The Best Sea of Thieves Tips and Tricks

Sea of Thieves tips
Ready to Take to the Seas

The Best Sea of Thieves Tips And Tricks

Join a Crew With Your Friends

Sea of Thieves has developed into one of the fastest growing games of 2018. Sailing the high seas with your closest friends can be hilarious and exciting. Add piracy to the mix and you get an entertaining video game. Sea of Thieves throws you to the waters from the get go. There aren’t any tutorials or explanations in this game. Just like real life, you have to learn as you go. Here are some tips and tricks to help you on your voyages.

Character Selection

People can spend hours creating their characters in video games, but Sea of Thieves attempts to eliminate this by giving you seven basic forms to choose from. Don’t worry too much about what your pirate looks like in the beginning as there are ways of altering their look later in the game through cosmetics. However, it is a good idea to choose the base character you like the most, as this cannot be changed in game. In other words, if you choose a female, you are female forever or if you choose the skinny guy, your character will always be skinny. So, give this some thought, but don’t let it rule you.

Boat and Crew Selection

At its core, Sea of Thieves is a game that was meant to be played with friends. However, this does not mean it can’t be fun to play solo. Deciding which ship to choose is dependent on your decision to play with friends or alone.

For groups of three or four, there is the Galleon. This ship will take at least three crew members to sail effectively, and is best with four. This ship is equipped with eight cannons (four on each side) and is a force to be reckoned with when sailed by a tight group of friends. Galleon battles are some of the most intense parts of Sea of Thieves.

If you can only sail with one friend or are more of a loner, the Sloop is the ship for you. It is designed to allow one person to control it from the main deck. It is nice to have two people on board so one can man the cannon, but it is not essential.

The Sloop can go unnoticed and sail faster into the wind, but the Galleon is faster with the wind and has greater power and defense.

Loading up on Bananas, Cannonballs, Planks, and Voyages

No matter what ship you and your potential crew choose, there are some items that are essential to your voyage: bananas, cannonballs, and planks.

You will start at an outpost, which should have an abundance of these items found in barrels. Stock the ship full of them and be sure to keep your personal inventory full as well. You never know when you may need to fix a leak in a hurry or eat a banana for health. You do not want to be caught without these items. It could mean the difference between sinking and sailing.

​Start with a galleon and it will be waiting for you at the docks. Remember to stock up on supplies before leaving port.

Your Ship

Sea of Thieves does not give you any tutorial on how to sail your ship, so it can be confusing for a first-time captain. The major parts of the ship are the wheel, anchor, map, and sail.

Using the wheel is unique in Sea of Thieves. Rather than pressing the directional button one way or the other to steer the boat, you have to physically turn the wheel. This means that if you turn the wheel all the way to the right, it will stay all the way right until you decide to turn it back. The middle of the wheel can be determined by the golden spoke and a small vibration and sound indicating you are in the center. This can be a challenge to get used to at first, so it is a good idea to practice your steering before you take on a big voyage. It may keep you from accidentally sinking your ship.


Similar to the wheel, you have to manually control the anchor. You cannot just press a button to break or slow down the ship. You have to truly sail it. The anchor can be dropped to make a quick U-turn or an abrupt stop, similar to a cars e-brake.

The sails also have to be raised and lowered manually. There are two lines for each sail. One line controls the raising and lowering of the sails, while the other line controls the angle of the sail.

Boat Map

Below deck there is a large map that is essential to your boat. Unlike traditional games, Sea of Thieves does not have a map window. You have to physically look at the map on your ship in order to find your location. You have to go below deck to interact with the map and search for the island you are wanting to sail to.

Sailing and Navigation

Sailing and navigation will be a major part of your voyages. This is honestly one of the best parts of the game. There are a couple of different tips that need to be discussed about sailing.

Before you even set sail, be sure to turn off all lanterns on the ship. Mainly the ones above deck, because they will turn your ship into a beacon at night, causing trouble.

When you are ready to sail, if at all possible, sail with the wind. This may be a no brainer, but it is sometimes difficult to do if your desired island is in the wind. The wind will often change directions after a while, so use this to your advantage. If you are on a voyage that takes you to multiple islands, choose one that allows you to sail with the wind first. Wait for the winds to change and sail back to the other islands. The wind is obviously important for the fastest travel.

Sometimes you are forced to sail into the wind. This can be a slow and tedious battle. Your ship will slow to a crawl and it will seem like it takes months to get to where you are going. In this case, I would suggest the sailing maneuver known as beating. This will take the ship in a zigzag course upwind. Beating will require a lot of work as you will need to turn your sails each time you change direction in your zigzag. However, the work is worth it, because you will move along much faster than sailing directly into the wind.

