Sea of Thieves Beginner’s Tutorial Part 1 : The Basics

Sea of Thieves comes without any tutorial. While the game design is very intuitive, figuring out the basics can be overwhelming for people that just started the game for the first time. That’s why we created this series of Beginner’s Tutorials. They should give you an overview of all the important bits of the game and our more in-depth guides will then help you perfect your skills. If there is anything unclear after reading this, then join our Discord and ask us there!

Main Menu

This is what you see after you start the game up. It is important to understand how ships and servers work in Sea of Thieves to know what’s going on here.

Everything in Sea of Thieves happens in a shared world. This means that (currently 6 per server) crews get matched together on one map. There is no dedicated singleplayer mode. The ship type or crew size doesn’t matter. This means that there could be either 6 crews with 4 people on 6 galleons (24 People on the server) or 6 crew with 1 man sloop (6 people on the server). The server would be “full” both times.


The Galleon is one of the 2 ship types in Sea of Thieves. It has enough space for a crew of 4 people, 8 cannons, and 3 sails. It requires teamwork and coordination to work properly.

A lot of people want to play the sloop first to learn the game before switching to the galleon. This is the wrong approach. The galleon is by far the easiest way to learn the game. You will get matched with 3 others that might know a bit more and teach you the basics. If you ever get stuck in the brig (Prison cell) or have a bad experience with a random crew then just leave the game and join a new one. Discords are great for finding friendly people to play with, too!

For a Galleon guide refer to The captain’s guide to galleons in Sea of Thieves


The Sloop is made for a crew of up to 2 players. It is more nimble and way smaller, but you have to do most things by yourself. There aren’t many people there that can teach you how to play.

Playing sloop is a lot more difficult than Galleon. While it might seem easier because you don’t have to rely on others, it can be very unforgiving. Once you are more experienced it is a great alternative, but don’t expect to win a lot of PvP at the start.

For a more in-depth guide on the Sloop have a look at  The sea bear’s guide to sloops in Sea of Thieves

Full Galleon means 4 People in the Crew, Small Galleon Crew is for 3 people. Once you chose one option you can’t change it until you leave the game, so if you’re going to play with 3 people and want to invite 1 more player later you will have to restart.
Small Sloop crew is 2 people and Sail Alone is only you by yourself.

Once you select your crew type you get to a lobby screen. Here you can invite friends and then press “Set Sail” to start the game.

Your first Voyage

Now, let’s go through each step from spawning in the game until you complete your first voyages. We will split this up into each of the factions because all of them work a bit differently.

Starting Out


You first spawn in the tavern. From here you will want to grab some resources from the barrels all over the outposts. Make sure to fill your inventory and deposit everything in the barrels on your ship a few times. This way you won’t run out of resources in case a heated battle comes up later.

There are resource barrels spread all over the islands

Getting your first quests (voyages)

The next few pictures are a step-by-step guide to the voyage starting process for each faction. For an overview of each faction and their lore, refer to our Trading Company Overview

Talk to the Faction NPC at the outpost and select the top option.
This menu will come up. At the bottom left you can see a few voyages, buy some of them.
Same thing for the Merchant Alliance
And the Order of Souls.
After you bought the voyage you want you will have to go to your ship. Here you can propose the voyage on the table. It is located in the captain’s cabin on the galleon and in the back of the ship on the sloop.
After you proposed the Voyage you will have to vote for it. The voyage will only start if there’s a majority vote for one voyage. On the sloop, you will have to vote once if you are alone, but both players will have to vote for it if you are playing duo.
After the vote has passed the voyage will show up in your voyage menu. On pc the default button to open it is “e” and on the controller, it should be the right bumper.

How to start sailing

Before we will start with a tutorial for each of the voyage types you will have to know how to start sailing. Your ship is anchored at the outpost with raised sails by default.

There’re 2 steps to start sailing:

Raise the anchor. Contrary to popular believe your ship won’t move an inch, even if the anchor is up, as long as the sails are raised. The ship can turn in place full 360 degrees with raised anchor and sail.
After you raised the anchor you will have to lower the sails to get moving.
Now you know how to sail. Steer with the wheel to not crash into any rocks. Taking a look at the map before setting sail is the best option because else you won’t know where to sail.

Merchant Alliance

From here, each of the factions quests plays a bit differently. The Merchant Alliance is all about trading, so you will have to find some animals for them first.

Take a look at the voyage first. It should tell you what you need and what outpost to deliver to. The time frame is pretty long, but you can check what day and hour it is with the watch in your inventory.
After voting for the voyage you will have to get cages from the Merchant Alliance representative. Don’t forget this step or you will be standing on the island without anything to catch the animals with!
After getting the cages take a look at the map table on your ship. You should take a look at what outpost you need to deliver to and then search for a somewhat big island that’s on the way. Not all animals inhabit all islands so you might need to search a bit!
Once you find the correct animals (color matters too!) you have to pick the cage up and chase them with it. Once you are near them an interaction option will pop up. Just hold the button and after a second the animal will be in the cage. Pigs need to get fed bananas regularly to not die, so watch out for that! Animals can be killed by cannonballs, shots, drowning, lightning… so keep them safe!

Now all that’s left to do is delivering the cages to the correct outpost and selling them to the Merchant Alliance representative there.

Gold Hoarders

Start by voting for a Gold Hoarders voyage.
After voting, a map or a riddle will show up in your voyage menu. The map will only show the shape of the island, while the riddle will have the island name in it.
Search for the island on the map table. All the islands will be somewhat near your current position and you might need to zoom in to see the smaller islands. Once you found a matching shape set sail!
As you come close to the island take a second look at it to see what direction you are approaching it from. This will make finding the X mark a lot easier.
Compare the landmarks on the voyage map with the landmarks you see on the island. Trees, bushes, sand and red plants can help a lot with locating the red X.
The X mark isn’t actually drawn on the island. You will have to get your shovel out and dig at the spots where you expect the treasure to be. At first, this might take some tries, but you will get better at it in no time. Once you hit the correct spot you will hear a distinct sound. Keep digging to get the treasure chest out!

After digging the chest up you will have to bring it back to any Gold Hoarders representative at any outpost. Time and Location limits only apply to Merchant Alliance voyages.

Order of Souls

These are basically PvE bounty missions. If you need any help with personal combat, then we have The pirate’s guide to personal combat in Sea of Thieves for you!

After voting for the voyage you will get a message like this. It will tell you the island that the skeleton crew is located on.
Search for the island on the map.
You can identify the Skeleton crew through their numbers and bandanas.
Kill all of them.
If you killed enough a skeleton captain will spawn. Some quests even have multiple captains. Killing the captains will complete the voyage. They drop skulls, make sure to take them with you!!!

After you killed the captains you will have to pick up the skulls that they dropped. Bring them back to any Order of Souls representative to get your reward!


Thanks for reading!

We hope this tutorial will solve a few mysteries for the new players. Don’t forget to check the other parts of our series out and maybe take a look at the more advanced guides in our guide section. Sea of Thieves is a great game, the lack of a proper tutorial shouldn’t keep anyone from enjoying it. If you have any questions or feedback, join our Discord and we’ll be glad to have a chat with you!



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