If you want to survive the harsh world of Sea of Thieves, then mastering the ship to ship combat is critical. While you can always board an enemy vessel and duke it out in person, the safest method of dispatching your foe is via cannon fire. This is true for both the Galleon and Sloop, however, the former is going to have a better chance in a straight up fight.
Loading a Cannon
When you board your vessel one of the first things you’ll want to do is load a few of the cannons. They are manually loaded, so not having to prep your first volley in a fight could save your crew. To load a cannon you’ll need to locate a barrel of cannonballs and then carry them to the desired piece of artillery. The barrel holding your ammo is marked red and will have a log of three white balls in the center. Approach this and interact with it to carry add one cannonball into your inventory, however, you can have a maximum of ten on you at any time. Cannonballs can be found right next to the cannons on the Sloop or in the first part of the Galleon’s hull.
Approach your cannon of choice and load it. Only one cannonball can fit at a time so you’ll have to reload rounds between shots. It’s easy to tell when a cannon is loaded because a little piece of rope will stick out of the top. If you’re in a heated battle we recommend just running down and quickly grabbing a few cannonballs.
Firing the Cannon
Using the cannon is a bit trickier than loading it because cannonballs have an arc and travel time. You’ll need to aim a little bit above your target if you want to hit them. However, it may take a few shots to properly gauge your range and hit an enemy vessel. Also, it’s important to account for the travel time between firing the cannon and actually hitting your target. If both ships or moving try to lead your target otherwise the round might sail by them. This isn’t as important for close range fights, but for taking out foes from a distance it’s critical.
Launching Yourself From a Cannon
Sometimes you just want to board an enemy ship or land on the beach in style. Firing yourself from a cannon is actually quite easy and doesn’t require you to load the cannon with ammo other than yourself. Simply approach the cannon and inspect the front part until a prompt appears to climb inside. Do this and then all you need to do is press the fire button to go sailing through the air like a majestic drunk bird. You’ll take no damage from firing and players can have crew members angle the cannons with you in it to obtain a better trajectory.
Mastering the tools of your ship is perhaps the most important aspect of Sea of Thieves, so make sure to practice firing with your cannons. If you keep reloading Sea of Thieves you’ll start with full ammo, so that’s a good way to just practice the fundamentals of using these weapons effectively without any risk.