August brings a monthly content update along with dark times that have come to a Sea of thieves, as skeletons have stolen several dangerous artifacts from the order of souls-aptly named dark relics!
This new event starts on August 14 and approaches the previous event, a cycle that players can expect in the future. On the second Wednesday of each month, Sea of Thieves will receive a new flight type, special activity, or other feature, serving fresh regular content after the epic Anniversary update. These updates will also include new cosmetics and Acknowledgements, as well as a mixture of time-limited and ongoing activities and content.
This month, get ready to butt heads with multiple skulls as hordes of skeletons attract the wrath of the order of souls! In an alarmingly organized RAID, the undead raised their notorious socks and robbed the Order of numerous powerful artifacts-sinister dark relics-and escaped across the sea. Now, as part of the Duke’s ongoing efforts to build bridges with trading companies (or at least to accumulate significant debts), the Order has assigned him special flights to retrieve stolen relics.
New objectives to complete and new cosmetics to earn aren’t all you’ll have to look forward to in Dark Relics. We’re here to enrich your gameplay experience as much as your Doubloon and gold coffers, so this latest update also stretches to quality of life improvements in Arena matchmaking and hit detection, the inclusion of a Rowboat harpoon and many more additions and changes. Read on to find out more!
Find Duke in the tavern to take on a Dark Relic Voyage, which will involve smashing a certain crew of skellies, taking back their Relic and delivering it to the Order for a handsome reward. There are Voyages up for grabs in The Shores of Plenty, The Ancient Isles and The Wilds, along with Titles and Commendations to earn. Earning Commendations will unlock more items from the highly sought-after Mercenary ship livery set – the cannons, capstan and wheel!
Pirate Legends and their crews can take on a further Voyage in The Devil’s Roar which will yield two Relics. There are five distinct types of Dark Relic, with a separate Commendation for selling each, so be on the hunt for the Enchantment Vessel, Hexing Skull, Evil Eye, Mutinous Effigy and Bewitching Doll. If you have spares or just can’t seem to complete the set, consider trading with other crews out hunting Dark Relics themselves…
Reports are also coming in of skeletons dropping Ritual Skulls, for which the Order (and for Legends, the Mysterious Stranger) will pay well. Meanwhile, Duke also wants pirates to watch out for Reaper’s Chests – a strange new type of treasure that has begun to appear in shipwrecks and looks set to be a permanent addition to the Sea of Thieves. Cursed with the Reaper’s Mark, just like the flag, these chests attract attention and can be spotted on all ships’ maps! Getting one back to Duke won’t be easy, but it will earn you Doubloons. What’s inside them? Not even Duke knows yet. Spooky!
You may be wondering how the skellies managed to scatter with these Relics without any pirates noticing? They were clearly too busy playing with Rowboat harpoons, the latest invention to cause mass silliness on the Sea of Thieves. This is another permanent addition and is sure to create some chaos, as pirates in Rowboats can now hitch a ride with ships or swipe treasure from shores. Perhaps this mobile harpoon will be useful when retrieving Dark Relics and Ritual Skulls from defeated skeletons… or when pilfering them from other crews!
Duke has been asked for help by the Order of Souls! Despite boosting their arsenal with gunpowder kegs last month, the Order found themselves raided by a nefarious crew of skeletons who stole a set of powerful artefacts known as Dark Relics, spiriting them away to far-flung corners of the sea. The Order didn’t have time to determine the full extent of these Relics’ mystical properties, but they could prove to be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands…
As if that wasn’t enough, shipments of a mysterious new chest emblazoned with the Reaper’s Mark are now turning up in the waters of the Sea of Thieves. Where have these chests come from, and why are so many ships being sunk while transporting them? Duke feels that it’s too big a coincidence for these chests to be unrelated to recent skeleton activity – they’re up to something, but what?
- Dark Relic Voyages – The Order of Souls’ representatives have begun to experience visions of skeleton activity across the sea, including rituals performed with the Dark Relics and what appear to be Ritual Skulls. They want those Dark Relics back before something catastrophic happens, and will pay good money to anyone who can retrieve them. Duke has been tipped off to the potential locations of these artefacts, and will offer pirates a range of Voyages costing five Doubloons to seek and retrieve them. All Dark Relic Voyages are time-limited for the duration of the Dark Relics update.
- Dark Relic Athena’s Fortune Voyage – Pirate Legends are tasked with a Voyage to head into The Devil’s Roar to collect more of these artefacts. Costing 10 Doubloons, these Athena Voyages yield more Dark Relics than a regular Voyage. The Mysterious Stranger is also very curious about the Ritual Skulls and will personally take them off the hands of Pirate Legends. All Dark Relic Voyages are time-limited for the duration of the Dark Relics update.
