There’s no one that tells a pirate what to do. In Sea of Thieves you’re free to sail the seas in whatever way you like. Just go with the wind, land on random islands and start pillaging. No one will stop you. But if you’d like a little bit of structure in your adventures, there are several factions in the game, along with the requisite reputation levels and unlockable commendations. Each of the factions has its own progression tree, sense of purpose, and types of quests it issues to the player. Let’s have a look at these factions and how they differ from one another.
The Gold Hoarders are the most typical of pirate related factions. As the name implies, they’re all about that gold. They were included in Sea of Thieves‘ various beta tests and their quests involve handing out voyage maps to various buried treasure locations. Many of these include riddles that need to be solved in order to find the exact location of the booty.
Each of the Gold Hoarders quests can be completed at your leisure. Just propose a voyage and strike out to explore the various islands. But be careful not to let other pirate crews liberate you from your hard-earned loot! As you sell these treasure chests to the Gold Hoarders, your reputation will rise and you will unlock more complex, but more rewarding, voyages.
Order of Souls
As you can clearly see, the Order of Souls is a much more mysterious and sinister faction in Sea of Thieves. They can be found in tents or small huts that are decorated like witches’ shops and the strange glow coming from the various items inside should give you pause. Their quests are typically more dangerous as they involve taking on skeletons, the undead, and even entire skull forts.
The rewards available for completing Order of Souls quests are more interesting than just gold, however. Sure, plain gold is an option for some quests, but the Order of Souls is the only faction that will reward you with special potions or magic weapons. Consequently the quests tend to be more difficult and require a skilled crew, or two, to complete them.
Also, if you should happen to stumble across a strange skull with glowing green eyes on a random beach, you’ll want to bring it to the nearest outpost and sell it to the Order of Souls vendor. You’ll never know what strange powers it may have, or how much gold it’s worth.
Finally, the Merchant Alliance is probably the most civilized faction in Sea of Thieves. These traders have quests for you that are a little bit more above board than the usual pirate activities you engage on. Most tasks will see you carry cargo from one location to another, rarely requiring any sort of combat. After all, who’s going to try and steal your chickens when there is buried treasure to be found elsewhere?
While being a sea trucker may not sound like a great challenge, a lot of the cargo has to either be acquired on your own, or is of the variety that will die if neglected. For example, you can’t just store a bunch of pigs below deck and hope for the best. They need to be fed and kept from drowning. You wouldn’t believe how much of a death sentence these piggies have once you snatch them off an island and put them in your ship’s hold.
Reputation and Commendations
Whichever of the factions above you prefer, Sea of Thieves does not make you choose or pledge your allegiance in any way. You can simply pursue quests from any of the factions as you please. Whenever you complete a quest or sell items to a faction’s vendor, your reputation with that faction will rise. A higher reputation will unlock higher level quests, with greater rewards up for grabs.
Alongside the reputation gains, you will unlock individual commendations for each faction. These are usually specific goals, such as earning 5,000 gold coins by selling items to a faction’s vendor, or performing a certain number of quests. You can think of commendations as achievements, some of which unlock rewards, such as titles that can be equipped on your player via the vanity chest.
Now that you’ve learned more about the factions in Sea of Thieves, head on over to our Guide Hub for more helpful tips and tricks when navigating the seas.