How to complete your first Sea of Thieves voyage

Sea of Thieves drops players straight into its tropical world with little guidance on what lies ahead. To climb the ranks and make a name for your pirate-self, you'll need to embark on "voyages" – the game's structured quests to hunt down coveted treasure. Here's how to get started with Sea of Thieves' voyages and bring back your haul of loot on Xbox One and Windows 10.

1. Finding your first voyage

To get started on your Sea of Thieves adventure, you'll need to collect your first formal voyage. Obtainable from various vendors across the game's world, these provide specific objectives to complete for rewards. Vendors are based at "outposts," found on set islands across the game's map. Players always spawn in outposts after launching the game, while those at sea can find outposts through their ship's map.

When at an outpost, you'll need to find the representative of the "Gold Hoarders" - the faction offering your first Sea of Thieves quest. These vendors are situated in dark cylindrical tents with gold paint on their faces. To initiate a conversation and browse the Gold Hoarders' offerings, players with a controller can press X, while keyboard users can press F.

Browsing the vendor's stock, a voyage will be purchasable for zero gold. When hovering over this quest, press A on your controller, or left-click with your mouse to add it to your inventory. New pirates can start voyages for free, although most quests require you to part with hard-earned gold.

2. Starting your first voyage

After collecting a voyage, you'll need to initiate it before setting sail. Your crew should return to your ship's captain's table, where voyages can be proposed and voted on. This can be found on the rear lower deck of sloops and in the captain's room of galleons.

Walk up to the captain's table, pressing X on your controller or F on your keyboard once prompted. This will open your inventory of purchased voyages, with the option to propose one among allies. Fellow pirates can put voyages down on the table at the same time, too.

To kick off the journey, your crew must place votes among the available quests. Once a majority of players have voted for a voyage, black borders appear at the top and bottom of the screen, indicating the voted voyage is underway.

3. Using maps to find islands

It's now time to embark on your Sea of Thieves adventure. But before setting sail, you'll need to know where you're going and how to get there. To find your destination, reference the cryptic treasure map added to your inventory. Hold RB on a controller or E on a keyboard to open a radial menu and select the map. With the map in-hand, press RT on a controller or left-click on your mouse to view it in full.

To find the island's location, cross reference your handheld treasure map with your ship's map table. Found on the rear lower deck of sloops or on the middle deck of galleons, this provides greater context for surrounding islands in relation to your ship's current location. Find the island that matches the one on your treasure map, which should be within the islands neighboring your ship.

It's now time to travel the seas! Lower the sails, raise the anchor and get on the way. Use the compass to keep on course, while referencing the map table for a real-time indicator of your position. For more tips on getting the most out of your ship, don't forget to check out our beginner's guide to sailing in Sea of Thieves.

Sea of Thieves ships guide: Tips and tricks for sails, combat, repairs and more

4. Tracking down the treasure

After hitting land, you're closer to treasure than ever before – but you still need to know where to find it. Once on the island, raise your treasure map and look for the "X" that marks the spot.

Referencing the map and surveying your surroundings, figure out your location on the island. Using key landmarks, coastline shapes and your compass, find the location of the treasure.

Once above the treasure, switch to your shovel and begin digging. An audible "clunk" of hitting a chest will sound, unless you're off the mark. The game allows a few meters of leeway to account for minor inaccuracies, but try to keep as close to the mapped location. Keep digging until the chest is entirely surfaced.

5. The risky return

You've now got your first taste of pirate treasure but the journey's not over. To complete a voyage you need to return the chest to a Gold Hoarder at an outpost.

Hold X on a controller or F on a keyboard to carry the chest back to your ship. Carrying a chest, you'll move slowly and be defenseless, so get your crew protecting you from skeletons. Also be wary of other nearby players hoping to steal your booty.

Using your ship's map table, find the nearest outpost and make the return journey. At the outpost, find the Gold Hoarders vendor and redeem your chest. Gold will be provided to all crewmates in return for your efforts.

Your journey

Have any other tips for new pirates on their early adventures? Make sure to drop into the comments and share your findings.

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • You can also mark the island with a circle to help find it easier the next time
  • That's what I was saying. Go from point A to point B. Get a chest. Return to point A. Sell your chest for gold. Collect this gold to buy cosmetic items.  
    Do this 5-6 times and you'll be able to buy a coat. ofc you'll spend most of your time going from A to B and back to A. 
    For me, these voyages felt like randomly generated Ubisoft-style side quest. Those side quests where there is no story. For me, playing these just felt like grinding... Grinding for cosmetic items.
  • Gold Hoarders is only one of the quest types available. This article reads as if it's the only way to do quests in the beginning.
  • I also played the "Trading company" voyage. And it really is almost the same. You're given a list of animals to get. I had to catch a couple of different color chickens. put them in a cage and get to an outpost to get the gold. I think the 3rd type is just about getting a skull from a skeleton.  It's basically the same. Go from point A to B. Collect something and get it to an outpost. To get gold to buy cosmetic items... I think they could have done so much more and more diverse "quests". Quest with actual stories... For me, this thing that looks randomly generated seem cheap.. 
  • I kinda felt the same the night i played the beta. The game is beautiful on the X but other than that i was pretty underwhelmed and got bored quickly.
  • correct, I played the open beta, and after the third run it felt like I had already finished the game, there was nothing else to do. I guess I like the fact that there is no level on your pirate, so casual players can jump in at any moment without dissadvantage, but if you're just grinding for cosmetic items, and on a first person game, where you can't even see what you have on, it feels like there is no progressing.  if that coat doesn't give me more protection, and it's the same as running around naked, then what's the point.
  • Yes, I agree. I played total 10 hours and it really felt like I finished the game. There is no real goal. Not just that. There is no real story, so they talk of "adventure" but there is no real adventure as it's just about grinding.  Also in 10 hours, I must have come across 6-7 ships total and that's another major disappointment considering it was a free beta. So I expect fewer players when it launches.. 
  • 'When at an outpost, you'll need to find the representative of the "Gold Hoarders" - the faction offering your first Sea of Thieves quest.' This is true for the beta, but in the full game there will be more than just the Gold Hoarders offering your first available quests.
  • We'll see what's available at the start once the game launches and we hope to update this piece :)
  • Sounds like this game is short on content. I say it will get a 7/10 review from most websites at best. 
    Visually though this game looks great on the One X.