While it's possible to play Sea of Thieves by yourself, the gameplay systems within it heavily encourage playing with allies. Due to the emphasis on team play and cooperation, there's a lot of different kinds of social fun to be had with the game, but I think what has made the biggest impact for me as I've spent the last few weeks playing it is the way that Sea of Thieves gave me a platform to bond with my friends and form unforgettable memories.
Sailing the seas
Seeing as it's a pirate game, commandeering a seaworthy vessel is a critical element of Sea of Thieves. However, what truly makes the experience of sailing it so satisfying and engaging is the fact that whether you're going with a partner in a sloop or opting for a large galleon with a full crew of four, you'll need all hands on deck to run your ship at peak efficiency.
Everyone on board has a job. Manning the sails to keep them in the wind, steering the ship around, navigating the ship by relaying map information to the helmsman, and keeping an eye out for potential threats in the surrounding water are all important tasks that need to be done. For everyone to pull these things off seamlessly, the entire crew will need to be communicative and cooperative.
All of these things encourage you to be a team player and figure out how to work together with your friends, especially if you end up running into other pirates. If the crew doesn't effectively coordinate, there's a good chance you could lose your ship and your treasure. This incentive for teamwork led to myself and my friends ultimately having a discussion about who should do what on the ship and how, and together, we formed a real bond between us as we became an efficient pirate squad.
Becoming a tight unit is only part of it, though. Once you establish your team and grow to work together well, you then take your expertise out onto the ocean. Often, the experiences I have when doing this are unforgettable. Whether it's the time we rammed a galleon with our own and boarded the vessel or when we expertly sailed our way through a storm, what my friends and I did on the seas will be remembered by us all for a long time.
Engaging in the world
Though to a lesser extent than sailing, the activities found around Sea of Thieves' open world also require good teamwork most of the time. Treasure maps, skeleton bounties and animal collection quotas can be tricky to try and achieve all by yourself, but when you're with your crew, you can all put your heads together and make a plan of attack for the situation.
The next step is to execute said plan, and when myself and my crew manage to do that, everyone gets a sense of accomplishment from successful teamwork. Even better, the aforementioned bond we already have with one another from mastering ship sailing is only made stronger by these accomplishments.
Have you bonded with friends while playing Sea of Thieves? If so, how? Make sure to let me know in the comments.
Sea of Thieves is available now for $59.99 on the Xbox One. You can also play it if you own the Xbox Game Pass.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.