Skull and Bones: Release, gameplay, setting, platforms, more

Aakash Regmi
key art of skull and bones that has ships approaching with a skull shape cloud behind

Ubisoft Singapore has all hands on deck to ensure Skull and Bones is released. It has been six years since it was announced, and the game has been in development for far longer. But we do have a sea of intel on Skull and Bones, so here’s everything we know about it, including gameplay, setting, and more.

Skull and Bones first started development in 2013, and was reportedly a DLC for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag before being spun into an entirely new game. It was rebooted a handful of times since the announcement before finally taking the shape we know now. 

It has all the familiar tropes you’d associate with pirates—lots of rum and riches to pillage. The sea in Skull and Bones is just as menacing as seen in past Assassin’s Creed games, and the shanties are just as melodious. You’ll have to sail past lots of storms and tussle with other players for loot if you’re to become the sea’s most fearsome plunderer.  

There is a lot to conquer. So, here’s everything you need to know about Skull and Bones.

Does Skull and Bones have a release date?

Skull and Bones will be released sometime before March 2024. Although it could get delayed again, which isn’t unusual for the title after being delayed six times, with a closed beta schedule, optimism is high within Ubisoft and the community that the game will not slip again. 

Skull and Bones platforms

Skull and Bones will release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. While initially it was also slated for last-gen consoles, Ubisoft later decided to axe them and focus on this generation only. 

Skull and Bones story & setting

two ships firing canons across islands in Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones has character creation with a handful of customizable options.

Skull and Bones takes place during the golden age of piracy, specifically in the 17th-century version of the Indian Ocean. You can sail from the coasts of Africa and ram other ships on your way to the East Indies. 

Given the era Skull and Bones is based on was famed for having notoriously high maritime warfare, the story here will also revolve around you making your infamy by ransacking ships and pillaging islands for riches.

You’re on a voyage to become an infamous pirate to sail the seas, all with nothing in the beginning, as you’re castaway into a deserted island when your journey begins. From that, you craft your own weapon and assemble a crew to conquer the rogue waves of the Indian Ocean. But don’t play Skull and Bone expecting a full-fledged narrative campaign. Everything is in bits and pieces, and most if not all is just lore and other pages of scripts you’ll read about the world, past events, and characters.

Skull and Bones gameplay

Being a pirate game, Skull and Bones is largely about pirates and their pirate-y lives. Most of what you’ll do in the game will be running errands, completing bounties, and pillaging the shores of disputed waters. The naval gameplay is similar to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag naval battles, just more refined and in-depth.

There is also an emphasis on the survival aspect. You and your crew will starve if you have no barrels of food left to eat. Chances are that your incompetence to feed your hearties will have you sacked and tossed overboard. So besides your infamy, you also have to keep track of crew morale to avoid any mutinies.

There is a wide variety of ships in Skull and Bones as well, from cogs to clippers, and even man-o-wars. The game has three archetypes of ships: Navigation, Firepower, and Cargo. Each of them is tailored for different purposes; some will allow you to carry more salvage, while others are, naturally, best at sinking other ships. Of course, much of your ship is customizable. Selecting the perfect ship is vital because if yours gets sunk, you’ll lose your cargo, and only a portion of it will be recovered. You can still recoup all your lost salvages, but the game could pit you against other players who are eyeing your loot.  

Skull and Bones multiplayer details

A captain dodging his ship from cannons in Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones has various “hubs” where you can walk and explore on foot.

Skull and Bones is a multiplayer-first always-online game, and does not feature any pure single-player component. While Ubisoft hasn’t detailed if there will be any multiplayer modes, we do have a confirmation that the game can be played in PvEvP and PvE environments.

As you make your way through the perilous waves of the Indian Ocean, you may have to battle head-on with other live players, as well as the game’s AI, if you opt for PvEvP gameplay. You can bring your friends along for support as Skull and Bones does have co-op.

That’s all the information you need to know about Skull and Bones. For more on other AAA games, check out:

Armored Core 6 | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 | The Crew Motorfest | Starfield | Forza Motorsport | Assassin’s Creed Mirage | EA Sports FC 24 | Call of Duty 2023 | NBA 2K24

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About The Author

Aakash Regmi is a Games Writer at CharlieIntel and primarily covers Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and major racing games. Before joining CharlieIntel in July 2023, he wrote for Collider, Hard Drive, DualShockers, and Try Hard Guides. You can contact him at [email protected].