Fast-paced naval battles in a grim fantasy world of leviathans, warships and treasure! Featuring tactical, ship-vs-ship-vs-monster multiplayer, customization & progression!
Recent Reviews:
Mixed (36) - 69% of the 36 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (557) - 86% of the 557 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 11, 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Maelstrom is focused, well-built, and in an early beta state. We now crave feedback and perspective from players on all aspects of the game especially balance, gameplay, and pacing so we can tighten and polish it. We'll be communicating a lot with our community, especially at this stage of development where game elements are still malleable.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Maelstrom will officially launch when it is well-balanced and the systems and content are highly polished. We are aiming for a late 2018 release, but no specific date yet.
It will be patched frequently, and players will see constant improvements as additional content is added consistently over the course of Early Access. You can see our plans in more detail on our roadmap.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Players can expect a host of new in-game systems and content to come online while the game is in Early Access:
  • Visual upgrades to all playable ships
  • Duo team play
  • Leaderboards
  • Daily bounties and quests
  • Additional maps (and monsters!)
  • Professional voice acting for all captains, mates, and narration.
  • Additional languages supported
    {*] …and there may be more as we unlock stretch goals based on player numbers! Check out our Steam hub for more information.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We are still in an early beta state, iterating on balance, gameplay, and progression. The game is fully playable with three initial races (Orcs, Humans, Dwarves), multiple ships for each race with loads of upgrades, mates and captains. Multiplayer with end match rewards and progression is all fully functional. We will patch frequently and players can expect the game to continue evolving and updating throughout Early Access!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will reflect the development progress of the game, and so may increase as new features and content are added. Check out our roadmap to see those plans.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Our main outlets of communication will be via Steam hub, Discord and Twitter. We'll be communicating a lot with our community, especially at this stage of development where game elements are still malleable.”
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Recent updates View all (14)

July 10

Summer Development Update

It’s time for a Maelstrom update!

To begin, let’s talk about short-term stuff that’s coming in the next patches or two.

The gameplay has proven out and having that base established means we can add more layers on top of it to make matches more engaging and less predictable.

One of the biggest pieces that we’re working on is what we call “Emergent Systems.” We want to make each match played feel more unique and dynamic by introducing variable elements that impact the map and the way it’s played when they show up. We’re currently finishing the first batch of these systems:

For example there’s a storm mechanic that will cause brooding storm clouds to appear over time, making the sea much choppier and reducing sightlines. Another is Maelstroms now begin at different locations throughout the map instead of it being just a static element. Currents have also been touched and now have varying paths, and directions. There are also invasion events that may occur during matches, more on those later.

We recently reworked Brinemaw’s AI and he now patrols the waters, but we want him to do more. We’ve added a new attack where Brinemaw will pick up a nearby ship and literally bite it in half. We are also upgrading the AI so that we have more levers to adjust when and how he decides to attack players. These upgrades also lay the foundation for the new sea monster we’re adding in the near future.

The Dead Waters mechanic is also getting an overhaul. It will now close in a circular pattern, which should provide a more predictable and more consistent experience in the end-game and avoiding the strange shapes that sometimes occur now. We are also playing with different display options for the mechanic on the minimap, as we know that some players have a hard time seeing when/where the Dead Waters are occuring.

We are also in the middle of a Mates review, focusing particularly on Defensive Mates. We know that some Mate types are much more useful than other and want to increase the variety and options that player have.

In the longer term, we have a lot of exciting stuff. It’d be too much to go through everything now, but here are some highlights:

We’ve mentioned some examples of some Emergent Systems stuff that we are already working on, but we have a lot of more of these planned and hope you will have fun discovering and seeing them for yourselves in game! Look for things like dynamic weather effects such as lightning strikes, water spouts, as well as more involved things such as NPC Treasure fleets.

We are also working on new Sea Monsters to cause further mayhem.

One of the most requested features by players is the ability to customize ships. We are doing it! We won’t give too much away, but in addition to ship skins, look forward to decals, adornments, and more fanfare that occurs when you sink an enemy ship! Oh, and lifeboats with cannons and taunts, because who doesn’t want to be able to fire offal and curse at the gloating sea-flea that sunk your ship and sailed off with all those hard earned boons?

We have also been working on a Medal system designed to give reward players with shiny things to show off when players achieve cool/epic moments during matches.

  • Tenacious: Sink the last 5 enemy ships and win
  • Double Strike: Sink 2 enemy ships with the same volley
  • Opportunistic: Sink an enemy ship by causing them in fall into the Maelstrom

We will also be introducing Events. These will be limited time Quests with their own reward tables for completing the objectives.

Bourgan the Dwarven Merchant loves trout above all other food, and will handsomely reward anyone who collects enough trout for him.

Trout will randomly spawn on the maps during matches. Collect them by sailing to them. Be careful, however, as all other players will be competing for the same fish!

  • Collect 50 Fish for the Title, “The Fisherman”
  • Collect 200 Fish for the Lifeboat Skin: “Dwarven Fishing Boat”
  • Collect 500 Fish for the Unique 5-Star Mate: “Bourgan”

For those who love the chase, we have designed Epic Quests. These will be a sequence of increasingly more difficult tasks that lead to an exclusive reward. More details to come.

Finally, we want to thank every one of you that’s shown us love and support as we grow Maelstrom and march it towards full release. There’s lots of fun to come and we’re so glad you’re on board for the ride!

Your Maelstrom team <3
12 comments Read more

June 19

Team Mode, Keybinds and Revenge of the Bots

Get ready for the biggest Maelstrom patch yet!

