Sailing Era – Main Character Comparison

A comparison of the main characters intended for new players.

Guide to Main Character Comparison

All credit goes to Seraviel!


This guide will compare the 4 main characters based on their abilities, their storylines and their uses, both as a main character and as a secondary character. This is not intent as a ranking or a discussion of which one is ‘best’, as the definition of best depends on how the player plays the game, and not on who they are playing as.


Abdullah is the most transformative character in the game, bar none. His ability to capture ships changes the entire way the game is played, and the only character who can do something similar (Blackbeard) is only limited to small or medium ships, and requires a lengthy quest to recruit.

He balances that by being completely one-dimensional. Abdullah is all about fighting, and when you are not fighting he does pretty much nothing. As such, players will either love him or hate him, depending on how much fighting is part of how they play.


  • Skilled Fighter
    The second or third worst XP ability, depending on how you look at things. It’s a nice little advantage, but not game-breaking.
  • Ship Seizing Tactics
    As said earlier, the singular most game-changing ability. With it, you can always get ships easily and fast, and Abdullah has no problem replacing losses comparatively to other main characters. If Abdullah only had that ability, he would still be a viable character.
  • Loot
    Who doesn’t want more loot? The fact that this ability is not his greatest is a testament to how broken Ship Seizing Tactics is. If any other character had only that ability, he would still be prime recruitment material.

As a Main Character

  • Abilities and Stats:
    Abdullah has skills that fits his storyline, as in he is nearly all about fighting. He has very high Observation and Brawling, and is a talented captain after that. The problem is that his skills are unfortunately extremely focused on ships and combat, making him nearly useless for discoveries or interpretation. As said before, he is one-dimensional.
    On the side of stats, Abdullah is very strong outside his knowledge stat, where he lags heavily. It makes him a very strong fighter, but limits him in some areas.
  • Languages:
    Abdullah would be the best in languages if it wasn’t for his abysmal knowledge stat. Arabic is one of the better languages in the game (the other one being Chinese), and he doesn’t have anything else. He is unfortunately limited in what he learns by the fact that, even at max level, his knowledge stat might be too low for some books.
  • Crewmembers:
    Abdullah doesn’t do great on crew members. He may be stuck with only Nasser as crewmate until the end of chapter 2, and unless he goes out of his way to recruit others he’ll end up with only 5 crew, which is especially bad for him given support captains are the most useful in his storyline.
  • Starting Ship:
    Abdullah has a quite decent starting ship, and can easily replace it with his ability. The ease of the latter means the player can easily go with whatever they like, and even then, midway through his storyline, he’ll be getting a decent ship for free. He ranks second best there.
  • Main quest:
    As said earlier, his quest is mainly about fighting, and as such you’ll be managing crew and hull like in no other. On the other hand, cargo and keeping up with what port sells what is something you won’t have to deal with, and you can get through the game with doing any discoveries or comissions.

As a Secondary Character

Just for his ability Abdullah would be a great crewmember, but he’s also the best lookout in the game, along with a more-than-decent support captain. Using him as the first is recommended, as support captains aren’t rare, and as his special equipment (Stone Falcon Statue, found between Hormuz and Basrah) has the greatest bonus to Observation in his hands.

He is also easy to recruit, as every other character passes by the Indian Ocean at one point during the stry, and can easily be recruited then, if not before.


Andrew is the secondmost transformative character after Abdullah, and that mainly because of his ability Route Pathfinder. While it doesn’t look that powerful, it simplifies both trade and exploration so much that only Ship Seizing Tactics compares. Where Abdullah is the fighter, Andrew is the explorer, and the player will do quite a bit of both naval and land exploration while going through his story.


  • Adventurous Spirit
    The second or third worst XP ability, depending on how the player look at things. It’s a nice little advantage, but not game-breaking.
  • Innate Leader
    The top or second best XP ability in the game, reducing XP costs for characters under Andrew’s level by 30%. It’s a sizeable advantage, and the only one on that level is Yun mu’s ability Scholar. With his previous ability, it makes Andrew the one with the highest-levelled crew in the game.
  • Route Pathfinder
    Andrew’s best ability, which is surprising given Innate Leader. It unlocks quickly, with unlocking it at the start of chapter 2 being quite possible, and gives the player a 100 contribution whenever you enter a port you haven’t entered yet. It might not seem like much, but that means the player get permits for whatever special resource the port has and to go on expeditions from the moment they arrive in town. Just that makes the game quite easier.

