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Building the ultimate pirate ship in Skull and Bones

Building the ultimate pirate ship in Skull and Bones

Written by Eric Hauter on 3/31/2024 for PC   PS5   XSX  
More On: Skull and Bones

There are games that I enjoy, and there are games that I love. Then there are occasion live service games that I obsess over. Once about every four or five years, I let myself fall into a sort of hypnotized love with a game, to the point where I think about it day and night. I play these games way too much, for way too long. I research online the best ways to optimize my time. I make spreadsheets. I wake up in the middle of the night, get out of bed, and go play, because as soon as the thought of the game enters my mind, I know I won't be going back to sleep. And eventually, after a few months, I come to my senses and walk away.

The list of these games is short, but distinguished. Everquest, World of Warcraft, DC Universe Online, Red Dead Online, Fallout 76, and now Skull and Bones. And while I'm not quite ready to walk away from Skull and Bones, I can tell that the time is drawing near. I've almost achieved my "perfect" build, and once that's done there will be no more worlds to conquer.

I say "almost achieved", because there are still a few elements I'm working towards. But at this point, I feel like the ship I've put together is pretty top tier (at least until Skull and Bones drops its next season). I've spent a lot of time gathering the materials and currencies needed to get this far, and I thought I would share my current build as a way of celebrating my achievements so far in the game. Skull and Bones is definitely my most-played game of this young year, which is surprising given the game's lukewarm reception (haters gonna hate) and the long list of other prestigious bangers that have arrived in the first three months of 2024. But hey, you never know what is going to grab onto you and not let go, and for me this year, that's playing pirates.

So, without further delay, here's what I'm currently rocking in my current build:

Ship: Hullbreaker Brigantine

My first major project in Skull and Bones after the first getting-to-know-you period was to get the plans and materials to build a Brigantine. This ball-buster of a ship is able to ram other vessels and cause massive flooding damage. I'm able to pretty much kamikaze into any ship up to level 4 (and sometimes level 5) and watch them explode just from the impact of my ship on theirs. It is wildly satisfying. 

You can get the plans for the Brigantine from the Corrupt DMC Officer at the Ruined Lighthouse base in the East Indies for around 16,000 silver. Getting the materials to build the ship is another matter entirely. Once you have the plans in place, use the game's handy-dandy in-game guide to figure out where to get some of the rarer stuff. I'm afraid that I had to resort to grinding a few levels in the current battle pass to get the Torsion Springs though - now I've got them coming out my ears, but at that point in the game I was far to weak to get them any other way. 

Armor: Black Prince

For armor I'm using the Black Prince, which can be bought from the Helm Black Market for 450 Sovereigns. No way around this one - you've got to engage with the endgame Pieces of Eight grind festival to earn Sovereigns, which are granted for completing Pieces of Eight activities. Beyond being a solid bit of armor, the Black Prince has a perk known as "Resolute", which lowers incoming damage by 50% when your HP are below 33%. Essentially, if you are dying, pushing you across that line is twice as difficult. 

The Black Prince is not my end-all be-all endgame armor, though. I'm currently grinding my way through endless Sea Monster fights to earn enough monsterous teeth to buy the Ouroboros armor. This armor can be purchase from the homie on Lenitra outpost for the low price of 50 teeth for the plan (and another four teeth to build the thing). I can solo Zamaharibu easily, but he will only spawn once a day for each player, and he only drops between two and four teeth each time you take him down, so it's slow going. I should have my Ouroboros in mid-April.

Bow: Scurlock's Long Nines

On the bow I'm rocking Scurlock's Long Nines, a set of canons that have the longest range in the game. Though they only do mid-tier base damage, they have some great perks that make them worth seeking out. Tearing II does an extra 50% damage when hitting sails, and Mast Breaker deals 7000 damage once Torn Sails has been applied, so it makes for a nice one-two punch. Piercing III adds 30% damage as piercing damage, and increases damage to weak points by 100%. So yeah, I can often take out enemies before they can even get in range to shoot back.

To get Scurlock's Long Nines, you've got to fully engage with the Helm supply/crafting loop, which will cost you quite a bit of silver and a few zillion Pieces of Eight. You basically have spend several thousand Pieces of Eight to increase your Helm rating to the point where you can produce Gold Skull Rum - which costs two White Skull Rum to make. The cannons cost 1000 Gold Skull Rum, so you have to procure enough sugar cane to make 2000 White Skull Rum, then use that to make the Gold Skull Rum. It's a project, but the cannons are worth it in the end. 

