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The Path of the Ocean (PotO) ( update 2.8.0; version 101) is a major update to The Battle of Polytopia which overhauls the Naval Combat aspect of the game. The update introduces many changes to the technology tree, balance changes, a new map type, new buildings and new naval units.

The PotO Beta was launched October 12th 2023 for testing on Steam, and was fully released on Steam and mobile devices on November 21st the same year.

Path of the Ocean release image

Official poster for the Path of the Ocean Update

Tech Tree changes[]

PotO Beta Tech tree

Tech Tree for Path of the Ocean Beta

  • Saling is now a tier one tech. You can get on the water with a port, but you cannot harvest fish until you get the next tech. Ports cost 7 stars and give one population. When a troop moves onto a port, it becomes a raft.
  • Fishing became a tier 2 tech. So you can get on the water with a port from sailing, but you cannot harvest fish until you get the next tech. This makes it harder to upgrade cities on the coast. Also, in this version, fish can spawn in deep water tiles. In addition to harvesting fish, the tech gives deep water movement and the ability to build the new scout unit. Kickoo still starts with Fishing, the tier 2 version. Kickoo therefore has to buy sailing, the tier 1 tech, to get ports and get on the water.
  • Navigation now unlocks harvesting of Starfish and the ability to build bomber units. Starfish serve as a replacement for whales, and are able to be harvested for 10 stars. However, you now have to move a unit onto the starfish tile to harvest it on the next turn. Even if the starfish is within the borders of another tribe’s territory, if you get there first, you can harvest it.
  • A new tech called aquaculture replaced whaling. This tech allows the construction of Aqua Farms and rammer units. Like land farms, aqua farms cost five stars and give two population. These aqua farms are also compatible with windmills.
  • The roads tech now unlocks the new bridge building. Bridges cost 7 stars and span one shallow water tile, (horizontal or vertical), and the bridge acts as a road. Naval units can pass through bridges.
  • Trade now unlocks the Market building, which replaces the old Customs House. Markets provide 2 stars per turn for each unique adjacent sawmill, windmill or forge. That income is doubled if the market is next to a Port.

New naval units[]

Naval units were reworked to divide up the roles of the original Battleship, which essentially performed all roles of naval combat by itself before the update. Put simply, while the Bomber retained the bombardment role, exploration and ranged harassment were given to the Scout, and powerful close-quarters skirmishing to the Rammer.

Once a land unit goes into a port, it becomes raft with the carry ability. Rafts cannot attack, they merely carry another unit inside. When a raft moves onto a land tile, the unit disembarks.

Rafts can be upgraded to a rammer, scout, or bomber, with their respective tech. Once you upgrade a raft to one of those three units, you cannot change it. Rafts can only be upgraded in your own or in allied territory. As before, a naval unit's hit points equal the health of the land unit inside. So a warrior in a raft can become a 10 hit point scout, rammer, or bomber. A defender raft creates a 15 hit point naval unit. If you put a veteran swordsman in a raft you can turn it into a 20 hit point bomber.

  • The scout unit replaces the sailboat. They have ranged attacks that can reach two squares. These units have the scout ability, which means they have the vision that battleships used to have.
  • Rammers do not have any ranged attack, only melee. You need the aquaculture tech for rammers.
  • Battleships are now bombers. With the splash ability and the area of effect attack, the bomber feels a little like a dragon. However, the bomber doesn’t have dash, which means it cannot move and attack on the same turn. They also have the “Stiff” trait, meaning they do not retaliate when attacked.

When a giant moves into a port, it becomes a juggernaut. These ships do not have a ranged attack. Instead, they have a new trait called “stomp.” Stomp creates a splash damage effect every time the juggernaut moves, damaging all enemies adjacent to the unit. Stomp damage is also applied when embarking or disembarking the juggernaut.

Map types[]


Game setup menu showing the Pangea map option

Path of the Ocean introduces a new map type, Pangea. Pangea is a new map that spawns all tribes on one large landmass surrounded by water. Pangea has the same village spawn density as drylands, while also providing cities some coastal access.

