Yo-ho-oh-no: Sea of Thieves beta extended ‘cos of bugs

The pretty-but-too-quiet beta for Rare’s jaunty multiplayer pirate ’em-up Sea of Thieves is currently open to pre-orderers, but it’s not been smooth-sailing for everyone who wants to experience co-op sea-shanties. A bug shut out a fair few paying customers, and so devs Rare and publisher Microsoft have put a few more days on the dead man’s chest by way of apology.

Which is also a good opportunity for me to mention what a total pig to get the beta running in the first place.

The beta was initially due to end on Monday 29, but because a bunch of folk who’d forked out for a pre-order found themselves running into an incorrect ‘too early’ message when they tried to run it, Rare have added 48 hours onto the death-clock. You’ve got until 8am UK time on Weds 31st Jan now, plus the bug has been fixed so you should be able to jump straight in.

As to whether the experience is worth forking out for, I go into that in more detail and with a musical video here, but in short – it’s pretty, there’s some lovely ambient co-op stuff like playing music together and people organically occupying different roles on the ship, but there really isn’t much to do. There aren’t that many players, so combat (other than against occasional, Minecrafty NPC skellingtons) is rare, and many of the features are being held back for release.

There’s also the issue of what a pain in the peg-leg it is to install the thing. For starters, to get in the beta you have to pre-order SOT from wibbly old Windows 10 Store – but you can’t actually install it from the Windows 10 Store.

Instead, you’ve got to search for the Xbox Insider app in said store, install that, log into it, then from there opt in to the SOT beta, replete with assorted permissions-acceptance. Then you have to go back to the Windows 10 Store, search for Sea of Thieves again, and now a magic Install button should have appeared. Naturally, the game doesn’t install anywhere logical, either.

If MS really want their Store to present a viable alternative to Steam, they’ve got to make it easier to use and manage. What shall we do with the drunken games client?


  1. Nolenthar says:

    I like what Microsoft have done with their Xblox Play Anywhere stuff, and I truly love the idea of a closer integration between the XBox and the PC. Being able to stream your games from your Xbox to your PC is also a neat idea (I’d love the opposite to be true as well).

    But … God, how much of a pain this thing is … It’s nowhere near to where it should be after so many years of existence. And what I’ve read on the sea chanties beta didn’t help me trusting the damn thing.

  2. dylandekoe says:

    I’m a fairly tolerant person. There are a lot of questionable things microsoft has done that I’m willing to forgive them.

    Ruining Rareware is not one of them.

    • TimePointFive says:

      tbf this game (the alpha somehow had more content than the beta) is oozing with personality and charm. And you eat bananas to heal, which is a nice little easter egg to DK.

      • dylandekoe says:

        Oooooooh, banana!

        I really do want this to be good. I could do with some merry old pirating.

  3. Artist says:

    Glad to know that the devs fixed the bug for people that pre-ordered! But the bug that crashs the client when it tries to connect to the services isnt fixed for months now!
    Sea of Thieves – what a talking name it is! Once again Microsoft teams at their best!

  4. Rob Lang says:

    Looking forward to this; looks like the ideal game for my chums and I to toy with.

    I’m sad that is not on Steam. It’s how we organise ourselves these days. I’ll happily install it from the windows store, I hope that automatic updates are sensible and predictable.

  5. Orageon says:

    “What shall we do with the drunken games client?”

    Shave its belly with a rusty razor early in the mornin’ !

  6. Williz says:

    Just a heads up to everyone that wants to play this to try it out but not pay £50… You can get the Xbox game pass (£10 monthly) and have access to the game on PC.

  7. vaivars says:

    From the impressions in the Alpha/Beta, this seems like a great game for a group of 2-4 friends. There seems to be really no point to any of it, but its the kind of fantastic gameplay where you just mess around and have loads of fun. Possibly with some rum. Make that definitely :D.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    Sadly, I won’t be able to play this. Steam has prices localized where i’m from, and 60 dollars, and on the shitty microsoft store to boot, is a bit too prohibitive. Let’s hope they wise up and learn from tomb raider.

  9. Pvt Fingle says:

    What this game needs is another year in dev and a new team to create some decent content for this fantastic engine… because engine is all it is. Right now its a short term fun game to play for an hour while you wait for your main game to update.

    I hear promises and promises about amazing new content and progression systems but I just don’t believe it. Surely this close to release if you want people to buy the product you show all the amazing things you have in store for players don’t you?? Then they tell their friends and they get in the beta and they tell more friends etc etc. Unfortunately I don’t think Rare are the people who can take this product to where it needs to be, its not in their DNA.

    Just ask yourselves in how many games have you been told that “you need to use your imagination” by the local fanboy as an excuse for the lack of content, “sorry my bad .. lets err pretend there is a really exciting sea monster over there that takes more strategy to defeat than randomly mashing my fast attack button” . Its a phrase I hear all to often on the official forums these days.

    Saying all this … I hope I am wrong … come on Rare .. prove me wrong .. show me what you have before I part with my cash!

    **A bell rings in the distance and a tumbleweed rolls by but other than that the silence is deafening**

    Ahh well … guess it looked good at E3 and helped sell the 1X..