After a small delay to the Sea of Thieves Ashen Winds release date, the new update is now upon us. Thanks to the official patch notes, we have a better idea of what it includes, too. The spiciest addition is the titular Ashen Lords themselves, who are charred chaps that have returned from the grave to wreak havoc across the Sea of Thieves.
As the story goes, Captain Flameheart has raised his followers from the dead by bringing together tomes, jewels, and other ritual ingredients. His fiery friends aren’t what they used to be, though, and now walk the world as undead Ashen Lords. It looks like it’s your job to deal with that.
The new Sea of Thieves update has also seen the pirate emporium restocked with scored pets and other outfits and emotes. The new pets appear black in colour and are notably undead themselves, as you can tell from the bones on show. The Black Market has also been restocked, and now features Fearless Bone Crusher equipment and Nightshine Parrot equipment. Expect buckets, compasses, fishing rods, and more.
As for the rest of the tweaks, you can find them below, or the game’s website. Here are the Sea of Thieves’ Ashen Winds update patch notes in full:
Dealing Damage Through the Environment
- All melee and ranged weapons are now prevented from dealing damage through the solid surfaces of the ship. This means players can duck behind the mast for cover during a ranged weapon face-off, or sink below deck to use the environment and some quick footwork to gain an advantage in sword combat.
- Shots from ranged weapons can still pass through ship railings, stairs and decking grates, providing tactical opportunities to engage rival players on different levels of the ship.
Inactive Ships in The Arena
- If a rival crew leave an active contest, their ship now begins to sink instantly, preventing any further silver gain from damaging it.
World Event Encounters
- The frequency of Ashen Lord encounters is increased for the duration of the Ashen Winds update.
Skeleton Ship Restocking
- Defeating a Skeleton Ship will now reward players with a storage crate containing food, wood and cannonballs.
Skeleton Fort Waves
- New waves of skeletons appear much more quickly after the horn is sounded.
Swapping Between Emotes
- Players now retain access to the Emote Radial while performing an emote, allowing them to switch to another emote easily.
Mute Voice Chat Keybind
- Players are now able to set a keybind for the ‘Mute All Other Crews’ option, allowing faster access to muting others when needed.
Barrel Inventory Mouse Navigation
- Opening a barrel inventory will reset the mouse cursor to the centre of the screen. This setting is now configurable within the Accessibility Settings under ‘Recenter Mouse in Menus’.
Korean and Polish Support
- Sea of Thieves now features Korean and Polish localisation across the entire game.
‘My Crew’ Visibility
- The in-game crew management menu will now show players that take up a slot in a crew even if they are not currently in-game. This should better visualise players who are still in the process of joining a game or lost their connection but have a reserved slot.
- The option to invite friends will now be disabled if the crew is full.
- The Emissary meter in the corner of the screen display now has a revised circular design.
- When representing as an Emissary and cashing in rewards, this shows the base value along with the bonus value earned from the Emissary multiplier.
- Updates have been made to Gameplay and Accessibility Settings screen layouts to improve navigation.
- The ability to play with a single analogue stick can now be enabled in the Accessibility Settings menu. This assigns movement and turning to one analogue stick chosen by the player, as well as enabling auto-centre for the camera, auto-float and fixed position interaction points.
- While the auto-centre camera is enabled by default when using single-stick controls, this feature is available separately from Accessibility Settings. Options are provided to configure the delay before centering, along with the camera movement speed.
- Auto-float is enabled by default when using single-stick control and can also be toggled on separately. When enabled, players will always float automatically to the water’s surface. Note that this does prevent swimming down through water.
Accessibility Settings Reset
- The Accessibility Settings menu now has a reset option to change all accessibility options back to their default values.
‘Let Games Read to Me’ Improvements
- When the ‘Let Games Read to Me’ option is enabled, there are now enhanced narration instructions while navigating menus and settings.
- Status messages in menus such as ‘Reporting for Duty’ and ‘Searching the Seas’ along with error message pop-ups are now narrated to improve accessibility.
- Each radial menu has also received enhanced narration and will identify the current selection along with the number of options on the radial menu.
- Within the Accessibility Settings menu, players can now override the Xbox platform setting and enable speech-to-text.
Default Settings for New Players
- New players entering Sea of Thieves will now find that the ‘Text Chat in Menus’ setting is enabled by default, ensuring that players who require speech-to-text for their experience will now receive messages while navigating in-game menus. Existing players will not have their settings changed.
- When a player is in the water and a mermaid has appeared, the mermaid will now remain until the player’s ship reaches a much closer proximity.
- Ashen Key Masters will now emergently spawn on islands.
- Killing a player shortly after they are revived and then reviving them again will no longer cause animation issues.
- The Ghost Lantern now casts a green light over the surrounding area.
- Obstructions to visibility while using the Blighted Cannons have been removed.
- Emissary Grade meter UI now shows for players who join a crew of active Emissaries.
- Fixed progress tracking for Curse of the Foul Grog and Curse of the Dancing Demon Commendations.
- Fixed progress tracking for Commendations tied to handing in common and uncommon Athena’s Treasures.