Although it’s not new, the Continents map received some changes. It either puts tribes on their own continents or tries to equally distribute spawns on a handful of continents. Continents now also generate with one tile-wide "rivers" of water, separating different continents and facilitating the use of the new bridge building.

Both Pangea and Continents are now coded so capitals are more likely to spawn on the coast.

Balance Changes[]

There are a few significant balance changes introduced in this update, largely aimed at tackling the rider-roads meta:

  • Roads now cost three stars.
  • Lumber hut also now cost three stars.
  • Swordsmen no longer have the "fortify" trait.
  • Parks now provide 1 star per turn in addition to giving points.
  • Customs houses are now called Markets. Markets provide 2 stars for each unique adjacent sawmill, windmill or forge. That income is doubled if the market is next to a port. However, if you put two of the same building next to a market, it only gives credit for one.

Special tribe changes[]

Aquarion got several changes. The tribe now starts with the riding tech and an amphibian. Crabs now have 2 Movement in the water and 5 defense. Tridentions now have 10hp instead of 15hp. Amphibians and Tridentions have lost the ability to use Roads on land

With the replacement of the Whale by the Starfish, Elyrion has also lost the Navalon unit, which is now erased from the game. However, it has been said that they may receive a new special unit in future to make up for this loss.

Polaris also got some updates. Moonies now have the auto freeze ability but they must move to freeze their surroundings. In addition, the Mooni defense was reduced. Also, Polaris Ice bank now gives 2 stars per 20 frozen tiles instead of 3. Finally, dash now allows for the break ice skill.

For Cymanti, in addition to the fishing and pescatism tech being moved around to reflect the naval tech changes, Exida now have two movement and the creep ability.


Below are listed some short lore blurbs and statements, released in the buildup to the release of the update, related to its new features:

  • "∑∫ỹriȱŋ is still able to harvest Starfish, as the Star-harvesting process does not harm the Starfish. Scraping the valuable stars of the skin is actually a joyful experience for them." [1] The harvesting of stars from starfish has been likened to the shearing of a sheep for its wool.
  • Starfish are canonically the size of large islands, as seen in the release poster for the update,
  • "A mighty lighthouse constructed by someone a very long time ago. It marks the end of the world and the beginning of space."[2]



The lighthouse is a new building which generates in each of the four corners of the Square. Discovering a lighthouse adds one population to your capital. You cannot build on tiles with a lighthouse, and lighthouses can not be destroyed. Lighthouses display which tribes have discovered them by the tiered layers of colored gems, corresponding to the colour of the tribe which found them.


A Lighthouse that has been discovered by the Luxidoor tribe

The explorer task, which unlocks the Eye of God monument, is no longer achieved by exploring every tile of the Square, but instead by discovering all four lighthouses.

If you spawn in the corner with a T0 (Turn Zero) tribe that can upgrade your capital with your starting tech, the lighthouse gives one free population right away. This allows you to train a second warrior and get a workshop on your first turn.

Patch of the Ocean[]

The "Patch of the Ocean" was released on February 26, 2024 in order to balance Path of the Ocean features.

  • Removed Aqua Crop and Aqua Farms
  • Tech tree: moved Fishing to become the first tech in that branch and it includes Port improvement
  • Simplified Markets: 1✯ for each level of each nearby production building. Removed doubling for ports. New graphics.
  • Markets are capped at level 8
  • Tech tree: moved ‘Burn Forest’ to Construction, and ‘Destroy’ to Chivalry
  • Cheaper bridges, now 5✯
  • Lower Starfish income, now 8✯
  • Lower Bomber attack value, 3 instead of 4
  • Allow bridges to be built even if one of the tiles are in fog
  • Added shorelines to hint if a bridge can be placed on a water tile that leads into the fog
  • Get Veteran Rammer instead of Bomber from water ruins
  • Score bonus for opponent count is lower in Perfection game mode
  • Temples grow quicker, reduced from 3 turns→2
  • Improved AI, better at picking what unit to train, better at improving cities
  • Lighthouses always start covered in fog, even if it is close to your capital
  • Fixed crash when starting a game from a notification


  • The Network task unlocks automatically when connecting your first city.
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  1. Post by Zoythrus on Steam.
  2. Post by Midjiwan on Instagram.