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Sea of Thieves Captains Key: what is it, where is it and how to make sure you don't miss out

Sea of Thieves Captains Key
(Image credit: Rare)

Finding the Sea of Thieves Captains Key is a vital part of a Sea of Thieves Lost Shipments Voyage, but it can be easy to miss. The amount of Merchants Alliance loot you can find on these new quests in Sea of Thieves can dramatically increase if you pick one up though, as it opens the door to a significantly larger reward. In our Sea of Thieves Captain's Key guide, we'll show you how to ensure you find the critical Captain's Key so you can leave with much greater earnings for you and your pirate pals.

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1. What Is a Captain's Key?

Sea of Thieves Captains Key

(Image credit: Rare)

A Captain's Key is a unique item only found during the game's Lost Shipments Voyages. These Merchants Alliance missions task players with sailing in the wake of a ship that sunk before reaching its destination. We've already got a full Sea of Thieves Lost Shipments Voyage guide so you can master all the steps of these new voyages, but if it's just the Captain's Key you're looking for, keep reading right here.

2. How to Find a Captain's Key

Sea of Thieves Captains Key

(Image credit: Rare)

Every Lost Shipments Voyage offers one Captain's Key, no more, no less. That means you should do your best not to finish a voyage without obtaining and using that key. To find a Captain's Key, look among the various stops along your travels in a Lost Shipments Voyage. As you approach flotsam at sea or that which has washed ashore, you may spot a light blue glimmer from a distance. It's a unique shade of blue, not to be confused with the blue mermaid gems which are more of a royal blue.

If you see this light blue glimmer, you've found your Captain's Key. The game treats it as a loot item, so you can't sprint with it. By that I mean, watch for sharks, skellies, and other ne'er-do-wells who may stand between you and this lucrative item. Keep it on your ship until you're near the end of the voyage, which comes when you've finally found the shipwreck at the center of the voyage's mystery. If you've reached the shipwreck without a Captain's Key then you missed it, so you may want to retrace your own steps and look again. It's there somewhere, so don't give up. The riches are well worth it.

3. How to Use a Captain's Key

Sea of Thieves Captains Key

(Image credit: Rare)

Assuming you've got your key in hand and you're floating above the shipwreck you were looking for, swim down and approach the locked door of the Captain's Quarters. Use the key when prompted and the door will open, revealing a large cache of Merchants Alliance loot such as gunpowder barrels, mega-kegs, and crates of all sorts and rarities.

This haul makes Lost Shipments Voyages the definitive loot-per-minute champion for Merchants Alliance Voyages, as they take only about as long as other voyages, but the payout inside the Captain's Quarters is wonderfully generous. For many players, the Merchants Alliance Voyages have been the least enticing since launch, but these new missions including the precious Captain's Key makes a world of difference for would-be Pirate Legends.