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A hero's ark, in typical shape after a sailing expedition.
This world didn’t have a lot of water. Just a lake here and a river there that a hero may note in diary. But then, the giant construction happened. Under all the pressure of temples and arks the flat world of Godville broke down and made a big puddle.
Godville Blog, post 91: Quest for Booty

Sailing is a treacherous but rewarding endeavor performed by heroes who have completed their arks. It involves sailing out into the vast and unexplored waters off the coast of Godville, riddled with islands, beasties, reefs, and what the heroes seek: booty.

Tugboats regularly patrol wherever heroes sail, for health and safety reasons (allowing a hero to pilot any vehicle is a health and safety nightmare in itself), so that heroes can be rescued from hitting too many reefs or angering a beastie they couldn't beat.

Joining a Sail

Heroes can be teleported to Godville's port at the cost of 50% godpower using the "Set Sail" button on the remote control. Heroes will only set sail in groups of 3 or 4. If a hero is unable to find at least 2 sailing partners within 15-20 minutes, the hero will pray to restore the spent godpower and will return to his regular heroing duties. When this happens, there will be a 1 hour cooldown until the hero can attempt to sail again.

There is a quirk of the game (possibly a bug) that happens when your hero sails in the limbo period between quest completion and the assignment of a new quest. A hero who drops to sail during this period will return to Godville at the end of the sail; however, although he will heal up, sleep and pray, he will NOT sell a single inventory item. Instead, he will leave Godville with his post-sail inventory fully intact. This may or may not be an advantage[1].

Also, if your hero has defeated a WANTED monster (as published in the Wanted section of the Godville News) and possesses the proof of a WANTED monster's death, you will receive the reward the minute you send the Sail command.

Sail Map

Sail Demo.png

The map of the sea is made up of a hexagonal grid with each tile colored and sometimes containing a symbol to show its meaning. The map provides not only vital information, but the main means of navigation. The tiles surrounding the ark can be tapped to make the hero sail in that direction for the price of 5% godpower. Long pressing a symbol on mobile or hovering the mouse over it on desktop will display the symbol's meaning.

Meanings of symbols along with additional descriptions are provided below. Note that some symbols may appear differently depending on the device being used.

Symbol Appearance Meaning Notes
Anchor Port Arks start beside this tile. Entering this tile will cause your hero to exit.
1 Number in dark coloured tile. Can also appear as 2, 3, 4,or @. Ark There is an ark here. If it is your own ark, the number is replaced with an @ symbol, and one edge will be a darker colour showing the direction the ark is facing. Surrounding tiles will also be darker, showing where you can navigate.
Blank pale blue tile Sea There is nothing here.
Three Asterisks Reefs Your ark will take 3-5 damage every turn while on this tile.
🔼 Triangle Iceberg Your ark will take 3-5 damage but will not consume supplies every turn while on this tile. Icebergs only show up in the winter season.
🌀 Swirl Vortex Navigating into this tile will damage your ark (~14 damage) and send it to another vortex elsewhere on the map.
👾 Alien Beastie This beastie is stationary. Navigating beside this tile will start a sea battle with the beastie.
🐠 Fish Roaming Beastie This beastie will swim in a random direction each turn. Navigating beside this tile may start a sea battle with the beastie. If you are in close proximity or break off from a battle with it, it may chase you within a short radius.
! Exclamation mark Point of Interest For each set of 3 Points of Interest (indicated by matching colour tiles/borders), one tile will contain booty.
Arrow. Can also appear as →, ↘, ↙, ←, and ↖ Directional hint Points towards the nearest undiscovered booty.
💰 Bag with dollar sign Treasure A hero previously found treasure after defeating a two-named beastie here.
Female symbol Fenimal A hero previously found a fenimal after defeating a two-named beastie here.
Male symbol Manimal A hero previously found a manimal on this island.
💰 Bag with dollar sign Treasure A hero previously found treasure on this island.
Blank yellow tile Explored Island This island has already been explored and is no longer of use.
🔦 Torch Lighthouse Exploring this island will show what is in all tiles in a 4-5 tile radius.
🔧 Wrench Repair island Exploring this island has a chance to increase your ark's health.
🍴 Knife and fork Supply island Exploring this island has a chance to increase your ark's supplies.
🙏 Person with hands together (can appear as just the hands) Prayer island Exploring this island has a chance to restore some godpower.
💡 Lightbulb Hint island Exploring this island has a chance to reveal either a hotness hint, or a set of 3 Points of Interest.
? Question mark Mysterious island The results of exploring this island are unknown. If this island gets restocked under the "Repeated Visits" sail condition, the type of reward can be different from before.
Star, snowflake, cloud, hot spring or sun. (✵, ❄, ☁, ♨, ☀, or ✺) Hotness hint Shows distance to nearest booty (more info below).
Blank dark blue tile Map edge Navigating into this tile will cause the hero to exit the sail.