- Dark Relics Commendations and Rewards – A range of Mercenary Commendations are available to unlock for hunting down these dangerous artefacts. Earn Doubloons, unlock the new Relic Hunter and Relic Collector Titles and purchase the Mercenary Cannon, Mercenary Wheel and Mercenary Capstan ship cosmetics for taking part in the search. All Dark Relic Voyage Commendations, Doubloons, Titles and rewards time-limited for the duration of the Dark Relics update.
- The Reaper’s Chest – Keep an eye on the horizon for an eerie pillar of light reaching skyward. Upon reaching its source, players can obtain a new Reaper’s Chest and the pillar of light will be extinguished. But beware: once collected, the Reaper’s Chest will appear on the ship’s map of all rival crews on the seas! Return these chests to Duke if you can, who will take them off your hands in return for Doubloons. Following the Dark Relics update, the Reaper’s Chest and Doubloon rewards will persist as an emergent encounter in the world along with a way to earn Doubloons regularly.
- Reaper’s Chest Commendations and Rewards – Returning Reaper’s Chests to Duke will unlock a range of Mercenary Commendations and Doubloon rewards along with the new Death Defier Title. Following the Dark Relics update, the Reaper’s Chest Commendations, Doubloon rewards and Title will still be unlockable and obtainable.
- Ranged and Melee Hit Detection – Players will now find that engaging in combat with other players out in the world is much more responsive. When targeting a rival player or skeleton then taking a shot or swinging a sword, players should find that the hits are more consistently registered and damage applied as expected. Hit detection improvements across the game include ship-to-ship, ship-to-water and water-to-water player encounters.
- A Rowboat with a Harpoon?! – Players may come across a rare new type of Rowboat abandoned throughout the world. These come with a harpoon attached, allowing rowers and their passengers to have even more fun on the sea!
- Barrels of PLENTY! – Players can now find a greater range of items within floating Barrels of Plenty. Be sure to stop and check them out as you may find skulls, artefacts, chests, Merchant Crates, Mermaid Gems, Messages in a Bottle or even gunpowder kegs – why not use these inconspicuous floating ‘mines’ to your advantage against rival crews?
- Harpoon That Meat! – Floating meat left behind by defeated sea creatures can now be harpooned back to your ship.
- Harpoon That Keg! – Harpoons can now latch onto gunpowder kegs to enable you to pull them back to your ship.
- Tall Tales: Legendary Storyteller – New Puzzle Locations – The Legendary Storyteller Tall Tale has had a range of new puzzle variants added to new islands for a more varied experience during each playthrough.
- Tall Tales: Fate of the Morningstar – New Puzzle Locations – The Fate of the Morningstar Tall Tale has had a new island setup for a more varied experience during each playthrough.
- Arena Matchmaking Improvements – When entering The Arena as an open crew, players will now be prioritised to load into a tavern waiting to start rather than an active contest. This should ensure contests start more quickly and come closer to our full crew and player count, while also ensuring players start contests at the beginning to maximise their chance of competing.
- Configuring Controller Look Deadzone – A new setting has been added named ‘Gamepad Look Deadzone’, allowing players to change the size of the deadzone on their controller’s right stick. When you push the right stick, it will not change your in-game viewing angle until it has left this deadzone. You can find a more detailed guide to this new configuration option in our Support Article.
- Configuring Controller Response Curve – A new setting has been added named ‘Gamepad Response Curve’, allowing players to tweak the response curve of their controller’s right stick. You can find a more detailed guide to this new configuration option in our Support Article.
- Improvements to Muting Other Players – The Game Options menu has been restructured to split the ‘My Crew’ and ‘Other Crews’ pages. In Adventure these settings remain unchanged, but in The Arena all players currently playing on your server are shown in the ‘Other Crews’ list. This makes it easier to see who is on your Arena server and provides the ability to mute their voice, text and phrases individually in addition to the global ‘All Other Crews’ settings supported previously.
- Replace Gamertags – Players now have a new option to ‘Replace Gamertags’. When enabled, this replaces your gamertag, your crew members’ gamertags and any gamertags of pirates you meet in the open world. If anyone else on your server enables this feature, the replaced names will match for everyone allowing players to strategise and shot call as before. If you encounter another player in the world who has chosen to replace their gamertag, their true gamertag will still be visible to you to ensure you know who you are playing with.
- Hide Crew Gamertags – A new setting has been added called ‘Show Nameplates Above My Crewmates’. This setting allows players to show/hide the nameplates/gamertags of all their crew members as a further aid to reducing the impact of stream sniping.
- Keybinding for ‘Hide Non-Crew Gamertags’ – Players can now assign a keybind for the ‘Show Nameplates Above Other Crews’ option. This allows fast access to showing/hiding the gamertags of rival players should you need to identify them.
- Audio Experience – Various improvements have been made to the overall audio experience, including effects for digging up bait and cannonball impacts on wood.
