Sea of Thieves is making changes to address an increasingly popular PvP practice that many in the community view as unfair.
When Sea of Thieves season 8 went live in November, PvP fans largely hailed it as one of the best updates since launch, but an unfortunate exploit has made it easy for cheaters to game the system and nearly guarantee a win. Put simply, the update's PvP system lets you join one of two factions and invade other players' games for on-demand PvP, with battles taking place in Adventure mode in the same open world and server you initially joined. What that means is that other players who happen to be sailing by can join your battle and fight for either side, but unfortunately these auxiliary units aren't always coincidental or impartial.
As has been thoroughly discussed over on the Sea of Thieves subreddit (opens in new tab), plenty of less scrupulous pirates are teaming up with other ships before opting in for PvP, and then having those ships join the fight as soon as an enemy player invades them. Essentially, it's a way to ensure all on-demand PvP battles will be 2v1 in their favor, and now we have confirmation that Rare isn't happy with this tactic and is working on addressing it.
"We’re aware of these concerns, and will be addressing them with some targeted changes as part of this month’s free content update on January 19," a Rare spokesperson said in an email to GamesRadar+. "Once these adjustments are in the wild, we’ll be keeping an eye on player behaviour to ensure the changes are having a positive impact on the game mode and everyone engaging with it."
It's unclear how exactly Rare plans on combatting this issue, but we should know more when the full patch notes are published for the month's update. Thankfully, it sounds like the developers will also be monitoring the situation going forward to make sure the changes are working.
Despite the cheaters, Rare's multiplayer pirate adventure game is still one of the best Xbox Series X games you can play today.