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Type Creature
Behaviour Hostile
Location Islands & Skeleton Ships

Skeletons are the most common enemy type encountered in Sea of Thieves. These cursed undead are the crewmates of Skeleton Captains and generally rise from the ground in any area these cursed Captains can be found at.

Background[edit | edit source]

Skeletons are undead skeletal remains of cursed Pirate Crews who eternally haunt the uninhabited Islands of The Sea of Thieves ready to take down anyone who dares disturb their rest. The power of the Skeletons rests in their rank. Regular Skeletons make up the mindless dead Crew of their relatively mindless Skeleton Captains who have still managed to retain their name and title. These Skeleton Captains are more powerful than their crewmates indicated by the strength of the curse that binds their Skull and holds both them and their crew stuck in this world. Players who decide to follow Tall Tales may encounter even more powerful Skeleton Captains who are the underlings of a Skeleton Lord and have managed to retain their memory and capability of speech. Skeleton Lords on the other hand are the most powerful of the cursed Skeletons, who have obtained greater destructive powers and a command over other cursed Skeletons.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Where to find them?[edit | edit source]

Emergent Skeletons[edit | edit source]

A group of emergent Skeletons with differing arms.

The most common place to find Skeletons is as emergent spawns on any Small Islands or Large Islands. These Skeletons generally spawn in groups of 1-4 every 1-3 minutes depending on the Island's current Skeleton spawn rate. An Island's Emergent Skeleton spawn rate can be reset if the whole crew leaves the Island's title card range or is sent to the Ferry of the Damned.

Emergent Skeletons vary in difficulty depending on the Crew's active Voyage:

  • Without any Voyages, emergent Skeletons spawn with any possible Weapons. Killing a base-level Skeleton generally takes 3 Cutlass strikes, one close-range torso shot from a firearm, or one long-range shot.
  • The number, health and weaponry of skeletons generated by Bounty Voyages or Gold Hoarder Voyages scale with the level of the Voyage that spawned them, with lower level Skeletons being weaker and spawning without Weapons. Higher level Skeletons take up to 6-7 Cutlass strikes or 2-3 gunshots to kill.
  • Athena's Fortune Voyages have an increased emergent Skeleton spawn rate that can spawn in groups of up to 5-6. These Skeletons can also spawn with Stronghold Gunpowder Barrels. These Legendary Skeletons take up to 8-9 Cutlass hits or at least 3 Flintlock shots to kill.

Bounty Skeletons[edit | edit source]

Bounty Skeletons are encountered on Bounty Quests and are distinguishable from regular Emergent Skeletons by their coloured clothing, typically a bandanna or cloth eyepatch. They spawn in waves of 4 or larger and usually have a single assigned type to the whole wave (see Types of Skeletons). After several Skeleton waves are defeated (generally between 0-6 groups of Skeletons), a final wave with the named Skeleton Captains and Skeleton Crew from the Bounty Quest will appear.

Skeleton Captains and Skeleton Crew are beefier than your regular Skeletons and can spawn with any weapon apart from the Eye of Reach or Gunpowder Barrel. The Bounty Quest Skeleton Captain and Crew will drop a Bounty Skull each upon defeat. Ashen Bounty Skulls are dropped during Ashen Bounty Quests.

It takes about 6 Cutlass Combos to kill a regular Bounty Skeleton.

Fort Skeletons[edit | edit source]

Large waves of Skeletons (groups of ~10) spawn on Active Skeleton Forts. Like Bounty Skeletons, the Skeletons of a single wave spawn as a specific type (see below). These Skeletons take 6-7 Cutlass hits to kill. After 12 waves of Fort Skeletons are dealt with, Players will encounter 3 Boss waves, each Captain or Lord supported by more Skeletons.

Skeleton Ship Skeletons[edit | edit source]

Skeleton Ships come with fully equipped Skeleton Crews that keep perpetually respawning once killed. Each Skeleton Ship is helmed by a Skeleton Captain. The Skeletons on top and bottom deck of a Skeleton Galleon can be of different type from each other. These Skeletons are as strong as Skeleton Fort Skeletons, spawning with any Weapons apart from Gunpowder Barrels (Skeletons on the Crow's Nest have Eye of Reach rifles to snipe players) and take about 6-7 Cutlass hits to kill. Once a Skeleton on the crew is killed, another one will spawn in its stead within seconds. The Skeletons on the Ship's Cannons come equipped with regular Cannonballs and one type of Purple and one type of Green Cursed Cannonball. The Skeletons on lower decks can use Wooden Planks to repair any holes done to the Ship's Hull, however they cannot bail water, becoming defeated once their Ship sinks.

