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What would a pirate be if he didn't have deck under his soles or wind in his sails?

All pirates start with a Sailing skill of 1 and access to a Light Sloop, once they complete the Set Sail Story Quest. (Max Level of 30)


Buying A Ship

Players in Pirates of the Caribbean Online can own up to 3 different ships at once!

First, find a Shipwright. On every main island is a structure made from the bow of a ship. There are shipwrights on Port Royal, Tortuga, Cuba, and Padres del Fuego. Also, a shipwright can be found on the privateer islands, Isla De La Avaricia and Ile D'Etable De Porc. Some new shipwrights can now be met right on the docks, or near them, like on Padres del Fuego, or Port Royal.

A Light Sloop is yours for the taking near the beginning of the game, but other vessels are available. Pirates playing a Basic Membership can only access the Light Class Ships. But, medium and war versions of all three classes are available for purchase by Unlimited players.

Assemble A Crew

While any pirate can captain a ship alone, it's more fun, effective, and profitable to have a crew to set sail with you.

Other pirates can be invited into crew by simply clicking on them and selecting the Crew icon. Also, pirates can invite to Friends or Guild members.

There is a feature that allows a pirate to allow pirates not in his/her to join them aboard. Simply click on the Dinghy symbol in the upper-left next to your ships' name. You will have the option to allow not only your Crew, but also Guild members, friends, and just about anyone aboard.

Any pirate selecting 'Public' at a nearby Dinghy or launch site, has the option to come aboard your vessel. You will still have to add new mates to your crew by clicking on them and selecting the Mug (Invite to Crew).

Deploy and Board

To board a ship, you need to locate a dinghy; typically on a beach or moored at a dock. Walk or swim up next to the dingy. When a green circle appears around it, press Shift.

A ship menu will appear, you can either Launch a ship of your own or Board a ship belonging to a crewmate. Also, a guildmate can set their boarding permission to Guild and allow you to board. And any pirate can set the permission to Public.

Hint - You may need to Crew Chat or Whisper to any inexperienced pirates in your crew to get them on board.

You can also board a ship already at sail by using the Go To option for anybody, captain or otherwise, who is already on board if they are a Friend or Guildmate.

Assign Stations and Set Sail

As captain, it's your job to tell these scallywags what to do! It's best for the captain to direct his crew to which cannons to man, lest they're experienced gunnies.

Hint - If you don't have a full crew, maximize firepower by concentrating your gunners on one side.

As the captain, you will need to keep in mind how many cannons are manned and on which side. Once everyone is aboard, walk to the helm's wheel and press Shift.

For the helmsman, the perspective will change from the deck to some distance behind the ship. At this point, press the arrow keys or the directional keys (W,A,S, & D) to move the vessel in the desired direction - and you're off.

If you have a problem pirate or a crewman who refuses to help, you can Boot them off. Click on their Pirate Profile, select Take Action then click Boot from Ship. They will be unable to return during the voyage.



At sea, the pirate will be cruising in search of ships to sink or flagships to capture. To sail, use the arrow keys (or the W, A, S, D keys). The up arrow will unfurl the sails and moves your ship forward, the down arrow will furl your ship's sails up and your ship stops moving forward. Continuing to press Down or S, the ship will actually move backwards - just slowly.

Use the compass in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to keep track of ships. You may want to adjust the zoom level on the compass using the '-' to zoom out as far as possible when looking for enemies (red ships).

For the pirate, there are three kinds of enemy ships: Royal Navy, EITC, and skeleton ships. The Navy and EITC sail a broad variety of ships, while all Skeleton ships are war frigates. Undead French and Spanish vessels are war sloops.

Privateering also is definitely where the action is for ship-fighting lovers. It is effectively PvP on water.

(See Main Article : Ship PvP)

Deck Guns

Ship pvp1

Any crew aboard a ship can man a deck cannon and open fire on an enemy. These weapons do more damage than broadside guns, particularly if the gunner is experienced and/or using special ammunition.

Firing Broadsides

In battle, the broadside guns (cannons below deck) are controlled by the captain. Use the 1 and 2 number keys or the left-mouse button (Broadside icons) to fire your guns. To hit an enemy ship with a broadside, it should be at the 3 o'clock (directly left) or 9 o'clock (directly right) position relative to your ship on the compass since they have a limited firing angle.

Hint - This is particularly true of Galleons, which have a limited firing angle.

Broadside guns all fire standard lead ball ammunition. Only high-level enemies can fire specialty rounds from their broadsides.

Getting close to another ship increases your chances of hitting it, but also increases the danger to your ship, if it fires back at you. It takes a relative amount time for your cannons to reload, though Taskmaster skill can decrease that. During that time, you are vulnerable to counter-attack.

Hint - Keeping your ship moving will make it difficult for an enemy to fire back and hit you. Also, changing direction, stopping and starting again, will make enemy gunners less accurate.

Taking Damage


Your ship can be damaged by incoming enemy fire. The amount of damage depends on the level of ship and the kind of ammunition being fired at you. Chain Shot will directly affect your sails and masts, while other types damage your ships hull. You can track your ship's health in the upper-left corner of your screen. In SvS combat, you have the ability to stop and Repair - otherwise you will have to port and have a Shipwright do the work.

