SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (11) - 81% of the 11 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (71) - 80% of the 71 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

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 would like to work with players once again to shape Sunless Skies.

Opening the game to players in Early Access will provide us with crucial feedback to help us create a game that's delicious, delightful, and dangerous. With Sunless Sea, you helped us discover what type of combat worked, what accessibility features were necessary and how much cannibalism truly meant to you.

We still feel there’s plenty of lessons to learn, and hope you’re excited to help us craft the most exhilarating way to propel through space in a locomotive, kill a sun and much much more. Though to be absolutely clear, we’re looking for those people who don’t mind playing a game at an early state to help us sort out bugs and mechanics. If you’re looking for a fully polished, bug-free game, we wholly recommend you wait until our full release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We currently expect to release a finished version in September 2018.

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 will only include one of the four game regions: the Reach. As development continues, other regions will be added to the game. Regions consists of a host of new places to explore, including a large number of new stories, art, music, enemies and mechanics.

Gameplay-wise, a basic, though broad, mechanical basis for the final game will be available from the start of Early Access: a lot of our design will be in, though there will be much to iterate on. You’ll be able to explore the skies, dock at ports, interact with stories, fight and die.

Throughout development we will release updates that add polish and add more complexity to the mechanics you see at launch. We’ll also of course be adding more locomotives, ports, sky-beasts, loot, equipment, discoveries, wrecks, characters, and stories.

We also expect to add more accessibility features as we get closer to the final release.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Players currently have access to the two biggest regions of the game: Albion and the Reach, which make up a little over half of the finished game. Two further regions, Eleutheria and the Blue Kingdom, will come later.

Players can experience a variety of base mechanics they’d expect to find in a Failbetter Game, such as Hunger, Terror, character creation, combat, exploration, trade, a legacy system and many, many stories. As we continue to develop the game these systems will be added to and improved upon. 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 a good state.”

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

“Our current 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?

“We cannot wait to let you loose amongst the stars! The feedback we received during the Early Access period of Sunless Sea absolutely made the game what it is today and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on Sunless Skies. Through development we will be looking for your feedback on all aspects of the game.

We have a dedicated Sunless Skies bug report/feedback email ( and will of course be 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 and our FBG podcasts on Twitch.”
Read more

Buy Sunless Skies


Recent updates View all (45)

June 7


Skyfarers, in this update you’ll find a plethora of additions that embellish roleplay within Sunless Skies! This build also features:
  • Updates to Character Creation
  • A new Ambition
  • New Origins and now Deeds
  • 3 new Officers
  • 4 new Mascots
  • A slew of new locomotive weapons and equipment
  • An interesting new twist on our FBG Podcasts!

And some extra news:The Blemmigan Gallivanter, one of the three blemmigans achieved during the Sunless Skies Kickstarter is now available in Sunless Sea!

New character origins have been added: you can now play a priest, a revolutionary, a zee-captain, and an ex-Auditor of the Ministry of Public Decency!

The whole Character Creation process has received a significant visual upgrade - everything is now much prettier and clearer, with lashings of gorgeous art. As requested by our Early Access players, you can now also cycle through your avatar's appearance options using a button rather than using the dropdown menu.

There are a few new pieces of headwear to select from within the cameo creation, and a whole new section dubbed 'Attire' which features full-body outfits such as the diving suit.

Levelling up your character has also received a substantial visual upgrade. We hope you'll find the process more pleasant and evocative!

We've also added more than a dozen new facets to develop your character. You can now choose to have been one of the first brave souls to enter the sky, to have fought at the Blockade of New Winchester, or to have received a foretelling of your own death!

Every origin now has a unique facet to develop its story: Auditors can choose why they were fired from the Ministry, for example, while priests can decide what happened when they suffered a crisis of faith.

This update also includes our first two 'deeds' - character facets that are only unlocked by experiencing certain circumstances while playing. Part of the fun of these is in discovering them, so we'll keep what they are and how they're unlocked a secret for now. Perhaps a small hint, though: one of them is called 'A Narrow Escape.'

An extensive new Ambition is now available! The Song of the Sky is a grand tale of fame and its pursuit, written by Harry Tuffs.

The Song of the Sky looms in your mind, a half-finished monument.

Unlike the Sunless Sea version of this ambition, the Song of the Sky isn't just about achieving fame; it's about actually writing the story you leave behind, the creative decisions you make while doing so, and the pitfalls of publishing it.

It's not enough to merely accomplish great deeds - you must ensure they are portrayed in a manner that does them justice! What better way than to write them yourself? Will you create a romantic adventure or a searing expose? Are you the hero, or merely the witness? Is it a story of glory or of horror? Deal with an Omnivorous Publisher. Fall afoul of the Ministry of Public Decency. Write your legend!