Types of Skeletons[edit | edit source]

A Regular Skeleton Captain, wearing fancy clothes.

Emergent Skeletons usually spawn without any clothing on them. However, ordinary Skeletons that spawn during a Bounty Voyage or a Skeleton Fortress raid wear either Brown, Red, Light Blue or Purple Bandanas and Eyepatches.

Different types of Skeletons can spawn as a part of Bounty Voyages, Skeleton Fort or Skeleton Ship spawns:

Gold Skeletons[edit | edit source]

These slow, lumbering brutes are tough and made of Gold, making them resistant against the Cutlass (any combo will be interrupted). They can be killed relatively easily with firearms, but the most effective way to dispatch of Gold Skeletons is to blow them up with a Gunpowder Barrel or a Cannonball. If a Golden Skeleton comes in contact with water (be this a body of water, a Bucket of water or Rain), they will start to rust. This is indicated by them becoming drenched in water, taking on a darker hue and starting to make creaky sounds. A rusting Gold Skeleton gets slowed down to a crawl, but still retains its bulky health.

Plant Skeletons[edit | edit source]

Plant Skeletons have a plant growth sprouting from their bodies. These Skeletons themselves are a bit weaker than your regular Skeleton counterpart with Cutlass hits being more effective in tearing apart their foliage. As a counterbalance, these Skeletons will start to heal rapidly when in contact with any water (including Rain). This effect is indicated by a "sparkling" sound and glowworms that start to surround the bodies of the Skeletons.

Shadow Skeletons[edit | edit source]

Also known as "black skeletons" or "Night skeletons", these skeletons aren't any stronger than your average Skeletons during the daytime, however as night hits, they become invulnerable to any damage. As light is their weakness, you can either wait for daytime to take them down or make them vulnerable to damage for a short while by raising a lit Lantern close to them. They appear to take 33% less damage immediately after they are stunned with the lantern. Not to be confused with the coloured Shadows of Fate Skeletons.

Gunpowder Skeletons[edit | edit source]

These skeletons are the most frustrating of the mix by introducing explosives. They emerge from the ground with a Gunpowder Barrel grasped in their hands and attempt to eliminate you by setting off the fuse of the barrel as they get close. Stronghold Gunpowder Barrel Skeletons can emergently spawn as a part of Athena's Fortune Voyages. Stronghold Shadow of Fate Skeletons can spawn during the last Fort of the Damned wave. A Skeleton with a Keg of Ancient Black Powder is guaranteed to spawn after digging up Treasure during the last Chapter of an Athena’s Run of Thieves’ Haven. Stronghold Barrel Skeletons move a lot slower than regular Gunpowder Skeletons. The Gunpowder Kegs can be Harpooned from the Skeletons, after which they will immediately die. Gunpowder Skeletons also drop their Kegs if they are killed by Firearms, but only if the bullets don't hit the keg.

Coral Skeleton[edit | edit source]

Colorful glowing skeletons that appear during Tall Tales voyages. They appear to have about as much health as normal skeletons but appear in large groups and spawn as long as the Crew is on the Island. The glow effect seems to persist only when players are within a relatively close range.

Trap Skeleton[edit | edit source]

Trap Skeletons are like Coral Skeletons, only appearing in Tall Tale voyages. They can be found at the end of The Art of the Trickster quest, emergently in Tribute Peak when The Shores of Gold quest is active and can be spawned in by The Gold Horader. They are like the Coral Skeletons, in that they are only re-skins of emergent/bounty skeletons and offer no difference gameplay wise.

Ashen Skeleton[edit | edit source]

These Skeletons glowing with burning fire used to appear during some Tall Tales voyages. However with the Crews of Rage (Content Update), they became the default Skeletons at The Devil's Roar Islands. They spawn both emergently and as waves on Molten Sands Fortress. These Skeletons have a minor resistance to Fire, taking less damage from it than other types of Skeletons.

Ancient Skeletons[edit | edit source]

With the release of the Pirate Emporium, every crew has a chance to encounter a rare Golden skeleton with its own theme song on Islands in either Adventure Mode or Arena matches. These Skeletons are blue with a bag of Ancient Coins on its back. The Skeleton will burrow back to the ground if not defeated quickly. Upon defeat, these Skeletons will reward the crew with a bundle of Ancient Coins.

