I am really enjoying the naval aspect of the game. It's fun to take out ships and steal their goods. But it's getting a bit repetitive boarding the ships when all I want is their loot. Considering that a destroyed ship usually drops cargo and crew for me to pick up, it seems this is the faster way to go.

If hunting/pirating here is anything like Assassin's Creed 3, where the cleanest kills provide higher quality or more goods, I'm unsure if a "cleaner" attack would get me more/better loot.

So far, I only see two reasons why I might want to board them:

  1. to repair my ship or
  2. to lower my wanted level.

I don't really need to repair my ship most of the time because I'm able to disable ships very quickly without a scratch. I don't really care for lowering my wanted level, it attracts more and larger hunter ships for me to destroy and plunder.

Is it more profitable to destroy ships for their loot or to board them?

  • And I would imagine that later in the game, I'll be able to capture ships by boarding them, but I'm not interested in that yet, I just want their booty. Commented Nov 23, 2013 at 20:44

3 Answers 3


Destroying ships yields only half of their cargo. So, it's generally better to board them. If a ship has gold, sinking it will still give you all the gold.

And, as you suspect, later on you will be able to capture ships and send them on missions to earn credits.

  • Oh, so it is half. Though I don't mind that too much. There's plenty of ships out there to blow up. Commented Nov 23, 2013 at 21:39
  • Well, for some small ships you can board them and kill 5 guys quickly. I usually board them for the ship itself on kenway fleet.
    – user4951
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39

Destroying ships normally gives you half of each item on board that ship, so if a ship had 100 sugar and 50 rum, you would only get 50 sugar and 25 rum.

Legendary ships are the only exception to this, because they cannot be boarded. You will always get the full 20,000 gold.

Boarding a ship, in addition to the full cargo, can be

  • Used to repair the ship, refilling one completely destroyed health bar (it will also refill a partially damaged health bar in addition)
  • Used to remove notoriety, while also giving more crew
  • Sent to your fleet. Accessing the fleet requires internet connection

I always board ship if possible. That way I can send them to Kenway Fleet. Kenway Fleet is the easiest way ever to make money. If you don't play that often and just once in a while, just login once in a while and kill send ships on missions. You'll rake in 20k realles easily. Some mission just pay 5k reales. Yea the ships take a long time to do that but you are not even in front of the computer/PS

Boarding may take a while. However, most ships are worth it. Frigate, for example.

Also some smaller ships like scooner or briggs are easy to board.

You go to swiffle cannon shoot things up and tada, 5 crew death you got the ship.

If that doesn't finish them off, uses gun or smoke bomb for fast killing.

So yea, it's far more profitable to board. If I can board gunship, I would. Unfortunately they sunk in one shot.

As for cargo. I only care about iron. I got too much money from kenway fleet.

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