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While the Factions continue to clash as we breach the second month of Season Eight, a growing spark of camaraderie can be found in the taverns as the annual Festival of Giving returns – although crews fully focused on the Battle for the Sea of Thieves will also find improvements and adjustments made to the flow of battle this month. If you’re not sure what all this talk of Factions is about, take a dive back into the Season Eight launch trailer!

The Season Eight launch release notes are a crucial port of call for anyone needing the specifics, while early December’s release notes have more information on the ongoing Adventure! Now find out what’s new in the year’s climactic content update...

Gameplay Improvements

Since Season Eight unleashed the Battle for the Sea of Thieves, the waves have churned with crews clashing in on-demand ship combat. A range of balancing improvements have now arrived to level the playing field not only within the Battle, but encounters throughout the shared world.

Blunderbomb Impact Balancing

  • Blunderbombs fired from a cannon now have a reduced area of effect range when exploding, and players caught in the blast will no longer be propelled so far into the air, preventing them from being so easily sent overboard.
  • Blunderbombs fired from a cannon to hit a ship’s hull now deal reduced damage to players caught in the blast inside the ship.

Reduced Blunderbomb Availability

  • Blunderbombs are now discovered slightly less frequently in island barrels, and fewer are collected at once.
  • Captains restocking at the shipwright will find the throwables supply now contains fewer throwables and has been reduced in price accordingly.
  • The number of throwables found during the ‘Captains of the Damned’ Tall Tale has now been significantly reduced.
  • Crates found during the ‘Dark Brethren’ Tall Tale now contain fewer blunderbombs.

Jettisoning Ship Supplies

  • When a ship sinks, the resources held within its barrels now float to the surface in the barrels to be easily collected. Sinking another ship now offers simpler restocking options after a battle, while also giving crews who sink due to emergent encounters a chance to retrieve their hard-earned supplies!

Starting Ship Supplies

  • All ships will now start a session with additional cannonballs per barrel, increasing the Sloop stock to 80, with the Brigantine and Galleon stocking 90.
  • Ship defensive stocks have been increased with additional wooden planks, with the Sloop and Brigantine now holding 35 planks and the Galleon holding 40.
  • Ships will now find more plentiful food stocks, as all ships now hold 16 coconuts in addition to their existing banana supply.

Battle for the Sea of Thieves – Restocking after Defeat

  • Crews who are thwarted by an enemy in battle and become another sinking wreck for the graveyard will now appear on the new server at an Outpost, allowing them to quickly restock and get back into the fight!

Battle for the Sea of Thieves – Emissary Flags

  • Collected Emissary Flags will now be brought with the ship when diving below the waves, allowing crews to chain battles back-to-back before returning to an Outpost to cash them in.

Barrels of Plenty Balancing

  • The number of floating barrels that appear in a group has now been reduced. However, the likelihood of finding a rare items in these has now been increased.

Pirate Emporium

It's a dashing end to the year in the Emporium as the Soaring Oracle collection takes flight. The Boreal Aurora ship set is back too, alongside new Nautical Dance emotes, more Rare-themed Trinkets, a big Holiday Sale and the latest chance to grab some Festival of Giving classics...

Season Eight Plunder Pass

  • Anyone wishing to take full advantage of Season Eight rewards can still buy the Plunder Pass. Any rewards unlocked will become available upon purchase, so players who have raised their Renown throughout Season Eight can instantly see their hard work rewarded before the Season ends.
  • This Season’s Plunder Pass offers early access to the complete Ravenwood Ship Collection and evolving Ravenwood Costume, and can be purchased at any time through the Pirate Log, Pirate Emporium, Microsoft Store or Steam Item Store.

Soaring Oracle Ship Collection

  • Amid a sea of more ostentatious liveries, this set may appeal to those who prefer things of a more understated, refined nature. The Soaring Oracle Collector’s Figurehead and Sails are available to buy separately from the main Ship Bundle.
  • Players can also pick up just the core components of this set at a discount in the form of an Essential Ship Bundle.