Shadows of Fate[edit | edit source]

These Shadowy Skeletons were added with the Fort of the Damned (Content Update) and appear as a part of the Fort of the Damned Raid. Shadow of Fate skeletons are mostly identical to Shadow Skeletons and can be defeated in the same way, however they differ in that they come in 6 coloured versions, corresponding to each Flame of Fate Lantern flame colour. Shadow of Fate skeletons can appear as Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, White and Red. In order to defeat Shadows of Fate, a player needs to acquire a Lantern Flame of the same colour (all of them are present during a Fort of the Damned Raid in the main tower). and then raise the lantern by these Skeletons to make them vulnerable to damage. They have the same amount of health as regular Skeleton Fort skeletons, taking about 8 Cutlass hits, 2 Pistol shots, 2 Eye of Reach shots or a point blank Blunderbuss shot to kill.

A Green and Red Shadow of Fate Skeleton also appear during an Athena’s Run of Thieves’ Haven. These ones have a chance to drop a Skull of Ancient Fortune or Villainous Skull of Ancient Fortune.

Skeleton Crew[edit | edit source]

Found on Bounty Quests, these skeletons are functionally similar to Skeleton Captains but without the high ranking title of "Captain".

Skeleton Captains[edit | edit source]

Main article: Skeleton Captains

Elite skeletons with an authority-demanding hat. Much higher health than its lesser allies, appearing at the conclusion of bounty quests and Fortress raids. They can carry any weapon aside from a Gunpowder Barrel or Eye of Reach. Skeleton Captains match the type of their current wave, being capable of spawning as a Regular, Gold, Plant or Shadow Skeleton Captain. Skeleton Captains drop a Bounty Skull during a Bounty Quest, or a Vault Key during a Skeleton Fortress raid. As of the Fort of the Damned (Content Update), single Emergent Skeleton Captains of any type can spawn on Island shorelines. When defeated, they drop a Villainous Bounty Skull and a Skeleton’s Orders Quest that leads players to a Ritual Skull and other Treasure.

Skeleton Lords[edit | edit source]

Main article: Skeleton Lords

Skeleton Lords are shrewd commanders of skeletons. Cursed from their humanity, full of hatred for other pirates.

Known Skeleton Lords
Captain Warsmith
Captain Warsmith.png
Captain Warsmith, once known as Wanda the former Weaponsmith at Golden Sands Outpost, was cursed from experimenting on a cannon from Captain Flameheart's ship. She disliked business with pirates, and resented the outposts rejecting her Cursed Cannonballs.
  • Encountered during Cursed Sails captaining the Sandman's Revenge.
Captain Flameheart
Captain Flameheart.png
Flameheart, once a scholar whose writings are compiled in Tales from the Sea of Thieves. He and his crew were marooned after a fierce battle, and found a cursed goblet that turned them into skeletons.
The Gold Hoarder
The Gold Hoarder.png
The Gold Hoarder, once known as Rathbone, was consumed by greed, unwittingly cursed from sitting on a golden throne in a strange cave within the Sea Of Thieves. He is the founder of the Gold Hoarders; roaming the Shores of Gold on an endless quest for plunder.
Captain BriggsyBriggsy.png Briggsy was a legendary pirate and adventurer that sought the Shores of Gold. After finding the island, she became trapped, slowing falling under the Skeleton Curse. She's spent her time as a Skeleton Lord desperately searching for a cure to the curse.
Graymarrow is a ruthless Skeleton Lord, binding his enemies in curses to ensure they cannot return via the Ferry of the Damned. He sought the Shores of Gold, stealing a Shroudbreaker stone from the crew of the Morningstar. He would lie in hibernation in wait for more clues of the Shroudbreaker to appear.

Three additional Skeleton Lords were added with Ashen Skeleton Forts, who will be the final bosses of an active Skeleton Fort. These Skeleton Lords have the same amount of health and act identically with their only difference being their appearance:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Skeletons can also be found shooting Cannons at the Player's Ship from Forts or Islands.
  • Cannons or Gunpowder Barrels can be very effective against large groups of Skeletons.
  • During the Developer Stream on the 28th January, 2020 Twitch Streamer Dwag_Dracula asks "Has it ever been explained why Skeleton's can eat bananas?" Game Designer George Orton jokingly replies with "It mushes the banana up and stores it in its skull, and then as the banana ferments it releases gas which builds pressure and it leaks gas and that's the noise that you hear". He also makes mention saying that Mike Chapman isn't in the office so he can say whatever he wants.

Media[edit | edit source]