December’s update has arrived! Festival of Giving is our last Monthly Content Update for the year, seeking to bring a little festive fun to the Sea of Thieves. As is traditional, we’ve wrapped up the latest wave of changes in a brand new Content Update Trailer.

Official Sea of Thieves Content Update: Festival of Giving

Duración 3:30

For a full breakdown of what the Festival of Giving brings to the table, have a read of the latest release notes!

Festival of Giving

The Outpost taverns have been dressed in jolly decorations - it’s time for the season of giving! Mysterious gifts of unknown origin have appeared throughout the Sea of Thieves, and Stitcher Jim has tasked crews with retrieving them. Rewards are on offer for delivering them to his beloved, currently camped near the wreckage of Merrick’s ship on the Uncharted Reef, now being referred to as The Reapers’ Hideout.

New Player Onboarding

New pirates continue to break through the Shroud and discover the vast expanse of the Sea of Thieves. These fresh-faced folks need help finding their sea legs and must be introduced to the Outpost locals and Trading Companies…

Pirate Emporium

With fresh goods smuggled into the Sea of Thieves each month, the Pirate Emporium has been restocked with rare goods and festive treats. Head to the Emporium from the Sea of Thieves main menu before jumping into the game, or at an Outpost via the store above the Order of Souls tent!

Black Market

Stitcher Jim is in good spirits and has refreshed the Black Market with a range of new items. With the introduction of the Aristocrat clothing set, completion of the Mercenary equipment set and the eerie Nightshine Parrot ship, he’s sure he has something to tempt you for your coinage.

Combat Balancing

The Festival of Giving update brings a range of improvements to sword combat, with the goal of removing potential exploits while creating a more fluid sword combat experience and better interplay between attacker and defender. To learn more about the reasons behind these changes, read this developer post by Sea of Thieves Design Director Mike Chapman.

  • Sword Miss Cooldown – When performing a sword strike and missing an opponent, the cooldown before the player can swing again has been reduced.

  • Sword Stunlock Removal – When successfully blocking a sword strike, you will no longer be stunned and unable to move. If you are hit and damaged by a sword strike, the stun duration has now been reduced. However, skeletons continue to be affected by stun from both blocked and damaging strikes as before.

  • Sword Wield Timing – When wielding a sword, the player now has a brief delay before being able to strike. Revised animations have been added to better identify when the sword has reached its idle state and allow the player to strike. 

  • Directional Damage Indicator – When you are being attacked, the damage effect around the screen now identifies the direction in which the damage came from.

  • Sword Trails – Wielding a cutlass and striking your foes once again uses a trail visual effect.


  • Portable Ammo Crates – Portable Ammo Crates can now be found washed up across the Sea of Thieves. These can hold 50 ammo and can be carried to the Ammo Chest found on your ship or on an island to restock the Ammo Crate’s supply.

  • Storm Lightning Balancing – The frequency of lightning strikes hitting players while inside a storm has been reduced, but wielding your cutlass will continue to increase the chances of being hit and any subsequent damage.

  • It Should Just Work? – Throwing up onto a fire will now extinguish it as expected!

  • Selling Collector’s Chests – All Collector’s Chests found across the world or discovered during Tall Tales can now be sold to the Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls or Merchant Alliance Trading Companies once they are empty. Crews are rewarded with gold and reputation for each chest cashed in!

  • Fire Visual Effects – Fire visual effects have been improved on HDR and high-spec machines.

Fixed Issues


  • Bow splashes should now play correctly when your ship is moving through the water.

  • Migrating to a server that contains a ship with a broken mast will now show the ship mast in the correct state.

  • The red Ashen Ship Cloud now has an appropriate red reflection on the sea below.

  • Resolved an issue causing player loadouts to become corrupted upon loading into the game and immediately purchasing an item, resulting in the next visit to the Ferry of the Damned (or game restart) resetting the loadout.

  • The 'Allow Friends to Join Me' setting no longer prevents the sending of invites. Instead it just prevents friends from joining your crew without an invite.

  • The glow from Cursed Cannonballs no longer lingers around the player when they stow the cannonball.

  • Tall Tales - ‘The Shroudbreaker’ - Resolved missing localisation for collecting pages from the Ancient Chest.

