Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners

Last Update: December 15, 2021


Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - cover

In this Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners, we'll tell you what you need to know to play this co-op sailing adventure game from fluckyMachine and tinyBuild.

What is Trash Sailors?

Trash Sailors is exactly what it says on the tin -- it's a game about a bunch of sailors floating around on a Ship made out of Trash. Trash is life in this game -- it's used to fuel your engine, repair your Hull, and even as ammo for your Cannon. Most recently, the game was highlighted at Guerilla Collective 2 and tinyBuild Connect.


Developed by fluckyMachine and published by tinyBuild, this game will challenge you whether you're playing with friends in co-op or trying to go it alone in solo play. Let's kick off the Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners!

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Ship

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Game Mechanics You Need To Know

Before we get moving with the walkthrough portion of the Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners, I'm going to familiarize you with some of the game's mechanics.

Your Character

You have a choice of playing several characters, each of whom has their own strengths and weaknesses. If your character's health drops to zero, s/he's knocked off of the boat for a short while.

Your Ship

Your ship is, quite literally, a floating pile of junk. It's held together with baling wire and hope. If it sinks, you lose the level and have to start over. It can be outfitted with various pieces of equipment and upgrades, including powerful cannons (or other alternatives).

Trash and the Grinder

Trash is the main resource of Trash Sailors. It's used to fuel your ship's Engine, repair (and replace) broken pieces of the Hull, and serve as ammo for your Guns. Trash carries over from level to level; if you're low after completing a level, you might need to replay an earlier one to restock your supply!



Bolts (or Golden Bolts) are the currency of the game. It's used to purchase upgrades for your Ship in the workshop as well as cosmetic Decorations.

Fun fact: You can find free Bolts by exploring the World Map! Every Bolt counts, so grab as many as you can!



Maps are another form of currency; they are used to unlock subsequent levels in the campaign. Each level has a fixed amount of maps available (which is indicated by the lights underneath the level marker on the World Map).

The Light

Your ship has a Light on top of the Mast. Not only is it good for seeing at night, it's required for keeping away deadly Spiders when things get dark. Fail to keep your Light on and you'll quickly find yourself overrun by creepy-crawlies!

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Ship Upgrades
You can unlock some interesting upgrades for your Ship by spending Bolts before starting a mission.

Trash Sailors Beginner's Guide - All About Your Ship

Captaining your Ship in Trash Sailors can be a challenge whether you're playing solo or with a group of friends. There are several key parts of your ship to keep in mind.


The Grinder converts garbage you fish out of the water into usable Trash. It features three pieces of specific garbage that you have to find. Each correct piece you place into the Grinder gives you 2 Trash and each incorrect piece gives you 1 Trash. Get all three correct pieces into the Grinder before the timer runs out and you'll get 2 bonus Trash (for a total of 8 Trash) and 5 Bolts, too!


The Engine keeps your Ship moving forward and is fueled by -- you guessed it -- Trash. It needs to be whacked a few times to get going; after that, you can fuel it while it's running to keep moving without having to restart it.



The Helm allows you to turn left or right. Unfortunately, you don't have much control over moving forward or stopping entirely (at least until you can afford to unlock the Anchor).


The Hull is comprised of 7 pieces around the front and sides of your ship. Each piece has a total of 3 Hit Points. If all three HP are drained, that piece is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt with Trash. If all of your outer Hull is destroyed, your Ship sinks and you lose the level.

Mast & Light

The Mast primarily serves as a place to hold the Light, an invaluable tool that lets you see at night and prevents Spiders from spawning. As you progress in the campaign, you'll be able to unlock additional equipment that can be placed on the Mast (such as guns) or upgrade your Light.

The Light will begin blinking red as it's about to go off. This gives you a few seconds warning, allowing you to climb back up the mast and fix it before it goes out.

Other Equipment

Your ship can be upgraded with additional equipment to further enhance your survivability such as an Anchor (which allows you to stop entirely) or a Medkit (which allows you to heal up your characters). You can also upgrade standard equipment such as the Hull or Light.

