With every new Sea of Thieves season comes tons of new features and improvements to pre-existing ones! Whether you want to try out new voyages or sail through the Plunder Pass is entirely up to you. Regardless, there’s a lot to unpack here, so prepare for a wild ride. If you’d like to learn more, continue reading to find a comprehensive list of the Sea of Thieves Season 9 patch notes released today, March 16, 2023.
Related: How to get Ancient Coins in Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves Season 9: Full Patch Notes Listed
With a new season comes a ton of massive changes, ranging from various bug fixes to brand-new additions to the game. The update is massive, and the beefy patch notes released earlier today prove just how much new content is available to explore.
Rather than explaining that here, let’s just get right into the patch notes!
Chests of Fortune
Chest of Fortune
- A new high-value chest has arrived on the seas, offering a fortune in gold and the promise of exclusive rewards if safely cashed in. Expect the Chest of Fortune to be highly sought after by crews across the waves!
- In Season Nine, Chests of Fortune have been locked away in Fort of Fortune Vaults, ready for the taking. Cunning crews who claim them will progress the Fortune’s Favour Commendation to unlock the first ship items from the new Fates of Fortune cosmetic set.
- In future Seasons, expect Chests of Fortune to move around and bring the fight to new locations, while enabling new Commendation Grades and expanding the Fates of Fortune set.
- The beacon visible from across the seas that highlights a Reaper’s Chest or Reaper’s Bounty will now stay visible even when the chest is collected by players – no more hiding! Pirates can now use the beacon along with the Ship’s Map table icon to track this valuable cargo being transported by rival crews.
- With these chests now much more visible when being transported, there is an additional reward for crews who successfully hand them in. Crews will now progress the Reaper’s Riches Commendation and start unlocking access to the Fates of Fortune weapon set!
Chests of Fortune Achievements
- New Xbox and Steam achievements can be unlocked by progressing through the game’s variety of new features. A total of 150 gamerscore is available to earn from this update, and these achievements will remain in the game indefinitely.
- Getting a Head [10G]
- Hot-Headed [15G]
- Fortune-ate Outcome [25G]
- A Favour for the Flame [50G]
- Favour the Bold [50G]
World Events and Encounters
Fort of Fortune
- The gruelling Fort of Fortune has been reimagined for Season Nine as a more approachable and enjoyable experience for all crew sizes. This encounter will also appear more frequently than before, and crews successfully raiding the vault will be rewarded with the exclusive new Chest of Fortune.
- While the Fort encounter itself has been rebalanced to dynamically scale in difficulty to the number of pirates in the fight, each wave of skeletons is now a roll of the dice with different skeleton forms appearing to challenge the crews’ skills in combat.
Fort of the Damned
- Crews taking on this wicked encounter will find the Shadows of Fate and Ghost of Graymarrow now dynamically scale in difficulty to the number of pirates storming the Fort.
- The Shadows of Fate summoned to battle will now always appear as a single colour within a wave, requiring less switching the Flames of Fate during the encounter.
- Resources have been replenished around the Fort of the Damned, so crews can find more food barrels stacked with a range of fruit, along with additional Ammo Chests and an Armoury.
- The original Skeleton Fort encounter has been improved and rebalanced to dynamically scale in difficulty with the number of pirates storming the vault.
- Skeleton Forts across the sea are now stocked with more plentiful resources and include both Ammo Chests and Armouries, allowing players to switch their loadout during the battle!
- Crews willing to go toe to toe with a menacing Ashen Lord will now find that this heated encounter dynamically scales in difficulty based on the number of pirates in the fight.
- Crews heading towards the ominous Ship Cloud signifying a Skeleton Fleet battle will now find that the encounter dynamically scales to the number of players in the area.
- Along with scaling difficulty, the skeleton crews onboard the Galleons are now more easily dispatched by boarders, and crews will find repairers less frequently return to defend the ship.
- After defeating a Skeleton Ship, crews now have more time to resupply before the next wave arrives and will find sunken Galleons now drop Storage Crates of supplies for even easier restocking.
