Sea of Thieves patch notes: A new Skeleton Fort challenge and skeleton pets

(Image credit: Rare)

Halloween is coming to Sea of Thieves with a free October content update that's now live for Xbox One and PC players. Fort of the Damned sends you on the hunt to find a fortress and partake in a Skeleton Fort challenge that will earn you massive rewards. The monthly Sea of Thieves updates have consistently brought new loot, new cosmetics, and new ways to swashbuckle on the high seas, and there's no time more appropriate for that than Halloween.

You can read the complete announcement here, but we've got a summary of the spookiest Fort of the Damned features below.

Fort of the Damned challenge

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

"Dark forces have seized Old Boot Fort, using ancient magic to bring forth an evil that transforms it into the Fort of the Damned, overrun with sinister Shadow of Fate Skeletons."

In order to conquer the Fort of the Damned, you'll need to find Ritual Skulls on Voyages, get a hold of the Flames of the Fate, and then work together to fell the Fort. Fort of the Damned is the biggest update to Skeleton Fort since its launch, and it's offering intense new challenges and rich rewards. The updates to Skeleton Fort are permanent, and will still be available to tackle after the expiration of October's free content.

Skeleton Pets (and other cool stuff)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Head to the Pirate Emporium to get your hands on a Skeleton Marmoset or Skeleton Cockatoo (why not both?). These bony little buggers are only available while the Fort of the Damned October update is live, and will head back to the underworld once November hits. 

The Pirate Emporium will also have a Killer Instinct homage in the Cutthroat Ship Collection, along with new emotes.  Duke's Black Market will get new stock, including Wild Rose clothing, Redcoat Admiral and Wailing Barnacle sets, Fearless Bone Crusher weapons, and Deep Ocean Crawler equipment. There's a new set of cosmetic rewards called Ferryman of the Damned, as well.

There's also more emergent loot on islands (including Skeleton Captains who drop a Villainous Skull and a Skeleton's Orders map), washed-up Rag and Bone Crates, and more Doubloon rewards for Reaper's Chests. 

But wait, there's more

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The Arena is no longer just for Galleons - now a two-person Sloop crew can compete against other duo crews. There are also six new contest locations, with each location offering two variations, and feature chests on Outposts for you to transport to even harder Sea Dog delivery locations.

And if you were hoping to pick up a new instrument, your wish has come true, as banjos are now available in Sea of Thieves. You'll find it on the second page of your item radial, so take that bad boy out and get to plucking. 

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Freelance writer

Jack Yarwood is an experienced freelance writer and investigative journalist, with bylines on a variety of publications which include GamesRadar+, PC Gamer, Polygon, IGN, Fanbyte, and more. Jack specializes in reporting around the tech, arts, and entertainment sectors.