[Update: Read below in our 'What's Coming' section for a deep dive into the upcoming Sea of Thieves update: Hungering Deep. ]
On March 20 2018, Rare's sandbox multiplayer pirate adventure Sea of Thieves was unleashed on the world. After a lot of hard work the developer now has, well, more hard work. Being an open-ended online service game, Sea of Thieves will be subject to plenty of updated and improvements throughout its lifetime.
To help you keep on top of what's new and what's coming up, we've put together this handy page which will be updated with all the latest announcements.
What's new in Sea of Thieves?
Rare has released the latest patch (1.0.6) for Sea of Thieves and it's a relatively big'un captain.
This patch brings cosmetic items into the game's shop. Specifically, players will now find more sets in the game store. There are seven new clothing ranges such as Executive Admiral, Ruffian Sea Dog, Imperial Sovereign, and Rotten Bilge Rat. Different outfits will be available at different regional outposts, though Rotten Bilge Rat will be available everywhere. If you're more interested in your ship than your outfit, there are also four new ship cosmetic options too.
Those looking for new weapons will find more ranges available at weapon shops now, and there's also a limited edition Eye of Reach sniper rifle available for the next couple of weeks to celebrate the game's one month anniversary.
Outside of these new customization options, this patch also fixes some crash issues, a range of bugs, and finally ups the speed with which you'll respawn from the Ferry of the Damned. You can read the notes in full on the official Sea of Thieves page.
Mid-May has seen the introduction of a long-promised feature : friend-only crews. Rare has now updated the game to include the ability to choose between open and closed crews. Now if one of your friends drops out of your four-person crew, you can say that you don't want the game to automatically fill the space with a player you don't know.
With closed crews you can choose whether you want to start on a galleon or a sloop, no matter how many of you are starting the game, so that this leaves room for other players to join when they're ready and make the numbers up to four.
Rare has said that it hopes to add the ability to change your crews permissions mid-game, as well as add the option to make a session completely private by preventing more friends from joining.
What's coming up in Sea of Thieves
As we go into the month of May, Rare says players can expect to see the beginnings of some new content being introduced.
The first of six planned content updates for the year will be called The Hungering Deep which has been confirmed as launching on May 29. The teaser trailer for the update can be watched below. It's a little short on details but it's entertaining nonetheless.
Rare has offered more details on The Hungering Deep in a recent video to satiate excited fans.
We now know that The Hungering Deep will offer a new story campaign and introduce the game's first real quest-giving character – Merick who appears in the above trailer.
Players will also have the chance to access limited-time brand new and exclusive cosmetic items such as tattoos and scars; a drum to add to their instrument collection; a speaking trumpet for communicating between ships (great for parlays); flags to raise above your ship and signal different intents; and a brand new AI threat that's yet to be detailed.
May will also bring about a live events schedule which will introduce "fun new ways to play with weekly events and rewards." And it's expected the ability to hand crewmates items like plans of wood, cannon balls and bananas to make the team play more fluid will come not long after this.
May won't, of course, be the end of the updates and Rare gave a glimpse of what is planned for the summer months. One update called Foresaken Shores will introduce an entirely new "perilous" area to the world with another new AI enemy. Cursed Sails is another update which will bring about a new AI threat (could we finally see The Flying Dutchman?) with a brand new ship type for players.
There's no sign of what this ship type could be but we wonder if it could be something capable of carrying more than four players (a Man o' War perhaps?) for crews that are of a mind to expand.
Though Rare hasn't revealed everything that will be added in its future updates, we do know that it's planning to introduce the game's cosmetic microtransactions at this time, which will include pets to purchase.
As far as long-term plans are concerned, Rare apparently intends to add new guilds for a wider-variety of missions at some point and also extend the end-game for those who eventually achieve Legendary Pirate status.
How can I play it?
Sea of Thieves is now available on PC and Xbox One. It's possible to purchase the game outright, but you can also pick up an Xbox Game Pass subscription where the entire game is included.
If you're not sure whether Sea of Thieves is for you, picking up a Game Pass trial for free and playing the game for a short time through it is a good way to find out.
The game is not a port for PC or Xbox, it works equally on both and supports cross-play. While the console version has locked frame rates of 30fps, the PC version's are unlocked. Mouse, keyboard and controllers are all supported across console and PC.