The rules of battleships are straightforward. The aim of the puzzle is to identify where certain ships are placed in the grid. At the start of the puzzle you are told which ships are hidden in the grid, and how many there are of each.
You must use the numbers given at the right and bottom edges of the puzzle to deduce where the ship segments are placed. These numbers indicate how many ship segments there are in that row or column. A '2' means there are 2 ship segments in that region.
Any square that is not a ship segment must be filled with water. This is shown in dark blue with our puzzle player. A ship segment given to you at the start of a puzzle is marked with the letter 's' for ship in the grid. You must deduce the nature of the ship that particular square belongs to.
Ships cannot touch each other horizontally, vertically or diagonally and therefore these cells can be filled with water as soon as you have fully deduced where all segments of a particular ship are placed.
To use the online player tool, press 'X' in a cell to mark water and the cell turns dark blue. If you have mis-placed water, press 'X' again to empty the square. To mark a ship segment, type the relevant number so you can clearly see which ship it is. So for a submarine, press '1' and for an aircraft carrier, mark each cell with a '4'. Often you will be uncertain how large the ship is, and therefore you can mark these with an 's', a '?' or whichever symbol you choose.
If you go wrong, you can reset the puzzle, and check your solution when finished.
Battleships Solving Tips
Start off marking all '0' regions with water by pressing 'X' in all cells. Then go through and fill in any water around ship segments you are given. If there are any regions where every cell must be a ship segment, then again fill these in.
The best tactic is to look at possible locations for each ship, starting from the largest downwards. So start looking for the possible location for any aircraft carriers, and work out what it would mean if the ship was placed in each region - would it lead to any obvious impossibilities or contradictions meaning that it couldn't be placed there?
Remember that placing a ship takes out all adjacent squares; this can often lead you to spot where a vessel can or cannot go as if it takes out the three adjacent squares (horizontal or vertical and two diagonals) then it can mean there are not enough squares left that could be ship segments in a particular row or column.
You will never need to guess when solving these battleship puzzles, and they have one solution that you can reach through logic along. Good luck!