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Naval Action: Tips for Beginners

Naval Action is a hardcore, realistic, and beautifully detailed naval combat sandbox immersing players into the experience of the most beautiful period of naval history – when sailing ships ruled the seas.

Tips for Beginners

This guide consists of my two cents for newcomers to Naval action. Some basic tips, strategies and suggestions for beginners that should help you on your journey! (Please note that this guide assumes you already know the basics of combat, navigation, ect.)

First off, this game has no tutorial system whatsoever. None. So check out Youtube for some starter tutorials, there’s plenty there that will teach you the basics. Alternatively, you could be like me and enter a battle without figuring out how to fire my cannons first (Not advised, It doesn’t go well…) Also, the game is still in Alpha development, so watch out for strange bugs and broken mechanics. You have been warned…

If you’re new to Age of Sail games, I recommend choosing the PvE server. Your enemies will always be AI, so you won’t have do deal with overpowered enemy players that prey on newbies. Unfortunately, PvE has no conquest system at the moment, so if you’d rather spend your time conquering enemy nations, join a PvP server.

To start off, make some friends. Joining a big clan early on is a good idea, as most clans will help you with missions, trading, or capturing new ships. The community in this game is very nice and helpful, and there’s a handy “Help” tab in the chat window if you need to ask for assistance, although it’s a global chat. If you need help with missions, ask in your nation’s chat, you’ll more than likely get a few willing volunteers.

New players should try to get a fleet as soon as possible. A fleet is a group of AI ships (maximum 2) that will join your side when you enter a battle or mission. Two Cutters cost about 36k, which sounds like a lot, but having two extra ships on your side in a battle will make most fights a piece of cake. A fleet will also make moving vulnerable trading ships much easier. Plus, you’ll quickly earn back the money spend on the fleet, because you’re awarded bonus money for any damage your fleet inflicts. Essentialy, having a fleet gives you 3x gold gain. Once you get to a high enough rank, you can’t hire fleets, so it’s better to get as many as possible early on while you can.


When in the Basic Cutter, try to use your size and speed to your advantage. The BC is one of the fastest ships in the game, make use of that. Try to get in close, hit your enemy where they’re weak, such as the stern, then get out fast before they can retaliate. If you’re unsure of a good strategy, start with a few volleys of chain shot from far away to slow them down in case you need to make a quick getaway. I recomend 6lb Long Cannons as some good starting guns, they’re accurate, powerful, and great for kiting larger ships. Since your first priority should be making a good amount of starting cash, try board ships as much as possible. Do this by crippling their sails with chain shot, taking off a few chunks of armor, and melting their crew with grape shot. Grape shot is most effective in the stern as is passes through the entire ship, maximizing it’s killing potential.

On another note, it’s also possible to sink ships instantly by ramming them. With enough speed, and if your ship is on the downward slope of a wave, you can actually ram the bow of your ship on TOP of your enemy’s deck. The wind will continue to push you further over their ship, trapping them and pushing them under the water. Eventually, the weight of your ships will either tip their ship over, or push it underwater completely. I’ve actually used this strategy to flip a Privateer with a smaller Basic Cutter. Funny as this is, it unfortunately won’t give you any gold for sinking it as it doesn’t count as actual damage.

Open World

The Open World in this game is MASSIVE, so be prepared to get lost more than a few times while travelling.

There’s very little in ways of navigation on the Open World. You get a compass with the wind direction, and a map of the world, although it has no markers besides ports and missions. So, to navigate, you need to use landmarks and such to find your way around.

I advise new players to build an outpost at their capital city. There’s always lot’s of players around there that will help you out, and the capitals shops usually have the largest selection of items. If lost, you can use your handy-dandy “Teleport to Capital” button to get back home. Make sure to build a warehouse at the outpost to store all your loot as well.

Making Money/XP

I found the best way to earn gold and xp quickly is to do small port battles, located under the missions tab while in port. You’ll be grouped up with other random players against AI of equal-ish strength. (NOTE: You’ll only be against AI in the PvE server if I’m not otherwise mistaken. On PvP servers you’ll be matched against other players, so be careful) Usually you want to use just the starting ship for this, since you can get as many as you want for free, so you don’t need to worry about sinking. Because of this, don’t hold back! Ignore the fact that those two Privateers you’ve been matched against outgun you, charge in at full speed and keep firing until one of you sinks. Gold/xp is awarded based on damage delt, so don’t worry too much about who gets the final shots in, just hit your enemy as much as possible for maximum gold.

