Sea of Thieves players are pouring one out for an iconic location: "Goodbye Golden Sands, you will be missed"

Sea of Thieves Merrick
(Image credit: Rare)

Golden Sands Outpost is one of the most recognizable locales in Sea of Thieves, a place most players have spent many hours turning in loot, stocking up their ships, and fishing by the docks after a long excursion. Logging in today, however, those same pirates will find the island unrecognizable, and they won't even be able to locate it by the same name on the map anymore.

Rare has been gradually updating Golden Sands in recent months based on player activity, dramatically changing its appearance to the point where it now resembles a fortified military base, and with the most recent update, the transformation is complete. From now on, Golden Sands is officially Port Merrick, and the Sea of Thieves community is bittersweet.

"Goodbye Golden Sands, you will be missed," reads one of the top posts on the Sea of Thieves subreddit. Replies are filled with fond memories of the island as well as excitement for its replacement.

Goodbye Golden Sands, you will be missed ❤️ from r/Seaofthieves

"Recently went through some of my screenshots from year 1," reads one Redditor's comment. "Man this game has changed a good bit. So many great memories made no other game could capture. Thank you SoT and Rare."

"Well as I tried to blow it up I obviously have mixed feelings here," admits another.

"Golden Sands, you will be missed... But in the same vein: Port Merrick, you are loved! I seriously adore Rare's work on the new place. It's beautiful and cozy and it is a great way to honor the work we did as a community in stopping the Reapers!" wrote No_Author1526, referencing Merrick's successful fight for Golden Sands.

While Golden Sands is no more, at least it still exists in some form, whereas if the Servant of Flame had won the battle, the island would've been destroyed entirely. On the other hand, it would've been interesting to see what would've spawned in its place.

However you feel about the new Golden Sands, it's remarkable that, more than five years after launch, Rare is making such drastic changes to a major landmark. It definitely makes you wonder what changes are still to come, and how different the seas might look in another five years' time.

Sea of Thieves is just one of the best Xbox Series X games to play 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.