Can Sea of Thieves be played solo? If you’re careful - 6 tips to stay out of Davy Jones’ Locker

Not every pirate wants to group up with one, two, or three others and hit the seas. Sometimes you just want to be alone with your thoughts at sea - and maybe a dancing monkey. For that, you'll need to learn how to sail the dangerous seas solo. It's not impossible, and it can even be the best way to play sometimes, but it requires a certain know-how. Consider this guide your know-how to the question "can Sea of Thieves be played solo"?

Learn how to sail straight

When you choose a solo journey you’ll be given pretty much the same ship as the two player option. You’ll have to manage the sail length, angle, anchor and navigation all by yourself. It’s not actually that hard as long as you keep track of everything. First of all, this particular, gold trimmed handle is your best friend when sailing alone. It’ll appear in the middle when you’ve turned as far as you can go left or right, or have the wheel dead centre. That last option’s the one to look out for - as it centres it’ll vibrate as an extra warning, and the ship will stay its course, giving you time to leave it alone and do other things. 

Stop steering to check the map and sails but be quick

With no crew you’ll have to do everything, making navigation a bit of a juggle - you don’t want to miss where you’re going because you’re not looking at the map, but you also don’t want to hit where you’re going because you are looking at the map. Using the gold handle trick you can guarantee you’re going in a straight line and, as long as nothing’s in front of you, you can take a look at the map to check your course, tend to the sales or just enjoy the view.

Don’t be afraid to take it slow 

Whenever you get within throwing distance of an island, roll the sale up at least half way. The shore will always come up faster than you expect and the last thing you want to do is bust the hell out of your ship because you’re trying to steer, drop anchor and fiddle with the sails all at once as it does. Drop your speed and take it slow.

Check everything. Twice

 Just pulling into an island and thought you heard a slight bump on the hull? Check it. Thought you heard a skeleton creak? Check it. You’re the only pair of eyes you have, so use them. The last thing you want to do is come back to find your ship flooded because that bump was a hole. Equally, getting attacked as your first warning of any undead being about is not ideal. 

Always keep bananas and planks on you

You’re on your own remember, so there’s no backup or help. Any and all repairs and battles are all down to you. So keep some bananas in your inventory for healing, and planks for quick repairs. If you get caught on the hop without anything you need you’re just doubling your efforts with all the panicking and running about.

Stay moving in combat

Skeletons are faster than you think and often attack in threes. While in a group you can stay alive through the power of teamwork, here you just have to stay moving.  Back-pedalling might not seem like the actions of a brave pirate but those piles of angry bones can surround you and trip away your health very quickly. 

Don’t worry about falling overboard

On rough seas, when the ship’s throwing you about and you’re trying to manage navigation, sails and repairs, it’s easy to accidentally fall overboard. Fortunately, just as in when playing with others, there’s a handy merman about to help you. Just look out for the blue smoke from his flare and swim towards him. You’ll be back on deck in no time. Alone. Contemplating how you could of died. 

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.