Skull and Bones will receive an open beta February 8-11, with progress and exclusive rewards earned during the beta period carrying forward into the full game when it releases February 16, 2024.
Beta players will be capped at Infamy Tier 6, but can earn five exclusive rewards that will also carry over to launch, including a unique ship cosmetic, emote, weapon, and Lemur pet. The beta, just like the full game, will feature cross-play and cross-progression between Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and those playing on PC via the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store. Those looking for even more of a head start can subscribe to Ubisoft+ to play the full version of Skull and Bones three days early on February 13.
Ubisoft has additionally lifted the veil on what the open-world pirate RPG’s endgame will look like. After finishing the game’s campaign, players will go from working for various pirate Kingpins to becoming one themselves, as they look to build their illegal empire by controlling trade routes, manufacturing and selling goods like rum and opium, committing heists, and engaging in hostile takeovers of rival pirate lords. Each season will add new endgame features, according to Ubisoft.
Speaking of seasons, Ubisoft has detailed what players can expect there too, detailing some of the content that is coming to Skull and Bones post-launch. According to a Year-1 roadmap, each season will see players battling against a new legendary pirate lord, with new seasonal ships and equipment being the key to bringing down their empires. Season 1, Raging Tides, will pit players against the “diseased” Philippe La Peste. Each season will also introduce new world events, which range from preying on merchant convoys to battling sea monsters, and will be key to unlocking stronger equipment. Player versus Player activities are a big part of the Skull and Bones endgame as well. Seasonal leaderboards will see ambitious pirates climbing to the top by engaging in high stakes activities that will pit players against one another. For more details, check out our hands-on preview of Skulls and Bones Season 1.
Skull and Bones has had a long road to release. First announced in 2017, Skull and Bones took major inspiration from the ship battles that helped to make Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag a major hit. While the game still retains plenty of Black Flag DNA, the game later underwent multiple changes in direction and delays, and is now is live-service game set to receive regular seasonal updates.