Sea of Thieves PvP has some matchmaking issues, but Rare is working on it

These ships could use a few more knots.

Image via Rare

Sea of Thieves Season 8 has been focused on PvP. It’s an approach that a lot of players have been waiting for, but that doesn’t mean it’s been rolled out perfectly. As more features are added for PvP, more issues arise. Namely, matchmaking has been running slowly for many eager players. Fortunately, developer Rare is working on that.

In an update on the Sea of Thieves blog, lead designer Andrew Preston explained why PvP has been bottle-necked lately. First, the Factions are often lopsided, with either the Guardians of Fortune or Servants of the Flame dominating a server depending on the time of day or region. If the sea doesn’t have an even mix of factions, they’re simply aren’t enough matches to make. Other issues arise from where players are allocated on a server, overall region population, and controller-only preferences when matching up with an opponent.

Preston explained the changes Rare is making to circumvent these problems. First is allowing inner-Faction battles: if you can’t find someone on the other team to face, you can still get a match going by battling someone else on your side. The other improvement is “cross-stamp migration.” A “stamp” is a smaller subdivision of a server that helps Rare organize players, and with these changes, players will be moved to a new stamp if they can’t match with an opponent in their current place.

These are practical, well-explained improvements that ought to alleviate a lot of the stress that Sea of Thieves’ PvP-playing fans are feeling. Rare isn’t afraid to make changes to its live service game when need be. Cursed Cannonballs were nerfed just the other week in an effort to avoid trolling once the PvP floodgates opened up. A similar change was made during the Hunter’s Cry Adventure to prevent griefing while players tried to complete the central quest.

Players can look back on all these moments using Sea of Thieves’ version of Spotify Wrapped. The wrap-up chronicles completed quests, faction reputations, and more.