Ghost Fleet Encounter Returns
- Once again, crews can encounter Ghost Ships summoned through the rift before facing off against Flameheart’s flagship, the Burning Blade.
- Following Flameheart’s resurrection, he no longer watches over this encounter. However, crews should look for a swirling tornado in the sky to indicate the encounter has begun.
- Emergent Megalodon encounters can now occur in a wider variety of locations across the seas, including those previously restricted due to the distance between islands.
- Sunken wrecks will now appear more frequently between islands rather than on the outer areas of the map, making them more easily discovered by crews during their journeys.
- Visibility-reducing fog banks can now appear in even more locations across the seas.
Search for the Skull of Destiny
- This new Captain’s Voyage exclusive to Pirate Legends can now be acquired from the shipwrights or the Pirate Lord. Legends will be provided with the Wayfinder of Legends Compass to help direct their crew towards the mysterious Skull of Destiny.
- Crews retrieving the Skull of Destiny will find it imbued with the glowing Flames of Fate and able to cycle through the six coloured flames. Use it to light all the statues at the Fort of the Damned, then place the Skull itself into the ritual cage to begin the Fort of the Damned event.
The Legendary Search for Cursed Treasure
- This new Captain’s Voyage exclusive to Pirate Legends aims to test crews’ sailing skills against the hazards that hoarding accursed treasure may bring. Along with a range of cursed treasures to uncover along the way, players may encounter the new Chest of Boundless Sorrow which awards more gold but never stops weeping – a true test of an organised crew!
- Crews navigating this perilous Voyage will be richly rewarded from the cursed loot they return – and should keep a keen eye out for the chance to uncover a Chest of Legends among the treasure!
Black Powder Stashes
- Pirate Legends can now acquire this explosive new Captain’s Voyage. It will direct crews to a nearby Skeleton Fort where a range of armaments have been stashed, possibly including the explosive Keg of Ancient Black Powder. Restock quickly and prepare for battle!
Expanded Company Voyages
- The shipwrights have expanded their stock of Trading Company Voyages, giving Captains access to more experiences directly from the Captain’s Bookcase. Crews can now venture into The Devil’s Roar on Ashen Voyages, raid Vaults for the Gold Hoarders, track Lost Shipments for the Merchants and hunt down Ghost Ships for the Order of Souls. Grab a bundle from the nearest shipwright before setting sail.
- Captains will find their trusty Logbook now chronicles the ship’s endeavors each day, populating the pages with events encountered while sailing. At the end of each day the Captain will bookmark the day’s efforts with a hand-drafted image of a memorable moment from the day.
- Along with this new addition, the Captain’s Logbook now requires players to press and hold to interact with it, preventing accidental use.
- Logbooks acquired from sunken ships can now be stored in Collector’s Chests and Merfolk Statues for safekeeping.
- Captains and their crew will now be able to conveniently hand in their catches to the Sovereigns at the Outposts, who will accept them on behalf of The Hunter’s Call. For the greatest payout, however, The Hunter’s Call representatives themselves now pay extra for direct delivery to the Seaposts!
Captain’s Supply and Voyage Shop Improvements
- Captains browsing the exclusive services available from the shipwrights will now find that a new categorised menu allows faster access to the Voyages or supplies required.
- Players now have the option to disable both Pirate and Ship Milestone notifications from the Settings Menu.
Treasure in the Devil’s Shroud
- Treasure left behind in the Devil’s Shroud will no longer remain out of reach and will be transported to a safer location for retrieval.
Seagulls Above Sunken Treasure
- As well as gathering above shipwrecks and floating barrels, seagulls can now be spotted circling over any treasure left behind at sea.
Six Ships on the Horizon
- Following performance improvements delivered in recent updates, all servers have now returned to supporting six crews. When starting a session or migrating, servers will now actively matchmake six crews of different sizes in order to meet both six-crew and 17-player limits.
