How To Board Enemy Ships in Skull and Bones

Abu Taher Tamim
By Abu Taher Tamim
6 Min Read

Do you want to learn the nitty-gritty about boarding in Skull and Bones? Then, here’s how to board enemy ships efficiently.

As a fearsome pirate captain sailing the seas in Skull and Bones, you know that defeating enemy ships is the key to amassing riches and infamy.

While unleashing a barrage of cannon fire to send your foes to a watery grave can get the job done, you crave more than just sinking ships. You want to capture enemy vessels intact through boarding, claiming their cargo as your own while humiliating their crew.

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Boarding requires patience and perfect timing on your part.

You must first bombard the enemy ship with cannon fire to weaken it substantially. Once you’ve battered your prey and brought it to the brink of sinking, that’s when you make your move.

Maneuver your ship alongside the crippled vessel and prepare to deploy grappling hooks. Your crew will latch onto the enemy ship if you’ve positioned yourself correctly and moved quickly enough. After reeling it in close, the enemy crew and ship are yours for the taking.

In this guide, you’ll learn when to board ships, how to board ships and advanced boarding tips to become the ultimate pirate you want to be.

When Enemy Ships Become Vulnerable for Boarding

Not just any ship can be boarded at any time during naval combat in Skull and Bones. You must first batter your target until they become weakened enough to attempt a boarding action. Here’s what to look out for:

  • The enemy ship’s health bar will start pulsing and highlight blue when reduced to around 40-20% of its total HP. This indicates the ship can now be boarded.
  • Some larger enemy ships require nearly destroying them, lowering their health to 1-2% before becoming boardable. These vessels will have a bold white border around their health bar.
  • Stop firing when the health bar enters the boardable pulsing stage. You want to avoid sinking the ship before boarding.
Low Health bar means Ship is ready for Boarding
Image Credit: Ubisoft via GameRiv

How to Position Your Ship for Boarding

Once you’ve worn down your foe enough to board, move your ship into position along their side. You’ll need to match their speed as well. Follow these tips:

  • Approach the enemy’s port or starboard side, not from the bow or stern. Your crew needs to throw grapples onto their deck and rails.
  • Get as close as you can, within 20–30 meters. You need to be near enough for the grapples to connect.
  • Avoid passing your target. You want to pull up broadside to broadside for an ideal boarding position.

How to Board Enemy Ships in Skull and Bones

Once ready to board, you need to start the grappling sequence. Here’s how to hook onto the enemy:

  • Enter aim mode as if firing cannons, but don’t shoot. Look toward the enemy ship.
  • Hit the boarding button prompt. On keyboard, it’s ‘R’. But on controllers, it varies.
  • Your crew will throw multiple grapples to the enemy deck and rigging.
  • The hooks need to visibly catch and latch on.
  • After hooking on, enjoy the quick boarding cutscene of yanking the ship in.
  • You’ll then enter the loot screen to claim your spoils. Your ship is invincible during this.
Boarding Complete in Skull and Bones
Image Credit: Ubisoft via GameRiv

Why You Should Prioritize Boarding When Possible

Compared to just sinking enemy ships in battle, going through the boarding process offers some great benefits for your growing pirate fleet:

  • Boarding nets you bonus resources and gold.
  • It defeats the enemy crew instantly.
  • You avoid draining more cannonballs and gunpowder.
  • Your ship becomes impervious while boarding.
  • It’s incredibly satisfying to seize ships for bragging rights.

Choosing Your Ideal Boarding Ship

While it’s possible to board ships with any vessel, some ships in Skull and Bones are better suited for the task. When upgrading your fleet, consider these characteristics:

  • High mobility
  • Durable hull
  • Strong crew
  • Large cargo hold

Some top boarding ships include sloops, galleons, frigates, and lighter brigs. The smaller, maneuverable sloops can stealthily sidle up next to crippled ships. Heavily armored galleons shrug off damage while grappling.

Ship Loot After Boarding
Image Credit: Ubisoft via GameRiv

Advanced Boarding Strategies and Tips

Once you’ve mastered the basics of boarding enemy ships, continue improving your techniques with these pro tips:

  • Use chain shot to halt fleeing ships before boarding immobile targets.
  • If grapples detach prematurely, quickly restart before the prompt disappears.
  • Fight enemy ships with allies to outnumber your foe for faster victories.
  • Don’t get sandwiched between two ships when vulnerable to boarding.
  • Equip crew skills that increase grapple strength and boarding speed.
  • Raid rich trade routes to target valuable ships worth capturing.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the horizon for boarding opportunities mid-fight.

Boarding can turn the tide of an entire naval battle in your favor. Disable the enemy flagship and capture it to demoralize their fleet. With this ultimate guide, you can now board ships in Skull and Bones.

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Abu Taher Tamim is a Staff Writer at GameRiv. He started playing video games when one of his uncles brought him a PS1, after it was launched. Since that day until now, he still play video games. As he loves video games so much, he became a gaming content writer.