While most fans will know Sid Meier for his excellent Civilization series, he has also made a variety of other games including Sci-Fi epics and the best pirate simulator ever made. Sid Meier’s Pirates is a game that provides the full buccaneering experience from thrilling naval combat to tracking down buried treasures on tropical islands.
The game’s protagonist journeys to the Caribbean islands and resorts to piracy in his quest to find the kidnapped members of his family. Initially released in 2004, some players may be turned off by limited graphics and simple mechanics. That said there numerous mods available for customizing the game’s graphics and adding new features to give a fresh experience for newcomers and veteran buccaneers alike.
A Website Full Of Game Files And Mods
Being an old game, Sid Meier’s Pirates has its own forum that, while sadly no longer updated, can still be visited for tips, tricks, and guides on how to play the game. The Hooked on Pirates website is a great place to look for mods and game files.
The mods on this site don’t come with pictures, but they are relatively easy to install and remove as the player chooses. There are a variety of reskins and graphical fixes available as well as mods for giving the protagonist new outfits. If they want players can even customize their character’s facial hair to resemble the terrifying Blackbeard or even the witty Captain Jack Sparrow.
Pirates HD Is A Simple But Effective Graphical Update
While the Hooked on Pirates website has all the tools one could need to fully customize their game, some players may want to simply polish the graphics without going into so much detail. Thankfully there is a straightforward mod available for improving the game’s dated aesthetics.
The Pirates HD mod is perfect for seeing the Caribbean in all its tropical beauty. This overhaul incorporates numerous other mods but players won’t need to install anything else to get it working. Unlike some of the other graphical remasters, the HD version is easy to install although it lacks the ability to alter specific skins and textures found in other mods.
A Menacing Flag For Merciless Captains
Throughout Sid Meiers Pirates players will encounter numerous locations and people from the golden age of piracy. As well the main villain of the story, there are also famous pirates to find and defeat, including Jack Rackam and Blackbeard (who was also featured in Assassin’s Creed 4). Unfortunately, no matter which of these dastardly buccaneers you face they all fly the same skull and crossbones emblem from their ship’s mast.
Thankfully with mods players can adopt almost any flag they want but the Jolie Rouge, known in England as the Jolly Roger, is by far one of the most striking and unique. This bright crimson flag warned an enemy ship that pirates intended to take no prisoners which made it one of the more terrifying symbols to spot while out at sea. Players can fly their very own Jolie Rouge by downloading this mod.
Play The Game Without A Numpad
Pirates was initially designed to be played on a PC, but a version was also released for the Wii, where players could use the Wiimote for fencing. While the game can be played with a mouse, this is often clunky and the easiest way to respond quickly in any situation is to use the Numpad.
This control system is used for everything from ship battles to dancing, making for simple gameplay that can be simultaneously very challenging as the player is given less time to respond. Since many modern laptops don’t have a Numpad, some players will find it essential to download this mod, which rebinds the controls to the main keyboard.
Repainted Ships With A More Varied Crew
As players plunder their way to fame and fortune they will find numerous different ships to capture and swap out for their starting sloop. Each ship added to a player’s armada will require a crew to sail it, so it makes sense to either sink ships that aren’t needed or hire new crew as frequently as possible from ports.
If players want to customize the appearance of their flagship, the Repainted HD ships mod gives all the vessels in the game a fresh paint job. Not only does this mod make all the Galleons and Merchantmen encountered in the game more unique and varied, but it also adds a new skin for the protagonist and different sprites for the crewmates.
Live The Life Of A Mandolorian
As well as gameplay mods and graphical reskins, Sid Meier’s Pirates has its fair share of amusing joke mods as well. One of the most bizarre conversions for the game is a mod that replaces all the factions in the game with races from the Star Wars universe.
The Star Wars Nation Pack allows players to encounter both Jedi and Sith while they traverse the sunny islands of the Caribbean. Fans of the popular space western The Mandalorian will enjoy having all the pirates replaced with the titular bounty hunters. While a peculiar concept, the amusing juxtaposition of Jedi riding in wooden boats makes this mod worth downloading for the spectacle alone.
A Monkey Island Conversion Mod
The Monkey Island series was a popular franchise of adventure games made by LucasArts. These games are considered by many to be some of the best pirate games ever made, so fans of these games will be happy to know that there is a conversion mod available that combines Monkey Island with Sid Meier’s Pirates.
With all the 3D towns replaced with artwork from the classic point-and-click adventure games, this mod is great for fans who want to follow Guybrush Threapwood’s Odyssey from a radically different perspective. Given that some of the puzzles in the original could be quite hard to solve, some players might enjoy being able to solve their problems with a cutlass instead.
Play As A Swashbuckling Queen Of The High Seas
One thing that many will want to alter in Sid Meier’s Pirates is the appearance of the main character. There are numerous mods available for those who wish to replace the fresh-faced protagonist with their own grizzled scourge of the high seas.
The Sea Vixen mod allows players to control a lady pirate. This provides a fun inversion of the game’s story as the protagonist searches the Spanish main for her lost brother instead. The model for this mod comes from one of the barmaids in the game and while there are few minor graphical glitches during some of the sword fights, players should find it easy to install and play.
The Challenge Pack
Each time players return to port to divide the plunder, they may be offered the chance to increase their difficulty level. This means that as the player becomes more infamous they will encounter more resistance from enemy ships. However, there are certain exploits in the game that can allow players to get by, even at max difficulty with relative ease.
The challenge pack is a collection of mods by Adam Milazzo that increases the difficulty of the game by tweaking some features and rebalancing others. Some of the mods included in this add-on make relations with Indian tribes and Jesuit Missionaries more complex, while another one increases cannonball speed for more realistic naval combat. This mod pack also stops famous pirates from surrendering ensuring the player will always have to sink or board their ship to defeat them.
Set Sail For The East Indies
Sid Meier’s Pirates, has a reasonably large open-world map, with a lot of effort going into recreating the Caribbean islands during the golden age of piracy.
However, this was not the only one of the seven seas to be riddled with raiders, and fans who want to try a change of scene will enjoy this mod for setting the game in the East Indies. The new map for this mod swaps the french for the Portuguese and allows players to sail from India to Timour as they plunder the tropical waters of the Philipines.