Everything Coming to Sea of Thieves in Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores

There’s a lot coming to Sea of Thieves in the next few months, but also a few pieces of content in the works.


In the whirlwind that is E3, it’s easy for information to be scattered all around the internet, and for those pirates who can’t wait to sink their hooks into more Sea of Thieves content, curating it all can be a challenge. With Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores around the corner, there’s plenty to be excited about, but there’s also the far future of Sea of Thieves to consider as well.

Using developer interviews, podcasts, and community roundtables as sources, below is everything coming to Sea of Thieves in the Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores free content updates in July and September, as well as a look at some of the things Rare is working on. It’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone.

Weekly Bilge Rat Events

The first weekly Bilge Rat event has come – and depending on when you’re reading this, gone – and brought with it several skeleton thrones that players can find and sit in to earn a new form of non-premium currency. The fun doesn’t end here, as the next event will be introducing a new threat for pirates to encounter.

Revealed in the June 20th developer update, gunpowder skeletons will make their appearance in the world of Sea of Thieves. These skeletons have figured out a way to pick up and carry gunpowder barrels, making skeletons even more of a threat. As part of this event, unique rewards will also be included for purchase with the doubloons, specifically, skeleton-themed weapons.

Cursed Sails

The next piece of content to arrive in Sea of Thieves come July will be Cursed Sails, a free DLC that adds a new threat to the ever-dangerous waters: skeleton ships. These AI-controlled ships will emerge from the water as part of a time-limited campaign to introduce them through a story in order to build more lore into the world.

Rare has also been listening and will be implementing reasons to replay this campaign. One takeaway from The Hungering Deep is that players, upon defeating the megalodon, had no incentive to go and help other players take down the giant shark, except for the fun of it.

Though the campaign is time-limited, once it ends, the skeleton ships will stay as an emergent threat, similar to the kraken and the now-released megalodon. An additional desire exists with the skeleton ships, as Rare wants to get to a place where they add them into quests, where players will need to go and take them down as part of said quest.

The skeletons aboard these ships won’t just be using regular cannonballs, they’ll be using something called a cursed cannonballs. These munitions have unique effects that will have an immediate impact on a crew and take on the appearance of a glowing orb similar to the sphere seen in the announcement trailer. A few of the effects have already been revealed during E3 2018: some will drop the anchor, raise the sails, stop the rudder from working, make crew members drunk, and there are likely to be other effects not yet mentioned.

At the beginning of the Cursed Sails campaign, the skeleton ships are the only ones able to use cursed cannonballs, but once the event ends, the skeletons will be leaving them in the world for players to find and use – similar to finding and collecting gunpowder barrels.

Finally, and arguably the biggest piece of news revealed about Cursed Sails is the inclusion of a new ship type. The brigantine is a ship built from the ground-up for three players. It is purported to have two masts, two sails, two decks, and still feels like a “big” ship. It fits in that slot between the sloop and the galleon, for those players with too many friends for a sloop and not enough for a galleon.

Forsaken Shores

Forsaken Shores is the other piece of Sea of Thieves DLC that was announced at E3, but this one arrives in September. Because Rare has set up three different teams (soon to be four) to work on Sea of Thieves content at the same time, Forsaken Shores will be the largest expansion to date, bringing with it an entirely new area for players to explore.

Devil’s Roar is the new area, a volcanic and exceptionally dangerous place which players will need to travel to, as they will still continue to spawn in the three original regions. Tremors and eruptions are par for the course for Devil’s Roar, and players will need to take this into account when anchoring their ship, lest it gets damaged by a volcano raining down fire and hell fury.

To make the trek from the ship to land easier – especially given the distance players will need to anchor the ship – a rowboat has been revealed as another “large tool” for players to use. The rowboat will serve as a way for players to move through the water, and the developers are expecting to see the rowboat used in ways they haven’t imagined. Some uses mentioned were to fill it up with gunpowder barrels, use it to board a skeleton ship, or just fill it with treasure and make one trip back to the ship instead of multiple.

During a roundtable with some members of the community, the question was posed about having more things to do while at sea when sailing between islands. Joe Neate confirmed that the team at Rare has heard the request, though it is currently a secondary priority behind getting the other content ready. However, he did reveal that it would be “an activity you do out at sea to pass time.” Later in the video, when another member of the community asked about fishing, Joe commented, “that certainly sounds like something you can do out at sea.” This all but confirms that the aforementioned secondary priority is fishing.

Future Plans and Unconfirmed Content

Now we get to the really unconfirmed content, things that aren’t even in development, but which Rare has acknowledged as being on their radar. Anything that follows might never make it into the game, but at least we know Rare is thinking about it.

At present, if players have two large groups of friends who want to play together, they have to separate and go to different servers. Outside of finding another ship and asking the stranger if they’d mind letting your friends join them, there’s no way to get these two large parties together. There is a wealth of problems that come with allowing two large galleons to team up on a server, but at least Rare has heard this wish.

Another item the developers mentioned is the idea of formalizing alliances in-game with other players. The idea being that there would be more concrete agreements between players to share rewards, as opposed to just the honor system. It was an idea Rare toyed with, so there’s no telling whether we might see some kind of loose truces in the future.

One element that the developers did mention, and somewhat confirm, is that Sea of Thieves is a pirate fantasy, and so they will explore enemy types beyond just skeletons. More shanties is another topic that Rare seems to recognize is desired, and is something they would like to do – as can be seen with Merrick’s shanty now being included in the rotation. Furthermore, the idea of one player having a different shanty to another, but the other one can harmonize with them, is an idea they love.

Joe Neate also discussed that the team that worked on The Hungering Deep are already hard at work on the next piece of content. Joe commented that he’s really excited about what they’re working on, as it’s a part of the game that needs to be enriched further. Based on what we know about Sea of Thieves, my guess would be that the underwater portion of the game needs more attention, so hopefully the fourth piece of free content will expand the world below the surface of the ocean.

As for microtransactions, specifically with pets, they are coming but it’s currently on the backburner as Rare wants to maintain focus on getting more free content into the world. Rare has never been coy about the inclusion of microtransactions, as it is a means of continued revenue. However, what’s nice is the commitment to flesh out the world before offering players a way to spend additional funds.

Finally, Rare prototyped a crouching mechanic that removed the player’s Gamertag, but it’s not currently on the roadmap. Interestingly, the emotes have currently filled the role of sneaky as players have come to realize the power of sitting or lying down to hide their pirate.

Though the majority of this is subject to change, especially given the rocky nature of game development, it’s exciting to see what’s planned and even what Rare are thinking about. One thing’s for certain, the developers at Rare are exceptionally passionate about their game, which is good, because I can’t get enough of Sea of Thieves.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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