The Sea of Thieves closed beta is ending, but the trial period offered up plenty of hope for the game’s full release later this spring. While my first foray into the beta was less than exciting, my subsequent attempts to become a digital pirate provided me with glimpses into how fun this social game can be. With that being said I’ve drafted a list of six things you need to do when you first boot up the game to ensure you get the best first experience you can get, because if you go into Sea of Thieves blind with no one to help you, the affair can feel a bit shallow, leaving you with a sinking feeling of despair.
The order of this list is important, as each recommendation is ranked based how they can affect your Sea of Thieves experience. A few are one-offs, but you still have to try them once just to experience the thrill for the first time.
1. Set Sail with a Full and Talkative Crew
Sea of Thieves can be played in three different modes. There’s one that allows you to play with three other players, another that is meant for a duo of pirates, and the final mode allows you to go at it on your own. I can promise you that you will get the most enjoyment out of your first foray into the game if you play with a full crew. I should add the caveat that this crew needs to also have working headsets with mics, because even if you play with a full crew, if no one is communicating, the experience becomes very frustrating and a tad annoying. I learned this the hard way the first time I played the beta, and it definitely led to my initial pirating experience to feel weak and uninspiring. Playing this way makes the game boring and confusing, so trust me on this tip and play with friends, or at least other humans who communicate. Leave the solo mode for a later date, you’ll thank me in the end.
2. Embark on a Voyage as Soon as Possible
While Sea of Thieves is set in an open world that doesn’t have much structure, you’ll get the most out of the game the first time you play it if you collect a Voyage mission from the game’s main hub town. You can find these Voyages at the Gold Hoarder’s shop in town, so before any journey make sure to hit this creepy dude up for one of his maps. Once you have a Voyage map you can then vote on if you want to pursue it, at which time you and your crew can actually set off and achieve a goal rather than just blindly sailing around the game world looking for something to do. Sometimes it’s fun to just let the game world capture your imagination, but the first time you play I highly suggest taking on a Voyage, because it will give you a bit of structure and will naturally lead to you discovering how the game is meant to be played.
3. Engage in a Ship-to-Ship Battle
One of the main reasons I gave Sea of Thieves another try after my disastrous first experience, was to engage in a ship-to-ship battle. One must remember that any other ship you spot on the high seas in Sea of Thieves is controlled by other human players, so like any true pirate, it’s your job to ruin their day. Engaging in ship-to-ship battles embodies the teamwork spirit that Sea of Thieves’ gameplay inherently promotes, so you have to experience one sooner than later to fully understand the game’s multiplayer-centric tendencies. Coordination is key as someone must navigate the ship, while other crew members angle or change the sails and launch attacks with the ship’s canons. There’s also the melee battles that can ensue if you or an enemy ship sends its crew members to board the opposing ship, so you get to explore nearly every aspect of Sea of Thieves’ gameplay while engaging in these battles.
4. Get Shot Out of a Canon
This activity is one that must be explored during your first attempt at playing Sea of Thieves. While the novelty wears off after a few blasts out of the canon, getting shot out of one for the first time is a magical experience. There’s just something inherently fun and silly about loading yourself into a canon and then getting launched extraordinary distances through the air. Best of all, you can lump this experience in with your first ship-to-ship battles, because you can definitely blast your way onto the enemy ship’s deck in style. Like I said, after a while, the allure of blasting out of a canon wears off, but the first few launches provide plenty of giggles, making it a worthwhile activity to explore the first time you hit the open seas.
5. Puke on People
If you can find yourself a mug to fill it with Grog, you can drink enough to make yourself sick and vomit. Plenty of games have simulated the feeling of being drunk, but in Sea of Thieves you can take things a bit further with your stomach projectiles. You can either save your puke in buckets, which in turn can be flung at other pirates, or you can just straight up puke on them like you’re a former member of the Jackass crew. What’s even better about puking on someone is that their screen gets full of green goo when you heave on them, so your bile can be used as a weapon of mass destruction, or to just express your displeasure with an unruly crew mate.
6. Sink Your Ship
This activity comes in last because it’s pretty counterproductive for your overall Sea of Thieves experience, but it’s still an activity worth experiencing. The reason being is that the animations and sounds that accompany a sinking ship make it feel as if you’re truly going down with the ship. I wrecked my first ship accidentally, but experiencing the ensuing wreck was a fantastic — if not slightly horrific — affair. The sound design that accompanies a sinking ship really helps to make you feel like you’re going to die and that all is lost. That coupled with the physics of a ship sucking you underwater are enough to trick your senses into feeling as if you too are going down, so I enjoyed my digital ship sinking experience greatly. I’ve never been on a sinking ship, but after experiencing a ship going down to Davy Jones’ locker in Sea of Thieves, I definitely don’t ever want to in real life.
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