Welcome to the Battle Pirates Ultimate Guide!

Battle Pirates is a base building war game you can play on Facebook. Build a base complete with defenses, use technology, Gather resources and build great warships as you battle it out on the high seas against other players. Use this Ultimate guide to gain the edge over your opponents and become the most Fearsome Pirate in your Sector!

Ship Designs

The Basic Parameters of Fleet Design

The core of good offense strategy in Battle Pirates, a Facebook MMORTS game by Kixeye, is all in how you design and use your fleets. The game gives you a wide range of choices in ship types, weapons, armor, and special mods - but then limits how much weight you can put on each ship, how much weight you can have in each fleet, the number of ships per fleet (five), and the number of total fleets.
You also have a variety of target types, from Draconian-controlled salvage fleets and resource mines, to player-controlled fleets, to player bases (and eventually Draconian bases). Each of these calls for different offense tactics and therefore different combinations of ships and weapons.
And finally, what you can do will depend on what you've actually researched and upgraded. You may find guides for the absolute best ways to build a floating fortress using level 4 maelstrom rockets and depleted uranium - but if you're months of play away from being able to make them, it won't do you any good in the present.
With all that said, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

Choosing Ships

Battle Pirates Ship Hulls
Start by deciding what ships will be in your new fleet. How many of what hulls can your dock support? For example, a level 6 dock can launch a fleet of two battle barges and three marauders, or three barges and two longships, or three barges, one marauder, and one skirmisher. Aside from size and the amount of weapons and armor they can have on them, there are four less-obvious differences between the hull types:
  • larger ships travel slower than smaller ships,
  • larger ships take more damage to destroy,
  • larger ships take longer to repair, and
  • larger ships can hold more cargo.
Once you've passed level 20 or so, the smallest ship you'll likely want to use in battle is the marauder. Everything smaller sinks too fast. Also, everything starts taking much longer to build and the question becomes: how many of what hulls can the next dock level support? If you start building the ships for the next fleet before the dock completes its upgrade, you'll be ready to launch by the time it's done.

Choosing Weapons

Battle Pirates Weapons For Ships
Next, choose each ship's weapons. These come in four categories: cannons, missiles, mortars, and rockets. They have different ranges, firing rates, accuracy, damage, and number of bullets per shot. They also have different weights, and the strategy is all in how you choose combinations of weapons and armor to fit into the weight allowed.
In general, a ship is more effective when all of its weapons are the same type, or at least have similar range. But remember that you're not just choosing weapons for an individual ship, you're also choosing for the fleet that the ship is for. To have a wide variety of weaponry in the same fleet, put different kinds of weapons on different ships in the fleet. The key questions are: what is the purpose of the fleet, and what will each ship be doing?

Weapons Against Bases

If you're planning to hit player bases, you're looking for range and damage over other considerations. Defensive turrets in bases are stationary with fixed ranges. In general, you don't need to fire quickly while maneuvering, your targets are often well inland, you might be trying to avoid turrets, and you want each shot to make a dent because you only have five minutes per attack. Mortars (diplomats and peacemakers) are good choices (or were at the time of this article). They shoot slowly, but have a very long range and do a lot of damage per shot.
Ideally you want all long-range weapons on all five ships, but then there's the problem of getting past any fleets defending the target base. To account for that, your best bet is to bring additional fleets that are designed for fleet-to-fleet battles, and to try to keep the base-attack fleet out of those battles. Failing that, it's good to have something short-range on hand, like rippers or hydras.

Weapons for Fleet Battles

Battle Pirates: A Fleet (Level 6 Dock)
To do well in battle against another fleet, shorter-range weapons are a must. Long range weapons have a minimum distance the ship must be before they can fire. In a fleet battle, if an opponent ship maneuvers too close to your long-range-only ship, you will not be able to hit it.
Firing speed and/or number of bullets also become important. The faster you can sink an opponent ship, the less time they have to damage your ships.
Each weapon comes with a rating for accuracy, but it's for hitting stationary targets. Weapons with 100% accuracy will precisely hit the spot where a ship was at the time the shot was fired - but if it has a slow fire rate, the bullet will trace a nice-looking arc through the air, very slowly, and not land until after a moving ship has passed the target spot. However, if another enemy ship is following the first one, that one will take those hits. Accuracy is not necessarily related to how effective the weapon will be in a fleet battle - key to fleet battle tactics is maneuvering your opponents into being where your bullets are going to land, regardless of what shot the bullets and what the initial targets were.
Finally, for battles against high-level Draconian fleets (level 7 salvages and up, level 9 mines and up), ideally you want all short-range weapons, preferably on marauders or better. Their big ships are all long-range-only, so the key tactic is to get your ships right next to them without dying, at which point the Draconians are sitting ducks.

Special Modifications from the Advanced Lab

Battle Pirates Specials from Advanced Lab
From longships up, there are slots available for special mods like improvements to specific weapons, improved armor against specific weapons, and improvements to ship movement and enemy evasion. These are researched in the Advanced Lab. By themselves, specials don't add to ship weight - a ship with specials but no weapons or armor will only have its base hull weight. Instead, specials add a percentage of additional weight to the ship's weapons and armor. For example, if the ship weapons add up to 1000 tons on their own, and a special adds 10% weight to weapons, the weapons will weigh 1100 tons with the special added.

Choosing Armor

Once you've settled on weapons and specials, whatever weight is left over should be as filled with armor as possible. Short-range ships intended to take most of the enemy fire should have more armor than ships that will stay farther back. You might have to bump a weapon up or down a level to get the best combination for weight and ship health.
The downside is that more armor means longer repair time. Ship health regenerates at one armor point per second. If your ship is intended for battle tactics like kiting, where you destroy the enemy while taking little to no damage, try to limit the armor to 300 so you can instant-repair for free. (330 if you have a master fixer officer in the Great Hall.)

A Few Ship Ideas

(A Leviathan with full Thud Cannons and Auto Loader + Hardened Barrels for optimal range and firing speed.)

(A Leviathan with Full Peacemaker Mortars + Engine and Thrusters for optimal speed and turning, used for the kiting technique.)

(A Predator Submarine with rank 4 Torpedo's and an engine upgrade for quicker speed.)

(A Longship with Torpedo's and Sonar Pod, Great for hunting down enemy player subs.)

One of the best ship designing tools available can be found at http://forums.kixeye.com/threads/144431-Schmee-s-Shipyard i highly recommend having a look into this.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Oh my why did you stop I am a growing pirate I NEED more ship designs? PLEASE

  3. how about a sws with eng 3 lazer 3 sfb 3 tit 4 2 cut lv2 and 2 lv 3 cuts and 1 lv2 antimortar

  4. sea wolves 4x mk3, 1x mk2 cutless, eng3,laser3,solid fuel boost3 no armour 3.15 min repair, put armour on depending wot used for !!!

  5. a sw with eng3 laszer3 sfb3 4cuts and 1 stike n mislle no amor

  6. SW fleet for salvaging eng3 laszer3 SFB3 cut3x4 cut2x1 DU4 armor.

    1. SW cuts 3, SFB 3, engines 3 and, Laser 3, no armor

  7. for the raids i was using sw with thuds eng 3 hb3 nd al3 ur choice of armor they work really well can even use ripper cannons 4 very deadly buy kinda lacking on distance

  8. www.facebook.com/scotty.stanley.71
    where is this thing ?

  9. SW fleet of ... Cuts3 x5, laser3,SFB2,Eng1..no armor..under 10 min repair time..takes out all Regular cargo fleets..lvl 29 elite cargo if your careful..autoed the recon campaign in death from below w/o co-op..best SW fleet in my opinion