As you may have read, Kieron Gillen has joined the list of exceptional Sunless Skies guest writers and has written an exquisite and horrifying journey with an Incognito Princess!

Other officers becoming available in this update include the fiercely competent (and fiercely adorable) Rat Brigade and the brooding Repentant Devil, written by James Chew and Emily Short, respectively. Our next build in July will also introduce the Incautious Driver.

You may find them milling about both The Reach and Albion. As officer stories stretch across multiple regions, not all these stories can currently be completed - but as the game expands, more of them will open up.

It is now the Perfect Pangolin’s true time to shine - new mascots have arrived! Though, you’ll have to wait to meet our Perfect Pangolin in Eleutheria.

Alongside her Magnificence, the other more available mascots include the Kickstarter-exclusive Obviously Delicious Rabbit, as well as the Inadvisably Big Dog, and the Useless Cat. The canine and feline mascots can be picked up at certain locations depending on your stats.

Locomotive equipment has received a substantial overhaul, with stats, requirements and costs changing. About a dozen new pieces of equipment have been added, including the Wit & Vinegar Winch and Pully, Lamellared Sky-Steel plating, a Gleaming Galley, and Sensible Plumbing.

All the locomotives now handle differently, from the lumbering Pellinore to the nimble Parzival, which rewards the skilled player with precious maneuverability in a fight.

You'll also find two new locomotive models available:the Agravain-class juggernaut (a lighter, more versatile version of London's dreadnoughts), and the Medea-class destroyer (an experimental engine, the product of exiled genius). The Agravain is available immediately, but you'll have to wait for the next build for the Medea, as it lies in Eleutheria.

Higher-tiered levels of the shotgun, rapid-fire and project weapons are now available! Shoot your enemies with even more efficiency and power. We recommend the Cotterell & Hathersage Golgonooza:

"What immortal hand or eye, dare frame thy fearful symmetry?" The pride and terror of Cotterell & Hathersage, colloquially known as 'the Finisher'. Its recoil is never forgotten by those who fire her. The opinion of those fired upon is best sourced through a good medium.

Mark your diaries for upcoming terror and dread, as our next build release will be Eleutheria, the third region of the High Wilderness! In Mid-July expect a whole new spooky region to explore; new, nightmarish agents, and improved survival mechanics (you'll need them).

This FBG Podcast we’re trying something different! Join us on FuzzyFreaks’ channel Friday 8th June at 13:30 BST, where she’ll be trying out the latest build. A few of us will be on voice chat and we’re sure many other Failbetterers will tag along in the Twitch chat too! Fuzzy often streams for 6+ hours too, so there’s plenty of chances to catch the stream live.
3 comments Read more

June 7

Patch Notes - (7th June 2018)

Build Version:
Release Date: 07/06/2018
Known Issues

What's New
The first batch of new officers have been released and you can now talk to them and assign them to benefit from their stat boosts. Assigning an officer can only be done when docked. Open the officer's interface on the navigation bar and click the little circle next to their icon. The cap icon will show when they have been successfully assigned. You can talk to your officers either by clicking on their icon within the officer's interface, or on the officer HUD in the top right of the screen.
New on the scene are the Incognito Princess, the Repentant Devil and the Rat Brigade, all with their own storylines and ambient messages which fire as you approach ports and various discoveries. Existing Officers like the Inconvenient Aunt and Fatalistic Signalman have also received updates and expansions to their storylines. The Incautious Driver and Clay Conductor's storylines will be available in a future build.
Mascots are also available in this update. The Obviously Delicious Rabbit is available for our Kickstarter backers and the Useless Cat and Inadvisably Big Dog can now be acquired. The Perfect Pangolin has also been deployed but since she is obtained at a port in Eleutheria you'll need to wait for the next update to get your hands on her. Similarly the Blemmigan Voyager will be released in a future update. Like officers, all mascots offer stat boosts when equipped and can be interacted with.
Character Creation
We've jazzed up the character creation screen. Not only has it received a new background and icons but there are now four new Origins and a new Ambition: The Song of the Sky.
This update to the character creation screen does not include additional character attributes (e.g. noses, chins, brows, etc.) but it does include two new 'hats' - a turban and a hijab for our Sikh and Muslim communities respectively.
Character Progression
We've also spruced up the Character Progression screen. In the last update we added a few additional Facets and now there are even more to choose from as you level up your captain.
Victory Screen and Heirlooms
We now have the Victory screen in place for when you complete your Ambition, which is very similar to the legacy screen when you die and create a new captain. After successfully completing your Ambition, your successor will receive everything that a new captain would after the death of an old one, only they will not have a piece of equipment removed and they will receive a very prestigious Heirloom quality. Heirlooms will be displayed in your Possessions interface. Have fun collecting them all!
Headlights can now be toggled on and off (L on the keyboard, controller support coming soon). Turning your headlight off will cause your current rate of Terror gain to double. Toggling your headlight will have more implications in later builds.
The chart now has an expandable legend. The regions have been separated and scrolling away from the centre of your current region is limited, but you can toggle between regions using the arrows on the legend.
Wrath and Health Feedback
In the last update we added the wrath crescent, a little arc of red light that pulses and indicates the direction of an agent that has taken a dislike to you. We've also added some additional wrath feedback mechanics in this build. All mechanical agents now have white lights along their hull and when you invoke their wrath they go to red alert! Organic agents emit a red aura of rage.
All agents now have health feedback too. Mechanical agents will start to smoke when they reach 50% health and will go on to catch fire at 25%. Organic agents start to spew 'blood' particles at 50%, which gets worse at 25%.
There's a new locomotive available at London: the Agravain. The Altani has been removed from London and added to a port in Eleutheria for lore reasons. You'll be able to get your hands on it again once our third region is released.
We've also altered the movement parameters of all the available locomotives so that they handle differently. While all locomotives share the same maximum speed, some like the Bedivere will reach that top speed much quicker than other locomotives. Some like the Parzival have a lower skid suppression so are a bit harder to handle, but are much nippier in battle. Others are steadier but don't take corners quite as quick. We hope you have fun finding the perfect locomotive for your needs and that you'll leave us feedback on the forums.
We've added a bunch of new equipment, available at New Winchester and London, along with higher tier weapons!
Higher tier equipment, weapons and scouts now have quality requirements. If requirements have been added to items that you have equipped on your existing save game, you may no longer meet the requirements. If this is the case you will not receive their bonuses after the Roleplay update, however they will not be automatically unequipped from your locomotive. Because of this you may see some unusual behaviour with your cargo number. Unequipping the item will resolve this. More details can be found here.
In the future we will implement a method for notifying players that they no longer meet the requirements for equipped items when their stats drop through storylets and other actions.
We've also tweaked equipment tooltips so that they state the locomotive slot that they can be equipped to. No more guessing when purchasing new equipment.

  • Agent movement is now halted when the chart is open.
  • Some agent's movement parameters have been tweaked, Reach Marauders are slightly faster for example.
  • All Isambard Line assets, including the signal boxes, have been updated to look dilapidated and to fit with their region.
  • Ambient messages are in place around the Isambard Line signal boxes.
  • We've made some optimisations to the interfaces in game which will improve performance.
  • The game now continues to run/load when you tab out.
  • We've reorganised some of the quality categories to tidy up the Profile and Possessions interfaces.
  • We've reduced the Gratitude cost when purchasing items like Ministry-Stamped Permits and Savage Secrets from factions like Victory Hall and the Ministry of Public decency.
  • You are now rewarded with Sovereigns on handing in port reports rather than fuel and supplies. The amount you receive has also been buffed slightly.
Bug Fixes
  • Wrath and Weather Halo mechanics will no longer cause exceptions which cause the game to freeze.
  • Dreadnought bullets now despawn and do not spam the output log with exceptions.
  • We've fixed exceptions that were fired when engaging Curators.
  • The ? chart icon now updates when the player encounters Transit Relays after being found by oblivious scouts.
  • Spectacles, Transit Relays and Persistent Discoveries are now marked with their correct icons on the chart when discovered without the aid of a scout.
  • Spectacle, Transit Relay and Persistent Discovery icons now persist on the chart after reloading the game.
  • Kickstarter backers can no longer obtain multiple Cyclopean Owls.
  • The controller instructions no longer overflow the storylet interface when UI scale is increased.
  • You can now back out of all sub-menus on the Options menu using a controller.
  • Instructional text now displays correctly on the character creation screen.
  • Highlighting on Origin choices no longer persists if selecting a different Origin on the character creation screen.
  • We have changed the wording on some origins and histories so they are less confusing on the summary panel of the character creation screen.
  • Interface tooltips are no longer tied to the cursor.
  • We've fixed the stretching in the Curator animation.
  • Label overlap on the chart has been drastically reduced.
  • Isambard Line assets are now correctly aligned on the chart.
Known Issues
Below is a list of known issues. For a full list of game issues see our Known Issues page.
  • The Altani has not been reverted to three auxiliary slots yet (and will not be available again until Eleutheria is released).
  • There are a few typos in the Officer's ambient messages.
  • The Fatalistic Signalman's ambient message for Magdalene's is firing at Polmear & Plenty's.
  • The Officer's chat interface can be opened over the top of navigation interfaces.
  • You cannot currently open navigation interfaces alongside the Officer chat interface.
  • The new Character Progression screen is affected by UI Scale.
  • Locomotive descriptions on the engine yard interface is affected by Font Scale.
  • The player's avatar is affected by UI Scale when creating a new character - if not set to defaults then the avatar will be blank.
  • The new Character Creation screen is affected by Font and UI Scale.
  • Some of the Ambition text is cut off on the Character Creation screen.
  • Icons are stretched on the Chart legend.
  • The chart does not focus on the player when it is opened in Albion for the first time.
  • Tooltips do not work on the victory screen.
  • The game fade-out and victory screen fade-in overlap.
  • The red wrath lights on mechanical agents do not turn off once they disengage/flee.
  • Red wrath lights on mechanical agents are not toggled on on secondary agents during 'wrath chaining' (e.g. when you anger a Tackety and his buddy comes over to help him fight, the lights will remain white).
  • The headlight toggle is not currently mapped to controller support.
  • The headlight toggle SFX is only in place on the Spatchcock.
  • Purchasing a new locomotive with your headlight off will cause your new ship to load with the headlight on visually, but not functionally - i.e. you'll gain double Terror while the light is 'on'. You need to turn it off and on again to restore proper functionality.
  • After purchasing a new locomotive with your headlight off you need to press L twice to turn off the headlight on your new locomotive.
As always, if you find a bug that's not on the Known Issues page then send us a quick Bug Report.
0 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“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

Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought.

It is the dawn of the 20th century, and the British Empire has taken to the stars! As the captain of a spacefaring locomotive you'll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the heavens.

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 Empire’s ambition is savage. They have built a new Sun. The Empress 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?

Learn who you are, in the dark. Die, and leave the world the way you want it for your successor...

  • Explore space as you’ve never seen it before in a giant steam-powered locomotive engine.
  • Use a bat to navigate. Survive celestial horrors and your Inconvenient Aunt.
  • A world where cricket, tea and London exist at the wild edges of Victorian space colonisation. Quail in the face of the Clockwork Sun. Master the blistering language of the stars. Lead a revolution, or uphold the edicts of Queen Victoria. Trade in barrels of time, violently fertile seeds, or human souls.
  • It is not safe in the skies. Defend yourself against pirates, scorn-flukes, the Cyst of Faces, and worse.
  • Bathe your eyes in lush 2D art: giant fungal consciousnesses, creaking steam-driven cities, icy wastes and dizzying starfields.
  • Your every foray into space is as precarious as a Polar expedition. You’ll need to balance your resources carefully and keep an eye on your crew’s Terror to avoid an exciting array of deaths.
  • Build a lineage of space captains - roguish, honest, selfish, revolutionary, upstanding, cowardly - and let their actions shape the stories you discover. Die, and pass on some of your resources to your next captain.
  • Make terrible decisions. Live with their outcomes. Will you run guns for the Independents? Or spies for the Empire? Choose wisely – your decisions will affect the fate of the region; not just for yourself, but for your future captains as well.
  • Collect a crew of officers, each with their own stories, dreams and wants.
  • Choose your captain’s term of address and customise their appearance - your character’s gender is your business.
  • Unlock mascots and scouts for your vessel: bats, birds, squid, owls.
  • Customisable settings enable you to tweak your locomotive’s movement and refine combat difficulty to find the level of challenge you require.
  • Delight in the most delicious prose in all of gaming, from the award-winning team behind cult browser game Fallen London, indie hit Sunless Sea and Dragon Age: The Last Court
  • Featuring writing by Meg Jayanth, Cassandra Khaw, Harry Tuffs, Richard Cobbett and Emily Short.
  • Sunless Skies is set in the Fallen London Universe: a deep, dark and marvellous world that we’ve been creating for eight years. In our games, hand-crafted narrative and emergent gameplay create compelling stories for your character.

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

What Curators Say

6 Curators have reviewed this product. Click here to see them.
Customer reviews
High Volume of Reviews Detected:
Exclude  or  View Only
Review Type

Purchase Type


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph

Display As:
Review Beta NEW!
When enabled, will sort reviews by new Helpfulness score. Read more about it in the blog post.
Show graph
Hide graph
Review Helpfulness Beta Enabled
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...