Metacritic: 76/100
Release: Jan 2008
Reviewed on: PC

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Site Score
Good: Pirate theme – Helpful dedicated community
Bad: Aged – Pay to progress (PvE impacted only)
User Score
(18 votes)
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(User scores are recalculated daily)

Pirates of the Burning Sea has stood the test of time with a pirate themed MMO that is still kicking nearly a decade after its 2008 release. It’s one of the most popular in the pirate MMO space, a genre that has never really taken off.


Set around the Caribbean in the early 1700s players will be joining one of the four available nations (Pirates, France, Spain and British) while engaging in tactical ship battles, exploring the vast world and participating in the economy.

Nation selection is not only on a character level but actually on an account wide level once selected for the first time. Within your selected nation players will also need to select their career with each offering 45 skills.

Non-pirate nations can choose between naval officer (defensive, specialising in broad side combat), privateer (small ships and boarding) or freetrader (relies on trading, production and evasion). While the pirate faction has access to cut-throat (overtaking and capturing ships) and Buccaneer (salvaging captured ships). Regardless of your character career players have four available fighting options while on land that use a mixture of pistols, swords, daggers and bare-handed.

Gameplay in Pirates of the Burning Sea is a fairly balanced mixture of PvE and PvP. Questing in PvE offers limited variety with players generally visiting a specified land or sea location to take out enemies and return for a reward. PvP is a little more deeper with a great port contention feature that lets you fight over game ports for your faction.

The real reason you’ll be adventuring into the world of Pirates of the Burning Sea is the ship to ship combat that happens as parts of quests or alternatively while exploring the open sea. With over 50 ship options, various ammunition types and tactics it’s the most fleshed out portion of the game.


While Pirates of the Burning Sea definitely shows signs of age and has a few core issues (pay to progress is one of them) there are still reasons why the game has held a dedicated audience for a long time and it’s still your best pirate themed option.


  • Take the seas in PvP and PvE battles.
  • Choose from 4 factions, multiple careers and dozens of skills.
  • Player driven economy with resources created by players.
  • Enjoy end game instances and port battles.
  • Free to play pirate adventure MMO.

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Pirates of the Burning Sea, 6.8 out of 10 based on 18 ratings
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