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Early Levels

A Walkthrough for the First Few Levels of Trash Sailors

We'll be wrapping up this Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners with a walkthrough of the first few Campaign levels which will ease you into the game's mechanics.

Most of these levels play out the same -- you'll sail through a Level, navigating hazards, fighting enemies, and collecting Maps. If you can make it to the other side intact, you'll have completed the Level. You may need to replay a level a few times, though, in order to pick up any Maps you may have missed the first time around.

Level 1

Level 1 is a slow-paced tutorial level that will introduce you to helming your Ship, gathering Trash, and repairing your Ship. You'll also likely bump into things a few times -- make sure to repair damage after Collisions!

Level 2

Level 2 steps things up a bit -- it's the first time you're going to have to find Maps, but it is otherwise free of enemies or major hazards. It also introduces Crazy Mode.

How to Find Maps in Trash Sailors

Finding maps in Trash Sailors is a two-step process. First, keep an eye on the meter at the bottom of the screen:

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Map Meter slice

This meter shows your progress through the level. The dots on this meter represent Map locations in the level. Remember: there are a fixed number of Maps in each level. Once you grab a Map, you won't be able to get it again.

Each dot will begin to blink as you get closer to a map. That's when you'll need to start looking for a pillar of light:

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Map Highlight slice

Look around the lit area and you'll see the Map contained within a bottle. Go to the edge of your boat, throw out a Grappling Hook to grab it, and then throw it into the Grinder to secure it.

What is 'Crazy Mode' in Trash Sailors?

Trash Sailors' "Crazy Mode" is a sort of bonus level that allows you to play through a completed level at higher speed (and with more potential bonuses). It's totally optional, but it's worth it for the extra loot if you can pull it off!

Level 3

Level 3 introduces you to the concept of darkness. You'll have to use your Light to ward off Spiders -- if you don't, they'll rapidly start to damage your Ship and eventually sink you.

This level also introduces you to a new hazard: Waves. Waves will knock any crew members off of the ship for a short time and do some damage to them. This can be especially painful in Solo play since you only have a crew of two in that mode.

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Crocs

Level 4

Level 4 introduces your first real enemies in the game, Crocodiles and Tire Men.

Crocodiles can be seen floating in the water in front of you. They will latch onto the side of your Ship and do damage to it. Whack them with the attack button to knock them away.

Tire Men are a little trickier. They can be seen in the distance, but you won't have much in the way of defensive options in the early game other than turning your ship to avoid their incoming jump. If they do manage to board your ship, they'll attack you and any of your companions; whack them with attacks until they're defeated.

Level 5

Introduces Snorkelers, a new type of enemy. You'll also have to deal with crocodiles and darkness (and, as a consequence, Spiders).

Level 6

Level 6 introduces new Tribal Swordsman enemies who will board your ship and attack the crew. Beat them up like most other boarders.

It also introduces Grabber Vines which can pull people off of your Ship, similar to Waves. 

Completing Level 6 finally gives you access to some offensive options -- it unlocks the forward Cannon for your ship. This Cannon can be used to shoot obstacles or enemies in the distance; it can also be powered up with 1-2 pieces of Trash to make an even more devastating shot. (You'll be able to unlock Cannons for the left and right sides of the ship, and you'll later gain offensive options for the Mast, too.)

Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners - Level 7 and Beyond
Each successive level introduces new challenges, whether it's all-new enemies and/or hazards or a new combination of existing enemies and hazards.

Level 7 and Beyond

With your first 6 Levels completed, this Trash Sailors Guide for Beginners comes to a close. What's next?

In the immediate future, you're going to need to collect Maps in order to unlock additional levels. You'll also want to gather as many Bolts as you can to upgrade your ship.

Beyond that, there are dozens of levels of adventures waiting for you, many of which will bring you new challenges that will test your sailing skills. Good luck!



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