A Beginner's Guide to PirateCraft

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Hey, everyone! So, my username is PIPPIP5789, and I decided one afternoon (when I was bored out of my head) to write a guide for all you new players (and old players that want a refresher on the ways of PirateCraft). Right, let me quickly explain how this guide is laid out, and then I’ll get to it! First off, we have the introduction (this), and after that, some clarification as to who I am and why I know what I know (a.k.a. why you should listen to me). Immediately following that, I’ll get into some PirateCraft basics, and then, after that, I’ll take each new thing PMC introduces and cover it individually. Are you guys and gals ready? Then let’s begin!

The Ultimate PirateCraft Guide

OK, now the biggest question on your minds right now is, “Why should I listen to this loser? He plays Minecraft on servers and writes about it? I bet he doesn’t even make any money from it!” Well, you’re right. I am a rather big loser, I play Minecraft on servers, I write about playing Minecraft on servers, and no, I do not get paid for doing so. However, I know what I’m talking about. I’m a 4 1/2 – year veteran of this server (playing on and off), and I’ve seen and even played with some of the greatest names of PirateCraft history. Just to name a few, I was friends with LEGO and Bazurka before they were staff; I personally fought in some BE, VER, SPQR, ROME, XENIA, RoP, and XD wars; I mined with the server owner himself, and we found enough diamonds for 2 gsets that day. I have worked closely with staff on multiple occasions, and have even been considered for a staff position myself (they ran out of room when I applied L). I have coded parts of the server, and I have created (at one time) one of the strongest crews on the server (plus being one of the few to reach the 100 member mark). So, with all this evidence, I think I know what I’m talking about.


Now, on to the basics. PirateCraft is, as I like to say, “a pirate-themed survival server with moving ships and cannons”. This is the heart of PirateCraft, and once you remember this, many other simple questions should be answered. This server does NOT change anything as far as the normal Minecraft experience goes. You will find nothing that would prevent you from playing this server like any other normal, vanilla Minecraft world. The differences are the extra things added on top of that. You can create ships that actually sail, you can created cannons that shoot things at your enemies, you can create custom brews that will aid you on your adventure, and more!

The First Thing to Do

So, when you first spawn in, MAKE SURE TO READ THE SIGNS! They are vital pieces of information. If you ever feel as though you’ve forgotten one, you can return to spawn at anytime with the command /spawn% (notice: for clarification, I will add a % onto the end of every command, to show that the command has ended. Note that no command actually requires this symbol to use). Also, some more vital information: /rules%. These are the rules of the server, so please don’t break them (unless you want to get banned, of course).

Starting Out

Now that you’ve read the signs, you should be able to just walk out onto the deck of the ship. From here, you have a number of options.

1) You can just start running in a direction. Great if you don’t mind running and have a lot of time; otherwise, stay away from this option.

2) Use the /wild% command. The wild command will take you to a (semi) random place, based on a really complicated algorithm. As a Deckhand rank, you have access to this, but once you rankup (to be discussed later), you won’t be able to use it anymore.

3) Teleport to someone. While you, being a new player, are not allowed to teleport, many of the older, more experienced players would be happy to teleport you to where they are, so you can begin your running from there. However, some people will abuse you, so I’d advise staying away from this option as well.

4) Join a crew. Joining a crew is the most surefire way to get into the community really quickly. Crews are teams of players that work together, sometimes even in nations. Obviously, I’d be remiss if I didn’t self-advertise VISN, my crew, here; we are a crew that’s actually dedicated to helping new players get on their feet, learn the ropes of the server, and being a life of adventure and… something! In all seriousness, VISN is a good crew to join, as are many others. Plenty of crews are willing to take in new members almost daily, so just ask for a bit and see who decides to invite you! Also, they ought to teleport you somewhere or give coordinates to their base. I’ll discuss crews more in-depth a bit later, but if you’ve joined a crew, the rest of the beginnings part of this guide is pointless to read, unless you simply want to.

