A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Encourages teamwork, strong camaraderie among groups of up to four players (whatever benefits one member benefits all members). Fosters friendship, social bonding as players share memorable, unexpected experiences.
Positive Role Models
Typical pirate behavior, including treasure hunting, thievery, drinking. Players can choose to attack and/or steal treasure from rival crews.
Ease of Play
Straightforward controls make it easy to select, use items, weapons. Sailing is a bit tricky, but crew members tend to teach each other the ropes. The bigger, more social the crew, the easier the voyage.
Violence & Scariness
Players use pistols, rifles, swords to attack human-controlled pirates, computer-controlled skeletons. No blood, gore; defeated skeletons disappear among clattering bones, while defeated pirates go to Davy Jones' locker before respawning. Ship-to-ship combat involves cannon fire, explosive barrels.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Player characters can imbibe "grog," inducing drunken state that involves staggering, belching, vomiting. It's used as a humor device; being drunk is detrimental to all other activities, from moving around to reading maps.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sea of Thieves is a cooperative multiplayer game that simulates the life of a golden age pirate. Players -- friends and/or strangers -- band together in groups of two to four to sail ships on treasure hunting voyages, where they sometimes encounter skeleton enemies and other human crews that they can fight using guns, swords, and cannon fire. There's no blood or gore; skeletons disappear in a clattering of bones, while defeated humans are banished to Davy Jones' locker as they wait to respawn. Playing as pirates means players spend most of their time looting and fighting, but the team-oriented play strongly encourages communication and teamwork and can help build friendships. Parents should also note that player characters can drink "grog," causing them to become intoxicated, which results in staggering, belching, and vomiting. It's used as a humor device rather than a means of powering up.
Is It Any Good?
It's best to go into this entertaining teamwork-building pirate adventure without any expectations. That's because Sea of Thieves doesn't play like your typical online game. It's not about growing your pirate avatar into a powerful character with peerless skills and invincible gear -- veterans and rookies can play and voyage together with virtually no difference in their abilities, save the senior player's experience -- instead, it's about sharing an adventure with friends. The best parts come when players are calling out to each other over their headsets in a joint effort to accomplish an objective, whether it's the crew member in the crow's nest saying she sees a galleon with masts raised on the horizon or someone else excitedly announcing his shovel has hit wood. It's an extremely team-oriented experience, with everyone working toward and sharing in the same goals, rewards, and failures. And once a voyage is finished, players won't necessarily be talking about the loot they acquired or what they spent their gold on, but rather anecdotes about the time they cooperated to perform an anchor-assisted 180-degree turn to come about on another ship, spied a shipwreck and dove into the sea to find a glowing skull, or stood together on the bow to witness a shimmering sunset creating a sea of sparkles (water has never looked prettier in a game).
Still, this might not be to everyone's taste. There's a sense of progress -- mostly to do with reputation -- but it's not what veteran gamers might expect. And while play is wonderfully emergent and filled with unscripted events and surprises, a lack of variety in voyage types and settings carries with it a real risk of repetition. Players in it for the long haul won't be returning day after day and week after week to discover new loot and gear, but rather to enjoy a social experience with friends (or strangers). If that sounds like the sort of game you want to play, then unfurl your sails and get ready for a terrific simulation of life as a pirate.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Social Networking for Teens
Safer Social Media and Messaging Apps for Kids
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate