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 (22) - 77% of the 22 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (665) - 80% of the 665 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 (74)

July 30

The Horn update

Hello skyfarers! We've got a small update for you today, and news of the next one.

Here's what you can expect in today's update:
  • Several creatures and locomotives have gained new attacks, improved AI, or visual updates. Here's a quick look at the new, much more menacing Scrive-Spinsters:

    More details on the specific changes are in the patch notes below.

  • A horn for your locomotive. This has, bafflingly, been the second most requested feature since launch, and the number one source of creative gifts and submissions, including a chocolate train, an actual whistle, and a slideshow:

    The horn has no gameplay effects whatsoever, but we think it sounds quite nice. You're, umm, welcome.

  • More variety for agent encounters in Eleutheria, bringing it up to the standards of the game's other regions.

  • Many other fixes and improvements – see the patch notes below for the full list.
We're also ready to announce the next major update: Hoarder.

Here's what to expect:
  • A new officer: the Chiropterous Hoarder! Recruit a winged horror of profound cunning and unreliable manners. Rumoured to have once been one of the Masters of old London, this peddlar of immortality has fallen on hard times. Take it on a macabre journey to perfect a new method of prolonging life. Perhaps you might become friends on the way. Perhaps you might become more...

  • Engine upgrades. Your locomotive will receive a new slot for engine equipment. When equipped – and when you have enough crew members to take full advantage of a superior engine – your locomotive will be able to travel faster, at a premium in fuel...

  • An opportunity to construct an additional transit relay. This will be a substantial undertaking, but once complete, it will provide captains with a quick and convenient route between two previously unconnected regions of the Skies.

  • Probably, various other features and improvements we're not ready to talk about just yet.
All being well, the Hoarder update will be with you in September. If you'd like to hear from us when it's out, you can follow us here on Steam or on Twitter, or join us on Discord. And as always, thanks for playing!

Patch notes for the Horn Update
  • Empyrean Outriders, Curators, Scrive Spinsters, Senior Scriveners and the Undeparted have had their movement and AI adjusted.
  • Scrive Spinsters and Senior Scriveners have new models and attacks.
  • The Empyrean Outrider no longer uses barrel bombs.
  • The Curator's scream attack is faster, but no longer arcs towards targets. Its close range attack has been replaced with an area-of-effect attack.
  • The Undeparted have a new attack.
  • Nearly 100 new ambient messages have been added and another 40 or so have been updated.
  • Blue Kingdom spawns have been adjusted for difficulty.
  • Some enemies in the Blue Kingdom have had their stats adjusted for balance reasons.
  • Active wells now exert gravity and damage engines that stray too close to their centre. A warning klaxon will sound if you are taking damage.
  • The Incautious Driver will no longer speak on approach to the Fragment's Refuge if they have been seconded somewhere.
  • Abandoned structures now have a chance of spawning Guest Dreadnoughts.
  • Vitrified Structures will sometimes now reward captains with Condemned Experiments.
  • Wrecks and Windswept Habitations now always display appropriate ambient messages.
  • The ambient messages for the Shadow of the Sun platform in The Blue Kingdom now appear in the appropriate location.
  • Several interaction prompts and messages on transient discoveries have been corrected.
  • Resurrectionists are no longer referred to as Grave Robbers.
  • Reach Marauders are no longer implausibly restrained when shot.
  • There are no more invisible rocks around Polmear and Plenty's.
  • The Empyrean Outrider's projectiles no longer shed hair.
  • It is no longer possible to sell more items than you possess.
  • Ratbite will now leave your engine at the end of her quest.
  • Dining with the Deathless will now properly unlock new bargains at the Most Serene Mausoleum.
  • The Ozymandias and the Orphean have now received the italics that were their due.
  • Unidentifiable Squirmings will now direct captains correctly to St Anthony's Lighthouse.
  • Captains may no longer visit the New Somerset Hunting Club if they have worn out their welcome in Port Avon.
  • Interlocutors at Regent's Tears will no longer shift identities in the middle of a conversation.
  • Several more quests are now marked complete in the journal when they should be.
  • The Collective Conclusion is now tracked under events, rather than as a quest.
  • The Researcher's Crusade is now tracked under Peculiarities rather than in the journal, since there is always something you can do for them.
  • The time before you can learn the outcome of your efforts when meeting the Researcher's requests is no longer affected by how many of them you complete.
  • A number of time delays that could be unreasonably long will now consistently last for 15 days.
  • You will no longer receive messages about changing areas.
  • There are now fewer extraneous full stops.
22 comments Read more

July 18

See you at PAX West!

We're delighted that Sunless Skies has been chosen as one of the ten best indie games of the year by the mysterious and influential PAX 10 panel!

It's a huge honour to be selected, and it means that we're able to make a rare US event appearance at PAX West in Seattle, from the 30th of August to the 2nd of September.

We'll have as many pin badges as we can cram into our suitcases. Will we see you there?
8 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 World

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

  • Four 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

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