Primer Viewpoints & Maps

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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Official Digital Strategy Guide
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Reference & Analysis

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Primer Viewpoints & Maps

When you first arrive in a location, the entire map (and, by extension, mini-map) is blank. Fortunately, the Caribbean region is dotted with lofty vantages that Kenway can scale, known as Viewpoints (), and marked with a distinctive icon. After reaching the appropriate summit or perch, you can press to “Synchronize” with the environment. Viewpoints that you have yet to Synchronize with are represented by white outlines with a black center on the main map and mini-map (); Synchronized Viewpoints have a black outline with a white center ().

Synchronizing at a Viewpoint immediately reveals the surrounding terrain, including any points of interest in that vicinity, side quest start positions and other optional activities. Furthermore, whenever you stand on the beam of a Synchronized Viewpoint, all points of interest within a wide area – including collectibles and activities – are highlighted by icons superimposed over their actual position. This is a feature you’ll regularly exploit when you come to use Viewpoints as Fast Travel destinations later in the main storyline, which can help to drastically cut time spent moving from A to B. For this reason, we strongly advise that you climb Viewpoints whenever you encounter them.

Main Map

You can access the main map at any time during active play by pressing the Map Button. Kenway’s position is represented by the hooded Assassin icon (), with the accompanying arrow corresponding to the direction that the camera is facing – not Kenway himself.

Use to move around the map, and to control the zoom level. Use to zoom out to the maximum level (useful for quickly ascertaining your current position in the Caribbean), and to center the cursor on Kenway. To see a description of any icon on the map, move the cursor over it. You can also press the Manual Aim Button to bring up a complete legend for all icons used on the map. Pressing the Reload Button and Collectibles Button will make you cycle between filters and display icons by category.


The mini-map shows a small portion of the main map (). The arrow on the outer edge of the mini-map always points north. The arrow in the center represents Kenway.

All places of interest, points of interactivity and active waypoints within Synchronized areas are marked by icons on the mini-map. The icons appear in full size when they lie within its boundaries, then shrink and disappear from view as Kenway moves away from them.

Some icons appear at all times. Memory Start locations for main story missions, objective-specific waypoints and manual markers (placed on the main map) are always clearly displayed. If these destinations lie outside of the current mini-map area, the icons will move to the outer rim of the mini-map to indicate their approximate location.

Key Map Icons



Main Story Mission

Enemy Marksman




Custom Marker


Kenway’s Ship

Fast Travel

Once the Fast Travel feature is unlocked, you can press while highlighting a suitable map icon (such as a Viewpoint or the icon of a discovered location) to initiate a near-instantaneous transfer to that locale. As a rule, your ship will always be transported with you.

Custom Marker

Though the main map screen is useful for route planning and gaining an understanding of the distances involved in many endeavors, one of its most useful features is the ability to set a Custom Marker waypoint with . This can be used to explore without losing your bearings, or to break long or complicated journeys into smaller sections.

Using a Custom Marker to highlight a map icon (such as a shop or Viewpoint) will make the site in question appear on the mini-map, even if it is a great distance away. You will also notice an icon appear on the main screen when you face the direction of your target (even if they are obscured from Kenway’s view), accompanied by a distance measured in meters. This helps to simplify the process of finding known collectibles and identifying the precise position of a Viewpoint Synchronization platform.

Map Coordinates

As you zoom out on the main map, you will notice a system of coordinates. These take the form of two three-digit figures, separated by a comma.

The first number is the abscissa, also known as the X-coordinate. This corresponds to the horizontal axis on the map. The 0 value is set on the left (west) edge of the map, and this value increases as you move the cursor to the right (eastward), up to a maximum of 1,000 when you reach the eastern edge of the map.

The second number is the ordinate, also known as Y-coordinate. This corresponds to the vertical axis on the map. The 0 value is set in the bottom (south) edge of the map, and this value increases as you move the cursor up (northward), to a maximum of 1,000 when you reach the northern edge of the map.

Each point (and therefore location) on the map has a unique set of coordinates expressed as “xxx,yyy”. This system can be of great use to ascertain the exact position of a town or an island in the Caribbean region. We also use it in the Side Quests chapter to specify the location of certain collectibles, missions and other points of interest.