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A group of pirates playing their instruments together.

Instruments are Equipment items in Sea of Thieves, used to play one of many Shanties using one of four instruments.


Player Pirates can access their instruments using the Equipment Radial Menu. Players choose their desired shanty by pressing R /360 B.png on their Equipment Radial while holding an instrument.

After selecting a shanty, the first Pirate to start using their instrument will become the lead instrument, and begin to play the main melody of the chosen shanty. After this, any Pirate that begins to use their instrument will join the lead's shanty as a backing instrument, playing the song with noticeably less notes, no matter which shanty is selected.

Multiple states change how the shanty is heard, including being under the effects of Grog, which will result in the shanties playing out of tune. Other states that alter the shanty include being underwater, or being in the Ferry of the Damned.

Pirates can play shanties to charm and pacify Snakes to avoid being poisoned by them while exploring or while capturing them in Snake Baskets.

Types of instruments

Like other equipment items in Sea of Thieves, variants of each instrument can be purchased from Equipment Shops at Outposts for Gold, the Black Market for Bilge Rat Doubloons, or the Pirate Emporium for Ancient Coins. Legendary and Ghost variants of all instruments are available for Pirate Legends at Athena's Fortune Hideout.

A list of currently available instruments is as follows:


For a list of music that can be played using Instruments, see Shanties.




Patch history

  • 2.4.2 (February 10, 2022)
    • Holding the secondary interact button will now open the Shanty Radial directly while an instrument is equipped.
  • 2.0.1 (May 8, 2019)
    • Player instruments are no longer muted while the tavern and contest countdown music plays.
  • 1.0.8 (May 23, 2018)
    • Instruments will no longer sound muffled / cut out when being played on the back of a Sloop.
  • 1.0.6 (May 1, 2018)
    • Musical instruments can now be used immediately after interacting with parts of the Ship.
  • 1.0.5 (April 24, 2018)
    • Play the next song! - Players will no longer play the same shanty twice in a row.

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