  • Tall Tales - ‘The Fate of the Morningstar’ - The Enchanted Lantern no longer takes on the player’s Flame of Fate colour.

  • Tall Tales - ‘Shores of Gold’ - Players returning to the Gold Hoarder’s Treasure Room while the cutscene is playing will now be able to experience the cutscene.

  • Resolved texture issues on the Wailing Barnacle Spyglass and Forsaken Ashes Wheel.

  • Vibrant Two-Tone Hair Dye has been returned to the Pirate Hideout Store.

  • Cancelling out of repairing the ship’s wheel or capstan no longer plays damage VFX/SFX.

  • Raising a dropped mast then lowering the sails will no longer cause the mast to clip through the ship.

  • Players will no longer become stuck if they pick up an item while casting the fishing rod.

  • Switching to a sword while aiming a gun now shows up correctly from the perspective of another player.

  • The Reaper’s Chest beam no longer persists for a couple of seconds where the chest was picked up.

  • Resolved animation issues with certain body types when performing the jump sit emote.

  • Fished items can now be placed inside the Collector’s Chest.

  • Shooting a Mermaid Statue with a blunderbuss now produces the correct sound effect.

Tall Tales – ‘The Seabound Soul’

  • Ambient skeletons can no longer spawn in the time between starting the Tale and the beginning of the cutscene.

  • Leaving the Ancient Tomb between opening the sarcophagus and taking the skull will no longer cause the tomb door to remain closed.

The Arena

  • Further reductions to wait times in the Glorious Sea Dog Tavern.

  • Crews are now able to score points up until the very end of the contest.

  • Crews are no longer able to hand in chests after the contest has ended.


  • Pets can no longer be placed in or retrieved from a cage when the cage is closed.

Fort of the Damned

  • The Fort of the Damned Vault door is now locked when migrating to a new server. If you migrate after opening the Fort of the Damned, the Vault stays open on your new server, allowing you to retrieve your rewards.


  • Attempting to stow a firebomb while charging a throw will now correctly stow the firebomb and not prevent players from switching weapons.

  • When throwing a firebomb, other players can no longer take it from you.

  • Smoke VFX will no longer always render in front of fire VFX when the fire is closer to the player.

  • Throwing a firebomb while held by a Kraken tentacle now works as intended.

  • Firebombs no longer cause a ship or Gunpowder Keg to ignite when exploding underwater.

  • Firebombs no longer set fire to players above water when exploding underwater.

  • Rum Crates, fauna and explosive barrels will now take damage if they are on the harpoon of a burning ship.

  • Self-dousing yourself now consistently plays splash VFX.

  • Players can no longer throw two firebombs in quick succession, causing other players to see two explosions.

  • The charring effect can now be applied to the mast on the Sloop.

  • Being set on fire no longer forces you to exit a barrel UI screen.

Known Issues

  • Pets – Pets can become stuck in motion on your ship when returning from the Ferry of the Damned – Some players may find that on returning from the Ferry of the Damned their pet can become stuck unable to follow the player

  • New Player Onboarding – Joining a crew in progress can cause your player to load into an unloaded island – As a New Player, if they have yet to complete the Company Onboarding – joining a crew in progress can cause them to load into the world incorrectly and arrive at an unloaded island

  • Tall Tales - Sailor of the Shores of Gold Title Not Unlocking – Some players may find that after having completed the Seeker of Grand Adventure Commendation, they are not awarded the Sailor of the Shores of Gold Title.

  • Cosmetics - Equipped Cosmetics do not persist between sessions – Some players may find that after equipping cosmetics then leaving the game, upon their return those cosmetics will no longer be equipped.

To learn more about the currently tracked known issues on Sea of Thieves and their status, head over to our Known Issues support site article.

Download and Installation

Download size:

Xbox One: 5.54 GB
Xbox One X: 8.59 GB
Windows 10: 8.59 GB


Forum Discussion

You can discuss these release notes in the Forums here.

You can leave your feedback on the game in general here.

Looking For Crew?

Looking for new crewmates? We've got a bunch of places you can visit to seek out like-minded pirates, so sail on over to these official Sea of Thieves hangouts: