How to play Battleship

How to play battleshipBattleship is a fun and simple game that can be played anywhere, anytime with just paper and pencil. Children love to play it but it’s also popular with adults as well which makes it an ideal game to play with your own kids or your grandchildren.

Playing Battleship

The game Battleship is a two player game and is played on a grid. The objective of the game is to sink all of the opponent’s ships. Each player has a set of battleships, which are placed on the grid at the start of the game. The players take turns firing shots at the other player’s ships. If a shot hits a ship, that ship is sunk. The first player to sink all of the opponent’s ships wins the game.

There are a few different ways to play the game Battleship. The most common way is to play on a physical board with pieces that represent the ships, there are also computer versions of the game that can be played online or offline – one of the best websites to play Battleship on is However the simplest way is on squared paper with a pencil.

The Battleship grid

There is no one definitive way to draw a battleship grid. However, there are some guidelines that can be followed to create a standard grid.

The first step is to decide the size of the grid. The most common sizes are 10×10 and 8×8. Once the size of the grid has been decided, the next step is to draw the grid on a piece of paper or even a blackboard.

One axis is labelled with numbers, the other with letters.

Next, players must decide how many ships they want to place on the grid. The number of ships will depend on the size of the grid. For example, on a 10×10 grid, each player can place up to 5 ships. Once the number of ships has been decided, players must place their ships on the grid. Each player’s ships can be placed vertically or horizontally on the grid but there must be no overlapping and no diagonal.

The final step is to label the ships. Each ship must be given a name and a number. The name of the ship will indicate the type of ship it is, such as Destroyer or Carrier. The number will indicate the size of the ship, such as 3 for a Destroyer or 5 for a Carrier.

Each player has two grids. One with their own fleet marked on it, and the other blank where they will mark each square as they call it out.

You can download a printable Battleship Grid here

What ships do you have in Battleship?

The aircraft carrier  = 5 squares on the grid,

The battleship = 4 squares

The submarine and destroyer = 3 squares

The PT boat =  2 squares

After the grid has been created and the ships have been placed, the game can begin.

Scoring in Battleship

Players can fire shots at the other player’s ships by using a pencil or pen to mark an “X” on the grid where they think the ship is located. Once all of the ships have been hit, the game is over and the player with the most hits wins.

Firing a shot involves calling out a grid reference such as “B7” or “H6”. If the opponent checks his own grid and there is no ship marked there, he replies “Miss” and it is then his turn. However if that grid reference does cover one of his fleet, he replies “Hit” and the player can take another turn until the reply is “Miss” once again.

Each player must put a mark on their grid for each square they call out. To differentiate between blank (missed) squares and those which were hits, they can use different coloured pencils, or simply put an O where there is a miss and an X where there is a hit.

When you have a second turn because your first was a hit, remember that the ships are only placed vertically or horizontally  on the grid so always choose one of those adjacent squares to try and find your next hit.



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