Typically, pirating is a team experience in Sea Of Thieves, but many players are finding the solo life can be a fun, if challenging experience. It comes with its own strategies, and precautions, and can be much more hands-on than a multiplayer experience is.
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For players who either lack the connections or time to commit to team play solo is a perfectly viable way to enjoy this game. It is important to keep certain things in mind to be competent on the high seas and avoid drowning or falling prey to others. Here are some important tips if players plan on going the lone wolf route of pirating.
Updated on July 16th, 2022, by Jeff Drake: Sea of Thieves is a lot less of a chore when played with friends; on the high seas there is definitely safety in numbers. With that in mind, many new players might ask if they can play Sea of Thieves solo. It is possible, though players choosing this path should be prepared for a steep learning curve, at the bottom of which is a pitfall of frustration. To help overcome this curve this update will add even more solo tips for players who want to put the "private" in "privateer".
17 Turn Off Those Lanterns
When playing solo it is often safer to travel at night, so that the gloom of night prevents the player's ship from being easily spotted. However, the additional security provided by traveling at night is completely negated if the player forgets to douse the lanterns on their ship.
With the lanterns burning, the ship is essentially a beacon in the darkness - a beacon that says, "I'm by myself, please come and attack me." Alternatively, turning the lanterns off will help the player sneak-up on an unsuspecting target, or to shroud the group's true numbers.
16 Long Range Rifles
Without allies, the player will want to thin out an enemy group as much as possible before trying to engage in a melee. One of the best ways to do this is to get a powerful rifle with a scope. With this loadout, the player can make a large enemy group much more manageable from afar.
There are many choices for long-range weapons; some great options available fairly early into the game are the Eye of Reach of The Wailing Barnacle and the Forsaken Ashes Eye of Reach. Just remember to switch to a blunderbuss if raiding another ship, or defending yours.
15 Don't Carry Too Much Cargo
The old saying, "don't carry all your eggs in one basket", should be kept in mind when traveling around in Sea of Thieves. The more a player has in their cargo hold, the more they risk losing if they encounter rival pirates or a hostile creature, like a megalodon.
Solo players should reduce risk of loss as much as possible, and the first step towards this goal is to minimize how much can be lost at one time. Players should go for a more spartan loadout for their ship; less cargo also lessens the upkeep, such as watering plant cargo.
14 Know When To Use Certain Cannonballs
For certain tasks, it is important to use the proper tools. This is true when selecting which cannonballs to use. Some situations demand a specific type of cannonball. A prime example is the use of Chain Shot if the goal is to immobilize another ship.
There are also Cursed, and Purple Cursed, and Ghostly Cannonballs. Each of these types of cannonballs has multiple subtypes. The Anchorball is a type of Purple Cursed Cannonball that forces the target ship to drop its anchor. The Wraith Cannonballs produce a powerful explosion on impact; this explosion can quickly destroy smaller vessels.
13 Take It Slow As A Solo Player
A lot of players are in a hurry to get in, make as much Gold as possible, and progress to the endgame. But when sailing solo it pays to take your time and progress carefully. As a solo player, you’re more at risk of being attacking by teams so taking a second when docking, setting sail, or approaching a destination is important.
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Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should always take things slow. If you’re in the middle of a fight with a Galleon speed is important. But don’t be in such a rush that you stumble into danger or miss easier methods for getting by.
12 Give Your Ship A Once Over Before Leaving
It’s easy to get into a rhythm as a solo player when pulling into port and taking off. If players aren’t careful they may find themselves overlooking something obvious like a leak. There are few feelings as terrible as leaving your ship at port and coming back to find it at the bottom of the ocean.
Any time the player is about to leave the ship it’s important to give it a once over. Checking the interior and exterior before walking away can prevent everything from sinking ships to stowaways walking away with the goods.
11 Make Shorter Trips When Sailing Solo
When the player is looking to make money operating solo it’s important to act as efficiently as possible. Part of this includes making shorter trips when chasing down treasure or running goods across the Caribbean.
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Longer trips or destinations may be more profitable, but only if the player survives the trip. The longer the travel time the more chances to become ambushed and lose everything. From a profitability and risk standpoint it makes much more sense to embark on shorter journeys.
10 Learn All Aspects Of The Ship
Because the player will be solo they will need to do everything when sailing a ship. This means they’ll need to steer, manage the sails, check the horizons, raise and lower the anchor, and other activities. This can get complicated, especially in stressful situations like a storm or being attacked, so knowing what to do is invaluable.
