Sea of Thieves offers two game modes, The Adventure and The Arena. But what do they both entail, and how do they differ?
The short answer is The Adventure serves as the game’s story mode, packed with activities and things to explore. The Arena is set up for players to test their skills against one another in multi-crew competitions. But don’t be fooled. Both modes can harbor intense PvP and their own sorts of exploration, so keep your armaments at the ready.
Adventure mode is, you guessed it, all about the adventure. This is where you will explore, plunder, swash buckles, shoot guns, and fire cannons. You’ll even need to fish up your own grub because a pirate’s life is far from easy, and nothing is served on a silver platter- unless you plundered one. Follow story-driven escapades and gain repute with the various trade companies to earn your place amongst the fabled pirates of history.
Before starting the adventure, you can select from a wide range of avatars. However, you will continue to develop your swashbuckling persona as your exploits progress. You can buy new garments with the gold you plunder while exploring, including hats, jackets, eyepatches, peg legs, and more! You’ll also be able to change up your hairstyle with fresh cuts and colors and even mark your adventures by getting tattoos.
Looks aren’t the only thing that’s customizable. Any self-respecting pirate is always heavily armed. Along with ship-mounted cannons, Sea of Thieves allows you to switch between firearms, cutlasses, and the Eye of Reach for long-range targets. All of these have a slew of aesthetic variations to match the array of clothing sets and are a great way to show off your piracy achievements in-game. Weapons aside, there are tons of other interactive items you can accrue to ease your explorations, entertain your crewmates, or impress rival seafarers at a local tavern.
As a proud swashbuckler, you’ll naturally want to sail under your own colors. Thanks to ship customizations, you can do just that and more. Choose sails, figureheads, cannons, and more to match your avatar’s personal aesthetics. Or use them to show off more achievements as some of these customizations can only be obtained by completing specific campaigns or earning commendations.
Tall Tales – Shores of Gold
Shores of Gold is where the Sea of Thieves’ narrative comes into play. The tale is laid out as a series of interconnected stories that delve into the depths of the world’s lore. If you read the official Sea of Thieves novel, Athena’s Fortune, you will certainly want to take the plunge into the game’s campaign as Shores of Gold directly correlates to the book.
Pirates face a myriad of treacherous and often unexpected encounters each time they set sail on another voyage. Just remember, if you make it back alive, to visit Duke at any tavern to see if any of your tribulations have earned you favor with The Bilge Rats.
Mythical sea creatures such as Krakens and Megalodons are no longer shackled to legends of old, now posing monumental threats to everyday expeditions. But defeat one, and glory and fortune are yours for the taking. A hunk of the monster’s meat proves valuable in itself.
Skeletons are a common threat, harrowing both the land and sea. Skeleton Forts are marked by a Skeleton-shaped cloud hanging overhead, while Skeleton Ships are marked similarly with a Ship-shaped cloud. These encounters yield bounties of treasure, but the threats can be fiendishly difficult to dispatch.
Not all threats are out for blood, but mother nature doesn’t discriminate. A well-seasoned pirate will keep their eyes (or one good eye) peeled for natural disasters such as treacherous storms on the open waters, descending fog, and even volcanos.
As a multiplayer game, other pirates may prove the most significant threat of them all. PvP comes in when encountering another player ship. It is your choice with each encounter whether to attempt conducting business, form an alliance, or besiege your fellow seafarer. But remember, no matter your intentions, there is no way of knowing if the other crew be honest pirates bound by a code, traitorous backstabbers, or ruthless murders.
There are five trading companies in total, one of which exclusively deals with The Arena. Throughout the Adventure, the four companies found are The Merchant Alliance, The Order of Souls, The Gold Hoarders, and The Hunter’s Call.
The Merchant Alliance are what many may call the squares, straight edges, or stick-in-the-muds of pirate society. They are hands down the most business-oriented of the Trading Companies, concerned only with trade. They tend to regret resorting to dealings with pirates, but alas, it is a necessity with so many swashbucklers about. These are the individuals you’ll want to seek out if you have perishables, sourced goods, or island-caught animals to sell. Given their upstanding nature, you can trust you will be compensated handsomely for your finds.
The Order of Souls are the occultists among the guilds and likely dabble in necromancy. They’ll pay a pretty penny for the heads of undead skeletons. However, you’ll need to keep your wits about you in order to advance very high amongst the Order’s ranks.
The Gold Hoarders are an opportunistic lot, ready to swindle pirates out of their hard-plundered treasure. They have managed to hoard away every key to any chest you may find throughout your adventures, forcing you to parley with them for the treasure inside. It’s a fiendishly clever plan, really, getting pirates to do the dirty work for a cut of their profits. You’ll ultimately be rewarded if you deal with them often enough. Seek out members of this company by the gold plates that curse their flesh.
The Hunter’s Call are a simple bunch. They just want to survive off something more than bananas. This company places merit on the old saying, teach a person to fish, and you’ve fed them for life. Bring any raw catch or fish-based culinary creation to a Hunter’s Call member, and you will be rewarded justly. Rarer fish fetch a higher price, and completing collections will earn you shiny new fishing rods. Perhaps even one that matches the rest of your chosen aesthetics.
If you’re confident in your abilities, then head over to the Arena where you and your mates will test your sea legs against opposing but ever as boastful pirates. After throwing a few back in the Sea Dogs tavern, prepare to board your ships. Duo teams will compete aboard Sloops, while full-fledged crews will be firing the big guns aboard Galleons.
While the completion itself still entails a bit of adventuring, the competition objectives will send you directly into the throws of PvP battle. To make it to the winner’s ceremony back at the Sea Dogs Tavern will require a great deal of strategized teamwork between you and your crew.
Contestants can kill time between competitions at the Sea Dogs tavern. Here they are free to converse with the other competitors, whether it be to throw a bit of smack talk, strike a tenuous alliance, or just slug down a few drinks. The tavern is run by Lesedi and DeMarco from the Sea of Thieves comics. These accomplished pirates are the leaders of the Sea Dogs Trading Company, which is happy to award winners with bountiful fortune and glory.
So will you explore the seas to plunder treasure and divulge the world’s rich lore? Or are you raring to test your metal against other supercilious pirates to determine who is the most fearsome pirate sailing the Sea of Thieves? The choice is yours, but the tide waits for no pirate, so you’d best make ready to set sail.
Sea of Thieves is available on Steam, Windows10, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
- Sea Of Thieves
Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.
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