Sea of Thieves Captain Bones' Special Recipe Guide

There is a secret side quest found in Sea of Thieves' first Tall Tale. Here's how to find Captain Bones' Secret Recipe and complete it.

Sea of Thieves: A Pirates Life sends sailors into the unknown in search of the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow. One of the more interesting and intricate side stories found along the way deals with Captain Bones' Special Recipe.

The side quest involves a chess game between two long-dead pirates, and a quest for a mysterious drink called Captain Bones' Special Recipe. It's a quest that goes off the beaten path, so if you need a guide, you've come to the right place.  

How to Get Captain Bones' Special Recipe

Captain Bones' Special Recipe is found in the first tall tale offered by the Castaway. Vote on the voyage, progress through the portal, go past the caves (DEAD-MEN-TELL-NO-TALES!), and keep moving forward until you reach the ghostly pirate town of Sailor’s Grave.

Establishing shot of Sailor's Grave covered in green fog and darkness.

In the center of Sailor's Grave is a ship wreck converted to a tavern. Go to the entrance, and look to your left. There is another shipwreck there. Inside are two skeletons playing chess.

Shipwreck tavern entrance next to a green torch.

Light the candle on the table with your lantern. One skeleton downs his grog, the other skeleton finds his cup quite empty. You will need Captain Bones Special Recipe to fill it.  

Leave this ship, and circle to your right around the exterior until you find a ramp under the talking, disembodied skull of the Cursed Captain (it’s easy to find, he doesn’t shut up). Climb up the ship, and use the broken mast to cross to the front half of the vessel.

A broken mast going toward the front of a pirate ship wreck.

Walk to the bowsprit and jump into a pool of water. Swim forward, under some wreckage, and you will find a platform you can raise via pulley.

A platform on a pulley system next to a lit lantern.

Pull yourself up, and you will find yet another pulley and platform. Cross that to find a third pulley, this time manipulating two platforms.

Three platforms held above water by pulleys and ropes.

Pull it until the platform nearest to the pulley is close to the other side of the gap, and jump to it. Once you land, look right, and there will be a small cave.

A small, dark cave entrance near a larger wooden platform.

Inside the small cave, you will find Captain Bones Special Recipe. Exit though a door, and climb up the bowsprit dead ahead.

A bottle of Captain Bones' Special Recipe next to a larger crate of bottles.

While you are there, you may as well retrieve that talkative skeleton head. Use your lantern to burn the rope, dropping the cage. There is a key in the tavern to open the hatch, giving you access to that chatty little skull.

Looking down into the hold of the shipwreck and a metal crow's cage.

Return to the chess players with Captain Bones Special Recipe, and pour the drink in the empty flagon. The skeleton will down it, and the powerful kick will blow his head up (strong stuff!). You will be awarded the A Powerful Thirst Commendation, nice job!

How to Complete the Chess Game

Two skeletons playing chess, one with its head exploding.

What about that game of chess? To complete that, you will need the head of the Cursed Captain, and to track down Poor Dougie’s Key.

Use the coin to buy into the game, and place the skull atop the now headless skeleton. The Cursed Captain will win the game. Your reward is access to the treasure room of a wrecked ship on the corner opposite the light house (where you went up the first pulley-platform).

Gold in a pirate ship piled in the broken walls on either side of a large door.

That's all you need to know about how to find Captain Bones' Special Recipe and complete the chess game in Sea of Thieves.

Check out some of our other Sea of Thieves guides here on GameSkinny:


Justin is a married father of two, has too many pets, and is a life-long gamer. When he's not in the virtual world he specializes in live event production, designing events for corporate clients such as Microsoft and Nintendo.

Published Oct. 7th 2021

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