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Sea of Thieves is testing custom servers in an upcoming closed alpha

Rare will be testing out custom servers in Sea of Thieves with a limited number of players to aid in community and tournament events.


The randomness of Sea of Thieves is part of the fun, but there have always been those who want to play the game on their own terms and create a custom sandbox to play around in. To that end, Custom servers have often been a big ask among the community. Rare is ready to try them out, but it will be limited to alpha testing for now as it tries to aid community events and determine what works and what doesn’t with Sea of Thieves custom servers.

Rare announced its plans for custom servers in Sea of Thieves in a developer blog posted on June 25, 2020. According to the blog, Rare’s primary goal in developing custom servers is to aid the community that is already creating interesting events and organized fun without them, but would certainly be aided by the ability to create custom boundaries in a game. To that end, the alpha test is expected to take place in the near future as Rare begins to open access to a small number of players and work out the kicks.

Rare has made it pretty clear that the major goal of Sea of Thieves custom servers will be to create an easy ground for events and other community driven fun.
Rare has made it pretty clear that the major goal of Sea of Thieves custom servers will be to create an easy ground for events and other community driven fun.

There are limited details on what custom servers will currently entail, but here they are.

  • Players will be able to generate a private code to send to other players to join up.
  • The number of ships and the specific types of ships can be set prior to game start.
  • No gold or reputation can be gained from custom sessions.

That last one is noteworthy. Rare specifically isn’t interested in letting custom servers serve the role of a PvE experience, so much as it wants to give community members the opportunity to run events like tournaments and gatherings in controllable settings. So you won’t be able to progress your pirate through these custom servers for now. Rare also stated that custom servers are likely going to be purchaseable in some way as a feature in the Pirate Emporium, though this is still a ways out as it figure out the cost (to the company), desire, and usage of the servers.

Having just launched on Steam and come out with a Haunted Shores ghost ships update, there’s still plenty to do in Sea of Thieves even if you can’t get into the alpha testing. Stay tuned to Shacknews for further updates and details on the state of custom servers in the game.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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