Shacknews - Sam Chandler

Skeleton forts are Sea of Thieves’ version of raids: massive islands heavily defended by skeletons and with loads of rewards for those who can brave the challenge. If you and your crew want to claim the chests, skulls, and trinkets, you’re going to need to know how to finish skeleton forts. Come prepared, because it is not an easy fight.

How to Finish Skeleton Forts

Skeleton forts are massive looming fortresses that are dotted throughout the world of Sea of Thieves. These forts will usually be empty or have only a few skeletons milling about trying to attack passing ships. But sometimes you’ll see a skull cloud in the sky and it’ll be time to change course and see if you can withstand the waves of skeletons and claim the rewards.

To do skeleton forts in Sea of Thieves, start by locating an active skeleton fort as signalled by a huge, floating skull cloud. Sail toward this cloud until the skeleton fort below the cloud comes into view. Be careful, because each one of the cannons on the island will be manned by a skeleton looking to defend their treasure.

In order to avoid having your vessel sunk (causing you to have a respawn point far away) focus on taking down the skeletons operating the cannons. There are a few ways to do this: send a crew member to land with the express goal of killing any skeletons using cannons, fire upon the cannons using the cannons on the ship, or take aim with an Eye of Reach and blow the skeletons away from a distance. Set your ship in a safe location, and make landfall.

When you arrive in the heart of the skeleton fort, the goal is to kill every single skeleton. The skeletons will spawn in waves with the only goal to rid the island of human inhabitants. Use the surrounding environment to your advantage by kiting the skeletons into easily-managed groups. There are also explosive barrels around skeleton forts that can be used to clear large groups of enemies.

Keep your wits about you, as there are multiple types of skeletons that can appear on a skeleton fort. Gold skeletons become weaker when covered in water and ghost skeletons have their own little tricks.

If you run out of ammo while fighting the skeletons, return to your ship to resupply or locate one of the many ammo chests on the fort. It’s a good idea to always carry a cutlass, even if two guns is the preferred setup, that way it’s easy to defend against a skeleton even when out of ammo.

You will need to defeat a dozen or so waves of skeletons before the skeleton captain will appear. This captain bears resemblance to the captains that appear as part of the Order of Souls voyages. Attack the captain skeleton, making sure to manage the waves of normal skeletons, and when the captain falls, it will drop the skull key for the skeleton fort’s treasure trove.

Pick up the skull key and head to the locked door located somewhere in the skeleton fort. This door is typically found below the main fortress on the island. With the skeleton skull key in hand, interact with the locked door to open it, revealing a vast stockpile of treasure. You thought defeating waves and waves of skeletons was tough, this is where the real challenge begins. Now it’s time to ferry the rewards back to the ship or as much as possible before another player sails by and attacks.

Travel to a nearby outpost and deliver the haul as fast as possible or send a player with a chest over the side of the ship for a quick drop-n-run. With the skeleton fort raid finished, it’s time to begin other adventures in Sea of Thieves. Be sure to check out our Sea of Thieves guide for more helpful tips and insight in the game’s various mechanics.

Shacknews - Sam Chandler

Any good pirate will tell you than in order to avoid (or find) danger, you’ll need to keep your eye on the horizon and look out for other sails and natural phenomenon. One event that might have caught your attention is a massive skull cloud with glowing green eyes. This ominous looking cloud formation actually signifies something important is happening somewhere in Sea of Thieves!

What Does the Skull Cloud Mean?

To put it simply, the skull cloud with green eyes in Sea of Thieves signals that one of the many skeleton forts is currently active. For those still getting their sea legs, a skeleton fort is a heavily defended island that – most of the time – is completely empty of enemies. However, whenever a skull cloud appears, it means one of these empty skeleton forts is now brimming with skeletons, and a lot of loot for you to potentially collect.

The skull cloud you see floating in the sky is actually floating above the active skeleton fort, so all you need to do is start sailing toward it. Remember, because Sea of Thieves is an online multiplayer game, other players might also have the same idea as you – you could come face-to-face with other players looking to take the rewards all for themselves.