With this update, we are releasing the highly anticipated Team Mode featuring 3 man teams. We have made improvements to the party flow which will also allow you to queue for Team Mode even when you are solo or in a duo. You will be automatically merged with other players to form 3 man teams. We have also updated the way loot is distributed in Team Mode to be evenly divided among all team members.

In addition, we have also added the ability to update keybindings for Mouse and Keyboard users, as well as the ability to turn off motion blur.

The patch also comes with an update to bots. Bots will now have more power via hardpoints and even grab pickups. No more easy pickings!

And last but not least, we have also added a brand new map called "The Vaults."

In addition, we have the usual buffet of balance changes and bug fixes as well.

View the full patchnotes in-game or on the forums:here.
8 comments Read more
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“Maelstrom is a unique and original twist on the classic Battle Royale formula with naval combat, out-of-match progression, and sea monsters!”
IGN - James Duggan

“Maelstrom’s a nautical battle royale, pitting fantastical ships against each other in damp arenas. The ships are fast, the cannons are powerful and there’s no risk of being sniped by some invisible bastard. It’s lovely”
Rock Paper Shotgun - Fraser Brown

“It's a fun and fast-paced game as you swivel around to unleash broadside attacks, try to stay out of the line of fire as your cannons are reloaded, grab currents to speed yourself up and dart between the islands, and race to collect the floating goodies dropped when another ship is taken out.”
PC Gamer - Christopher Livingston

About This Game

Grim fantasy combined with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world! Captain an Orc, Dwarf or Human warship and sail the turbulent Abyssal Ocean to play online multiplayer, in free-for-all or fleet based matches.

The goal is to: Plunder as much gold as possible while outwitting and outgunning all others and be the last ship sailing.
  • Be ruthless! Sink other players ships, take their loot and collect their bounty!
  • Be greedy! Maps are littered with floating treasure chests and ships loaded with gold.
  • Be cunning! As the match progresses hungry sea monsters become more aggressive and encroach the safe waters ships can sail in. Ships sailing in 'Dead Waters' for too long end up as monster chow!
  • Be unsinkable! At the end of a match ships can be upgraded and customized with captains, cannons, armor, mates and more!


Cannons are the heart of combat in Maelstrom. Cannonballs are physics controlled, with a significant firing arc and hang time, meaning prediction and good aim are necessary to deal damage effectively. On the receiving end, players with good reactions and anticipation coupled with a nimble ship can dodge incoming fire.


Enemy ships can be rammed, grappled and boarded! A clever captain at sea will become a wealthy captain on land.

Skillfully maneuver yourself through the swelling sea and prepare your ship for ramming. The faster the ship is moving the more devastating the collision will be on impact!

Looking for a friendlier approach? Hold both ships in place while crews fight it out. Grapples will be cut eventually, so boarding actions only last a short time. If one crew manages to kill all of the opposing crew, they will set fire to the enemy ship, sending it to the depths!


Each ship has armor on all four sides. The armor sections serve as additional defense toward damage to that side and must be destroyed before the ship's hull can be damaged. Maneuvering to keep your armor between you and your enemy is vital to staying afloat - and seeking the enemy's damaged sides will make you much more lethal in combat!
Every cannon has access to three kinds of ammunition and can swap during combat to suit the situation. Ammo is unlimited.
  • Iron shot blasts chunks out of ship armor and hull.
  • Chain shot is used to shred enemy sails and cripple a ship’s speed.
  • Grapeshot slaughters enemy crew and makes ships easier to board.


Like the ocean they reside in, sea monsters are titanic forces of nature. They stalk unwary captains and can devour a ship whole. Like this Murkwater Thrasher.

Each ship in Maelstrom is a character with a colorful history and unique weaponry as well as strengths and weaknesses such as speed, firepower, crew, and toughness. There are many unique ships available for players to unlock and explore.


Ashborne has incredibly punishing broadsides and wields spell-infused incendiary ammo, unique to her, which ignites enemy ships!


The well designed ships of mankind's Phoenix Empire are the fastest afloat. Each ship is armed with a large number of the most modern cannons available, giving them unmatched range and broadside firepower.
  • Great speed
  • Powerful broadsides
  • Great range


The shark-driven ships of the orcs are incredibly maneuverable, and have a large number of forward-facing cannons making them deadly on the pursuit. The orcs themselves are ferocious fighters, unmatched in combat during boarding actions.
  • Lethal boarding
  • Great ramming
  • Formidable agility


Dwarves disdain brittle wood and flimsy sail, instead forging steel armored steamships. Dwarven ships can withstand far more punishment than the ships of other races and are armed with massive giant cannons on all sides. Though not the most nimble, all Dwarf ships can switch gears and sail in reverse.
  • Tough armor
  • Omnidirectional cannons
  • Ships can reverse

No additional purchases are needed to enjoy the game to the fullest extent. In other words there are no loot boxes, microtransactions, or anything of the sort. Future content will be added in optional DLC packs or released to the community free of charge. Our goal is to keep the game healthy and the community satisfied.

We promise to get Maelstrom into your hands in a fully playable and fun state and to keep the game healthy; to provide transparency and insight into decisions made about Maelstrom at all levels both vast and granular. To listen and react to what the players want.. Most importantly, to honor the faith and trust you've placed in us by purchasing the game. Sink ya soon!

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or later
    • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 2.5 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or AMD Radeon 6870 HD series card or higher
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
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