clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sea of Thieves sailing guide

Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

There is one crucially important thing you’ll need to master in Sea of Thieves. Sailing the sea! Today we’re going to go over how to sail a four-man ship, but many of these tactics apply for solo and duo ships as well. That said, the galleon a four-man vessel has the most cannons and sails, but it also requires a ton of coordination between you and three friends to be successful. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Raising the anchor

Raising the anchor is easy and just requires that you turn a big wheel for a while. If you’ve got helpful crew mates, you can ask them to turn it with you, which will get the job done faster.

Step 2: Lowering the sails

You’re going to want to assign one person on your four-man ship to “sail duty,” but before you get started you’re going to want to lower the sails, which you can do faster with the help of other pirates. There are three sail positions you’ll want to lower for maximum speed — at the front, middle and back of the ship (behind the wheel).

Step 3: Working the sails

This is actually one of the most complicated jobs on the ship, so be ready!

To whomever is assigned to work the sails, make sure they’re altering the direction of the sails based on where the wind is. The idea is to have the wind (represented by white lines), hit the middle of the sail for the biggest burst in speed. To get your angles right, you may need to have the captain shift the ship’s direction slightly.

Step 4: The helmsman

Surprisingly this is one of the easiest jobs on the ship, so long as you’re good at taking orders.

They’ll be steering the wheel and guiding the boat. As fun as this sounds, it’s actually kind of a frustrating job, because the sails will block most of the visibility in front of you, requiring your crew mates to give you instructions on how you should be turning. If you’d like more visibility, you can have your crew raise the middle sail. Of course, this will also slow you down.

Make sure you use the compass located next to the wheel. Also make note of the golden handles on the wheel, which indicate just how far you’ve turned it. (The wheel will do two rotations to the right or left from its centered position.)

Step 5: The navigator/bucketman

The navigator will go below decks and view the map of the sea, giving instructions to the helmsman on where they should be heading. It’s worth noting that, while big islands are represented on this map, rock outcroppings are not, so your crew may need to deviate from your chosen course from time to time.

If you find yourself taking on water, the navigator can leave the map and head below to fix holes in the hull of the ship and to bucket out water.

Step 6: The spotter/floater

This massively important job will keep your ship sailing.

The spotter will generally run around the sides of the ship or climb to the crow’s nest to look out for danger. These include rock outcrops not represented on the navigator’s map, as well as enemy ships. You know that guy that said “Iceberg right ahead?” That’s you!

If the spotter finds themselves with some time to spare, they can help with other activities, like raising sails, lowering anchor, that sort of thing. Just so long as they’re constantly aware of what’s going on around the ship.

Step 7: How to stop your ship

Once you get close to your destination, you can drop anchor to stop your ship. If you want to be dainty about it, you can raise your sails to slow yourself down, but that’s really up to you. Dropping anchor at full speed shouldn’t cause any lasting damage to your ship.

If you think you’re going to have to leave in a hurry, you can also just raise your sails entirely once you get close. The ship will still move slightly but won’t go very far.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.