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How Sea of Thieves has helped me bond with my friends

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.

Read: Sea of Thieves review

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.

Read: Sea of Thieves guide for sailing the seas

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.

Your thoughts

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.

Read: Sea of Thieves buyer's guide

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

18 Comments
  • Had a great session last night with strangers on a server that had NO OTHER SHIPS to be concerned about so we just raided Skull Cloud Forts and many many missions. Was awesome!
  • The game has helped me reconnect with my brother. Can't thank it enough.
  • Put friends, family or strangers in a game where working together is key. Fun and all that comes with it if its done right. Rare nailed that perfectly with how they made Sea of Thieves. Also SoT has become my teams game to relax in after all the hardcore competitive gaming we do :D
  • Hmm. My question is: Is Sea of thieves the only game that offers cooperative multiplayer gaming? Spending time with friends. Each having their own role in a mission... Can you not bond with players playing GTA V, PUBG...
    Is the lack of content and long periods of sailing a reason to spend more time "talking about stuff" and help bond? See, the thing is whenever I see people trying to hype this game the argument is usually 1) the water looks good and 2) it's so much fun with friends.
    I understand these points and yes they are subjective but the real problem is after how many similar fetch quests will the bonding/fun stop?
    Is the purpose is just to spend time with someone? After how many hours will people say "Ok, now what"? After the record number of streams and viewers announced, this game is slowly becoming irrelevent. I think this game needs more content urgently. I think we should try and focus on what it needs to improve. Features that needs to improve the game. Now about this topic of bonding. The only bonding I did was with strangers when I played the game. Not exactly the greatest bonding I've ever had.
    Very few of my friends showed any interest to play this for the beta and after launch it's even worse none want to play it and I can't really blame them. I guess I bonded with them when I explained to them how the beta was...
  • Wow talk about looking too much into it.
  • Into what? I don't get your point (if there is one). I mean yes, I'm interested in gaming.
  • We have a **** in the punch bowl.. Aotf, don't blame the game cause u have boring friends. Sea of thieves is a very popular game and still is. The problem lies with u failing to get a bonding experience and tried to make a review out of something u failed to read... Obviously.
  • LOL Either you didn't read my comment or just didn't understand it.
    I said none of my friends are interested in playing this. Nothing to do with how boring they are or are not. It is very popular? It's funny. I think I saw a 68-69 metacritic score or a 40-52 metacritic score. I saw how the number of streams and viewers dropped to around 10% of what it was... But yes, STILL very popular. The problem lies with me? Not reading stuff?
    Well, I read the minimum requirement for this game and they didn't say the game required:
    1) friends who are all willing to play this game with you,
    2) friends who are all willing to play dress up and pretend pirate for hours,
    3) friends who are all willing to grind HOURS AND HOURS doing the same type of fetch quests AGAIN AND AGAIN...
    ... Yes, all of these were not in the minimum requirement of this game. So you know what? The problem lies with this game.
    And I think it's time that people like you stop making excuses for the short comings of a certain company.
    How will that company grow and improve if all they get is praise and damage controlling bs?
  • I'm not going to disagree with you. Every other game you could get away with not working with everyone else. You can be a one man army. This game you have to work together. I personally love the game for that. As you see from my comment above, it has helped my relationship with my brother. Every other game we've tried to play together it's ended quickly because of boredom or just technical talk of about the game.
  • It's great that you found this game and you guys are still playing it.
    But the thing is there are a lot of games where you can work together towards a same goal. The point is that SoT as a game seem to depend a lot on people fooling around with friends. In general, having fun with friend is not exclusive to SoT. It's usually what multiplayer is about. If this works out for you great, the real question is how many are in a similar case? The game seem to be losing a lot of popularity after some time.
  • @Guest_aotf, it's pretty simple. If all parties in question have the willingless to share a similiar gaming experience with a open outlook. It becomes free flowing and spontaneous therefore memorable and fun. The subtext is pretty important, in your case your friends either didn't think the game was appealing enough or they just didn't have the time at that moment. Memorable and funny moments occur when you least expect it. You cannot plan fun lol.
  • @TechFreak1
    Well, that's the point. If you can get a bunch of friends who are willing to play the same type of quests again and again and grind your way for hours then great... The point is that "memorable and fun" moments can all occurs when you spend time with your friends.
    This isn't something unique to SoT. With all being said SoT doesn't really bring those memorable moments, it's the friends that do it. Looks like the game depend on your friends. I don't know how this whole thing should be credited to SoT. That's what multiplayer gaming can do. We can have fun with friends playing many different type of games or just hanging around with them, this is not exclusive to SoT...
  • I would argue that while cooperative gaming does exist obviously, there's nothing really quite like Sea of Thieves out on the market.
  • @Brendan
    Oh but you can bring up that argument.
    And yes that's another argument people bring up.
    1) beautiful water, 2) fun, 3) It's unique. But is being unique something that automatically means the game is great?
    It is unique in a way that we've not seen a cartoony pirate game where you the main quests are similar type of fetch quest and that has no real progression system. But it can be argued that there are similar games around. We can look at the working together towards a common goal. There are a lot of these.
    Cooperative ship battles? There is Blackwake, Guns of Icarus and the upcoming Skull and Bones... The point is 1) being unique isn't a guarantee success and cannot excuse the problems the game suffers & 2) It being unique is actually debatable. This is not the only game that allows to help bond with friends and brothers. You can do that with many different games...
  • I never said the game's uniqueness was a guarantee for success, but the fact it has lots of unique elements means that the experience you're having with friends with it isn't available anywhere else.
  • I didn't say you said it was a guarantee for success. That point is that being "unique" can be good or bad. The thing about the point about a game "being unique" or having "unique elements" can be made for almost any game. I've named games with similar "working together towards a commong goal", I've even named games where there is active ship to ship battles. For me, the argument of being unique really cannot work because that can be used for any game. Even a Fighter Within has "unique elements means that the experience you're having with friends with it isn't available anywhere else."
  • Are you serious, what exactly about Sea of Thieves makes its cooperative elements unique?
  • Working together on a ship at the level this game asks you to is something I've never seen in a video game before. And there's something very rewarding about working together to find treasure. The game isn't entirely unique, all I'm saying is that this game offers a lot of stuff that's not available elsewhere on Xbox One at the moment.