Sea of Thieves' new update adds burning chests, creepy pets, and Viva Pinata

The big Crews of Rage update announced last week is now live in Sea of Thieves, adding new voyages and a fresh Fortress fight, a new set of Tomes to collect, more cosmetics, and—finally—some real improvements to sword combat.

The big hook in Crews of Rage are Chests of Rage, a new type of cursed chest that can be earned by completing Duke's latest Bounty Voyages to The Devil's Roar, or in more lucrative quantities—at a much greater risk—by conquering the Molten Sands Fortress. Chests of Rage are similar to Chests of Sorrow, except instead of filling your ship with water if left unattended, they'll heat up and eventually set your ship on fire, which based on my experience is a far worse mess to clean up.

They can be handy in a fight though, because shooting them can cause them to explode, and in fact that's something you'll need to do in order to complete Duke's new quests. Just don't use them against the Ashen Skeletons, because they won't work: A lifetime (deathtime?) in the Devil's Roar has left them immune to fire damage.

Also on tap are new Tomes of Resurrection, a set of five books that can be collected from Ashen Chests and delivered to Duke in exchange for Ashen cosmetics. Check these out:

(Image credit: Rare)

Speaking of cosmetics, there's a range of new items to pick up in the Black Market including hulls, sails, cannons, emotes, and some bony musical instruments, and a pair of creepy, cursed Reaper's Heart Pets in the Pirate Emporium. The monkey in particular is throwing off some serious Wizard of Oz vibes that I find very off-putting,  especially combined with the red eyes and weird superhero underwear. That is not a good look, Captain Bananas. 

(Image credit: Rare)

On the other hand, you can also set your ship up with a Viva Pinata-inspired look if you want:

(Image credit: Rare)

Rare also revealed more about the promised improvements to sword combat it teased last week: "A range of sword combat fixes and improvements have been introduced, smoothing the experience when switching to and from swords, and ensuring players can transition in and out of sword combat more consistently." 

The specifics:

  • Players can no longer use a quick sprint between firing guns that enables them to perform a double shot faster than intended with dual guns.
  • Aiming down sights and immediately swapping to your sword will no longer cause the sword block to get stuck until you block again.
  • Stowing your sword while blocking and then taking it out once more will no longer cause you to have to press block twice to block again.
  • Sword blocking action and animation now trigger correctly at the end of the sword wield animation.
  • You are now able to swap to another item using a keybinding during the sword wield animation.
  • Removed slight pause in animation when a player first takes out their sword.
  • When your gun is out of ammo and you try to shoot, it will now play the dry fire sound effect.
  • When blocking with the sword and switching to another weapon, your hand no longer appears empty during the stow animation.
  • When performing a block, sword lunge animation no longer pops when bringing the sword back.
  • If a player is hit with a cannonball and not killed on impact, they are now knocked back.

The Crews of Rage update also makes a number of accessibility improvements including lockable tool tips and optional narration of radial menus and NPC dialog, improves Mermaid behavior, enables closer map zoom, and makes a considerable number of other fixes and changes. Details are available in the full patch notes at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.