Settling Down

Now that you are out and about, you should find a place to settle down. The command /map% gives you a link to the online, real-time map, showing you exactly where you and everyone else are. Use this map to find your way around the map and to help you find where you want to live! A few pro tips:

  • Water is good, especially if you want a ship, but be warned! Many other players will fight you over any free land by the waterside. If you don’t care about a ship, I’d move far inland.
  • Hills are a very valuable resource on this server. Building atop a hill or mountain will not only give you a nice view, it will also give you a defensible location against many non-pro raiders.
  • Stay away from other claims! You can view a claim by right-clicking a stick at any block, and it will reveal any claims there. Small claims are ok; chances are, they won’t be a threat to you. Big claims, though, are signs of experienced players who will not take kindly to trespassers. Tread lightly if building near them. You can also see when a player was last active with the command /seen [playername]%.

Once you’ve found that perfect spot, it’s time to settle in! Don’t place your first chest yet; it’s a very crucial placement, and you’ll not want to mess it up. Go ahead and make yourself a small place, and whenever you get finished, place your chest. The reason your chest is so important is because it claims a 5x5 area with the chest in the middle. I’ll go over claims more in-depth later, but for now, realize that the ONLY things safe are inside of your claims. Players, other than you, cannot destroy things inside of claims; therefore, everything within that 5x5 area is safe from raiders. (Notice: chests do not lock inside of a claim. If you wish the protect the contents of your chest, place a block on top of it).

Now you have a little parcel of land, a small base, and should be set up to play! From here, the best thing you can do is simply play like you would normal Minecraft. By the time you get diamonds enough for your tools and armor, you should have inadvertently learned many of the things PirateCraft has to offer.

In-Depth Play

If you have made it this far, congrats! You are now a member of the PirateCraft community! You should have realized by now that most of the people are friendly and are willing to help out new players. If you still care to listen to me, though, keep on reading.


The first thing I’d like to go over more in-depth is the ranking system. Without knowledge of this, you’ll be rather lost, I’m afraid, in the rest of the in-depth discussion. I promise we’ll get to ships soon enough.

The ranking system (viewed with the commands /rank%, /rankup%, /ranks%, and /track [requirement number]%) is a critical part to the PirateCraft experience. As you play on the server, you will want to be able to do more and more things, and it does just that. As a Deckhand (the new players rank; players of this rank are often either spitefully or affectionately labeled Deckie), you get the basics: 1 home, no teleports, basic ships rights. However, once you rankup, you’ll get more things, such as being able to sail larger ships, having more homes, and even being able to build cannons! The ranks are as follows: Deckhand, Cadet, Sailor, Carpenter, Gunner, Boatswain, Firstmate, Quartermaster. Furthermore, there are donator ranks: Lieutenant, Commander, Captain. Finally, there are staff ranks: Privateer, Housewright, Sea Artist, Shipwright, Commodore, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, and Admiral. Obviously, you must donate for donator ranks and you must be a member of the staff team to get a staff rank, but the rest of them (Deckhand – Quartermaster) you can get just by playing.

You can view what rank you are with the command /rank%. You can view what you must do to advance to the next rank with /rankup%. You can view each individual requirement, as well as specifics about that requirement, with the command /track [requirement number]%. Finally, you can view all the ranks with /ranks%.


Now that we’ve somewhat covered ranks, we can now talk about ships! So, most everyone that comes to this server comes for the promise of moving ships, and the server doesn’t disappoint. Though as a new player you only get the basic Dhow-class ship, once you make it to the Sailor rank, you begin getting new classes of ships! I won’t be listing all the classes (you can just head over to the PMC website’s guides to see them, or you can use the command /ships%), but I will focus more on the creation of said ships. So, you can get a ship through a few different ways:

1) You can build a ship. Obviously, you can build a ship if you like, and this tends to be the easiest way to obtain a vessel. In order to build a ship, you need certain materials, but most commonly you’ll be using wood and wool. Wool is pretty tough to get, as animals are rather rare, but if you can find some sheep, you’re golden (without the gold, of course). In order to make you ship move, though, you’ll need some signs. Use the command /shipsigns to view all the different signs you can place on a ship. Realize, however, that only the class sign (Dhow) is required for the ship to actually be useable.

