Xebec Icon
Belongs to Pirates and Eastern factions
Crew 91
Guns 28 (10 on both sides, 4 bow chasers and 4 stern chasers)
Firepower 232
Range 500
Accuracy 60
Reloading skill 40
Hull strength 1246
Speed 17
Maneuverability High
Tech requirement None
Produced from Drydock
Cost 720 SP/550 MP
Upkeep 180

The Xebec is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


The xebec is a lateen-rigged ship with exceptional speed, making it popular with North African corsairs hunting wealthy infidel merchants!

These relatively small vessels have three masts carrying fore-and-aft lateen sails, making them handy sailors and speedy, even in light winds. The lateen sails also allow the ship to sail close-hauled to the wind, making pursuits easier. Even when becalmed, some xebecs can still be dangerous enemies to face, as they carry oars and can close with an enemy at a time of their own choosing.

Although not quite as well armed as a European frigate, xebecs carry a formidable arsenal of 12- or 18-pounder guns. This, combined with their excellent sailing characteristics, makes them particularly suitable for piracy, and the corsairs – the infamous Barbary Pirates – of the North African coast use them. They can also carry a good-sized crew of ruffians!

Historically, the Barbary Pirates were a severe threat to European traders for centuries, partly because of excellent warships like the xebec (the name probably comes from an Arabic word “shabbak”, meaning a small warship). Eventually a few xebec-frigates were used by European Mediterranean naval powers, where the basic xebec hull shape was preserved but the distinctive lateen sails were replaced by square rigged sails. A few xebecs carried a hybrid rig with both square and lateen sails.

General InformationEdit

Xebecs have an unusually high amount of cannons at their sterns and prows for such lightly armed vessels, making approach from any direction a risk. They pose a threat to lighter ships due to their good maneuverability. However, they have many weaknesses--their sails are flimsy and can easily be destroyed with Chain Shot (although this is somewhat compensated for by their ability to use oars); their decks are open with little cover and vulnerable to Grape Shot, and their hulls are quite weak, meaning that just a salvo or two of Round Shot from a frigate or ship of the line is enough to make them rout or surrender.

Empire: Total War Ships
Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Support Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship