Ahoy, pirates! Sea of Thieves' momentous Anniversary Update is here, surging in on a tide of new features designed to cater to every kind of player. You've got a brand new competitive mode to enjoy as crews go up against each other in The Arena, an intriguing story-driven adventure to follow in Tall Tales – Shores of Gold, and the introduction of fishing, hunting and cooking to coincide with the arrival of The Hunter's Call!
As there's such a lot to take in, we've separated out the release notes for each part of the Anniversary Update below. Click on each of the buttons to see what's new.
Enjoy Sea of Thieves' biggest and boldest update yet!
Tall Tales - Shores of Gold
Grand adventures, vast riches to plunder, ancient secrets to uncover… stories of piracy and wild encounters on the waves. The Sea of Thieves is bigger and stranger than anyone knows. Tall Tales – Shores of Gold brings this pirate world into even more vibrant focus, leading you deep into long-lost legend and mystery. Are you ready to follow our trail of tales?
With the Anniversary Update, we’re introducing a series of interconnected Tall Tales for you to enjoy. Explore the stories of those who live on the Sea of Thieves as you embark upon a quest for a fabled lost island. This addition of Tall Tales – Shores of Gold brings with it a whole host of new gameplay additions that you’ll discover during this grand adventure.
Starting Your First Tale – Begin your adventure by visiting the Mysterious Stranger at any Outpost tavern. Beside the Stranger you’ll find a quest book which you can vote on with your crew to begin the Tall Tale.
Tall Tale Quest Books – Starting a Tall Tale will drop a quest book into your radial menu. You’ll need to use this to progress through the Tall Tale.
Enchanted Tools – As you journey through various Tall Tales, you may gain the use of Enchanted Tools to help overcome puzzles and solve mysteries. These won’t replace your own items but will be selectable from the quest radial for use during that Tall Tale.
Collector’s Chests – That’s right, you can now find chests that open! These Collector’s Chests act as a convenient place to store valuable items.
Skeleton Lords – Introducing Skeleton Lords, imposing foes clambering out of the oldest legends into the present day. Meaner than any of the bony marauders you’ve fought so far, these intimidating adversaries can only be encountered by following the Tall Tales as they unfold.
Reviewing your Tale Progress – A new Tall Tales section has been added to the Reputation pages, detailing your progress through each Tale in Shores of Gold. Once a Tale is unlocked, use the ‘More Info’ button to find a reminder of where to go to begin your next Tale.
Shores of Gold Commendations and Rewards – New adventures mean new Commendations! Along with tracking your progress, the new Tall Tales Reputation page hosts a range of Commendations to unlock and rewards to earn as you progress through the Tales. Look closely as some Tales award a new 'Cursed' effect to bestow upon your pirate...
Experience the thrill of competition and engage in explosive encounters in The Arena – a place dedicated to contests of seafaring skill on the Sea of Thieves! The proudest pirates love to show off their abilities and The Arena is the ideal place for it. Trust in your crew and test your mettle in this dedicated new game mode.
The Arena is a new Sea of Thieves experience designed to complement the existing Adventure. It allows players to dive straight into on-demand competitive play against other crews. Offering a challenging test of teamwork and strategy, The Arena provides a uniquely action-focused new way to enjoy the world of Sea of Thieves.
Welcome to The Arena – To get you started, you’ll be given an introduction to The Arena by DeMarco Singh himself, providing you with advice on how to compete.
The Sea Dogs Tavern – The Sea Dogs operate out of their own special tavern, built as a gathering place for all pirates keen to participate in contests of courage and expertise. When playing The Arena, you’ll spend any downtime between contests in this tavern, where you can explore, drink and chat with other challengers.
Arena Locations – The Anniversary Update introduces six Arena locations, each with two layouts, hand-picked by Lesedi and DeMarco to ensure the most gratifying of contests.
These maps are:
- Leave Us a Lone
- Spoiling for a Fight
- Kraken’s Brawl
- Wanderer’s War
- Plunder for All
- Call of the Marauders
Sight of the Damned – As The Arena is far too fast-paced for jaunts on board the Ferry of the Damned, it introduces the all-new ‘Sight of the Damned’. This causes your viewpoint to slowly spin above and away from your body, allowing you to stay in the game and communicate tactically with the rest of your crew.
The Sea Dogs Trading Company – The Sea Dogs are run by Lesedi and DeMarco, twins and rivals who embody the spirit of The Arena: lively and sometimes heated competition tempered by mutual respect. As you compete in contests, your standing with the Sea Dogs will improve, unlocking special Sea Dogs Cosmetic Rewards and Titles.
Sea Dog Commendations – Obtain accolades for your exploits in The Arena. Achieving certain feats will unlock Commendations and titles for your pirate to wear proudly as a sign of competitive prowess.
Glorious Sea Dog Cosmetics – You won’t just find glory in The Arena, you’ll find spoils too! The Glorious Sea Dog set is a symbol of honour, pride and fighting spirit. Show your enthusiasm for all three of these things by purchasing this set from the Sea Dogs Tavern.
