The Pirates of the Caribbean world map lets you travel between the islands in the game. Fleets are represented by single ships and move around the map in real time. Fleets keep moving around even when you are not.
The bottom right of the map holds your compass, giving you an idea of direction after spinning the map around, the top right holds your calendar as well as a visual representation of the time of day, which can be used to determine when to switch from world map to the actual sea when approaching an island. If an encounter is available you will see an icon in the top left of the screen representing this as well.
You can interact with other fleets by sailing to them and entering the sea when their icon pops up in the top left corner. Most fleets will try to avoid you, unless you are their enemy and they have some advantage over you. To travel to an island, sail close to it until the island icon pops up and press to enter the sea, then use to select the destination to sail to (usually a place where you can moor, or a ship that can be attacked).
There are three types of encounters on the world map in Pirates of the Caribbean; Fleets, Storms and Islands.
When close enough to another fleet you will see either a grappling hook or ship icon in the top left of your screen. The grappling hook indicates a hostile fleet, the ship indicates a friendly or neutral fleet. Some hostile fleets will actively chase you to force a fight on you, they tend to do this when their fleet has some sort of advantage over your fleet (more ships, bigger ships, etc)
A special variant of the fleet encounter is the naval battle, where two hostile fleets are fighting each other, you can enter the battle to try to support one side of the battle or you can just watch the hostile fleets take eachother out. If one of the two fleets is hostile to you they will also target you though.
When you get close to a storm, indicated by a grey cloud, you will sea a storm icon popping up in the top-left corner. When entering the sea then (or when being forced into the sailing mode) you will have to last through the storm. Usually this means striking all sails and waiting for the storm to end. While this is happening your ship will take a lot of damage though.
When close to an island the island icon pops up in the top left corner, which means you are close enough to fast-travel to locations around the island. It is not so much an encounter but more of an indication you are close to an island.
When opening the character screen you will see something like the image to the left, on the left side of this window you can see your reputation, your level, hitpoints, gold and experience, as well as the experience needed for the next level. On the right side you can see your skills as well as free ability and skill points. Note that you can also manage the skills and abilities of your officers that are currently in your party.
As mentioned before the left-hand side of the character screen shows the basic information about the selected character. At the top you can see the character's name, followed by his reputation. On the character portrait you can see the HP your character has, as well as his current level. Under the portrait is a progress bar showing how close you are to leveling up.
The three values under the character portrait represent your current total experience, the total experience needed to advance to the next level and the amount of gold you currently have.
The character skills are shown on the right side of the screen, each skill influences different actions in the game. A list of the skills with a short explanation is added below:
- Leadership: Higher leadership allows you to influence other characters in the game. Level one is required to captain a sailing ship.
- Melee combat: The melee skill lets you deal more damage in combat, as well as making your attacks harder to block and your blocks harder to break.
- Sailing: This skill shows how good you are at steering your ship. A higher sailing skill makes you faster and more agile.
- Accuracy: This skill makes your volleys more accurate, however, firing manually from the deck will always be more accurate.
- Cannons: This skill makes the reload time on your cannons shorter. It also makes salvos take shorter to fire.
- Grappling: This skill lets you initiate boarding at longer ranges.
- Repair: This skill allows your crew members to repair your ship while at sea. The higher the skill the more damage is repaired. Repairing costs planks for hull damage and sailcloth for sail damage.
- Defense: The Defense skill protects your crew members from cannon fire, lowering the number of crew members lost when in battle.
- Commerce: A higher Commerce skill gives you better prices wherever you are trading (with the exception of smuggling).
- Luck: Luck makes you more lucky in certain situations, it lowers the chance you'll get caught when smuggling and will increase your chances when gambling in a tavern.
Abilities give you certain traits or usable abilities in (for instance) combat. They range from a passive 10% damage resist in land combat to better prices from traders. The abilities can be subdivided into several categories, all of which are listed below.
