Box art - Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves: How to Sail, Raise Anchor and Return to Ship

Sea of Thieves doesn’t hold its players’ hands, with it hoping that you work things out on your own accord, or at least ask your fellow crew members for advice. However, if you don’t have a very communicative crew then you can be left scratching your head, especially when it comes to sailing.

With sailing being the main activity in Sea of Thieves, you’ll want to get knowledgeable about it pretty quickly. As such, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about setting off on your ship:

How to Raise the Anchor in Sea of Thieves

The wheel needed to raise the anchor is located at the front of the ship (the bow), just behind the first set of sails. You raise the anchor by interacting with it and do the same in order to lower it.

The more crew members that are helping to rotate the wheel, the faster that the anchor is raised. In times where you need to quickly make an exit, it is therefore advantageous to have as many people raising the anchor as possible.

There’s no need to worry about spontaneously dropping your anchor, as swiftly sending it plummeting towards the ocean floor won’t damage your ship. The anchor lowers faster than it rises, so take this into account when looking to stop near an island — almost as soon as the anchor is being lowered, your ship will grind to a halt.


How to Lower the Sails

If you look at your ship’s sails, you’ll see that the ropes attached to either side of them are tied to its deck. Venturing over to where they’re tied up, you should be given an option to either ‘Set Sail Length’ or ‘Set Sail Angle.’ In order to lower the sails, you’ll need to set sail length.

Lowering the sails is as easy as pressing a button and then holding down on the analog stick to unfurl them. To hoist them back up, hold the analog stick up. Do this with every set of sails on your ship for faster sailing.


How to Sail in Sea of Thieves

sea of thieves how to sail

Learning how to sail will be your number one priority in Sea of Thieves, and while getting going is as easy as lowering the sails and raising the anchor, there are other things to factor into your journey across the seas.

Setting the angle of your sails is hugely important, as it allows you to increase the speed of your ship by a tremendous amount. Take note of the direction the wind is moving in (this will be indicated by the white whisps you occasionally see on the screen) and catch it with your sails.

Even if you do this with one sail you’ll experience a notable burst of speed, though if you pull it off with all three sails in the game’s largest ship, you’ll find yourself hurtling forwards. This is great when you’re in hot pursuit of an enemy or need to get somewhere fast.

If you’re sailing across choppy seas in the nighttime, you should be aware that your captain probably can’t see where they’re going if you have all of the sails lowered. As such, when their vision is impaired it’s often advantageous to raise the sail closest to them at least halfway, to give them more of a visual of their surroundings. While you’ll go slower, it’s certainly better than crashing into a bunch of rocks because they couldn’t see where they were going.


How to Return to Your Ship in Sea of Thieves

If you find yourself stranded in Sea of Thieves and your crew have left you with the ship, then you can return to it by finding a nearby friendly Mermaid. When you interact with it, this Mermaid will take you back to your ship, so you needn’t worry about being left behind. The Mermaid appears with a bright light above it, so you can even spot it in the dark.