- The ‘Mute All Other Crews’ option will no longer mute crewmates on Windows 10.
- Players will no longer lose the ability to communicate when using in-game voice chat.
- Crew slots occupied by players who exit to desktop on Windows 10 will no longer stay active.
Combat and Hit Registration
- Improved chainshot hit registration on ship masts.
- Improved projectile and melee hit registration across all areas of the Sloop.
- Improved hit registration when players are engaged in melee combat while swimming on the surface and underwater.
- Gunpowder Kegs being carried by rival players while they climb a ladder can be blown up.
- Improved hit registration when attacking rival players who are standing on a ship’s yardarm.
- The Rowboat now blocks any melee attacks from below.
- Blunderbombs and firebombs can used at any depth during underwater combat.
- The ship’s wheel now only blocks shots fired at its central wooden structure.
- The rear walls of the Sloop around the hatches now block projectiles fired through the hull.
- Quick Select will now correctly equip the previous item held when wielding a weapon or holding nothing.
- Items equipped via hotkey will be remembered when next using Quick Select.
- There is now a contextual Non-Verbal Radial when climbing up the ladder to the crow’s nest.
- Fixed on-screen message delay when Quick Selecting a non-verbal communication phrase from the radial.
- When re-configuring the Non-Verbal Radial to not use the A Button or the Space Bar, players are now able to jump.
- The Non-Verbal Radial will now display the correct phrases when holding a pet.
- The radial manager keybinding names are now consistent with the setting names.
- Treasure dropped by a sunken Ghost Ship and the phantoms that circle it will persist if a player migrates to a new server.
- The bounty target location in an active Ghost Ship Voyage will refresh if the player migrates to a new server during a Ghost Ship encounter.
- Flameheart’s taunts to players colliding with Ghost Ships will only play for the crew whose ship is being damaged.
- The Arena vote tally layout has been changed to be more visible.
- After muting a player in a rival crew in The Arena, they now stay muted even after other players join their crew
Visual and Audio
- Fixed instances of instruments playing without audio when switching between instruments or shanties.
- Scraping a boat against a surface should no longer cause the grinding audio effect to persist after sailing away.
- Placing ghostly loot on a Rowboat docked to a ship will no longer cause the ghostly effect to stutter when the ship is moving.
- Players swimming underwater during Tall Tales and Ghost Ship encounters will be able to hear Flameheart’s voice more clearly when he speaks.
- Previously set volume settings now persist when returning to the front end after leaving the game.
- Collision has been improved on walls alongside the wooden walkway in the Pirate Legend Hideout.
- Updated Sea of Thieves boot-up image.
- References to ‘Sail Hoist’ on sail interaction points and the Pirate Chat Radial have been changed to ‘Sail Length’.
- Ghosts Ships now consistently trigger an implosion effect when destroyed.
- Fixed brightness of light reflected off a spyglass when looking at loot and other players at night.
- Opening crates now plays a sound.
- The camp on Cannon Cove is no longer illuminated at night.
- The ‘Game Transcription Override’ setting now persists across sessions.
- Improved text visibility for longer reward item names in the contextual Non-Verbal Radial.
- When using ‘Let Games Read to Me’ upon returning to the front end after playing, the screen is now narrated.
- When using ‘Let Games Read to Me’, the narrator will no longer loop in the ‘Choose your Experience’ screen before the Maiden Voyage, or if a player backs out from Crew Setup.
- When using ‘Let Games Read to Me’, changing the keybindings in the Settings menu will now be narrated correctly.
Performance and Stability
- Steam – pressing Alt+Tab in-game no longer causes long pauses when returning to the game.
- Steam – performance has been improved around Outposts and world event encounters for lower-spec machines.
- Performance optimisations implemented to reduce texture loading issues on Devil’s Thirst for lower-spec machines.
- Improved server stability when players are using Quick Select to return to their last used equipment.
- Improved game stability when returning to a ship where a player is simultaneously being revived.
- Players experiencing a corrupt installation on UWP or Steam will now be notified by a pop-up when attempting to launch the game.
Players Impacted Following Server Migration
- We are currently tracking a number of player-impacting issues which can occur following a server migration. These include crews migrating near Outposts finding themselves moved to a location where another ship is already present, and issues with ship interaction points following a migration.
Increased Latency and Server Correction
- In cases of high server density, some servers can exhibit performance hits leading to increased latency. This may result in lag spikes during gameplay, rubberbanding and server correction.
Ranged and Melee Weapon Hit Detection
- In areas of intense action, players may find themselves firing shots or landing strikes that do not cause damage to their targets. While improvements continue to be delivered during our content updates, this continues to be a key priority for the team.
Stuck UI Menus
- When interacting with a barrel and moving quickly through its inventory, players may find that the barrel’s state is not updated as items are removed. Players can also experience the Game Options becoming stuck on-screen when exiting a barrel in this state.
- Xbox One: 6.17 GB
- Xbox One X: 6.5 GB
- Windows 10: 6.5 GB
- Steam: 4.47 GB