2) You can buy a ship. Buying a ship is generally frowned upon because of the high prices, but many players will buy ships from either the Cove or other players. Buying a ship almost certainly guarantees that it will be useable, but it’s a very expensive option.

3) You can steal a ship. This is PIRATECraft, after all; stealing other people’s stuff, while not right in real life, is a part of the game on the server. If you happen to see a ship that is not claimed, take it, for it is free! However, most ships you’ll find will not only be well protected, but some won’t even be useable. Realize this if you plan on acquiring a ship through… nefarious means.


After ships, let’s deal with the ship’s counterpart: cannons. Cannons are unlocked at the Cadet rank, but you won’t get anything more than you basic cannon until the Gunner rank. Cannons are created out of 3 wool (or 2-3 iron/coal, for more advanced cannons), 2 buttons, and a torch. Each player is limited to a certain number of cannons, so make sure you place them wisely! To create a cannon, place your 3 wool in a straight line, place a button on each end, and place a torch on the backmost wool. To use a cannon, simply fill it with gunpowder (right clicking the barrel with gunpowder), fill it with a projectile (i.e. a piece of cobblestone), and click the torch to FIRE! You can also aim you cannon by using a clock on the cannon.


Now that we have covered the basics of ships and cannons, the last major non-technical thing PMC gives us is brewing. Now, brewing is an extremely interesting topic in my personal opinion, but I will NOT be going over any alcohol. It is vile stuff that no one, in or out of game, should drink. Also, normal potions brew normally. With that said, let’s get to work.

Firstly, you’ll need a cauldron, some fire (by whatever source; netherack works best), and water… alongside the ingredients to brew, obviously. Go ahead and place your fire down (netherack + flint and steel, for example), then place your cauldron a single block above it, so there’s no empty space between the fire and cauldron. Next, fill your cauldron with water. Then, add your ingredients by right clicking the cauldron, and voila! You are now brewing in PirateCraft! There is also distilling and aging, but I shall not talk of that here, for they are both more advanced than this guide allows, and also they pertain to the creation of the drinks-that-shall-not-be-named.

To finish it off, most of the brewing recipes are secrets on the server. It’s up to you to find them! However, I’ll share a simple, common one with you, so you can begin your brewing adventure off! You’ll need 3 potatoes and 4 tall grass as ingredients. Start by boiling your water (lit. adding water into the Cauldron). Next, add all 3 of your potatoes. Then, add all 4 of your tall grass. Finally, wait 3 minutes to cook, and remove via empty glass bottles. The brew, when done properly, should result in 3 bottles of Potato Soup.


Now that we’ve covered most of the physical things within the server, we can begin talking about the more technical plugins that PMC offers us. First up, the Claim plugin. Claims are one of the biggest parts of the server, but function relatively the same as most claim plugins you know do. Whenever you place your first chest, called a Treasure Chest, you get a 5x5 claimed area surrounding the chest, and nothing in that area can be touched by anyone but you. You can use a golden shovel to expand/retract your land, by right clicking the corners of the claim (which appear whenever you right-click the claim with a stick, or when you scroll over a golden shovel in your inventory’s hotbar while inside of the claim), and the right-clicking where you wish to expand/retract to. You also can, while holding a golden shovel, use the /expandclaim [expansion size]% command. Other than your first claim, all claims must be at least 80 blocks of size. You can’t just go claiming all winny-nilly, though! You only get so many claimblocks, you you can view with /claimlist%. The claimlist command not only shows you every claim you own, but also shows you how many claimblocks you have left to spend.

