World of Tanks is a very popular MMOG themed on tanks. It’s a free to play online game with millions of registered players and hundreds of beautifully rendered different tank models to choose from. And, all wrapped up so it favors team strategy over mindless button bashing! So, we’ve put together this WoT guide and CheatSheet for you to have an easier time entering the World of Tanks.
About the Game
Originally, the game wasn’t intended to be about tanks at all. The developers envisioned a strategy game more similar to World of Warcraft – elves and orcs bashing each other with the help of mages, healers, and other kinds of magical beings. But, that kind of games can’t really achieve much success if you already have a giant game like WoW holding the market.
Instead, they decided they will go with a new idea – tanks. Of course, the team was already great at making models thanks to their past experience making games, and it was only left to decide which engine they would use. They chose the Big World engine, and the game development began.
On early September 2010, one month after the game was released, Wargaming reported that over 10 million battles had already been fought. One year after the release, more than 5 million different players had their accounts and were rolling in their steel beasts.
In 2010 when the game came out, the graphics were fine. They weren’t the best you could see, but they were just fine. Physics were also mediocre, and you could, for example, roll your tank on a steep hill and it wouldn’t roll down – it would stay glued to the surface. This meant you could pull ridiculous shots at people who were under you on terrain, and just reverse back to safety.
Then, in 2012, the famous update 8.0 was released. It completely overhauled the game, and now there was legit physics which meant you couldn’t defy gravity anymore. Graphics also changed dramatically, and now you had new lighting, new shadows, reflections, water effects, etc. They also worked on HD tank models a few at a time, which were so detailed you could zoom in and look at the uneven surface of steel.
This went on to be World of Tanks for quite a bit of years until 2018 came when the overhauled graphics started looking dated again. So, naturally, Wargaming went back to the drawing board again and released the 1.0 update, which made the game the eye-candy it is today.
WoT Guide and CheatSheet
Like any other massively online game, you are playing against other players. People are capable of being much more unpredictable than bots, so the more you know about the game, the better your chance of surviving. Read this WoT guide and detonate others!
Tanks are separated into tiers from 1 to 10. As you could guess, the higher the tier, the more powerful the tank. Usually higher tiers have more HP, more penetration, more armor… But this does not have to be the case. There are good tech trees, and there are bad tech trees. Tech tree refers to a string of tanks you can research one after another, usually incrementing by tier. They are all different and you should find the one that fits your playstyle the best.
Objectively, some tech trees contain downright bad tanks. For example, a British Heavy Tank line doesn’t get any good all the way up to tier VIII, and even then it’s average. On tier IX, however, you get a versatile, resistant and powerful tank – the Conqueror.
So, before you start, take a look at what tanks a certain tree contains.
This game has Light Tanks, Medium Tanks, Heavy Tanks, and SPGs.
The role of Light Tanks is to spot (more about it a bit later in this WoT guide) as they are small thus difficult to hit, light and fast.
Medium tanks are my personal favorite, as they have noticeably more powerful cannons than lights while still not sacrificing too much mobility and versatility.
Heavy tanks are the “tanky” tanks – ones with the most health, the thickest armor, and the most powerful guns. However, they are slow and in some cases, really big. So, if someone in a Medium tank comes by and you have no cover, they could circle around you and shoot you while you can’t turn fast enough to shoot back.
SPGs – easily the most controversial class in the game. Basically what you do as an SPG is you find a spot to hide, press Shift (sniper mode) and get a birds-eye view from the sky. Then you can shoot enemies from the other side of the map. The thing is, SPGs are almost completely useless in 1v1 combat and are solely for support. People call SPG players “clickers” and rage when they suddenly explode out of nowhere. However, they are good for preventing people from camping.
Before you can shoot a tank, you have to spot him first. You spot people if they are in the proximity of your view range. This is why lights are the best for the role – they are fast and can cover a large area of the map swiftly.
It is significantly harder to spot people that are hiding behind bushes, though. If you want to play this game, you have to remember that bushes stop you from getting spotted. If you shoot, however, you will be spotted. But there is a trick for that as well.
