Skull And Bones – How To Unlock The Helm Empire And Black Market
8 mins read

Skull And Bones – How To Unlock The Helm Empire And Black Market


Skull and Bones presents a lot of activities that you can do throughout the course of your journey as a pirate. Still, more opportunities are in store once you reach the late-game stage. That’s when you can turn from a rogue vagabond into a lord of your own trading empire. Here’s our guide on how to unlock the Helm Black Market and Supply Network in Skull and Bones.

Black Market and Helm Empire in Skull and Bones explained

You can unlock the Skull and Bones Helm Empire mechanics as part of a lengthy quest chain. Doing so also leads to new functions, such as the Supply Network, Order Registry, and Black Market wares. Here’s a quick summary:

  • The quest chain begins with a mission called A Covert Initiation. As of the time of this writing, we can’t confirm what exactly triggers it. In our case, though, we received this quest just after we reached Marauder rank.
  • The mission involves checking your mail in Sainte-Anne.
  • You then need to talk to Yanita Nara, the barkeep in Le Pont Muet, which is at the back of the pirate haven area.
  • You should gain access to the Helm, a hidden chamber behind the tavern. This is where you can start certain missions and select various functions (more on these below).

Gallery

Read the letter in the mail (left), then talk to Yanita (right).

Helm Empire Supply Networks and Facilities

Yanita’s first task for you, Taking the Helm, is somewhat straightforward. Simply interact with the Supply Network map, which shows a particular resource (i.e. sugar cane or poppy) that you need to collect from a liaison. If you’ve already tagged the location as a fast travel point, then you can go there easily. If not, you have to sail to that outpost. Either way, you simply purchase the goods from the liaison NPC.

Return to Yanita when you’re done and you’ll be shown the first Helm facility: the Distillery. This is where you process sugar cane into different kinds of rum. Later once you’ve unlocked the Smuggler’s Hideout in the East Indies, you’ll also collect poppy, which is then turned into opium. Yes, the late-game experience is all about illicit trade: drugs and alcohol.

Gallery

Acquire a resource for your Supply Network (left), then use a facility to create finished goods (right).

Helm Empire Order Registry and Rogue Encounters

Your next objective for Yanita, A Tight Ship, requires completing a smuggler’s order. Here’s how it goes:

  • Check the Order Registry and select a mission. These reward you with Pieces of Eight currency.
  • If this type of mission is active, you won’t be able to fast travel to the location at all. Instead, you have to sail all the way to that outpost.
  • Make sure you bring the required processed goods with you since these need to be given to the smuggler.
  • Along the way, ships from the Rogues faction will attack you. Be ready for combat.
You can't fast travel when these daily missions are active, so you have to sail to the marked location instead.
You can’t fast travel when these daily missions are active, so you have to sail to the marked location instead.

As an aside, Rogue ships can appear close to Sainte-Anne. These AI-controlled vessels will even attack low-level players. Try to eliminate the Rogues if you can to help out newcomers that are unable to leave the pirate haven due to hostiles.

In any case, the “Attacks” tab in the Supply Network becomes available when you return to Yanita. This panel lets you select targets from the Rogues faction to obtain resources, as opposed to buying them from liaisons.

Take out the Rogues that spawn, and make sure they don't accidentally grief low-level players.
Take out the Rogues that spawn, and make sure they don’t accidentally grief low-level players.

Gaining access to the Black Market and Pieces of Eight currency

When you’re finished with Yanita’s first few tasks, you should be able to unlock the Helm Black Market in Skull and Bones. Talk to Yanita at the Le Pont Muet bar and the option should become available.

The Black Market wares include all sorts of items, such as cosmetic attires/accessories for your character, high-end weaponry, and even ship mascots/pets. These items cost Pieces of Eight, a special currency that’s only obtained when you complete Order Registry missions.

Amass Pieces of Eight so you can buy some cool stuff.
Amass Pieces of Eight so you can buy some cool stuff.

More activities and features: Smuggler’s Hideouts, perk upgrades, Hostile Takeovers, and Legendary Heists

From this point onward, you can expect even more activities and features that are part of the Skull and Bones Helm Empire gameplay:

  • Smuggler’s Hideouts – Yanita will ask you to head to Telok Penjarah in the East Indies (i.e. the same haven where you can get the Padewakang ship blueprint). This place is also where you meet Houma, the leader of the East Indies smugglers.
  • Upgradable perks – The table in the den grants you access to the Helm Empire Overview. These upgrades include:
    • Buffs to items produced by distilleries and manufactories.
    • Increased rewards from Helm Chests and Legendary Heists.
    • Increased profits from dealings with other factions (i.e. Confederation of Ungawa, Dominion of Rempah, and the like).
    • Bonuses in terms of profits and duration for trade routes and supply runs, respectively.
  • Hostile Takeovers – A PvPvE event where your team attempts to conquer a settlement that has a manufactory.
  • Legendary Heists – Another PvPvE event where your team tries to eliminate a “bullet sponge” target. One player will receive the heist reward at the end, and other players/teams can attempt to sink them to steal the reward.

Note that upgrades cost Pieces of Eight, so it’s up to you if you want to use the currency for perks or Black Market items. Likewise, we should mention that perk upgrades will reset at the end of each season. Moreover, the manufactories that you control accumulate Pieces of Eight at a certain rate per hour. These settlements will then provide a steady source of income.

Gallery

Visit other Smuggler Hideouts (left), and unlock Helm perks (right).

Summary of the Helm Empire endgame activity loop

In short, here are the objectives that you need to do:

  • Resources – Acquire poppy/sugar cane resources via Supply Network liaison or attack missions.
  • Facilities – Use facilities to turn resources into finished goods.
  • Order Registry – Undertake Order Registry missions (i.e. daily missions) to bring finished goods to smugglers. You cannot fast travel while this type of mission is active, and Rogues faction ships will spawn to attack you.
  • Hostile Takeovers and Legendary Heists – These are endgame PvPvE events which are best played with a group.
  • Pieces of Eight – Earn Pieces of Eight whenever you complete orders and via controlled manufactories. Use the currency to buy items from the Black Market or to unlock Helm upgrades.

That’s everything you need to know about the Black Market and the Helm in Skull and Bones. The endgame loop, where you continue increasing your Kingpin rank, is also where you gain a lot of money.

Skull and Bones is an open-world adventure game where you sail the high seas in the hopes of becoming a pirate lord. To learn more about various mechanics and features, you can check our guides hub.



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