Sailing Conditions

With the October 9th, 2016 update,[2] Godville added special sailing conditions, which can change how the sail you've embarked on will work. These are announced immediately as the sail begins in the log during step 1. Sailing conditions are randomly determined — sometimes there are none, other times you may see up to three conditions together.

Effect Description Details
50 Turns "this sea is small and the expedition must end in 50 turns" The radius of the map is reduced to 14 tiles (down from the usual 21) and the time limit is reduced to 50 turns (down from 100).
Closed Borders "the border is closed, exit only through the port" Arks must return to the port at the centre of the map to exit. The border appears as empty, impassable island tiles.
Dead Sea "lots of reefs make this sea almost uninhabitable for beasties." Abundance of reefs makes this sea almost free of the beasties.
Double Booty "all booties are doubled in this generous sea" Whenever you would get a treasure bag, manimal, or fenimal, you instead get two.
Extra Booty "this sea has an extra booty and no crates" This map is without the usual ubiquitous crates, but it has an extra booty.
High Winds "wind disperses the arks all over the map" The sail begins with arks randomly scattered across the map. Sailing is otherwise unaffected.
More Lighthouses "lots of lighthouses in this area" More lighthouses are available on the map than normal.
Mysterious Islands "the islands here are mysterious and never empty" All islands will show up as '?' (their type is hidden) but will always give you something.
No Booty Hints "everything is perfectly visible here, but nothing hints the location of booty" Booty hints cannot be seen, but arks can see everything from five tiles away.
No Gold Bags "no gold bags here, only manimals and fenimals" Every booty on this map is a manimal or a fenimal. As usual, each will still also reward gold or a special artifact.
Only '!' Hints "all booty hints look like '!' here" The only type of hint available is Points of Interest.
Pacifism "a peaceful atmosphere of this sea prevents arks from attacking each other" Arks cannot attack each other.
Repeated Visits "many islands can be visited more than once" Explored islands may be restocked after a few turns. As usual, the island may also yield a small crate or be empty.
Roaming Beasties "all beasties are roaming, but very shy" All beasties on the map are the roaming type, but are less likely to pursue you if you run away.
Scattered Beasties "beasties are shuffled and can be anywhere in this sea" Beasties of any difficulty may appear anywhere. (Normally, weaker beasties are close to centre and stronger ones closer to the border.)
Starting Hints "some booty hints are already known" The sail begins with a few sets Points of Interest already revealed.

Supplies and Turn Limits

Every turn, the hero will consume 1 supply. Arks start the voyage with 40 supplies. More can be obtained by finding supplies on an island, from a successful Punish command, or as a random drop from a defeated beastie. If a hero exhausts all supplies, the ark will immediately be towed back to Godville by a tugboat, and the hero will lose any discovered booty. The turn on which your ark exits the map does not consume any supplies — i.e. if you are next to the port or map edge with only 1 supply left, you will still be able to keep all your booty and successfully exit at the next turn.

Additionally, tugboats will assume on Step 100 that the hero is lost and will also automatically drag the hero back to shore, also causing the hero to lose any discovered booty. In other words, on Step 99 you need to be next to an exit in order to not be evacuated — you will be able to keep all your booty if you exit at Step 100, but otherwise, all remaining arks are towed at the start of Step 100. If the "50 Turns" sailing condition is in effect, then the same rules apply at Step 50.

Navigation and Controls

Unlike in dungeons where heroes travel together as a group, heroes sail independently, with a liking for exploring adjacent islands and fighting beasties. The heroes will sail in straight lines until they run into something interesting, but they do have enough common sense to avoid sailing into reefs if their ark is substantially damaged. If desired, gods can influence them in the following ways to help them along:

Encourages will usually increase the ark's health, but like in the arena, encourages can also backfire, which may heal an opponent (during battle), result in a loss of supplies (when not in battle) or do nothing.

