Cold Waters is shaping up to be a fantastic game, but not all of its mechanisms are very well explained. In this guide I hope to add guides about many of the mechanics of this game, as well as general tips to help you improve your gameplay. Hope it's useful!
Tips for New Players
1) Submarines tend to have more tubes than they have torpedos. This is mentioned no-where in the game, but you can find it in the files of the game at Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cold Waters\ColdWaters_Data\StreamingAssets\default\vessels and then clicking on one of the files starting with 'usn_ssn'. There you will find a part called 'weapon systems' and a line saying 'NumberOfWires=X'. Let's say this is 2 (NumberOfWires=2). This means that even if you have 4 wired torpedo's, if you fire all of these at once, only the first two will be wired. If you want another one to be wired, you can cut the wire of the first or second one with shift-4 and then fire the other one.
Here's a list showing how many each submarine has:
- Name: 1984 / 1968
- Los Angeles: 4 / -
- Narwhal: 2 / -
- Permit: 2 / 2
- Skipjack: 1 / 1
- Sturgeon: 2 / 2
2) Cavitation depends on depth. I'll be making a detailed video on why cavitation happens, but basically it means that you are making bubbles behind your submarine, and this depends on both speed and depth. The in-game formula for this is 'Cavitation depth = 20 * SpeedInKnots - 100'. What this means is that for every 5 knots of extra speed, cavitation happens 100 feet earlier. This formula is currently the same for all submarines, but might change in the future, either due to the devs changing it or people modding it to more accurately reflect actual numbers.
3) If you're like me and you don't know all the different types of boats and what names they had, it can be hard to know what you are targeting if you don't have visual on it. However, if you have a target identified with a certain name, if you then go to the 'conditions' tab, you will see a small icon of your opponent. This can either be a warship, a submarine or a merchant. Bio (whales) do not have their own icon (yet?), but show up as an underwater warship. If you look at the signature, you can also see that some of these do not have access to passive or active sonar, which means that these will not be able to spot you as easily as the enemies that do have access to this.
4) Difficulty settings in this game do not affect the ai, but do affect a whole range of other things. See the picture below for the parameters it affects.
If you have troubles getting your bearings in this game, you can also go to options and deselect 'Hide low SOL contacts in 3d'. This means that even if you just identified a contact (and haven't found a solution to their position yet), you can actually see them in-game. This is kind of cheating, but if you're still struggling with the controls and how to play the game, it could potentially prevent some frustration.
5) When you play the game, you can move the sub by left or right clicking. This has a big effect on encounters. If you start an encounter when you didn't move (so the enemy attacked you), your initial depth is shallow and speed is 5knots. If you were going on patrol speed (right click in my game at least), you will be deeper and going at ~10 knots. If you are going at flank speed (left click in my game), you will start very deep and going at ~25 knots. This can have a large effect on whether enemies can find you at the beginning of the encounter, so it might be good to be careful.
Reduced vision mod:
In this video I go into detail on the physics behind cavitation, and how it will affect your gameplay.