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:
Mostly Positive (63) - 73% of the 63 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (453) - 77% of the 453 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jan 31, 2019

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Includes 2 items: SUNLESS SEA, Sunless Skies


Recent updates View all (65)

March 8

Patch Notes (8th March 2019)

Hello, delicious skyfarers!

Today we have another patch with a range of narrative and tech improvements and fixes. Meanwhile, we're still hard at work on our first major post-launch update, which will be focused on adding more variety and depth to the experience while travelling between ports.

We'll be ready to talk about the update's specific features and story additions a bit later this month. To be notified as soon as that happens, follow us here on Steam or @failbettergames on Twitter.

Narrative fixes
  • The Heart-Catchers will now assist a captain whose death has been prophecied only once. After all, one foretelling of doom is happenstance; two seems like attention-seeking.
  • The Repentant Devil's quest will now be correctly marked as completed in the event that he remains aboard your engine.
  • Captains who drop off the Repentant Devil somewhere in Sky Barnet will now be able to reunite with him at the same location.
  • The Truth ambition no longer directs captains to _Low_ Barnet.
  • The Price of Charity now removes rather Visions of the Heavens instead of giving them.
  • Captains may no longer infinitely renew their acquaintance with the Blind Bruiser.
  • The Dismal Chamberlain will no longer attend funerals when his personal circumstances preclude it.
  • Your journal will no longer incite you to export Sapling-Knots or Verdant Encouragement from the Nature Reserve if they can no longer be procured there.
  • Hybras may now always be put to new purpose even if your captain died after finding it abandoned. (If this affected your game, selecting any branch on the Hybras Deserted storylet will put things right.)
  • Dying at a certain point in the Fatalistic Signalman's story will no longer prevent future captains from pursuing it.
  • It is no longer possible to get something for nothing when experimenting with alchemy in the Shapeling Vats.
  • Captains who stand for Parliament in Worlebury-juxta-Mare will no longer be thrown out of the port afterwards.
  • The Deathless will no longer set impossible deadlines when asking you to smuggle Starshine.
  • After completing the Amenable Host's quest, future captains will now still be able to interact with him at Magdalene's (unless he has in fact gone somewhere else).
  • Captains will now have permanent backstage access to Magdalene's so long as one captain in their lineage has discovered the Amenable Host's identity.
  • Getting caught with contraband at Albion will no longer result in instant transportation to a relay.
  • Captains who pay the Chrysanthemum Price will no longer receive a sudden windfall of Visions of the Heavens.
  • The Illusive Forged Companion's magic show will now leave an appropriate impression upon your crew.
  • A chorus of devils for the Well of the Wolf may now be gathered only once per legacy activity.
  • Only spider-sweepers may sweep the well.
  • There should be fewer printing errors in the Song of the Sky.
  • As usual, many typos have been corrected.

Other fixes
  • Segments should now always spawn correctly when entered.
  • Linux users will now see their own captain's avatar instead of the default one.
  • Randomly generating an avatar will now correctly select a random brow.
  • Must events will no longer delay other must events from firing.
  • Branch previews will no longer include rogue quotation marks.
  • Branch previews now display a single sentence rather than the entirety of the branch text.
  • Selecting branches with difficulty challenges will no longer cause the result text to draw downwards before snapping to the top of the storylet interface.
  • Speaking to officers or closing the storylet panel when outside of ports will no longer result in a The Sky area interface.
  • Players will no longer see a blank Leadbeater and Stainrod storylet before branches load.
  • The bank button is now greyed out at ports where it is unavailable.
  • The bazaar is no longer available at most platforms.
  • Bazaar item tooltips are now formatted correctly.
  • Equipped items for which you no longer meet the requirements are now clearly marked on the hold panel.
  • Blast damage is now displayed on mine and rocket tooltips.
  • The armour tooltip now displays your base hull instead of your current hull.
  • Tooltips will no longer run over the edge of the screen.
  • Tooltips on the character progression screen now show correct quality values.
  • It is no longer possible for equipment icons to become stuck on the screen.
  • Locomotive names will no longer overlap on the hold interface when inheriting a Spatchcock.
  • Hull and Crew will no longer overflow on the hold interface when the font size is set to large.
  • Quest icons are now aligned correctly in the quality result text.
  • The Something Dark chart icon in Eleutheria is now replaced with something more specific once the player draws close to them.
  • Investigating Curator's Eggs, Bully's Acres and Wrecks may now sometimes reveal enemies.
  • Discoveries that have been fully exploited will no longer be marked on the chart again if you voyage close to them.
  • Homesteads now display the appropriate animation after interaction.
  • Discoveries will now never spawn on top of each other.
  • Agents will now never spawn underneath discoveries.
  • Damage visuals are now removed from agents if their health recovers.
  • Scouts no longer discover platforms in the Blue Kingdom when traversing the Reach. (Unfortunately, a consequence of this fix is that players who have actually visited platforms in the Blue Kingdom will now need to rediscover them; until then, they won't show up on the chart.)
  • Discovery icons on the chart will now always be the correct size when zooming out.
  • Scouts now have additional messages.
  • Mining sky-rocks in Eleutheria will no longer result in messages implying that the player is in the Reach.
  • The Blue Kingdom chart is now correctly aligned in relation to the player.
  • Players will now see the loading screen when using transit relays, rather the region's skybox.
  • When loading a save, the title screen artwork no longer fades back in before transitioning to the loading screen.
13 comments Read more

February 15

Post-launch patch: 50+ fixes

Hello! This week we have another patch with more than 50 fixes. Among other things, we've resolved various UI issues and controller annoyances, and also reduced the number of accidental spiders, which we're told is a good thing. The full change list is included below.

