Sea of Thieves: 5 tips to help you dominate naval combat

Digging for treasure and exploring the oceans is certainly fun to do in Sea of Thieves, but for many, nothing compares to the thrill of engaging in ship-to-ship combat with other pirates. However, fighting other vessels with your own is not easy, and it requires practice and patience in order to master the art of doing so. However, you scurvy dogs shouldn't worry; we've got five tips to help you get the edge on your foes and rule the seas.

Read: How to get started in Sea of Thieves

Be prepared at all times

Before a fight even begins, it's essential you have a decent stock of both wooden planks and cannonballs. As a general rule, you should try and keep at least twenty of each resource on your ship at all times, though a surplus of either is never a bad thing.

Wooden planks and cannonballs are so vital because they are the primary supplies used in naval combat. Wooden planks allow you to repair damage to your hull so that water doesn't flood the ship and cause it to sink, while cannonballs are the ammunition you need for the cannons on the deck. You can find both of these fairly easily in barrels around the game world, so keep a sharp eye out and grab as many as you can!

Turn the ship so your cannons have a shot

Unlike some other games, the ships in Sea of Thieves don't have any cannons facing the front or back of your vessel. Therefore, it is essential that you always keep one side of your ship lined up with your enemy. This way, you can constantly lay down heavy fire on them and hopefully force them to focus on repairs instead of firing back.

This can be tricky sometimes since your boat won't turn on a dime (especially if you have a galleon) so try and watch the direction the opposing vessel is turning towards. This should let you predict their movements and will make knowing which way to turn the wheel easier.

Partially raise the sails

Raising the sails fully makes it easy for you to turn your ship quickly, but will also leave you a stationary target. In order to stay moving while also giving the helmsman better handling, raise the sails halfway. As mentioned in the last tip, it's critical to give your gunners a good shot, so don't be afraid to trade the high speed for better control. Slower speed is actually an advantage because you can circle around your opponent constantly instead of just making passes.

Lead your shots

When firing on the enemy ship, you have to remember that cannonballs have a trajectory arc and do not travel instantly. They require you to lead your shots and aim slightly higher than where you want your cannonball to go. Pay attention to which way the other ship is sailing, and aim your fire a few inches past where you want to hit in that direction. This will almost always guarantee success.

Grab yourself a blunderbuss

Whether you get boarded or plan to board the enemy, you'll always want to have a blusterbuss in your inventory. Designed as a close range shotgun-type weapon, the blunderbuss is capable of killing other pirates in one shot with a point blank blast to the face. In addition, it does solid damage at medium range, so it's the perfect tool for fighting on a ship. You can find one at your ship's armory.

Your thoughts

Do you have any strategies you use during naval combat? Let us know in the comments below.

Sea of Thieves is available on Xbox One for $59.99, and is also available on Xbox Game Pass.

Brendan Lowry

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.