SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Sunless Skies is a gothic horror roleplay game with a focus on exploration and exquisite storytelling for PC, Mac and Linux.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (23) - 100% of the 23 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (121) - 86% of the 121 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The feedback we received in Early Access for Sunless Sea was pivotal to its development, and we have been delighted to work with players once again to shape Sunless Skies. We are grateful to have a community who will come aboard early and help us surface the best possible ideas for our games.

We still feel there are plenty of lessons to learn, and hope to use open development in future to help us again. Thank you to everyone who's sent bug reports, left comments or pleaded with us late into the night to allow them to romance Mr Pennies.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“SUNLESS SKIES will be released on 31st January 2019.

To see how Early Access feedback from players has improved the game and impacted our delivery window, take a look back through our development updates.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Our initial version for the Early Access release only included one of the four game regions: the Reach. As development continued,we added two further regions to the game, and fully revised the Reach, bringing the whole experience to a high level of polish.

Gameplay-wise, we began with a basic, though broad, mechanical basis for the final game. A lot of our design was in from the start, though we have iterated significantly on it.

Throughout development we released updates that added polish and more complexity to the mechanics you saw at launch, and significant content updates that included locomotives, ports, sky-beasts, loot, equipment, discoveries, wrecks, characters, and stories.

As we get closer to the final release, we are still expecting to add more stories, accessibility features and most notably a complete rework of the UI (due on 19 December with the Commander release) and the final region, the Blue Kingdom.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“As of 19th December 2018, on the release of Commander, the game will look and behave almost exactly like the finished product, with the exception of some remaining stories and the reveal of the region The Blue Kingdom, which will enter the game at launch.

As the game is in Early Access it’s possible releases will contain bugs, although we QA each build thoroughly and the game is in an excellent state.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Our plan is to keep the price the same for both Early Access and full-release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The feedback we received during the Early Access period of Sunless Sea absolutely made the game what it is today, and we have been delighted to receive similarly useful feedback this time round, on all aspects of the game.

We have a dedicated Sunless Skies bug report/feedback email ( and have been listening to players on our Steam forum, GOG forum, our own Failbetter forum, and all our other social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Tumblr). We’ll also be continuing to share our progress through development blogs, live streams and our FBG podcasts on Twitch.

We also joined up with our fan Discord server during development, which will certainly be the most exciting place to take part in the launch on 31st January:”
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Recent updates View all (54)

November 7

SURVIVAL update, less than 3 months until launch!

Welcome, skyfarer!

The nights are drawing in, and Team FBG are drawing the blinds and lighting our candles for the last push to complete SUNLESS SKIES. Today’s update and the Commander update on the 19th of December are the last ones before we launch, on 31st January.

In this release we’ve got a new opening experience for you, a revamp of New Winchester, and the remaining Survival elements. Also a note about save games - please read closely to avoid disappointment!

Start at the very beginning

Something we especially hoped to improve on from SUNLESS SEA was the abrupt nature of the game’s opening, which contributed to a lot of players feeling lost and confused (not in a fun way), and giving up on the game before it even got started.

In SUNLESS SKIES, you now begin with a morsel of story and a lightly tutorial opening. It will hopefully ease you into the game, introduce elements at a reasonable pace and in an appropriate order, and provide some key context for the setting. (The full tutorial with tips will follow in the launch build; we have to create it last, when everything else is in place.)

You still start in the New Winchester segment, but now your initial position is explained by the opening story: you’ve just emerged from the Blue Kingdom's transit relay, and your current captain is dying as a result of what happened there.

New New Winchester

The New Winchester segment is the same size as before, but the city of New Winchester itself is now much bigger – it sprawls across most of the segment, and Company House and Victory Hall now have their own platforms, where you can turn in port reports.

A thousand deaths in the skies

The occasional injuries, the infections, the endless arguments over whose turn it is to do the dishes: in isolation these things are insignificant.

What happens in the skies, when you’ve lost crew but your engine hungers and your nightmares worsen? Probably nothing good.

We’ve introduced a host of difficult decisions for your Captains. The crew are lax, exhausted. Would extra rations bolster them - if you can spare some? Or should you crack the whip, use fear to get things running as they should? Repair your ailing engine yourself?

These choices will appear periodically when your Crew is less than the Safe Manning Number for your locomotive (check this under Possessions > Your Train).

Save files

From the Commander release onwards, we will not support saves from any versions of the game older than the Survival release.

Play with the Survival build at least once - before 19 December, when Commander is released - to ensure save compatibility at launch!

We recommend you start a new save so you can check out the opening and various updated stories.

Note: we hoped to have player weapons in this release, but we’ve had to move them. You can expect rocket launchers, mines and some very special, unique weapons that can be claimed from your enemies. Sorry to keep you waiting: they’ll be worth it!

For the full patch notes, check the Failbetter forums or the Steam forums for Sunless Skies.


Did you see that we released a companion pen and paper RPG for SUNLESS SKIES? It’s called SKYFARER, and it’s free, and reports are that people are enjoying it very much! (It also works well as a system for SUNLESS SEA, we’re told.)