Soaring Oracle Costume

  • Some pirates think the cost of seeing the future is never seeing the present. Others remember to take off the blindfold.
  • While wearing the Soaring Oracle Costume, players can perform the Pensive Piccolo Emote.

Soaring Oracle Weapons

  • Become a predator of the night with weapons carved by your own hands, adorned with the scavenged bounty of the sea.

Soaring Oracle Banjo

  • Pieced together from shoreline nests and beach debris, this banjo always smells faintly of the sea.

Boreal Aurora Ship Collection

  • Previously featured in the Season Five Plunder Pass, the Boreal Aurora ship set is now available to purchase from the Pirate Emporium.

Gold Curse Inu

  • Being made of solid gold isn’t going to be enough to slow this excitable pup down.

Rare Goods Trinket Bundle

  • Players wanting to show off their love of classic Rare titles can continue to do so with another three Trinkets made to match fan-favourite cosmetic sets. Pick up the Fightin’ Frogs, Huntress and Night Wulf Trinkets in this new bundle!

Nautical Dance Emote Bundle

  • Borrowing some choreography from unexpected sources, these dances let you continue sailing even when you're on land.

Freebie Tree Decorator Emote

  • A tiny piece of sky! Now if only you could find a palm tree to perch it on.

Time-Limited Bonechiller Costume

  • Back to help you bring the fear to your foes is the terrifying Bonechiller Costume, which can be worn with or without the ‘jolly’ beard – available to purchase for a limited time.

Time-Limited Festival of Giving Collection

Seer’s Gear Bundle (Store Only)

  • Some pirates may mistake your inner calm for a reluctance to defend yourself – but you always come prepared. The Seer's Gear Bundle contains the Soaring Oracle Costume, Weapon Bundle and Banjo, along with 550 Ancient Coins to spend in the Pirate Emporium and a free bonus of 25,000 gold. Head to the Microsoft Store or Steam Item Store to find out more.

Pirate Emporium Holiday Sale

  • Fabulous discounts are available on a range of Pirate Emporium items from December 23rd to January 3rd. Pirates will be able to pick up festive deals on a range of pets, ship sets, weapons, emotes and more!


Time again for the Festival of Giving and all it contains – which is a lot this year! The traditional lights switch-on becomes a shared community moment, while Gifts & Glory and Grogmanay await later in the holidays. Get the full Festival overview in our launch article!

Grand Festival of Giving Switch-On (December 16th)

  • Join the livestream on Sea of Thieves’ Twitch channel at 6:15pm UTC on December 16th to celebrate the community, look back over the past year, and most importantly switch on the festive in-game decorations! There may be a few other surprises lying in wait too…
  • Crews sailing the seas while the stream is underway can gather at the tavern on New Golden Sands Outpost to watch the switch-on happen live!
  • With the seasonal decorations on, pirates can find an appropriately festive firework to claim for free from a Merchant Alliance representative on any Outpost. 

Gifts & Glory Weekend (December 23rd – December 26th)

  • Gather your crew and set sail during this Gold & Glory Weekend with a Festival of Giving twist! Pirates will earn boosted gold, reputation and Seasonal Renown for their exploits throughout the weekend.
  • Crews taking part in the Battle for the Sea of Thieves will also be able to gain boosted Allegiance for their chosen Faction.
  • As a festive treat, all pirates sailing the seas this weekend will find a free Gilded Treasure Voyage added to their inventories. Better yet, existing and fresh Pirate Legends will also receive the gift of a Gilded Legendary Voyage.

Grogmanay (December 30th – January 2nd)

  • End the year with the clink of tankards as Grogmanay returns! Complete a grog-fuelled Challenge to earn the Grogmanay Flag.
  • Complete two Challenges to unlock the Bilge Rat Celebration Firework Crate and grab it for free from the Merchant Alliance to end the night with a bang!
  • Complete four or more Challenges to earn the Grogmanay Annual Tankard, or a noteworthy new notch on your existing Tankard if this isn’t your first time taking on the Grogmanay Event.

