Sea of Thieves marked one year on March 20, and as part of our first birthday celebrations we put the cake aside long enough to lay out details of our largest update so far – the Anniversary Update, which introduces new game modes, requested gameplay features and enhancements that reshape the ways players enjoyed the game.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the wait is over – the Anniversary Update is live, free for all Sea of Thieves players with Xbox Game Pass or on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. We hope this is an update both existing players and new fans can dive right into, and are thrilled to finally share what we’ve been building. Here at Rare, we’ve spent the last few weeks taking a close look at what the update has in store via a series of livestreams from our Twycross HQ, but in case you’ve been locked in the brig since then, here’s a brief reminder:
We began by drawing our swords and sailing into The Arena, a new and highly-competitive player vs. player multiplayer experience that distils the quintessential Sea of Thieves gameplay of sailing, shooting and looting into fixed-length play sessions where rewards are given not just for success, but for the havoc you wreak along the way.
In The Arena, five crews will take command of galleons and set out in pursuit of the same buried booty. Being the crew that grabs the treasure and returns it safely to the new Sea Dogs Trading Company will earn your crew some valuable silver, but so will scoring hits against enemy vessels with cannon fire and taking out other players in combat. Now that ships can suffer damage to their wheel, masts and capstan, these sea battles will offer even more tactical depth and more opportunities for mayhem. The crew with the most silver at the end of each 24-minute bout will earn a well-deserved victory, and so The Arena is the perfect way to experience the hectic hilarity of a Sea of Thieves voyage when you only have a short time to play.
If you’re exhausted after the broadsides and brawling of The Arena, there’s now a brand-new way to relax and unwind courtesy of a fan-favourite feature: fishing. Yes, pirates will able to cast a line into any body of water and try their luck at catching different kinds of fish. Some species will respond to different types of bait, others can only be found in certain regions of the world and more elusive types won’t show so much as a tailfin unless the conditions are right, so there’ll be plenty of experimentation involved if you’re looking to impress.
Impress who? That’s where the gourmets of the Hunter’s Call come in. This new Trading Company can be found at sea ports across the Sea of Thieves, and they’ll reward pirates who are able to hand over rare and exotic types of fish and other meats – especially if they’ve been cooked to perfection over a campfire or on your ship’s new stove. Of course, if you’ve dished up the perfect maritime meal, you might decide to keep it for yourself and use it as a health-boosting snack down the line.
If you’d rather reel in a bigger, angrier prize, the new harpoons aboard your ship can be used to snag barrels, chests and even other pirates! They’re also handy for tethering yourself to another ship, making it much easier to board other vessels. Harpoons have plenty of other uses too, but we’ll leave you to discover those for yourselves…
Last but most certainly not least, our Anniversary Update livestreams introduced the first set of Tall Tales, Shores of Gold. Tall Tales provide narrative-focused adventures set within the shared world of Sea of Thieves and can be enjoyed by crews and solo players alike. In Shores of Gold, pirates will assemble the mythical Shroudbreaker artefact, seeking to use its power and reach a mysterious island filled with fabulous riches.
Along the way, players will solve puzzles, explore ancient labyrinths, dodge traps and do battle with fearsome Skeleton Lords. The story spans nine Tall Tales, each of which has been designed to combine dramatic storytelling and narrative cutscenes (voiced by professional actors) but still be playable and enjoyable over and over, especially since they take place in a living, unpredictable world where other players might well have their part to play in your adventure.
It’s been a transformative first year for Sea of Thieves, and everyone on the team is super-proud of what the Anniversary Update means for the game. On behalf of all of us here at Rare, I’d like to encourage players old and new to go and check out all the new features – whatever kind of pirate you are, we’re sure there’s something in there you’ll love. We hope you enjoy the update but remember – today is just the next step on our Sea of Thieves journey, and there are plenty more surprises lying just over the horizon.
New to Sea of Thieves? Join the adventure with Xbox Game Pass or on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. If you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass yet, join today to get your first month for $1 and get access to over 100 great games, with new titles being added all of the time. Prospective pirates can learn more at xbox.com/seaofthieves or visit the Sea of Thieves website at SeaofThieves.com to embark on an epic journey with one of gaming’s most welcoming communities.