Finishing a skeleton fort and collecting the reward is a lengthy process, but well-worth the effort. For any solo pirates or a pair of adventuring captains, a skull cloud could pose a massive risk, but also a hefty reward if you can pull it off without falling prey to a full galleon. Swing by our Sea of Thieves guide to help you explore the rich world on offer.

Shacknews - Sam Chandler

If you’re the kind of pirate who prefers helping advance civilization by making deliveries, then the Merchant Alliance is right for you. This glorified group of postmen and postwomen may task you with delivering pigs to another outpost, at which point it will be up to you to find pigs and ensure they arrive safely.

Where to Find Pigs

Pigs are likely to be found on just about every single island in Sea of Thieves. In saying this, large islands have more landmass, which means there is more room for animals to spawn, so they should be your first port of call when trying to find pigs. Make sure you know how to catch pigs, else you’re going to have a tough time making those deliveries. Some of these islands also appear on the list of islands where you can find chickens.

  • Blind Man's Lagoon
  • Cannon Cove
  • Devil's Ridge
  • Kraken's Fall
  • Lone Cove
  • Old Faithful Isle
  • Paradise Spring
  • Rum Runner Isle
  • Sea Dog's Rest
  • Shipwreck Bay
  • Shark Tooth Key
  • The Sunken Grove
  • Thieves' Haven

If the island you visit doesn’t have any pigs on it, try the next closest island, even if it isn’t large. Another point worth noting is that even if an island has pigs, it may not have the type of pig you’re looking for. There are a few different species of pigs that can be found in Sea of Thieves, so make sure you’re catching the right one for your voyage!

A good idea is to search the islands surrounding the outpost that requires the delivery, that way you’re close to your goal. However, as the Merchant Alliance voyages become more complex, the amount of islands you need to visit will expand. Head over to the Sea of Thieves guide for more helpful articles on how to fix errors and how to do various things in Rare’s latest game.

Shacknews - Sam Chandler

Picking up and starting voyages in Sea of Thieves is how you’ll earn your gold as a pirate. As you rank up, you might find that some old and less valuable voyages are taking up precious space in your inventory. Rest assured, you don’t actually have to take time completing them, as there is a way to get rid of voyages in Sea of Thieves.

How to Get Rid of Voyages

Abandoning a voyage in Sea of Thieves isn’t as easy as opening your inventory and removing it, but it’s not overly complicated either. Hopefully Rare adds a mechanic that allows you to do it from within the menu, but for now you need to use a roundabout method.

To get rid of the voyage you don’t want, head to your boat and into the captain’s quarters. Interact with the table to propose a quest and select the voyage you want to abandon. Get everyone to vote on the quest you want to remove, and once it has been accepted, choose to cancel the quest while looking at the captain’s table.

With the voyage canceled, you should find that you now have a spare slot for new quests in the Voyage tab. You will need to use the above method to remove all the voyages you no longer want to hold onto in Sea of Thieves. The advantage of removing voyages is that as you increase your rank, you gain access to voyages that give you greater rewards, which is an excellent way of getting more gold. If your quest slots are full of old voyages (ones from the lower rank), it can feel like a waste of time completing them for meager rewards.

Now that you’ve managed to clear up your inventory, remember to check out our Sea of Thieves guide for more insight into the various mechanics and features in the game.

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

No spoilers, but Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom eventually gives players an opportunity to build a kingdom from the ground up. Part of the process for this is earning the trust of a Kingmaker creature and the first part of this mission is to complete the Trial of Knowledge. There are three puzzles followed by a boss fight and we've got a breakdown of the puzzles in video form below.

With each trial, players will read a portion of a tale about a boy taking on an evil dragon. Each trial gets a bit longer, but you must pay attention to crucial parts of the tale to be able to traverse the puzzle in the correct order. You'll also have an opportunity to collect bonus items and all three of our videos include the correct path to collect all bonuses.