The Hunter's Call
Pirate bard Merrick, a true survivor of the Sea of Thieves, has decided to build on his experiences by founding a new Trading Company known as The Hunter’s Call. This ragtag band boasts experts in hunting, fishing and cooking and would like all pirates to master the same skills. Handsome rewards await those who can catch the rarest creatures and cook the finest dishes!
Plenty More Fish – Sea of Thieves has had an influx of wildlife! There are many variations of fish populating the seas which can be caught by meeting specific fishing conditions and using the right bait. Check The Hunter’s Call Commendation screen for a few initial hints!
Let's Get Fishing! – Fishing is a popular pirate pastime, since it can be enjoyed on islands or aboard ships and can result in a fine meal if you’re any good at it. Reel in a fish (being careful not to snap your line) then try showing off your catches to The Hunter’s Call.
Grab your Rod – Fishing would be difficult without a fishing rod, so you’ll find one added to your inventory. If your standard fishing rod isn’t quite snazzy enough, fear not – shops on the Sea of Thieves are now freshly stocked with rods to suit all pirate tastes.
That’s Bait – If you’re planning to go fishing, bait would be a great help. You’ll find grubs, leeches and earthworms in resource barrels across the Sea of Thieves. Each will help you meet certain conditions to catch even the rarest of fish.
Become the Hunter… – Whether you're taking down giant beasts like the Kraken or hunting smaller prey such as chickens, creatures will now drop raw meat ready for cooking. Keep an eye out while salvaging as you might even find some in shipwrecks or on Skeleton Ships.
…Or the Gatherer – A variety of different restorative food types are now available to pirates. While you’ll find your trusty banana is now a little less satisfying, rarer fruits will replenish more health.
Get Cooking! – You’ll now find cooking spots on ships and at campfires throughout the world. Demonstrate your culinary prowess with any ingredients you can get your hands on! But be careful, as overcooking food will reduce its effectiveness… and its value.
Cooking to Perfection – With raw bananas replenishing a base level of health, you’d expect a well-cooked piece of food to do more. Cooking something to perfection will provide a period of health regeneration, shown as a ring around your health bar. Now you can whip up a meal before battle to get an advantage over your rivals! Again, avoid overcooking to obtain best results.
The Hunter’s Call Commendations – A brand new Company means brand new Commendations for you to collect. Get rewarded for fishing, hunting and cooking as you work your way up through the ranks and into Merrick’s good books.
The Hunter’s Call Rewards – Many tales of Merrick’s own ship, The Killer Whale, are told throughout the Sea of Thieves. Now your pirate and vessel can look just like the infamous ship and its crew! Climb the ranks of The Hunter’s Call to earn Killer Whale items and liveries along with a range of new Tattoo and Makeup options from Merrick and his extended family.
The Sea of Thieves Anniversary Update also brings along various world improvements to enhance the core experience. Expanded ship damage means that your beloved vessel can suffer a broken mast, capstan or even wheel, meaning that sailing and escaping battle could become very tricky indeed.
New Front End Menu – New ways to play provide a host of new options! When you load in to Sea of Thieves, you’ll now be able to choose between The Arena and Adventure.
What’s New Section – Want the latest on what’s happening with Sea of Thieves? Make sure you check the What’s New section on the front end menu. This will be regularly updated with advice and feature additions to keep you in the loop.
Expanded Ship Damage
Time to start honing your cannon skills, because landing an accurate shot now means more than ever. With this update, you can target various areas of your opponent’s ship to devastating effect:
Hit the Hull – When targeting your enemy’s hull, repeated impacts in the same place will increase the size of the holes created. These holes speed up the rate at which a ship fills with water and take longer to repair!
Collapse the Mast – Landing a fine shot on another ship’s mast will send the mast crashing down onto the deck of the ship, slowing its speed. The mast will have to be raised and patched up with wood to secure it back in place.
Drop the Anchor – Targeting the capstan will drop the anchor and damage the capstan pegs. The pegs will need to be repaired before the anchor can be raised at the original speed.
Wipe Out the Wheel – Targeting a ship’s wheel will destroy the spokes, reducing the effectiveness of turning the ship. Repairs to the wheel will be needed to regain the ship’s original turning speed.
Man the Harpoons
The Shipwrights have finally delivered those harpoons we ordered! Each ship now has two harpoon guns fitted to the bow, introducing a huge range of tactical options for The Arena and Adventure alike.
Stick Around – Latching on to a rival crew’s ship in the heat of battle or using the environment to enable some advanced sailing tactics are just two ways to gain an edge on the seas.
Get Me Out of Here – Does a crewmate wish to make a hasty retreat, or do you need to remove a rival pirate from the fray? Use the harpoon to pluck them from the battle and bring them back to your ship.
Shoot the Loot – Harpoons are great for looting too! Retrieve treasure from the sea, from land or even from another pirate’s clutches. Don’t forget to yell “Yoink!” as you pinch that plunder.
Feel Like Strutting your Stuff? - The brand-new Parrot set is definitely for you. This colourful collection includes an outfit, a full set of items and a ship livery and is available to purchase from all reputable in-game shops.
Just Browsing – Finding that specific hat you’ve been eyeing up has never been easier. There are now category filters at all the shops to help you browse by a specific category of item.