Download the SKYFARER book, story supplement and digital character sheet

There’s a Sky Story competition to win fabulous prizes including a deluxe SKYFARER set which comes with custom Correspondence tokens. Simply tweet us a story from one of your play sessions. Here are all of the details, and terms, etc on the FBG blog.


We’ll be going live with @kjr_kisuke for the launch at 4pm GMT! Come and take a look at the new game opening and see what awaits in New New Winchester!

Follow kjr_kisuke on Twitch to be notified when we go live.
6 comments Read more

November 7

Patch Notes - Survival - (7 Nov 2018)

Build Version: Survival update.
Release Date: 07/11/2018
Known Issues

What’s New

New Winchester Redesign
In order to bring it up to the standards of the recent Reach redesign, the central New Winchester segment has had a fresh lick of paint. Along with the visual changes, we’ve tidied up the storylet options at Wolvesey Station and also removed the Victory Hall and Company House areas. They are now available at separate Platforms where you can dock and hand in your port reports.

New Opening Game Experience
Now when starting a new game the player’s initial position (which is still in the New Winchester segment) is explained by an opening story. The player will emerge from the Blue Kingdom Transit Relay, their captain dying, on a mission to get to New Winchester Station.

Part of this narrative will be conveyed via storylets, and part of it will be shown via ambient messages in game. The story will continue once you dock at New Winchester and it’s at that point that a new player will go through the Character Creation screen. In future updates the opening narrative that begins at New Winchester will continue in Albion and the Blue Kingdom.

We highly recommend starting a new game with this build so that you can experience the updates and for additional reasons that shall be explained below.

The Opening Game Experience is not totally complete, some things need to wait until the launch build, so there are a few things to note about it. Please do not report these as bugs:
  • The loading screen text on a new game is not displayed for very long - we will be extending the time so it can be read without having to rush
  • In a future update we shall be adding tutorial tips which will explain controls and mechanics as you progress through the opening sequence and the early game - these need to wait until closer to launch when all features are locked down
  • You need to shoot your way through the barrier at the end of the opening game area before you can reach New Winchester, in a future build this will be made clear with the use of said tutorial tips
  • It’s possible to come away from the wreck of the Ozymandias without a Scout. This is a player choice and it is signposted via the pink instructional text, this is not a bug. We will be adding other ways to acquire a Diffident Bat in a future update (other than from Mr Menagerie)
  • If we have time we may tweak the opening sequence so you are shunted from the relay, or so it starts with you inside with the doors opening to reveal your locomotive - this is yet to be decided
  • The chart in the starting area is slightly different before character creation, i.e. there is a gap in the terrain of the opening area on the chart - this is deliberate

Survival changes
In the previous build we introduced new survival content triggered by high Terror and also low Fuel. In this build we’ve added an additional survival complication; your Crew. The low Crew storylets will fire periodically when your Crew is less than the Safe Manning Number for your locomotive. This value can be found in the Possessions interface under the Your Train section.

Having low or even zero Crew will not kill you outright, but many things can go wrong when you don’t enough staff to operate a locomotive, things that will impact your other survival qualities. Engines may fall into disrepair causing Hull damage. Accidents may cause loss of fuel, supplies and even the death of yet another crewmember, filling the survivors with Terror. Best to make sure you keep your locomotive fully manned.

Terror reduction
Now, when you discover a new port your crew will be flooded with relief and Terror will be reduced by 20 points. This will only happen the very first time a captain comes across a new port. Subsequent visits are a “been there, done that” sort of affair.

Players with existing save games will be able to take advantage of this new feature the next time they load the game and visit already discovered ports. Enjoy the little exploit while it lasts as it’s the only time you’ll ever see it.

Save File Support
As mentioned, we highly recommend you start a new save file in this build. Not only will this allow you to go through the Opening Game Experience but you’ll also gain access to a lot of new content, as well as old storylines which have been heavily tweaked (such as those at Traitor’s Wood and Polmear & Plenty’s Inconceivable Circus).

Once we release the Commander update (in December) we will no longer be supporting save files older than those created in this build, the Survival build ( If you do wish to keep your existing save game however, then all you’ll need to do is make sure you load the save file up and save it in the Survival build.

We do appreciate that a number of you have already sunk many hours into your current captain and may feel reluctant to start a brand new game. The whole purpose of Early Access has been to give us feedback and to help us find issues, and throughout that time there have been a number of bugs and content changes that might have left your qualities in unusual states. We’ve always done our best to manually fix save files for affected players when they report issues to us, but now that we are coming closer to launch we will be unable to do so for old save games and we recommend you start anew.

  • Victory Hall and Company house are now Platforms within the New Winchester segment.
  • The quest at Polmear & Plenty’s Inconceivable Circus has been reworked.
  • We’ve made several updates to the chart:
    1. Regions are no longer in view of each other, instead you need to transition between them using the cycler.
    2. We’ve restricted the maximum zoom level.
    3. The legend cycler works correctly in both directions.

