Important: make sure that your monitor is running a refresh rate of 60hz or higher, otherwise SH3 will not work.
If you want something to be changed/added, just post it in the thread, I should reply in 24 hours or less.
Modding Silent Hunter is almost mandatory with every installment, as the vanilla game is lackluster in its features. SH3 has a sizable modding community behind it, which has produced a few megamods, including but not limited to: Living Silent Hunter 3, GWX3, NYGM.
>Living Silent Hunter 3
Mostly oriented towards graphics and increasing the number of AI ships.
The """go-to""" SH3 mod, improves graphical and realism aspects, however do note that it's old and it isn't updated anymore.
Note: ASDIC in GWX is stupidly/unrealistically effective, destroyers will find you by merely pinging in your general direction. HSIE/Stiebler's patches fix that.
Almost exclusively realism oriented, few if any graphical improvements.
Note: the damage control team only works in the crew bunks and the external modules, if you want to repair a compartment just assign crew to it. I heartily recommend getting two petty officers specialized in repairs ASAP (in case the radio room gets hit, because once a compartment gets completely flooded it's game over). Also, you'll meet destroyers and aircraft more often, and they'll be more deadly. However that is balanced by the fact that aircraft aren't as though as tanks anymore, and will get shot down by few 20mm rounds. Also, fires actually cause damage in this mod.
>>>>>It's highly recommended to install other mods on top of those too, such as:<<<<<
>HSIE's hardcoded fixes, consists mostly in realism adjustments and features missing from the base game. Follow the instructions to the fucking letter, and before fiddling with it read Stiebler4A_V16B1's documentation as well (and yes, it werks even with non-legit versions of SH3).
>Tribute to Manual Targeting (be aware that there is a version meant to be used with GWX and one meant to be used with NYGM (and I'm not sure if that is up to date), I don't think it's compatible with LSH3)
>Widescreen patch (note: it does NOT work in windowed mode, it also comes with its own GUI)
http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=213527 (this one also has a GUI mod)
>A GUI mod, the vanilla one is lackluster to say the least.
>Magui has versions meant to be used with LSH3, GWX and NYGM. However, keep in mind that it only supports ancient resolutions, being 1024x768 and 1360x768.
Charts Addon 1.6 for Widescreen MaGui: http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=218124
>Ahnenerbe WideGui 1920 x 1080
Note: you can toggle manual data input without going to the TDC by pressing Ctrl+T. Also the range/AOB finder wheel seems to not work correctly.
>NYGM also has its own (optional) GUI mod.
>A brief explanation of Magui's instrumentation, particularly the range/AOB finder wheel:
>How to use the attack wheel
Also keep in mind that Magui's documentation includes various guides on how to use its instruments, tutorials on how to perform attacks, etc, at least the 1024*768 version's documentation.
SH3 commander lets you set the date/flotilla/boat you start with, has a nifty crew management tool, lets you change the crew fatigue model and disable it outright, it gives "flavor" to the ships you sink and randomizes ship's tonnage, and much more.
Whatever you do with the difficulty settings, DO NOT turn off periscope stabilization, as that is actually unrealistic. Do not turn off contact updates either - if you don't want to know the exact position of the contacts just by taking a glance at the map use NYGM, as it approximates their position.
The Hunt: http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=88961
Quick uboat overview:
Type II: coastal patrol uboat. Slow, has only 3 torpedo tubes in the bow and two internal reloads. Dives relatively quickly and turns fast. Has a single light AA gun and no deck gun. Supposedly harder to track via sonar due to its small size.
Type VII: the "standard" uboat. Four torpedo tubes in the bow, six internal reloads and a external one, one torpedo tube in the stern, an internal reload and an external one. Middle ground speed, agility, dive time, endurance. If you refuel at the milk cows you can easily reach the north american coast with it. Has an 88mm deck gun, the standard conning tower allows it to carry a single light AA gun, the upgraded ones allow it to carry up to three quad fast firing 20mm AA guns.
Type IX: long range uboat. Four torpedo tubes in the bow, six internal reloads, external reloads vary on the model but they're generally six, two stern torpedo tubes with two internal reloads and two external ones. Faster than the type VII, painfully slow dives, turns slow. Has a 105mm deck gun, the standard conning tower allows it to carry a light AA gun and a heavy one, the upgrades allow it to carry either 2 light AA guns and a heavy one, or three light AA guns. Some of the later models can reach the north american coast, patrol for a few days and come back to France without having to refuel.
Type XXI: the first truly modern submarine. Has 6 bow torpedo tubes (fitted with an hydraulic reloading system which makes so that reloading a tube takes about a minute, sometimes even less) and a shitton of internal reloads. Faster while submerged than surfaced (respectively 20 knots or so versus 16 knots). It's equipped with two fast firing AA guns, no deck gun, and the best radar that can be mounted on any of the uboats. Harder to track via sonar/ASDIC due to its shape. Basically easy mode. Note that it's broken in vanilla and as far as I know only GWX unfucks it and makes it playable, but I could be wrong in that regard.
Type XXIII: the Type XXI's cute/retarded little sister. It's a coastal uboat, so its autonomy is limited. It has two bow torpedo tubes, and that's it. No reloads, no deck gun, no AA guns. It's pretty fucking slow on the surface (10 knots, even the Type II is faster), however it can haul ass underwater (12 knots or so, as far as I know IRL it was optimized for sailing at that speed, pretty stealthy too).
A few protips:
Turn off crew fatigue. Crew will get fatigued/rested only if you play at time compression 32x or below, while you'll spend most of the time at 128x (don't go higher than that, doing so causes instability and bugs like planes spawning directly above your position).
