Parents' Guide to

Sea of Thieves

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Pirate sim promotes teamwork but has unmonitored chat.

Game Windows , Xbox One 2018
Sea of Thieves Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 17 parent reviews

age 11+

Parents honest review

As a parent of a 13-year-old I came to the site to read the reviews which said it was great. But I was not to pleased on one feature called online chat which was talking to random people in the lobby but I thought I would have a look as it is on sale right now. I discovered that there was a new update to Sea of Thieves which gave the option to turn off all communication with other players this allows your child to play the game and have fun while you have the peace of mind that no strangers can just talk to them. Other than this my review is like many other parents which is it does offer great problem-solving, action and adventure with our having to much gore and guns. I would strongly recommend this game to people who’s children want to start playing higher production games
age 8+

It’s Fun to be Bad!

My 10 year old loves to play this game with her friends. She was shocked to hear that Common Sense gave it four dots in positive messages. She says: “It has LOTS of alcohol and drugs but that’s why it’s funny. In it you can do dumb stuff that you can’t do in real life it is fun to rob other people in a dumb video game.”

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (17 ):
Kids say (57 ):

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.

Game Details

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.

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