Conquering each fort unfogs the Caribbean map, removes its Restricted Area and reveals all collectibles in the corresponding zone, in addition to a small monetary bonus. There are three Level 1/Easy forts ( – Dry Tortuga, Eleuthera, Gibara), four Level 2/Medium forts ( – Castillo de Jagua, Cabo de Cruz, Conttoyor, Navassa), and three Level 3/Hard forts ( – Chinchorro, Serranilla, Charlotte).
As a general rule, all Level 1 forts can be conquered with the basic set of Jackdaw upgrades available at the end of the naval tutorials during Sequence 03, though additional enhancements are a boon if you invest in them beforehand. Level 2 forts require mid-level upgrades: Reinforced Hull Armor, Advanced Broadside Cannons Set, Reinforced Round Shot Strength, Reinforced Mortars and, ideally, Advanced Swivel Guns. For Level 3 forts, you should consider the penultimate
level of all major Jackdaw upgrades as a baseline requirement, with Elite upgrades a welcome bonus if you have them.
After the initial naval assault, the second stage of conquering a fort comes as you dock the Jackdaw and join the battle inside the walls. You must defeat at least one marked Captain – and up to three for the harder forts – to break the spirit of the defenders and force their surrender, which unlocks a final waypoint where you are instructed to assassinate the Fort Commander. Our solutions focus on the most direct route to each Captain, ideally with fuss-free assassinations, but enemy forces may engage Kenway and complicate matters at any time. We suggest that you always have a plentiful supply of Smoke Bombs, loaded pistols and, if possible, Blowpipe ammunition before you begin an attack.
Fort Dry Tortuga (254,749)
Approach this fort from the east, as this enables you to assault the southernmost tower with two or three broadsides as you round the tip of the island. If you have already invested in the mortar, you could also bombard the fort before it is even in sight, using the distinctive red hue that appears when a potential barrage is “on target” as a guide. This isn’t strictly necessary though, as – even at full sail – you can usually decimate the three targets with broadsides and swivel-gun fire alone during a single pass. Dock on the north side of the fort to begin the ground assault.
After climbing the outer wall, follow the route shown here to reach a set of ropes that run above the Captain’s position. Perform an air assassination, then briefly defend yourself until the guards surrender, or simply make an immediate break for the waypoint to reach and kill the Fort Commander.
Fort Eleuthera (726,784)
The most practical approach to Eleuthera is from the west, as this should enable you to destroy all marked targets in a single pass – and leave you perfectly positioned to dock on the east side before other ships can potentially approach the area. Feel free to slow to half sail when you move in close: this fort’s pitiful firepower shouldn’t make too much of a dent in the Jackdaw.
By free running and climbing the course shown on the accompanying screenshot, you can reach a wooden beam directly above the enemy Captain for an easy air assassination. You can then drop down to the entrance to the war room directly below.
Fort Gibara (657,521)
Approach this fort from the west, along the coastline, or directly from the north, as the approach from the east leads through waters that may be patrolled by brigs and even occasional frigates. Gibara is as structurally weak as Dry Tortuga and Eleuthera, but the heavy shot fired by the cannons above its south-facing gate can pack a hefty punch – so don’t linger within their range. Once the defenses have been destroyed, land on the dock on the west side to begin the ground assault.
Though it’s perhaps a little quicker to just climb directly to the Captain’s position, he’s accompanied by two guards who will run to his aid. For a clean conclusion to this assault, follow the route outlined above to end the fighting with an air assassination.
Castillo de Jagua (356,556)
Sail in along the coastline from the west to begin this relatively straightforward naval assault. Once you move within range, you can assail the defenses with mortar barrages before you swing the Jackdaw around for broadsides. There are usually gunboats in the area, but these are no more than a nuisance: concentrate your fire on the fort itself. When it falls, carefully steer the Jackdaw away from enemy ship detection zones to safely dock without further conflict. Inside the walls, it makes sense to start with the Captain in the northeast of the fort. Climb the building to your left when you first arrive, then free run over the elements on the wall of the building to the left of your target to reach a set of ropes. From here, highlight your target and perform an air assassination.
From the site of your previous assassination, it’s usually possible to sprint to the south and perform exactly the same trick with the second Captain. Be careful to ensure that he is highlighted before you commit to the attack: there are other defenders in this area, so it’s easy to air assassinate the wrong target if you are too hasty.
Fort Cabo De Cruz (566,390)
Sail in along the coast from the west, as this usually enables you to sail through the Restricted Area without encountering enemy ships. You can use mortar barrages once within 500m to weaken the nearest defenses, though you will usually require two passes of the fort to destroy all highlighted targets with the mid-level broadside cannons and swivel-gun upgrades that we recommend for Level 2 forts. Once you are inside the walls, there are two Captains to kill – the first of which is directly to the south. We find that you can often circle behind him for a fuss-free assassination, but he can be a little twitchy and break into a run. As it happens, he won’t move far. Equip Smoke Bombs and eliminate him while he is incapacitated by the cloud.