Punishes will damage an opponent if the hero is in a sea battle, or increase supplies when not in battle. (see below) Punishes can also backfire, damaging your own ark or doing nothing.

Miracles can produce the effect of a lighthouse, add a set of Points of Interest to the map, or increase the chance of the hero finding something on the next island visited.

Navigation commands, sent by tapping the cells surrounding the ark, will cause the hero to sail in that direction or explore that specific island. Navigating into another ark or a beastie will start a sea battle unless the other party successfully moves away. Each successful navigation command costs 5% GP.

The voice of god will be completely ignored by sailing heroes, but does show up on the sail log for other gods to read.

Islands and Hints

The sea has many islands scattered around. Most of which are marked on the map with symbols displaying what they contain. However, islands may be empty despite what the map promises, and booty can be hidden on an island with any symbol. Islands are explored by navigating next to them, causing the hero to tie up their ark and explore the island. A large island will take longer to explore, but the hero is more likely to find something on it and the non-booty rewards are proportionally larger.

Booty hints can be found on islands or as a random drop after defeating a beastie. A booty hint will never point to a booty that was found before or on the turn the hint was discovered. They come in three forms:

Directional hints

Diagram of where the booty could be for a directional hint pointing east.

Directional hints can be randomly dropped by defeated beasties. They come in the form of arrows, which indicates the direction that would be used most if a hero took the shortest possible route to the nearest booty (ignoring obstacles). So if the shortest route was three tiles east and two north east, the arrow would point east. If the shortest route would use two directions equally, either direction could be indicated by the hint. The boundary of the area where the booty could be can be found by starting from the tile the hint is in, going in the direction the hint points, and moving in a zig-zag motion (see diagram). Be aware that a directional hint does not guarantee that booty is nearby, merely in that direction. The booty may be a long distance away.

Hotness hints

Diagram of where the booty could be based on what a hotness hint on the island looked like.

Hotness hints can be found on hint islands, and indicate the distance to the nearest booty (again, ignoring obstacles).

They mean the following:

  • ✵ - No treasure within 11 cells
  • ❄ - Treasure in a radius of 10-11 cells
  • ☁ - Treasure in a radius of 8-9 cells
  • ♨ - Treasure in a radius of 6-7 cells
  • ☀ - Treasure in a radius of 4-5 cells
  • ✺ - Treasure in a radius of 1-3 cells

Points of Interest

Point of Interest hints can be found on hint islands, randomly dropped by defeated beasties, or made by miracles. They do not show a symbol where they were found, but rather make three Points of Interest ( ! ) of the same colour appear on the map, one of which will contain a booty. Revealing a hint tile by navigating next to it or using a lighthouse will leave a coloured border around that tile.

The booty location either contains a two-named beastie or is an island. You can deduce the likely location of the actual booty by the process of elimination: seeing what is at the other revealed tiles of the same colour set, seeing whether another booty was already found in the same sector as a hint location, and seeing if there are adjacent hints of another colour. Note that clustered hints can indicate a large island with booty, but could also be mere coincidence (e.g. an empty sea tile next to a regular beastie).

Threats and Sea Battles

Beasties are the natural inhabitants of Godville's seas, and are not used to having strangers in their territory. Whether out of curiosity or hostility, they are known to strike out at adjacent arks. Some more energetic ones will roam around and even pursue nearby targets. Especially dangerous are the two-named beasties, exceptionally strong beasties identified by names consisting of two non-hyphenated words. They have more health and do more damage than common beasties, but the risk may prove worthwhile as they always drop booty when defeated! Aside from beasties, other pirates are also a threat. They are always on the lookout for loot, and some won't mind if they have to a sink another ark to get it.

Sea battles occur when an ark runs into a beastie, or if one god tries to navigate their ark into another ark. Multiple arks can attack one beastie (or ark), and multiple beasties can attack one ark. During a sea battle, much like a battle with a scurrying boss, all opponents will attack every turn. Unlike a boss battle, however, the order in which everything happens occurs randomly, including influences taking effect. This can mean that an ark on low health may be dealt a finishing blow before an Encourage reaches it.

