Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag Collectibles Guide

What can you collect in Assassin's Creed? A quick reference guide for all of the Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag collectibles.

What can you collect in Assassin's Creed? A quick reference guide for all of the Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag collectibles.

For all of you completionists’ out there, there are plenty of things to collect in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Every island must be overturned, every chest searched, but once you catch ’em all, you can get that much lauded 100% on your game. 

Here is a quick recap on all of the things that you can collect in-game. 

Present Day Abstergo

Sticky NotesSticky Notes are probably one of the more illuminating varieties of in-game collectibles. Found as blue QR codes throughout the present-day Abstergo office, these sticky notes are cryptic notes that relate to Assassin’s Creed lore. 

Hacked Content on Your Coworkers Computers: Want to know the secrets to what happened to Desmond Miles after the events of Assassin’s Creed III? Need to know how Aveline has been appropriated by the present-day Templars? If you’re looking to be filled in on all of the information, these are great things to collect. Once you gain the ability to hack your co-workers computers, simply complete the mini-games at each of their desktops, and you’ll be rewarded with videos, emails, etc. Ubisoft has promised Easter Eggs, so be on the lookout. 

Edward Kenway’s Timeline 

Shanty: What would a pirate ship be without shanties? While getting all of these doesn’t unlock anything, it will certainly make long sea trips more bearable. The more sea shanties you collect, the more songs Edward can teach his men, and the more songs they know to sing while out at sea. Shanties are represented on your map by eighth-notes. Unlike the other, more stationary collectibles, shanties must be caught — sort of like a song on the wind. The most effective way to trap these collectibles is to sneak up on them, but don’t worry if you miss a shanty. They respawn after a brief amount of time. 

Treasure MapsAnother pirate-y element are the Treasure Maps. These are located throughout the islands on the skeletons of long-dead sailors. Your game classifies them as secrets, and they are represented as treasure maps on your mini-map. Each treasure map has a set of coordinates and a picture of the location where your booty is buried. These buried chests will have money and upgrades for the Jackdaw. 

Animus Fragments: By far the most numerous of the collectibles in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Animus fragments are really only for the “hardcore completionists.” Finding all of them is the last step to completing the Abstergo challenges, but there are 200 of these fragments throughout the world. Once you do so, Ubisoft has teased that they unlock the Deceased Crew Cheat, which sounds very Pirates of the Caribbean

Manuscripts: Manuscripts are located in restricted zones and guarded, but once you kill or distract the guards, you can unlock these secrets which offer historical references. 

Letter in a Bottle: Messages in bottles are also classified as secrets and show up as bottles on your mini-map. These include letters from the people who inhabit the area and are meant to provide context for the events that you are experiencing.


Templar Key: Teased after you locate the Pirate hideout, you need five Templar Keys to unlock the Templar Armor. The Keys are tied to four different tasks set by Assassin Bureau chiefs. 

Mayan Stone: Shown to you by James Kidd, the Mayan stones are accessed through a series of short matching puzzles. Simply rearrange the shape to correspond with the rocks on the ground below, and you gain access to the Mayan Stone there. Throughout the map there are 16 Mayan Stones, which you must collect. Once you have gathered all of these, you unlock the Mayan Outfit, “which deflects metal projectiles.” 

Want to know more about collectibles in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag? Sound off in the comments below.

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About the author

Amanda Wallace

Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.