A wise pirate knows the devil’s dance of combat: The swerve and the thrust, the swipe and the parry. An even wiser pirate knows that “he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” The wisest pirate of all knows that combat is a job best suited to your lackeys. Your time, meanwhile, is better spent sweeping in with a blunderbuss to pick up the pieces once the dust settles, and hoisting sail to the nearest vendor. There you can sell the remains of your dear departed colleagues and use it for grog money.
Don’t give us that look. This is a game about pirates!!
Truthfully though, combat is an unavoidable pillar of Sea of Thieves’ gameplay, and knowing the ins and outs of a fight is the difference between a plunder and a blunder (guess which one ends with you walking away with the loot). Every player can carry two weapons, so choose wisely. What you bring into the battle is going to play a huge difference in your role. To help you decide, we’ve put together a guide that will hopefully make that choice a little easier.
Powerful and versatile, each player begins a match with a pistol and cutlass by default. You’d think that any starting weapons are sub-par when compared to ones you’d pick up later, but in the case of Sea of Thieves, you’d be wrong. The weapons here are a balancing act in this title, and the deciding factor of any PvP is rarely the weapon a player is using, but the angle from which he is attacking. Every weapon has its place, and the pistol is no exception.
** Any upgrades or purchases you make at a vendor are aesthetic only and will not have any effect on a weapon’s damage or utility. You’ll just look cooler.
The pistol outmatches the blunderbuss in terms of accuracy (as you might expect) and it also has a faster reload speed, meaning that you can fire off a second shot before the other guy does. This is important for one big reason:
A single shot from the pistol will deal 53% damage to a human target. That means if you can land two shots, they’re down. See where we’re going with this? You dominate mid-range combat with the pistol. It may not feel like it fires all that quickly, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still firing faster than the other two firearms. Combine that with the two-shot kill and you have a very powerful weapon indeed.
Your other default weapon, the cutlass is the mark of the true buccaneer. Yes, it has less range than any other weapon. Yes, it does the least damage. Yes, it takes three hits to kill even a basic skeleton. We still think it’s the best weapon you can get your hands on in this game.
Hear us out.
At the end of the day, the sword is only as good as the swordsman. Mastering the cutlass will take time, practice, and patience (at least two traits that pirates do not have in abundance). The primary attack is a sword slash that deals a small 20% damage. Logically, landing the three-hit combo will do 60% damage. Now we’re getting somewhere. In addition, hitting another player can slow them, hindering their ability to turn. Unable to adjust their view angle, you should be able to dispatch them far more easily.
The sword’s lunge ability does a mighty 49% damage, and is one of its defining features in Sea of Thieves. The lunge lends a unique balance to the rock-paper-scissors combat for this game. Charging the lunge (primary attack button) will slow your walk speed, BUT if you block you will negate the movement penalty. Jump at the start of your lunge and you can cover still more distance, closing the gap between you and the guy with the pistol or Eye of Reach.
The cutlass is also the only weapon in the game that can block, making it your best defensive option. On top of all that, and this is a no-brainer, the cutlass does not use ammo! We recommend having a cutlass as a backup weapon on most of your adventures. Its defense, mobility, infinite usage, and general classiness make it our top choice.
For more advice on the best ways to use a cutlass, definitely give this video a thorough look:
Eye of Reach
Found in an armory (scattered around the game world), the Eye of Reach is the game’s sniper rifle. With a slow rate of fire and reload time, this weapon favors a high risk/high reward style of gameplay, much like the blunderbuss.
Accurate from extremely far, the Eye of Reach also doubles as a spyglass. We found it unexpectedly useful when scouting new areas or when doing recon on skeleton forts. It is generally advisable to have at least one of your crew hit the seas with this in his hands. It’s invaluable for scouting, backing up the players leading the charge, and for picking off enemies before your ship even reaches the island.
With the Eye of Reach, it’s important to keep several universal factors of Sea of Thieves’ combat in mind:
- There is no friendly fire in Sea of Thieves. At least not directly. If you’re the team marksman and you’re watching your teammate’s back, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger, even if you’re you have the shot; you can’t hurt him.
- Headshots will not do extra damage. Again don’t hesitate to shoot. If you’re not firing from far away, we advise quickscoping over long careful aiming.
- Lastly, damage in or out of water is the same in Sea of Thieves. If the fight lands you in the water (which it often does), remember that that has no bearing on the damage of your gun. Considering the Eye of Reach does a whopping 79% damage in a single shot, you’re nearly unmatched in terms of raw damage, on land or underwater.
The blunderbuss is the go-to weapon for any pirate who’s had enough monkeying around. And no, that’s not a Monkey Island reference. This is a shotgun, tried and true, and should only be used at close quarters. The blunderbuss fires ten shots at once in an unpredictable formation. Each of those shots deals around 15% damage. The more shots that land, the more total damage you’ll do.
Pretty basic, right?
It takes a minimum of seven shots to instantly down an enemy, which means that the only chance you have to score that sweet one-hit KO is to fire as close to point-blank range as you can afford to get. Careful when you take your shot; the rate of fire is slow, and you’ll probably be in the thick of the fight if you’re using the blunderbuss like you’re supposed to.
Much like the Eye of Reach, however, we think it’s a good idea for at least one teammate to be using a blunderbuss at all times. It comes in extremely handy when ambushed by a horde of skeletons or when going toe to toe with a ship full of enemy players.
For a side by side comparison of weapon damages in Sea of Thieves, along with more awesome combat strategies, check out the video below.
Step carefully and we’ll see you on the high seas!