Counting Stock – Adjustments have been made to the Resources inventory. Resource limits are now shown at the top of the inventory grid for cannonballs, Cursed Cannonballs, food, wood and bait.
Improved Barrel Inventory – The barrel inventory has been expanded to display a 4x4 grid of items rather than a 3x4 grid.
Going the Distance – The distance at which players can see their crew’s gamertags has been doubled, while the distance at which players can see non-crew gamertags has been halved.
Accessibility Improvements – The ‘Let Games Read to Me’ accessibility options for Xbox One and PC are now available. These are currently supported for players with their language and region set to English US.
Combined Notifications – When cashing in multiple items at once, UI pop-ups will now combine the rewards into a single pop-up rather than queuing them individually.
High Dynamic Range – Support has been improved for HDR-compatible screens on PC. Players can access a ‘HDR Calibration’ page within their Settings to calibrate the brightness of the display.
Fight with Honour – When attacking with your cutlass, striking the environment will no longer trigger a three-hit combo chain.
Xbox One S Improvements – Performance on the Xbox One S has been improved.
Improved Loading Times – Time taken to initially load in to Sea of Thieves has been reduced.
Game Stability – Resolved a number of client and server stability issues.
We are constantly reviewing the performance and stability of each release and providing performance optimisations and stability improvements.
- 'Push to Talk' functionality now works correctly on Xbox One when set up in Audio Settings.
- Chest of Sorrows no longer fills up a ship when placed on a docked Rowboat that is then detached from the ship.
- When fighting the Kraken, moving into a safe space while it attempts to snatch you up from the ship will no longer cause you to be pulled through the environment.
- If the game is unable to delete your pirate from the front end settings screen, it will no longer cause an infinite loading screen.
- It is no longer possible to interact with items while holding a chest.
- After undocking from a ship-based interactive item, you will now be able to correctly tap the quest radial or item radial to return to the previously wielded item.
- Resolved an edge case where a Closed Crew could become an Open Crew when the crew owner leaves.
- Resolved an issue preventing Xbox One players using a mouse from turning their camera.
- When using the pirate chat radial, closing the second page of the radial without selecting a message will no longer automatically send a message.
- Players with unlocked Commendations for previous Mercenary Voyages will once again see their Commendations in the Reputation pages.
- The Title counts on the Bilge Rats Reputation page will now correctly count the Titles available to players.
- During the new player onboarding tutorial, handing your tutorial chest to another player and having them cash it in for you will no longer leave tutorial messages stuck on-screen.
Audio and Visual
- Waterfall SFX at Plunder Valley no longer cut out.
- Fauna now renders at the correct level of detail when players are in close proximity.
- Shanties now play as expected when played during a server migration.
- Angled palm trees found in the Shores of Plenty region now render correctly.
- The cannon next to the beacon on Devil’s Ridge can now be climbed into.
- The ship’s flag on the Ferry of the Damned is now correctly attached.
- There are no longer palm leaves stuck to the beach at Mermaid’s Hideaway.
- Players can no longer walk beneath the water on Crescent Isle.
- It no longer rains in the Pirate Legend Hideout at Plunder Outpost.
- It’s no longer possible to get stuck inside rocks at Thieves’ Haven.
- Players can no longer get stuck between the wharf and the tree at Plunder Outpost.
- It’s no longer possible to get stuck on rocks at Ancient Spire Outpost.
The Arena Tavern Wait Times – During times of heavy server load, crews using Tavern matchmaking in The Arena may experience an extended delay when waiting to begin a contest. To get back into the action quickly, anyone experiencing this issue should leave the Tavern, return to the front end and matchmake into another Arena session.
Health Bar UI Delays – When regenerating health from cooked food, taking damage may cause the health bar to be delayed in updating.
Sea Dogs Tavern Purchase Delays – Players who purchase an item from the Sea Dogs Tavern shop shortly before migrating to a new server will not immediately see the purchase in their inventory. The purchase has been successful, but will only be shown when the player returns to the Tavern after their next contest.
Sailor of Athena’s Fortune Commendation Progress – Players do not receive progress towards the Sailor of Athena’s Fortune Commendation while their crew have both an Athena’s Fortune Voyage and a Tall Tale active at the same time.
Quest Item Loss in ‘The Shores of Gold’ – Losing the Gold Hoarders Coin during ‘The Shores of Gold’ Tall Tale will not automatically fail the Tall Tale, but your crew will be unable to progress.
Missing Phrases on Food Items – Some food items show available phrases in the pirate chat radial, but selecting them will not correctly send them to other players.
Incorrect Ship Flag Icons on Arena Map Table – Following consecutive contests in The Arena, the ship’s map table may show incorrect ship flag iconography for rival crews.
Extended Black Screen on Loading – In this build we’ve resolved a number of cases where players could be held indefinitely on the black loading screen when returning from the Ferry of the Damned or a mermaid. However, some instances of this may still be present, which we will continue to investigate. If you encounter this issue, please raise a support ticket with as much detail as you can provide.
We are continuing to work on resolutions for all these issues for a future update.