Barnacle cypris larvae respond to many cues when selecting a settlement site. The settlement of over a million larvae on tiles of different textures, orientations and densities of incumbent settlers was measured on the rocky intertidal at Great Cumbrae, Scotland. Half of the tiles were replaced every tide whereas the others simultaneously accumulated settlers. Factor effects varied on each tide, and converged in the accumulating deployment. Increasing incumbent density led to net loss of settlement, which was less probable on the textures on which fastest settlment occurred ('very fine'), and more probable on those on which settlement was slowest ('smooth'). More settlement occurred on down-facing orientations during daylight and vice versa. Cue ranks were non-linear, so a path analysis model quantified the relative influence of each factor. Gregariousness was the most influential cue measured, although unmeasured factors had greater effects, highlighting the complexity of settlement influences in this species. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.