The word bay might conjure up the image of a peaceful body of water where you spend time relaxing, but that’s not even close to the case in Battle Bay. Rovio’s real time multiplayer game pits teams of five captains against each other in fast-paced five-minute matches that rarely go the distance before one side’s boats are all reduced to flaming shipwrecks.

You’d like to avoid being that guy or girl if at all possible and actually fight your way up the game’s leaderboards. Your best chance at doing that is to understand how to steer your ship and how best to take advantage of the weapons and other tricks at your disposal.

If only someone was willing to spend some time taking lumps in the game and then sharing what they’ve learned … oh wait, we are! We’ve taken almost as many broadsides as we’ve dished out to compile these Battle Bay Tips, Cheats and Strategies, which we hope will help you rack up a higher infamy score and make your player name feared all across the sea.

Boating Basics: A Two-Thumb Affair

Battle Bay

The controls in Battle Bay will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s played World of Tanks Blitz or another mobile tank battle game. If that’s not you, no worries. It’s not very difficult to get the hang of it.

Your left thumb controls the movement of your boat with a virtual stick. Slide up to move forward and down to move backward. Holding and rotating to either direction will make the front of your boat turn that way, which you can also do while on the move — and you should, because staying still in this game is the best way to get blown up.

The virtual stick on the right side of the screen is for your turret. You can move it around with that stick or simply hold and swipe anywhere on that side to swing your turret around. When an enemy is in range of your main gun and your weapon is ready to fire (which you’ll know because the crosshairs will turn green), simply tap down on the middle of the right stick to fire.

Bonus tip: Battle Bay weapons have different ranges. If you are too far away from an enemy you have in your sights, a red number will appear above the target to let you know how much closer you have to be until you can actually damage that ship.

Note that by default, an enemy within range that you have locked onto with your turret will stay auto-locked until you either move the turret to another target manually or the opposing boat moves faster than your turret can keep up with it. This is very helpful once the cannonballs start flying. The lone exception is when you are honing in on a number of enemies in one general area, in which case the bobbing of the waves may cause your turret’s auto-lock to switch targets suddenly.

See another button above your main weapons stick? That is the sight you can use for weapons with sniper capabilities. Use that to zoom in and blast an enemy from far away and they might not even know what hit them.

Bonus tip 2: Those waves aren’t just pretty to look at and a possible reason for you to take Dramamine before you play. They really matter in combat, as they can throw off your aim or even block your shot. Learn to use the waves to your advantage by diving behind a big one after firing or sailing in behind them to surprise your enemies (who might not be looking at the mini-map to know how close you really are).

Boating Tactics 101

Battle Bay

The object of a Battle Bay match is to either destroy the other side completely within the five-minute time limit or get your team’s boats into an area that displays as a green circle on both your mini-map and on the battlefield itself and hold it for a specified time to capture it. The more allied boats are in the circle, the faster the capture meter goes up, but it stops when an enemy ship moves into the circle too.

In most matches, capture isn’t really a primary concern as players generally want to go for as many kills as possible. You do sometimes see capture come into play as a strategy when one team has more ships left than the other and the outmanned side is sailing around the perimeter hiding, hoping to lure single boats into a fight. Then it makes sense to sail to the capture area to force the other team to bring the fight to you.

While there are quick commands to let your teammates know what you’d like them to do, once both sides make contact there is rarely any time to communicate. With that in mind, here are some broad strategy guidelines to help guide your actions in battle.

  • Stick close together … but not too close. As in most multiplayer battle games, thinking you’re Captain Jack Sparrow and ready to take on the odds by yourself is a good way to be the first one blown up. Stay close to at least some of your teammates so you don’t end up going one on five and dying quickly. However, don’t be right next to them (you can even literally be on top of them since there’s no collision detection in Battle Bay for teammates) because there are plenty of AoE weapons in this game, and you don’t want to allow enemies to damage you and your teammates with a single shot if you can help it.
  • Focus fire when possible. It’s always desirable to get enemy guns out of action as quickly as possible, and aside from looking for boats with the lowest health, another good way to do that is to fire at boats that your teammates are firing at. This works particularly well if you find a foe who is isolated from his side and being chased by one of your allies. Simply join in the pursuit and work on whittling that ship down before finding another target.
  • Know your (ship’s) role. As you unlock all five types of ships in Battle Bay, you’ll want to keep in mind what each one is best at in combat. The Speeder is a fast boat that can be used to scout out the enemy so the rest of your team can find targets. The Enforcer is good for down and dirty combat up close. The Defender has the most health and defense and is expected to be right in the fray to soak up damage to keep teammates alive. Speaking of keeping teammates alive, the Fixer does that with a variety of healing tricks. And the Shooter, your first boat, is more of a generalist whose role may depend on what weapons and gear you equip.

Crew Love: Why Training is So Important

Battle Bay

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t level up in Battle Bay by participating in battles. Instead, you gain experience by training crew members, which you can find using the second icon from the left in the game’s main menu at the bottom of the screen.

There are 10 crew members in all, though you won’t gain access to all of them until you reach captain level 14. Each crew member has their own talent tree, with each talent providing some kind of specific (as in a bonus to the damage or effect of an individual weapon) or general (like providing 50 more HP for all your ships) buff when active.

The fun thing is that you can have multiple talents active from all the crew members at once, giving you many options on how to tailor your ship for your preferred play style. If you enjoy taking as much of a beating as possible while dishing it out, you can concentrate on all the options that give you more HP. If you prefer a more hit and run style, you can go for speed and weapon-specific boosts to make sure you kill what you hit more quickly and escape without taking return fire.

The key thing to remember is that training takes time unless you spend pearls (the Battle Bay premium currency) to speed things up. Training times can take anywhere from 10 minutes to multiple hours, with lengthy waits common when you get to the point that you are advancing the crew member to the next tier. It thus helps to knock out shorter training stints while you are actively playing and save the longer ones for when you know you will be logged out for a while.

Making Your Boats and Items Better

You’ll learn early on in your Battle Bay captain’s career that you can simply swap in different weapons and items by sliding in one of the appropriate color and size into the corresponding slot on your ship. However, it’s also possible to upgrade any piece of gear provided you have the right materials on hand and some sugar to spend.

What is sugar? It’s a secondary soft currency that you’ll earn in battle and by completing quests. You’ll need it both for crew training and for equipment upgrades, and the maximum amount you can have on hand at any given time is determined by your captain level.

As for the upgrade process itself, if you tap on any of your ships, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Battle Bay

Those helpful green arrows let you know exactly which weapons and items can be upgraded with the materials you currently have on hand. Some items only require common parts, while others, particularly rarer weapons, will require uncommon or rare materials to upgrade.

Battle Bay

Where can you find more parts? You’ve got two main options:

  • Hit the shop. If you tap the shopping cart icon in the main bottom navigation, you’ll be taken to the in-game shop (makes sense, right?). There you’ll find a selection of crates in several varieties: Free, Star, Premium and Epic. As the name suggests, the Free cart is free and arrives every seven hours. The Star crate can be purchased with stars earned in battle, while the other two cost pearls. Also, if you tap the ‘Market’ tab, you’ll find a selection of parts and perks that can be acquired simply by spending gold, the game’s most common currency. Check back multiple times a day to see what’s new in the market.
  • Scrap some unwanted stuff. If your inventory is getting too full and you’re low on materials, you can scrap items you don’t want. Simply go to the item screen and hit the button that looks like a recycling symbol. Perhaps obviously, you’ll get higher quality parts by scrapping rarer items, although those are the things you’ll usually want to hold onto.
  • Complete some achievements. Most of the achievements in Battle Bay pay out in pearls, which isn’t a bad thing at all. However some do offer rewards crates instead, giving you an instant dose of items and materials. If you tap the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner of the game’s main screen, you can then choose ‘Achievements’ and see what you have close to completion.
  • Play every day. If you’ve been playing mobile games for any length of time, you’ll probably suspect that there is a daily rewards system in Battle Bay … and you’d be right. Check the calendar from the main menu to see which rewards are coming up for your daily login. You can generally only see one day in advance, but there’s also a weekly reward available for logging in every day for seven days straight, and at least right now, that is always a crate of items and materials.

A-Questing You Will Go

Battle Bay

There’s one additional thing that may guide your gameplay somewhat in Battle Bay, and that’s the quest system. Several times a day, you’ll receive a new quest, and you can up to three of them active at any given time.

Quests are often pretty simple, like winning two battles or sinking two ships. They can also be a bit more complicated at times, but the rewards of gold (always) and sugar (sometimes) are usually worth it. Expect to hit five-digit hauls of currency every time you complete a quest, meaning you definitely should be aware of them at all times.

Active quests are listed along the right-hand side of the main game screen, or you can hit the big exclamation point icon in the bottom navigation to open the quests screen and take a closer look. If you complete a certain number of quests in a calendar week, you’ll also get bonus rewards crates, which gives you yet another reason to try to complete them whenever possible.