As a Main Character

  • Abilities and Stats:
    Contrary to Abdullah, his abilities are more general than focused on his story. They’ll still help, especially Route Pathfinder for land expeditions, but they aren’t central to his plotline.
    Stats-wise, he’s among the best; by the time he hits his max level, he will have most if not all stats at their cap. It makes him a very good land explorer, which is where those stats are the most useful.
  • Languages:
    Andrew is the worst language-wise, starting with a single weak language. Portuguese unfortunately has books for only Sail Control and Music, which isn’t great, and while it is used in many libraries it isn’t that uncommon, being shared with another main character and three more recruitable NPCs, each not difficult to recruit.
  • Crewmembers:
    Andrew has a very good set of crewmembers. He starts with the best Mapping specialist in the game, which is useful as routes are something you’ll be making full use of, and the second best scholar in the game. He also quickly recruits one of the best crew members (Maltim, the best pilot and who has the supply usage reducing ability). He can also focus his crew on his flagship, as there isn’t that much combat during his storyline.
  • Starting Ship:
    Andrew’s starting ship isn’t great, and isn’t replaced automatically at any time during the game. It’s not the worst, but it certainly doesn’t compare to Yoshitaka or even Abdullah’s. Replacing it will be something the player will have to think about.
  • Main quest:
    As the explorer, Andrew’s main quest will have you visit many ports, more than in any other scenario. Given his slow ship, that can make his quest long. His quest is also the one most like a tutorial as, while the first chapter of every character is pretty much a tutorial, his story is the one where the most things are explained.

As a Secondary Character

Surprisingly, Andrew is the worst amongst the main characters as a secondary character. Sure, his abilities make him useful, but outside of that he’s a support captain at best. His best stat is leadership, which is very common, and while he has a very nice stat spread, he doesn’t do anything better than anyone else. He’s a generalist, not a specialist, and outside of support captain that puts him as Sail Master (where there isn’t a specialist available). He also isn’t helped by the fact that most other characters end up in Europe quite late in their quests.


Yoshitaka, the shipbuilder, isn’t defined by his abilities like most other main characters, but by his skills; he’s both the top in Shipbuilding and in Repair, along with one of the best brawler. He starts with the most skills, which isn’t always useful but is an advantage, and unsurprisingly has the best ship of the game.


  • Prestigious Shipbuilder
    The sheer worst XP ability of the game, bar none. It’s nearly useless, even during Yoshitaka’s storyline where shipbuilding is more important, and would need to be 5 to 10 times as powerful to get out of the last rank.
  • Cats at Hand
    A nice little ability, cancelling one of the possible problems during long voyages at sea. It is similar to Daniel’s ability to cancel plagues or Joyce’s ability against scurvy, but really won’t have much of an effect for most of the game.
  • Craftsmanship Knowledge
    A similar ability to that of many NPCs. Nice to have, but just a 10% bonus, which doesn’t affect things that much.
    At least, unless it compounds with other abilities like Yun Mu’s.
  • Nature Surpassing
    As far as is known, the only impact of this ability is that Yoshitaka doesn’t need to buy the Cabin Extension Technique. It saves the player 50 000 gold and comes much earlier in the game, but outside of that doesn’t seem to do anything.

