Sea Of Thieves Ship
Image: Rare

10 things I wish I knew before starting Sea of Thieves

May your first voyage be a bountiful one.

It is easy to feel lost as a new player in Sea of Thieves, as there is a wealth of content just waiting for you. If I were to know the following tips before I started playing, I would have had a much easier time plundering and fighting. At least the onboarding process isn’t as bad as Destiny 2’s.

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Although I first joined Sea of Thieves back in 2018, I took a long break and bypassed many updates, so this will be a list of classic tips and new ones.

The Reputation menu will tell you everything you can do

Sea Of Thieves Reputation
Screenshot: PC Invasion

I was rather confused when playing Sea of Thieves for the first time. My crew had stranded me at an Outpost and I didn’t even know about it. I was accepting voyages left and right without any knowledge of what I could do. I soon learned about the Reputation menu, however.

To curb your overwhelming confusion, and replace it with overwhelming knowledge, check out the Reputation menu. Here, you will have everything you can possibly do in Sea of Thieves. You’ve got a list of all the Tall Tales, a list of all the factions, and the Bilge Rats.

Each of these factions will have Commendations – achievements – that will reward you for every possible act you do in the game. So if you want to get a taste of what’s out there in the wild world, then peruse the faction Commendations.

Do note that the Bilge Rats, although a Trading Company, is different from the rest. The Bilge Rats Commendations menu will show you every single update in the game’s history, with the Commendations showing all the new content that the updates brought. As the game gets updated, more entries will be added. So the Bilge Rats Commendations are the best way to see every feature you could embark on.

Knowing this will provide you with some sort of structure and a resource to keep looking back to if ever you need to get your bearings.

Don’t ignore your Renown levels and challenges

Sea Of Thieves Trials
Screenshot: PC Invasion

When I played Sea of Thieves again after my break, the Seasons and Renown were introduced. Honestly, I initially ignored them. The different trials, the track, the new menus – I couldn’t quite be bothered.

However, it’s really simple when you break it down. Every season has 100 levels full of free rewards, giving you exclusive cosmetics, lots of Gold, and even Ancient Coins and Doubloons. But the real treat is the Renown trials themselves.

The daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal trials are a great resource for the things you can get up to in your adventures. When sprinkling a few easy trials into your voyages, you’ll be earning much more Gold. It’s easy and comes with treasure, I wish I had capitalized on that sooner.

Plan your voyages – even if it’s to not have one

Sea Of Thieves Flag
Screenshot: PC Invasion

I didn’t plan my voyages. I just went on a random one I had picked up. This is fine, mind you, but planning an adventure is even more thrilling and rewarding.

With the voyage system being scrapped for the Quest Table, it couldn’t be easier to plan exactly what voyage you want to embark on. I would recommend you center your adventures around either a faction, a Bilge Rats update or Commendation, or the emergeant world events.

With those in mind, you’ll be more prone to unlock Commendations if that’s your style or earn more gold. By focusing on a faction, you can fly their Emissary flag and quadruple the profits. Or, for a more buccaneering adventure, you can set sail and face all the world events the seas have to offer you, collecting a large bounty of assorted goods.

This structure brings forth greater joy and Gold – what’s not to love?

Don’t sail near any landmass when triggering random events

Sea Of Thieves Rock
Screenshot: PC Invasion

When on your adventure, if you’re after (or have been targeted by) a Megalodon, Skeleton Crew, or even the Kraken, make sure not to sail near any landmass whatsoever. Typically, they will flee or lose interest if you’re near an island, especially for the Megalodon, which is an infuriating end for an epic battle.

I would even steer clear of jutting rocks when facing the Megalodon, they’re very sensitive these days.

On the other hand, if you wish to flee and evade conflict, you know what to do.

Join Alliances where you can

Sea Of Thieves Alliance
Screenshot: PC Invasion

At the crow’s nest, you can change your flag color and update your alliance status. These alliances are temporary teams that only last for that session, and they’re a great help. As long as both crews are flying the “Alliance Pennant,” they will be joined in an alliance. There is no ship cap for alliances also, so the entire server can unite if they wish.

