Cursed Sails Guide
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Sea of Thieves’ Cursed Sails update – what’s included, what the rewards are, and whether you need to be in a crew or if you can complete it solo.
Table of Contents
What is Cursed Sails?
Cursed Sails is Sea of Thieves’ second major expansion, following The Hungering Deep.
What’s New in the Update?
Contrary to the bi-weekly Bilge Rat Adventures, Cursed Sails brings quite a lot to the table where content is concerned. From skeleton-controlled ships to a time-limited set of quests, there’s plenty to keep players occupied.
A full list from the patch notes include:
- Time-limited campaign (see guide below)
- The Brigantine – a third ship type for players to Captain, perfect for crews of 3
- A new threat – Skeleton-controlled ships
- Alliances – multiple crews can now form Alliances that allow them to share Voyages and rewards from handing in loot
- Sniper Skeletons – if they weren’t already accurate enough, skeletons can now wield the Eye of Reach
- New ship liveries – the Bone Crusher set
- New player cosmetics – the Hunter set and the Bone Crusher set
- Other misc performance improvements and minor additions
The meat of the update centres around the timed campaign though, which will last 3 weeks in total – each week will present a new challenge and a new set of rewards.
Cursed Sails Story Guide
Talk to Duke in the Tavern
While the main point of the campaign is to defeat the Skeleton crews, there’s also an investigative quest that you can look into, which accounts for the story portion of Cursed Sails.
It’s entirely optional, but this secondary quest dives more into the in-world lore of why the Skeleton crews are rising up and attacking.
When you spawn in, talking to Duke will net you some background information on the event, such as namedropping the Skeleton Captain, Warsmith – he’ll even suggest that the Shipwright at Golden Sands Outpost may know something as to why this happening.
Visit Sharon the Shipwright at Golden Sands Outpost
After talking to Duke, make your way to Golden Sands Outpost, where Sharon the Shipwright will be waiting at her post. Talking to her will reveal that Wanda, the Weaponsmith, is missing, and she suggests you talk to her sister, Wonda.
Investigate Wanda’s Workshop
Wanda’s Workshop will be the only building in Golden Sands (aside from the Tavern) with an open door. Head inside and you’ll find Wonda, along with the following clues:
- A note on the table that mentions a meeting with Salty
- A discarded pendant that is supposed to ward off curses
From there, if you walk to the entrance of the shop you can follow a set of footprints down to the beach and investigate them
Head to Crescent Isle and locate Salty
Following the footprints suggests that they lead to Crescent Isle.
Upon setting sail and arriving in Crescent Isle’s cove (Eastern side of the island), you’ll find Salty (in the form of a parrot) sitting on top of a barrel.
Talking to Salty reveals the next set of clues to find Wanda, which lead to the following 3 locations:
- Mermaid’s Hideaway
- Thieves’ Haven
- The Sunken Grove
On each of these islands is one of Wanda’s journals, which you’ll need to locate to continue the investigation.
Wanda’s Journal Locations
Mermaid’s Hideaway – The first journal is located in the camp near the lake in the middle of the island
Thieves’ Haven – You’ll find this journal on the East side of the island, inside the shipwreck camp
The Sunken Grove – Located in the cave camp in the centre of the island
Return to Salty
Upon reading the 3 journals, return to Salty and he’ll reveal that Wanda has a secret hideout on Wanderer’s Refuge.
Investigate Wanda’s Hideout
Wanda’s secret alchemy lab is located in the large tunnel in the middle of Wanderer’s Refuge.
Once inside the tunnel, there’s a small opening on the South-West side, which is the entrance to the lab.
Within Wanda’s lab, you’ll need to investigate 5 objects:
- Evil Pirate Code (on the table in the middle of the lab)
- The Cannon base (behind the table to the right)
- The Apron (on a bed to the far right)
- A Scroll (back-middle wall)
- Some Tools (to the back-left of the cave)
Once you’ve investigated/interacted with each item, you’ll need to return to Sharon at Golden Sands Outpost.
Return to Golden Sands Outpost and speak with Sharon
Once you tell Sharon about your findings, you’ll receive a new sail for your ship as a reward.
Sharon will also tell you to visit 2 other Outposts, where you’ll gain 2 more sails to add to your collection.
And that’s the story portion of Cursed Sails complete! Read on for our guide on dealing with Skeleton Ships.
A skeleton captain called Warsmith seems to have united crews of skeletons to fight against the Outposts in the Sea of Thieves. These crews of skeletons are calling out the players for a challenge.
In the middle of the Outpost that you spawn at will be a banner, where all the shopkeepers are crowding around (note: all items purchasable with gold have had their price reduced for the duration of the event – if you were saving up for something, now is the time!)
The banner has a note attached to it – if you read it, the note will give you the name of the Skeleton crew who are challenging you, as well as a location to meet them (to fight the ‘Great War’ of that region).
Before setting sail, make sure you take the time to stock up on enough supplies for a naval battle – you can never have too many wooden planks or cannonballs.
Skeleton Ship Locations
Finding the Skeleton ship is straightforward enough – follow the directions left in the note that you read for that particular region.
If you missed the note, for each area in the game, there’s a set spawning location for the event:
- North-West of Smugglers Bay, between 1st-10th
- West Of Shark Bait Cove, between 11th-20th
- East Of Marauders Arch, between 21st-30th
Once you’re in the location, it’s simple enough to float around until the ship makes itself known, which it definitely will.
How to Fight the Skeleton Ship
This is obviously the tricky part.
The fight itself will be very reminiscent of fighting another player crew in PvP, and should generally be treated as such when it comes to strategy.
The Skeleton ships are structured very similarly to a Galleon, with 3 main decks – top, middle, and bottom. Similar to fighting a Galleon, it’s important to try and place your cannon shots just below the surface of the water to strike the bottom deck. Multiple hits here will make the ship fill up faster with water, which is ideal.
If you can, and you’re in a crew, I would also suggest sending members of the crew to board the ship and stop skeletons below deck form repairing the holes – be quick though, because they respawn fairly quickly, and there’ll be a lot of them coming after you once you climb aboard.
In terms of firepower, the Skeletons are formidable. They’ll be armed with swords and Blunderbuss’, and there’ll generally be a stronger Captain aboard as well. They’re also generally pretty accurate on the cannons, and will have access to Cursed Cannonballs to use against you (for example, one Cursed Cannonball makes the crew drunk upon striking the ship), so I’d try and stay manoeuvrable.
The ship will also try to get up close and ram you or coast alongside you, so if you’re planning on boarding then I would wait for that to occur.
If all goes well, and your ship continues firing while crew are stopping the skeletons from repairing, then you should have one destroyed ship in no time (I’m simplifying it, because the fights can be quite difficult depending on crew size).
How to Solo the Skeleton Ships
In short, it is possible to defeat Skeleton Ships solo. Though it’s very difficult.
You’ll need to take a similar approach to the above, with more of a focus on accuracy and speed. Try to get as many hits on the lower decks as you can before boarding. From there, make your way down to the lowest deck and find the skeletons as they spawn, so as to stop them from repairing the ship.
It’s optional, but you could aim a couple of cannonballs on the top deck so as to thin their numbers on your way through, but preventing them from repairing the ship is your primary focus in order to sink them.