'Sea of Thieves' Sailing Guide: Tips for Using Sails, Anchor and Map

Sea of Thieves is here, which means it's time to set sail for adventure over a vast ocean world. Sailing is incredibly important for getting from island to island, and can look a little complicated. Here's a quick guide of our best sailing tips to get you off on the right foot (or peg) and make sea travel fun and easy. You can also check out our other Sea Of Thieves guides posted in the links at the bottom of the article.

'Sea of Thieves' Sailing Guide: Tips To Mastering The Skill

sea of thieves beginners guide sailing navigation how to use maps compass tips sails
Your ship in Sea of Thieves can be tricky to control, so follow this guide to get your sea legs Rare/Bob Fekete

Part 1: Getting A Boat

Every time you load into Sea of Thieves, your group will be given a boat. You should be brought to an island, and the boat should be waiting at the end of the dock on the same island. If you walk outside and don't see a boat, look for a mermaid in the ocean, shooting up a column of blue smoke. If you find the mermaid, swim out and talk to it to be transported to another island where your boat is waiting.

Part 2: Assigning Roles

Once on a boat, it helps to give each player in your group a role. If you're sailing by yourself, you get to be all the roles! A few possibilities include the person steering, the navigator, a person or two to manage the sails and someone to man the anchor. These roles can be filled by more than one person depending on the size of your group or which player feels most comfortable doing specific tasks

Once everyone is settled into their places, it's time to actually start sailing.

Part 3: Setting Sail

sea of thieves anchor wheel sailing navigation guide how to use maps compass tips sails beginners
Spin this wheel to raise the anchor Rare/Bob Fekete

Before you do anything, make sure the anchor is raised. You won't go anywhere if the anchor is down. To raise it, have at least one person find the large, horizontal wheel on the deck and spin it. A pillar in the middle of the wheel should raise as you spin it. Once it's all the way up, the wheel will lock in place and the anchor will be set.

sea of thieves sails guide sailing navigation how to use maps compass tips sails beginners
Use this single rope to control the sail length and the speed of your boat Rare/Bob Fekete

From here, find ropes connecting the sails to the outer rail of the ship. Grab onto these and lower the sails. The lower the sails are dropped, the faster the ship will move. If you want to slow the ship without coming to a complete stop, manipulating the sail length is a great way to do that.

Part 4: Navigation And Advanced Techniques

sea of thieves map advanced tips sails guide sailing navigation how to use maps compass beginners
Use the map in the captain's quarters to figure out where to go next Rare/Bob Fekete

Tip #1: Pick a Destination - Navigating in Sea of Thieves can be tricky if you aren't paying attention. First, it helps to have a destination picked out. Look in the captain's quarters on any ship to find a map of the world. You can use the map to mark where you want to go, and find where you are currently located. Once you know the direction you need to sail towards, use the compass to make sure you're pointed in that direction.

The fancy spoke should be vertical if you want to go straight Rare/Bob Fekete

Tip #2: Pay Attention To The Steering Wheel - Paying attention to the steering wheel can help a lot with navigation. Three spokes of the wheel look different from the rest. Two of these spokes can be found on either end of the wheel, so if you keep the middle fancy spoke straight up, you'll go straight.

Tip #3: Know Your Cardinal Points On a Compass - Most people know the basic North, South, East and West, and many also know the divided Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest etc. The compass can be divided even further, into directions like north-northwest, or east-southeast. For example, the direction between southwest and west is west-southwest. More information on compass points can be found here.

sea of thieves sail angle guide sailing navigation how to use maps compass beginners
Use these double ropes to control the sail's angle to help you go faster with the wind Rare/Bob Fekete

Tip #4: Use Ropes To Increase Speed - If you want to go faster, look for an additional set of ropes tied between the sails and the outer railing of the ship. These will change the angle of the ship's sails. Notice which direction the wind is blowing, and angle the sails so the wind will blow more directly into them. This will not alter the direction the ship is sailing, but will increase the ship's cruising speed. This step isn't crucial, but can cut down on travel time.

Part 5: Coming To A Stop

Interact with this pillar to quickly drop the anchor Rare/Bob Fekete

Once you reach your destination, dropping the anchor will bring your ship to a stop regardless of sail length or position. To drop the anchor, find the pillar in the middle of the anchor wheel. Press the pillar down and the anchor will drop quickly. Watch out for the spinning spokes when the anchor drops, though.

If you want to get in close to a dock or island without ramming in at full speed, shorten the length of the sails. If you only have the sails lowered around 25 percent of the way down, you'll cruise at a very manageable and maneuverable pace before you need to drop the anchor.


So what do you think? Are you having fun with Sea of Thieves so far? What other questions do you have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.