Sea of Thieves is in final beta, finally


Sea of Thieves, the Microsoft open-world Jolly Rodger MMO, is finally in final beta. The title launches for realsies on March 20th, so this is the last chance for the community to test out the swashbuckling adventure before it becomes the biggest time-suck of your spring.

The game has been in various stages of community testing since early 2016, so the impending release is going to be met with the sort of expectations that a half-decade of production hype brings with it. Microsoft is also already selling Sea of Thieves branded controllers and other apparel, so here’s hoping it lives up to everyone’s hopes and dreams.

The limited beta offers a slice of the full game experience, which includes some of the following events:

— Hunt for buried treasure by following ancient maps and solving riddles as part of epic voyages across the Sea of Thieves.
— Acquire valuable cargo and safeguard it through perilous waters as a new Trading Company – the Merchant Alliance – makes its first appearance.
— Clear out Skeleton Forts, where great risk delivers even greater reward. Seek the telltale skull cloud before taking on hordes of skellies to earn fabulous treasures.
— Sail solo or join a crew then head out to forge your legend in a shared world where every sail on the horizon is a ship of real players.
— Explore a vast, beautiful and fantastical environment filled with deadly foes, fearsome storms and mysterious shipwrecks.
— Engage in epic ship battles with all cannons blazing, or go head-to-head against other pirates with pistol primed and cutlass drawn!

Actually, after reading up on all that I hella want to clear out a skeleton fort. You would’ve sold me on this in 2016 if you just said skeleton fort. Why isn’t the game called skeleton fort?

You can pull up a link to the download in the Microsoft store by clicking here.

Finally, here’s a video from the developers explaining what they hope the achieve with the community during this beta of Skeleton Ford, I mean, Sea of Thieves.


  1. Seafoam says:

    I really want to play this…
    Buuuuuut I got no friends to play with, and sailing solo with a weak boat or with randoms who lock you in the brig will be a pain.

  2. Acefrog says:

    Requires windows 10 to play? Okay, cya later.

    • mavrik says:

      Do you really expect people will support an 8 year old OS forever?

      • Quickly says:

        Windows 8.1 is 8 years old? Who knew!

        • Seafoam says:

          If you have windows 8 and refuse to move to 10 then I guestion tour judgement. 7 was damn good though.

          • aepervius says:

            Windows 8 is good enough for gaming, and windows 10 does not bring much to the table while at the same time withdrawing you some capabilities and adding privacy concern. And upgrading an OS is never trivial and can backfire badly. So. Yeah.

      • ogopogo says:

        An OS is not a car. You can update it piecemeal and it doesn’t rust.

        Something like a $10/year subscription for misc. updates for Win 7 (or just “Windows”) would be nice and fair, but I think that updating to Win 10 would be stupid for me.

        What does Windows 10 do for me, Joe User? Its saving grace is a few % points of performance increase– 3%? 5%? not much — a pretty tiny bonus for having to go through the ordeal of updating to a new OS, especially when, on the rare occasion (like years apart) that a game gives me problems, I can just throw money at hardware and the issue goes away for another four years.

        So what would I get out of Windows 10? Better security? There’s no such thing as security or privacy online anymore, lol. Maybe for a bank, not for a plebe like me, no matter what PC I use online. How about UI improvements… that NOBODY ACTUALLY WANTS? No, not into that either. So zero reasons to upgrade to Windows 10 until they drag me kicking and screaming. Which is exactly what I’ll do.

        There’s so many games out there, & I gots no time for platform exclusive titles, no time at all. Maaaybe if this was bundled with some “must have” hardware I could be bullied into playing it, but this ain’t no Zelda.

        • Sandepande says:

          Well, I like the UI changes (mostly), so no need to get all worked up.

      • Evan_ says:

        Nope, but I expect to use my favorite operating system until they support it. Don’t think there is a definite date for the end of Win7 support.

        It would take a -lot- better game than that for me to consider rebuliding the software architecture of my workstation from scratch.

        And I’d probably skip that lot better game too, as exclusivity is for console peasants. Windows got this popular by -never- doing such crap before.

