What to expect from future Sea of Thieves updates

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves (Image credit: Microsoft)

Sea of Thieves delivers the foundation for a strong pirate game on Xbox One and PC, but not without shortcomings. While you won't find its unique mechanics elsewhere, questions over the game's longevity have been raised. As highlighted in our review, Sea of Thieves houses promising concepts but doesn't currently fulfill its potential.

The ever-changing nature of Sea of Thieves means a variety of new content is on the way – at least according to its developer, Rare. Although a firm roadmap is yet to be outlined, we've rounded up what we know so far.

Sea of Thieves Xbox One review: Fun is in the journey, not the destination

How much will Sea of Thieves DLC cost?

Sea of Thieves is pitched as a "games as a service" title – an approach to content distribution increasingly adopted among major video games. Buyers are investing in its long-term ecosystem, with the promise of further content updates in the coming months.

Adopting this model, Sea of Thieves won't have post-launch DLC packs or season passes, preventing player separation in the long term. All major content updates will be provided for free, building upon the foundation currently available at launch. That's not to say paid content will be absent – Rare has expressed interest in exploring monetization through cosmetic microtransactions.

When can we expect Sea of Thieves updates?

Based on our previous interviews with the Sea of Thieves team, new content is expected to vary in scale throughout its lifetime. While small updates and changes can be regularly expected, larger content drops will likely stretch out over multiple months.

Smaller updates, such as new items and tweaks may be deployed once they're ready. Daily and weekly events are on the roadmap too, including limited-time missions or variations on existing content.

The game's first major update is currently slated for "a few months after launch" and expected to bring new features, along with changes based on feedback. Among the confirmed additions is the debut of pets, tied to in-game purchases.

What will future Sea of Thieves updates add?

One of the first major features on its way to Sea of Thieves is a pet system, which has been openly addressed by Rare leading up to launch. On track for the game's first major update, this will give pirates the opportunity to have a furry companion on the seas. Pets are being pitched as an interactive element of the game, expanding on the game's social element. These will be interactable and visible to fellow crew members, but won't influence core gameplay.

Pets will be the first instance of in-game monetization, as an optional cosmetic upgrade to pirates wanting to stand out. Although pricing hasn't been discussed, expect these to cost a few dollars each.

Limited-time events have also been considered after launch, providing timely incentives for players to return between major content updates. Among the possibilities are illusive non-player characters (NPCs) appearing across the world, with special missions for exclusive rewards. Dynamic world traits have also been discussed, changing up the existing Sea of Thieves experience.

New merchants and trading companies are expected to hit Sea of Thieves too, beyond the trio currently found in-game. With each trading company offering its own unique quest types, new companies will likely bring new activities to partake in.

Relying so heavily on cosmetic progression, new content is required to provide continued rewards for players. New skins are on the way for existing item types, with the potential for new items such as tattoos and scars.

Your hopes for Sea of Thieves

With details currently scarce on future content, we'll have to wait for further updates on upcoming Sea of Thieves content. What content would you like to see in Sea of Thieves? Drop into the comments section below with your thoughts so far.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a 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.