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World of Tanks Beginner’s Guide

May 21, 2015

I am not a very experienced player, but I wanted to write this so I’d have something to give my friends who are starting. If any readers have tips or tricks to add, please let me know in the comments.

World of Tanks is an arcade tank game. It isn’t realistic, but it has fairly deep meta-strategy and is fun to play.

Basic Combat
Tanks have hit points instead of being internally modeled like War Thunder. Component locations (crew, ammo, engine, etc) are still modeled, but instead of auto-destruction, if you hit the area they are in, there is a percentage chance to disable them. Guns have penetration and damage values, which are subject to a random variation. If the penetration is greater than the armor * angling factor, the shot does the gun’s damage (also subject to some RNG) to the tanks HP.

Guns have an accuracy rating, defined as shot dispersion at 100 m. The smaller, the better, with 0.4 being average. Aim time is the time that the reticle takes to shrink to its smallest size. In World of Tanks, your gunner does the aiming. You don’t need to account for windage, shell drop, or anything like that. The “aim time” reflects the time it takes the gunner to do that for you. The shorter the time, the better, with 2.3 being average.

Camo/View Range
Your effective view range is reduced by your target’s camo rating. If your view range is 300, you might spot a heavy at 250 m, but a light tank at 100 m. Bushes, crew skill, and equipment improve your camo rating.

You can play around with this camo calculator to get a feel for how it works:

Note that light tanks don’t lose camo from moving. An average view range is 300 + 10 x tier.

Here are some tutorial videos. The third one is game play of a good scout tank driver.

Tank Types
Every tank has strengths and weaknesses. If you ignore them, you will die quickly, no matter how much armor or health your tank has.
Heavies: Good health and armor. Usually above average guns, but sometimes their guns have low DPM. Poor view range, poor speed.

Mediums: Jack of all trades tanks. Many mediums have good DPM guns.

Lights: Good speed, view range, and camo, but bad guns, armor, and health. Many lights are primarily scout tanks, but you do find flanking tanks as well.

Tank Destroyers: TDs are all about having a great gun. Some are sneaky, with good camo, and some focus on armor instead.

Artillery: Usually slow, poorly armored, poor health, and poor view range, but artillery have powerful guns which can shoot very long range.

Crews make a big difference on gameplay. Each percent in crew skill improves related stats about half a percent, so 10% loader skill translates to about 5% faster reloading. 50% crew are really terrible. If at all possible, you should save up 20,000 per crew member and retrain them at 75%. Crew lose 10% of their skill when retrained in Regimental School (20k) and 20% when retrained for free. Using a crew in a tank its not trained for results in a 25% penalty to their skill, but their underlying skill level and xp gain is unaffected.

Therefore, for low level tanks, you can just use crew from the previous tank and not bother retraining them at all. That’s much better than free training them and getting a permanent skill drop. Retraining crew for high level tanks is worth it since you spend many more battles in each tank before getting the next one, but by then you should be able to spend 20k per crew member easily.

Crew skill increases at a logarithmic rate, so it’s much easier to increase from 50% to 60% than it is to increase from 95% to 100%. Once you get to 100% however, you can pick a skill that gives your crew member a special ability.

The Economy
Sales are really common on WoT. I would recommend waiting for a 50% off sale for pretty much anything you want to buy. Tier 8 premiums only go on sale for 30% off usually, so if you want to make an investment in such a credit earning behemoth, you have to pay serious money ($50, which gets reduced to $35). If you want to spend in the $20 range, I would recommend getting a tier 5 premium tank, probably a Churchill III or an T-25 and then spending the rest of your gold on vehicle slots and dismounting complex equipment from tanks.

Map Tactics

I’m not even going to pretend I know what to do on various maps, but I’ll outsource that.  I’ve gotten a lot of use out of these guides:

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