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!

How To Score Points In The Arena

The Arena is the new competitive PVP mode in Sea of Thieves, thanks to the huge Anniversary Update.

Arena matches are 24 minutes long and feature 5 galleons trying to turn in as much treasure as possible. Turning in treasure, however, isn’t the only way to get points in The Arena.

Find out below on how scoring in The Arena works!

Killing a Player: 5 points

Hitting a cannonball shot: 25 points

Digging up a chest: 100 points

Delivering a chest: 1,000 points

When your own ship sinks: -1,000 points

And it’s as simple as that.

You may be wondering, where do you deliver the chests once you dig them up? Deliver them to one of the two ship outposts, they will have red smoke above them.

Since each Arena match is only 24 minutes long, you’ll want to be efficient with how you’re scoring points. Hitting your cannonball shots can make all the difference in a game, so be sure to capitalize on those opportunities whenever you can. Don’t worry about the supplies, your ship is stocked with plenty of them.


Find A Crew!

The Sea of Thieves HQ Discord server is a great place to find a crew to play with! Join players doing Tall Tales, competing in the Arena, or just sailing!


Also, don’t focus on killing players. They’re really not worth it. Of course, it’s fine to kill them if they’re in your way but don’t go out of your way to defeat them. Focus on sinking ships and delivering chests. Being able to get 1,000 points from a chest and take away 1,000 points from an enemy team is a lot sweeter than getting 25 points from killing a player.

You can stay up to date with our latest coverage of The Arena here.

A Preview of The Arena

The Arena is a competitive PVP mode coming to Sea of Thieves in the Anniversary Update on April 30th. In addition to this mode, the Sea Dogs are a brand new trading company associated with The Arena.

Content Update Announcement

Check out the official content update video showcasing everything new coming with The Arena!

Behind-The-Scenes

Take a behind-the-scenes look at The Arena and discover the creative process behind making this new PVP mode!

Anniversary Preview Stream

Topping things off, Rare hosted an Anniversary preview stream for The Arena! Giving a more in-depth look at the mechanics and features of the new trading company.

Stay up-to-date with our coverage on The Arena here.

20 Questions Answered About The Arena

Recently Rare hosted a stream showcasing a preview of the upcoming Sea of Thieves PVP mode, The Arena. During this stream, they had a Q&A segment where questions were supplied from people in the stream chat. Below are the 24 questions asked about The Arena and their answers!

How long are matches for The Arena?
Matches for The Arena will last 24 minutes, which is one full day in Sea of Thieves.

Will The Arena have all 3 ship types?
At launch, The Arena will only have galleons and Rare will be trying to make the PVP mode as balanced as possible. After launch, they’ll look into adding the Sloop and Brigantine as ships in The Arena, but for now they are focused on four person crews.

How does scoring work in The Arena?
In The Arena, you get points for digging up chests, more points for cashing in chests, points for killing other players and points for hitting other ships with cannonballs. You will get more points for chests and ship combat, rather than player combat.

How will voice chat work in The Arena?
Voice chat in The Arena will work the same as Adventure mode – it will be proximity based.

How will matchmaking work in The Arena?
You will be able to join The Arena in a closed or open crew.

Will the Sea Dogs Trading Company count towards Pirate Legend?
In the Anniversary Update, Rare is introducing the Sea Dogs and The Hunter’s Call trading companies, bringing the total number of trading companies in the game to 5. In order to reach Pirate Legend, you will just need to hit Level 50 in 3 of the 5 trading companies.

Will we ever see 8 players on a Galleon in Sea of Thieves?
At the launch of the Anniversary Update, no. Rare is open to experimentation though.

Can you enter and exit the Sea Dog Tavern in Adventure mode?
In Adventure mode, you can see the exterior of the tavern and interact with NPCs outside it, but you cannot enter it. The only way to enter the Sea Dog Tavern is by selecting The Arena on the main menu. The reason the Sea Dog Tavern exists in Adventure mode is so that it feels integrated within the game’s lore.

Are the new expanded ship damage changes only present in The Arena?
The new changes are in both The Arena and Adventure mode.

How big are the maps for The Arena?
There are different sized arenas in The Arena, but every arena consist of the Devil’s Shroud circling around a group of islands from the larger map.

Will there be world leaderboard in The Arena?
There will be no world leaderboards for The Arena at launch. Rare is having conversations around what stats they would want to make public for The Arena.

If your ship sinks in The Arena, are you out or can you respawn?
In The Arena, you will not be out if your ship sinks; however, you will lose points every time your ship sinks.

Will rowboats be available in The Arena?
At launch, rowboats will not be available in The Arena. Rare is working on implementing them for the future.

Will gunpowder barrels be in The Arena?
At launch, there will be no gunpowder barrels in The Arena. Rare is working on balancing them for The Arena, since they can have such a large impact on the game.

Will there be new achievements for The Arena?
There will be new achievements in the Anniversary Update around The Arena, Tall Tales, and The Hunter’s Call.

Will nameplates be visible in The Arena?
Nameplates work the same way in The Arena as they do in Adventure mode.

Can you see other ships on your map in The Arena?
Yes, you will be able to see other ships on your map table in The Arena. You will also be notified when a specific crew digs up a chest.

Will storms and fog be present in The Arena?
Yes, storms and fog will be in The Arena.

Will there be matches in The Devil’s Roar?
At launch, The Devil’s Roar will not make an appearance for Arena matches. Rare is working on balancing the volcanoes before implementing.

How many supplies on your ship do you start with in The Arena?
You will start with a ton of supplies, as the focus is on combat and not resource-gathering.

Click here to watch the entire preview stream for The Arena.