Set the system date to September 19th to have everyone's dialogue sound like a pirate.
Achieve the rank of Count with any or all nations. Then, begin a ship battle with any desired ship. Damage it a lot, but not to the point where it explodes. Keep the ship and go to a port where you are at the rank of Count or higher. Talk to the shipwright; you will get free repairs. You can repair a damaged ship for free and sell it for a lot of money.
If you have more than one boat and are sailing and your crew says that they are taking one of your boats, just follow them and take it over. You will get it back, plus more money as it gives that boat's plundered money.
When your dance partner gives you a hand signal for you to move, press [Pause/Break]. Then, quickly resume the game and press the correct direction key.
Attacking and boarding a smuggler's vessel usually yields a specialist (for example, Carpenter, Sailmaker, etc.).
Land battles are difficult to win, even if you have more soldiers than the enemy. A good strategy to remember is to hide in the trees. The soldiers attacking your troops in the trees will have less than a 20% chance of inflicting critical damage, and all damage is divided in half. Also, watch your troop's morale; if their morale gets low enough, they may run away from battle. Always enter battle with more than one quarter additional troops than the city guards. You can also weaken enemy ports and cities by alerting Pirate Havens and Indian Villages. The Indians or pirates will assault the town, making the town lose guards, whether or not they win the battle. This also makes the city lose wealth, however. If the city was once "Prosperous" it may go down to "Poor" or "Modest". If this happens too much, alert the missionaries in the Missionary Camps. Tell them to travel to the city you want to become wealthier, then attack the city. You must attack cities at the correct moment. Waiting too long after sending in missionaries may result in more guards accumulating than before. You should wait only two to five days.
Get your buccaneers to the front lines whether in the trees or not. It does not matter if you have a significantly greater force. Then, have your pirates and officers get into position for flanking. The best way to do this is to send more than one group of pirates against one enemy in case the enemy moves. Before you attack the soldiers with your pirates, attack them with your buccaneers by holding [Shift] and then selecting the "Next Turn" button on the control panel. This should either kill or significantly weaken the soldiers. Also, make sure you search for a hill to flank the enemy from. If you use this strategy, you can easily defeat an enemy that is only five or more soldiers weaker than yourself.
When battling other ships, get in front of them. Have them chase you, and when your guns are fully loaded, turn, fire, and straighten again. Repeat this until you wish to board or their sail falls and they surrender. It is best done when you use grape shot or chain shot.
Sometimes when you meet a Governor at a town, settlement (most often), or monastery, the Governor or Monk may require you to escort ships for various purposes (sending immigrants, ultimatums, seeds, transporting a new Governor, etc.). The ships will almost always be intercepted by three opposing enemies (other nations or pirates), prompting a "sea battle" on the main political sea map. To avoid this, attack the ship you are escorting. When you enter the combat screen, sail away from the ship to flee. Most likely the other ship will sail in the opposite direction. After you exit the combat screen, the escort ship will have sailed quite a long distance. If you are close to the target destination, the ship you are escorting should arrive automatically and complete its mission. Note: This may not work very well if the target destination is still far away.
You can trick your opponent while in a duel. When you go to attack the enemy in any way, quickly press the opposite direction. For example, if you press up, quickly press down or left, etc.
When choosing the ammo type, select the chain balls. Then, immiediately after firing, click the round balls and you will fire both of these ammo types in the same shot.
When the Governor's daughter gives you the hand signal, select the button for the hand movement right after she gives you the signal. You will do a special dancing move which will get her heart up very fast, if you do it many times in a row. If her heart is large enough when the mini-game is over, instead of kissing her hand, you will spin her around and then she will kiss you. Afterwards she will usually give you a present or extremely valuable information.
To do the flourish during a dance sequence, press the key for the correct direction when the girl nods her head at you.
The following ships will appear under the following conditions:
Brig Of War (Brig class): Often seen as Military Payroll carriers, or Troop Transports. They attack as normal, but beware of large amounts of enemy crew.
Large Frigate: Henry Morgan has a Large Frigate. Boarding his ship leads to a fairly easy sword fight, even on the Rogue difficulty.
Mail Runner (Pinnace class): Offer to escort a war declaration or peace offering from a colony, then attack the courier once out of port.
Royal Sloop (Sloop class): Often seen as a Pirate Hunter out of Spanish ports. Attack shipping around a Spanish port, and one may come out to attack.
Ship Of The Line (Frigate class): Relentlessly attack shipping of the English, French, or Dutch, and keep watch for a "New Warship" (Ship Of The Line) sailing around.
The following is a list of different types of cities and their characteristics. Note: Poor defenses and weak defenses are different. Poor defenses are worse than weak defenses.
- Capital Cities: Large and wealthy with strong defenses.
- Port Cities: Large and wealthy city with weak defenses.
- Towns: Large and poor with strong defenses.
- Colonies: Large and poor with weak defenses.
- Trading Posts: Small and wealthy with strong defenses.
- Strongholds: Small and poor with strong defenses.
- Villages: Small and wealthy with poor defenses.
- Outposts: Small and poor with poor defenses.
- Port Cities: Large and wealthy city with weak defenses.
Open the Piratopedia, and search for the "St. Eustatius" entry. Early in the entry, the word "Eastern" is used, but only the "Easter" part of it is a hyperlink. Click it to access a hidden page that denies the existence of any Easter Eggs in the game.
On rare occasions, the Mysterious Traveler at the back of the tavern will instead be Sid Meier. He will lack the usual beard of the other Mysterious Travelers, but acts the same as them.