A sea battle can be ended by commanding your ark to navigate away from the attacker, but this is not guaranteed to work due to the random order of the actions. If an ark is attacked before it moves, it will not move at all and the fight will continue (the 5% GP cost is not deducted in this case). If the battle does not end by one side sailing away, it will continue until only one side is left standing. Upon defeat, a beastie may offer a hint, repair the ark, give some supplies, or not drop anything. An exception is the two-named beastie, which will always drop booty. If an ark is sunk by another ark, the one who sunk it gets a chance to take one booty from their hold, while the hero of the sunk ark drowns.


Every sail voyage has at least five booties scattered throughout the map, and each ark has two cargo spaces. There are three types of booty:

  • Manimals ♂ can only be found on islands.
  • Fenimals ♀ can only be found by defeating two-named beasties.
  • Treasures 💰 can be found both from islands and by defeating two-named beasties.

Manimals, fenimals and treasure symbols will appear on the map on the tile where they were found, and also in the ark's cargo hold. If the hero exits with a manimal or fenimal, as a bonus they will also get either coins or a special artifact for each creature brought back.

Treasures can be one of three things:

  • A large sum of gold coins, usually over 10,000, sometimes a lot more.
  • A special bold artifact (Exotic seashell) that can be sold for thousands of gold coins.
  • A special activatable artifact (Oceanic Boxes) that can be sold for thousands of gold coins; if activated with 50% GP, yields about a dozen bold/activatable artifacts, as well as giving more gold than selling it would have given. A log for the ark may also be found in these activatable artifacts.
Oceanic Boxes 
Chained crate • Donation box • Outlandish data bank • Outlandish gold-oyster • Outlandish hexbox • Outlandish thing-in-itself • Overseas clipboard • Overseas schmartifact • Overseas space waster • Overseas thingamajig • Pirate coffer

As of the August 28, 2017 update,[3] islands and regular beasties may also yield small crates. These are either a special artifact that can be sold, or a special activatable artifact that can be opened to reveal some random bold/activatable artifacts and gold. A log for the ark may also be found in these activatable artifacts. If the ark's cargo hold is already full of crates when booty is found, the hero will automatically dump a crate and pick up the booty. Whether the found treasure/crate contains gold or an artifact will not be revealed until the hero exits the map.

Sail End

A sail can end in three ways. In order of most to least desirable, these are:

Exiting - A hero will exit if the ark travels to the port or the map edge, and will keep any discovered booty found on the voyage. There will be a 6 hour cooldown until the hero can sail again if the hero exited through the port, and a 8 hour cooldown if the hero exited through the map edge.

Evacuating - If a hero runs out of supplies or stays for over 100 turns, the hero will be forced to evacuate. Hero's gold and inventory will be spared, thanks to being pulled to shore by the patrolling tugboats, but it comes at the cost of any booty in the cargo hold. There will be a 8 hour cooldown until the hero can sail again.

Drowning - If an ark's health drops to zero, the hero will drown. Any booties collected will be lost, as well as some gold and items from their inventory that hero will drop while swimming to the shore (quite similar to what happens when a hero's party gets defeated in dungeons). There will be a 8 hour cooldown until they can sail again. Arks with 200%, 300%, or more completion, have additional maximum health and stand a better chance at not drowning. A newly completed ark has 100 health, an ark at 200% completion has 120 health, an ark with 300% completion has 135 health, and an ark with 400% completion has 145 health.

Historical note: originally the cooldown was 9 hours for exiting via the port, and 12 hours for everything else. This was changed on May 1, 2019[4] to 6 hours and 8 hours respectively.

Further Reading and Important Links


  1. For example, if you want your hero to sell everything and put as much as possible towards retirement savings, you can wait until he passes a "savings town" (such as Bumchester), then send him back via the godvoice "Return to town". If you want your hero to sacrifice gold for experience, on the other hand, using "Return to town" to send him back to Godville won't be as useful because he will lack the gold he would normally have received from selling his inventory in Godville in the usual way at the end of the sail.
  2. Godville Blog, post 100: Storm in a Teacup. The conditions 'No Booty Hints' and 'Pacifism' were added with the May 1st, 2019 update: Godville Blog, post 124: Realigning the Stars, and the condition 'Extra Booty' with the June 1st, 2020 update: Godville Blog, post 135: Summer Package
  3. Godville Blog, post 109: Adventure Time
  4. Godville Blog, post 124: Realigning the Stars
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