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Battleship – A How-to Guide for Beginners

Griffin Bateson / September 7, 2023
Battleship – A How-to Guide for Beginners

One of the most well-known board games of all time is Battleship. This game is popular for two different reasons – it’s super fun and super easy to play. In this blog, we will teach players how to play Battleship, as well as a few tips to get you started. Without further ado, let’s hop into the basics of Battleship.

How to Play Battleship

To begin playing Battleship, players must start by placing their ships around the map. There are 5 ships of varying lengths that players must position on the board. These ships can either be placed horizontally or vertically. However, you can’t choose a diagonal position.

After all of the ships have been placed, it is time to begin guessing where the other players have their ships. You and the opponent will both take turns guessing where each others’ ships are. If you hit nothing with your attempt, then the turn is over and the ball is in your opponent’s court. However, when players hit an enemy ship, they are rewarded with another turn. The first player to take down all enemy ships is declared the winner.

Common Battleship Tactics

While the basic concept of Battleship is pretty simple, there is more to the game than just learning how to play Battleship. There are common tactics that you can use to give yourself an edge in this game. Read on to learn 4 helpful strategies to help you in this classic board game, whether it is against a computer or a real-life opponent.

Don’t put all the ships in one direction

Players are given the option to pick the direction of each ship, whether it is vertical or horizontal. Make sure to have a couple of ships in each direction, that way it is harder for your enemy to predict where your ships are. Randomness is your greatest friend in Battleship, so make sure to switch it up as much as possible.

Vary your guesses

Your opponent likely has ships spread out all around the map. This means that your guesses should take a similar approach. Make sure to get a good variety of guesses. Don't forget to throw up a guess or two toward the corners. This variety in guesses ensures that you cover as much ground as possible.

Keep your ships spread out

How to play Battleship Blog Gameplay

Speaking of randomness, make sure to keep your ships spread out around the map. A lot of beginners who are learning how to play Battleship try to get too clever and put all of their ships in one corner. While this may seem like a smart concept, your opponent will quickly realize your strategy after a while. Instead, try and keep your ships fairly spread out. It’s okay to put two ships in the same corner, but anything more than that just makes it too easy for your enemy.

Don’t forget to put at least one ship near the middle of the map as well. Sometimes players won’t think to aim in the middle because it is almost too obvious. However, it is good to have some variety and stray away from the corners a little bit.

Target nearby spots if you get a hit

Once you get your first hit, start aiming for the squares right next to the area that you destroyed. Continue in one direction until you stop getting hits. When this happens, try going in the other direction. Once you have successfully sunk a ship, the game will tell you and you can start guessing in a different spot.

So now that you know how to play Battleship, get out there and start playing. Our Coolmath Games version of the game, Pirate Battle: Ships Ahoy, is a fun and modern version of the game. You can either play it online against a random opponent, or the computer. Either way, it’s a fun and simple game that you should be able to dominate by using these simple words of advice.