Solo Tips - Sea of Thieves Wiki Guide - IGN (2023)

Sailing in the Sea of Thieves can be a perilous journey - more so if you happen to be sailing it alone. It's not impossible to go it alone, but many may find it a more challenging endeavor with all the work you'll have to do and threats you may face.

Below, you'll find tips on how to make you solo adventure work.


  • See Also: Things to Do First
  • Things Sea of Thieves Doesn't Tell You
  • Essential General Tips and Tricks

Sail Defensively

It goes without saying, but in a place called Sea of Thieves, friends might be hard to come by. There's always the possibility that you may run into other crews with a friendly disposition - but there's no sense in being prepared for the worst.

Always be on the lookout for other ships - and use your telescope sparingly to avoid giving others a chance to spot it glinting. If you spot a ship near the island you are sailing to - or already docked there - you may want to reconsider stopping. Keep your cannons loaded just in case you get ambushed, and always have wood planks handy to quickly fix a leak without spending too much time below decks.

Remember the Crazy Ivan u-turn. By taking advantage of your manueverabilty and sight lines you can duck behind a rock while a Galleon goes around the other side. Spin your wheel in the opposite direction and drop anchor as soon as the opposing ship is out of sight. Your ship will make an abrupt and violent sounding U-turn, immediately straighten the wheel and raise anchor, you'll gain several leagues before they realize where you've gone. Long live Crazy Ivan!

Master of Multi-tasking

It can be a real chore to have to do everything yourself, but luckily Sloops are built to maximize efficiency. The anchor, wheel, and rigging are all located near each other, so you can quickly adjust your sail angle to get as much speed as possible without moving far from the wheel.

You should also make sure when you get your Voyage to check out the location of the assignment relative to your position on the map, and mark it - leaving both in view. If you turn around from the steering wheel, you can peer down below the overhang to see your position without having to run all the way down into the Captain's Cabin.

You can also shoot yourself out of a cannon to save time - as long as you aim it first. Try parking your ship near a cliff and shooting yourself up to the top. When you've got the items you need from the island you can jump back down onto your ship.

Through the Seas Darkly

Your sloop comes equipped with several lanterns: two on the front, one by the wheel, two in the captain's cabin, and one in the hold. Turn them off. Leaving them on turns your ship into a beacon, especially at night. The less attention you draw to yourself, the better.


Have an Escape Plan

Whether you're dropping off loot at an Outpost, or preparing to explore an island for its treasure, remember that the tides can bring other players at a moment's notice.

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Because it takes time to raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, and get a correct heading - you may want to prep your departure the moment you get ready to drop anchor. Before you do, turn the Sloop around so it faces out to sea. Once you drop the anchor, unfurl the sails again and make sure your wheel is set to shoot you straight into the sea. That way, if you spot trouble coming, you can dive over to your ship and raise the anchor not have to worry about any extra steps. Don't try to outrun a galleon with the wind, head upwind instead and they will be dead in the water while your lighter, more manueverable Sloop gets leagues ahead. If a quick escape is needed while you hold treasure, hide it away on the island and come back later.

Stow the Sloop

Some islands, including certain Outposts, have a pretty sizeable landmass that can include coves and high cliffs - perfect for stashing a ship. Obviously there's nowhere you can perfectly hide a big ship, but you can use large rocks and peaks to your advantage - especially if you want to dock at an occupied Outpost and sneak in from the other side of town.

You should also take into account the island's location in the world. If your investigating an island far in the Southwest, it's likely other players will sail in from the Northeast - and stashing your ship on the other side of the island may reduce the chance it gets spotted.

Snipe from Safety

When taking on Bounty Voyages from the Order of Souls, you may be up against increasing hordes of skeletons. If your bounty brings you to a small island's shore, park your Sloop as close as your can and bring the Eye of Reach from the armory. You might just be able to snipe the skeletons from the safety of the ship, and use the ammo box on board to restock as needed. It's a bit cheap, but it's better than being outnumbered - and you'll be in a good spot to run if another ship shows up to attack you.

Sabotage on the High Seas

When you are forced to engage with other players - think carefully about how you want to proceed. Most battles between ships are a war of attrition: whoever runs out of supplies first loses.

Because you have a lot of roles to fulfill: Pilot, repairman, and gunner - it can be hard to fight back effectively.

If the conditions are right - and you're fighting by an island or some dire rocks, you might have a better shot at sabotaging their ship by taking it over. If the other boat doesn't have many players you can try defeating them - but remember they'll respawn soon. Use that time to raise their anchor and point the ship into the nearest hazard you can. With luck, by the time they come back they'll already be taking on water, and you can distract them long enough before they realize their ship is sinking.


Know When to Cash In

The more Voyages you take on and the more treasure you find, the bigger target you paint for yourself and bigger chance you'll lose it all before making it back to an Outpost.

Try to stick with doing 1 or 2 Voyages tops before looking for an empty Outpost to pull into. If you see another boat, it's better to keep sailing - since you have to bring the cargo in one by one, there's a good chance other players will use that to rob you blind.

You should also be stashing your good smartly. Place small items in out of the way places like behind the map. You can also use the crow's nest - or better yet, jump down onto the sails and place chests along the top where people rarely look up to examine.

Run, or Don't

Look, let's keep it real: sailing alone on the Sea of Thieves is tough. It's especially tough when you're bombarded with cannonballs and sword attacks from another player and unless that player is also playing alone, there's a good chance you're going to die.

