Are you like us and can’t leave a single thing unfinished in a game? Do you look at maps and see icons for items you haven’t yet tracked down and go a little crazy until you grab every last one? We love taking the time to finish all side missions and collect all collectibles, and if you share that love then we’ve got a handy list of all the goodies you’ll be hunting for in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag as well as the bonuses you’ll receive for tracking each of them down.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - In the Mood for Collecting

Animus Fragment – Mostly for the most hardcore completists among you, the Animus Fragments are just a fun bonus to track down. All 200 must be obtained in order to complete all of the Abstergo Challenges, which allows you to unlock the Deceased Crew Cheat. (Get all the details on Cheats in our Cheats and Challenges feature.)

Letter in a Bottle – Found on beaches and rocky shores throughout the world, the letters inside these bottles come from people who lived in the area you are traveling through. You may recognize the subjects of these letters if you pay close enough attention…

Manuscript – Always located in a restricted zone and guarded by several people, the Manuscripts offer insight on historical events and people – the cornerstone of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Treasure Map – The Treasure Maps are exactly what they claim to be. You’ll pull these off the corpses of sailors who met their unfortunate demises on beaches throughout the Caribbean. Each map will contain a set of coordinates and a drawing of the treasure’s surroundings. Once you are able to track down the coordinates, you’ll have to find the exact spot marked by an X on your map. These Treasure Maps lead to money or plans to unlock upgrades for the Jackdaw. Treasure Maps can also be acquired through Taverns and there are a handful to be earned from Kenway’s Fleet missions.

Shanty – Finding one of these beauties will net you a new song for your crew to sing. However, they are unlike the other collectibles in that they act like the Almanac Pages in Assassin’s Creed III. You’ll have to chase them down. Don’t worry if you miss them, they’ll reset after a brief period.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - In the Mood for Collecting

Templar Key – Though there are only five of these Templar Keys, they will take you a bit of time to collect as they are all tied to a series of missions. Complete four tasks set by various Assassin Bureau leaders and they will lead you to one of the keys. Remember hunting down all the Assassin Seals in Assassin’s Creed II so you could access the Armor of Altair? The Templar Keys offer a similar reward. Once you collect all five, you’ll unlock the Templar Armor, which grants you an increased resistance to enemy attacks.

Mayan Stone – You’ll have to solve a puzzle in order to get the Mayan Stones. Across the map there are 16 Mayan Stelae; climb to the very top and interact with it in order to switch over to Eagle Vision. While using your Eagle Vision, manipulate a pattern on the ground so it matches up with three specific objects in the environment. Once you’ve solved the puzzle you’ll be shown the location of the Mayan Stone. Gather all the stones and you’ll gain access to the Mayan Outfit, which deflects metal projectiles.

Present Day Collectibles – The present day is all about snooping. Find QR Codes throughout the building to unlock cryptic notes or, if you’re dying to know more about Abstergo and what happened following the events of Assassin’s Creed III, hack your co-workers’ computers. As the game progresses you’ll be able to access new areas and gain some insight into the inner workings of Abstergo and the Templars. You might also spot some interesting Easter eggs if you’re paying attention…

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - In the Mood for Collecting

For more details on Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, head to these posts:

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Cheats and Challenges

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – In the Mood for Collecting

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – The Arsenal of a Pirate Assassin

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Historical Accuracy vs. Gameplay

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Assassin's Creed® IV Black Flag

Release date — October 29, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag tells the story of Edward Kenway, a young British man with a thirst for danger and adventure, who falls from privateering for the Royal Navy into piracy as the war between the major Empires comes to an end. Edward is a fierce pirate and seasoned fighter who soon finds himself embroiled in the ancient war between Assassins and Templars. Set at the dawn of the 18th Century, the game features some of the most infamous pirates in history, such as Blackbeard and Charles Vane, and takes players on a journey throughout the West Indies during a turbulent and violent period of time later to become known as the Golden Age of Pirates.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

15 Readers Commented

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  1. Dave Cook on November 19, 2013
    New to the series. Just started ACIV tonight. I like to collect everything as well. Can you tell me what the upside down triangle thingie is on the HUD (map)? I was right on top of it (in a tree, actually) and couldn't see anything.
    • FrezBone33 on November 20, 2013
      Those are Animus Fragments. Generally they require you to free run to obtain them. They'll glow a yellow orange color. Look up as most require climbing. Hope that helps.
  2. Dave Cook on November 20, 2013
    Thanks! I was right under one I think. In a tree. Maybe I need to climb higher :D Love this game!
  3. FrezBone33 on November 20, 2013
    One more thing Dave...if you've never played Assassins Creed if you climb into a tree in the V-shaped branches just hit the X button on PS or the A button on XBox. You will shimmy up to the next level in the tree.
    • Dave Cook on November 21, 2013
      Thanks! Using a keyboard and mouse (I actually prefer this to a game controller). I've been using Spacebar and W to climb. Enjoying Havana at the moment :P
  4. KingD5150 on November 24, 2013
    Completed all challenges listed says 99 of 100 challenges completed what's missing?
    • Anne Lewis | Communications Associate Author on November 25, 2013
      Hm, did you collect all 200 Animus Fragments? That's one of the challenges.
      • KingD5150 on November 25, 2013
        Yes, completed all, every last one n it says 99 of 100. Confused loo
        • Anne Lewis | Communications Associate Author on November 26, 2013
          I am really not sure. I think I would have to be able to see your screen to know for sure. I'm sorry!
  5. KingD5150 on November 25, 2013
    Yes completed all but says 99 of 100
  6. KingD5150 on November 25, 2013
    By the way what's up with the flower on the back of the sticky notes?
  7. daz on November 26, 2013
    what happpens when you hack all the animus computers and i know what happens when you collect all the sticky notes so after this do you go to shuan or what i would really like to know
  8. mlp on December 15, 2013
    i don't get why Adeline wears a pirate hat and Edward dosent. still luv the game though
  9. joey lombardi on January 7, 2014
    How do you earn all of the action figure/dolls in your cubicle? I finished the game and most of the challenges, but I only have about 7 of the dolls.
    • Anne Lewis | Communications Associate Author on January 8, 2014
      Hey Joey, in addition to being a sort of symbol of your progression through the main story, some of the figures are earned by completing challenges and some earned through multiplayer.

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