Captains are people who appear in Surula's pub in John Strum's private port during and after the player-owned port tutorial. A ship must have a captain before it can go on a voyage. Until a captain has been assigned to a ship, crew cannot be assigned to it and previously assigned crew will not be shown. Each ship may only have one captain assigned to it. They have a random name, appearance, personality, and their clothes can be customised once hired.
Only one visiting captain is available for hire at a time. If the visiting captain is hired, the spot will remain vacant until reset at 00:00 UTC unless a Captain Reroll is used. Captain rerolls are available as rewards for completing the port random event minigames. At reset, or when rerolled, the visiting captain (if any) is replaced by a new randomly determined visiting captain, and the current visiting captain is lost.
Base stats, specialities and traits
Captains have base stats determined by their quality, sometimes referred to as their "tier". For the first 4 tiers, their base stats are the same for 3 stats while a fourth stat, their "speciality", will be approximately double that value. The player starts with a free captain of the lowest quality. The first two tiers of captains are available immediately, but additional tiers of better, more expensive, captains become available as more areas are unlocked. In addition, captains will gain levels as they are sent on voyages, which will raise their stats over time. Captains, as other crew, can also have traits which affect their stats. See the article on Captain and Crew traits for more information.
|N/A|| The Scythe, The Bowl,|
The Pincers, The Loop
|Varies, see table below||The Shield|
Some high-level bar upgrades increase your chance of attracting captains with particular specialities. These are not available until the Bowl region has been unlocked.
Earning experience and levelling up
As captains are sent out on voyages, they earn experience towards gaining levels, which in turn provide higher stats, up to level 10 when the captain will have achieved maximum stats, capped at double the base stat before any adjustments are applied. The simplest way to determine a tier or quality of a captain is based on the initial cost to recruit. Once a captain is recruited, the player must check the captains stats, and subtract all boosts from the current total to determine each base stat. Once the initial cost of the captain, or the captain's base stats are known, they can be compared to the chart below.
When comparing two captains, it is important to consider that a level 10 captain originally recruited for 10,000 chimes from the Hook region (Tier 4) will have higher stats than the base (level 0) stats of a new Shield-region captain (Tier 5), costing 35,000 chimes. However, the higher tier captain, after earning a few levels, will soon surpass the cap of the previous tier captain. Therefore, it may be worth considering dismissing a lower-tiered level 10 captain with maximum stats, in favour of a higher tiered captain, despite the initially lower stats.
The tables below will help to determine what tier a players' captains are at any level, in order to make decisions regarding dismissing or recruiting captains easier.
In addition to their basic statistics and traits, each captain's personality is listed under their traits. These do not seem to affect gameplay, but they do affect the appearance and dialogue of the captain. The personalities are:
- Eccentric (there seems to be a problem with this trait, some captains marked as Eccentric will display a Cruel personality)
- Vicious (there seems to be a problem with this trait, some captains marked as Vicious will display an Approachable personality)
Captain names are generated by using a combination of a forename (or nickname) and surname (or title). Captain names do not appear to be tied to appearance or stats, so are purely cosmetic. Often, both are references to famous pirates and ship captains from real life and fiction. Below are the current lists of possible forenames and surnames, which can be used in any combination.
|The Accursed||The Bewitching||The Dread||The Vile||Tuanku|
|Skulltaker||Song||Teach||the Cruel||the Ghost|
- Aika: a fictional air pirate, one of the protagonists of the game Skies of Arcadia.
- Anne: Anne Bonny, "Calico Jack" Rackham's lover and one of the most famous female pirates.
- Bartholomew: Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate in the early 18th century.
- Calico: "Calico Jack" Rackham, 18th century pirate.
- Charlotte: Charlotte de Berry, a possibly fictional 17th century female pirate.
- Ching: Ching Shih, early 19th century female Cantonese pirate, undefeated by the British, Portuguese, and Qing Chinese.
- Grace: Grace O'Malley, Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan, and a pirate in 16th century Ireland.
- Hector: Hector Barbossa, the fictional antagonist/protagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
- Himiko: An obscure 3rd century Japanese queen -- not a reference to sailing or piracy, but could refer to the fact that the Eastern Lands are based partially on Japan.
- Horatio: Horatio Nelson, British Vice Admiral famous for his service in the Napoleonic wars and most importantly his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, that cost him his life. Also Horatio Hornblower, the fictional protagonist of 11 novels and 5 short stories written by C. S. Forester, published between 1937 and 1967.
- Jack: Jack Sparrow, the fictional protagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, John "Jack" Aubrey, a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, or possibly "Calico Jack" Rackham, see above.
- Mary: Mary Read, English soldier, privateer, and pirate. Served alongside Anne Bonny and "Calico Jack" Rackham.
- Morgan: Henry Morgan, a famed privateer.
- Noodler: A reference to Peter Pan, one of Captain Hook's pirates.
- Percy: A character found in the children's fiction story Percy and the Pirates.
- Pieter:Pieter Hein, Dutch naval officer and privateer. Vice-Admiral of the Dutch West India Company. Captured a large Spanish treasure fleet.
- Rachel Rachel Wall, believed to be the first American female pirate.
- Red-Handed Jill: A reference to Peter Pan.
- Tuanku: Tuanku Abbas, a Malay pirate who was brother to a rajah of Aceh.
- ad Din: Khair ad Din, an Ottoman admiral and privateer, also known as Barbarossa (meaning red beard). Active in the Mediterranean and Barbary coast.
- Bligh: William Bligh, commanded the HMS Bounty and navigated a small lifeboat more than 6700 km with only a quadrant and compass after being set adrift by mutineers.
- Bonny: Anne Bonny (see above).
- Drake: Sir Francis Drake, English privateer and explorer, vice-admiral in command of the English forces that defeated the Spanish Armada.
- Hook: Captain Hook, chief villain in Peter Pan.
- Kidd: Captain William Kidd, a Scottish privateer. He was convicted of piracy by an English court and hanged twice (the first attempt failed).
- Morgan: Henry Morgan, English Admiral, privateer, and pirate (also the namesake for Captain Morgan brand rum).
- Ng-Tsai: Shap Ng-Tsai, mid-19th century Chinese pirate.
- Rackham: Jack Rackham (see above) or the character Red Rackham in the Tintin comic books (who was based on him).
- Read: Mary Read (see above)
- Shih: Ching Shih (see above)
- Silver: Long John Silver, peg-legged, parrot-carrying pirate featured in the book Treasure Island.
- Teach: Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, notorious pirate active in the West Indies and the eastern coast of North America. (See also: Bill Teach)
- Even after a voyage has departed, a captain can sometimes still be found in the pub.