So you think you're ready for a life on the ocean waves, do you? It's best to be prepared, as Sea of Thieves isn't a game that takes you by the hand and leads you to the best stuff. No, you'll need to be a bit proactive, and that means seeking out new quests - "voyages" in the game's nautical parlance - to earn more gold and gear.
Gold Hoarder Voyages
These will be your main source of income, certainly when you first start the game. Although it's tempting to jump straight into your ship and sail into the distance in search of adventure, cool your boots and take the time to explore the starter island. It's here you'll find your first merchant and, close by, a Gold Hoarder. These coin-loving fellas will give you a map which will lead you to buried treasure somewhere in the world. Don't expect any convenient waypoint markers to pop up, showing you where to go. You'll need to take the map below deck on your ship, and use it to work out which island you need to set sail for. Once there, refer to the map again to work out where you need to dig. Found a treasure chest? Excellent! Stow it on your ship, and deliver it to any Gold Hoarder tent for your reward. Just be careful: other players can swipe that chest from you at any time - even as you're lugging it inland to sell. They are pirates, after all.
You can make big bucks working for the Merchant Alliance, which hands out orders for wild animals. Look for these guys close to docks on any Outpost island. Trigger the journey at your table below deck, but don't set sail just yet - you'll need to stock up on the equipment needed to capture and store the animals in question, which means returning to your quest giver. Once fully loaded with traps and chicken coops, it's time to tackle the tricky task of finding the critters in question. There's no easy way to track them down, you just need to explore uncharted islands. Sometimes you can tell from a distance if there are animals on a beach, but you may need to go ashore in some instances, particularly if hunting for the smaller and harder to spot chickens. Now just equip your coop, chase your prey and use the right trigger to catch them when close enough. The job still isn't over, however. You now need to get them back to the Merchant Alliance intact, and that means keeping them fed, and keeping them safe during battles. They can drown, so storing them below deck is a risky gamble. Similarly, later voyages will require you to catch snakes, and they'll kill other animals, so store them apart from your other cargo - or soothe them with a song.
Order of Souls
If treasure hunting and chicken catching doesn't seem exciting enough, then you need to seek out an Order of Souls tent. This mercenary faction rewards you for clearing skeleton-infested locations, so make sure your combat skills are up to the task and you know how to handle both your flintlock pistol and cutlass. Head to the location on the map you're given and, quite simply, have a massive fight with the skeletons you find there. The one you're really after is the Skeleton Captain - they're larger than the others. Once defeated, the skull will fall to the ground, and you'll need to return this to the Order of Souls in order to receive payment, so don't lose it! Squirrel it away somewhere secure on your ship, deliver it as proof of a job well done, and claim your reward!
For more information on getting started in Sea of Thieves, and how to make the most of your first few hours of play, check out our beginner's guide.