Bug Fixes
  • We’ve addressed some performance issues around agents engaged in combat.
  • Players will no longer take damage when flying over the bullet colliders of rapid fire weapons before they despawn.
  • Players will no longer get stuck in the Traitor’s Wood storylet.
  • The Isambard line signal boxes now set qualities correctly on interaction, allowing players to complete the Fatalistic Signalman's storyline.
  • Crew, Hull and Terror are now capped correctly.
  • Vessel and backer names will now display correctly for Tacketies and Dreadnoughts in Albion.
  • The name for the Curators will now display correctly when the headlight is shone on them.
  • Terror once again increases after using the transit gate to Albion.
  • The Fog of War can no longer be lifted to reveal the entire chart using the mouse wheel.
  • The - and + keys now work correctly when using the cycler on the Chart.
  • The Storm that Speaks no longer has a chart icon when encountered in game.
  • SFX will no longer play at the same time when returning to the title screen from the Reach.
  • The Altani once again has a large weapon slot.
  • The avatar tooltip will now close down correctly when Must Events fire.
  • We've corrected the wording on the tooltips in engine yards when trading in ships with the same stats.
  • We’ve fixed several typos and grammatical errors on the Legacy, Victory and Loading screens.
  • We've fixed several typos in ambient messages.
  • We’ve corrected a large amount of typos and grammatical errors in our content - a huge thank you to the dedicated player who has been sending us lots of reports.

As always, if you find a bug that's not on the Known Issues page then send us a quick Bug Report.
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“As a general sense of Sunless Skies, the game feels like it's on the right track. The developers have clearly learned from Sunless Sea feedback and adjusted the core loops without losing what was magical about the Fallen London universe.”
PC Gamer

“Considering that it's an Early Access game, Sunless Skies performs remarkably well. The experience is smooth, bugs are nearly non-existent, and the music and sound come through crisply and without issue. The fact that Sunless Skies is more polished than many other current titles and hasn't even released fully yet is to be commended.”
Windows Central

“Visually, Sunless Skies is excellent, but verbally, it is already a masterpiece.”

About This Game

Sunless Skies is a gothic horror roleplay game with a focus on exploration and exquisite storytelling.

Command a flying steam locomotive

The only thing between you and the waste-winds, storms and cosmic lightning is your engine. Tend and upgrade it, buy weaponry and exotic equipment, and keep her hull in good shape to hold the hostile Heavens at bay.

Explore a unique and dangerous universe

You play the captain of a locomotive, a steam engine fitted for off-rail travel: sailing the stars, leading your crew into trouble and out of their minds. Smuggle souls, barter for crates of time, stop for cricket and a cup of tea.

Discover more of the deep, dark and marvellous Fallen London Universe, as seen in our previous game, SUNLESS SEA. (You can play either game first, the stories coexist happily.)

Fight her majesty's agents, pirates and abominations of the skies

Face ships of differing factions and unknowable beasts each with different attacks and agendas.

Survive starvation, madness and terror.

Manage your crew’s condition and your captain’s nightmares. Balance fuel and supplies against your desire for new horizons, knowledge or riches. Struggle with sights never meant for human eyes. How will the dark change you?

Recruit officers on your adventures

Populate your ship with unique, upgradeable officers, each with their own quest to fulfill: an incautious driver, an incognito princess, a repentant devil, and - dear god! - your Aunt?! How did she get out here?

Discover your captain’s past through narrative levelling

Reveal your captain’s past deeds as facets of their personality as you progress. Most captains will perish, but their actions will leave a mark on the world for their descendants - for better or worse. Pass on some effects, and return anew to deal with events that your previous captain put into motion.


The High Wilderness is a wondrous vision of space: shifting, wind-swept ruins where the laws of the cosmos are not as we imagined.

The stars are alive. They are the Judgements: vast intelligences that govern all things. But they are dying. One by one, something is snuffing them out, leaving their thrones empty.

Unfettered by trivial things like gravity, the Victorian Empire have pushed their tendrils into this new world, and their ambition is savage. They have built a new Sun. The Empress Victoria reigns from the Throne of Hours, which gives her control over time.

Your Captain and crew must carve out a life between the stars. Will you support her majesty and the establishment, or the working class rebels who yearn for freedom from the Workworlds?


  • Multiple, intertwining stories with a depth and richness unlike anything else in games, inspired by CS Lewis, Jules Verne, Lovecraft and HG Wells
  • Lush, hand-drawn 2d art to match

  • Four giant regions to explore: celestial wilderness, impossible industrial empire, pagan midnight expanse, and the mysterious Blue Kingdom.

  • A choice of play styles: build a lineage of captains as each dies, or reload your most recent captain and continue

  • Key remapping and full controller support

Who are Failbetter Games?
We’re a boutique games studio based in London, UK. We’ve been making indie games since 2009. If you’ve read this far, this game is almost certainly for you. Come with us into the dark, delicious friend.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+, SteamOS+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible

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