Twitch Drops (December 19th – January 2nd)

  • Continue to unlock even more cosmetics throughout Season Eight with Twitch Drops! The final Drops of the year will be active for all participating streamers in batches throughout the holiday period stated above, allowing players to pick up a wide selection of Frozen Horizon clothing items.
  • Find out how to link your accounts and more on our dedicated Twitch Drops page.

Outpost Cosmetics

Frostbite Equipment, Weapons and Ship Set

  • The remaining parts of the Frostbite set, including the equipment, weapons and ship parts, are now available from Outpost stores. These new items are locked behind the existing Humble Giving and Generous Giving Commendations.


Pendragon’s Sacrifice

  • Loyal followers of Flameheart can now revel in their victory by posing next to a new painting hung proudly in The Reaper’s Hideout.

Season Notifications

  • When performing multiple actions that award Seasonal Renown, players will now see fewer notifications.

Fixed Issues


  • Crews should no longer encounter scenarios where a Legend of the Veil Voyage can fail due to a missing Quest Item that was safely stored on a ship.
  • Crews should no longer find treasure seemingly disappears from their ship while sailing.
  • Ship’s masts receiving damage should now consistently display cracks, clearly indicating the need to repair.
  • When using an Xbox controller while playing on PC, if the controller disconnects during a session, players will now be able to reconnect it without issue.

Battle for the Sea of Thieves

  • Crews are now prevented from joining a Faction while in the Devil’s Shroud or near the Shores of Gold. Crews are also prevented from starting the ‘Shores of Gold’ Tall Tale when aligned with a Faction.
  • Crews who previously joined a Faction and headed deep into the Devil’s Shroud will no longer be considered a suitable target for the opposing Faction.
  • Players repeatedly placing items into a Collector’s Chest will find it no longer raises their Treasure Grade.
  • Players repeatedly docking Rowboats with treasure aboard will find it no longer raises their Treasure Grade.
  • Crews should no longer encounter scenarios where their cannons are inaccessible after surfacing from beneath the waves.
  • Crews reaching an Allegiance Streak of 4 should now consistently unlock the Nigh Unsinkable! achievement.
  • Ships surfacing from the deep on a Brigantine or Sloop will now see the sea appear correctly as they breach the waves.
  • Crews surfacing from beneath the waves to battle should no longer immediately encounter Barrels of Plenty in their ship’s path. Crews can still encounter barrels during the encounter for restocking as before.
  • Crews who have chosen a Faction are now prevented from entering the Tunnels of the Damned.
  • Players leaving the Ferry of the Damned at the same time as losing a battle will now find they consistently arrive in a new server along with their ship.
  • Crews successfully defending from an attacker will now be free to leave the fight at an Outpost, even if they have only recently chosen a Faction.
  • Crews scuttling a ship as they are about to dive will no longer become stuck beneath the waves.
  • Crews diving beneath the waves to find a rival crew should no longer experience visual issues when swimming into the depths.
  • Crews diving beneath the waves for battle will now hear an improved ambient audio experience.
  • Players are no longer able to navigate around the Pirate Legend Hideout to reach locked areas before they are eligible.
  • The Rising Up and Thanks for the Boost Commendations have now been removed from the representative Factions. The Concealed Upper Body skeleton cosmetic has now been moved and requires players to complete the Boo Be Gone! Commendation in order to unlock it.
  • Allegiance Streak visual effects can now be seen while travelling beneath the waves.
  • Ships breaching the waves for battle will now see water rushing across the deck of the ship.
  • Players experiencing the Blessing of Athena’s Fortune will no longer see a glimpse of any held weapons during the end of the sequence.
  • Crews should no longer see duplicate Battle Banners appear if their rival leaves the game.
  • Players performing emotes near the Pirate Lord in the extended Pirate Legend Hideout will no longer find their viewpoint becomes stuck.
  • Crews who scuttle their ship at the same time as another is surfacing should no longer cause both ships to become stuck in battle.
  • Players observing a member of their crew during the Blessing of Athena’s Fortune are now free to use the Vanity Chest without causing other players to become stuck.
  • Players choosing to cancel matchmaking should no longer find their pirate unable to move for a short time.
  • Players will be prevented from stepping off a docked Rowboat while travelling beneath the waves.
  • Trinkets earned from participating in the Battle for the Sea of Thieves now correctly show the Milestone requirements.
  • If a player joins a crew after a battle has been cancelled, parts of the ship no longer act as if underwater for the joining player.
  • Crews cashing in an Hourglass of Fate following a battle will now find the ‘Gold Earned’ Milestones progress accordingly.
  • Players’ hands no longer intersect with various torsos when using the Skeleton Clap Emote.
  • The Milestones for earning Hourglass Value no longer refer to Sands of Fate on both the Pirate and Ship Milestones.
  • Players should no longer see multiple Krakens or Megalodons while travelling beneath the waves.

