Skull and Bones will have an open beta, Ubisoft has announced. It kicks off across all platforms (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and Windows PC via the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store) on February 8 and runs until February 11.
In the open beta, players can reach the Infamy Cap of Tier 6 and earn up to five exclusive rewards including unique ship cosmetics, an emote, a weapon, and a Pandal Lemur pet. Progression carries over from the beta to the full game, which comes out February 16. Ubisoft+ subscribers get the game three days early on February 13.
Announcing a year’s worth of post-launch content, Ubisoft said its open-world seafaring game will benefit from the addition of pirate lords and new world events. Check out IGN’s Skull and Bones endgame preview for more.
Here’s the official blurb, per Ubisoft:
Players will embark on a perilous journey facing Legendary Pirate Lords like Philippe La Peste and the Hubac Twins. Stirred into a feeding frenzy, players will have to strategize and defeat these new threats, each escalating in difficulty. Strategic ship loadouts and seasonal ships and gear will be key to taking them down in the final showdown at the end of each season. Prepare to expand and defend your empire by looting stronger equipment and valuable resources
through new world events introduced each season. Face Merchant Convoys, Elite Warships, and other predators on the high seas. Bigger challenges bring greater rewards as you navigate these dynamic and unpredictable waters.
Discover the intense endgame of Skull and Bones, where you’ll face more dangerous challenges, higher stakes, and alliances that can transform into rivalries. Transition from working with Kingpins to becoming their rivals, facing the perilous consequences of the treacherous pirate life. Seize control of The Helm, an unrivaled smuggling colossus, and build your smuggling empire. Control manufactories across the Indian Ocean, increase profits through strategic control of trade routes, and invest in upgrades for your operations. On top of these, Legendary Heists and Hostile Takeovers activities also add thrilling twists to empire-building, with new end game features introduced each season.
Engage in precarious PvP activities with high-risk, high-reward Helm Wagers and Cutthroat Cargo. Accept challenges and legendary treasure maps, which will put a literal target on your head until you reach the target outpost. Rise to the top, and solidify your reputation amongst Kingpins, earning rewards based on your leaderboard placement. Participate in free time-limited events each season, collaborate with fellow pirates, complete exclusive community events, and claim treasure troves of loot. The leaderboard resets each season with new rewards, encouraging players to continually strive for the top.
Skull and Bones finally comes out next month after years of development hell that’s seen a number of delays. What began in 2013 as an expansion for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag evolved into an MMO spinoff which ultimately became the standalone game Skull and Bones.
It was revealed at E3 2017 with an autumn 2018 release window, though it would miss that window — and many others — due to six delays, ultimately landing on February 16, 2024. In addition to changes in direction, Ubisoft attributes the delays to making too many games at once. The project has churned through three creative directors, most recently losing Elisabeth Pellen in September.