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The Harpoon is a Ship component in Sea of Thieves. There are two Harpoons mounted in front of every Ship type, as well as a single Harpoon mounted on some Rowboats.


Harpoons can be mounted and fired to hook onto any physical object in the world. With large things like Islands, Ships, the Rowboat or giant creatures like the Megalodon, the harpoon can tether as a winch and pivot line connecting the vessel to the target and allowing the Ship to be maneuvered around them. With smaller things like Barrels, Player Pirates and Treasure Items, the Harpoon latches onto them and pulls them onto the Ship. If aimed well, objects can be hooked out of a pirate's hand with a Harpoon. Otherwise, Player Pirates themselves can be Harpooned along with any items they are holding.

When the harpoon is fired, it hitscans for an object it can retract and speeds up the line upon detection. If there is no detected object, the line travels at a normal speed of 1.25s to the complete distance to find an object at the furthest point.

The Harpoon does not dismantle when taking any damage, but can be damaged by any means (including friendly fire) to release the tether. The tether can be broken if the target leaves the effective range, or the line tangles and snaps. The front half of the harpoon barrel is not a solid hitbox.

Most Creatures who are harpooned will take a very small amount of damage from the Harpoon.

Harpoons can be also found on some Rowboats, allowing for even greater maneuvering and Item retrieval.

A single Harpoon shot does 10 damage to Creatures.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for the Harpoon:

  • If the Ship is close to any Island or Sea Post in the sea where there is shallow water, the Harpoon can be shot into the ground underwater and pulled left and right for quicker turning. When used together with turning the Wheel, this can be as effective and less time-consuming than an anchor turn.
  • If your ship is anchored, but you have a Harpoon attached to a moving Ship then your Ship will weigh the other Ship down as well, pulling them back towards you.
  • When a Harpoon Rowboat is docked behind a Ship, its Harpoon can be used to pull the ship in reverse, if there is anything to pull the ship towards.
  • You can use Harpooned Floating Barrels as a way to easily store and transport Resources from a Dock. Some players like to place all Floating Barrel Resources into one Barrel and harpoon the one filled Barrel on the ship for easier supply management.
  • The introduction of Harpoons makes it far easier to load treasure after a Fort Raid Event. Placing treasure on the beach where it can be reached by a Harpoon can shorten the time it takes to loot the Vault entirely.


The harpoon cannot be aimed once fired. If the fired Harpoon does not hook a target, it will retract back to be fired again. The Harpoon does not hook while the ship is run aground or if it hits forbidden things like Bait or already sunk Skeleton Ships.

  • Primary Use fires and releases the Harpoon.
  • Holding Secondary Use slowly retracts the winch.
  • Holding Harpoon Reeling Lock will lock the harpoon's tether from stretching.

Harpoonable Objects

The general rule is that any Object with a physical collision frame in the game can be harpooned, unless stated otherwise. Here is a list of all the different Objects/Entities that can be Harpooned:

  • Any Structure, be it an Island, a rock or ground beneath shallow water can be Harpooned. The ship is pulled towards these structures when Harpooned.
  • Any Ships, including Skeleton Ships, can be caught with a Harpoon. The Harpoon will pull both of the ships closer to each other. If the Harpooned Ship is moving, the connected Harpoon will match that ship's speed.
  • Rowboats can be pulled closer with a Harpoon.
  • Sharks and Megalodons can be tethered, pulling the boat along with them.
  • Krakens cannot be Harpooned, the Harpoon will only do a small amount of damage to it. However, Players can be Harpooned out of a Kraken's clutches.
  • All Players can be caught with a Harpoon and immediately pulled onto the Ship. Any items held by the player will remain in their hand when harpooned.
  • All Transportable Items can be caught with a Harpoon. These Items need to be picked up from the Harpoon after they are caught.
  • Gunpowder Barrels can be caught with a Harpoon without making them explode. When shooting a Gunpowder Skeleton with a Harpoon, the keg will be disarmed from the Skeleton and they will die.
  • Meat can be caught with the Harpoon.
  • Floating Barrels can be caught with the Harpoon, however, they cannot be picked up from the Harpoon like Items, only let go.
  • It is possible to Harpoon Lightning Bolts, although the Harpoon will let go of the bolt as soon as it disappears.
  • Stronghold Key and Fort of the Damned Key.