So, you have your sailing technique down and want to determine where to go. It is now time to pull out the compass and start to navigate. When you propose a voyage, a map of an island will appear in your inventory. These maps will only show the island and the location of the treasure on said island. You will have to examine this small map, then head over to the ships big map and look for the island based on physical appearance.

Sometimes the map in your inventory is actually a riddle, and these will have the island name on it. In this case, you must search for the island containing the same name on the ships map. Once you have found your matching island, you can then circle it on your big map and point your ship in that direction.

All maps are set up in the traditional sense. North is at the top of the map, east is to the right, and so forth. This will allow you to know which way to sail when you are back at the helm (wheel). There is a compass beside the wheel that will allow you to easily determine which direction you are heading.

Gold Hoarder

There are several factions in Sea of Thieves that will give you voyages to complete, each producing gold coins as payment. The first of the three is the Gold Hoarders.

This faction will send you to various islands in search of gold chests. Often these chests are marked on a map with the classic X marks the spot. Sometimes you will get a riddle and have to search a specific island for various landmarks before the location of the treasure is revealed.

There are numerous types of treasure chests in Sea of Thieves, but three are worth mentioning here: Captain's Chest, Chest of a Thousand Grogs, and the Chest of Sorrow. These will bring in the most money and should be turned in first upon arrival at an outpost, just in case another crew attacks.

The Captain's Chest is trimmed with gold and has a ruby at the top. Other than the amount of money you gain, there is not much special about this chest. The Chest of a Thousand Grogs will immediately make its carrier drunk, causing them to struggle and stumble as they head back to the ship. If you get too out of sorts, set the chest down briefly to gather your bearings.

The worst chest to have to carry (although it is well paying) is the Chest of Sorrows. This chest will literally cry. It is quite funny until you realize that the crying is filling your ship with water. There is only one way to handle this chest, and that is delicately. If you are loading multiple chests on your ship be sure this one is the last to go on and the first to come off. If not, your ship may sink from its crying. When you have the Chest of Sorrows aboard, head straight for an outpost to sell it. Be sure to check below deck frequently to make sure you aren’t sinking. Keep your bucket handy to bail water out. When you make port, sell it immediately and rack in the gold.  

Order of Souls

The voyages given by the Order of Souls are some of the most exciting. They will send you to various islands to collect the skulls of past pirates, but there is a twist. These skulls are still attached to the undead body of that pirate, which means you must kill it. Fighting skeletons will become common on any voyage. They are the reason it is important to have a plethora of bananas.

Before you go on a voyage from the Order of Souls, be sure to equip the cutlass and the blunderbuss as your weapons. These are the most effective in fighting skeletons.

Once you kill the skeleton boss and his minions, take the skull back to your ship. The best course of action is to hide skulls below deck. At night they give off a glow that may attract enemy ships. On the Galleon, you can place them in the captain’s quarters until you make port at an outpost and sell them.

Merchant Alliance

The Merchant Alliance voyages are unique in execution. For these voyages you will be given tasks that do not necessarily give you a specific island to sail to. Often you will be searching for pigs, snakes, or chickens to capture and sell. Once you start these voyages, you will have to go back to the merchant and get the required cage to capture these animals. These voyages can be tedious, especially if you do not know where to find these animals. Here is a list of where to find them:

Chickens- Barnacle Cay, Cannon Cove, Chicken Island, Crook’s Hollow, Marauder’s Arch, Old Faithful Isle, Salty Sands, Shipwreck Bay, Thieve Haven, Twin Groves, and Wanderer’s Refuge

Pigs- Blind Man’s Lagoon, Cannon Cove, Devil’s Ridge, Kraken’s Fall, Lone Cove, Old Faithful Isle, Paradise Spring, Rumrunner Isle, Sea Dog’s Rest, Shipwreck Bay, Shark Tooth Key, Sunken Grove, and Thieves Haven

Snakes- Crooked Masts, Devil’s Ridge, Lone Cove, Marauder’s Arch, Picaroon Palms, and Sunken Grove

The Merchant Alliance may also have you looking for various teas and spices to sell. These bring in the money.


There are several different weapons that are used in Sea of Thieves: cannon, cutlass, pistol, blunderbuss, eye of reach, and powder keg. Each weapon is useful at times, but the best combination to use as your personal weapons is the cutlass and blunderbuss.

You could certainly equip more than one gun, but each only has five shots and you have to find an ammo box to replenish ammo. So, it is a good idea to keep the cutlass equipped as it obviously needs no ammo.

The eye of reach is useful when you are on an Order of Souls voyage. You can lead the skeletons to the beach, then get back on your ship and snipe them from safety.

You use this same tactic with the cannon. When the skeletons are on the beach, light them up with cannon fire. This will kill them quickly. The cannon is also essential when defending or attacking an enemy ship. That is why it is important to stock up on cannonballs before you begin a voyage.