How do you get claimblocks? Well, for every hour of PMC you play, you’ll get 60 claimblocks. That equates to 1 cb (short of claimblock) a minute. You can also buy claimblocks, using the command /buyclaimblocks [amount]%. Each cb is worth 1$ when buying. However, whenever you sell claimblocks with the /sellclaimblocks [amount] command, they’re only worth .6$, so be sure you know what you’re doing when you buy/sell claimblocks! One more warning: Whenever you abandon a claim (to get your claimblocks back, using /abandonclaim% while standing inside of said claim), you get MOST of your claimblocks back, not all of them! Be sure you’re going to keep your claim, wherever you decide to place it!

Trusting Players

You probably aren’t playing alone, which means you’ll want some way to let your friend have access to your claims, right? Well, you can do that! There are quite a few different commands, but the easiest to remember are /trust [playername]%, /untrust[playername]%, and /trustlist%. These three commands can be used inside of a claim, to trust other players to build inside of your claim, to revoke that trusted status, and to see whom all you have trusted to that claim. Trusted people can do anything you can do (besides trust other people), so be careful who you trust!


Claims aren’t totally safe, though. Claims can fall under siege when a player uses the /siege [playername]% command. The siege command allows the opposing player to actually come in and break things inside of your claim! However, not all blocks can be broken. Use the command /guide siege 2% to see the blocks that can be broken during siege… And don’t use them. Sieges are actually undergoing changes during the writing of this article, so I cannot verify that everything you read here is going to be valid when you read it. Right now, whenever a player wins a siege (by killing you or by you leaving the besieged area), they effectively get a 5-minute trust (without being able to break blocks, of course), where they can come and steal all your stuff. That means you’d better be prepared for a long, hard, arduous fight, because the only way to win is for the attacker to either die or give up.


Finally, to wrap up this guide (as far as useful information goes), I’ll be talking about crews. Crews are one of the biggest parts of PirateCraft. Each crew costs 20$ to start, 200$ to verify (meaning you are a full-fledged crew, not just a rag-tag bunch of newbies), and more expenses that become… expensive. However, the best-of-the-best crews can very much afford it.

As aforementioned, crews are groups of players that decide to play together, because you’re stronger together than separate. You can use /crew% to see a list of crew commands, but I’ll go over a few basic ones here: /crew profile [crew tag]%, /crew members [crew tag]%, /crew trust [player name]%, /crew promote [player name]%, /crew verify%, /crew ally add [crew tag]%, /crew rival add [crew tag]%, /crew invite [player name]%, and /crew setrank [player name] [rank]. I know it’s a lot, but most of them should be self-explanatory. I’d like to extrapolate on the crew profile and crew members, however. /crew profile% will show the basic information of a verified crew: the name of the crew, its tag, its leaders, the number of members online to the number of total members, all allies of the crew, all rivals of the crew, and more. It’s the go-to command if you ever want to know how strong a crew is, how active they are, or basic information to help you make a decision about anything. Without the tag, it will show your crew. /crew members% is the similar, showing every member of a crew (your crew, without a tag). It also shows the last time that crewmate was active, though don’t trust it – the plugin at the time of this guide is rather finicky as far as dealing with when a player is on. It changes based on a number of things unrelated to whether the player was online or not; instead, just use the /seen [player name]% command for better accuracy.

I’d also like to take a minute to mention this. Running a successful crew is much, much more difficult than it appears, and without the proper knowledge and dedication, your crew will fall into ruin. I’d not recommend creating a crew, unless it’s just you and your friends joining, or you know that you’ll be active and able to handle the stress. With that said, many crews have become legendary and turned from a crew into a nation, with entire governmental systems, militaries, and so on so forth. If you think you’re up to the task, go for it!

Final Words

Well, that covers just about all of the stuff you’ll need to know to have a very successful time in PirateCraft! Although I covered a lot of information, there is still much to learn, but the PirateCraft community is always willing to lend a helping hand! You’ll find that you can just ask around, and people will gladly help. As always, I’m here if you need me, and best of luck to all of you young pirates! Arrrrgh!