The purpose of this guide is to give players who are already acquainted with the basics of The Ship a few tips and tricks they may not be aware of. If you haven’t really played The Ship all that much at all, there is a Beginner’s Guide written by me that’ll teach you the basics.
Your Hunter, your Quarry and You
- Knowing the identities of the other players can be a double-edged sword. Finding out someone’s name also gives them your name. On one hand, learning everyone’s name and face in advance can help if you just so happen to have them as your next quarry. On the other hand, it can make it just as easy for your hunter to find you. Usually, it’s a good idea not to identify yourself to people you know aren’t your quarry.
- Even if you don’t know what your quarry looks like, their name can help narrow down the search considerably. For example, a player named Winston Smith is probably a guy. There are some gender-neutral names in the game, so don’t rely on this too much.
- Remember that even if you’ve seen what your quarry looks like before, there’s the possibility that they’ve changed clothes since then, rendering your info on their appearance inaccurate. Keep this in mind if you’re hot on your quarry’s tail, but no one in the area resembles the quarry’s portrait.
- If you survive an attack from your hunter, memorize their name and appearance. This way, if you cross paths again, you can safely take the initiative without worrying about losing money.
- If you suspect someone is your hunter, it’s better to just wait and see if they make a move. This way, you won’t lose money for making a bad call, unless your attacker isn’t your hunter but they’re attacking you anyway for whatever reason.
- If a lot of players have identified you, it may be a good idea to change clothes. Your headgear is probably the most important to change as it allows your hunter to identify you from a distance. So if your hunter thinks you’re wearing a top hat, they’re going to be pretty stumped as to your location if you aren’t wearing that hat anymore.
- Always keep moving. It is rarely a good idea to stay in one place for long, even if there’s Security present or it’s an area off the beaten path that only your hunter would enter.
- Never assume Security will always protect you from your hunter. Guards can be bribed, Cameras will rotate away from you or your hunter will simply snipe you from somewhere out of sight.
Tools of the Trade
- While it is certainly tempting to haul around 5 or 6 weapons on your person, this ultimately works against you in two ways. One, if your hunter kills you, then they will likely be looting your body and will likely pick up any high-value weapons you had on you, helping them rise up the leaderboard. Two, if you’re arrested, each weapon will be added to your rap sheet which can lose you a lot of money and keep you locked up for over a minute.
- Make sure to always check the MFK table (viewed by pressing ‘M’ by default). This can allow you to keep track of which weapons are the most valuable and plan ahead.
- Don’t be so quick to throw away or ignore high-damage weapons with low MFK. They can still be very useful for defending yourself against your hunter.
- Interestingly, some weapons are not considered weapons by Security unless they’re used to attack someone. These are the Walking Stick, the Umbrella and the Wallet/Purse Bomb. You won’t be arrested if you brandish one of these in front of Security and if you’re arrested, not only will you not be fined for carrying them but these weapons will actually be returned to you when you leave prison (excluding the Wallet/Purse Bomb, those will be confiscated).
- Try to be careful with the Wallet/Purse Bomb and Flare Guns. The bombs kill indiscriminately, which can result in a major penalty if two or more innocents are caught in the blast. The Flare Gun has a problematic bug where if you hit someone with the Flare Gun and they aren’t your quarry, they’ll respawn still on fire. Then they’ll die again, and you’ll be penalised again. This happens at least twice, resulting in a total of three penalties if you hit the wrong target with a Flare Gun. Be very careful with these weapons.
- Ideally, your inventory should have three weapons. One weapon with a high MFK that you intend to earn money with, one with high damage to defend yourself with and an Umbrella or Walking Stick so that you’re not defenseless once you leave prison.
I'm on a Boat
- As you’re playing the game, observe the most populated areas on the ship. You can use that knowledge to distance yourself from other players and lure your hunter out. If you’re the only person in the cargo hold and someone runs in, they’re almost certainly your hunter. You can also use this tactic to split everyone up if everyone’s clustered in one area and it’s too hard to kill your quarry. Draw your hunter away and they’ll draw their hunter away and so on.
- While containers are mostly randomized in what they carry, some containers will always carry certain items or weapons. Emergency containers will always carry Fire Axes and Flare Guns, toolboxes will always carry tools like Spanners and Screwdrivers, medical waste containers carry Syringes, etc. Keep this in mind in case one of these weapons develops a high MFK.
- Some areas of the ship are reserved for the crew only. You can sneak into these areas to search for weapons but there is a risk involved. Any guard, camera or crewman witnessing you in the area causes a "Trespassing” meter to fill. As it fills, you’ll be fined increasing amounts of money for your crime. If it fills to maximum, you’ll be arrested. You can usually tell if an area is off-limits by the exclamation mark icon that represents the "Trespassing” meter.
- If you don’t want to carry a weapon around out of fear of losing it, you can always stash it for later. Items stored by a player never reset (as far as I know) which means you can stash them away in a bookshelf or a cabinet where other players aren’t likely to search. A very nice place is a Fire Axe container. The container visually shows a Fire Axe when one is inside and appears blank when there isn’t. However, you can stash another item inside the container. Not only will the container still appear empty at a glance, but it won’t be refreshed with another axe (again, as far as I know) meaning most players won’t even notice what’s inside.
- There are tons of secret passages that you can use to traverse the ship in unexpected ways. I won’t mention any of them as there are plenty of secret guides that do that already. But knowing that they’re there can give you an edge over other players. There are also usually weapons with high MFK stashed inside them.
- Some ships have environmental traps that can be used to kill, such as lifeboats or walk-in freezers. However, luring your quarry into these is easier said than done and will most likely just get you killed by them instead. However, these traps will always offer a fixed amount of money and will never depreciate so they can be worth keeping in mind.
If you find yourself in prison, don’t assume that you can’t be touched or that you can’t kill your quarry if they’re in prison with you. Some of the containers in prison have a chance of spawning a Shank. The Shank can be used to kill your quarry in prison or to defend yourself from your hunter once you’re released.
Round and Round
- As you play the game, always remember one thing. You don’t have to kill your quarry every round. While it would be nice if you were able to achieve this, reality is not so kind. If you feel like you won’t be able to kill your quarry this round, don’t sweat it. Take the time to tend to your Needs, find new weapons or set things up for next round. The round timer doesn’t start until the first quarry dies so if you’re lucky, none of the other players will be successful by the time you’re ready.
- If you’ve taken a few hits, make sure to buy medical treatment as soon as you can. Being low health just makes it easier for your hunter to kill you.
- If another player is attempting to kill their quarry, don’t run away. Keep your eyes glued to the scene. By doing so, you’re witnessing the other player’s crime and you might even get them arrested and fined which will only help your chances of winning.
- Remember to consider every player innocent until proven guilty. If you think someone is your hunter, don’t be so quick to attack them. If they are your hunter and they kill you, then they’ll gain some money, something which isn’t difficult to come back from. But if they weren’t, you’ll lose money and your actual hunter could still track you down and kill you, putting you at an even worse deficit than if you just exercised caution. Only attack if there’s almost no room for doubt that they’re your killer.
- If you don’t feel like going to specific areas to meet your Needs, there are a handful of portable items that you can use to satisfy specific Needs. Snacks and soft drinks can satisfy hunger and thirst, books can satisfy your need for entertainment and catheters and colostomy bags can be used to relieve yourself outside of the toilet (but these will cause your hygiene Need to skyrocket).
- Remember to bank any money on hand you don’t need into an ATM. Cash on hand can be lost if your hunter manages to kill you, cash in the bank is safe from this.