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Sea of Thieves seasons and battle pass explained by Rare

Rare has revealed the full details of Sea of Thieves' new seasonal updates and battle pass system. 

Sea of Thieves seasons will be free updates and last roughly three months, giving players the chance to rank through 100 levels of Pirate Renown and earn rewards across 10 progression tiers. As Rare explains, the new progression system is designed to give players "an improved sense of achievement every time you play," and ensure "you'll never finish a Sea of Thieves session empty-handed."

You can earn Renown by completing hundreds of different tasks, meaning progress won't exclusively be tied to turning in loot. Seasonal rewards will range from in-game currency to cosmetics, to emotes, and even the premium Ancient Coins, which Rare points out can go toward the premium Plunder Pass if you so choose (more on that later). Each season will also introduce new clothing sets, special items, and Season-specific collectibles you can earn either by playing the game and hitting a new progression tier or buying from the Emporium.

In addition to the new progression system and rewards, seasons will include separate challenges called Trials, which will be bundled into themed categories with specific Deeds designed to "test your adventuring, exploring and battling capabilities" and earn you "even more enviable" loot. Rare says there will be Trials to suit quick gameplay sessions as well as epic all-nighters, and they'll run alongside recurring and one-off live events.

Then there's the Sea of Thieves version of a battle pass, the Plunder Pass, which will be available for 999 Ancient Coins ($10) and unlock rewards at a discount and before they are available to other players. Rare makes it very clear in their explainer that the Plunder Pass isn't necessary for players to download and play the seasonal updates, but the studio does point out that the battle pass gets you about $40 worth of in-game goodies, which sounds like a deal. Rare also notes that you can use the Ancient Coins you earn through playing the free seasonal content to reduce the real-world cost of the Plunder Pass.

If you're just getting ready for your maiden voyage or just need a quick primer, don't miss our essential Sea of Thieves tips.

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked in - *shudders* - content management while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG. 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.