- Fishing busse [1-4] => Trawler 
- Fire ship [1-4] => Torp Boat
- Galley [1-3, subsequently consumed by Steam Corvette in , replaced later by Torp Boat]
- Frigate [1-3] =>Corvette  => Cruiser 
- Galleon  => Heavy Frigate  => Ship of the line  => Ironclad [4, consumed by Cruiser]
- Mortar ketch  => Monitor  (place taken over if Dreadnought researched)
Japan has access to all Western units.
- Fire Vessel [1-4] => Torp Boat
- Outrigger =>  => Schooner [for some in 2]
- War barge  => Frigate [for some in 2] => Ship of the line [ for some in 3] => Steam frigate 
- Monitor 
- Victoria - very huge battleship, with a powerful splash attack.
- Battleship Mikasa - unique only insofar that Japan does not need an MIC
- Xebec - weaker but cheaper light ship with a strong attack. Xebecs are highly dangerous, even capable of sinking heavier vessels wholesale if let unchecked, especially if teamed up with galleys.
- Ironclad - a more efficient Floating Battery, faster but with less hitpoints, built by Americans, Dutch, Swedes and Peruvians
- U-boat - a more efficent submarine, capable of long-distance fire, but still as slow as Toro.
- Fluyt - faster and cheaper version of the galleon, very strong in the Colonial Era but worthless in the Mercantile Era
- Yacht - a cheaper and faster light ship, available from the onset of the game. Yachts are faster and cheaper, but have a lower attack than a brig, and are thus excellent at massacring the even cheaper but weaker and vastly inferior outriggers of factions such as Siam or Peru, given their cost and manoeuvreability.
- Brigantine - not as fast as a Yacht but still better than the light Galleys, normally used by most nations in the Atlantic, including the Spanish, Portuguese, Mexicans, and Peruvians.
Hints and tips for usageEdit
In Rise of the Moderns, the cost to build and upgrade ships is very, very high but well worth it. A simple brig has the same strength as a tower, but has poorer armour, meaning that while it can function as a floating tower of sorts, it is by no means a substitute for towers.
Western powers in general have quality ships which sacrifice cost and build time for tactical superiority. At the start of the Colonial Era, the mainstay of your fleet are galleys. By far and large, galleys have the most powerful attack and the best range, by virtue of the long guns that they bear, but are still as weak as a corvette - it is merely that the galley hits harder, while the corvette hits faster. Galleys however are useful in liquidating galleons, given that galleys and galleons are fairly as fast as one another. in sufficient numbers, galleys can be used to bombard enemy fortresses to rubble in 1 or 2 hits - provided they all hit. Build an equal number of galleys and corvettes, so that they may protect one another. A galley will easily outrange a fortress, until trace italienne is researched by the enemy. In which case, the only hope for galleys is to blast fortresses to smithereens in huge numbers - 5 to 8 galleys should be sufficient to reduce a fortress in 2 to 3 hits, but with some casualties.
However, by the Mercantile Era, you should leave your galleys alone and concentrate on building the larger frigates and cutters. Frigates are only marginally faster than galleons, but have a higher rate of fire and a more destructive attack, making them the perfect weapon for marine supremacy - close in on your opponenet's galleys and destroy them all. Cutters, too, are now substantially faster than galleys, meaning that a team of cutters can easily destroy a complement of galleys - galleys are now little better than support vessels, either as a cost-effective shore bombardment, or to soften up enemy fortifications (unless playing as France, which has bombard galliots). Note, however, that cutters and frigates are costlier than galleons and cutters.
Additionally, your line ship becomes even more powerful than galleys, with the Ship of the Line. Once the Ship of the Line is made available, galleys have little choice but to stay put at home. The introduction of improved fortresses and hardened defences such as martello towers merely makes it harder for them to function. The only exception to this is Sweden, whose frigate galleys are as fast as cutters, and also have an improved rate of fire and armour
Other factions such as the Thai and the Aztec however do not build large ships until the mid-game, and instead have the weaker fire ships, canoes and barges. However, this is not a big problem for them, since these ships are extremely cheap. Canoes and barges are 50% weaker than corvettes and galleons, but enjoy a 50% added speed bonus, and are easier and cheaper to create. Better still is the fact that they have no minimum range, although their handicapped attack and fire rates make them very weak.
Indiamen are no different from corvettes and cutters, with two exceptions: they can function as logistical support, and also have enhanced speed and armour. This makes them a very versatile part of the Dutch and Indian navies whenever they are available.
Victory-class ship of the lineEdit
Basically a ship of the line, except that it comes out one Era earlier, and has extreme range and rate of fire. What can we say? Given the cost of British infantry, they will need everything they get and if it means super ships at a low price then so be it.
Nothing much to distinguish these units, apart from the fact that they are available once Foreign Concessions is researched. The Shohei Maru sacrifices armour, attack and power in exchange for speed and ease in building, while the Mikasa is a dreadnought-class ironclad that does not need an MIC to be researched. Japan as a modern nation is thus classified by the terrifying speed at which its navy can tech up.
Buildable by Muslim factions, Xebecs are known for several traits: they share the weak hulls and poor firing rates of galleys, but have an attack which is as strong as a galleon's. This however is offset by their cheap cost and terrifying speed, which allows them a reach unrivalled by many ships well until the Imperial Era, and the five factions that can build them - the Malays, Indians, Arabs, Persians and Ottomans - use them in different ways. For the Ottomans and Persians, this involves massing xebecs alongside sturdier galleons, frigates and ships of the line. For the Indians, the xebec is preferable to the galley, relegating galleys to the role of early-era bombardment ships, while the Malays and Bedouin wholly rely on them as their workhorse-type ships until better units such as cutters and destroyers are available.
A Swedish specialty, the Frigate Galley is a unit developed to function as an all-purpose unit, capable of bombardment and ship-to-ship combat. Its only problem is that is suffers from a rate of fire problem, but since it has the cost of a normal galley, it can be expected to work wonders.