Pirates Ahoy Battle Arena: Everything you need to know
Ready your cannons! Hoist your sails! Man your battle stations! For today, the Battle Arena feature in Pirates Ahoy is here, and with it comes new opportunities for gold, booty, and combat. So how does it work? Well, in the most basic sense, Battle Arena plays like Rock-Paper-Scissors on the high seas.
To get to the Battle Arena, there's now an icon on the right end of the menu bar called "PvP" (in gaming parlance, this is an abbreviation for "Player versus Player"). Click on that and you'll reach the Battle Arena roster. All of your friends who play the game will be featured here. Click on "Challenge" to start a fight, and you'll be taken to the Battle Arena screen (see image below).
The actual combat portion involves filling 5 attack slots with different combos of 3 kinds of weapons -- Shot, Ram, and Shield. The rule you have to remember is that Shot beats Shield, Shield beats Ram, and Ram beats Shot. But since you'll never know what combos your opponent will use, the key to winning battles is being lucky and getting the more powerful weapons faster than the other guy can.
After you click "Send Challenge", you've got to wait for the other play to click "Respond". After they do that, you should see the "Result" button on your challenge roster. Clicking on that will immediately treat you to an animated battle sequence of your two ships!
Everyone starts off with a Boulder, Nail Plank, Wooden Shield, and the Rank 1of "Landlubber" in the Arena. You get promoted through winning battles, and as you do, stronger weapons become available in the Equipment Shop. Victories will also earn skill points to increase the attack of the weapons that you already own. And the higher the rank of your opponent, the more points you'll earn when you manage to defeat them.
In order to qualify for battles, you'll need a Battle Pass. Everyone gets 3 free Battle Passes per day, but you can get more when you win battles, dig for treasure on maps, or when your friends post their free winnings as Facebook wall posts. (NOTE: Only the first 3 people who click on the post will get a Pass. Tell your friends to leave a comment if they're going to take one, just so everyone else knows if there's any Passes left.)
You can also buy them from the game's store using Playfish Cash. One Battle Pass costs 2 PFC, five costs 9 PFC, and 10 costs 13 PFC.