Sea Of Thieves Controller: Accessibility Review

Sea of Thieves is, at the time of writing this review, one of the biggest IPs launching on Xbox this year. A play anywhere title, this open-world pirate game, whilst not the most accessible product for gamers without sight, certainly has the potential to be so in the future.

One part of the game that is accessible is the merchandise and a hotly anticipated item tied to the release is the Sea Of Thieves Limited Edition Controller. I managed, thanks to the very generous folks at Rare, to receive one of these units for review.

Let's see how it stacks up to its standard competition and whether it's worth plundering your savings to purchase.


With the box setup so the store hanger is facing downwards, find the adhesive circle on the opposing side of the product at the bottom. Remove this with a fingernail or scissors. The adhesive circle, when removed, should pull on the top section, which you can now remove to reveal the controller underneath.

Once you've removed the controller from its packaging, take the part of the box the controller was housed in and, pushing inwards at the side where it meets the outer shell, lift it upwards to reveal a number of printed items. These include instructions and a code for the Ferryman clothing set, in addition to a 14 day Xbox live gold trial.

Now that you have the controller out of the box, you can either use the two batteries included with the product, existing play and charge packs or even just a USB cable to connect it up and start playing.

Before discussing how it faired in testing, let's look at the differences between this and a standard Xbox One controller.


In essence, the SOT controller is near enough the same as a regular Xbox One controller save for a couple of differences. Firstly the grip is not a full-mat finish like the new Xbox One X controllers, but a half-mat variant not extending out to the extreme outer edges, but only going into the middle of each "handle".

Moreover, the green glow-in the dark skull (contrasting with the controller's purple shell), which I'd previously thought would be a fully tactile representation, is actually just a smooth circle below where the Xbox/guide button is.

The final interesting addition, aside from the gold coloured right bumper, is the pattern that adorns the right hand grip of the controller as well as elements of the left-hand side, looking as if the controller has encountered some barnacles in its lifecycle. This design is pretty effective and the design team have done a good job making something that feels unique and different whilst still being usable in-game.

Speaking of in-game use, let's discuss how the unit faired in testing.


I've only used this controller to play the game it was intended for and, other than an ever so slightly loose DPad, it's been plain sailing. The grip does help for longer play sessions and it performs very well for prolonged use.

I'd like to thank the kind individuals over at Rare for sending this controller to me for review, as well as the design team for making such an interesting piece. I look forward to seeing where Sea Of Thieves goes in terms of accessibility for gamers without sight and now I have a controller that will definitely stay a key part of the voyage.

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