Your warship is controlled with the default WASD control scheme. The W and S keys adjust your speed in increments, indicated in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
From a full stop (no speed), tapping the W key will cycle up through 1/4 speed, 1/2 speed, 3/4 speed, and full speed ahead! Tapping the S key will cycle down through each increment back to full stop; tapping the S key again will put your ship in reverse. Your warship will automatically travel forward or in reverse once your speed is set.
You can turn your ship manually by pressing and holding the A and D keys. You can also tap the Q and E keys to automatically turn at a set speed, between 1/2 of your top turning speed and your maximum turning speed.
Remember that planning ahead is the way to victory. You don’t want to realize in the middle of battle that it is too late to turn out of the way of that island you are about to run in to.
The Tactical map gives you an overview of the terrain, allied ships, enemies and objectives but it can also help you control your ship while you focus on other important things, like aiming your guns at the enemy!
You can also control your ship via autopilot mode on the tactical map. This mode will be familiar to players of Real Time Strategy games.
Press the M key to bring up the tactical map. By left-clicking on any point on the map, you can set a waypoint for your ship to automatically travel to. To set additional waypoints, press shift+left click. You can set up to 5 waypoints. You can also adjust the position of your waypoints by clicking on a waypoint and dragging it on the tactical map.
As with manual control, you can control your speed in autopilot by tapping the W and S keys. However, turning your ship manually (A and D, or Q and E) will disengage autopilot mode.
Looking around your ship and the environment is as simple moving the mouse. Pressing the Shift key will allow you to switch between 3rd person and binocular view.
Don’t forget to use Mouse Wheel to scroll further in or out. If you ever need to get back to your ship quickly, hit the Spacebar to focus the camera on your ship.
Do not forget that you are fighting at a long distance – your shells may take some time to arrive at their destination. You have to predict the movement of your target and lead your shots!
The cannons of a warship are powerful, but also take time to move into position to fire on the enemy. Use the mouse to adjust the direction your main guns are facing; when the reticle(s) on the screen turn green, your guns are lined up and ready to fire!
The solid orange reticles mean the turrets are still in process of turning to aim and you’ll need to wait for them to line up with your center crosshair in order to fire those cannons.
Pay close attention to the compass in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, as the dotted line displays where you are facing. Each of your guns is shown on the ship icon within the compass, and each has a corresponding dot.
The dots will turn green when they are lined up with the dotted line. Keep in mind that depending on the direction you are facing, you may not be able to fire all of your guns!
Fire your main armament by pressing the left mouse button. You can experiment with different firing sequences by clicking, holding or double tapping the left mouse. Clicking once will fire one of your main armament turrets. If you hold down the fire button you will fire each gun that is aimed at your target in sequence. If you need maximum fire power and just want to fire all aimed guns, double tap the left mouse button.
All warships can choose between two ammo types with the 1 and 2 keys: High Explosive (HE) and Armor Piercing (AP). HE will explode on contact and has a chance to light the enemy ship of fire. AP won’t cause a fire but can cut through heavy armor and wreak havoc on internal ship modules.
You might see awards pop up on the right side of the screen. These Ribbons are achievements that let you know you have hit or damaged the enemy.
There are a variety of them to earn and you will see a total at the end of the battle on the Battle Performance score card.
Your main cannons aren’t the only way you can deal damage. Many ships have secondary armament and AA guns that will automatically target nearby ships and aircraft.
You can set the priority of both these weapons system by pressing Ctrl+Left Click while aiming at a target. If you wish to remain hidden and not attract attention, you may disable these weapons by pressing P key - but remember to turn them on once you are under attack!
Destroyers and some Cruisers class warships can be equipped with Torpedoes which can cause devastating damage to even the largest ships in close range.
Press the 3 key to arm Torpedoes but be aware that they can only be launched from certain angles from the ship due to the placement and design of their weapon system so you’ll usually need to turn your ship perpendicular to your target.
Pressing the X key on your target while in this mode will bring up a gray arc that suggests a firing angling to hit your current target.
During the course of battle, you might find your ship under fire or worse, on fire!
To help you survive the battle Warships are equipped with 1 or more different activatable consumables: Enhanced Repair, Scout Plane or Smoke Screen depending on your ship and loadout. They can be activated at any time by pressing the corresponding key. Don’t forget about these during the course of your engagement because you can use these abilities more than once per battle.
Pressing the R key will activate Repair. This will quickly get your ship back into shape by putting out fires, repairing damage modules and plugging leaks.
Pressing the T key while commanding a battleship or a cruiser will send out a scout plane from your ships that will increase your spotting range for torpedoes and enemy ships.
If you are in command of a destroyer, pressing the T key will release huge clouds of smoke to obscure you and your allies from enemy fire.
If you are in a cruiser with dual-purpose guns as secondary or even primary armament, you may activate the Defensive Barrage using Y key. The barrage can help you to shoot down more enemy planes and decrease their accuracy.
Damaged Battleships may recover part of their lost hitpoints by activating the Repair Work ability, again tied to the Y key. Note that you have only a limited amount of opportunities to use this function!
Not all ships have these modules so check before the battle starts which tools you have at your disposal.