Taking some time to understand the various parts of the ship is important for solo players. Once they understand each of the parts then they can learn the order of things for various scenarios. It’s a bit of a learning curve that takes some planning and careful timing, but it becomes second nature with some practice.
9 Sail Straight When Flying Solo
One helpful tip for players learning to pilot a Sloop solo is to make sure the ship is sailing as straight as possible before walking away from the wheel. It will take some time to unfurl or raise sails, climb the crow’s nest and other activities. During that time the ship can veer off course towards dangerous waters.
To avoid hitting rocks or having to do a serious course correction and losing time the player should make sure the ship is heading as straight as possible. The rule of thumb is to line up the gold handle with the center of the mast.
8 Dock In The Shadows
Playing as a solo player in this multiplayer game can be fraught with danger as teams will take note of solo players and hound them for an easy kill. As a result it pays to be extra cautious in deciding where to dock and leave the boat behind.
There will be no one to guard it while the player is running errands, fishing, and making repairs, so it pays to be somewhere out of the way. Tucked behind some rocks and on the edge of an island are great spots to take a breather and avoid being attacked. This solo tip isn’t foolproof, but it minimizes encounters.
7 A Few Chests At A Time
Another risky aspect of playing solo is dropping off chests to the Gold Hoarders. With a team this isn’t a big deal as players can guard the ship while the player deals with the emissary. But solo any second spent away from the ship is a second that other players can sneak on board and cause problems.
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As a result, it’s best to carry no more than two to three chests at a time. This enables solo players to make decent profits, offload the chests in a timely manner, and get back to the ship before anyone can seriously consider sneaking aboard.
6 Check Horizons Before & After Docking
Before and after docking it’s a great idea for solo players to take a second to head to the crow’s nest and check the horizons. Getting into fights as a solo player is often a bad idea and getting boarded while distracted inland is never fun.
While approaching an island and before taking off, the player should head up and take a look around. They should make sure to have the anchor pulled up for quick getaways and a straight ship to avoid crashing. Once the coast is clear the player can pull in or out without having to deal with an ambush.
5 Solo Players Should Fight In The Enemy's Blind Spots
Inevitably the player will be forced into battle against a team piloting a Galleon. Initially solo players may consider this a lost cause and either give up or flee, but skilled and clever players can actually hold their own and occasionally win these battles.
The key is to fight within the Galleon’s blind spots. There are a lot of cannons on board, but they don’t cover everywhere and a fast Sloop can dart in and out of these safe zones while firing on the large ship. It takes time and nerves of steel, but it is possible for a Sloop to take down a Galleon.
4 Solo Captains Should Stay Stocked On Items
The most important resources for a player sailing solo are cannonballs and Planks. During fights player will need to bombard enemy ships with many cannonballs, especially when going up against Galleons. Having enough to do the job is important otherwise it’ll be a short fight or the enemy will get away.
It’s also important to have Planks for these fights as even the best solo player is going to take damage. Having extra Planks is also handy when getting the reigns on sailing a ship solo. It takes the sting out of crashing into the beach when docking or when veering off into rocks.
3 Flee Into Obstacles
If the player has run out of cannonballs, is going against a talented enemy team, or just doesn’t want to fight solo it’s important to know the best way to flee. Galleons are faster in straight lines than Sloops, but they are slower when sailing into the wind.
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Sloops are shallower underneath which can allow them to coast over rocks that would smack into a Galleon. They are also narrow which allows for some winding into rocks and shoals where a Galleon can’t follow. Being small and fast in this multiplayer game is a good thing for solo players
2 Kite Skeletons When Fighting Solo
When a player fights skeletons solo they will typically spawn in groups of three to five. These aren’t great odds and the player should be clever in how they fight them. A good rule of thumb is to kite them continuously. Skeletons are a bit slower than the player so this shouldn’t be too difficult.
The only exception to this rule is if the player can get the Skeletons bottlenecked in a cave opening or similarly narrow path. The general idea is to be patient and chip away at their health and avoid getting surrounded.
1 Solo Play Is About Learning To Cut Your Losses
At the end of the day solo players are going to suffer losses over the course of gameplay and learning when to accept defeat is important. Sometimes the solo player will be in a situation they can’t win, whether it’s fighting a horrific monster or going against a well-organized team of pirates, stuff happens especially in multiplayer.
For these moments it’s important to have a backup plan to minimize losses. Solo players should always have a rowboat to allow them to escape if a fight on the high seas goes south. It’s also important to minimize the amount of loot in a player’s possession so the losses aren’t too high while still remaining profitable.