How To Win Arena Matches – A Strategy Guide!

The Anniversary Update definitely has a lot to cover, but in this guide I will be showing strategies on how to win Arena matches in Sea of Thieves!

Now you may be ten times better than me in PVP, but the Arena demands more strategy than simply just player combat. Let me show you what works for me every time when competing in The Arena!

As you may know from our previous article, Arena sessions are 24 minutes long, and your crew is ranked based on the silver accumulated during the match.

The first and most important thing is to take advantage of the way silver is earned. To explain that, you can read ourprevious article explaining how scoring works in The Arena.

When The Match Begins

As you start the Arena, usually players will head to the island with the most amount of chests. You’ll want to avoid islands that have multiple ships heading to it, as you’ll waste time in combat rather than chests (which are the most lucrative part of The Arena).

You’ll want to take the next island, while keeping your eye on the first island that ships went to. Once you notice only one ship remains at that first island, you know that they either have all the chests already or are about to dig them up. So it’s a great time to strike, but hold on, there is a smarter way to do this…

Next Set Of Maps

After you are done, wait for the next set of maps to generate new chests on the islands. There is a high chance that the island you are currently on will have new chests on it. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of the sea when new maps are generated, because you’ll be wasting time sailing rather than digging.

Keep an eye on the ship with the most chests but do not attack them yet. Keep an estimated count of how many chests they might have depending on the island they were on. There will always be a ship that sells all of their chests immediately, which will cause other teams to have their focus on them. So sit back with your chests and relax.

Hoard Your Chests

Gather all the chests that you find and do not sell them yet. You can guard them on your ship or find a safe place to stash them on a nearby island. Since you haven’t sold anything yet, your ranking on the list will be somewhere in the bottom, which will keep you safe since no one is interested in attacking a crew that doesn’t seem like a threat. The point of this is to gather as many chests as you can while remaining on the bottom of the ranks.

Now let’s do the math behind it…

Obviously selling a chest is by far the most lucrative way to earn silver and sinking is the only way you can lose points in The Arena. So since you’re already on the bottom of the list, you will be less affected if you sink compared to a crew on the top of the list.

The Final Stretch

During the last 10 minutes is when things start heating up. Start bringing the chests to your ship if they aren’t already there, plan a route, and slowly head to the safest outpost to sell your chests.

Side Note: If you encounter any dysfunctional crews on the way, that means they are probably open crews, and will most likely be worse than your first day on the seas. So feel free to stop near them for a minute and farm cannonball hits while having a member of your crew on their ship. This crew members job is to bail water on their ship for them because the longer you keep them alive, the more points you will get.

When there are 3 minutes left, now it’s time to start selling your chests. Be sure to check for enemy crews camping at the outposts. It’s always good to send someone over there beforehand to check!

As you turn in your chests, you’ll see your score skyrocket.


There are commendations to unlock which require you to rank in the top 3 in The Arena. If you do this 100% right without issues, you will be first. But sometimes things happen and 1st place is out of reach, you’ll still be able to rank in the top 3 with this method without issues.

Now if another ship is doing the same technique, it will be hard to know if they are also hoarding chests. This is why it’s always good to keep an eye on the discovery notifications to see which crews discovered chests.

I hope this article serves you well in The Arena, and be sure to check out the video guide below if that’s more your style!

A Note From PhuzzyBond:

As a Sea of Thieves content creator, I do regular giveaways from my merchandise store, so be sure to follow my Twitch channel to see this Arena technique live! I will be streaming almost everyday from everything to Arena to Tall Tales, so be sure to tune in!

PhuzzyBond