Should your hull take significant damage, it will begin to burn. Additional damage at that point bypasses armor and does more damage.

If Sails take too much damage, the masts will break. A broken mast means your ship's speed will be reduced.

Once the hull has taken maximum damage, your vessel will sink - taking all aboard to the bottom. Should you sink, all crew will awake in Jail in a Groggy state.

Sailing Skill

As a pirate earns Reputation points, each completed skill level earns a Skill Point which can be used to increase abilities. The maximum number of points per ability is 5 with a maximum of 30 total skill points, so spend wisely.

Once a point has been spent, only by visiting a Trainer can a pirate re-learn their sailing skill or move points.

Some abilities will not be available until the Sailing skill reaches a certain level.


Skill Name Description Icon
Broadside Left Fires all Left Broadside cannons to inflict damage. Sail broadside left
Broadside Right Fires all Right Broadside cannons to inflict damage. Sail broadside right
Full Sail Coaxes a short burst of speed out of the ship! Sail full sail
Come About Allows your ship to make a hard sudden turn! Sail come about
Open Fire Increase crew's cannon damage from deck guns and broadsides! (50%) Sail openfire2
Ramming Speed Bear down upon an enemy vessel and ram it into splinters! Sail ramming speed
Take Cover Protects your ship and crew from incoming fire! (75%) Sail take cover
Leadership Recharges all other skills and deck cannons faster! (10 seconds) LeadershipIcon

Passive Abilities

Skill Name Description Icon
Windcatcher Increases Ship Speed Sail wind catcher
Tacking Improves ship turning radius! Sail tacking
Treasure Sense Increases the quality of cargo drops Sail treasure sense

Decreases recharge time for Broadsides

Sail task master

Plundering Ships

Ships collect cargo after sinking enemies.

When a ship's cargo hold is full, your ship will be able to still take cargo. If you have a hull full of crates and you get a chest from a ship, then one of the crates is thrown overboard to make room for it. This will continue until yoor hull is filled with Royal Chests (since they are of the most value).

Cargo and Mission Panel

To collect your booty, sail close to ANY island and a Drop Anchor icon will appear near the bottom of your screen. Click on this icon to land yourself and your crew on the island you've reached. But be careful, if you are sunk before you dock then you will lose all that hard earned treasure.

At the end of every High Seas Adventure, a special Mission Panel will appear showing the results of the voyage (including the number and type of ships sunk, the number of cargo containers plundered, and ship status including necessary repairs). It will also open all cargo containers, identifying their contents and translating its value into gold, which is then added to each crew members' wealth.The game will tally up all the plundering you did and divide the treasure up amongst the crew (Remember - more crew = more treasure)

Any special plunder will appear in the appropriate Treasure category in crew members' Sea Chests, or be credited as an obtained Quest item in their Quest Journal. Lastly, a summary will tell everyone how much gold they've earned for that entire voyage, along with the rating the captain and each crew member has earned.



Standard wooden shipping boxes containing basics and essentials, but sometimes a pleasant surprise.

Contents Payoff Probability Icon
WHEAT5 Gold35% ChanceWheat
COTTON7 Gold25% ChanceCotton2
MEDICINE9 Gold20% ChanceGrog2
IRON ORE15 Gold10% ChanceIron Ore
IVORY25 Gold5% ChanceIvory
SILK40 Gold3% ChanceSilk
SPICES90 Gold2% ChanceSpices

Treasure Chest

Now, we're talking BOOTY, lads - real currency of the realm!
Contents Payoff Probability Icon
COPPER BARS25 Gold75% ChanceCopper Bars
SILVER BARS50 Gold20% ChanceSilver Bars
GOLD BARS120 Gold5% ChanceGoldbars

Royal Chest

These beauties contain the finest pretties one can find. When the crew says they always hoping for something more... SHINY, this is what they meant. However, a pirate will likely have to undertake major opposition for such rewards.
Contents Payoff Probability Icon
EMERALDS90 Gold80% ChanceEmeralds
RUBIES140 Gold15% ChanceRubies
DIAMONDS250 Gold5% ChanceDiamond


Occasionally a Loot Pouch, Loot Chest, or Loot Skull Chest may be found. It will take up a cargo slot as well, but usually the value is higher.

Since the release of Ship Customization, pirates can also find Ship Materials and Rare Ship Materials for upgrading their own vessels. These valuable commodities take precedence even over Royal Chests, replacing less valuable cargo.


Sailing also can be further increased to its maximum potential with the help of a Sailing Boost. These act as Passive Skills and increase the strength of certain normal Skills. These 'Boosts' can be found in Loot drops from enemies on land and at sea.

Boarding an Enemy Flagship


The Royal Navy, EITC and French or Spanish ghost fleets have flagships stationed at various points on the map to command their other vessels. They can be identified by the red, grey or skeletal flags over the ship's name.

Flagships carry more and better cargo than normal ships of the same class. These flagships can be assaulted like other ships, but to plunder them - they must be boarded.