There are a few ways to move crew between compartments, other than the tedious process of drag'n'dropping. The fastest one is double left clicking a compartment, that will automatically assign crew to it from one of the crew quarters but it won't be optimal (there will be spots left, and efficiency won't be at the highest possible). You can also highlight (left click) a compartment's name and right click on a crewmember in another compartment, that will transfer said crewman to the highlighted compartment. Highlighting a compartment and right clicking on another compartment's name will make the game transfer all of the crewmen from the latter to the highlighted compartment.
If you get assigned to Kiel, you can use the canal to save time (and fuel). To do so, before starting the engines, click on the navigation officer icon, click on the "search pattern" icon, and select the "Kiel outbound" one. After that click the "return to course" icon and set speed to ahead one third. You can use forced time compression (shift+N) for making so that the game doesn't drop to 4x TC due to the terrain's proximity. There is also a "Kiel inbound" preplanned course. If you cock up the initial waypoint you can delete the course by selecting it and then making another waypoint. GWX has a spot marked on the map, above which you should put a waypoint (going from southwest to northeast), and then click the "Kiel inbound" button.
You'll have to dive for being able to use the hydrophones. The hydrophones will allow you to locate convoys even at long ranges (more than 25km, IIRC in real life hydrophone operators could detect them at ranges much greater than that) especially if you use it yourself and turn off the engines. IIRC your crew will only hear contacts at a maximum range of 25km or so.
Watch the flags on the ships you're about to shoot. You don't want to hit a neutral ship even if it's part of an allied convoy, or even worse shoot at ships that are on your side (eg, axis convoys in the Mediterranean).
Uboats are optimized to have maximum range with diesel engines while sailing at ahead one third, the only exception seems to be the type II, which is optimized for "ahead slow". As for electric engine autonomy, the slower you sail the more mileage you'll get out of your batteries.
Don't use active radar unless there's shit visibility, if there is clear weather and it's daytime your crew will have a spotting range much greater than the best radar you can fit on your uboat (that is realistic, as german radars were pretty primitive compared to the allies' ones, even the Type XXI's radar). It also seems to have the additional effect of attracting planes, and destroyers will obviously have radar warning receivers.
Speaking of radar warning receivers, you really should get the newer ones ASAP. The first model will become useless from the moment when the allies start employing centimeter band radar.
If you really *have* to perform a deck gun attack, sail at ahead slow (going faster than that will throw off your aim) and fire it yourself, as your crew's aim is abysmal. Be aware that from about 1940 onwards merchant shipping will start carrying weapons, and even their machineguns are more than capable of fucking your shit up. Note: you AA guns can take out the guns that aren't in armored turrets. That's one of the few things the manually reloaded 37mm AA gun is good for.
You can't reload internal torpedoes during rough weather unless you dive below 20 meters or so.
Keep in mind that reloading torps makes shittons of noise, as does repairing shit and sailing underwater at more than 2 knots (excluding the Type XXI/XXIII, in their case it's 4 knots, however in some situations it's advisable to sail at one knot or even slower), or sailing underwater using the diesels (snorkeling).
Reloading external torpedoes takes from an hour to 45 minutes, and it can only be performed when there is good weather. You can't sail faster than 4 knots or so (ahead slow) while performing that operation. If you get spotted by a plane/get beamed with radar, you can abort the reload by pressing the C key a few times, but you'll still have to wait about 5 minutes (it's randomized) before you can dive. I recommend reloading external torpedoes only during daytime: allied ASW planes are equipped with searchlights (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_light), if you get caught while there is still light you can at least fire back.
You can launch decoys with the J key. They're meant to be deployed while depth charges get dropped, and they last about 20 minutes. You should slow down to one knot and change course after deploying them.
If you spot a plane or a PT boat, crashdive. No, seriously, I can't think of many situations in which fighting a plane or even worse a fucking PT boat would be better than diving. One of those situation is if you're reloading external torpedoes and can't immediately dive, the other being if you're sailing in very shallow waters/inside one of the minefields close to the british coasts. Yes, even fighters equipped with dinky machineguns/autocannons are more than capable of fucking your shit up.
On the matter of fighting planes:
1. Sometimes you might incur in a bug that makes your crew not fire at all, even if you manually designate which plane to shoot at. If that happens, switch to their guns with the appropriate hotkeys, then press F4.
2. The only AA guns worth half a shit are the fast firing 20mms and the semiautomatic 37mm. The slow firing 20mms are almost a placebo and the manually loaded 37mm is shit.
3. Set your gunner to fire only at incoming planes and only at medium range, that will make you save a lot of ammunition.
Advice from /simg/ posters:
It should be mentioned however for players starting new careers, that the first patrol starts on August the 1st but hostilities against the British didn't start until September 3rd (Until then British ships are neutral and should not be attacked). Players on their first patrol may wish to go to their patrol grid for a bit of extra renown, but to save time they should start the patrol, save and exit the game, use SH3 commander to change the patrol grid to somewhere closer (an AN grid number close to base ideally). Players can then complete their patrol tasking and then return to base for easy renown and to advance the time. This also skips the bug that prevents upgrades from saving on the first patrol (If you apply an upgrade before your first patrol, it won't carry across to your 2nd patrol. You will still have lost the renown you paid for it though).
During the first patrol new players may wish to take the time to conduct fake torpedo attacks on neutral shipping to practice manual targeting. Just set the torpedoes to impact fusing and to run deep at 17 meters. If the torpedo runs under the target ship you have set up a successful attack.
Note from me: as far as I know none of the megamods give renown for patrolling the assigned grid and returning to base. Also, you can just save before running the targeting routines or even better also before setting the interception course, carry out the attack in the way you'd normally do so, and then quit and reload the older save.
To be added:
Some old posts from /wgg/, particularly which type of detonator to use under which circumstances/how to use acoustic torpedoes.
Possibly other mods.