Puzzle scoring

From YPPedia


The following chart tries to map out all user actions and other affectors in Puzzle Pirate puzzles, and their effect on the "score" of the puzzle. As you know, there isn't a specific score in most puzzling, but the term is rather used here as a representation of how well you do in the puzzle. Higher score means better result.

The idea is to map all meaningful actions, not only those that have an effect. Only those actions that really couldn't reasonably affect the puzzle are left out.

As you can see from the chart, different puzzles have different "main mechanics" to get high scores. These are mentioned for the puzzles simply to draw attention what the goal for the puzzle is.

This chart is not about finding out the specifics, it's about knowing the rules. The chart uses quite inexplicit terms for the amounts of effect, as there really is no reason to know (nor would the devs in their wisdom even tell) the actual numbers behind the puzzle. So any terms referring to amounts (such as "large") are possibly very inaccurate. They're just here to give a general idea. Furthermore, many of these are very speculative, and only assumptions based on observation. We're just guessing. :) Again, it's about the general idea, not whether it's exactly correct.

Some carousing puzzles are intentionally left out, since their exact rules are already explained in detail in the game documentation: Drinking, Treasure Drop, Hearts, Spades, Poker.

Adding to the chart

If you have doubts about something in the chart, please start a discussion thread about it in Tips & Tricks and provide a link in the "open questions" section.

If you want to edit something in the chart and have a discussion to back it up, please also add the discussion in the "general discussion" section.

The Effects

  • Plus means that this action increases the score in the puzzle.
  • Minus means the action decreases the score.
  • No effect means the action doesn't affect the puzzle score in any way. Note that where time decreases your puzzle score, actions that have no effect on their own will often indirectly affect your score because of wasted time.
  • Large or small tells if the score is affected by a notable different amount than others. Note that these are very speculative.
  • Bonus is an additional increase to score. This is used when the action just represents another action done differently, or only happens in combination of another action.
  • No additional bonus means you do get the regular plus from the described action, but nothing more.
  • Increasing bonus means that if the condition triggering the bonus happens multiple times via the same initial action, each time the bonus is triggered, it is larger than the previous bonus. For example first bonus is 3 points, next one 4 points, third 5 points. (This is often used with cascades.)
  • Multiplier means that instead of a bonus, you get the points of the triggering action multiplied. An increasing multiplier would then increase the multiplier each time the action was triggered. For example the first hit of a cascade is the original amount, second hit's score would then be 2x, third 3x, and so on.
  • Conditional is explained in parentheses in each case it appears.

The Affectors

  • Time is a problematic affector with some puzzles, as time can have a quite large indirect effect on the puzzle, as the pieces keep falling down actions have to be made. However, time is used here as a representation on it's own effect - it's about the difference between letting the pieces fall down, or making them fall faster with space bar.
  • Inactivity is a separate affector from time. Inactivity occurs when the game notices that you haven't done any actions for some time (about ten seconds). If you do actions often enough, this inactivity will not affect your puzzle score at all.
  • Cascade means sequentially repeating an action - an action happening again because of an earlier action. Usually these give an increasing bonus to the score. For example clearing a block in swordfighting, so that a breaker of different color drops on another block below, clearing it.
  • Combo refers to more than one of the same goal getting completed at the same time because of the action. For example clearing multiple lines with one swap in bilge.

The Chart - Duty Puzzles

Gunnery Puzzle.png


Gunnery is about reloading the guns as fast as possible. The more time you take, the lower your score. The speed this puzzle runs at is initially determined by your rating, but it is also temporarily modified for the current board by four of the factors listed below.

Time: minus
Guns loaded: plus (speeds up the puzzle)
Fired guns washed: small plus (speeds up the puzzle)
Pieces overboard: no effect (slows down the puzzle)
Pieces misloaded: ? (slows down the puzzle)
Arrows placed: no effect



Sailing is about cascades, especially when platform targets are involved in them. The longer cascade, the better score. Note that clearing platforms at the end of the cascade should be better, since that way more points get multiplied.

Time: small minus
Inactivity: minus
Pieces used: minus(?)
Clearing pieces: plus
Clearing platforms: large plus
Cascades: increasing multiplier
Over minimum objective:
(clearing over 4 pieces)
small bonus
Combo: no additional bonus
Clearing board: no additional bonus
Rotating: no effect
Booching the board: small minus



Carpentry is about fitting the pieces exactly to the holes. After that, it's about completing perfect holes in sequence.

Time: minus
Inactivity: minus
Pieces placed: small plus
Pieces placed back into the box: no effect
Completing a hole: plus (larger holes give a slightly larger plus)
Completing a hole with only horizontal tiles: small bonus (called 'grain bonus')
Completing a hole with a single type of tile: small bonus (called 'a nice set')
Squares from tiles placed on useless places:
(that is, other than hole squares)
minus (also scored when completing the hole)
Completing 'masterpieces' sequentially: small increasing (?) bonus
Getting more holes: no effect
Flipping tiles: no effect
Adjusting position of last placed tile no effect


Bilge pumping

Bilging is about efficiency (not wasting any moves) and combos (clearing as many pieces with single move as possible). Clearing crabs on high water is also very useful.

Time: small (?) minus
Inactivity: minus
Swapping: minus
Clearing pieces: plus
Over minimum objective:
(clearing over 3 pieces)
small bonus
Cascade: small bonus (note: not increasing)
Combo: increasing bonus (on more rows cleared)
Clearing a crab: plus (amount based on current water level)
Clearing multiple crabs in one break:
(not in a cascade)
increasing bonus (on more crabs cleared)
Clearing pieces with the jellyfish: no additional bonus
Clearing pieces with the puffer fish: no additional bonus



Navigation is about completing constellations, and doing it efficiently (not wasting stars for anything else).

Time: small minus
Inactivity: minus
Stars used: minus
Completing a constellation: increasing plus
(depending on the difficulty of the constellation)
Rotating a ring: no effect
Clearing stars in a line: small plus
Clearing over minimum amount of stars in line:
(over 3 stars)
small bonus
Clearing lines in cascade: increasing bonus
Clearing constellations in cascade: no effect
Row-clearing-cascade ending in a completed constellation: large bonus
Booching: minus (also turns ship around)

Treasure Haul

Chart not yet constructed

The Chart - Crafting Puzzles



Distilling is about organizing pieces - clearing pure rows with spice, and burning rows with only bad pieces.

Time: no effect
Inactivity: no effect
Clearing a row with spice: small plus
Wasting spice: minus
Clearing pure rows: plus (amount depending on row purity)
Burning pieces: no effect (causes burnt pieces to appear, however)
Wasting a row: no effect
Moving pieces: no effect

Alchemistry board.png


Alchemistry is about trying to fill as many bottles as possible in one filling, and in as many different colors as possible.

You are scored on the value of the bottles you completely fill. The value of how well the fill went is applied to all bottles. Bottles with multiple layers are scored with the average of the scores of their layers.

Time: no effect
Inactivity: no effect
Rotating piece: no effect (although limited amount of rotates)
Filling a bottle: plus
(filling multiple bottles of same color)
increasing bonus
Filling bottles with different colors increasing multiplier
Using secondary colors: small bonus
Using secondary colors
created from farthest sources:
small bonus (in addition to secondary color bonus)
Completing a multi-layer bottle: small bonus (depending on amount of layers)
Filling through a coin: bonus
Distance of source from filled bottle: ?
Smashing bottles: minus(?)



Shipwrightery is about arranging the board so that you can clear as many pieces as possible without moving anything between the clears. Note that clearing larger pieces after the smaller ones should be better, since more points get multiplied.

Time: no effect (but raises water)
Inactivity: no effect
Clearing a piece: plus (amount depending on the size of piece)
Combos: increasing multiplier
Allowing water to flood a pattern: ?

Blacksmithing board.png


Blacksmithing is about clearing as many pieces as possible. Combos also help increase your score.

Time: no effect
Inactivity: no effect
Pieces cleared: large plus
Repeating targets:
(hitting same target sequentially)
small increasing bonus
(hitting specific targets sequentially)
Sequential combos:
(hitting combos sequentially)
increasing bonus

The Chart - Multiplayer Puzzles



Swordfighting is about cascades and large clears at the end of the cascade. (There is no actual score here to measure, so this uses 'pieces sent' in place of score.)

Clearing single blocks: 1/2 pieces cleared
Clearing large blocks: 1x pieces cleared
Cascades: linear multiplier


Chart not yet constructed


In gunning, the puzzle speed is increased if you do well, and decreased if you waste pieces.

In carpentry, it's been discussed that you might also get scored for "potential points." This means if you no longer can get a Masterpiece in a hole, the game subtracts from your score regardless if you fill the hole or not.

Open Questions

Here are listed open questions, and discussion threads that have to do with them. If you have doubts about something in this chart, please create a discussion thread about it in Tips & Tricks, and note your question here with a link to the discussion.

  • Treasure Haul - Does anyone have a working knowledge of how TH is scored?
  • Carpentry - Are the 'nice set' and 'grain bonus' bonuses worth the same amount?
  • Distilling - The nature of the bonus for crystal clears needs verifying.
  • Gunning - Is there any penalty for misloading pieces? Is score based on cannons loaded with a bonus for washing, or is there a set value for correctly using each piece?
  • Sailing - Do used pieces in sailing really count as a minus, or is only the time counted?
  • Alchemistry - does the distance matter - do you get more points from filling a blue bottle in the left end, than in the right?
  • Alchemistry - do you get any minus from smashing bottles, or is the negative effect only that you can't gain points from one bottle? (somewhat insignificant, since it's a good idea to avoid it anyway)
  • Shipwrightery - do you get any minus from a lost piece (due to water rising), or is the negative effect only that you can't gain points from yet one more piece? (somewhat insignificant, since it's a good idea to avoid it anyway)
  • Blacksmithing - do you get more points from combos than repeatedly hitting the a single target (for example 2-2-2-2)?
  • Carpentry - Is the sequential masterpiece bonus increasing - is masterpiece^10 worth more than masterpiece^4? (It is presumed that the bonus isn't that large anyhow, as you get quite a good score simply by getting the masterpieces all the time.) Since we are given the number indicating how many masterpieces have been done sequentially, that might also indicate that the bonus does increase. (Discussion)

General Discussion & Sources

Here are listed discussion therads and other sources about issues concerning this chart.