Sail the Caribbean, marauding all on the high seas or ally your ship and crew as a privateer in search of riches - the life you choose is up to you. Face dogged enemies, raid unsuspecting villages, woo fair maidens, avoid capture or dig for buried treasure. Discover what it takes to become one of the most famous pirates in history!
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (44 reviews) - 90% of the 44 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,535 reviews) - 94% of the 1,535 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 11, 2005

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Buy Sid Meier's Pirates!

 

About This Game

Sail the Caribbean, marauding all on the high seas or ally your ship and crew as a privateer in search of riches - the life you choose is up to you. Face dogged enemies, raid unsuspecting villages, woo fair maidens, avoid capture or dig for buried treasure. Discover what it takes to become one of the most famous pirates in history!

System Requirements

    Minimum: Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP, Pentium® 1.0 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, 1.2 GB Free HDD, 64 MB video card* with Hardware T&L support, Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP-compatible sound card*, DirectX® version 9.0b (included) or higher
    * Indicates device should be compatible with DirectX® version 9.0b or higher.
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (44 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,535 reviews)
Recently Posted
Rotten Warfiend
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 27
I played this when it first came out in 2004 for hours on end. They have improved it so much since then, such a great little game, a worthy gem for any collector of classics 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JAK
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
9/10 great old game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DevlinCognito
( 33.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Best Pirate game I've played yet, simple but fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Nac Mac Feegle
( 7.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Oh, joy! "YOR MATAL!" your pirates cheer after you capture a ship, whatever the hell that means (bless Sid Meier and his knack for inventing cutsey and timeless phonetic languages for all of his games) and your fist pumps and the gold flows. This is Pirates!, this is fun.

You are Ingonito, young survivor of dastardly deeds and seeker of vengeance on the rum scented waves of the Caribbean. Your sloop, Revenge, is nimble and reasonably well gunned, and your pockets are light, your crew hungry for trouble. You have been to a town to recieve a letter of Marque from the Spaniards, the British, Dutch or French (did I miss anyone?) and now you course across the great blue expanse in search of bountious adventure.

What ho! Dread Pirate Roberts has just issued from a port hidden amongst some jungled sand bars and he's telling you to watch out? Have at him!

Launch flurries of cannonballs, but make sure you don't get stuck in dead air! Wheel around to dodge his projectiles while you try to maneuver your guns into position to hit his hulk - will you go for the ship's hull with cannoballs, go the masts with nunchuck-like chain-shot, or try to thin out his crew with grapeshot across the decks? No matter, this is all the prelude to the real combat - man-to-man combat with the dread captain himself on the heaving deck of his ship! Dodge blows, rain blows down upon thine enemy, chuck billhooks and drive him under a hail of swipes before eventually seeing him crash down - bloodlessly, of course - into the waves.

YOR MATAL!!!!!

Freaking awesome game. Lightweight, well made, endless fun, even the rinse-and-repeat gameplay doesn't get terribly old because of all the things you can do in towns, all the treature maps you can piece together, all the optional difficulty-boosts you can submit yourself to upon completion of certain waypoint objectives. Just a great, great game. And a great port, too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
thewizardchrist
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
A great game by the legendary Sid Meier.

It is dated but the core concept and to an extent graphics have aged quite well. I remember being blown away by this game years ago and am glad I grabbed this on sale and added to my collection. I recommend playing this game for more reasons than nostalgia. It is a good solid game and one of the best pirate simulations to date.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ArcadeFiesta
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
I played this game when I was a kid, still just as fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
wingmaster501
( 18.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
sid meier's pirates! is a wonderful game of naveil combat and skill i whould recamend for anyone over 10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Commander_Dusk
( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
Dad found this on clearance at Target one day and had me try it out. I remember when I played the dos version of the game at my elementary school. When I started playing, I fell in love with it, and while my hours on Steam is really low, I spent about two years playing this game through and through. Being 17 now, I still love this game to death and I always come back to it every other year.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
noble_cause51
( 26.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
One of the classics. All these years later I still enjoy it. I wish they would make another!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
yarasmodai
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
This is a classic example of Sid Meier's style:
- Do "X".
- Repeat to infinity.
And it works.

He's a genious at making repetitive mechanics feel super addictive. The ship battles, the progression, the exploration... it all works perfectly. I would improve the game by tweaking the sword fights, the port UI, and the dancing. But aside from that, spot on.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brasswheel
( 12.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
This game is easily the second best game I've ever played and, unlike the #1 spot on that list, it's still fun today however many years later after its release. At a 10 dollar price tag you're crazy not to own it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gustolf
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
It is fun but 4 hours of gameplay and it's over.
Not worth the money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Chicken Nuggets
( 8.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
21/10 would plunder again