Captains of Adventure

  • Captains sailing solo should no longer experience a scenario where they are informed that the Captain has left the session.
  • Captains diving beneath the waves to battle should now consistently find their saved customisations such as ship liveries and decorations persist between sessions.
  • Captains changing a Ship’s Banner should now see the new banner after leaving the Ship Customisation Chest.
  • Disabling user-generated content from the Xbox settings should now replace other crews’ ship names.
  • Harpoons on the Sovereign marquee can no longer become stuck to the platform they are on and cause the floor to shake.
  • Crews discovering a Captain’s Logbook for a ship that is no longer on the server will now see a replaced ship name for it.
  • Players will now see a failure message when attempting to buy ship stock from the shipwright if their ship has become too full.

Visual and Audio

  • The Mysterious Stranger’s Gloves now match the gloves the character wears. 
  • Repairing the King’s Ransom Wheel now shows the makeshift handles with the correct material.
  • Players wielding the Splash Fight Eye of Reach will now see the correct visual effects within the stock.
  • After killing a pig, snake or chicken, the audio effects for hitting them should no longer be heard repeatedly.
  • A Pirate's Life’ – The torches within Dead Man's Grotto will now light correctly when performing the required actions.
  • The Sunken Pearl’ – When picking up the keys from the crab, the camera no longer moves into open water.
  • Dark Brethren’ – During the intro to the final battle, Jack should no longer be seen floating in the air and his voice can now be heard.

User Interface

  • Players browsing the various deeds and story within the Adventures menu should now more consistently see the imagery refresh. 

Text and Localisation

  • Improvements to the Pirate Lord’s dialogue to correct punctuation and spelling.
  • The Hourglass of Fate ‘Change Faction’ prompt is now localised across a range of languages.

Performance and Stability

  • Players using ‘Voice Chat Push to Talk’ set to Toggle will now find the setting continues to function after migrating across servers or after hunting a rival crew beneath the waves.
  • Optimisations to client memory usage.
  • Improved server stability when using the Tunnels of the Damned.
  • Improved server stability for ships leaving the Tunnels of the Damned.

Known Issues

Reduced Server Performance

  • Players may experience scenarios where they encounter ping spikes at random while playing, resulting in rubberbanding or client stutters. While improvements were most recently released in update 2.5.3, the team continue to work on further improvements for future updates.

Ranged and Melee Weapon Hit Detection

  • In areas of intense action, players may find themselves firing shots or landing strikes that do not cause damage to their targets. While small improvements continue to be delivered during our regular updates, we are continuing to investigate and identify further improvements to the player combat experience.

To learn more about known issues in Sea of Thieves currently being tracked and their status, head over to our Known Issues support site article.

Download and Installation

Download size:

  • Xbox Series X: 4.18 GB
  • Xbox Series S: 2.67 GB
  • Xbox One X: 4.18 GB
  • Xbox One: 2.67 GB
  • Microsoft Store: 3.94 GB
  • Steam: 4.6 GB