Sea of Thieves Dev Explains Why the Maximum Crew Size Is 4 Players


“Of course, we’re going to keep looking at this beyond launch”.

Sea of Thieves will launch with a maximum crew size (and therefore party size) of four.

Lead designer Mike Chapman confirmed to IGN that the party size from the game’s beta would continue into the full game, saying that the key element for Rare was in how larger groups would (or wouldn’t) communicate:

“The biggest ship was designed for four,” Chapman explained when asked why that became the maximum. “We’ve looked at feedback and of course there’s people who want an 8-player ship, a 10-player ship. The thinking there, as with everything in this game, is really intentful.

“If the two of us were to go out to the pub together with two other friends, you’ve got that intimate relationship, you’re all getting on together. If it becomes six or eight people, you start getting people splintering off and it’s really hard to communicate – four seems like the magic number.”

One element of how crews work will change from the beta to the main game, however. One player could now sail a four-person galleon alone, using the game’s “Make Friends” emote to manually gather a crew. On the other hand, four people could use one small sloop – Chapman explains that this could even be used as a surprise attack tactic.

As with all ‘live’ games, things could change in future. “Of course, we’re going to keep looking at this beyond launch”, continues Chapman. “There may be other things we’ll do with ships in the future.”

One outstanding bit of detail we don’t yet know is how crewing a ship will be affected by the addition of Legendary ships – which you can read all about in our new preview of Sea of Thieves. Chapman describes these ships as “a whole other game type”, but it seems as though we’ll have to wait and see what that means for playing with your friends.

In other Sea of Thieves news, check out when the game will add microtransactions, and how Rare is aiming for them to add “emotional value, not mechanical value”.

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK News Editor, and he is going to sloop attack you so bad. Follow him on Twitter.

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