a relaxing and beautiful experience, as calm shanty’s serenade your journey.


New Content Updates

New content is never a problem with Sea of Thieves, as the game is updated pretty regularly, whether it's a massive new season, or just some new cosmetics for the pirate emporium. New seasons are added every few months, although it may take new players some time to get acquainted with the strange release schedules, as Rare often delays seasons by quite a bit of time, making some seasons drag on and eventually feel slightly stale. Luckily, the online experience is kept alive through Gold and Glory weekends, and the occasional community event. As of 2024, Sea of Thieves has gone through a pretty big overhaul, changing the way voyages and trading companies work, mostly for the better.

Sea of Thieves Developer

Sea of Thieves is developed by UK based company Rare, and published by Microsoft. Rare will be well known by gamers for their Nintendo games such as Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads, and Banjo-Kazooie, the latter of which has cosmetics inspired by it in the Pirate Emporium. Glitches and bugs in Sea of Thieves can feel very prominent, and can often make playing the game a bit of a pain, but it is completely random, having personally experienced very few game breaking glitches, mostly just funny or entertaining ones that don’t last too long.

There is also a system implemented to prevent getting stuck in places, in which upon lodging yourself between two rocks, standing on a sinking ship, or wherever you got stuck, you will be teleported back to your ship. One glaring problem with Rare when it comes to Sea of Thieves though is user support. While updates often address community requests, it is mostly when the developer has received tons of backlash over a certain feature that things actually change.

Sea of Thieves Price

Sea of Thieves can currently be picked up for $39.99 for the standard edition, or $49.99 for the deluxe edition. The game can be purchased on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and is now available for pre-order on PS4 and PS5 (and releases April 30th with season 12). Better yet, if you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, you can go ahead and download the game right now for free. Because it is a Microsoft published game, I would not worry about the game being removed from the Game Pass any time soon, if ever.

The price may seem high if you are easily bored, but if you and your fellow scallywags can get together and have fun, the price will be well worth it. There are in-game purchases, but mostly just for cosmetics, and nothing is pay to win as everyone has the same hit boxes regardless of how tall your hat is or how large or small your character might be.

Final Verdict

While there may be some drawbacks depending on what kind of gamer you are, overall Sea of Thieves offers a fulfilling pirate experience, and hours of fun. I would give Sea of Thieves a solid 9/10 rating.


  • Hours of engaging gameplay
  • Satisfying graphics and fun cartoony style
  • Refined quest systems
  • Good online support
  • The water is just amazing to look at


  • Hand-to-hand combat can get stale
  • Some voyages can drag on
  • Some very, very strange glitches
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Anytime I get knocked down, I get back up (I have the raygun).
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Dead Island 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Sea of Thieves, Batman: Arkham City

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