What did it Take to be a Great Pirate?

What did it Take to be a Great Pirate?

The greatest pirates to have ever roamed the seas left behind a fascinating legacy that never dies. Their wild ways and raucous lifestyle inspired legendary tales that are still noteworthy today. Whether they were invading a merchant ship or searching for their next big payday, successful pirates had a wide range of skills that helped them rise to the top. Let’s take a closer look at what it took to be a great pirate:

Great Combat Skills

It was a pirate’s business to be ready for battle at a moment’s notice, which is why it was so important that they know how to fight. From throwing punches and fist fighting to having good aim with a firearm and sword fighting skills, great pirates were always prepared no matter what form of combat came their way.

The Ability to Hold Their Liquor

Pirates were known for their hard-partying lifestyle which included plenty of drinking. Most pirates drank anything they got their hands on, although rum is the alcohol most often associated with pirates because it was so widely available to those who worked the areas around the Caribbean Sea. There were few rules aboard a pirate ship, which meant that many of its sailors would have at least some alcohol coursing through their bloodstream at any given point, so it was necessary that they could handle it so they could still perform their duties.

A Ruthless Attitude

Pirates were feared as the savages of the sea, and for good reason. They regularly pillaged and plundered in search of riches, and often violence was needed in order to get what they wanted. While not all pirates particularly enjoyed this facet of their lifestyle, many of the most famous pirates in history were unmerciful and bloodthirsty, stopping at nothing to gain more riches, power or ships.

Strategic When it Counts

When a clever pirate began proving that he was good at strategizing about their next move or how to gain control of a targeted ship, he was often rewarded with a promotion. While pirates were a dime a dozen during the Golden Age of Piracy, those who stood out for their wits and ability to contribute to a more profitable operation were highly regarded.

Able to Navigate

It was even rarer for a pirate to posses the skills needed to read a map and navigate accurately, which meant that those who knew how to do these advanced tasks were valued greatly and taken care of. Losing a pirate who could keep their ship on course was dreaded and feared, so they were often given more lofty positions that would keep them out of harm’s way. 


One of the most basic yet overlooked traits that was important to becoming a successful pirate was the ability to sail without getting seasick. Those who couldn’t handle the swaying waves were typically unable to continue their career as a pirate.