Land combat abilities
There are two groups of land combat abilities, one enhances your sword skills while the other enhances your gun mastery.
- Basic Defense: Player blocks are 25% harder to pierce. Damage to the player is lowered by 10%.
- Rush (Active skill): Player attacks deal more damage, but the player is unable to block. Duration: 30 seconds.
- Critical Hit: The player gains a 5% chance to hit for critical damage.
- Advanced Defense: Player blocks are 50% harder to pierce. Damage to the player is lowered by 20%. Requires the Basic Defense ability.
- Professional Fencer: Player attacks are harder to block, the chance for a critical hit is increased to 25% and damage to the player is lowered by 10%. Requires the Advanced Defense and Critical Hit abilities.
- Gunman: Reloading a gun takes the player 10% less time. Gun accuracy goes up by 10%. Unlocks the double shot gun.
- Professional Gunman: Reloading a gun takes the player 50% less time. Gun accuracy goes up by 25%. Unlocks the quad shot gun. Requires the Gunman ability.
- Fast Reload: Reloading takes 20% less time.
- Pre-reloading (Active skill): Cannons reload 50% faster. Can be used once every 5 minutes. Duration unknown. Requires Fast Reload.
- Increased Ship Damage: Increases damage to ship hulls by 15%.
- Increased Sail Damage: Increases damage to sails by 15%.
- Increased Crew Damage: Increases damage to crews by 15%.
- Critical Shot: Gives a 5% chance to hit ships for critical damage. Requires Increased Ship Damage, Increased Sail Damage and Increased Crew Damage.
- Increased Volley Range: Adds 15% to the range of cannons.
- Professional Cannoneer: Damage dealt with cannons is increased by 30%. The chance for a critical hit is raised to 15%.
- Long Range Boarding: Boarding range is increased by 15%.
- Master of Boarding: Boarding range is increased by 25%. Speed and angle of closing no longer matter.
- Instant Boarding (Active skill): Once a battle, the player can instantly board a hostile vessel. High class vessels can't be boarded with this ability. Requires Master of Boarding, Professional Fencer and Sea Wolf.
Ship Defense abilities
- Basic Ship Defense: Damage taken is lowered by 15%.
- Advanced Ship Defense: Damage taken is lowered by 25%. Requires Basic Ship Defense.
- Professional Ship Defense: Damage taken is lowered by 40%. Player's ship can't be critically damaged. Requires Advanced Ship Defense.
- Light Repairs: Your crew automatically repairs your ship up to 10% of its HP. No resources are used for these repairs.
- Quick Repairs (Active skill): Instant repairs in battle, requires planks and sailcloth. Your ship can't be repaired past 90% of its max HP. Requires Light Repairs.
- Speed increase: Your ship's speed is increased by 15%.
- Maneuverability: Your ship's maneuverability is increased by 15%.
- Storm Helmsman: Damage taken from storms and tornadoes is decreased by 40%.
- Quick Turn-Around (Active skill): Lets you execute a quick 180-degree turn every 3 minutes. Requires Speed increase and Maneuverability.
- Sense Fairway (Active skill): Your ship is protected from the perils of shoals for 60 seconds. Requires Quick Turn-Around.
- Sea Wolf: Speed and maneuverability are increased by 20%. On the world map you get a 50% chance to skip encounters. When you can skip an encounter the "skip encounter" icon will appear and you can press "B" to skip it. Requires Storm Helmsman and Sense Fairway.
- Trustworthy Lad: Player can trade contraband in stores, however, for normal prices.
- Basic Commerce: 10% discount when buying items.
- Advanced Commerce: 20% discount when buying items, 5% bonus when selling items. Requires Basic Commerce.
- Iron Will: The reputation loss from not paying your crew is lowered by 50%.
- Shared Experience: 20% of the experience you gain is also added to your party members.
- Fire-Ship (Active skill): You can order a friendly ship to explode near the enemy, possibly inflicting massive damage.