Sea of Thieves: Release date, open beta possibilities, trailer, and everything we know

Do you like grog? And the open seas? And singing shanties while you sail? And eating bananas with the skin on? Okay, maybe not that last one, but there’s never been a game that lets you live the pirate life quite as well as Sea of Thieves. It revels in every little element of swashbuckling fun, from raising the anchor to rigging the masts and climbing up to the crow’s nest – and everything in between. Well, except for the parts where you get scurvy and are eventually sentenced to die in a gibbet – developer Rare wisely decided to leave those bits out.

What makes Sea of Thieves really special is how it brings other players into the experience; what’s a pirate without a trusty-ish crew at their side and seven seas worth of bitter rivals? Picture the way other players can wander in and out of your world in a game like Destiny, then give them big ships full of cannons and a strong desire to sink you and take your treasure (or maybe, just maybe, come over for a grog-and-shanty party). Fortunately, you can crew up with your friends (or match-made randos) for a better chance at nautical survival. And yes, you can vote to put them in the brig if anybody misbehaves.

Here’s a quick tour of everything we know about Sea of Thieves, including when we can pull up the anchor and go sailing once more, and for our thoughts of the game in-progress check out our Sea of Thieves preview.

Fast facts

  • Sea of Thieves release date: March 20, 2018
  • Formats: Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Rare
  • Price: $59.99 / £49.99

Sea of Thieves Xbox One and PC release date is coming up

The release date for Sea of Thieves is set for March 20, 2018. After years of development, we’re just months away from taking to the open ocean in Rare’s ambitious swashbuckling simulator. You’ll be able to start playing Sea of Thieves on Xbox One, Xbox One X, and PC all on the same date, just by buying one copy. In fact, the game seamlessly supports cross-platform multiplayer, so you can team up with your friends on Day One no matter what system they’re on!

Sea of Thieves makes Xbox Game Pass look tempting

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that gives you almost-unlimited access to a large selection of downloadable games, and soon it will include every first-party exclusive Xbox game the moment they debut. Sea of Thieves will be the first game to kick off the new-and-improved program. Even if you don’t want to commit to another subscription, you can still treat it like a $9.99 / £7.99 month-long Sea of Thieves trial (with all those other games thrown in as a bonus). Not a bad deal at all.

A Sea of Thieves pirate prepares to be shot out of a cannon

Sea of Thieves beta and alpha tests are done (for now)

Select players participated in Sea of Thieves alpha tests, but they were all hushed-up by strict non-disclosure agreements. That finally changed in the Sea of Thieves closed beta test that ran at the end of January; players were free to stream, record, and otherwise share the heck out of their experiences. The internet ate it up and good times were had by all (even the folks who played sad songs while going down with their ships). Rare hasn’t said whether it plans to host another beta session or if we won’t be able to play again until the game actually comes out. We can only hope that a Sea of Thieves open beta announcement arrives soon.

Sea of Thieves on PS4, Switch, or Steam is very unlikely

Microsoft owns Rare, the developer of Sea of Thieves, and the game’s always been discussed as an Xbox One exclusive (in the weird way that many Xbox One exclusives also come out on Windows 10). Ergo, the chances of PS4 or Switch ports are very slim. Yes, Minecraft is also a first-party game that Microsoft has had no problems releasing beyond Xbox, but that one’s a bit different, as it was already available on multiple platforms before Microsoft bought the franchise. Similar regrets for PC players who prefer to keep their libraries centralized on Steam: no first-party Microsoft games have made their way to Steam in quite a while. The only exceptions are those titles from external development partners, like Cuphead or Quantum Break. Looks like it’s the Microsoft Store or bust.

Sea of Thieves trailer is a minute and a half of joyful piracy

Sea of Thieves has brought us a bounty of trailers over the years, but this one might do the best job of summing the whole thing up in a short length of time. Searching for treasure, getting into fights, teaming up with random seadogs – it’s all represented here. It even reveals the key ‘puke on your crewmates feature’ which… ugh, yep, that’s definitely a thing you can do. I’d tell you to go easy on the grog, but pirates don’t go easy on anything.

Sea of Thieves progression keeps you hunting for coin

You earn money in Sea of Thieves by completing Journeys (aka quests) for factions like the Gold Hoarders or The Order of Souls. The Hoarders give you maps and riddles that point the way to treasure chests – assuming you can figure them out – and the Souls give you missions to take out powerful NPC enemies. Completing Journeys will increase your reputation with factions, giving you access to more lucrative challenges and special items. Or you could just steal other people’s treasure to make money – you are a pirate after all. You can spend that (perhaps ill-gotten) coin on new weapons, clothes, and even instruments for your buccaneer, or on upgrades and customizations for your ship. Yes, the options do include a parrot figurehead.

Sea of Thieves mixes PvP and PvE for unpredictable adventures


This isn’t one of those games where you pick “Campaign” or “Multiplayer” from the main menu and settle in for the rest of the night. Once you set sail, you can encounter anything Sea of Thieves has to offer. Maybe your Journey begins uneventfully (a few skeletons here, a confusing treasure map there), but on the trip back, you see another ship heading your way. Those players could be friendly, but will you take that chance when your hold is full of booty? Maybe while you’re sizing them up through your spyglass, a storm blows your way and floods the lower decks with rainwater. But that will probably be the least of your concerns when a pair of colossal tentacles whip out from the roiling sea. Rare hasn’t said much about sea monsters, but references to a kraken showed up in a datamine of the beta assets, so do keep an eye out…