What Makes a Good Ship?

A good ship is one that best fits the role it was designed to do.  In Tradelands, there are three general categories of ship roles, each with their own set of key characteristics:

Pirate Ships

These are vessels are used intercept and board ship ships, while evading stronger ships.

  • Need to be highly maneuverable with good turning speeds.
  • The ability to operate in cross winds is important.
  • Need to have some storage capacity.
  • Overall speed is the least important factor.

Navy Ships

These are vessels used to attack and sink other ships.

  • Heavy armament is the single most important aspect, with gun placement a close second.
  • Upwind/Downwind speed is important for patrolling trade lanes.
  • Most have no cargo capacity at all.

Merchant Ships

These are vessels used to trade cargo and are usually run by solo captains.

  • Speed and cargo capacity are the only to aspects of these ships that matter.
  • Armament and cross-wind speed is of little to no significance at all.
  • Determined pirates will find a way to board you regardless of your ship’s strengths.

Picking The Right Ship To Level Up

If you understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each ship type, the next step is picking the right ship for your level. A trader who is following a good trade route will typically earn around 35 doubloons per minute, per crate. This is an “average” and goes up or down based on your relative navigation skill, ship speed, and dock time.

F&BP recommends that all players purchase at least one trade ship that is able to provide them the best method of earning doubloons through cargo trading. This is because your player level and faction reputation are both impacted by the amount of cargo you trade. Moreover, higher tier ships tend to outperform lower level ships, making the ability to level up important.

What Makes a Good Merchant Ship?

Merchant ships are all about the amount of doubloons you can make over time.  This is referred to as your “Run Speed” or “Trade Velocity.”  Essentially if your run speed is higher, it means you have a fast ship with a good cargo hold. It also means you are a very rich merchant.  On the flip side, if you are trying to do trade runs in a warship, your Run Speed will be lower and you will be leveling up slower than other merchants.

The second aspect of a good trade ship is the loading speed, which is sometimes referred to as “Dock Time.”  In the past, this was determined by the number of players in your crew and how efficient they were at unloading a ship.  However, recent iterations of the game have made your ship’s navigation capability more important than crew size.  As a result, turn speed is the second most important factor in choosing your merchant ship.

The third aspect of a good ship is in the purchase cost of the boat.  Tradelands does not currently offer a leasing/trading option, which means you have to build every ship you want to have.  In turn, this means you have to collect the resources to build it, as well as spend doubloons on it.  This can slow you down as you attempt to earn your way to the top.

All other factors, including hull strength and cannon placement, don’t matter when you are picking a trade ship despite what people tell you. The number of cannons on your boat is only useful in determining how many crew mates can tag along comfortably by sitting at them. Some ships are harder to board than others, but good pirate crews train on how to board them. Stern chasers are somewhat important but shouldn’t be a major factor in your overall choice as your ability to turn a profit is more important than firepower.

Next Page: Ship Ratings And Stats