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Everything we know about Sea of Thieves cross-platform support

Sea of Thieves is a game that really only works with a group of friends. Rare’s live-service pirate simulator is one of the best co-op games available today, allowing you to put together a swashbuckling crew to take to the high seas, raid rival ships, and hunt for treasure. Thankfully, you don’t need to be on the same system to put together such a crew. Here’s everything you need to know about Sea of Thieves cross-platform support.

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Is Sea of Thieves cross-platform?

Sea Of Thieves Hands-on Preview | Rotating a big wheel on the ship
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Yes, Sea of Thieves supports cross-platform play across PC and Xbox One. That includes both the Windows 10 and Steam versions on PC, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions. In short, if you have a platform that can play Sea of Thieves, it supports crossplay.

You shouldn’t confuse Sea of Thieves crossplay with Xbox’s Play Anywhere initiative, however. If you’re unaware, Play Anywhere is an initiative from Xbox that allows you to buy a game once and have all versions of that game (fit with cross-save). So, in a game like Yakuza: Like a Dragon, you can buy the Windows 10 version and get the Xbox version for free, as well as carry your progress between the two versions.

Sea of Thieves is a Play Anywhere game (as we’ll get to that shortly), but crossplay is part of the game itself, not part of Microsoft’s program. Regardless, you’ll need an Xbox Live account to use crossplay, much like you need an Epic account to use crossplay with Fortnite and Dauntless. It’s worth noting that you just need an account, not a subscription. Though, if you’re playing Xbox, you should probably have Xbox Live Gold.

How to use Sea of Thieves crossplay

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Crossplay is enabled by default in Sea of Thieves, so if you’re already familiar with inviting friends and setting sail, you don’t need to do anything special. For those unaware, select Adventure from the main menu, choose the ship you want, choose if you want an open or closed crew, then invite your friends. On PC, press to bring up your friends list, and on Xbox, press X. 

That’s all you need to do to use Sea of Thieves crossplay. If you’re using an open lobby where random players can join, they’ll be able to join regardless of the platform they’re on.

If you want to disable crossplay, follow the same process but hit the button on the ship selection screen, then scroll down and set your matchmaking preferences. Unfortunately, the option to disable crossplay is only available on Xbox, not on PC. Note that this is just a preference, not a guarantee. If you disable crossplay, Sea of Thieves will attempt to place you in a lobby with players on the same platform as you, but you may play with other platforms if there aren’t enough players available to fill the lobby.

Cross-save and cross-progression

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As mentioned, Sea of Thieves is part of the Play Anywhere program, meaning it supports cross-save and cross-progression across PC and Xbox consoles, including the Steam version. Sea of Thieves requires an Xbox Live account, and all your progression is tied to that account. All you need to do, regardless of the platform you’re playing on, is log in.

That makes Sea of Thieves fairly unique, actually. Although far from the only game to support cross-save, it’s one of a few that allows you to carry in-game currency between different platforms. Dauntless, for example, allows you to carry your progress across systems, but it doesn’t let you transfer in-game currency across platforms.

Sea of Thieves carries everything over, including any achievements you’ve unlocked. The Windows 10 and Xbox versions use a shared achievement list, so that’s not an issue. Even on Steam, though, your achievements will carry over. If you purchased the Steam version of Sea of Thieves and you previously played the game elsewhere, any earned achievements will automatically unlock when you launch the game.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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