Guns of Icarus Online Strategy Guide

Guns of Icarus Online Strategy Guide by Garayur

I know that anything posted here is at risk of becoming obsolete/incorrect as soon as a rebalance happens, but I figured it might be a bit useful to have either way.

Please post any Strategic Insights you may have come across.

Engineer Wrench Usage:

I find that the small wrench works best in combat repairs for everything except the Balloon. For guns and engines, you want them to be offline as little as possible, and since they seem to have relatively low health, it doesn’t make many repairs to fix them completely. As for the hull, given that it can only be repaired up to a certain point and its loss is instantly fatal, small rapid increases in health are a lot more useful than one long slow one.

For the balloon, I find that there is no reason to use the small wrench. Generally the Balloon is not fatal(provided you are nearby) which gives you a little leeway. If it is destroyed while you are repairing it, once you reconstruct it, it will have more health than if you had done even several small wrench repairs from near death, and its quicker to rebuilt it as well. The large wrench will also take it from near destruction to full health. I find that it spends a lot less time destroyed using the large wrench for all balloon repairs, and I have more time for other repairs if I use the large wrench instead of the small one.


Always be aware of your weapon positions. Different ships have different mount points, and therefore different attack strategies. If you are in a galleon you can bring the most guns to bear by turning your side to the enemy ship(a broadside). You also want to minimize the damage an enemy ship can do, so being aware of their gun positions is important as well. If you are fighting another Galleon, you want to turn your broadside to either the front(down the throat) where there are not guns, or the back(up the kilt) where there is only one.

Crew Work:

You are most effective when everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. On larger ships the Engineer may not be able to cover enough ground on his own to keep the ship alive. If there are multiple engineer’s, stake your repair claims early. You will be a lot more likely to remain alive and combat effective if you stick to ship components relatively close together. Quite often the hull and the balloon repair points are on opposite sides of the ship, and if you don’t have any relative zones of responsibility, you are going to find yourselves trying to repair the same component while nobody is repairing the hull or balloon.


Your spyglass is an extremely valuable tool for your gunners. Not only do targeted ship components take more damage, but it indicates to the crew who is and is not an enemy. It also make it possible to track enemy ship position when you don’t necessarily have a line of sight from where you are on the ship. This is very useful for gunners in choosing their weapons.

Be Aware of the range of your weapons. If you have Carronades, you need to fly in close enough for them to be effective. Your gunner’s aren’t going to do you any good if they aren’t close enough to hit the target.

Additional Strategy by Sgt_Spoon

I usually play as Captain.
If your not flying with friends: Before the match, try to talk to your crew. See if they listen to you or not. If they do you can start planning your course. If not, you can start pray and try to repair as a captain.

I currently use the junker. With flak guns and mortars on the sides and a missile sling or howitser in the front. This way I can do drive-by’s with full flak and mortar broadsides. Hit the ship and circle them as they tumle down. If there’s more than one ship nearby, I try to get some hits and then not linger to much near the other. But rather to sail away and come in for more attacks.

When the match starts or when a ship tries to flee I can use my front long range weapon to hit and slow the fleeing ship to catch up to it and sink it.

The good thing with the junker is that the ballon repair point is placed right above the steering place. This way, if the crew is busy or if they just don’t listen, I can do some quick repairs to it as a captain. To avoid crashing.

Comments by Wampbit

Your comments regarding the engineer are spot on as far as I’m concerned, the only thing to add is /never/ ignore fires, their severity is not always apparent at first, but quickly becomes serious.

Regarding ships, I can provide a few tips regarding the squid; which is the ship I have the most experience with, and also my favourite.

The first thing to note is that you only have guns on one side of your ship, in exchange you have high speed, and most importantly, a rear gun. The rear gun is situation between two of four engines on your ship, and is directly behind the zeppelin repair point – this is extremely significant in escape situations. If you are under heavy fire it’s unlikely that any component will survive for an extended period of time, so the focus tends to be on quickly repairing destroyed components rather than fighting a war of attrition to keep a single component alive. In doing this you free up a little bit of time, this time can then be used at the rear gun to inflict a burst of damage on a chasing enemy vessel. I find that a mortar or rocket launcher (not sling) is preferable at the rear mount, as it will inflict significant damage on a large number of components in a short period of time – the downtime the enemy needs to repair is at minimum the downtime you need to repair, and given that the squid is both the fastest ship and the most accessible ship (in terms of engineers reaching repair spots), a quick retaliation with a powerful rear weapon can easily turn the tides of a battle.

On the other hand the squid requires good position from the captain, and high accuracy from the gunners. Given that one side lacks guns, the captain must be very aware of enemy positions, when caught by surprise the squid’s survival chance is low. Furthermore there are only 3 gun ports on the ship, all of which have minimal overlap, this means that the captain needs to be good at maintaining a relative position to an enemy vessel, and the gunner needs to ensure his shots count – there’s only a single source of damage at a time.

With these pros and cons I think it’s quite natural to ask why you would play the squid at all, a fully crewed ship of any other variety should be able to beat, or at least end up on par with the squid in any situation, by virtue of guns, durability, and more crew. The answer is quite simple: you only need 2 functional crew members to run the squid, or 1 good crew member to make an escape. This became apparent to me over numerous disconnections; 2/3 players d/c in the middle of a battle, you have to make an escape, and in most ships you wouldn’t be able to, but due to the accessibility of the squid, it’s small size, and it’s speed, with some careful manoeuvring you can get into some clouds and wait for your crew to reconnect. Or more importantly, you can man a squid with a gormless AI crew.

Hit and run tactics can also be applied to great effect using the squid, I’ve had certain battles of this nature lasting several minutes, again owed to both good piloting and good gunning, whereby you move close with your high speed, blast the enemy ship, mortar as you’re moving away, turn in a cloud, and using a front mounted flak cannon (or any other long range weapon) to snipe on your approach, repeating this will steadily wear down almost any enemy ship.

I’m sure some of this information is also useful to other ships, but as I only know one other person with the game, my experience with larger ships is limited (2 people can’t really run the large ships), aside from this the tactic described above tends to net the majority if kills in any Dunes skirmish.

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