When in an alliance, you will also profit and gain reputation from anything sold by your teammates, albeit at 50% of the value. This is a great way to gain additional gold and reputation levels. So it’s always worth flying it in case another crew happens to sail by also wanting an alliance.

Ship size does matter!

Sea Of Thieves Sails
Screenshot: PC Invasion

It’s not all love and friendship on the seas, however. I learned that ship sizes really do impact speed a little later than I should have. Use the following knowledge wisely to run away from combat, or pursue your prey:

  • Sloops are the slowest ship when sailing with the wind, but the fastest when sailing against it.
  • Brigantines are the middle ground of speed between the Sloop and the Galleon.
  • Galleons are the fastest ship when sailing with the wind, but the slowest when sailing against it.

Keep this in mind if ever you’re in a Sloop and need to turn tails against a full Galleon crew.

Sell Mermaid Gems to the Merchant Alliance

Sea Of Thieves Merchant
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Mermaid Gems, and their improved equivalents, are valuable loot that can be sold to any of the major trading companies. They provide the same amount of gold and reputation for all of them, allowing you to choose who you want to appease.

However, and this may just be me, but the Merchant Alliance has the most boring missions of the trading companies. Not to say that they’re bad, just less interesting and generally more frustrating. So to minimize the amount of Merchant Alliance quests I’d need to do to become a Pirate Legend, I always sell them the Mermaid Gems to gain Reputation whilst I’m off doing other voyages.

If you prefer the Merchant Alliance over another trading company, then you can always apply the same logic and sell the Mermaid Gems to them instead.

The best place to store Gunpowder Barrels…

Sea Of Thieves Gunpowder
Screenshot: PC Invasion

…is on someone else’s ship.

All jests aside, Gunpowder Barrels do crazy damage to a ship, so they’re always worth picking up. However, there is a strong chance that it can be used against you in the same way. If a cannonball hits it, another player snipes it, or you accidentally swing at it, your ship will go sky-high.

The best places to store Gunpowder barrels are on the crow’s nest, the very end of the bow, or on one of your sails.

No matter where you place one on your ship, however, it’s prone to backfiring. Which is why you’ll want to use it in a fight immediately. When playing with friends, this is easy. With some mental calculations, you can leap off your ship with the Gunpowder Barrel, swim over where you expect the enemy ship to sail to, and light the fuse. When the ship sails over you, they’re in for a nasty surprise.

You can also light it and drop it off the back end of your ship in a chase.

The Sword Dash trick will save you lots of time

Sea Of Thieves Dash
Screenshot: PC Invasion

My favorite trick in Sea of Thieves has got to be the Sword Dash trick. It would have saved me so much time if I had known about it sooner.

If you sword dash on the very edge of the water, be it from the shore of an island or the edge of your ship, you’ll go zooming. This really helps for traversal to save time going between an island and your ship, and even has some PvP benefits, too.

Try it out, it’s awesome.

How to become a Pirate Legend

Sea Of Thieves Pirate Legend
Screenshot: PC Invasion

When Sea of Thieves first came out, only the Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, and Merchant Alliance were around. So to become a Pirate Legend, you had to get to level 50 in all three factions. However, since so many more have been added, that requirement has changed.

You now only need to be level 50 in any of the three factions. This means that, if you prefer PvP, you can become Pirate Legend by advancing the three PvP-focused factions, and you can forget about defeating skeletons and obtaining lost cargo.

Equipped now with these tips I wish I had known when playing Sea of Thieves, you should be off to a swimming start. Whilst it’s still around, why don’t you also check out a hilarious Throwing Knife glitch?

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Aidan Lambourne
Aidan Lambourne is a contributing writer for PC Invasion, with almost a couple years of experience in the industry. He has written about Roblox extensively, although has keenly covered new releases and indie games. A passionate writer and gamer, he still can't really believe he gets to indulge in both for a career.