Primer Key Abilities

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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Official Digital Strategy Guide
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Primer Key Abilities

Throw Money & Smoke Bombs

Kenway can utilize the Throw Money ability and Smoke Bombs to great effect in a variety of social and combat situations. These are categorized as “Tools”, and therefore activated by pressing . To select either for use, press or .

When you use the Throw Money ability (), Kenway will hurl a shower of coins around his current position (). All civilians in range will immediately scrabble for the currency; as the brief spectacle unfolds, any unengaged patrols or sentries will turn to watch the commotion. The effect lasts several seconds.

  • The most efficient use of Throw Money is to complicate life for pursuing adversaries. If Kenway throws coins as he flees along busy streets, he can form impromptu human barriers that will slow down his opponents. It’s especially effective when used to block the entrance to a narrow alleyway.
  • Throwing money also works well as a diversionary tactic. Having guards turn to face the ensuing scrum enables you to attend to business you might not want them to witness. However, it has definite drawbacks in a stealth scenario, as it removes immediate Blending opportunities as citizens scrabble for coppers. It may also serve to attract the very kind of attention that you are attempting to avoid.

Smoke Bombs () are items that can only be purchased or occasionally looted from slain opponents. By default, Kenway can carry a maximum of five at once. Though obviously of utility when escaping combat (creating literal “choke points” in narrow passages works brilliantly), dropping Smoke Bombs incapacitates opponents during battles (), which makes it possible to assassinate them without resistance.


Pickpocketing is a risky yet moderately profitable way to acquire small amounts of money early in the story. It is also a technique that enables Kenway to relieve individuals of items that he requires to progress in a mission or side quest.

To pickpocket a target, move close behind them and hold . A circular meter () will show the progress of the theft (). You must stay in close proximity (and match stride with moving targets) until the meter is filled to successfully complete the lift. This rarely arouses the victim’s suspicion if performed during a Blend or while out of sight. The actual amount is determined by the class of the target: a gentleman decked in fine attire will yield more than a man clad in rags.

Naturally, this manner of crime will immediately cause any soldiers (or, more specifically, anyone represented by a red marker on the mini-map) who witness it to attack Kenway, so it’s wise to ensure that they are either looking elsewhere before you begin – or, better still, are nowhere to be seen. As a point of interest, it is possible to pickpocket soldiers, but it’s rarely worth the heightened risk.


Whenever Kenway is hidden within a hiding place, Stalking Zone or leaning against a corner, you can press to have him whistle to attract the attention of nearby guards, who will move to investigate. This is obviously a great way to set up Low Profile assassinations, but only if there is a single guard within range.

If there are multiple targets, whistling might not seem like the most prudent course of action – but it can actually be a simple yet efficient diversionary tactic to draw patrols off course, or pull guards from their posts. If there is no cause to avoid combat, it’s a good way to draw opponents to a secluded spot where conflict is less likely to attract the attention of reinforcements.

Whistling is extremely effective as a method of luring troublesome guards into Stalking Zones, as assassinations performed within these areas will often pass unnoticed unless there are other hostiles within a few meters of the act. There are many stealth-based missions where this simple ability can transform a fiendishly complicated infiltration into a relative stroll.

Looting & Hiding Bodies

To loot a body, stand over it and hold () until the circular meter fills. If you have multiple bodies to deplume, hold the button permanently as you move between them: Kenway will automatically begin looting when you move within range. Most adversaries relinquish ammunition and a small sum of currency. If you diligently rifle through the pockets of combatants whenever your stocks of Smoke Bombs or bullets are low, you need never purchase these items from stores.

Some situations call for assassinations that leave a troublesome corpse in plain view for a later patrol to discover. If Kenway will be staying in the vicinity, this might upset carefully laid plans. Tap while standing above a body to pick it up. To avoid accidentally grabbing a dropped weapon instead, refer to the contextual display in the top-right-hand corner of the screen: this will always reveal if the action is possible. Kenway’s movement speed will be reduced while he is carrying a body. Tap the same button again to drop it. Throwing bodies into hiding places (), Stalking Zones and deep water enables you to dispose of them permanently.

Eagle Vision

Eagle Vision has many different applications. After you press to activate it, Kenway’s perception of the world changes (). It is automatically deactivated whenever he breaks into a run or performs other High Profile actions.

There is a distinctive color scheme in Eagle Vision: objective-specific targets are gold; enemies are red; allies are blue; most citizens have no hue at all. Points of interest (including hiding places, Stalking Zones and areas of special interactivity) are also highlighted by a white glow.

Eagle Vision has a new function whereby potential hostiles and persons of interest (such as an individual that Kenway must follow during a mission) will be “marked” when viewed in this fashion, which makes them visible through solid objects. This can be used to maintain visual contact during chases or while following people, and to build a clear picture of guard movements during infiltrations. These Eagle Vision highlights are lost once Kenway moves 35 meters away from a target.