Sea of Thieves Anniversary update: what's new in the patch notes from fishing to multiplayer, new story and more

The Sea of Thieves Anniversary Update is finally here, bringing with it a host of new activities and features. Experienced pirates will want to test their mettle in the Sea Dog’s arena, while those in search of a story will prefer the new Tall Tales - Shores of Gold, while the brand-new Hunter’s Call faction introduces fishing, cooking, and harpoons! Below we’ve got some of the more significant details from the latest Sea of Thieves patch notes. (You can check out the full Sea of Thieves notes here. )

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Patch 2.0.1 Update

After the bumper content drop seen in the Anniversary Update, Sea of Thieves has been issued with another bug-fixing patch (2.62 GB on consoles, 4.45 on PC) that addresses some key issues within The Arena and Tall Tales modes, as well as general quality-of-life polish.

In The Arena, players will now be able to use instruments during the countdown, and scoreboards have been fixed. Players will now also be able to keep a consistent loadout between matches.

The patch fixes a silly bug which let players cast swimming lines underwater, and improved inactivity detection so player's aren't idling. In regards to Tall Tales, there have been tons of minor bug fixes, including making VFX work properly and sorting out Collector's Chests.

A lot of the fixes centre around the nitty gritty of the first few voyages and the more expansive final mission and can be seen as spoilers for the new Tall Tales, so be sure to check out the full changelog if you want a comprehensive rundown of what has been changed. 

As noted by Executive Producer Joe Neate in the weekly developer update, players were having their appearance changed permanently when equipping vanity items and leaving the competitive Arena mode, which is listed as a known issue that Rare is working on right now.

Outside of the above, Rare is attempting to fix issues where Tall Tales fail due to server migration and incorrect spawn points after death. All in all, this appears to have helped court the teething problems that naturally came with the Anniversary Update, with a more expansive update on the way when the known issues are remedied.

There's a new ‘Arena’ multiplayer mode and Sea Dog's trading company

The Arena is an entirely new game mode within Sea of Thieves, distinct from Adventure, and available from the opening menu. Upon choosing Arena, players will be dropped into the Sea Dog’s tavern alongside other teams, before appearing in one of six arenas (essentially condensed versions of the game’s world map). 

Unlike in Adventure, each game in Arena only takes 24 minutes to complete, and operates on a ranking and points-based system. Each team will get the same treasure maps to locate as the other teams at the start of every match, with points being rewarded for discovering chests and handing them in at the Sea Dog’s ships located on the map. On top of that, you can also score points for killing other crews and stealing their chests, or lose points if your ship sinks at any point. 

Success in Arena brings with it many rewards, including new Sea Dog commendations, cosmetics, and a whole new Trading Company to level you up towards Pirate Legend.

More ways to damage ships  

Previously, the best way to dispatch of an enemy crew would be aiming below the water line and waiting for them to fill them with water. Now, with the Anniversary Update, there are other devastating ways to put your opponent at a severe disadvantage. You can now damage individual parts of the ship, such as the wheel, anchor, or the masts, all of which need to be repaired with wooden planks. Additionally, hull damage has also undertaken a change, with players able to hit the same spot on a ship to increase the size of the hole created and the rate at which the ship will fill with water.

New story missions in Tall Tales

Tall Tales are new adventures for you and your crew to partake in, letting you discover more about the Sea of Thieves and the world’s lore. The first tale, Shores of Gold, focuses on a long-long lost island past the Devil’s Shroud and can be initiated through voting for a book next to the Mysterious Stranger at any outpost. 

Starting a Tall Tale will drop a new quest book on your map wheel to guide you in the right direction, and there are nine adventures in total to play through. These introduce a bunch of new updates to the world, including collector’s chests (to more easily transport vast quantities of loot around), imposing skeleton lords to thwart, and enchanted tools to overcome obstacles. Completing the Shores of Gold campaign also brings with it a ton of cool rewards, like new commendations and titles for your pirate.

The introduction of the Hunter’s Call trading company

With the latest update, everyone’s favourite drummer turned shark hunter is back. Merrick and his family have set up shop across the different Seaposts, introducing players to yet another new trading company to grind on their path to pirate legend. 

The Hunter’s Call is focused on the core tenets of fishing, cooking, and hunting. This means you’ll spend your time catching exotic fish with the new fishing rod and bait (worms, grubs, leeches), cooking up assorted creatures at campfires, and hunting down legendary beasts with the new harpoon that can pull objects towards you quickly to aid in combat.

Cooking, and a new health bar 

Alongside cooking, Rare have also introduced a new restorative health bar. Should you eat a cooked piece of meat or some cooked fish, while your health is full, a reserve bar will fill. Now whenever you next take damage, your health will gradually replenish from this secondary pool until either your health is full or the bar depletes.