Sea of Thieves on Xbox: How to sink a galleon with a sloop

In Sea of Thieves, galleons are the undisputed kings of the sea. With eight cannons, a high health pool, and three sets of sails, they outclass the smaller sloops in every way other than maneuverability. That means a two-man sloop crew will almost surely get obliterated should they dare challenge one of these mighty vessels.

However, with some favorable wind conditions, some explosive power, and a fearless heart, a sloop is capable of being used to sink a galleon. Here's how to do just that.

Obtain an explosive barrel

Since your sloop lacks enough cannons on-board to give you a chance in a direct naval battle with a galleon, you'll need to employ a different tactic: using gunpowder barrels. Colored bright red with an image of crossed bones on the side, gunpowder barrels can be found anywhere in the game world.

The most common locations they spawn at are skeleton forts (inactive and active), though you can often find them on normal islands. Once I even found one underwater inside a shipwreck.

Find and pursue a galleon

Thanks to their large size, spotting a galleon should be easy. Have one player sail the sloop while the other goes up to the crow's nest and goes on lookout duty. You're bound to find one eventually, and when you do, immediately begin sailing towards it.

Catching up to a galleon is tricky, though. Due to it having three sails, a galleon will be able to outpace a sloop if the wind is blowing in its favor. However, when the sails are not catching wind, the bulky hull of the ship significantly reduces its speed of movement. The smaller, lighter sloop avoids this problem, and is capable of still moving at a decent speed even without wind assistance. This window of opportunity is your chance to close the distance.

Show them what you're made of

Once you are able to catch up to the galleon, whoever is sailing your sloop must directly ram the ship. Not only does this do some solid damage (albeit to both boats), it distracts the enemy crew and gives you a chance to hop from your vessel to theirs, gunpowder barrel in hand.

If you see any members of the other crew on the deck, immediately take the barrel to them, set it down, back up several feet and blast it with a firearm. The explosion will not only instantly kill any foe near it, but it will also put four holes into the enemy ship hull, causing water to flow in incredibly quickly. While this is happening, you should try and kill any remaining players alive and keep them from making repairs. The ship will sink before you know it.

If you're playing as the sloop helmsman, you should make repairs to the damage your own ship sustained in the ramming. Once that's taken care of, sail near the galleon and take potshots at enemy crew members who survived the gunpowder bombing. You might even be able to hit them with a few cannon rounds to reduce their repair efficiency and increase the chance that they'll meet a watery grave.

Your thoughts

Have you sunken a galleon with a sloop before? If so, how? Let me know in the comments.

Sea of Thieves is available now for $59.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10. You can also obtain it for $9.99 a month through 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.

16 Comments
  • Every galleon I've seen has been out for blood, but almost every sloop encountered has been friendly. Us sloops gotta stick together
  • Yeah, galleons are pretty vicious. A few sloops working together can take 'em out fairly well though. :)
  • When I clicked on this article, I half expected to read, "Ya shoot it with cannons ya dummy! .... For your health."
  • Hey, it's always fun making things go bang...
  • How to sink a who with a what now?
  • Ya gotta shoot the doohickey with the thingamabob and then hit em with the boozleborf. World class journalist by the way ;)
  • Just let people come up with their own strategies. Everyone doing the same tricks makes the game really predictable and boring. man, all these "tips and tricks" articles are ripping the soul out of today's gaming. It's just a race to who finds the fastest way to win at a game. No fun involved.
  • I can somewhat agree, but I think it's always good to provide at least one or two things for new players so that they don't get creamed all the time. It's hard to learn the game if you're always dying to better players. Especially a situation like this when the opposing sides aren't on equal footing.
  • Then this escalates to a situation in which everyone does this, and whoever is not doing this trick stands no chance. God, I hate that mentality of always looking for a shortcut to winning.
  • I wonder if you can shoot yourself from a cannon while holding a gun powder barrel. No need for the ramming step that way.
  • That would be awesome, but you can't. If you could, you'd also be able to shoot yourself with your loot to cash in at outposts ;)
  • You can't, sadly. I think that would be pretty OP.
  • Most effective way is to board the galleon with your sloop at a distance. However you do that is on you, but using your sloop to board is a great way to lose your sloop before you've even made a dent in their hull.
  • The best way is to place a gunpowder barrel at the tip of your ship, on the long part that sticks out, and fire it when you get close to an enemy vessel. That's what I do. It works out 50% of the time because galleons just want conflict no matter what.
  • Sea of Thieves is a lot of fun. Has a ton of potential too.
  • You can also sail in fast parallel with the wind at your back then drop anchor so you grind to halt directly behind the galleon, at a safe distance the enemy can't swim or fire themselves out of the cannon at you, blast the stern with all 10 canon balls below the water line and victory will be yours! Aaarrrh!