Steamship Icon
Belongs to Most Western factions
Crew 117
Guns 34 (14 on each side, 4 bow chasers, 2 stern chasers)
Firepower 1428
Range 300
Accuracy 60
Reloading skill 40
Hull strength 2976
Speed 19
Maneuverability High
Tech requirement Steam Engine
Produced from Steam Drydock
Cost 1740
Upkeep 430

A Steamship is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


A steamship still uses sails, but the ability to ignore the wind is highly desirable in a warship.

By fitting a steam engine and all its machinery into an existing hull, naval architects hoped to create a ship-of-the-line not tied to the wind and tide. In this, they were moderately successful. A steamship can sail independently of the prevailing winds, but most still spend a good deal of time under sail. Coal is expensive, and coaling stations are few and far between; steam is not a practical method of strategic movement.

Tactically, however, it is a different story. With powerful guns, a steamship can out-manoeuvre any sailing ship. Admittedly, the idea of going into battle with a fire raging in the belly of his ship is not one that appeals to every captain. Boiler explosions are not entirely unknown either, as safety features are installed as the fancy takes the engineer, not as a matter of course. A stray shot through the engine room can also do terrible damage.

Historically, the conversion of ships of the line to steam was never going to be anything more than a stopgap measure. Steamships, with their dirt and smoke, were not popular with traditionally minded captains, particularly in the British Royal Navy. They expected obsessively high standards of neatness and cleanliness, with no soot and lubricating oil smeared over their nice clean ships.

General InformationEdit

Steamships are some of the fastest ships in the game. Thanks to their steam engines, they can make speedy progress even when facing the wind. Although they still benefit from when sailing with the wind, steamships are not nearly as reliant on them as other ships; therefore, Chain Shot has a minimal effect on them. In addition, rough waters make a relatively low impact when compared to conventional ships.

Steamship cannons have a very short range. However, they make up for this deficiency by having powerful cannons that can quickly destroy targets when brought to bear. Steamships are also very durable, and have well-protected cannons which still function after taking heavy damage.

Some factions' ship statistics are different from others; differences are listed below (traits that to not differ are not listed).

Type Accuracy Reload Skill Hull Strength Speed Morale Cost Upkeep
Standard 60 40 2976 18 9 1740 430
France 70 40 3022 19 9 1890 470

Great Britain

60 55 3134 18 10 1770 440
United States 60 50 3134 18 10 1720 430


Upon constructing a steamship for the first time, players are notified of the event. The texts describes steamships as having 71 guns, which is incorrect.

Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Other Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship

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