Starboard: Rahma's Legacy

On the starboard side of my ship, I've got Rahma's Legacy, which are pretty much the best torpedoes in the game. I've seen a lot of folks putting torpedoes on the stern of their ship, which would be a huge mistake in this case. From the stern you only get to fire two torpedoes, but on the side you can fire four at once. Rahma's Legacy has a perk called Cataclysmic, which deals increasing damage for each simultaneous hit. Four torpedoes = an enormous amount of damage, if you can land them all.

Rahma's Legacy is basically Rahma's equivalent of Scurlock's Long Nines, except you have to pay in Black Lotus Opium, which can only be made by spending two Blue Lotus Opiums. It is essentially the same grind, and I recommend pursuing both of Rahma's and Scurlock's weapons at the same time. Just grab as many poppies as you can while you are gathering sugar cane, and keep production moving at both main bases until you have enough of each currency. 

Port: Zamzama III

On the port side, I'm rocking Zamzama III's, which are short distance cannons that set everything on fire with an added 20% of damage as Burning Damage. I got the blueprint for 2800 Pieces of Eight in the Sainte Anne black market. These require Wyrm's Breath and a Precision Drilling Bit to craft, which can be tough to get. Luckily, I had both the warehouse, so I was able to build them quickly and easily. 

Stern: Carronade

On the stern I have Carronades, which I got from grinding the smuggler's pass. They are good canons, and I'm considering swapping them around with the Zamzamas, just because they have a longer range. They have two perks - Flooding 1, which adds 10% of damage as Flooding damage, and Riptide, which adds 50% of damage as Severe Damage when the target is flooded. The Carronades aren't particularly flashy, but they pack a hell of a punch.

Auxiliary: Mortar III

For my auxiliary weapon, I'm currently using the Mortar III while I save up to get the plans for the Leopold III. Both weapons are capable of delivering a massive pile of damage within a wide range, but Leopold III has stats that are ever so slightly higher. Either way, I'm using these primarily while I'm plundering bases. Aimed correctly, you can drop a mortar on several incoming vessels at once, often saving you the bother of fighting at all. It's also stellar for taking down towers.

Furniture: Rope Locker

The last thing I want to mention is my Rope Locker, which I'm using as my major furniture. This gives a huge boost to acceleration when you activate trim at full Stamina. I don't know if I will ever give it up, frankly, as it is wildly useful for avoiding incoming mortar and rockets. As soon as the red circle shows up on your ship, just trim the sails and your boat scoots right out of the line of fire. 

My other furniture is less substantial, though I should probably call out the Maintenance Forge, which repairs major damage while out of combat. This saves me endless trips to port to repair that annoying red damage that you pick up in battle, as it ticks quickly away while I float merrily around. Well worth a shot if you haven't tried it.

And that's it for my current build. I would guess that I have probably spent about 40 hours or so happily putting it together, and as I noted, I'm still not done. I'm having a blast with Skull and Bones, and there are definitely a lot of others out there doing the same. I didn't realize how many level 12 ships were in the wild, but as soon as I hit 12, the game started loading me into servers with others of the same level, and there seem to be quite a few. 

Though I'm going to walk away for a while after I complete my ultimate build, I will definitely be checking back on Skull and Bones when the next season drops. This game is much deeper and more fun than a lot of folks gave it credit for. I'm having a blast playing pirate, especially now that I can blow most enemies out of the water with ease. The more I play, the more I love it, which means I'm going to have to stop soon. The addiction is real, folks. 

Skull and Bones is now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. There is almost always a free trial that will let you play the first eight hours and carry your progression over if you decide to purchase the full game. 

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

Howdy.  My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids.  During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories.  I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 and PS VR2 to my headset collection.  I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.

My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then.  I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep.  Currently, I play on Xbox Series X, Series S, PS5, PS VR2, Quest 3, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, (RIP Stadia) and a super sweet gaming PC built by John Yan.  While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.

When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect. I also co-host the Chronologically Podcast, where we review every film from various filmmakers in order, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow me on Twitter @eric_hauter, and check out my YouTube channel here

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