The powder keg is also a great weapon, and one that is not as well known. The powder keg is essentially a bomb in the pirate world. When you store it on your ship, be sure to put it somewhere that it will not damage your ship if it explodes, the crow’s nest. You can also sell this weapon to the Merchant Alliance for a hefty bounty.

Firing out of a Cannon

One of the most interesting aspects of Sea of Thieves is that you can fire yourself out of a cannon. If you don’t feel like swimming to shore, why not just hop in the cannon and shoot yourself to shore. It is certainly faster.

​Dive sunken ships to find untold riches. Keep and eye out for birds circling overhead.


Sunken Ships

While sailing from island to island be sure to be on the lookout for birds circling overhead. This is an indication that there is a shipwreck beneath the waves. Anchor just under the birds and dive in.

Shipwrecks are not only fun side quests, they can produce some of the best treasures for money. The wrecks are always Galleons so be sure to check the captain’s quarters and the two lower decks when you dive one.

Careful not to drown while diving a wreck. You will have plenty of time to dive down and grab one thing of treasure. If your character starts to choke while swimming to the surface, let go of whatever you are carrying and swim fast to get air. Don’t worry though, the treasure you dropped will float to the surface as well.

Any time you are swimming in the water, especially when diving a shipwreck, be on the lookout for sharks. There will likely be one or two before you leave the water. If you come across one, use the blunderbuss to shoot him. It will take two solid hits before it dies. Sharks can swim fast and after being bit twice by them, you will die. So, be sure to carry bananas before going into the water.


Player versus player can be a challenge, but it reveals true skill. Every player is on an even playing field. Nobody has better equipment or better perks. Everyone's the same. So, you have to show your true skill as a pirate when you face off against another.

When you are battling one on one, it is again best to have the cutlass and blunderbuss as your equipped weapons. Hit your enemy with the blunderbuss as fast as you can. Don’t take the time to aim since this is essentially a shotgun. While you are reloading, be sure to jump around and constantly move in order to make it harder for your enemy to hit you back. Two solid shots with the blunderbuss will typically kill your enemy. When you are out of ammo, attack with the trusty cutlass.

Once your enemy is dead, board their ship as quickly as possible and do anything you can to cause it damage. Running it into an island or big rock is the most effective. You have basically 30 secs before they return to their ship. You can do a lot in this time. Damage their ship as much as possible before you set your sights on their treasure. If their ship sinks before they return to it, they will lose all their treasure to you.

If you plan to sabotage an enemy it may be useful to point your own ship in the direction of open sea and jump off. Your ship will continue to sail and your enemy may think you are still on board, making them feel safe. However, you are really swimming underwater, undetected, on your way to wreak havoc. If, for whatever reason, you need to get back to your ship, the mermaid will show up and take you there.

Cannon battles are also an effective way to take an enemy out. Beware of ship size though. If you are in a Sloop, it is not wise to take on a Galleon. You will likely lose. If you see an unsuspecting ship floating off the coast of an island, it is time to be a pirate. Sail your ship a little ways behind theirs and drop anchor. Be sure that your ship is in a position where your cannons are aiming at the back of their ship and open fire. Aim the cannons below the waterline, as this will open holes that will flood their ship with water, sinking it. Be on the lookout for their crew. Once the cannons start to fire, they may come running, or swimming, to defend their ship. This means they may swim to your ship to kill you. Have one of your crew members guarding your ladders against unwanted boarding pirates. If you sink their ship, be sure to kill the crew and take your well-earned treasure.

Be prepared for a chase as well. The enemy ship may try to flee your attack, in which case you shall give pursuit. Time for an open sea battle. These can be difficult and unpredictable, but extremely fun (especially when it is Galleon vs Galleon). If you have a crew, have one person on the wheel and at least one on the cannons laying down fire constantly. Have a third person in charge of fixing leaks and bailing out water. If you are a crew of four, have two people on the cannon.

Aiming will be more difficult in high seas chase, but the principle still remains the same, hit below the waterline. If the enemy ship is in front of you and out of reach of your cannons, have the crew working the sails so that you catch enough wind to catch up with the enemy ship.

Try and broadside (all cannons are aiming towards the enemy) the enemy as often as possible. Sometimes you may have to implore a zigzag method to get an aim on the enemy. In such a case, have one man on the wheel, one on the cannons, and one working the sails as you zigzag.

Ramming is another effective method that will allow some of your crew to board an enemy ship, as well as cause damage to said ship. If you plan to ram the enemy, be sure to have someone below deck ready to repair your ship, because you will take damage as well. Have the remaining crew board the enemy ship and drop their anchor. This will allow you to wreak the most havoc.

