After 5 years, Sea of Thieves is giving players what they've always wanted: private servers

Sea of Thieves is finally adding private servers, something players have been asking for since the game launched back in 2018.

Rare's shared world pirate adventure has always been a game of risk and reward. Do I want to reroute and snag that Reaper's Chest on my way to sell a bunch of loot? It would mean more gold at the outpost if I'm successful, but if I'm downed by a hostile ship en route, I'll lose everything. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way, but there's a huge contingent of Sea of Thieves players who'd prefer the option to pillage the high seas in a private server without the threat of other players, and soon they'll have that option at long last.

In a new preview update for Sea of Thieves season 10, Rare says: "For players who aren’t looking to get into scraps with other crews, we'll be opening the way to Safer Seas. An entirely new Sea of Thieves game mode, Safer Seas will let players sail either alone or with a chosen crew of friends within their own private game session! So if you’ve got Tall Tales to complete or fish to catch, or if you simply need to spend time finding your sea legs without interruption, Safer Seas has you covered."

Safer Seas is a whole different game mode from the main shared-world game, which will now be called the High Seas, and it won't be quite as bountiful or feature-rich. Rare adds that "the reduced risk means reduced rewards, and you won’t be able to explore the full breadth of Sea of Thieves' offerings while sailing Safer Seas." 

Furthermore, cowards - ahem, that is, players on private servers - won't have access to "the more competitive features and advanced aims of the game" unless they switch over to the High Seas. Nonetheless, you'll be able to set sail with up to three other crewmates in private servers when they arrive at an unspecified point in season 10.

While private servers are undoubtedly the highlight of season 10 so far, other additions include Guilds, launching at the start of the season on October 19. Guild will let you form alliances of up to 24 players under a single banner. Anyone in the guild will be able to sail around on their Guild's ship even when other members are offline, and any progress made under the shared banner will increase Guild reputation and unlock rewards for all members.

Finally, a new world event is coming that'll pit all crews on a server against each other in a race to capture the Skull of Siren Song.

Sea of Thieves remains one of the best Xbox Series X games available today.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.