Allan Didier



Create a program to play the game Battleship. The computer will automatically place down a ship on the “board”. The human will guess the location of the ship to try to sink it.


  • 2D Arrays
  • Algorithms

Program Details

Your game needs to be designed with the following rules.

  1. The game board is a 5×5 array.
  2. The ship is 2 adjacent “squares” large and is randomly placed by the computer on the board.
  3. Reprint the board after every guess showing hits, misses and blanks.
  4. Set the maximum number of attempts to 10.
  5. Report if the game has been won or lost in 10 attempts.

Hints to Build the Game

  • Your game board is really a location of guesses.
    • Misses could be displayed with an “X”.
    • Hits could be an “S”.
    • Spots not guessed can be displayed as a “-“, “|”, or  “<space”.
    • What the array actually is and how it is displayed can be different.  Your array may actually be integers, but you display characters.
    • Example:
      • Array
        0, 0, 0, 0, 0
        0, 1, 2, 1, 0
        0, 0, 2, 0, 0
        0, 0, 0, 1, 0
        0, 1, 0, 0, 0
      • Display
        –   –   –   –   –
        –  X  S   X  –
        –   –  S  –   –
        –   –   –  X  –
        –  X  –   –   –
    • Don’t try to program the whole thing all at once. Build it in pieces.
      • Start by just making and displaying the board. You may find that displaying the board (writing it to the console) may be easiest done in its own method.
      • Add the guessing system. Make sure the user can guess a location and you can display their guesses.
      • Add the ship and the ability of the guess to “hit” the ship.
        • The ship can just be two (x,y) points.
        • Compare the guess array to the ship’s coordinates to determine if it has been hit.
        • Initially, put the ship in one location only.
        • Once the rest of the code works, then put it in a random location.
      • Add a check to see if the ship has been sunk, i.e. both points have been guesses. This could be it’s own method as well.
      • Limit the number of guesses to win or lose the game.


Java Textbook

Chapter 8: Arrays

CS Awesome Website

Bill Barnum's AP Computer Science A videos

AP College Board test prep videos

AP College Board 6.4: Algorithms using arrays