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There is a short tutorial before you start playing. The tutorial and game have built-in audio instructions. If you are using JAWS or another screenreader, turn off your PC cursor (press Insert + Z). Press Tab on your keyboard once or click on the game picture to activate it.

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How to Play Dreadnought

You are the captain of a fleet of five boats of different sizes, covering from 3 to 5 squares on a battle grid. Your five boats are: a carrier, dreadnought, gunboat, submarine and dinghy. Your opponent also has five boats hidden. Your goal is to find and sink your opponent’s boats, before they sink yours. You take turns firing.

Direction and action keys

Important: A, W, S, and D are your direction keys to play the game (not the keyboard arrow keys). The space bar is your action key. Press the space bar to fire on your opponent.

Parts of the screen

There are 3 different parts of the screen:

  • Battle Grid:  where the game is played
  • Fleet : list describing the damage you’ve done to your opponent’s boats
  • Retreat: to exit the game

Use shift + the direction keys to move between the different parts of the screen. When you get to the ‘fleet’ list, use the ‘s’ key to move down the list of boats and the ‘w’ key to move up the list of boats. This will give you an idea of how close you are to sinking your opponent’s boats.

The battle grid

The battle grid is made up of 10 by 10 squares. The squares are lettered from A to J along the left side, and 1 to 10 along the top of the grid. As you move you’ll hear where your cursor is positioned (letters and numbers will also change from white to yellow to show where you are). Your current position on the battle grid shows as a yellow square.

Useful sound/visual cues

  • After you fire a shot (in the 'classic' version of the game) you will hear whether it's a 'miss' or 'hit' and whether your shot has sunk any boats
  • You will hear a 'clang' if you move over a square where there is some damage (these squares show as red)
  • You will hear a 'whoosh' as you move over a square where you have already taken a shot without hitting a boat (these squares show as white)
  • You will hear a 'bong' as you move over squares where you have not taken a shot yet (these squares show as blue)

Different game versions

In the 'classic' version of the game, you get one shot per turn.

In the 'burst' version of the game, all your unsunk boats can fire during each turn (if you still have 4 boats you can fire 4 shots). If you’re playing the 'burst' version of the game, you won’t be told whether your shots are hits or misses. Move your cursor over the squares to determine if you have damaged any boats. Remember, you will hear a 'clang' if you cursor over a square where there is some damage, or it will show as red.

For each type of game you can choose whether the win is determined by the first to sink their opponent's dreadnought, or the first one to sink all their opponent's ships.

Have fun!

Dreadnought game grid