While it’s perfectly possible to take part in everything the Sea of Thieves has to offer as a ‘lone wolf’ pirate, you’ll find that life as part of a crew has a number of advantages. For one thing, there’s no danger of having to split the profits – you’ll receive the same amount of gold no matter how large or small your crew may be.
If you’ve accepted an invitation from a friend or a member of a party, you should soon find yourself in the tavern with fellow crew members already in tow. If you’d prefer to start a crew of your own, or simply throw in your lot with other pirates, you have a couple of options.
First, you’ll want to pick the kind of ship you’re planning on sailing, as this will determine the maximum size your crew can be. Sloops can carry a crew of one or two pirates, Brigantines support three and a crew of four requires a Galleon – although there’s nothing to stop you from having a go at sailing the larger ships all by yourself if you like. Nobody will laugh at you. Probably.
Next, you’ll need to choose between hosting an Open or Closed Crew. With an Open Crew, you’ll be teamed up with other pirates from around the world to fill any empty spaces, matching you with up to three strangers-turned-shipmates. If you have a Closed Crew, only people you’ve invited will be able to join.
At this point, you’ll get the opportunity to invite your friends or people from Clubs before choosing to set sail. You’ll still be able to send invites once you’re underway, so feel free to leave slots empty in anticipation of late arrivals. By default, if you have an Open Crew with an empty space, your friends will be able to see the available slot and choose to join it, but that option can be removed if you prefer. You can vote to change your Open/Closed Crew setting once you’re aboard.
The Sea of Thieves is an unpredictable place, and when it comes to effective shipboard communication, some pirates fall back on good old-fashioned shouting. Just be aware that while your crewmates can hear you no matter how far apart you are, other crews can also overhear your conversations if they get close enough. If you’d like to communicate with other crews over a distance, use your Speaking Trumpet.
Alternatively, there are two other ways to express yourself that sidestep voice entirely. One is Pirate Chat, which is a useful way to send written messages to your crew. Even if you can’t think of anything witty or enlightening to say, you can use Pirate Chat to select from some predefined, contextual phrases which will then be translated automatically.
If you’re more of a visual villain, you can also select an emote from the Pirate Wheel of Emotions to dance, wave, and generally make your feelings known to others, whether they’re part of your crew or not. If all else fails, try pulling out your tankard. Grog, they say, is the universal ice-breaker.