Home Guides Sea of Thieves Skull Raid guide: Head to the skull cloud

Sea of Thieves Skull Raid guide: Head to the skull cloud

Skeleton Forts, Stronghold Keys and loot, oh my!

You may have noticed that gigantic skull cloud hovering in the air while playing Sea of Thieves. That ominous cloud marks the entrance of the game’s Skull Raid, a tough-as-nails encounter that will sap your time and energy.

Sounds like fun, eh?

Our motley Stevivor crew encountered one last night and it took 3-4 of us the better part of TWO HOURS to finally clear the Raid and take home some sweet loot. We’re now here to help you learn from our mistakes.

Here’s what to do.

Preparation is key

Do yourself a favour: stock up on all the essentials, including bananas (pirate health) cannonballs (obvious) and wooden planks (ship health). Make sure your own weaponry is fully loaded using your ship’s stores.

Last but not least, make sure you’ve got enough time to actually enter and complete the encounter. We walked away with about 15,000 Gold after cashing in the various chests and skulls we earned, so the effort’s worth it.

We’ve decided the blunderbuss is the best low-level gun to equip on your pirate. You’ll very quickly learn that you’re about to be swarmed by massive groups of skeleton baddies. That particular weapon can take out a couple baddies at once, if you’ve got decent aim.

Getting to the Stronghold

Find the skull cloud in the sky and plot a course.

As you approach the skull cloud, you’ll see the Stronghold that resides underneath it. You will be attacked by land-based cannons; avoid the fire and return it to end that attack. Ensure some of your crew is down below, repairing any damage to your ship.

Try to park your boat near the island, and near an actual entry point to the Stronghold’s centre. You’re going to be dying a lot, so a quick respawn will be invaluable.


After clearing a path to the Stronghold, get ready to fight wave after wave (after wave after wave) of skeletons. There are many different types too, including standard baddies, gold-plated ones (they’re tougher), seaweed-covered armoured baddies, ghostly types that are only vulnerable in the light of day (or with your lantern substituting actual UV rays) and eventually a Captain (aka the boss).

With the gold-plated baddies, be sure to use a nearby gunpowder barrel to take groups out with one shot. If you can lure skeletons out onto the beach, take advantage of your ship’s cannons too.

As you’re fighting the baddies, be sure to take advantage of banana stores and ammo crates that are scattered about the area. You’ll need them.

If you die — and you will — think about staggering your return to the battlefield so that you can head into the action with a friend (or two).

Cashing in

After taking out the Captain, he’ll drop a Stronghold key. Use that on the door underneath the Stronghold’s major tower and you’ll be treated to a bunch of loot.

Don’t waste time — start loading everything onto your ship and make your way to an Outpost as fast as possible — you don’t want to lose your treasures.

What other tips do you have about Strongholds, fellow pirates?

Sea of Thieves is available now on Windows PC and Xbox One.


Steve Wrighthttps://www.stevivor.com
Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.