Namely, if you are 15 meters behind a bush, the bush stops being transparent in Sniper Mode. You can still see the enemy’s silhouette, however, and if you shoot them like that, you will not get spotted. They will just receive damage and not know where it came from.
With equipment, you can further optimize your tank. For example, if you want to play a heavy tank, you will probably want to put Tank Gun Rammers which lower your reload times, Vertical Stabilizer which improves accuracy, Spall Liner for dampened Arty shots. It is best to take a look up the equipment on YouTube for the particular tank.
Your tank crew has to be on 100% for it to be optimal. Every tank has its stats that are only valid if your crew is maxed out. When you reach 100%, you continue getting experience and can eventually choose skills and perks. Be sure to choose them wisely according to your tank’s role! If you want to change them later, you will either retain 80% of their XP for free, 90% for in-game credits and 100% if you pay in gold, which is bought with real money. If one of your crew’s skills is Brothers in Arms, their skills can exceed 100%.
There are 5 different ammo types in this game. These are:
AP (Armor Piercing), the common round for rifle guns. They either penetrate and do damage according to caliber or don’t penetrate and do nothing at all.
APCR (Armor Piercing Composite Rigid) is usually the premium round that has more penetration and is much more expensive. It also loses penetration with distance at a higher rate than AP.
HE (High Explosive) is basically useless if you have a small caliber gun, but extremely useful if you have a big caliber (152 mm preferably minimum). Tanks like KV-2 and Japanese Superheavies use this. The thing about HE is that it almost always does damage, as it doesn’t have to penetrate the armor but acts as a bomb instead and wreaks havoc anyway. You need really, really thick armor to completely stop a large caliber HE round. They have really low penetration, but if they actually manage to penetrate it does a huge amount of damage and you are probably dead.
HEAT is premium, and one of those rounds that either penetrate and do damage or don’t and do nothing. They are good because they don’t lose penetration with distance as they use an explosive charge to cut through metal instead of kinetic energy. They are slower, however.
HESH is only found in British tanks. This is a HE round that does an insane amount of damage and has a much higher penetration than HE. If it does not penetrate, it behaves like a regular HE round and does damage based on explosion instead.
Settings Recommendations WoT guide
There are a few things you should absolutely do in the Settings panel. First of all, in the General tab, you have to tick “Horizontal Stabilization in Sniper Mode“. I honestly don’t know why this is an option and not always ticked, but what it does is this: while you are in the Sniper Mode and are aiming at the enemy, you want your reticle to stay on them. If you are driving the tank at the same time, or want to rotate it, if you don’t have this ticked your aiming circle will rotate together with the tank. If it’s ticked, the reticle will stay in place and you can continue to aim while maneuvering.
Enable the x16 and x25 Zoom does exactly as it says. If you have a precise tank (Germany has some good and precise tanks) this will be helpful to snipe distant targets.
Show the view range circle, Show the maximum spotting range, Show the draw circle are all immensely important. The first, the view range tells you the maximum view range any tank can have. This way you can see on the minimap whether he has a chance of spotting you or not. Show the maximum spotting range gives you your own spotting range, letting you know how distant can the enemies you spot be. Show the draw circle lets you know how far you can see enemies. if you exceed the draw circle, you won’t be able to see them in the game regardless if they are spotted or not.
Restrict toggling the Sniper Mode to Shift key is recommended. Normally if you are in sniper mode and zoom out too much, the game will exit sniper mode and show you your tank zoomed in. You want to restrict that to the shift key and be free to zoom out while aiming without worrying whether you will do it too much.
on the Marker tab, be sure to put HP left/total for the enemy team’s health bars. Every gun has its alpha damage and can do a certain amount. If you know the exact amount of HP your enemy has, you know how many shots you would need to knock them out, or, whether they would die from your shot or not. This lets you know if you should rush out and shoot them or stay in cover.
This was a short guide on the game with the most useful things covered. If you want to know more, you can look at QuickyBaby‘s videos on YouTube. He is a great player, a great guy and generally knows what he’s talking about. So, roll out in your steel beast and have fun!