Helpful? Yes No Funny
A Sideways Mob
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
classic, even more so than the NES classic it copied
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Greendaale
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
A classic game. that is still standing and gives you plentifull of great gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Joop
( 16.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
discount Naval action
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kill-Cam Celebrity
Posted: May 4
No other game stole so many hours of my childhood. Well, maybe Rollercoaster Tycoon Gold, but that's besides the point! This timeless open-world sand-- er, waterbox-- gives you a ship and wishes you well, then reels in the anchors to let you do whatever the hell you want. Sure, you could be a hero and save your family from slavery at the hands of an evil and abusive Marquis, but... why would you? There's only so much time in your simulated pirate life, time that could be used to board Spanish trade galleons, to sack cities, to find ancient Incan ruins, to deliver ultimatums, to conquer all in the name of the Dutch, to beat up drunk tavern regulars, to buy treasure maps and moustaches from Sid Meier in the back corner of the tavern, to marry sixteen governors' daughters through your ballroom dancing swagger, to do whatever the hell you want!

YAR HAR DIDDLY DEE, BEING A PIRATE IS ALRIGHT TO BE, DO WHAT YOU WANT CAUSE A PIRATE IS FREE, YOU ARE A PIRATE!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nsselchow
( 25.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
it kicks booty
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
Posted: April 29
There's so much to like. I've spent hundreds of hours on this game. All the other pirate games fall short; this is the gold standard. It's a must have for any gamer of any level. It's terribly addictive and fun.

Sid, please give us an update to this almost perfect game!

I'd like to see the map expanded a bit to include more opportunities in America, a few more mini-games and side missions, and maybe a game ending mission after you've played a perfect pirate and ready to retire. But don't change much; the gameplay is outstanding, the storyline is great, the attention to detail unmatched.

Sid Meier's Pirates just might be the most entertaining game I've ever played.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Dad found this on clearance at Target one day and had me try it out. I remember when I played the dos version of the game at my elementary school. When I started playing, I fell in love with it, and while my hours on Steam is really low, I spent about two years playing this game through and through. Being 17 now, I still love this game to death and I always come back to it every other year.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
classic, even more so than the NES classic it copied
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
This is a classic example of Sid Meier's style:
- Do "X".
- Repeat to infinity.
And it works.

He's a genious at making repetitive mechanics feel super addictive. The ship battles, the progression, the exploration... it all works perfectly. I would improve the game by tweaking the sword fights, the port UI, and the dancing. But aside from that, spot on.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 20
A great game by the legendary Sid Meier.

It is dated but the core concept and to an extent graphics have aged quite well. I remember being blown away by this game years ago and am glad I grabbed this on sale and added to my collection. I recommend playing this game for more reasons than nostalgia. It is a good solid game and one of the best pirate simulations to date.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
I have been playing this game since 2005, I give it a five star rating.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
68.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
One of the few games that could truly be branded open world. Lives well beyons it's age, and one of my favorite games ever.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
This game has a very special place in my heart. I grew up playing the NES version for hours and hours, and I imagine I'll be playing this version in much the same way. While this 'new' version is well over ten years old it's still such a wonderful and exciting game that only a pirate game of the highest caliber would be able to take it's position as Admiral of the fleet.

What makes this such an incredible game is the sandbox aspect of it. The player can really pursue just about any path that pleases them. Would you like to honor your selected nation by protecting its cities from invasion, boosting its economy by plundering other nations trade goods, and making the seas a place feared for anyone that doesn't fly your flag? You can. Would you like to cast all allegiance aside and plunder the nations of their gold and goods? Go to it. Want to become a master dancer, have a wife in each corner of the map, and become the Romeo of the high seas? Your ship awaits. If you want to create a massive fleet of warships and attack towns you can do that as well. Sid Meier's Pirates is truly one of the most incredible sandbox experiences available, incredibly replayable, fun, fast, engaging, and the best pirate game available.

Highest recommendations for anyone that enjoys this period of history, pirates, nautical adventures, and ballroom dancing.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
Posted: April 16
Really fun game but can get a bit repetitive after a while.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
Arrrrrr

also the wind hates you and will strategically blow against you at every turn
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
If you love pirates and Sid Meier, than this is the game for you!

It's a nice time-killer that doesn't need internet connection. The story line isn't the best but it doesn't take to much away from your overall experience. It also has loads of re-playable value.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
Pirates is a fun game, become a pirate and sink ships and kill people, sale your cargo, marry a hot governors daughter.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
74.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
Sid Meier's Pirates is not only an interesting exploration into the world of necromancy but also an engaging PSA about recycling.

The game is continuously stuck in some sort of tutorial mode from the first to third difficulty where it punishes you for trying to make the game harder by stealing all of your gold. As soon as you hit Swashbuckler however the game becomes a torment where everything from wind, your crew and even your family hates your guts and wishes to destroy you.

The final difficulty however isn't even mentioned by most players who can give you hundreds of strategies for Swashbuckler but not a single for Rogue. It really is just better to forget that this difficulty even exists. It will test your limits as it rips every shred of humanity from you until you're either begging for mercy or some kind of robotic killing machine of the colonial seas. No matter how good you are on Rogue the swordfight with the final boss in his fortress has been designed as a testing protocol for T-800 units instead of being a game for actual human beings to complete.

