LONDON HAS TAKEN TO THE STARS! As the captain of a spacefaring locomotive you’ll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the furthest heavens. Stake your claim. Fight to survive. Speak to storms. Murder a sun. Face judgement.


Sunless Skies is a 2D, top-down, story-led game of exploration, corruption and jeopardy from Failbetter Games.

Coming to Steam and GOG in Early Access/Games in Development in summer 2017. If you’d like to know more about our production schedule, check out our development roadmap!

Animated Header

The rails fall away. The Wilderness is wide before us. “Where to?” asks the Navigator.


Sunless Skies tells the story of one possible future of the Fallen London Universe. Ten years have passed since Sunless Sea, and Queen Victoria has led an exodus from London to the heavens. There, a revitalised British Empire – ambitious and authoritarian – begins to expand across the skies.


The High Wilderness is space, but not as we know it.


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. An opportunistic Victorian Empire is colonising the domains they leave behind, painting its industrial vision upon the fabric of the heavens.

Despite the deaths of stars, the Wilderness is not dark or empty. It is harried by strange winds, coiled with mists, and traversed by improbable beasts.

Who are you, in the dark?


In Sunless Skies, you will leave your mark on the universe, and be marked in return. When you are creating your captain, every decision is a story, and every story has a consequence.


Choose your origin: were you a cunning street urchin, a condemned scientist, or a starving poet? The first favours the skill of Veils, used to deceive and evade. The last increases the skill of Hearts, used to convince and endure.

Your decision will also affect your Affiliations: the circles you move in. Do you surround yourself with well-bred society? Or do you prefer the company of more honest villains?

Choose your Ambition and set your own victory condition for the game. Perhaps you want to retire to a life of luxury, or chart the farthest corners of the Wilderness. Perhaps you will not rest until you have won a throne of your own.

As your captain increases in power you’ll choose new Facets. In addition to affecting your skills, each Facet reveals more about your past. Did you learn the importance of subtlety because of a Feud with your Mentor? Do you still bear the scars of the Battle of the Horizon?

Sometimes, your accomplishments in the game will unlock new Facets. Perhaps you will become the Hero of New Winchester, or a Bloody-Handed Murderer of Suns.



The vessel with which you’ll brave the heavens is a (distant, more sophisticated) relative of the steam-powered locomotives that once thundered through the British countryside. Its plating protects you from the killing cold of the High Wilderness. Its engines devour the endless leagues of the sky.

Accumulate enough money, and you can buy a new vessel, something more attuned to your particular tastes. Something nimble, perhaps, that packs a punch? Or something built for distance, with plenty of cargo space?

Fight to survive

The High Wilderness is unconcerned with your tiny life and the lives of your crew. 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 mutiny and death.


It is not safe in the skies. A captain will need to defend themselves against pirates, scorn-flukes, the Cyst of Faces, and worse.

Combat takes place in real time, and requires tactical positioning and planning. Fortunately, you have at your disposal an array of the finest locomotive-mounted weaponry Victorian ingenuity can devise.

Harry your enemies with a fusillade from the popular Caminus Yards ‘Brassraven’, or fire a round from the less reliable (but profoundly satisfying) Leadbeater & Stainrod ‘Pachyderm’.

The skies are dangerous.

Arriving at the major port in each region will save your game and your progress up to that point. If you set off to explore a new area and die before making port, you’ll be reset to the last major port you visited.


Be warned, though – a captain’s actions are not erased when they die. Many of the effects you’ve had on the world are remembered, and the achievements and follies of your earlier captains may haunt those that follow.

The Failbetter Games Podcast

Latest news

Enriching the Reach: GANYMEDE
Jun 20, 12:00am

Now that we’ve spent some sprints building the Reach, GANYMEDE is where we begin adding flesh to the skeleton we’ve constructed. Art have continued their construction of ports, officers, locomotives and worked on improving the docking platforms. The content team outlined the next area of the High Wilderness: Albion. Tech have been busy implementing wrath, […]

Read more

Populating the Reach: FORTUNE
Jun 6, 12:00am

Our latest sprint FORTUNE continues the work of populating the Reach! Both character creation and character progression specs have been designed. Meanwhile, Tech was focused on finalising the storylet service, a fundamental piece of code which enables the player to interact with stories in-game. Both Art and Content have been continuing their work on filling […]

Read more

Sunless Skies Closed Alpha
May 23, 12:00am

In order to help us find and fix bugs during Sunless Skies development, we will be holding a closed alpha, beginning 5th June! GOALS This alpha will help us find technical bugs and discover initial player experience within the framework of Sunless Skies. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT If you are interested in being involved with […]

Read more