So now you know what the game Battleships is all about and how to play it. Here at the ActivityWorkshop there are a few different ways to play it, both computer-based and paper-based. This page contains one of the computer-based versions, using Java. Now, in years gone by it used to be the case that it was fairly common to have a java plugin installed in your browser, allowing you to run little java programs called "applets" right there in the web page. And this Battleships applet comes from those halcyon days of yore.


Now we've endured several years of progress, and now the browser makers are removing the java support to prevent any applets from running. So depending on your setup, this webpage-based java version may or may not work for you. If it doesn't work, and if you don't want to or can't install a java plugin, then you have two other options to try:

Just go!

If you haven't played this version before, I recommend you read the following introduction. If you're back for more naval destruction (and you have a java plugin), why not jump right in and play the game!

Two-player version

This applet lets you play against the computer. If you download the jar and run it outside the browser as described above, then you can choose to play against the computer or against another human. To play a two-player game against a friend, you just need to know their computer's IP address. And they need to run the jar too, of course.

When run here as an applet, the browser (sensibly) prevents you from opening connections to other computers, so you're restricted to a one-player game against the computer.


The commands are very simple. Firstly you must place your fleet, by clicking on the grid of squares. For each ship you can select whether to place it horizontally or vertically. Once all your ships are in place, you can go to war, when you and the computer take it in turns to fire. If one of your ships is hit, your guns are disabled and the computer's fleet can fire again!

The 'armed' light at the top right of the screen shows you whether your torpedoes are armed and ready to fire. The status bar just below gives you information about the results of shots - it is very useful to see what kind of ship you have just hit. (Ignore the 'messaging' area at the top of the screen - this is for sending messages in the two-player version).

The computer is a little sneaky about where it fires, and is quite a competent player. It gives you a good chance to refine your strategies before you take on your friends!


OK, now you're ready. Can you beat the computer? play the game!

Java version // Web version