The graphical fidelity enthusiasts at Digital Foundry have taken a deep dive into the performance of the PC version of Sea of Thieves, and the results are pretty interesting ... and a bit frustrating for anyone who would like to play on the PC. You can watch the whole video above, and it’s an interesting look at the game.
Sea of Thieves is only available through the Windows Store, and is locked down in multiple ways to limit your control over the graphical options and even things like the language options and resolution.
Too many variables are tied into your settings in Windows and not on the options you may want to put in on a per-game basis. Why can’t you select which language you’d like to display, even if your desktop is set to English? Why do you have to change your desktop resolution to get the game to offer more resolution options through its menu? These are not issues PC gamers are used to.
The video goes into detail about these limitations and what they mean for the player, but the short version is that Microsoft doesn’t give you as much control over how the game runs as you’d expect from a game bought on any other platform.
Digital Foundry also suggests leaving most graphical settings at the “rare” level, as legendary or mythic settings — the two options above rare — don’t give you enough of a boost to justify the possible loss in frame rate.
The games looks amazing, and seems to scale pretty well on different systems. The Windows Store issues are a pain in the butt, but the PC version still offers more control over the settings than the Xbox One version, allowing you to choose how much graphical fidelity you’re willing to sacrifice to hit your desired frame rate.
The good news is that you only have to buy the game once to access it on your PC or Xbox One. Sea of Thieves supports cross-play so you can play with a friend on the PC while you’re on your Xbox One. That fact makes much of this discussion feel moot if you have both a gaming PC and an Xbox One: Just try the game on both pieces of hardware and play on the one you like the most.