Sunless Sea – Tips and Tricks for Getting Started

Before you play the Sunless Sea game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!

Things to Know Before Playing

  • Turning your light on reduces the rate at which Terror accumulates, but increases your fuel consumption so use it sparingly.
  • London is generally the most cost-effective place to stock up on supplies. Fuel is cheaper at places associated with Hell i.e. Mt Palmerston and the Iron Republic.
  • The Corvette is a solid ship which can handle most of the game’s content except the very toughest monsters.
  • The three Ambitions you can choose from at the start aren’t the only way to end the game, but they are mutually exclusive. I’d recommend looking for your father’s bones because it actually gives you a neat quest rather than just telling you to accumulate stuff. The hidden endings are available regardless of your choice.
  • Profit margins on trading are pretty small and the best way of making money trading Sunlight-filled Mirrocatch Boxes was nerfed recently. Handing in port reports (which also gets you fuel) and doing the Blind Bruiser’s requests should get you enough money to keep you in fuel and supplies.
  • You can combine 2x Strategic Information to make Vital Intelligence, which gets you more than double the money and unlocks a bunch of content the first time you turn it in.
  • The First Curator in Venderbight gives you a game-spanning quest which can make you a lot of money in exchange for some fairly niche items, some of which can be acquired very early.
  • Pages is much harder to raise than the other stats since no officers teach it, so bear that in mind when choosing your Background. Helping the Merchant Venturer with all his requests will give a nice persistent (carries on to other captains) bonus to pages as well as some extra cash.
  • A persistent bonus for every stat can be acquired by completing various questlines and will be discovered through normal play. The exception is veils, which requires that you complete a relatively early quest without choosing a Background. There are opportunities to choose a Background later in the game if you decide to go this route.
  • Try to get a better house and a will sooner rather than later as it lets you convert Captivating Treasures to Heirlooms and therefore transfer money to your successor.
  • The map is semi-randomly generated: the west and southern edges and the northeast corner are always the same. The contents of the eastern edge are always the same but they are not always in the same order north-south, and there are certain places that are always on the northern edge. Everything else is more or less randomly distributed, though some things are more likely to be close to London.
  • The map resets on starting a new character unless you choose a particular Legacy. This might seem useful, but it’s a double-edged sword as it means you won’t unlock Secrets for uncovering the map.
  • You can sell a whole bunch of items to the Alarming Scholar, but nearly all of them are used for interactions elsewhere. In general, the harder something is to come by, the more likely it is to be useful for something other than selling.
  • Killing zeebeasts and ships will reduce terror as well as reward supplies and other things. This is essential for long trips.
  • It’s a good idea to always carry a couple bottles of wine and foxfire candles wherever you go. If you have lots of space, take a flare and some coffee as well.
  • Faster engines consume more fuel. Larger crews consume more food. So consider carefully before upgrading the starter ship, and if you do, try to work in a profitable trade or two for each journey (coffee, sphinxstone, sunlight, clay men, etc) so you don’t end in a financial death spiral. There’s no advantage to running with a full crew either so just keep a buffer so you don’t go below 50% crew.
  • Why is my new captain not getting a stat bonus: This isn’t explained properly anywhere. The next captain inherits 50% of the previous captain’s bonus minus 50, without crew bonuses. So if your first captain has 100 veils, the next gets a bonus of 25. If they have 52, the next captain gets a bonus of 1.