        • Cvnk says:

          There certainly is a date. Win7 extended supports ends Jan 14, 2020. Plenty of time really.

        • 9of9 says:

          Disclaimer: I’m technically a MS employee.

          I have to jump in and say that MS has absolutely done this kind of thing before, all the time. I remember being much younger and getting very irate while using Windows 2000 while a lot of new Microsoft games coming out were exclusive to the (horrible, ugly) Windows XP – Age of Mythology is the one I remember being most bitter about, but I recall there being a few others too, mostly RTSes. It kind of made me skip out on pretty much an entire generation of RTS games and ultimately led to me being very out of touch with the genre to this day.

          Obviously, not saying it’s a good thing, but it definitely has happened lots and lots of times already. At least Win10 let you upgrade for free, rather than expecting you to shell out £100 or so every few years to be able to play new releases, not that I’m still annoyed over it or anything.

    • Rindan says:

      It’s so weird that people like you exist. Stuff just eventually stops getting supported. We are never going back. The difference is so trivial that I literally can’t think of any difference off of the top of my head.

      I mean, you do you. If you are happy, who I am I to judge? Still though, it’s just strange that people exist that have strong feelings about a small OS version change to the point where they need to announce their boycott.

      • SBLux says:

        I am still using 7 and have never had a need to upgrade yet. It is superior to 10 in many ways, and way more secure, so I still don’t have a single reason to upgrade.

        • Rindan says:

          Like I said, it’s always a strange conversation to see someone announcing that they will not be getting a game because they simply will not upgrade their OS to a newer version. I can almost see it when version changes are major, but when I see it with Windows 7/8/10, it’s so strange. The differences are so small between those versions. I switch between them every day and I barely notice.

          Yet for some folks, this is such an important thing that they need to announce that they shall not be getting a game because it won’t support their old OS version and they don’t want to change that.

        • MattM says:

          10 works better with SSDs.
          DX12 support.
          I cant think of a third thing.

          • aircool says:

            I’m presuming it’s something to do with xbox cross platforming. It’s the only game I know of where you play alongside xbox players.

            As for the upgrade argument, that’s been raging for over 25 years now, yet no-one is still getting by with Win 3.1/MS-DOS 5.0*

            *Or is there???

      • Acefrog says:

        The difference are not so trivial between Win10 and Win7, they are pretty drastic in every way. But that is besides the point, I can easily swap to Win10 as I like with the free upgrade.

        The point is WHY do I need to do this? When I am pretty sure Sea Of Thieves could easily be installed and played on Win7 with no issues at all. Its a gated game and the only one I have ever seen with the asked requirements to update an OS.

      • Sic says:

        Are you joking?

        MS trying (and failing) to be Apple is not in any way trivial.

        The MS Store, WinRT (and everything related to universal “apps”), The ghastly GUI, no control over your own computer outside of Enterprise editions (installation of “apps” against your will, no control over windows update), etc. etc. etc.

        I use Windows 10 for gaming, sure. But I will NEVER buy anything from the MS Store, nor in any other way support the race to the bottom MS is currently trying to instigate.

        It’s a rubbish OS for anything of importance. I have 3 computers at home I could have upgraded, but I refuse to. I can’t possibly have workstations and servers running garbage that I have no way of knowing will work from one day to the next. I’m not paying for an Enterprise key just so that I can have any semblance of control over my own computer. Over my dead body.

        All I can do now is hope all the software I rely on is ported to Linux in a timely manner, or I’m forced to jump ship to Apple. That’s how absolutely horrid MS is acting at the moment. I’ve been a customer/user since MS-DOS 5.0. This is the end of the road.

  3. satan says:

    I wish it was a single player game.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      This so much. A solid story line, same graphics, less annoying quests and proper AI enemies would have made my day.

      It’s just another multiplayer game that will die off quickly in my book.

  4. FordTruck says:

    IT’s sooooooooooo utterly deathly boring. Sea of Fetch quest. Unless they add monster hunting or world changing events that come from the emergent event thing they were talking’ll be abandon by people within a month or 2 quick time.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I really can’t understand the runaway hype train. Do people want Rare to be back this badly?

