Sid Meier's Pirates!

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original release. For the enhanced version, see Pirates! Gold. For the remake, see Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004).

Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! cover
MPS Labs
Retail MicroProse
Digital Retroism
Digital Nightdive Studios
Release dates
PC booter May 8, 1987
Mac OS (Classic) 1988
DOS 1994
Windows (DOSBox) July 17, 2012
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) November 29, 2012[1]
Linux (DOSBox) July 24, 2014[2]
Modes Singleplayer
Themes Piracy
Series Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! guide on StrategyWiki
Sid Meier's Pirates! on MobyGames
Sid Meier's Pirates! on Wikipedia
Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! 1987
Pirates! Gold 1993
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) 2004

General information Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Prompts for answers from manual, code wheel, etc.
PC booter
Mac OS
Prompts for answers from manual, code wheel, etc.
Bundled with Pirates! Gold. DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[3]
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
Prompts for answers from manual, code wheel, etc.
Bundled with Pirates! Gold. DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[4]
macOS (OS X)

Version differences[edit]

The initial DOS release (version 432.02) is a modified version of the PC booter release (this is the version sold on and Steam).[5]
The later DOS release (version 432.03) has improvements such as a revised save menu with an Exit to DOS option.[5]
Pirates! Gold is a redesigned version featuring new graphics and sound and some gameplay changes.

Game data[edit]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
PC booter A:\
DOS <path-to-game>\disks
Windows <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.
The PC booter release saves to a dedicated floppy disk; for DOSBox mount a blank floppy image and switch to it when prompted (see BOOT for details).[5]
This game does not store any settings.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


General settings.
General settings.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
For DOSBox toggle with Alt+ Enter (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
For DOSBox use an unofficial build (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
60 FPS and 120+ FPS



Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Everything is text-based.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only. Download.

Issues unresolved[edit]

"Insert Save Disk" prompt when retiring (DOS)[edit]

The DOS version sold on and Steam (version 432.02) prompts for a Save Disk when choosing to register in the Pirate Hall of Fame and will not continue[6] (mounting a drive A: or B: in DOSBox does not fix this).[5]
Full error message: "Insert Save Disk into Drive A: then press ENTER" or "Insert Save Disk into Drive B: then press ENTER".
This issue does not apply to the revised DOS version (version 432.03) or the PC booter version.[5]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
DOS video modes CGA, Tandy, EGA

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 3.1
Processor (CPU)
System memory (RAM) 2 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 MB
Video card (GPU) CGA


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data. For the release, file changes in DOSBox are redirected to <path-to-game>/cloud_saves/ even if GOG Galaxy is not used (this folder contains all redirected files, so some files in the cloud_saves folder might be temporary files or other files that do not contain saves or settings).