If it's one on one, have at it and good luck. If it's you versus multiple others, there's a good chance you're going to die so you should either prepare for that and die honorably (like a good pirate would...wait), or, grab your most sought-after treasures and sneak away into the watery depths of below. Swim, swim, swim until you're out of sight.

Keep A Variety of Cannonballs on the Ship

If you're someone who's keen to run from an unfair ship battle — as we are — your life could very easily depend on the cannonballs you have at your disposal. Firing a standard cannonball works fine, but unless you destroy the ship, there's a good chance it won't stop them from coming after you. No, you need a good getaway and what better way to do that than with a special cursed cannonball.

For example, an Anchorball, when shot at an enemy ship, causes the ship to drop its anchor. This makes escaping super easy as they'll first need to raise their anchor before they can even come after you. On that same note, the Wearyball causes all players to use the Sleep emote, which is just long enough for your to begin your speedy getaway. Learn your cannonballs and use them to your advantage.

World Events

If you see something in the sky, there's a good chance it's pointing you toward a world event. These special events happen every so often in Sea of Thieves and while most are challenging to compete, the reward (which is usually just a ton of treasure chests, gems, and more) is always worth it.


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Be sure to learn what each World Event is, what it looks like, and how to compete it (especially when sailing alone) before sailing out on the waters of the Sea of Thieves. Head to IGN's All World Events and How to Complete Them page for more information about all of that.

Know Your Ship

Everyone likes to pretend they know what they're doing at first but we all start somewhere. Understanding how to operate the ship can come a long way. Keep in mind that the larger your crew, the bigger your ship.

  • Anchor - Located near the bow. Quickly drop the anchor with X or take the time to turn and raise the anchor. You don't need to hold X while raising it.
  • Sails - Each sail has two options. The left rigging allows you to raise and lower the sail. Have it lowered when you want to sail to allow the wind to push your boat forward. Raise it when you've stopped and you don't want your boat to move. The rigging on the right will let you turn the sail. Turn the sail into the direction of the wind to have it work properly. Look for the wind lines that show the direction and origin. You want the wind to hit your sails just right. The sails will make a noise and fill up when you've got the right angle. To go slower, raise the sails.
  • Map - Having someone keeping an eye on the map is always a good idea. As everyone works outside, the player watching the map can communicate with the player behind the wheel. You can mark locations on the mark with a circle and don't forget you can zoom out and in to see finer details of each island.
  • Wheel - The wheel isn't as daunting as it looks. Turn left to go left, right to go right. Just like driving a car, you'll need to position the wheel back to the center once you've got the direction you want.
  • Crow's Nest - There's a ladder that takes you up the main mast and into the Crow's Nest. Use this handy spot to spot obstacles and islands of interest in the distance. This is a great way to keep an eye out for danger as well.

Always, Always, Always Have Wood On Your Person

When sailing the Sea of Thieves alone, you'll undoubtedly come under cannon fire at one point or another. Not only will you have to defend your ship while this is happening (which, if your ship is full of treasure, often means running), you'll need to literally keep it afloat.

To do this, you'll need to patch up any and all holes in your ship with wood. Keep wood on your person at all times (you can carry a maximum of five pieces) to ensure you have everything you need to patch the ship up.

Keep the Bucket At the Ready

And on the same note as the tip above, if your ship has holes in it, you won't be able to repair all of them at once. This means that water will definitely flow in and begin to sink your ship. Keep your bucket at the ready by learning how to easily access it from your wheel of items so that when it's time to use it to get water out of your ship, doing so is a breeze.

Keep Your Lights Off

Look, you're sailing alone and that makes you easy prey. Some players will show mercy when they learn you're sailing alone, but many others won't. Why make it easier for them to spot you by keeping your lights on? These lights can be spotted from many nautical miles away, doubly so if an enemy is using their spyglass.

Turn your lights off (you'll need to interact with each one) unless you absolutely need a light for something.


Food Is Good

Seriously, food is great, especially in Sea of Thieves. It's one of the only ways to quickly regain health and it's something you should always keep on your person as a result. You should learn which foods offer more health too. There will always be bananas in your food crate aboard your ship, but bananas heal the least. Pick up something like a Pineapple on an island for a ton of healing (and multiple bites too).

Basically, as a solo player, you're going to take a lot of damage and one wrong move could ruin everything. Keep food on your person so that you're always able to heal when you need to.

Fish Aren't Friends, They're Food

If you're out of food and need some quick, trying fishing. Fishing can take about a minute or two depending on your skills, but the fish you pull up can be cooked to provide a ton of health upon consuming. If you need health and don't have it in you to stop at an island and risk taking more health, drop a line and see what you can catch.

Keep Combat Mobile

Combat in Sea of Thieves is quite basic, but as a solo player, it's easy to get overwhelmed and overrun with enemies. One way to prevent this from happening is by staying mobile. You should never stand still when fighting enemies in general, especially if you're alone.

By moving around while fighting, you make it harder for enemies to gang up on you and you make it more difficult for them to hit you.

Keep Enemies In Front of You

You should never let enemies reach the backside of you. They should always be in front of you. There are the obvious reasons — you can only attack what's in front of you, you don't have eyes on the back of your head, etc etc — but one very important reason is that enemies make for great shields between you and gunslingers.

If an enemy skeleton, for example, is about to fire at you, remain in their sightline but position a different enemy skeleton in front of you. When the other skeleton fires their gun, the bullet will the skeleton in front of you. This stops you from taking damage and it also damages the skeleton that took the bullet. It's a win-win scenario.

Up Next: Money Making Guide

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