  5. SBLux says:

    You insist the game should be called Skeleton Fort then go on to call it Skeleton Ford! A group of skeletons paddling in a ford is a nice image though.

  6. Zelos says:

    This is just No Man’s Sky 2.0.

    Luckily the devs have been very transparent so we can actually see that there’s nothing in the game before it comes out. It’s a tragedy though, the concept is pretty much perfect and the graphics and sailing mechanics are great. There’s just nothing to do underneath that.

  7. Jaykera says:

    Do we know if there will be some sort of « pve server »for the carebears like me who don’t want to be banged by a large crew when enjoying the scenery?

    • aircool says:

      Nope. Never. However, running into other players depends on your sailing style. It’s easy enough to flit from island to island without being seen, you just need to keep a sharp lookout. I’ve been able to play for hours solo and maybe run into one or two other ships (last night for example, a Galleon shot me out of the water, but I got revenge by ramming them, jumping off before my ship hit and climbing aboard with gun powder. One of them shot me, and therefore the gunpowder, which eventually sank their ship) and some of them will ask you not to shoot.

  8. Blowfeld81 says:

    When I click the link it tells me that the final beta is not available to me, but they tell me to pre- order….


    • Blowfeld81 says:

      Ah, I just saw that the final beta ends in an hour, so they will have stopped the download.

      If I only had this information Friday, when the beta started and not Sunday morning, when the beta ends ;D

  9. aircool says:

    t;dr – it’s a pirate themed playground where you and some friends can play at being pirates. The greatest reward in the game comes from being a good crew (even if you’re solo).

    Being Win 10 and having to use the horrible Xbox app is likely enough to put off a lot of players, as is the asking price.

    However, this is my second weekend playing it and I can say it is terrific. You can play it on your own, but you have to sneak around like a rat, but it is better with friends.

    I’m not the most social type online and non of my friends are interested. But that hasn’t stopped me. I joined a guild, got to know some players (even some randoms through proximity chat) and had a great experience.

    Obviously a lot of fun comes from PvP, or, in a lot of cases, avoiding PvP.

    It isn’t really comparable to an MMO or adventure game because the only character improvement comes from your skill, teamwork and how well you understand your ship.

    Sadly, the beta has already ended. If you’re interested, watch some youtube video’s from that last two weekends and make your own mind up.

    • caff says:

      This rather sounds like Blackwake which is a rather fun, if janky, indie game in Early Access.

  10. jeremyalexander says:

    This game will sell well, but it’s going to have the shelf life of a few months, maybe even weeks for many players. It’s just too repetitive and there’s too little to do, even with what they’re adding.

  11. MushyWaffle says:

    SO I tried it this weekend. I don’t really get it, I played maybe 7 hours (3 Fri, 4 Sat). I never felt like I accomplished anything. There was such a lack of direction/guidance as to what you end goal was. I took one of those merchant quests. Again, either it’s horrible design or I wasn’t getting it (most likely the later, but that is there complete lack of guidance comes in). So i pick up a quest from merchant that has me sail to another island, simply to pick up a chicken cage. Since there were no chickens on that island, I had to go to another… REALLY?!?!? your quest break down is get the quest from one place, to go get equipment from another, so you can capture on a different, only to return again to deliver a chicken… F that. I was bored out of my freaking mind. So MUCH floating/walking around looking for things to do; the swimming mechanic was painful as well when maneuvering sunken ships. The one cool time I had was attacking a ship and other players on skull island…

    I still don’t know what to make of this game.

  12. zombiewarrior07 says:

    Just play Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, if you want a good dose of ye olde (single player) Pirate-y stuff. Yaarrrrr won’t regret a thing!

  13. Asrahn says:

    Tried it with 3 mates of mine. As the beta didn’t even give you gold for fetching chests, you couldn’t even get new gear.

    That said, the gear seemed extremely limited too. I just don’t see how this game would offer any kind of longevity unless they add a ton of stuff on release. After two chests we were pretty much done.