Let’s begin with walking and talking. You might think that’s pretty self-explanatory, but believe me, it’s harder than you might imagine if you’ve been at the grog all morning.
Start by taking a look at these charts. They’re not treasure charts, sadly, but they’ll give you a good idea of all the ways you can leap, dash and generally get to where you want to be. (If you’d prefer to scrunch up these pages and toss them into the fire, you can also customise your own control scheme in the Settings menu.)
Whatever your preferred method of motion, you’ll notice the charts have a lot of features in common. Beyond looking and walking around, a healthy pirate can also:
Jump: You won’t be leaping tall taverns in a single bound, but jumping will get you over obstacles and might mean the difference between landing safely in the water or splatting on the sand nearby.
Sprint: A burst of speed is always useful, whether you want to outrun an enemy or just be first in line at the bar. Just remember there are some things you can’t manage while sprinting, like using a pistol – and if you’re holding treasure or another type of object that can’t be stowed away on your person, you won’t be able to sprint at all.
Interact: There are lots of things you can chat with, poke at or otherwise make use of, and you’ll find them all across the Sea of Thieves. When you approach an object or a person, you’ll see the different ways you can interact with them. If it’s a cannon, for example, you can choose between Primary Use to operate it, or Secondary Use to load any cannonball you might be holding. Some objects will only ever have a Primary Use, but you’ll always be able to see the options once you’re close enough.
Disengage/Stow/Drop: Feel the need to go hands-free? This is how. If you’re interacting with something like a capstan or cannon, you can release it. If you’re holding a common object that can be stored on your person, like a banana, you can put it away. If you’re holding treasure or another kind of object that can’t be stored, you can drop it. Of course, anyone else can snatch up a placed or dropped object, so think twice before you set down anything valuable.
Use: Holding things is boring. Using things is the fun part! What happens when you use an object depends on what it is – so you can play a musical instrument or fire a pistol. Some objects also have a Secondary Use: a cutlass, for example, can be used to block an attack.
Cycle Weapons: Even the brawniest pirate is limited to carrying two weapons at any time – either a cutlass and a firearm, or two firearms. This is how you switch between them. (Seamark will have plenty more to tell you about weapons elsewhere!)
Item Radial: The Item Radial has several pages that give you easy access to your belongings. When you open the radial you’ll see the first page of your equipment, which contains day-to-day items like your shovel and compass. The second page is for items you might use when socialising, like your tankard and musical instruments. The Item Radial also has pages for throwable items like Blunderbombs, along with maps and other important Quest Items. If you’re holding certain objects, you might also see a page of relevant items that can be used in tandem – bait for your fishing rod, for example.
Quest Radial: By default, items related to Quests (like treasure maps) are accessed from your Item Radial. If you prefer, you can adjust your control scheme to include a Quest Radial which separates out charts and other Quest-related tools for faster access. Once these Quest items are in your hand, you can take a closer look or show them to other pirates.
Swimming: If you should find yourself in deep water, you can still move around. You’ll swim towards wherever you happen to be looking when you move forward, so angle yourself appropriately if you want to dive or head for the surface. Sprinting while swimming will grant you an additional burst of speed.
That’s it for the fundamentals! Now we can get into what being a pirate is all about.