Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Efficient Ship-to-Ship Combat Guide

This guide will explain you what is the best ship setup for naval combat and what are the most efficient maneuvers to destroy an enemy ship.

Ship Equipment

All credit goes to Tamaster!

This section will explain what is the best ship loadout for combat, and why.

  • Ship Type – Junk
  • Cost: 54.000
  • Min. Crew: 8
  • Max. Crew: 21
  • Cannons per Side: 5
  • Rest Space: 5
  • Base Hull: 80

The Junk is the best ship hands down in the entire game. The main reason would be the absurd firepower it has, with five cannons per side. Other than this, it is faster than the Galleon, can soak a lot of hits with 80 Hull, and has the largest Crew capacity and Supply capacity of all ships.

But let’s now see what is the best equipment to outfit, and why.

Core Ship Equipment

Cannons – 5 Double Bronzer per Side
The Double Bronzer is an incredibly overpowered cannon, dealing a mind boggling 12-15 damage per shot. It has a slow reload, but that is not a problem as we will see in the next section of this guide. Getting 5 of these per side means you have a damage potential of 60-75 for each volley, that is enough to instantly kill lesser ships, and kill Galleons and Junks in just 2 volleys. They are quite cheap, and for 10 you should not spend more than 6.000 gold. You can find this cannon type in Neketaka.

Hull Type – The Red Dream
This hull gives you +40 Hull Points, at the cost of some Combat Speed. This means with this hull, you can have as many HP as a Galleon. It can be bought at one of the main ports 16.000 gold.

Secondary Ship Equipment

Sail Type – Gulweave Sails
These sails only have a minor -5 to combat speed, while give a massive +30 to Sail Health. You can find this type of sails in Splintered Reef Port, at the bottom right of the map. They cost only 9.000 gold.

Helm, Anchor and Lanterns
These are not really mandatory but can improve your combat speed more, get the Steel variant for Helm and Anchor and Arcane Lanterns. In total this will cost 41.000 gold, but take your time, it’s not mandatory.

Combat Maneuvers

This section will teach you what are the best maneuvers to perform in combat to quickly sink the enemy ship without many problems.

Step 1
When combat starts, the first thing you should do is using the “Full Speed Ahead” order, until you get to the cannons optimal range. Since you will be using Double Bronzers, the optimal range will be 350 to 250 Metres.

Step 2
When you arrive at optimal range, the next order to give should be “Turn to Port” or “Starboard”, it’s the same really, this will allow you to turn the ship to aim the cannons.

Step 3
Once the ship is turned, order to “Hold Position”, this will stabilize the ship and give the gunners a better hit chance.

Step 4
Order to “Fire the cannons”, all the cannons on one side of the ship will fire, and then after damage is calculated, start reloading.

Step 5
After the cannons fire, you will have to order “Prepare to jibe”, a Jibe is a 180 degrees turn, and this will bring the enemy ship on the other side of your ship, meaning the other five cannons, already loaded and ready, will be able to fire on it.

Step 6
Once you completed the Jibe, order to “Hold Position” to stabilize the ship, as Jibe gives a very big malus to aiming and so stabilizing is essential to hit the enemy.

Step 7
After holding position, order your cannons to fire.

Step 8
Repeat everything from Step 5 until the enemy ship is destroyed.

Why this procedure works:
Because using Jibe gives you a much higher DPS than waiting X turns for the cannons on one side to reload. The enemy will NEVER do this set of manouvers and therefore will always wait the reload of their cannons on 1 side, while you, using this strategy, can maximize DPS and reload efficency, using the cannons on one side while the other side reloads.

What to do in case of crew injury

An injured crew member will not do his job until healed, and in battle this is bad. You can check ship status and see what crew members are wounded.

What matters are the cannoneers and the helmsman, all the other crew members are to be ignored if wounded. Wounded cannoneers mean a row of your cannons (1 per side horizontally) will not fire anymore and be useless, while wounded helmsman means the ship will not move.

Make sure always to have max people ready in the Resting section at all times, because you need to swap them with the injured crew to get the stuff working again. To do this, you need to issue the order “Report to”, after it, the ship management panel will appear and you can adjust the crew layout just as you do normally. This will consume a turn, but will allow you to get the ship weapons and helm working again. It is always better to spend a turn doing this than firing less cannons.

What to do in case of emergency damage

Unsecured Cargo
Leave it be, you will only lose 10% of your total resources on ship, and that is nothing since food, drink and other supplies have very low cost.

This is bad but you can ignore it as long as you finish the battle in less than 4 turns, because after 4 turns your ship will sink no matter what. If you need to repair, move half of the Deckhands and half of the Resting crew to fix this using the “Report To” order. This way you will still have a decent number of deckhands doing the job and some reserve crew.

Mostly you can ignore it unless you are very low on Health, which almost never happens if you follow this strategy anyway. To fix this it’s the same as Flooding.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13955 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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