Oh and good luck with the dancing minigame.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
244 of 261 people (93%) found this review helpful
178 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2015
This is the best Pirate RPG I've had the pleasure of playing, and it's amazing in how it fools you desperately. You have this sort of "drive" to get a VERY good ship. So naturally, "Size Matters" kick in. You take your ♥♥♥♥♥♥ sloop, attack a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ galleas and voila you think! Your ship can now house 32 cannons with a 200 man crew (I believe.) So you take your Galleas, you name it something like "Josephine" and drive it around. You keep your sloop with you or discard it, perhaps even sell it and you feel like Captain Jack Freaking Sparrow. Then you go into a tavern and the lovely barmaid informs you that there's a War Frigate out to kill ya, so you capture that. You now have 50 cannons, possible 400 crew, cargo hold of 128 ton and feel invincible. Then you drive your ship around and feel like the King of the World. That's how it usually is, and seems to be how most people play this game.

It's the wrong way. You start out, you take your Sloop and find a War Canoe. They can be found amongst the savage natives of the Caribbean. You board it with your sloop and acquire it. The next thing you do is to go into town and sell your cannons and your sloop. And everything that's not food. You wont be needing it. You have your War Canoe. You then go to the tavern and recruit the 48 people wanting to join you. Voila, full crew. And you have your War Canoe. The War Canoe is in fact the best ship in the entire game. "But Sir, what about when the English deploy a Ship of the Line to take me out?" You board it. They shoot at you? Well guess what, I hope your Mother taught you how to weave, for you'll be weaving your way around the cannonfire into the Ship. You board it at once the fight starts. If it's too much for you or you take a hit or two, you're in the fastest ship in the game. Turn around, sail away. Nothing can catch up to you. Oh no you wont have cannons, who needs it? Sugar, spice, goods? With your crew of 50 whatever you plunder from the ships in gold is way more than what you'd normally be due. You take your War Canoe, which you'll name something like "Arrow" or "Emma" and ram that thing into whatever comes your way. It's the best ship. Here's why:

-You can bypass ship battles. This means more gold for you. And I personally found them tedious
-Boarding is more manly
-Your ship is the fastest in the game. Get a quest to escort a Governor from Mexico to Florida? Takes you 4 minutes.
-Hunting some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that keeps your family hostage? Like hell he can outsail you.
-Smaller Crew means fewer mouths to feed, and more gold for you when you divide the plunder.
-With a big ship, you'll either shoot something dead while taking damage or see them board you without difficulty. Why be the prey?

10/10 game would make my own War Canoe.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
255 of 302 people (84%) found this review helpful
308 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: December 28, 2015
Yar Har Fiddley Dee
Betray your country and sail on the sea!
Kill off your crew, earn a heftier fee
you are a Pirate!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
101 of 111 people (91%) found this review helpful
60 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2015
I had this game as a kid and, unfortunately, haven't played it in years.
It's still the best pirate game I have ever played.

Maybe one of these days I'll actually rescue my family, but eh.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2015
Good Game, Should remake this game for next gen
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2015
Full Disclosure: Used to play this game back in its hey-day long before its Steam release. Bought it again during a previous sale just to reminisce, and its just as good as it was back then.

One of the classics of Sid Meier's earlier days, brought forward to 2005, as whimsical and as rewarding as it was back then as it is now, only hampered by lack of more modern-day support features like widescreen, stability on more modern OS's, etc.

+ Colorful, light-hearted portrayal of the Golden Age of Piracy, with art direction that holds up to today, 2005-era warts and all.
+ Still-unique controls (using the numpad keys) make it one of the more unusual yet easiest to approach and play games to date. You can play this entire game one-handed if you wish.
+ A truly open seas adventure, with only the barest of poking about the overarching story involving revenge and skullduggery. Combine this freedom with solid sea battle mechanics, sword combat, and dancing to impress the local governor's daughter and you've got something unique every run.
+ In classic Sid Meier's style, many options to set player difficulty, including the option to "ante up" at each "dividing the loot" point after ever expedition with a crew.
+ Yar har fiddle de dee you are a pirate~!

- 2005 warts and all. No widescreen support. Lack of modern OS support (with some display issues on Win7 machines). May want to play this in a window and set your expectations of graphical fidelity properly.
- Bit of a conundrum if you do not own a keyboard with a numpad.
- Some would argue that the seas battle mechanics are a bit shallow, the sword combat can be difficult to get into, and the dancing is nigh impossible.
- In classic Sid Meier's style, game can be haphazard in difficulty gaps between the given difficulties.
- Not a ninja. Or a wizard. In space.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2015
for 75% of this is a no brainer. Stupidly addictive game....yeah it's old, yeah it has a wierd interface, but ......PIRATES!!!!
I owned it when it came out and it was fun then, and it is fun now.
It runs on my older laptop and gives me a chance to sit on the couch while the wife watches netflix and both of us are happy...happy wife, happy life.
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