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Sea of Thieves announces a new, fast paced PvP mode

It’s not a Battle Royale, but it is a... Boatle Row-yale?

A ship fires on an opponent in Sea of Thieves Rare / Microsoft Studios
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Sea of Thieves’ content updates since launch have focused on expanding the pirate adventure. Sometimes that means we’ve teamed up to take down a megalodon or ship full of angry skeletons, and sometimes it means the world itself changes to include volcanoes or heavy fog. The first content update announced for 2019 shifts away from that formula to include a PvP arena, designed for pirates looking to skip the parlay and get right to the action.

“The Arena” is set to launch in early 2019, Microsoft announced. This new game mode puts players into matches in a race to find treasure — no, it’s not a Battle Royale — in an environment that will force you to encounter and defeat other players. This will include the ability to queue on demand, a new tavern area for players interested in Arena combat, and a new trading company. The Sea Dogs will join the existing four factions, along with additional PvP-oriented achievements and rewards that can help players skip the current progression path toward Pirate Legend.

Sea of Thieves is currently set to get its fourth free expansion pack, Shrouded Spoils. In the meantime, players most recently got to celebrate the Festival of the Damned, one of the weekly Bilge Rat Adventures that serve as mini-events between larger expansions.