Puzzles are at the heart of Puzzle Pirates. Multiplayer puzzles between two or more pirates allow wagers. Duty puzzles aboard a ship keep it running smoothly and affect the performance of the vessel and sea battle. Crafting puzzles at a shoppe help produce goods and allow pirates to earn PoE directly.
- See also the article on parlor games.
These are popular multiplayer puzzles. Some engage two pirates in furious one on one combat, while others involve a whole group of pirates to play with.
- Swordfighting and Brawls (more than two fighters) use various swords.
- Rumble with bare fists or a choice of bludgeon.
- Drinking can put a pirate or their opponent under the table using different mugs.
- Spades, a four player trump based card game with a partner.
- Hearts, a four player trick-avoiding card game without partners.
- Poker, two to ten players playing Texas Hold 'Em.
- Treasure Drop, scoring points by outwitting opponents in Pirate-Plinko.
Swordfighting and rumbling are classed as piracy skills whereas all others are carousing skills.
These puzzles are involved in sailing a ship, and are often referred to as Duty Puzzles.
- Sailing and Rigging increase ship speed and generate movement tokens during sea battle.
- Bilge pumping keeps water out o' the ship, and sailing effective.
- Carpentry and Patching repair normal wear and tear, as well as sea battle damage, and keeps bilge from rushing into the ship.
- Gunnery loads cannons for the commanding officer to fire during sea battle.
- Navigation increases the effectiveness of the sailors and allows memorization of league points.
- Treasure Haul transfers PoE onto the ship from sunken wreckage in blockades, flotillas and atlantis.
See also: Duty puzzle scoring.
- Main article: Sea battle
Sea battle happens when ships engage each other on the open sea. Sea battle puzzles are not formally defined as a duty puzzle, but is related as it is only allowed on ships along with the duty puzzles affecting it. Sea battle occurs when a ship engages another ship during a pillage, and as an integral part of blockades.
During a sea battle, the commanding officer controls ship movement and the firing of guns to damage the enemy. This damage reduces the effectiveness of the enemy's sailors, by causing bilge to rush into the ship, slowing it down, resulting in fewer movement tokens. Gun damage also gives an advantage in the second half of engagement, a swordfighting brawl between the pirates of the opposing ships. Indestructible black blocks are found at the bottom of the swordfighting puzzle, relative to the amount of damage done to the ship each pirate was on. Up to half the puzzle screen may be filled with these blocks, reducing the space for a pirate to build combos and other attacks. In rumble this is in the form of a lowered top of the puzzle resulting in less space on the screen.
During a blockade, a variant of sea battle occurs with two safe zones on either side of the board, from which any number of ships may enter. All ships compete (generally in teams) for control of flags, ultimately to win control of an island.
Crafting puzzles are used to provide labor to a shoppe, to help forage fruit on a vessel or stall. Currently, there are only five crafting puzzles, although all shoppes will have one eventually. Until then, shoppes which have no crafting puzzle use a different mechanism for labor.
- Alchemistry makes dyes, paints and other concoctions for an apothecary.
- Blacksmithing makes swords and cannon balls.
- Construction (not yet implemented) constructs new buildings.
- Distilling makes rum, hemp oil and mugs for a distillery.
- Furnishing (not yet implemented) makes all types of furniture.
- Foraging gathers fruit, gems, and gold nuggets.
- Shipwrighting constructs ships for a shipyard and also makes bludgeons.
- Tailoring (not yet implemented) will make clothes for a tailor.
- Weaving makes cloth for a weavery.
Pirates can perform these puzzles in shoppes to produce work for that shoppe or stall. How well a pirate performs at a puzzle determines the level of labor he or she provides, and how much they get paid. If there are no orders outstanding or if the shoppe has used its available labor for that hour, then the puzzle runs in practice mode; no labor is used and no wages are paid.
Only subscribers may hold a job on a subscription ocean. On a doubloon ocean, players need a labor badge instead. Working on the fly, where the pirate does not hold a permanent job, can be achieved by any pirate on any ocean - they must puzzle to use each hour of unused labor.
A pirate who holds a job in one of these types of shoppes/stalls will need to play that Crafting puzzle at least once every ten days to maintain their ability to perform that work while offline. To find out what level of work a pirate can perform, and whether it is active or dormant, that pirate should check their labor report.
On a subscriber ocean, for each paid account (up to three alts) a player can use 48 hours of labor per day. The hours are divided up evenly among however many alts belong to that account. Thus if there are three, each will be allowed to use a maximum of sixteen hours labor per day. If one or more pirates on an account do not use their labor hours, they are sent to pirates on the account that are using them. If there is only one, it may use all 48. During foraging, a single alt can use up all 48 hours of labor, regardless of how many other alts an account has.
To play the Crafting Puzzles (and provide labor) and Multiplayers Puzzles at any time, players need to be a subscriber on a subscription ocean or hold the appropriate badge on a doubloon ocean. These puzzles are otherwise free to play on the following days:
Today is Tuesday. The freeplay days schedule is as follows:
- One on one swordfights and rumbles initiated by clicking on a player or NPP's avatar are always Free Play.
- Swordfights or Rumbles that take place as part of a Sea Battle are always Free Play.
- Foraging that takes place during an expedition is always Free Play.
- A bravery badge allows one to play all puzzles in Atlantis or on the Cursed Isles, including any swordfights, rumbles or foraging puzzles on such trips.
The Ringers, at their discretion, can make all games Free Play for the day. This last occurred during late December 2005/early January 2006 to celebrate the holiday season (Christmas to the Gregorian calendar's New Year's Day).