  • (historical) It was possible to Harpoon dead bodies in Arena matches.
  • (historical) Gunpowder Barrels used to play the cooking animation while hooked.
  • (historical) It was possible to Harpoon the Bait on a player's Fishing Rod allowing the Ship to reach incredible speeds.
  • (historical) Gunpowder Skeletons who had their Barrel taken away from them became non-hostile towards players, wandering around aimlessly.
  • (historical) It was possible to harpoon bottle quests, but not reel them in.
  • (historical) Before patch 2.0.13 it was possible to Harpoon player Mermaids. A harpooned Mermaid would be pulled towards the Harpoon until the line breaks.

Patch History

  • 2.8.2 (May 18, 2023)
    • Pirates swimming to a ship in choppy waters are no longer able to use a ship's Harpoon to board directly from the water.
    • Pirates striking an enemy threat with a Harpoon will once again deal a small amount of damage.
  • 2.8.0 (March 16, 2023)
    • Treasure pulled to a Ship, Rowboat, or the Sovereigns Tower with the Harpoon will now automatically be deposited behind the Harpoon, removing the need to manually detach the item.
  • 2.7.2 (January 19, 2023)
    • Fixed an issue where Treasure held by a player would be suspended in the air after being harpooned.
  • 2.5.1 (April 7, 2022)
    • Harpoons now have an improved aim assist when launched at loot, making players more likely to snag the targeted treasure instead of just striking the nearby sand.
  • 2.4.1 (January 20, 2022)
    • Using a heavy Cutlass strike on top of a Ship's Harpoon will no longer cause Player Pirates to gain extra range on their lunge.
  • 2.3.1 (October 14, 2021)
    • Hitting a Ship’s Harpoons with explosive damage no longer transfers that damage to the Ship’s hull, although explosive damage that impacts the hull directly will cause damage as intended.
  • 2.2.1 (August 17, 2021)
    • Hitting an opponent’s Harpoon with a Cannonball should no longer block the hull from taking damage.
  • 2.0.16 (June 17, 2020)
    • The Harpoon now retracts rapidly after firing to full length.
  • 2.0.7 (September 11, 2019)
    • Projectile hitbox increased.
  • 2.0.6 (August 14, 2019)
    • Harpoon Rowboats added.
    • Floating Meat left behind by defeated sea creatures can now be harpooned.
    • Harpoons can now latch onto Gunpowder Barrels.
    • The fishing float can no longer be harpooned.
    • It is no longer possible to harpoon players who have already been killed in The Arena.
  • 2.0.5 (July 17, 2019)
    • Shops will now automatically close if a player takes damage or is harpooned while browsing.
  • 2.0.4 (June 19, 2019)
    • Harpoon tethers now stay attached to Rowboats when they are attached to and detached from a ship.
  • 2.0.2 (May 23, 2019)
    • Latching on to a Gunpowder Barrel from a Skeleton will now cause the barrel to detonate on impact.
    • Rowboats can now be harpooned.
    • Players docked to interaction points such as Rowboat seats, Cannons or the Ship’s Wheel can now be grabbed by Harpoons.
    • Players grappled by the Kraken can now be rescued using a harpoon.
    • UNDOCUMENTED: Harpooning a player now forces their perspective in the firing direction and locks their camera rotation.
    • Players are now unable to use the harpoon to tether to sinking Rowboats.
    • Resolved issues that caused items dropped from a harpoon to get stuck inside the hull of the ship.
    • Resolved an issue causing a harpoon line to suddenly attach to the centre of the world.
  • 2.0.1 (May 8, 2019)
    • Harpoon tethering of an object now behaves correctly through server migration.
  • 2.0 (April 30, 2019)
    • Introduced.