The Danger Level of an area determines how difficult the combats are. From an in-character perspective, it represents how densely an area is populated by Pirates. Danger level and number of planes shot down in a combat are the primary determinants of Combat payout. For a list of pirate planes and their danger ratings, see Combat Levels and Bounty
To determine the danger level, click "Show Danger" on the upper right corner of the game screen. This will shade the map to different degrees. The darkest regions are the most dangerous, while the lightest regions are hardly dangerous at all. They range from about level 0 at the very lightest, to level 40+ in the darkest.
Danger affects combats during
- Flight legs, all types
But do not affect combats during Patrols. Patrols have their own Danger Ratings, which are typically set slightly lower than the danger of the surrounding area.
All Missions add a "boost" to Danger ratings, adding a flat difficulty increase to all combats a Skyrate encounters until the mission is completed. Patrols seem to be uneffected by this boost. The rating increases are: +2 for Low Risk Missions +4 for Medium Risk Missions +6 for High Risk Missions
Combat Infamy raises the difficulty of all combats for a Skyrate permanently, excluding Patrols. It does this by a rate of 1 level per combat.
The Danger map is most important to those who enjoy hunting. The darkest regions of the map are between Romeo and Alpha 3, and the South-South-East corner of the map, which have about level 40 base combats. It's also possible to hunt "off the map" where combats are base level 50 [verify me]; to do this one must plot a leg out into the "black" beyond the edges of the actual danger map. One can then set a hunt in the black area, then returning to the nearest Skyland to refuel. The Skylands closest to the edge seem to be Grottopolis and Alpha 13[verify me]. This will give you the highest individual combat levels, but hunting in the darkest black close to a Skyland will yield the highest combat level per hour.
Easter Egg (2.4)Edit
If you zoomed out all the way on the world map, the danger map in Skyrates 2.4 roughly approximated a skull, reminiscent of the Jolly Roger flags popularized as symbolizing pirates. This could be in reference to the Pirate Faction.
Tortuga sat in the "nose" of the skull, while the Core was on its left cheek.