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Are There Characters and can I walk around in port?

Currently no, and it is not in the works.

Is there a day night cycle available and is it accurate to real time?

Yes, however it does not correspond to real world time. It is accurate as to displayed game time of day (sped up) Each in-game day is approximately equal to 20 real world minutes.

Can my PC run Naval Action?

Check out the System Requirements

Will there be more Wipes?

After early access, there are no more planned full wipes(might still happen), asset wipes might also happen(you loose your stuff but not experience).

How many servers are there?

Currently there are 3 servers, PvE, PvP EU and PvP Global

AI vessels may NOT be captured on PvP servers but they can be on the PvE server

How many characters can I have?

Currently only 1 per server. Nothing (including XP) is now shared across servers. Also logging into a server different that the one you were previously on will reset accrued Labor Hours.

How do I gain experience?

You gain experience through fighting and shooting enemy ships and also a tiny amount through traveling. Experience may also be Awarded for completing some Delivery Missions.

How do I gain gold?

You can get gold through fighting enemy ships, as rewards for completing missions, or trading. Other players may also "gift" you gold (generally in exchange for you crafting something for them using your crafting hours). When all else fails, there's always fishmongering.

Which Nation should I join?

From left to right, the most populous nations are Britain, Pirates and US, the other nations relatively speaking are quite small. Though choosing a nation is greatly dependent on personal values. If you are looking for more PVP-targets, joining a small nation can be thought as a benefit because larger percentage of ships sailing around will be enemies. Though playing in a smaller nation means less ports controlled which can lead to harder trading and higher prices. Please note that once you choose a Nation, you cannot change it afterwards without deleting your character. The most important thing when choosing a nation is not that you choose that you sail for Britain, or France or whatever, it is that you are joining a community, so try to find which community fits you, and if you find a nations community doesn't fit you, the best thing to do is change nation.

How can i get more crew?

You are able to command more crew as you level up, your crew is used to man your own ship and those of your current fleet (since 9.9) , distributed as you see fit.

Each ships have a max amount of people that they can carry though it can be augmented through the use of extra hammocks and crew space on your own ship.

Your crew will suffer casualties in combat, you can recover lost crew by using Rum during and after combat (in OW) or hire new sailors at any friendly port.

Admiralty assign you a minimum number of crewmen, crewmen are replaced for free up to that minimum level each time you dock in port.

How does in-game time match up to real world time?

20 minutes in real world time equals 1 in-game day

What's with the wind boxing the compass?

While the real world Caribbean is generally covered by the Trade winds (predominately winds out of the East but varying with complex pressure and temperature conditions) the source of winds in-game will rotate in an anti-clockwise pattern making a complete circle every 48 minutes. While it's quite common in The Gulf of Mexico to have strong land breezes and sea breezes at dawn and dusk these are NOT modeled in-game.

How does "Tow to Port" work currently?

This has changed a number of times and many users are a bit confused as to current status. While Sailing in the "Open World" one can elect to have their ship towed (for free) to the nearest non-hostile, non-capital, deep-water port. Once towing is elected, the player has a short window of time to cancel the request. There is currently no penalty for this towing service. There is a 5 hour cool-down period before can request another tow.

How does the "Teleport" option found on outposts work?

Players in a port where they have an outpost may teleport themselves to any other port at which they have an outpost. There is currently no cool-down on this type of teleport. Once it's completed, the player may select any of the ships they have moored in their current port or may buy a new "starter cutter" for 0g.

How do I delete extra "starter cutters" that I've accumulated?

Extra Starter cutters must be emptied of their cargo (and any guns) and may then be sold for 0g. Any permanently installed upgrades will be lost.

How do I find out what Port has good xxx available?

The Trader Tool (on the map) can help with that. You can access the map via the M key either while in port or in the Open World. Enter the good you're looking for in the search and then sort on the A column. Those ports had the commodity available the last time the tool was updated.

What if no ports show any availability?

If no ports show any availability, sort on the P column. While it may not be the cheapest way, any port that is capable of producing a good will do so if you place a BUY contract at 4 times the production cost. e.g. Coal costs the owner of a coal mine 30g per ton to collect it. Placing a buy order at 120g will get you all the coal you want to order. NOTE: production costs are shown in the Production Buildings section but have NOT yet all been updated for the most recent release.

What's the difference between a Smuggler and a Pirate?

Smugglers are of any nationality but are looking to make some profits that they couldn't make if they stuck to just Neutral Ports, Free Ports and those of their own nation. Nationals flying a Smuggler banner can even enter Pirate strongholds if they're brave enough.

What is the Auto-skipper?

Auto-skipper attempts to maximize your speed by setting the sails to get the most from them given the course you're steering and the wind direction. Generally the Auto-Skipper works great in the Open World and is better than most captains in combat as well. However there are times in combat when it should be disengaged. The most common is when trying to recover from being "in irons" (headed directly into the wind with not enough speed to carry you through the eye of the wind. In Combat using the Manual Yard Controls or the De-power Sails commands will disengaging Auto skipper. Auto skipper is re-engaged/disengaged via the F key toggle.

What are Manual Yard Controls?

Q and E to adjust forward mast Z and C to adjust rear mast F to return to auto skipper

What do all the other details mean in the Helmsman's Display?

The Helmsman's display contains all the information most needed to ably navigate your vessel. For a full run-down, check here.

Help! I bought more of a commodity than my ship will hold. What do I do now?

I'm assuming you've already sold everything you wish to to the shop to lighten the ship?
It may be slightly risky but if the commodity is especially pricey and you're close to your limit, one option is to sell your cannon, perhaps not a problem in a Basic Cutter.
Another option is to sell some or all of the problem commodity back (likely at a loss).
Yet another option is for you to create a Sell contract with the shop for the overage. They charge a fee for that but it's likely to be less than the loss you'd incur for selling it to the shop directly. The downside of this arrangement though is that you have to return to this port at some point to claim the funds if it sells or with a bigger ship to cancel the contract and reclaim the goods.
Yet another option is to sell the commodity to another player in that port at a mutually beneficial price.

Is it True that if I attack another vessel of my nation will I be branded a Pirate?

It was true in January of 2016 that If you are a National and you attacked an ally, you would turn pirate. It's not clear how PvP/PvE and changes since then have changed that if at all.