- The team will continue to monitor server performance following launch and adjust the player limit outside the update process to optimise the experience.
- Unwanted Quests can now be stashed away, allowing players to tidy up their Quest Radial and only show those they are interested in. Stashed Quests can be unhidden at any time.
Improved Collector’s Chest Selling
- Pirates can now sell all treasure items inside a Collector’s Chest without having to remove them one by one. Trading Company representatives can now cash in all items they accept from within the chest.
- Captains looking to speed up the experience even further can sell everything inside the Collector’s Chest to the Sovereigns, leaving the crew with the chest itself for future use.
Musical Hit Audio Effects
- Within the Audio Settings, players now have direct control of musical effects heard when attacking ships and striking enemies. A new ‘Musical Hit Notification Volume’ slider offers this control while allowing other game music to be adjusted independently.
- Players will also hear a distinctive new audio effect when striking a rival ship with a cannonball, clearly indicating a successful hit. This new effect can also be controlled with the ‘Musical Hit Notification Volume’ slider.
- When using a ship’s harpoon, players will now find that treasure will instantly detach from their harpoon onto the deck, removing the need to stop and remove it manually.
- Rowboats equipped with a harpoon will also place any harpooned treasure in the middle of the Rowboat, and the Sovereigns’ hut harpoon will place treasure on the lift platform even if the platform is down, making it even easier to cash in there.
- A new type of resource crate is now on offer from the Merchant Alliance and The Hunter’s Call: the Bait Crate. These crates are filled with enough grubs, worms and leeches to keep any fishing enthusiast happy for days!
- Bait Crates will set players back 5000 gold and can also be sold back to the Merchant Alliance, The Hunter’s Call, The Reaper’s Bones and the Sovereigns.
Fishing Bait Radial
- When wielding a fishing rod, players can now access a Bait Radial using the Left Trigger on controller or right mouse button when using keyboard and mouse to select the preferred bait before casting.
- When holding an item of food, players can now access a Food Radial using the B button on controller or R on keyboard to quickly select a specific food from their inventory.
Ship Scuttle Improvements
- Crews wishing to scuttle their ship will now be presented with two options. Crews can ‘Scuttle the Ship and Change Seas’ which will move them to a fresh server, providing a predictable way of leaving a server behind for a fresh encounter on likely calmer waters. Crews are still free to choose the original ‘Scuttle Ship’ option, which destroys their vessel while keeping them on the same server.
Trading Company Voyages
- When purchasing Trading Company Voyages, the Company representatives will no longer only refresh their choice of Voyages after a day but will now offer fresh Voyages as soon as one has been purchased.
- When browsing the range of Voyages available for your rank, every type of Voyage is now offered on the selection page for purchase.
- Pirates can now also purchase and hold up to 12 Voyages in their inventory. Bilge Rat Voyages (excluding the Athena’s Run) will not be counted towards this limit.
- Players visiting the Pirate Lord are also now presented with two full pages of Voyages to choose from.
The Reaper’s Bones Outpost Representative
- The Reaper’s Bones skeleton hanging out at the Outpost will now accept Emissary Flags ‘recovered’ by cutthroat pirate crews, in return for gold and reputation. Crews aligned with the Servants of the Flame will also earn Allegiance when cashing in these Flags.
Selling Tridents of Dark Tides
- Crews can now cash in a Trident of Dark Tides at their local Merchant Alliance, Sovereign or Hunter’s Call representative in return for gold and Seasonal Renown.
Cursed Mermaid Statue Rewards
- Cursed Mermaid Statues have now been rebalanced, allowing all sizes of crew the ability to destroy them for the precious gems inside. Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby statues no longer require multiple crewmates to defeat.
- All Cursed Mermaid Statues now offer better rewards when destroyed, with a chance of multiple Gems for lucky crews.
- With Mermaid Gems becoming more readily available from statues, pirates will no longer find them washed up on islands, and only Sapphire Gems can now be discovered within shipwrecks.