First, a flagship must be crippled. This is done by reducing the hull health to zero. At that time, small green circles will appear on broadside of the ship. Cannoneers can switch to grappling hooks (Press 8 or click the Grappling Hook) and fire at those special circles. Once a line is attached, ropes will extend between both ships and the enemy ship will be pulled in.

The captain (the ship's owner, not the person steering) will get a message requesting to Board ship. By pressing the "Board" button, the crew will swing across to the enemy decks. You can choose to Parley, which means the lines will be cut and the enemy ship will sink immediately. Some loot will still be rewarded, but not as much.

Once the crew has arrived on the enemy vessel, there will be enemies to contend with. Pirates can use standard melee and voodoo weapons to attack the defenders. Pistols can also be used against French and Spanish Undead.

Hint - It's a good idea to have a crew before attacking flagships. Even a tough pirate may not be able to contend with a full compliment of enemies alone.

Sailing Tips

  • To get more experience points on Cannon or Sailing, sail with high-level pirates who have warships, since they can take on tougher enemies. To find a crew, hang around the docks as pirates come and go.
  • Beginning pirates should ask their captains for a sailing lesson. It's good experience to practice with large vessels and more experienced pirates are often happy to dispense their wisdom as well as pick up any extra plunder.
  • Don't just sail together, Crew up. It will increase reputation for cannon, sailing and notoriety.
  • If you cannot get help from any of your friends or guild, open your ship to public.
  • If you want to sail alone, a light sloop would be best for the job.
  • Remember to always keep a Sailing Item in the 5th slot of your Inventory holdings.
  • Choose level-appropriate targets. Your notoriety + sailing level / 2 = optimal enemy ship level. Targets too high above that will cause your ship unnecessary harm. Targets too low a target will give very poor Rep and Treasure.

Naval Combat Tactics

  • Don't shoot at or sail close to ships you're not ready to take on. Also, watch out for other enemies while fighting and keep gunners focused on one ship at a time. You can be quickly outnumbered.
  • Sometimes a new ship may simply appear right next to you. If you have recently sunk a ship, be ready for its replacement to soon arrive.
  • No vessel can shoot directly aft, so always be trying to manuever behind them, where they can't return fire. Also, Galleons have trouble shooting forward and that's where their weaker armor is.
  • Enemy gunners are often slow to react. If you see incoming fire at your ship, you may be able to suddenly stop or press Full Sail or Ramming Speed to maneuver out of the way.
  • TRUST YOUR GUNNERS! - Once you've engaged an enemy, try and keep your ship at an angle they can fire from. They can do more damage than your broadside guns. Spinning around to use your ship's guns may cause deck guns to miss.
  • When fighting high-level ships, fire on it from as far as possible. This gives your gunners the most amount of time to put her to the bottom.
  • To avoid getting hit with broadsides in Privateering, keep circling the enemy ship until it broadsides. The moment it does, stop the ship or exit driving to stop your vessel immediately. If you do it correctly, you should avoid the the shot or get hit with only one or two shots.

Combat Manuevers

  • Serpentine - While an enemy is pursuing, turn hard port or starboard. As soon as your broadsides are aimed - open fire, then turn hard the opposite direction. This snaking move will continue to keep an enemy facing you and unable to shoot while you alternate broadsides.
  • Double-Broadsides - Your broadside guns can hit a target at medium-range (about half-way inside your compasses minimum range). Fire your broadside, then quickly rotate in place. Your second broadside should be aimed about the time the enemy is in close range.
  • Drive-by - Since AI gunners are slow to react, a pirate can take advantage of their timing. Sail head-on at an enemy, then as you pass - fire a broadside at point-blank range from the immediate port or starboard. Adding Full Sail will make it even more likely that the enemy will not retaliate in time. As soon as you pass by, turn hard to get behind the enemy and prep your second volley.
  • Ring Around - Enemy ships will turn toward you until they are close enough to fire. By maintaining some distance in a wide circle around them, you can ensure they never will - all the while allowing your gunners and broadsides to pound them to splinters.

Ship Strengths and Weaknesses

All ships have their strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to use your ship's strength to overcome the enemy's weakness.

  • Galleons back and side armor are stronger, but if you can get in front of them - you do more damage. Galleons also have more broadside guns, but their weapons have a limited firing angle.
  • Frigates are strong in the front and sides, because they are built to assault as they charge. But, their aft armor is weaker. Frigates can shoot forward and their aft deck guns can shoot all but directly astern.
  • Sloops are weaker in general. They have fewer deck guns and fewer broadsides. Their speed is their biggest advantage.
  • Brigs present a balanced combination of all other ship types. They will therefore not necessarily specialize in cargo, speed or firepower, but have a balanced level of all three.

Game Note - Bad Spawn Ships

Bad spawn ships or "pop-up" ships spawn very near your ship. Since vessels often re-spawn at or near the same places, they may pop up in your path or dangerously close.

Beware! If the NPC engages your ship within the first 10 seconds of its life, its AI will switch to "highly aggressive" mode, turning quickly, and firing at a comparatively faster rate. These ships can be quite troublesome.

If a ship appears near you, (but not so close that it fires at you immediately), you should hold 10 seconds before firing - or face its ill-temper.

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