Trading is also a good way to make money. There is a wide amount of resources in the game that are the basis for building ships. These resources are “produced” at certain ports, meaning they can be purchased there for a cheaper ammount than other ports. Certain ports also “consume” resources, meaning you can sell them there for a higher price than others. It’s a pretty basic concept, buy from exporting ports, sell to importing ports, make a profit. The hard part is getting the cargo from A-B, but this can be solved by bringing some friends as an escort, or by hiring a fleet as mentioned above. The prices also change often, so it’s very difficult to keep track of which ports have the best prices, as price is also affected by quantity, so if another player sells a load of the same resource a few minutes you’ll probably loose money if you sell there because the price would dropped according to the quantity. (this method isn’t reccomended for new players, as it’s very complicated and time-consuming)

Search and Destroy missions are another way to earn cash. They’re little instances on the open world where you’ll find AI ships that you need to destroy in order to complete the misison, giving you gold and xp as a reward. If you manage to sucessfully board the ship, you can capture it and use it, sell it, or break it down for parts to use in shipbuilding, although this option generally gives less value in parts then selling the ship.

Personally, I prefer and reccomend Small Battle Missions over trading or S&D as they’re much quicker and more convinient. You’re also placed against AI ships of about the same strength as yours, so if you use the Basic Cutter, you’ll be against other cutters, which is a pretty quick and easy fight.

You could also get in a group with some higher ranking players and fight powerful enemy fleets, which are also good sources of gold and xp, since they’re so tough. Be warned however, it’s possible to get demolished VERY quickly in these battles if you’re not careful.


You start off in the Basic Cutter, and my advice is to stay in it until you’ve got enough gold to buy a Snow. Lynxes are worse than the cutter and Privateers are clumsy. Anything more than those and you’re wasting money you could be saving. The Snow is fast and agile, packs a powerful punch, and is smaller and harder to hit than it’s Brig counterpart. It also has chasers on the bow and stern which makes pursuing ships a breeze.

Since you’ve got unlimited cutters, just keep doing missions regardless of sinking and you’ll be swimming in cash, (and water). If you happen to capture a few ships before you get a Snow, trying them out and getting the feel of different ships is a good idea. Keep in mind that captured ships only have one durability, so if it sinks, it’s gone.

Once you get a snow, the rest is up to you. Generally you want to go for a good 5th rate like a Renommee or a Frigate. I prefer ships that are fast agile, but pack a powerful punch, but that’s just me. Some prefer speed, others tankiness.


There are currently 3 types of cannons in Naval Action so far:

Medium Cannons – These cannons are your average guns. Decent range, decent reload, and decent accuracy.

Long Cannons – These cannons have good long range, good accuracy, but are slower to reload. I recommend these guns for kiting with chain shot or chipping away at a ship from afar.

Carronades – These cannons have little range, poor accuracy, but are quick to reload and are incredibly powerful. Use these guns for getting in close and blasting away. Carronades are most effective on smaller ships that can support the poor range with their mobility, such as the Cutter, Lynx, Snow, ect.

Cannons are classed by ranks, 1-10. Rank 10 cannons are the basic guns found on the Basic Cutter. Get rid of these as soon as possible. A ship can carry only up to a certain class of cannons, as shown in the ships info, something that looks like this: [6-9]/[4-8]. The first two numbers show the maximum and minimum class of medium guns and long guns. The second numbers show the maximum and minimum class of carronades. This means that the ship can carry between rank 6 and 9 long and medium cannons, and between rank 4 and 8 carronades.

Upgrades can be looted or purchased, and are placed in a ships upgrade slots. Depending on the quality of the ship, it can hold 1-5 upgrades. Basic ships usually hold 1-2, common, 2-3, ect. For beginners, I suggest marines if you tend to capture ships, or a reload upgrade if you like maximum DPS, tt really depends on playstyle. Try out any you loot to decide which you like best.

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Written by Caleb

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