New Hunter’s Call Representative
- Stephen’s Spoils has felt empty since Merrick was lured away to his fate by the Dark Brethren. To help fill the void in pirates’ hearts, a new member of The Hunter’s Call has arrived to call Stephen’s Spoils home: Adelrick is now stationed at Merrick’s old post, continuing to trade on behalf of the family business.
- Tired of climbing up all the way to the crow’s nest? Pirates can now equip flags from the Ship Customisation Chest near the shipwright in the same way as equipping other ship customisations.
Resource Container Limits
- All resource containers, including barrels, Merchant crates and Rowboat seats, now clearly show the total number of items in each category that are being stored. As pirates fill these containers, they can easily see how close a category is to reaching its limit.
Brightness and Contrast Settings
- Within the Video Settings menu, players can now use sliders to increase and decrease the brightness and contrast of the game to further customise their Sea of Thieves experience.
Disable Trinket and Sitting Points
- Players can now choose to reduce the interaction points found around a ship. Interaction points for sitting locations and areas for placing Trinkets can be disabled independently via the Input Settings menu.
Starting Outpost Location
- Crews arriving on the seas at the start of a session will now begin at a wider variety of Outpost locations, and no longer emerge so frequently in The Wilds.
Barrels of Plenty Balancing
- The number of floating barrels that appear in a group has now been reduced. However, the likelihood of finding rare items in these barrels has been increased.
Chest of Sorrow Balancing
- Crews recovering a Chest of Sorrow during their journey will now find that the weeping fills the ship at a much slower rate.
Skeleton Form Balancing
- When protected by their metal casing, Gold Skeletons will now take reduced damage from blunderbuss and flintlock shots. Weaken them with water before attacking!
Season Nine Progression and Rewards
- Season Nine offers a refreshed progression path with Trials, Deeds and Renown actions for new and experienced pirates alike. Weekly, monthly and Seasonal goals all reward players for exploring the Sea of Thieves.
- Players can capitalise on the new treasure items introduced to the seas and will earn Renown when cashing them in!
- Progressing through the 100 levels of this Season will reward pirates with the Prosperous Privateer cosmetics, new to Season Nine along with time-limited Gilded Age rewards.
- Legendary pirates or those who become a Pirate Legend during Season Nine can also earn the Legendary Bone Hunter Jacket and Spyglass.
- Completing tiers of Seasonal progression will also award unique Titles with a Gilded Age theme, allowing players to display their success for all to see.
Season Nine Plunder Pass
- Purchase Season Nine’s Plunder Pass to gain access to a plethora of unlockable, never-before-seen rewards along with an additional 750 Ancient Coins, all available to earn by climbing the levels of Seasonal progression.
- Plunder Pass purchasers this Season can earn the full Sting Tide ship set, including Collector’s Figurehead and Sails.
- For those looking to truly transform themselves, the Sting Tide Costume can also be earned, evolving as players progress through the Season.
- The Season Nine Plunder Pass is available to purchase in-game through the Pirate Log or Pirate Emporium, from the Microsoft Store or Steam Item Store.
Season Nine Emissary Ledger Rewards
- Representing the Gold Hoarders in their Emissary Ledger can now earn players the Tribute Peak Fishing Rod and Tankard.
- Players seeking out secrets for the Order of Souls can earn the Relic of Darkness Fishing Rod and Tankard.
- The Merchant Alliance honour their high-performing Ledger representatives with the Merchant Ambassador Fishing Rod and Tankard.
- Flying the flag of The Reaper’s Bones and earning a high rank in their Ledger can earn players the Masked Renegade Fishing Rod and Tankard.
- Legendary pirates representing Athena’s Fortune in their Ledger can earn the Magpie’s Glory Fishing Rod and Tankard to show their allegiance to the Pirate Lord.
Sea of Thieves’ Fifth Anniversary
- The Marauder’s Medley Event ends with the arrival of Season Nine, but there’s plenty more to enjoy: all players who set sail in Sea of Thieves before March 22nd (10am UTC) can acquire the Lustrous Legend Figurehead as a free anniversary gift.
