This is a game about sailing so it stands to reason that such a game is going to center much of its mechanics around managing a fleet of ships. Here are the basics:
Sailing Era Fleet Management Tips
Also check; Sailing Era Beginner’s Guide.
- You can manage your fleet by going to the menu and selecting the Fleet tab (should be obvious, but, we need to start somewhere.) There are a lot of numbers and stats here, but much of it you can ignore (for the most part a higher number is better).
- Your flag ship is the one at the top of the left hand side and is the only ship that really matters. special rooms only work when they are on the flagship and they affect the entire fleet. The only exception to that is the gunroom and the warehouse.
- From the Fleet tab, you can press R and go to a cut away section of your ship where you can assign crew members to each station and give them a job. It is highly advisable to assign crew members to the job that matches their best skill (see skills above). Every crew member should have a job if one is available. You can easily switch crew member jobs at any time. Any crew member can do any job, some are just better than others.
- To modify your ships you need to be in a shipyard at a port. Not all ports have shipyards. There are other guides that list this information. When in a shipyard you need at least 1 crew member to have the shipbuilding skill at level 3 in order to modify hulls (this option will be locked if you don’t meet that qualification). In addition to this, some rooms require a special blueprint called the Cabin Extension Blueprint. This is acquired at an item store at a starter city where the tech level is 300 or more. This is easy to miss and many people get frustrated with it. A starter city is any port where a main character begins the game (Andrew starts in Lisbon for example). It may be possible to find in other ports, but it should be guaranteed in a starter port.
- When modifying the hull, you can replace one room with another and change gun types. Many rooms require blueprints (in addition to the Cabin Extension mentioned above) which you get from completing objectives in the Chronicle section of the Knowledge tab (for example, you need to do 3 bounty hunting missions to unlock the gunroom blueprint). Larger ships have more space for more rooms. Each room can only be added once except for the gunroom and the warehouse which have additive benefits with more rooms of the same type.
- Cargo space is recorded for the fleet as a whole. The game does not record which ship has which items, it’s just recorded at the fleet level. All ships have a base cargo space and a warehouse adds 2 more cargo for each one added. A common strategy is to put all the special rooms on the flagship and make all the support ships full of warehouses for maximum cargo capacity. (There is a crew member that has a perk which adds 10 cargo spaces to the fleet!)
- Ships age over time. This is seen as permanent damage to a ship in the form of a gray bar over the ship’s health. Age damage can only be repaired if you have a Maintenance room with a crew member staffed. With that room you can then repair age damage at the shipyard. Even with a maintenance room, age damage will still occur; it cannot be prevented. Without maintenance, age damage will reduce a ship to 50% of its max health at the worst so maintenance is not needed, but it is a very good idea.
- Ships need sailors in order to function. You gain sailors by going to the Tavern (inn, restaurant, cafe, etc). Here you can also Treat your sailors to improve their morale. After recruiting sailors, you go to the Pier, and then you have the option to Assign Sailors. Here you can choose any number of sailors to assign to any ship. A ship can still function with a single sailor, but its speed will be reduced if the number of sailors is less than the minimum. You can lose sailors due to negative random events at sea (sickness, fire, etc) or to combat.
- Sailors also need provisions while at sea. In the Pier Warehouse screen there is the option to alter your cargo space. Here you can decide how much of your fleet’s cargo is set aside for provisions and how much is set aside for trade goods (this way you don’t over buy trade goods and run out of space for food). If you choose to fill supplies you can get an estimate of how much time you spend at sea before you run out. Generally 20-30 days is more than enough to do trading. Exploration focus should be closer to 50-100 days depending on where you are exploring. Experiment with sailor assignments and cargo adjustments to get the right balance for what you need.
- The speed of your fleet is determined by the speed of the flag ship. Auto sailing using navigational charts (which requires a map room and crew assigned) increases your overall speed although it might take you on a less than efficient route. Larger ships tend to have higher top speeds. The Clipper is the fastest ship design, but is hard to find.