Sea of Thieves: The Arena (updated)

Now you know everything we know.

At XO18 today, Rare Studio Head, Graig Duncan, and Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, unveiled the next (after Shrouded Spoils) major update to the game: The Arena!

The Arena will introduce a new mode to Sea of Thieves.

This dedicated PvP game mode will be separate from the “Adventure Mode” that we all currently play. Crews in The Arena will battle over the same maps and treasure, which will surely lead to some amazing sea battles, not to mention on ground warfare (see the banner image on this post!).

The Area also introduces a new faction, the Sea Dogs, as well as a new Tavern where teams will be able congratulate or commiserate after a hard fought battle.

A few key observations from the trailer:

  • That Skeleton keg looks extremely dangerous.
  • It seems like there might a limit of 4 ships in The Arena? Or perhaps that was an aesthetic choice for the trailer?

The Arena is slated for early “early 2019”. Craig confirmed when the update is ready it will roll out to the Pioneers program for real world testing and community feedback. Once that begins we’ll get an update on release timing.

If you’re worried this brings a new focus to PvP and you’d prefer to continue your adventures in the Sea of Thieves, have no fear.


Here’s all the additional Arena information from the X018 panel with Joe and Craig from Rare

The Arena

  • The Arena is a response to some players wanting more focus on action, as well as shorter session lengths.
  • A new trading company, the Sea Dogs. It’s a “new way to progress” in Sea of Thieves.
  • Confirmed DeMarco is in the Sea Dogs tavern in the trailer.
  • Rare are currently tuning settings and load-outs to solve some of the problems that time or location based objectives bring with a competitive mode.
  • You can see all the opponent ships when you drop in to The Arena, meaning you’re making tactical decisions on the go in real time right from the start.
  • Pioneers will be used to test, give feedback, and iterate. This process might take some time as it’s such a different experience from the main game.
  • Solo play in Arena will be tested – not confirmed yes or no right now.
  • Clans/Teams is something that may come later; the focus to start is on getting the core experience set up as a platform to build on.
  • The same progression systems remain, but The Arena introduces a new trading company. Rewards/levels from each mode carry over to the other mode.
  • Concept art for the Sea Dog Cutlass! The Arena will bring unique rewards which form a part of your pirate story.

  • Arenas will be “set up” in the existing world/map.
  • As you load into the game, you’ll pick The Arena mode, then pick your crew size etc, then load into the tavern.
  • You’ll take part in the competitive event, then you’ll find out the placing (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th – tacit confirmation there is a four crew cap?) then go back to the tavern to earn your rewards.
  • There’s a hot tub to relax in after the match (lol).
  • As long as you stay in the session, you’ll be able to play again against the same crews.

We can’t wait to learn more about this new game mode! If you’re interested in testing it early, Joe has previously mentioned Rare are looking at making it easier to get into the Pioneers program. Drop us a follow on Twitter to find out when that happens, as well as all the Sea of Thieves news and tidbits you can handle!


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