- Stronghold Keg Skeletons – Pirate Legends will now encounter the threat of a lumbering skeleton wielding a devastating Stronghold Keg when tackling a Pirate Legend Voyage – so be prepared to run!
- Skeleton Lord Ability Chaining – Skeleton Lords encountered during Tall Tales can now use their abilities in sequences to aid them in combat. For example, a Skeleton Lord can now initiate a knockback and summon reinforcements or teleport to a new location (or both) before players can recover.
- Gunpowder Skeletons – The Gunpowder Skeleton spawn rate has been reduced while players are out exploring Islands.
- Emergent Skeletons – When freely exploring the world outside the constraints of a Voyage, the difficulty of emergent skeletons has been reduced to ensure newer players have a safer time exploring. For players on a Voyage, rank-appropriate emergent skeletons will still spawn to challenge you and your crew.
- Skeleton Difficulty Across Higher Ranks – On higher-rank Voyages, crews will encounter fewer skeletons with large health pools and instead face off against more skeletons in waves, reducing the frustration of those longer, more drawn-out skeleton encounters.
- Sailing a Sloop in the Storm – When sailing through a storm in a Sloop, the storm’s effects on the handling of the Sloop have been reduced and the Sloop’s wheel will be pulled less aggressively.
- When successfully blocking a sword strike, the defender will now correctly see the block VFX and block animations.
- Players holding on to the bottom rung of a ship ladder are once again vulnerable to damage from ranged weapons.
- Players are no longer able to harpoon the fishing float, but we enjoyed the videos while they lasted!
- When placed on a moving ship, gunpowder kegs will once again take damage from sword attacks.
- Players will no longer be staggered when on a ship located close to an island experiencing an earthquake.
- Devil’s Roar geysers no longer kill you instantly and now launch you up into the air.
- Fish caught and left on fishing rods will still be visible following server migration.
- Players will no longer appear visually distorted and snap back to an incorrect position if migrating servers while on a ship’s ladder.
- Pirate phrases are now present for all raw fish types.
- Skeletons should no longer have audible clicks/pops during footsteps and vocalisations.
- The audio experience has been improved when cooking on a Galleon so that players can clearly hear the cooking sounds through the grate.
- Traps located inside caves will no longer be heard by players outside the caves.
- Smaller female pirates now correctly grip tankards with decorations attached such as the Glorious Sea Dog Tankard.
- Navigating the Settings menus then restarting the game will no longer show the previous Settings options highlighted.
- The front end Session Setup panel is now cleared correctly when joining a crew through an invite.
- It is no longer possible to harpoon players who have already been killed in The Arena.
- Players will be removed from the tavern cannon when migrating to a new server.
- Taking damage while sailing into the Devil’s Shroud no longer causes the screen to occasionally flash.
- The Glorious Sea Dog Shovel now has correct digging VFX.
- Ship liveries no longer display graphical issues on the inside of the Sloop’s hull.
Tall Tales – Shores of Gold
- ‘The Legendary Storyteller’ and ‘Wild Rose’ – Quest Books have been rearranged to better support non-English languages and prevent text overlapping.
- ‘Revenge of the Morningstar’ – Quest Book text layout has been improved to resolve issues when localised into other languages.
- ‘Shores of Gold’ – The Shroudbreaker now plays appropriate VFX when breaking through the Devil’s Shroud.
- ‘Stars of a Thief’ – After placing the Star Jewels in the statue to retrieve the totem, leaving the area and returning will no longer cause the statue to close and the totem to be lost.
- Devil’s Roar geysers should no longer erupt from wooden platforms.
- Players can no longer get stuck on a barrel near the Sanctuary Outpost tavern.
- Players will no longer find plants clipping through rocks on Lone Cove.
- The pond on the southeast tip of Old Faithful Isle has been filled with water.
- ‘The Shroudbreaker’ Tale voting book on Plunder Outpost should no longer flash under lighting.
- Resolved incorrect collision on Fetcher’s Rest volcano.
- Resolved placement of island dressing causing clipping on Sailor’s Knot Stronghold.
- Resolved incorrect material on ruined boat on Fetcher’s Rest.
- Pond reflections on Crescent Isle now display correctly at all times of the day.
- Resolved flickering texture issues in The Arena tavern Interior.
- Gunpowder Keg Hit Detection – While improvements have been made across the melee and ranged hit detection in this build, in situations of intense movement and action, players may continue to experience issues hitting gunpowder kegs at range. This is not a regression but something that became more apparent following the improvements to player vs. player hit detection.
- Tall Tales Commendations Showing as Incomplete – Some players may find that after completing Shores of Gold Commendations and receiving their rewards, the Commendations still show as incomplete.
To learn more about the currently tracked known issues in Sea of Thieves and their status, head over to the Known Issues category on our support site.