Google Earth Ships version 1.5 is released

It’s been nearly two years since Paul van Dinther released the excellent “Ships” game, and it’s recently been updated to be even better.

Check out what’s new in this video:

The new enhancements include:

Sound system

The new “Ships” had a complete overhaul for the sound system. The new sounds are based on his new 3D sound library as demonstrated here.


The control panel now has a new Autopilot switch. Autopilot only engages when the ship is on a steady course (ie not turning) and the rudder is set in neutral. With the autopilot engaged it is possible to simply close the browser and come back to the page a day later to see where your ship ended up. Perfect for those long trans oceanic passages. This only works when Cookies are enabled on the browser.

Multiple ships

You can now operate multiple ships simultaneously. More ships require more PC grunt. Running all the ships may push the limits of what your browser can take.



The control panel now has a Pause switch. Pause was already accesible by pressing the “P” key but a switch makes it more obvious.

Throttles neutral

Placing your throttles in neutral was nearly impossible to do with the sliders. Now pressing “N” is all it takes to instantly place the throttles in neutral. This is handy when you want to park your ship with autopilot engaged.


The anchor was always a gimmick. It only made sound and nothing more. Now you can drop anchor at very low speed (Less than 1 m/s) which causes the speed to hit zero instantly. The anchor will drag when the power lever is at 20% or more. Continuous full power may even break the anchor chain. With the anchor down, the ships position will now be restored when you load the page again at a later date.

Re-positioning of models

The airship “Hindenburg” has been reposition as to be moored at the “Euromast”

Various ships have been more accurately placed due to imagery changes in Google map data.

New Cruise ship

A more detailed cruise ship replaced the ugly model of the Queen Mary 2. The new cruise ship is courtesy of Paul build this ship as part of a big library of cruise ship models of which a small selection shown in this video.

If you’ve never played it before you should certainly head over to his site and try it out.

As a special bonus, Paul included Tahina (Frank’s sailing catamaran) as one of the “ships” to use. Very fun!


Also, be sure to read our post about ways to work around performance issues with the Google Earth Plug-in, as the game requires some hard work from the plug-in due to everything going on with it.