Trial of Knowledge Part 1

Trial of Knowledge Part 2

Trial of Knowledge Part 3

We're still working on our full playthrough of the game, so look out for the review and additional guide content in the near future.

Shacknews - Sam Chandler

While Sea of Thieves is currently full of adventuring pirates, there are still players who are a bit unsure about joining in on Rare’s latest and greatest title. If the price tag is making you feel a bit sea sick, Xbox Game Pass might be your solution. Thanks to the Xbox Game Pass trial, players can experience Sea of Thieves for free for two weeks.

How to Get Sea of Thieves for Free

Players on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC can both snap up Sea of Thieves for free while it is a part of the Xbox Game Pass catalogue. The process of signing up for Xbox Game Pass and downloading Sea of Thieves is an easy enough process.

On Xbox One:

  1. Sign-in to your Xbox Live account
  2. Navigate to the Store tab
  3. Scroll down and select Memberships
  4. Scroll down and select Xbox Game Pass
  5. Set the first box to Xbox Game Pass 14-Day Free Trial Free
  6. Select Join on the second box
  7. Input your credit card details
  8. Click Subscribe
  9. Search for Sea of Thieves in the Store
  10. Click Install

On Windows 10 PC:

  1. Sign-in to your Microsoft account
  2. Open the Microsoft Store
  3. Type Xbox Game Pass in the search bar and click the pop-up
  4. Set the first box to Xbox Game Pass 14-Day Free Trial Free
  5. Select Join on the second box
  6. Input your credit card details
  7. Click Subscribe
  8. Search for Sea of Thieves in the Microsoft Store
  9. Click Install

Before you get started, if you’re playing on Xbox One, you will definitely need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription to be able to play Sea of Thieves online. Finding the Xbox Game Pass can be a bit odd, as it’s not a game so it can’t be easily searched in the Store. You will need to find the Membership section either through your Games & Apps or via the Store front. Despite it being a free trial, you will still need to input a credit card number, just remember to cancel it after the 2-week trial or you will be billed for the following month.

As for the Windows 10 PC gamers, finding the Xbox Game Pass is even more complicated thanks to the double-up of the Xbox App and Microsoft Store. However, you can easily find the Xbox Game Pass online by heading to the Microsoft Store.

After signing up for the Xbox Game Pass trial, you should be able to locate Sea of Thieves in the Store and install it, regardless of whether you’re on Xbox One or Windows 10 PC. And because Sea of Thieves is a Play Anywhere game, if you installed it on Xbox One, you can play it on PC, and vice versa.

In the event you’ve already used the 14-day trial of Xbox Game Pass, you will need to pay the full monthly price of $9.99 USD in order to download and play Sea of Thieves. However, if you’ve yet to redeem your trial, you’re one of the lucky gamers who get to experience Sea of Thieves for free! Be sure to check out our Sea of Thieves guide for more helpful tips and tricks.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

Old School Musical is a rhythm game with chiptune music and a "crazy" story mode that was inspired by games like Gitaroo Man and Space Channel 5. As such, it incorporates plenty of opportunities to groove along to the music. François Bertrand of La Moutarde was on hand to chat with our Greg Burke at GDC 2018 about the pixel-perfect retrolicious title.

Like Dance Dance Revolution, you need to match the button inputs on-screen to control your character. You'll play through an entire level with layouts inspired by Pokemon, according to Bertrand, and more. You may play through a shooter, stealth game, role-playing game, and even Zelda-like adventures to keep the backgrounds of each one fresh and new.

If you love rhythm games, the pixel aesthetic, and chiptunes, you'll want to keep Old School Musical on your radar, especially with what look like some top-notch parodic chops accompanying the original soundtrack. 

Check out the official website for more information. Old School Musical is coming to PC and Nintendo Switch at the same time, "maybe" this summer, according to Bertrand. That's plenty of time for you to get some new dancing shoes.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

After protagonist Eirik finds himself exiled from his home, he and his family struggle to survive in the new land they call their home. It's your job to help the Viking family stay alive as they run into one hazard after another in the upcoming Dead in Vinland.

Guillaume Jamet, head of promotion at Playdius, spoke to Greg Burke about the game, where you'll need to manage hunger, thirst, fatigue, and other important aspects of everyday life. If you've ever played Darkest Dungeon, you'll have a good idea of what to expect from Dead in Vinland, and it looks pretty awesome if you ask us. 

If one of your family members dies, you've got to start the game over again, so make sure you know what you're doing. With Vinland's turn-based nature, you'll have to keep your wits about you. Learn new traits, explore over 150 different areas, experience 2,000 different event lines, and watch your family flourish or fail as they're forced to live on their own in the terrifying new world they find themselves in. 

If you like what you see, Dead in Vinland is actually the sequel to Dead in Bermuda, so you may have an idea of what to expect from that title if you gave it a try. Otherwise, you can experience Dead in Vinland when it releases on PC and Mac on April 12, 2018. For more information, head over to the official website.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

Away: Journey to the Unexpected is described as a "feel-good experience" inspired by anime, and it looks like one of the most unique games you might see this year. If you remain unconvinced, just check out our interview where all will be revealed. 

Our own Greg Burke met up with Playdius's Guillaume Jamet to chat about the colorful new game, which was on display at GDC 2018. The trailer looks a lot like an anime-styled adventure, but it's actually an anime-inspired first-person shooter and platformer, according to Jamet.

You can control multiple characters at once to form a party, with the ability to swap between them at any time, whether solo or with friends playing along. Each character has their own personality and vision of the game world, with unique abilities as well.

The full 3D world is an interesting juxtaposition with the 2D characters and monsters, which lends a very unique look that you might not be expecting ("unexpected" is in the title, after all.) It's definitely one you'll want to keep your eye on, as Greg discovers during his interview. 

The game has a projected 2018 release date and it's coming to Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

For more information, you can check out the official Away: Journey to the Unexpected website, where you'll find a lush, colorful anime-styled trailer. It's pretty impressive!

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

They say only a bad workman blames his tools, but what about the workman with no tools at all? It's a bit of a conundrum, and it's one of the more difficult problems that Sea of Thieves players have had to address. We've seen a number of reports from players all across the world who boot up Sea of Thieves only to find that they can't make use of any inventory item aside from cannonballs and bananas. It's going take more than that to clear out the game's many enemies, so we're taking a look at some of the solutions to the problem of being unable to equip weapons in Sea of Thieves.

How To Fix the Can't Equip Weapons Bug in Sea of Thieves

Though there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to why some players can't equip weapons or items in Sea of Thieves, it seems like the problem at least dates back to one of the game's earlier beta tests. The bug works like this: as soon as some players load the game, they'll find that everything is essentially in order, except they can't actually use any of the items or weapons clearly still sitting in their inventories. Most often, bananas and cannonballs can still be used, but swords, guns, and even the cup or compass can't be used at all.

The solution, if indeed there is a clear solution, seems to be simple: just jump into the water and drown or otherwise find a way to be killed in-game. Some players report success simply by completely closing the game and joining back in, but from what can be told, in-game suicide will work as an effective trigger to reactivate the option for players to use weapons and items.

As far as bugs and errors go, being unable to use weapons or items is kind of a doozy. However, big as the issue may seem, it doesn't look to have been addressed over on the Sea of Thieves support website. With that said, the team at Rare did discuss the bug in a recent post-launch video, saying that a fix for the bug should be distrubuted in the game's next patch. Until then, we can only hope that the issue is less prevalent than it appears, or that players have been able to get around the bug by using the aforementioned advice.

If a lack of knowledge bothers you as much as it does us, fret not, for we've got loads of great information regarding Rare's latest open-world adventure featured over on our ever-growing Sea of Thieves walkthrough and guide.


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