Straight from the beginning of the game you will be handed a ship and given control over the seas. In order to excel at the naval battles, as well as get around, you must first master the handling and firing of the ship.
|PS3/PS4||Xbox360/Xbox One||Wii U||Command|
|L Analog||L Stick||L Stick||Ship Steering|
|R Analog||R Stick||R Stick||Camera Movement|
|D-Pad||D-Pad||D-Pad||Change or Mute Shanties|
|Square||X||Y||Brace for Impact / Collect Loot|
|Triangle||Y||X||Fire Swivel Gun (Hold and Release)|
|R1/R2||RT||ZR||Fire Cannons (Hold and Release)|
|L2/L1||LB||L||Mortar (Hold and Release)|
- Sailing at Full Sail makes the ship faster, but will reduce maneuverability.
- Sailing at Half Sail allows you to make tight turns in the open sea or around obstacles.
- Rogue Winds will push a ship at Full Sail into obstacles, even if you steers completely in the opposite directions. To counteract this, you should sail at Half Sail or alternate between the two.
- The mini-map shows the direction of the wind with an arrow and color depending on your direction within the arrow. Use the indicator to help the Jackdaw maintain a high speed by always sailing with or across it, rather than against it.
Naval Weapons & Tips
Unlike the previous Assassin's Creed, where you selected your ammo type with the directional pad, Assassin's Creed IV has you attack being based on where you are attacking from and the range. The following is a list of the weapons and how/when you can obtain them.
|Broadside Cannon||Round Shot|
|This is the standard shot on either the right or left of tha Jackdaw through Manual Aim. This is the standard weapon that you will end up using the most in combat due to its solid damage and aiming flexibility.|
|Available: Default||Ammo: Unlimited||Range (m): 0-250|
|Broadside Cannon||Heavy Shot|
|This is used automatically when you fire a broadside without using Manual Aim, "blind fire". It deals incredible amounts of damage, but at close range only. Best used only when you pass close to a ship.|
|Available: Upgrade||Ammo: Limited||Range (m): 0-150|
|Used to fire on weak spots exposed when you inflict damage on other ships with any other weapon. Hold to align the reticle and release when lined up. This is great for doing damage during reload times.|
|Available: Default||Ammo: Unlimited||Range (m): 0-300|
|Chase Cannon||Chain Shot|
|This is the weapon used when you aim forward off the Jackdaw's bow with Manual Aim. Though not powerful, the weapon does have a stun effect that can be useful when you want to avoid an enemy broadside.|
|Available: Default||Ammo: Unlimited||Range (m): 0-350|
|One of the most powerful weapons due to its damage and range, it is a go to weapon against large ships. The drawback is the limited ammo that you will want to stock up on after every major naval battle.|
|Available: Upgrade||Ammo: Limited||Range (m): 150-500|
|Used when firing from the back of the Jackdaw, you can Manual Aim these onto ships that pass behind you when they attempt to ram you. You can also drop them and shoot them with the Swivel Gun as other ships pass.|
|Available: Default||Ammo: Limited||Range (m): 40-55|
|The ram is simply used when you run your ship into another, bow first. The greater the speed, the more damage upon impact. Make sure you brace just before impact to avoid heavy damage to the Jackdaw.|
- Try to avoid approaching ships directly at their sides, where you are vulnerable to broadsides.
- Try to keep the majority of enemy ships on one side of the Jackdaw to keep a handle of the situation and do the most damage with the broadsides, but note that cannons can be fired independently and have their own timers.
- Holding Manual Aim longer will focus the broadside attack range and make it more powerful.
- Use the waves to avoid fire while curving shots over the waves to get good shots in while protecting yourself.
- Use the Jackdaw's speed and the enemy ships blind spots to get in safe shots while the enemy ship tries to turn to get its sights on you.
Once you have weakened an enemy ship enough to reduce its damage to the red section the ship will become immobile. You then have two options: sink the ship or board it. If you sink the ship you will only gain half of the cargo on the ship as collectibles after the ship has fully sunk. On the other hand, boarding it has some benefits and drawbacks. While boarding ships is time consuming and can be costly on your crew stats, boarding automatically ends the attack by other ships until you defeat the ship. This can be a benefit to you, allowing you to board and repair the Jackdaw in mid combat in large naval battles.
- After engaging in a boarding you can use the Swivel Gun, only a few feet from the helm, to get in five free shots while the Jackdaw pulls up next to the ship.
- The mast closest to the helm has a lift that can be used to reach the rigging and cross to the other ship to help you reach some of the boarding objectives, such as killing Scouts in the masts.
- When killing enemies on the deck of the other ship focus on weaker enemies to allow for kill streaks and avoid Brutes and Officers.
- Take note of the red barrels on the deck, powder reserves. These can be shot or lit to destroy the enemies standing around it.
|Kill the Crew||You can use the Swivel Gun to thin enemy numbers and then head over to the enemy ship and finish off the rest.|
|Kill Officers||These are usually Scouts archetypes rather than Officers, so you can use counterattacks and kill streaks to take them out.|
|Kill Captain(s)||You can use the Swivel Gun to try and kill these guys before boarding or air assassinate them. If needed, use Smoke Bombs to get quick kills.|
|Kill Scouts||On larger ships the Marksmen are commonly a boardng objective. You can use the lifts on either ship to reach the masts and defeat these enemies.|
|Destroy Powder Reserves||The powder reserves should be a target with the Swivel Gun ever time you board a ship, so having them as an objective is nothing special.|
|Destroy Ship Flags||Complete all of the other objectives and then make your way to the flags.|
Sometimes you may come across an incapacitated ship that you did not attack with an empty deck and a crew already dead. These ships can not be boarded in the standard fashion and must be boarded by manually pulling up to them and swimming/jumping across. The loot will be located in boxes, that can be opened, and the dead Captain can be looted for some cash. On the other hand, you can just fire on it to destroy it.