Skull and Bones’ next closed beta is next week, and there’s no NDA

Ubisoft is running another closed beta for its upcoming swashbucklin’ adventure, Skull and Bones.

Setting sail at 3am UK time on 25th August (4am CEST; 7pm PT on 24th August in the US) and running until the 28th, the beta is only available on PC via Ubisoft Connect and is by invitation only.

Skull and Bones – Worldwide Gameplay Reveal.

The beta test invites you to discover the red isle and the coast of Africa, wherein you’ll find the pirate den of Sainte Anne, which is “ruled by John Scurlock, the local Kingpin”. Here you’ll be able to interact with other players and NPCs, level up your weapons, ships, and equipment, as well as access your loot in your warehouse.

Players are invited to explore the areas as much as possible to discover “hidden areas where you can drop your anchor to stock up on ammunition or interact with vendors to fulfil contracts or buy rare items” but be sure to do it in an orderly way – go off course, and your crew will grow mutinous.

“As you find your sea legs in the world of Skull and Bones, the most direct path forward will be main campaign contracts,” Ubisoft explains. “These contracts will act as a guide as you build your reputation and discover more about the world. We highly encourage you to go off the beaten path and forge your pirate adventure!”

Skull and Bones closed beta
Image credit: Ubisoft

In the beta, you’ll get to play and experience the main campaign contracts up to the “Exterminate the Rat” mission, but the developer stops short of detailing how many contracts will be available altogether. You’ll also be able to raise your level to the Buccaneer Infamy Tier, after which you should find some exciting rewards in your in-game mailbox.

Side missions, repeatable contracts, bounty contracts, and world events are also available.

Interestingly, the beta is not under NDA, so participants can talk openly about their adventures as well as stream them. So if all that shivers your timbers, get involved and apply for Ubisoft’s Insider Program, “an on-going live testing initiative where selected players play different iterations of the game in real conditions”.

Skull and Bones closed beta
Image credit: Ubisoft

If you’re selected to participate in the Skull and Bones Closed Beta, you’ll receive an invitation and the ability to invite up to two pals to join you. Invited friends will also need a registered Ubisoft Connect account.

Originally revealed back at E3 2017, Skull & Bones – which is being developed by Ubisoft Singapore – was initially due to release on Xbox, PS4, and PC sometime the following year. However, it’s been subject to several delays, once in 2018 and another in 2019. Then in Q2 2021, we learned the pirate game was then expected to launch at some point during its 2022-2023 financial year – which ends in March 2023. And then it was delayed again.

After plenty of rumours and speculation about the long-anticipated pirate game – which underwent “extensive reworking” a couple of years back – it was slated to set sail last November on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox… and then it was delayed again. Right now, the release window is no more specific than “2023-2024”.

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