- A bombastic Pirate Emporium sale runs from March 17th-28th, with deep discounts on ship sets, costumes, weapons, pets and emotes from some of the most popular ranges, Rare heritage sets, Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life and more!
- Starting from Sea of Thieves’ special day on March 20th, you can make a stop at New Golden Sands Outpost to find a special wall set up for fifth anniversary pirate selfies. Get some pictures for posterity as it’s a temporary fixture only…
- Also on March 20th, head to the Sea of Thieves YouTube channel to watch Sea of Thieves: Voyage of a Lifetime, a feature-length exploration of the game from its birth all the way through to today.
- From March 25th-27th, all pirates are welcome to join in the festivities throughout our Community Weekend, with more freebies to snap up and in-game boosts to unlock by using the #SoTAnniversaryPromo hashtag on social media to raise the Community Emissary Grade!
- Find out more about the month-long celebrations in our dedicated fifth anniversary news article.
- Continue to unlock cosmetics throughout Season Nine with Twitch Drops! Stay tuned to Sea of Thieves social channels to find out when Twitch Drops will be active, some for Partnered streamers and some for all streamers, allowing players to earn a selection of new and classic items from the Omen and Eastern Winds Sapphire sets.
- Find out how to link your accounts and more on our dedicated Twitch Drops page.
Sea Serpent Ship Collection
- Adorn your ship with trophies of your most exciting hunts with the Sea Serpent Ship Bundle. Collector’s Sails and Figurehead are available to purchase separately.
- Players can also pick up just the core components of this set at a discount in the form of an Essential Ship Bundle.
Sea Serpent Costume
- This outfit borrows not only the protective scales of a fearsome beast of the seas, but its waterproof nature too.
- Players wearing this costume can also use the Hunter’s Harpoon Emote. Prepare for future battles and familiarise yourself with your harpoon using this kata.
Sea Serpent Weapon Bundle
- Pick up the weapons of a true hunter, crafted from the scales of the very beasts you seek to destroy.
Sea Serpent Lantern
- Light your way with a flame stolen from the maw of an ancient beast.
Lodestar Ship’s Crest
- Set your ship’s name among the stars with a crest that embraces the night sky.
Gold Curse Barbary
- Even the most intelligent monkeys aren’t immune to the irresistible lure of cursed gold.
Enigmatic Emote Bundle
- A range of gestures suited to pirates of a more retiring, mysterious nature.
Freebie Hearing Things Emote
- Give the appearance of listening out for threats, or simply encourage the ripostes of your enemies.
Striking Serpent Bundle (Store Only)
- Available only from the Xbox, Microsoft and Steam Stores, the Striking Serpent Bundle contains the Sea Serpent Costume, Weapon Bundle and Lantern, along with 550 Ancient Coins to spend in the Pirate Emporium and a free bonus of 25,000 gold. Head to the Microsoft Store or Steam Item Store to find out more.
Gold Hoarders Cosmetics
- Loyal followers of the Gold Hoarders can now find a range of clothing, weapons and equipment in stock at the Outpost shops to help them complete the Gold Hoarders set.
Season One Legacy Cosmetics
- Cosmetics previously available during Season One have now arrived in the Outpost shops for a sizeable Doubloon cost, allowing all players to add them to their collection – for a price! Pirates can now purchase the Frostbite clothing set, the Legendary Hair and Beard and items from the Accomplished set. The time-limited Shroudbreaker items, however, remain exclusive to players who participated in Season One.
Sailing Audio Accessibility Improvements
- Within the Audio Settings, players now have access to a new setting to enhance the audio effects heard while sailing to aid in navigation. This setting is Off by default, but when enabled it improves the audio cues around navigational threats such as sea rocks, allowing players to hear approaching dangers and react appropriately.
- Players can no longer place items on the ship’s capstan, and any item placed here will now drop onto the deck.
- Players engaging in melee combat and blocking with a sword will now find the block consistently prevents the player from taking damage.