We're currently working on a major update that will be out in the next month or two, as we announced earlier in the week; and we'll also be releasing further patches with fixes and other improvements in the interim.


Bug fixes
  • The close button on the bazaar interface is now aligned correctly.
  • The denominator is now visible in the bazaar and shop interfaces on 4k monitors.
  • Direction tokens now display correctly in tooltips and quality results.
  • The hinterlands of Lustrum hold many hazards, but invisible rocks near Salomé's Fall are no longer among them.
  • The bazaar interface will now correctly display cargo capacity after the player fulfils a prospect.
  • The tutorial hint for reaching maximum hold capacity now fires when it should.
  • A level up indicator is once again displayed on the captain's portrait when they are ready to select a new facet.
  • Closing the centre panel will no longer cause the game to freeze temporarily after loading a save.
  • Having a stat above 100 no longer prevents captains from using locomotive equipment.
  • Dodging will no longer cause the player to take damage when attempted at the exact moment the locomotive overheats.
  • The engineyard interface now updates when cargo is jettisoned.
  • Qualities you no longer possess are now not displayed on the possessions and profile panels, instead of being displayed with a level of zero.
  • Scrolling now works properly on the chart interface when using a 4k monitor and at the outskirts of a region.
  • The opening animation will no longer repeat if you die before character creation.
  • The Horror icon has been removed from the Well of Wonders.
  • Titania's special prospects now provide more suitable rewards.
  • Area names no longer overflow the area list on centre panels.
  • Movement instructions at the beginning of the game now mention cruise control.
  • The escape key once again closes the options menu while on the title screen.

Controller fixes
  • Controller prompts no longer appear on interfaces when no gamepad is connected.
  • There is now an appropriately located controller prompt for re-opening the centre panel while docked.
  • Focus is now maintained on the tutorial interface.
  • Tooltips are now displayed on the character progression interface.
  • A feedback message is now given when attempting to equip officers and items while not docked.
  • Trying to equip an item without meeting its stat requirements now results in appropriate feedback.
  • Locomotive slot highlighting for equipped items is now clearer.
  • It is now possible to cancel out of equipping an item.
  • Interacting with interfaces after closing the chart will no longer sometimes cause your scout to set forth.
  • Closing side panels will no longer remove focus from a centre panel.
  • It is now possible to jettison items more than once while outside of ports.
  • Pressing B within story branches to view branch requirements no longer closes the centre panel.

Content fixes
  • The Clay Conductor's storyline may now always be completed, even if it requires him to be forthright about his feelings.
  • The Heart-Catchers will now charge for their services.
  • A Spider-Sweeper may now always sweep the well, as is proper.
  • Skilled captains may no longer rinse the occupants of Langley Hall for their money via repeated games of cards.
  • Captains will no longer accidentally stumble upon spiders at Langley Hall. Let it be known that Langley Hall is almost certainly not inhabited by spiders.
  • The Unseen Queen will now reliably acknowledge your victory over a foe in a clocktower.
  • Delivering the Sequencer's care package to Worlebury-juxta-Mare will no longer trigger an incongruous opportunity to deliver it to London.
  • If you didn't share a moment with the Eccentric before completing her storyline, you may now do so.
  • Sabotaging the activities of the Parsimonious Chairman will now conclude properly and result in a suitable reward.
  • Temporarily backing out of a certain act when pursuing the Truth ambition will no longer make it impossible to complete.
  • If Lord Rochester invites you to race to Titania, he will now actually turn up.
  • The New Street Line story now provides more accurate directions as to the location of someone you need to meet.
  • Captains who come down with a High Wilderness ailment will now always receive the one they should receive, and no other.
  • It is no longer possible to impose statis on Hybras by dying at a certain point in the port's storyline. (If this has affected your game, performing any action at Hybras will resolve the problem.)
  • Backing out of your own funeral will no longer forever bar you from receiving funerary rites.
  • Rubbery Passengers will now only board your locomotive if you meet the requirements to convey them to their destination.
  • A certain canine mascot will now wreak havoc a little less often, but also select the target of its affection with more determination.
  • Defeating the final champion in a certain hidden ambition will now cause your journal to be updated correctly.
  • Viewing the contents of a supply cache without actually taking any will no longer make you a debtor in the eyes of the Burrower Below and your crew.
  • Returning to the Wreck of the Boatman will now never result in incongruous messages.
  • The correct number of Experimental Modifications will now be deducted when acquiring a bathysphere.
  • Successful mushroom foraging at Hybras will no longer give your captain food poisoning.
  • Cricket matches are now a little less soothing.
  • As usual, many typos have been laid to rest.
18 comments Read more


“The great joy of Failbetter's latest is once again the ghoulish inventiveness of the writing and setting, though it's helped along in Skies by more accessible world design, relatively generous earning mechanics and some truly decadent background art. ESSENTIAL.”

“This is a game about stories that has a knack of producing really good ones - when you're doing well, and especially when you're doing badly.”
9 – EDGE

“The sharpest writing around, wrapped inside a surprising adventure that’s tough but rarely unfair. Failbetter’s finest hour.”
90% – PC Gamer

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 7
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 2Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 4500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 2Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+, SteamOS+
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 2Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible

What Curators Say

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