Sea of Thieves is implementing Seasons and Battle Passes with new year

Sea of Thieves Pirate Legend
Sea of Thieves Pirate Legend (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Sea of Thieves is a multiplayer pirate game from Rare, positioned as a "Game as a Service."
  • The game regularly adds new content and features through updates and continuously grows over time.
  • Starting in January, Sea of Thieves is shaking things up with the addition of Seasons and Battle Passes.
  • Seasons will last three months each, with 100-tier Battle Passes offering unique challenges and rewards during the Season.

Sea of Thieves is a unique pirate-them-up multiplayer title from legendary studio Rare, and has wholeheartedly embraced the "Game as a Service" business model that other games like Fortnite also follow. This means regular monthly updates with new content, features, and improvements, with a constantly revolving door of progression, events, rewards, and more.

Since the game's launch, monthly updates have been the way Sea of Thieves has operated. With the new year, Sea of Thieves is changing things up a little bit, following in the footsteps of other GaaS, by adding Seasons and Battle Passes.

You can grab all the details by watching the video above (we went ahead and skipped to the relevant bits), but we've summarized everything you need to know. The Sea of Thieves Seasons and Battle Passes will work like this:

  • Three-month Seasons. Every Season will last three months, with the first Season beginning in January.
  • Content updates come with Seasons. Every Season will start with some way of changing the game, either with new game modes, areas, or anything else that could potential come in a traditional content update.
  • Live events, content drops, and patches continue. Even with the addition of Seasons, Sea of Thieves will continue their regular live events, content drops through things like Twitch, and quality-of-life patches. There will also be new rewards added all the time.
  • Pirates progress through Seasons just by playing. You earn renown during Seasons by interacting with every aspect of Sea of Thieves, with adventures, exploration, combat, trading, and everything in between.
  • Plunder Pass adds additional rewards and challenges. The optional premium "Battle Pass," known as the Plunder Pass, adds 100 tiers of extra rewards for players to earn, including exclusives from the Pirate Emporium. This also includes new challenges and missions for players to complete.
  • The first Season adds a new Merchant Voyage. In January, the first Season comes with a new Voyage for the Merchant guild, which sees players becoming detectives and tracking down a missing ship (and the goods that were on it).

It'll be interesting to see how this develops for Sea of Thieves and it's growing player base, which recently crossed 15 million pirates. The Battle Pass, especially, has already received some concern from players for how it has affected other games, but only time will tell how well Rare approaches this new system of progression.

Sea of Thieves is available through Xbox Game Pass and is optimized for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. If you want the best possible experience, consider one of the Best Headsets for Xbox Series X|S, especially as communication through a decent mic is such an important part of Sea of Thieves.

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Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.