Launch Issue FAQs and Answers

While these days it’s the norm that multiplayer games launch with connection issues and bugs right out of the gate, Sea of Thieves looked to buck the trend with its multiple stress tests and betas in the months and weeks leading up to launch. The bad news is, that’s not the case; the good news, however, is that Rare is completely aware and working away to resolve these issues.

According to the developer, Sea of Thieves experienced an unprecedented number of players signing in to play after launch (thanks to its availability on Game Pass as well as a regular launch, it seems), with 3-4 times the number of concurrent players participating than in the largest stress test, and over 1 million players having set sail in the first 24-48 hours. That’s a lot of pirates.

To maintain transparency in identifying and dealing with the issues surrounding the launch (primarily connectivity-related), Rare release a ‘Launch Update’ video running through the issues and their proposed solutions, as well as taking to Reddit to outline their plans to the community.

Below are a collection of known issues, the potential causes of those issues, and how Rare is working on them (or what you can do in the meantime).

Why Can’t I Join a Game of Sea of Thieves?

Plain and simple, the servers just weren’t prepared to handle this volume of players trying to get into the Sea of Thieves.

While the stress tests were designed to handle exactly this type of issue, the sheer scale was unprecedented – as mentioned above, the number of concurrent players was 3-4 times greater than that of the biggest stress test, and at one point there were around 5000 players attempting to join per minute.

Given the current strain on the server, and that Rare’s priorities are people already in a game, the developer has started to work on limiting the number of new players allowed matchmaking entry during peak periods (or when the servers begin to come under strain), which would be when you’re unable to start a game. This is temporary, deliberate, and designed to help deliver a stable experience for players already in the game.

What Can I Do?

  • You can choose to wait it out, given that the lockouts happen periodically
  • On Rare’s advice, you can matchmake for a crew already in a session (as opposed to trying to start a solo sail or matchmake with a full crew). The reason this works is because the crew that you join in progress has already gone through the matchmaking system, and therefore you don’t have to once the game finds their session for you to join

When Will This Be Fixed?

Rare is constantly working on stabilising the servers to ensure a smooth experience for players already in the game, which will have a domino effect on letting new people matchmake from the menu.

Expect to see this improve over the coming few days following Saturday’s maintenance and this week’s patch.

Why Aren’t Achievements Appearing? Why Are my in-Game Rewards Delayed?

You may have noticed that, upon cashing in a treasure chest or delivering a shipment of Chickens, that your gold reward and subsequent rank increase is delayed.

This bug is a direct result of the sheer number of players – with so many playing the game, the message queue (including things like gold rewards, commendation notifications, rank increases, etc.) gets blocked up with sheer volume of requests.

While the rewards may not show up for minutes or hours, the data is still logged within the game itself, so they’ll pop up eventually.

With the issue of Achievements not popping, that one is actually on purpose – given that Achievements use the same message queue as above, Rare has temporarily disabled them so as to lighten the load on the message service. Again, they’re still being tracked, but just not popping up visibly. Once the priority issues have been fixed up, Achievements will be turned back on (and you’ll likely receive an influx in one go)

While Rare is working on fixing the issue of delayed rewards, it’s likely going to require a client-side update (most likely due early next week), on top of the scheduled maintenance over the weekend.

What Can I Do?

  • If you’re having issues with rewards not popping up straight away, do not try and leave the server and rejoin. All this does is put you back into the first issue of not being able to join a game (the more people queuing for matchmaking, the harder is it to get in). Rest assured that you will receive the rewards, even if they haven’t visibly appeared onscreen

When Will This Be Fixed?

Unsure at this stage, but this is Rare’s number one priority in terms of in-game issues, and has been the target of their weekend maintenance (and hopefully some more fixes will come within next week’s patch).

Why Am I Missing Items?

A well known bug due to the above, there isn’t much to the ‘missing items’ glitch – your character will spawn with no gear (or limited gear). Rare is very aware and working on a fix for this bug.

What Can I Do?

  • Try drowning, or getting eaten by a shark, and respawning to see if that fixes the issue; if not you may just have to either wait it out in the current server or leave and rejoin (only leave if you’re playing outside of peak time, to avoid the above matchmaking issues)

When Will This Be Fixed?

Believed to be fixed by Rare, should be due to push live alongside the game’s first patch early next week

Why Haven’t I Received the Black Dog Pack?

As soon as the game launched, every man and his (Black) dog tried to redeem the pre-order bonus, the Black Dog Pack. Given the sheer volume of players requesting the pack, it actually caused quite a bit of instability within the game – as such (similar to the Achievement system), Rare temporarily disabled the ability to redeem the pack.

What Can I Do?

  • Unfortunately, nothing! Just have to wait for the patch in which it will be fixed

When Will This Be Fixed?

Rare has Tweeted that an issue with cosmetics not redeeming properly has been fixed during Saturday’s scheduled maintenance, and that the Black Dog Pack will be redeemable again following this week’s patch

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