Multiplayer Blockbuster Sea of Thieves Finally Gets Solo Mode

A pirate holds up a cutlass.

Image: Microsoft

Over 25 million people have played Sea of Thieves. The pirate ship fantasy sim has some of the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen in a video game. And now Rare’s live-service multiplayer game is finally getting a way for people to play solo. A new mode called Safer Seas will let players explore in private sessions without the threat of PvP starting in December.

“Safer Seas is intended to offer a gentler introduction to Sea of Thieves for new players, as well as providing a quieter map for existing players looking to pursue their own solo adventures,” Mike Chapman, creative director, wrote in an Xbox Wire blog post yesterday. If you’re hoping to get some peaceful fishing done, or complete a few Tall Tales without interference, Safer Seas is the perfect choice.”

Originally set to arrive earlier this year before being delayed by three months, Rare is calling season 10 update its “Super Season.” Going live on October 18, here are three big new features coming to Sea of Thieves in separate installments throughout the end of the year:

  • Guilds: A captain pledges a ship, letting up to 24 players join together and borrow one another’s vessels and cosmetics even when they’re not online, sharing milestone progress along the way.
  • Competitive Questing: Players compete to collect Skull of Siren Song artifact components, with the objects cursing the ships they’re onboard and broadcasting those players’ locations across the seas.
  • Safer Seas: Play Sea of Thieves alone or with friends in a session devoid of competing players, with a max rank of 40 and reduced rewards due to the lessened danger.

The Safer Seas mode in particular could be a huge boon for the game. Despite its massive player-base, Sea of Thieves still has a steep learning curve and requires an intimidating amount of coordination, compounded by the ever-present threat of PvP. Safe Seas doesn’t just remove that danger, it also lets solo-minded players explore its vast and beautiful world without the social anxiety or awkwardness of running into other people. I wish more live-service games offered a similar escape.


Here’s Your First Look At Multiplayer

Today’s Call of Duty Next event gave us a solid look at what’s around the corner for the ongoing milsim franchise. Modern Warfare III launches on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows on November 10. PlayStation gamers who’ve pre-ordered the game will be able to participate in a multiplayer beta this weekend. Xbox and PC betas will go live on October 12 and 13.

Pre-order Modern Warfare III: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Modern Warfare III features complete remakes of 16 multiplayer maps from the original Modern Warfare 2. It also includes the return of techniques like slide- and reload-cancelling.

The enormous weapon selection in MWIII’s multiplayer was touted today, described as the largest ever in CoD multiplayer. MWIII includes all the weapons players have unlocked from 2022’s MWII, plus more than 30 new guns and attachments. This is in addition to operators and weapon camos. So, yes, as was said during the event, you’ll still be able to play as Nicki Minaj.

Tac-stance gives you an in-between aiming option between tradiional ADS and hip fire.
Gif: Activision / Kotaku

The event also showed off some live, 6v6 multiplayer gameplay across five reimagined maps from Modern Warfare 2, including Rust, High Rise, Estate and Favela. The team said that the original layout of these maps has been reproduced as much as possible, so many familiar sight-lines return.

The team added that some adjustments have been made to accommodate for MWIII’s more advanced movement set, such as taller mantling and slide cancelling.

MWIII will also feature three 32v32 Ground War maps, in addition to the return of War Mode.

Modern Warfare III will also see new 6v6 maps added to the game with each season. Seasons one and two are expected to see three new map additions respectively.

With all these maps on offer, and many more to come, the return of map voting ought to help prioritize fan favorites.

Perks are now split up across boots, gloves, and gear. Classic perks will return to the game, just within these categories. The team wanted to make equipping perks feel less like an abstract numerical change and more like an actual piece of equipment that changes up your gameplay style.

MWIII features 150 health across all players, matching that of Warzone. Damage to specific areas, such as headshots, will come with a damage modifier.

Tac-Stance is another new addition to MWIII. It was described as a combination between aim-down-sights and hip fire. The annoucers described it as like splitting the difference between an assault rifle and an SMG. In practice, it looks very similar to the side-mounted sights. On gamepad, you’ll hit down on the d-pad to activate this stance.

Other changes to the gameplay include faster mantle animations while you’re tac sprinting. Players are also able to equip different kinds of vests that’ll change up which perk categories they can equip.

There’ll be a choice of four different vests during the beta, each of which carries gameplay augmentations. The infantry vest, for instance, boosts tac-sprint regeneration.

Pre-order Modern Warfare III: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop