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A typical duty navigation puzzle.

Navigation is one of six duty puzzles. (The others are sailing, carpentry, bilging, gunning, and now rigging). This puzzle is reserved for officers in the crew that owns the ship. Other players may also be ordered to navigate by such an officer. If they are ordered, they can also change the course of the ship. There are two 'flavors' of navigation, usually called Duty Navigation (duty nav or dnav for short) and Battle Navigation (or bnav). A pirate must have a subscription on the subscriber oceans or a pirate badge on the doubloon oceans in order to be able to play either puzzle. (In addition, to play the puzzles on navy missions, an experience of broad in the other duty puzzles is required for Duty Navigation, and an experience of narrow in Duty Navigation is needed for Battle Navigation. Ye must also have completed the "Learn to Rumble" and "Learn to Swordfight" missions.)

Duty Navigation

Duty Navigation multiplies the effectiveness of your ship's sailors, and allows memorization (or "memming") of ocean leagues. Also now it affects the types of spawns you get. As of the March 2007, better Duty Navigation performance will increase the likelihood of encountering spawns set in the voyage configuration.


  • Left Arrow: Rotate ring counter-clockwise
  • Right Arrow: Rotate ring clockwise
  • Up Arrow: Move to higher ring
  • Down Arrow: Move to lower ring
  • Space Bar: Drop Piece

How to Play

Navigating involves lining up specific patterns of pieces on a circular board. There are three concentric rings, each with eight positions around them (up, down, left, right, and diagonals). Random stars fall towards the middle, starting on the outside. You can control the three rings, selecting one and rotating it (and the stars it contains) clockwise and counterclockwise. Stars with nothing "underneath" them will fall towards the center. Lines of three or more stars, either from the center out or along a ring, will disappear. The primary goal is to line up appropriately colored stars in the marked positions, forming a "constellation" which will then disappear and add to your score. Simply lining up same-colored stars does little to increase your score.

Booching in navigation, or dropping a star on top of a star in the outermost ring, will cause the ship to turn around and the pirates on the ship will be told that you just booched.


Because you don't know what constellation is coming next, the key is simply to be as efficient as possible. It's also a good idea to keep multiple colors of stars on any level as it starts to fill up, both in case the next constellation needs it, and so that you have multiple options if your board begins filling up and you need to line up stars to free some space.

Most of the time, you want to fill constellations from the center out. First correctly arrange the stars on the inner ring, then the middle, and finally set up any stars on the outer ring. An exception is when you get the rare constellation like the ones pictured below, where the constellation contains a line of three like stars, in which case you have to finish that part last.

When beginning duty nav, the best way to get the highest possible scores is to create a combo that fills in the constellation. This is difficult to do but the bonus is extremely large. This trick is probably overkill unless you are attempting to get to the top of the Ultimate list.

When you first start learning duty nav, you will get bad scores (Poor or even Booched) because the scores are strongly weighted on the number of stars in the constellation you completed. The constellations in the first couple levels have only one or two stars and hence score very low, even if you complete them in the fewest possible stars. Try to practice this puzzle in the navy to build up skill.

Extremely Difficult & Unsolvable Boards

The subject of unsolvable and extremely difficult duty navigation boards occasionally crops up in Tips & Tricks, Questions & Answers.[1][2] Here are a few of the screenshots showing some extremely difficult solvable boards and not solvable boards. Note that it is possible to do the unsolvable boards below, but it requires luck and cannot be logically solved as a combo.

Battle Navigation

This is another term for the sea battle puzzle, where a commanding officer controls the movement and firing of guns in a live battle with one or more other ships (also see blockade). The player who most recently selected Navigate from the ship's wheel is automatically put in charge when a battle begins. Others may take the helm by selecting navigate from the wheel. This immediately switches control to the new player.

Ultimate list

Cerulean Emerald Ice
Jade Meridian Obsidian


Spoiler warning: Details about trophies are hidden below.

The following trophies are related to duty navigation:

External/Other Links

Icon duty puzzles.png Duty Puzzles
Icon bilge.pngBilging | Icon carpentry.pngCarpentry | Icon navigation.pngDuty Navigation | Icon gunnery.pngGunnery |
Icon patching.pngPatching | Icon rigging.pngRigging | Icon sailing.pngSailing | Icon treasurehaul.pngTreasure Haul
See also: Sea Battle