- Phantoms’ charging attack now has a reduced range, preventing players from taking damage when successfully dodging.
- Supply barrels jettisoned from a ship will now be more spread out, ensuring they do not intersect with each other when surfacing.
- Crews who remove all items from a washed-up Storage Crate and then leave the area will no longer gain additional resources when returning later to the same crate.
- Players rapidly removing resources from Storage Crates should now consistently remove the correct number of items.
Battle for the Sea of Thieves
- Crews diving beneath the waves will no longer bring the lit state of lanterns at the Fort of the Damned to their destination server. However, crews migrating naturally will continue to bring this state with them.
- Emissary Flags now grant Allegiance when sold to the Mysterious Stranger.
- Ships that dive below the waves looking for opponents should now be automatically repaired even when damaged prior to diving.
- Becoming a Servant Champion no longer unlocks the Become Pirate Legend achievement.
- Players who sneak on board another Faction ship and attempt to use a ship interactable as it dives beneath the waves will retain control when returning to their ship.
- Players will no longer be able to walk through the textures of a Sea Fort basement.
- Players can no longer walk through textures at the Shrine of Tribute.
- Within the Pirate Legend Hideout, players should no longer be able to push through the environment and appear in the sea.
- The player’s camera will no longer intersect with environment set dressings in two seating spots within the Pirate Legend Hideout and Glorious Sea Dog Tavern.
Visual and Audio
- Performing the Armour Mock Emote now displays an explosive visual effect.
- When a cutlass three-hit combo is performed, the defending pirate will now only visually react to three strikes, whether they’re blocked or successful.
- To prevent overlapping graphical issues, pets are no longer able to sleep on the ship’s bed.
- When performing the Oar-Inspiring Balance Emote, players zooming in with the camera will now keep their pirate in view.
- The ‘Disable Blur’ option now continues to work after travelling through the Tunnels of the Damned.
- Performing a weapon pose with the Infinite Depths Cutlass now shows the pirate’s hands in the correct location.
- Players rebinding their Secondary Interact and Primary Interact before sitting down can now continue to use the third-person camera.
- ‘Lords of the Sea’ – Captain Jack Sparrow can no longer be seen floating above the ground during the cutscene for this Tall Tale.
Text and Localisation
- The prompt for the skeleton in the Store Room at Royal Crest Fortress has been made more descriptive for screen readers.
- The ‘Place Trinket’, ‘Restore My Ship’ and ‘Browse Captain’s Voyages’ prompts are now translated in all non-English languages.
- The ‘Show/Hide Tall Tale’ prompt on the ship’s map has now been translated into multiple languages.
- Corrected a spelling mistake after players finished ‘The Cursed Rogue’ Tall Tale.
Performance and Stability
- Reduced instances of server instability that cause players to be disconnected from their session.
- Players are no longer mistakenly issued with a placeholder belt when launching the game, and those who received it will now find it has been removed from their inventory. Fear not – this golden belt will return in a later Season.
Pirate’s Log Season UI
- Players on lower-spec hardware may experience issues when browsing the Pirate Log, finding they are unable to navigate to the active Season to check progress, Trials and Deeds. However, players continue to earn Seasonal Renown for their actions, and progress through the Season can be checked on the Sea of Thieves website.
Reduced Server Performance
- Players may experience scenarios where they encounter ping spikes at random while playing, resulting in rubberbanding or client stutters. While improvements were most recently released in update 2.7.3, the team continue to work on further improvements for future updates.
Ranged and Melee Weapon Hit Detection
- In areas of intense action, players may find themselves firing shots or landing strikes that do not cause damage to their targets. While small improvements continue to be delivered during our regular updates, we are continuing to investigate and identify further improvements to the player combat experience.
This last section marks the end of the Sea of Thieves Season 9 update released today. Be sure to check out the official release notes for more information!
Sea of Thieves is available on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S through its official website. To learn more about the game, check out How to Become a Pirate Legend in Sea of Thieves (2023).