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Pretty sure the barrel in my ship’s hold is actually an assassin

Wait, I don’t remember that barrel

Sea of Thieves - a pirate stands at a sunny outpost next to a barrel Image: Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Rare begins the second season of Sea of Thieves on April 15, and this time there are a couple of fun twists.

Seasons are the new update model of Sea of Thieves, and they’re due to come out every three months. Season 2 introduces a new emote that allows pirates to hide in a barrel and sneak aboard ships, as well as a new mega fort called the Fort of Fortune.

The sneaky emote can be earned for free through the season’s Plunder Pass. Players can use the emote anywhere, including on contested Forts, other players’ ships, and on the Reaper’s Hideout. Hidden players are visually indistinguishable from a normal barrel, which is a common environmental prop.

A patient pirate can set up shop on a fort or another ship, hiding as an innocent barrel, and then surprise their foes at the worst possible time. The “stowaway meta” has existed for some time, with players using emotes to hide among their enemies by laying down out of sight, but having Solid Snake-style camo makes sneaking around far more sinister.

Sailors will also have to contend with the Fort of Fortune, a rare mutation of the fort that’s been in the game since launch. When the familiar skull in the sky that denotes a skeleton fort has become active, it may be bright red and more menacing. That means it’s going to be a much tougher target, and may require a server-wide alliance. These Forts of Fortune offer higher rewards, much more risk, and multiple Skeleton Lords to fight before an Ashen Lord finale.

Season 2’s renown system will reward players with coins, doubloons, and cosmetics. The new rewards are based around nautical imagery and “Ocean Deep” themes. A set of “Lucky Hand” player cosmetics, based on gamblers and tavern games, will also be added.

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