The last Sea of Thieves beta test before the game debuts March 20 for Xbox One and PC is live, and it has some Xs marking new spots for ya scurvy digital pirates to explore. Unlike the previous closed betas, anyone can download the game client and try out Sea of Thieves. Previously, this was only available to people who preordered.
While the open beta will give a lot of people a chance to experience Sea of Thieves’s cooperative online piracy action for the first time, developer Rare has unlocked some fresh content for everyone to experience as well. Up to this point, players could only get missions from the Gold Hoarders faction, but that is changing.
“In the final beta, alongside the Gold Hoarders, we will be testing Merchant Alliance voyages for the first time, giving players an entirely new way to play,” Rare explained in a FAQ. “We are also introducing an intense, emergent opportunity into the world with the chance of a Skeleton Fort now being occupied. Watch out for that telltale skull cloud above a fort, which indicates the chance of great rewards but also great risk. Will other players have seen it? Might they even be there already? Will you work together or against each other? We can’t wait to watch and find out.”
That last point about watching to find out is key. Sea of Thieves has had a ton of success on livestreaming platforms like Twitch and Microsoft’s own Mixer. Through several of its betas, it was among the most watched games. This final beta gives Rare one last chance to reach a huge audience before Sea of Thieves is available to purchase and download.
Sea of Thieves is now also taking advantage of the Xbox One X’s power. The version of the game for that upgraded console is nearly 10GB larger than the OG Xbox One download, and that includes the 4K textures.
Between the visual upgrade, opening up to everyone, and the new content, Sea of Thieves has an opportunity to make its case as a must-have release in the early part of 2018. It’s just on Rare and Microsoft to deliver on the potential.