As a Main Character

  • Abilities and Stats:
    Yoshitaka has the best abilities of all the main characters. He can modify ships from the onset of the game, is a talented brawler, and only Andrew has better Leadership among main characters.
    As for his stas, he’s very good; pretty much strong everywhere. At max level he won’t have as many stats capped as Andrew, but he’ll still be able to pass every check in the game. He’ll also have the highest HP of all main characters by that point.
  • Languages:
    Yoshitaka is unfortunately second worst in languages, having only a single one that isn’t very useful. Japanese is only used in two books, Steering and Music, and while the Edo Library has many books in Japanese, one can use Chinese instead there to recruit Takigawa Amagai, which will have the language necessary to interpret said books. All in all, not great.
  • Crewmembers:
    Yoshitaka doesn’t lack for crew. He has Takigawa as a strong brawler with his dueling ability, and recruits Garaba during his first chapter, giving a good Sail Master. He does lack quantity, as those (and Blackbeard, recruited near the end of Chapter 4) are the only automatic crewmembers he gets.
  • Starting Ship:
    Unsurprisingly, the shipbuilder has the best ships.
    Technically, Yoshitaka’s starting ship is not great, but he gets the Ocean Ship at the end of his first chapter, and you couldn’t ask for better. It has at least two more speed than any other starting ship in the game, and as a medium ship can mount two frontal Shrapnel Guns. You could go the entire game using only that, but even then you’ll be getting something even better later for free.
  • Main quest:
    Yoshitaka’s quest is relatively simple outside one or two points. He does have some backtracking to gather resources, some pirate hunting to get specific components (which is the major pain of his storyline), and a tough fight near the end of the game, but he requires much less going from port to port than any other character in the game.

As a Secondary Character

Yoshitaka is great as a secondary character. Not only is he the best shipbuilder bar none (Carlos is the only other character in the game with at least a 3 in shipbuilding, and he requires a lengthy quest to acquire), he’s also perfect as a shipwright in the maintenance room. The fact that you have to get to Nagasaki is a pain though to characters other than Yun Mu, as she’s the only one outside of Yoshitaka who even visits the region during a main quest.

Yun Mu

Yun Mu is unfortunately badly described on the character select screen; she is more of a merchant than a discoverer. Her quest has the most trading and looking for resources and, while she does some book reading, her skills as a scholar aren’t as prevalent as it would seem from her intro.


  • Scholar
    The best or second best ability, depending on how the player look at things. It straight up doubles the XP reward from discoveries, which is already one of the fastest ways of getting XP. Which between this and Andrew’s Innate Leader is best is left as an exercise to the player, and will mostly depend on how one plays the game.
  • Analogist
    Unfortunately not as good as advertised. It doesn’t actually reduce the requirements but rather makes Yun Mu’s stats count as one higher when interpreting books, which can make or break being able to read said books, but is very limited in application. Not useless, but niche.
  • Picky Shopping
    The best moneymaking ability in the game, bar none. By the end of the game, this translates to an extra 30% value on all transactions, which has no comparison given all other abilities either target a specific region or a specific set of products, and only do 10%. It is what makes her the best merchant of the game, as it is nearly like having a second accountant on board.

As a Main Character

  • Abilities and Stats:
    Skill-wise, she is very strong. She balances having the weakest starting Leadership with having very high knowledge skills, which are useful given her ability at interpreting books.
    Her stats, however, aren’t the best. She’s very clearly the weakest main character in combat, as while she’ll probably cap three stats, both her Body and Tech stats lag behind, especially the first.
  • Languages:
    Yun Mu is the only main character who starts with two languages, which would normally be a disadvantage, only one of the languages she starts with is Chinese, which is one of the bests in the game. As such, she ends up above the level of Yoshitaka and Andrew, who have one weak language, only she already has a strong one to balance it out. Her stats are also strong enough that she can use whatever skill book she wants without issue.
  • Crewmembers:
    Yun Mu has a very good crew behind her. Shen Shi is a versatile ally that can fit in many positions, while Li Liyuan makes for a great accountant (second best iin the game), and she gets Garaba as a Sail Master early. She also automatically ends up with 5 mandatory crew members which is the most a main character gets, and she get those earlier than the other who does so.
  • Starting Ship:
    With her starting ship having speed 6, Yun Mu’s starting ship is the literally the worst among main characters, and replacing it will be something the player will need to do if they want to go any faster.
  • Main quest:
    Yun Mu’s main quest is a mix of exploration, trade, and discovery. She has the most routes given to her automatically, with all of Zheng He’s routes, and the least fights of any main character, not even having a tutorial fight. Her quests involve a lot of back and forth, and you’ll be suing those routs often.

As a Secondary Character

While Yun Mu isn’t great on ship as a secondary character, she is very useful as a scholar, being the best in the game. Even with her weak stats, she’s useful in expeditions because of her skills. As a secondary character, leveling her in Humanities is a classic, as it is a requirement for a number of books and a number of discoveries.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7707 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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