After the first kill, make your way to the level above the second Captain. The ropes above his head facilitate a simple air assassination, but you will need to be quick: there is a Gunner on the far side who will soon detect Kenway and start aiming. If you have the Blowpipe, you could optionally incapacitate the sentry with a Sleep Dart beforehand – though immediately jumping down to the Captain once you are above his head, blades poised, is a fairly straightforward process.
Fort Conttoyor (102,547)
The waters surrounding the fort at Conttoyor play host to an endless storm until you destroy its defenses, which makes this one of the more demanding naval assaults. The fort itself is located on a small island, which might lead you to expect that simply sailing around at close range is a suitable strategy. Think again. The waterspouts that arise shortly after combat begins play havoc with your ability to steer the Jackdaw when they move nearby, and will dash the ship against the rocks of the island if you sail too close. Assault the fort at long range (350m to 450m) with mortar barrages to weaken the highlighted emplacements before you sail in to destroy them with broadsides at a distance of no closer than 200m. Once you dock and move inside the walls, the first of the three Captains can be found directly to the south. A fight is unavoidable here, so just dispatch him (and the two Scouts guarding him) after dropping a Smoke Bomb. You can then turn and run straight to the north, where you can eliminate the second Captain with a pistol headshot or Berserk Dart.
To kill the third Captain without a fight, climb back up the wall to the south and make your way to the low storage shed behind your target. Perform an air assassination, and the defenders will soon relinquish their arms. As an aside, we would suggest that the Conttoyor fort is a lion masquerading as a house cat: it clearly bears all the hallmarks of a Level 3 fort (tough naval assault, three Captains), despite its Level 2 billing. If you can beat this without incident, you may be ready to cast your acquisitive gaze towards the Level 3 forts in the south.
Fort Navassa (728,219)
This fort is an island, which you should quite rightly anticipate as an opportunity to sail around it and hit it with broadsides at full speed. However, this makes the schooners that patrol the surrounding waters more dangerous than usual, as their ability to match speed with the Jackdaw – and either assail it with cannon fire from behind, or drop fire barrels that complicate subsequent circuits – means that each successive swing around the fort becomes more complicated. We advise that you incapacitate schooners whenever they are in range. If the Jackdaw sustains a worrisome degree of damage, you can then board these stricken vessels to make mid-battle repairs. Once the ground assault begins, climb the left-hand wall, as this will enable you to stay out of sight of the first Captain off to the right. Climb onto the nearby building to perform an air assassination before he runs to the south. You can then return to the same building and move to the east side to eliminate the second Captain in a similar fashion.
Return to the position where you entered the fort and run beneath the scaffold. Assassinate the Gunner at the end of the walkway, and you can then either use the musket he drops for a one-shot kill on your final target, or move in closer for a third air assassination.
Fort Chinchorro (124,357)
This fort is unusual in that the challenge posed by the naval attack escalates as the battle unfolds. After the battle has raged for not much more than a minute, it will begin to rain, with conditions steadily worsening as a thunderstorm develops. Of greater concern is the arrival of enemy ships. The key to this battle, in short, is to destroy the marked emplacements quickly and efficiently before the situation gets out of hand. Once you land at the dock, free run to a position above the first Captain to perform an air assassination.
Have your Smoke Bombs at the ready as you approach the second Captain. Though it’s possible to climb to the level behind him for an air assassination, you will have to fight the two nearby Brutes anyway, so it’s better to just engage all three and eliminate them in the choking fog of a Smoke Bomb cloud. The third Captain is located in the far south of the fort. Approach him via the route detailed above, and he will make a break for it when you near his position, albeit haplessly (for him!), into Kenway’s path for an easy assassination.
Fort Serranilla (347,140)
This is arguably the easiest of the top-tier forts to attack from the sea, and you may even be lucky enough to arrive while Spanish ships assault this British territory. Though the fort’s firepower and structural integrity is noteworthy, you always have the option to move out of range of its emplacements to the north and south of the island, sailing to the west, rather than turning while in direct range of its cannons and mortars. Once the ground assault commences, follow the route shown here to sneak up behind the first Captain. For an easy life, you can then hit the second Captain to the east with a Berserk Dart.
With the first two Captains dealt with, turn to the west and climb as directed in the screenshot above. This will enable you to reach a position behind your third target for an assassination of any kind before the nearby defenders can react to Kenway’s presence.
Fort Charlotte (470,272)
As with Conttoyor, the fort at Charlotte is in the thrall of a perpetual storm… but the primary threat here comes from the rogue waves that sweep through the area. Carefully align the ship and brace to navigate through each one of them. It’s actually a good idea to stay as close to the fort or the shores around it as you can, as the rogue waves will dissipate just before they reach land. After you dock, you will find the first two Captains in the same area, with numerous defenders surrounding them. The neatest solution is to hit both with a Berserk Dart apiece, then pay the melee a wide berth as you head for the third Captain.
Your last target is on the south side of the fort, observing the battle below. Make your way to the left of his position via the climbing route shown here, eliminating the Gunner with a ledge assassination when you reach the top. You can then sneak behind the Captain to end the resistance with the Hidden Blades.