How to play Battleship

How to play Battleship Rules

How to play Battleship rules in quick simple steps. Get your game started quickly.


Players: 2 to 2 | Game duration from: 15 mins | Game Complexity:

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What is the goal of Battleship?

Battleship 1

Each player has an ocean grid map and positions their 5 different battleship pieces on the grid. Players take turns hitting each other’s ships by calling out the grid coordinates they wish to attack. If the ship matches the called-out position, it gets hit. The goal is to sink all of your opponent’s 5 ships.

Setting Up Battleship

The lids of your game units are raised so that neither of you can see the ocean grid of the other.
Put your fleet of five ships on your ocean grid.

Battleship 2

Rules for placing ships
Ships can be placed horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally.
Ships should not over­lap letters, numbers, the grid edge, or another ship.
When the game begins, no ship can be moved.

Battleship 3

Battleship 4

The following section outlines the step-by-step Battleship game rules.
In Battleship, players take turns, calling out one shot per turn to try and hit each other’s ships. The game ends when one player has destroyed their opponent’s entire fleet of ships.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Decide who goes first

Decide who starts. Players will alternate turns, calling out one shot per turn to try and hit each other’s ships.

Call your shot

Battleship game rules - call your shot

On your turn, call out the location of a target hole on your upright target grid.
The letter-number coordinates on the target holes correspond to the same coordinates on your opponent’s ocean grid. Find the letter of each coordinate on the left side of the target grid, then its number on the top.
Your opponent must let you know if it’s hit or miss.

You hit a ship!

Battleship rules - a ship is hit

Your shot is a hit if a ship occupies the shot location on your opponent’s ocean grid! You are told which ship you have hit (cruiser, submarine, etc.). Put a red peg in the target hole corresponding to your hit. On your opponent’s ocean grid, he or she places a red peg in the hole corresponding to the ship you hit.

You miss!

It’s a miss if your opponent’s ocean grid has no ships. Your miss will be recorded by placing a white peg in the corresponding target hole on your target grid. It’s not necessary for players to record each other’s misses with white pegs on their ocean grids.
Your turn ends after a hit or a miss.

Sinking a ship

Sunk ships have red pegs in all their holes. Ship owners must announce which ship was sunk. Put a red peg in one of the five holes at the top of your game unit for each ship you sink.

Winning Battleship

First player to sink your opponent’s entire fleet wins!


Battleship FAQs

How do you play battleship for kids?

Battleship is a great game to teach kids about grids and coordinates. Help your kids understand the position of their placed ships on their ocean grid. When calling out shots, teach them how to identify and call out the coordinates on the grid.


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