Another important aspect of player versus player is being watchful when you and your crew are anchored off an island searching for treasure. You don’t want to get caught searching an island and your ship get sunk before you realize what is happening. If this happens, whatever treasure you find you will have to leave behind and come back for. You can’t take treasure with you when you use the mermaid to teleport to the new location of your ship.

To avoid this inconvenience, it is wise to have at least one person on the ship at all times as look out. This will protect you from surprise attacks while your crew is searching for treasure.

One of the best tactics to use when leaving your ship is to have her ready to sail at a moment's notice. You can do this by raising all the sails and the anchor. First you need to make sure your ship has come to a complete stop. You can do this by either dropping anchor, or slowing down by raising the sails. Once the boat is completely stopped, make sure the wheel is centered (the boat will spin if not) and raise sails and anchor. By doing this, the ship will not move very much, if at all. If you have to leave quickly due to an attack, all you have to do is drop the sails (which drop very quickly) and you will make your escape.


As mentioned before, you will encounter skeletons when working for the Order of Souls. However, this is not the only time you will encounter them. Skeletons are on pretty much every island you come to, no matter which type of voyage you are on. If you are digging up treasure, expect skeletons to attack before you finish.

The best way to efficiently take on skeletons is to have at least one member of the crew, preferably with the blunderbuss, defending against the skeletons. Another member can dig up treasure while the skeletons are distracted.

There are several types of skeletons that you will face in Sea of Thieves, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. It is good to know these before you take on a skeleton fort, because you will likely encounter every kind.

The type of skeletons are:

Normal Skeletons- These are simple to defeat. A few whacks with the sword or a good shot with a gun will kill them easily.

Gold Skeletons- These skeletons are nearly impossible to defeat without water. Let them follow you to a body of water and then attack them. You can also have water in your bucket and throw it on them. Water makes them weak and vulnerable.

Plant Skeletons- These are the opposite of the gold skeletons, keep them away from water (it heals them). Use your sword to whack away at these quick skeletons.

Shadow Skeletons- These can be the most difficult to defeat. They are impossible to defeat under cover of darkness. Lure them out into the light, where they will transform into normal skeletons, making them easy to kill. If you come across them at night, shine your lantern on them for the same effect.

Skeleton Forts

Now that you know the different types of skeletons and how to beat them, you can take on a skeleton fort when you see the skeleton cloud in the sky. These forts produce wave after wave of skeleton attacks. You and your crew must defeat them until you gain the key to their hideout, where the richest of treasures await. Beware! This treasure is not easily obtained.

Similar tactics should be used for the skeleton fort as would be used on any other island (one member on the ship at all times and be ready to sail quick). The member that stays behind on the ship can use the eye of reach to assist his crew in attacking the skeletons. This member should also be constantly scanning for enemy ships, as they can see the skeleton cloud too and take your well-earned treasure from right under your nose.

When approaching the fort be on the lookout for skeleton centuries that will fire cannons at you. Once you take these out, no more will enter and you will be in the clear to anchor your boat.

After each wave has been defeated you will be given a key to open up the treasure room. Have all members, who are not lookouts, transporting the treasure to the ship. Don’t worry about hiding it on the ship for now, as speed is of the utmost importance. Once the treasure room is clear and all goods are safely on the ship, high tail it to the nearest outpost to sell your reward!

Sailing straight for the Kraken. Load the cannons and prepare to take aim.


The Kraken

Hopefully you will make it to an outpost without incident, but the most unfortunate pirates are those who come face to face with the legendary Kraken.

You will know when the Kraken is attacking by the water turning black and your ship randomly stopping. Then come the Kraken’s tentacles, which will pick you up and throw you, slam on your ship causing damage, and try to sink you.

The Kraken is difficult, but with a crew that works together, you can survive. The eight tentacles are what you will be attacking. The weak spot of the Kraken is the tip of the tentacles that look like mouths. Use the eye of reach to attack these with accuracy. Have cannons firing on the thick part of the tentacles.

When one picks you up, pull out your sword and keep whacking at it until it throws you. When a tentacle slams on your deck, have all the crew on board use their sword to slash it.

There are times that other crews will join in on the fight. Let them join, because they are more concerned with the Kraken than with you. For a few brief moments, rival pirates are friends.

Now that you have taken on skeletons, the Kraken, and other pirates, you are becoming a seasoned sailor. With these tips and tricks, you should be able to take on anything the winds blow your way.


Official Sea of Thieves gameplay trailer.


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I spent 27 years creating my character for the RPG of Life. Now I am traveling in an open world writing the stories of the characters I encounter.
Gamer Since: 1996
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Sea of Thieves
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout 4, Assassin's Creed 2 , Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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