World of Tanks Things Not to Do Guide



World of Tanks Things Not to Do Guide by keptin

As with many of you, I’m thrown into battles with the most inept and incompetent players, regardless of tank tier. Since WoT doesn’t have a system in place to balance by skill, the next best step is to provide companies and clans with information to train their new recruits. This is one of those threads.

This is a mass list of what NOT to do in this game, outlining the mistakes I’ve seen others make. Post a story about a bad player you’ve encountered in-game and what they should or shouldn’t have done that ultimately got you killed or lost the match. Avoid turning this into a rage thread by keeping it concise and to the point. We’ll form an organized list of tears.

Disclaimer: Everything in this thread is based off of my personal experience and the experience of others. It’s not necessarily fact nor is it necessarily correct. I’m happy to make changes if you post suggestions.

Special thanks to these contributors:
-jdtherocker, thorleifer, MemoryReborn, brojones, Ivin, Arishtat, LiddleHart, reicher, cipher_nemo

What NOT to do:


1. Act moronic.
Let me elaborate…

1. Stop throwing yourself at the enemy one brave (stupid) tank at a time. Either move as a group and support one another or don’t go at all.

For the same reason a choke point is effective at killing your enemy, attacking a larger force with a few tanks or one tank at a time is a great way to get yourself killed. It allows the enemy to deal their combined damage to one target, whilst spreading that target’s firepower over multiple tanks.

2. Don’t haphazardly run around out of cover. Cover is everything; you love cover and want to hug it like your mother.

It’s ok to make a break for it and rush the enemy line, given the right time and place. That time and place almost never comes two-minutes into the game on the open field of Malinovka and similar maps. Watch what the higher tier (and hopefully more experienced) players are doing on your team if you have any doubts. Of course, staying behind the same cover (camping) can be equally detrimental to your team. Good players will learn how and when to move between cover.

3. Don’t stand still when brawling with an enemy tank. You’re letting them flank your sides and rear. It seems some players get tunnel vision when they’re engaging an enemy and forget about their surroundings.

When brawling an enemy tank, you should be aware of your aim, direction, speed, enemy and friendly locations, enemy artillery, etc. The worst player is the one that puts on blinders once they see a target, focused only on aiming and firing. It’s this player that’s easily flanked, baited into traps, and is a liability to their team.

4. Watch your aim! That last round just went into my side.

Nothing is more frustrating than when your team is working against you. Whether I’m a medium circling a heavy tank or just simply sitting between you and the enemy, you have to know where to aim and when to pull the trigger to avoid shooting me. This goes the same for artillery firing at targets with friendlies in close proximity. If I got a dollar for every time I’ve taken friendly fire from some idiot with an itchy trigger finger, I’d have $500.

5. Learn how to balance training matches already! Don’t assume that smaller tanks are weaker tanks or that many tanks will defeat fewer tanks.

“T1 is heavy tank, T-34-85 is medium tank. I KILL YOU EASY! LOL”, I get this a lot in training matches while I’m sitting there thinking the same thing. When balancing, tank tier, tank type and player skill should both be considered. Unfortunately, when it comes to random battles, the currently matchmaking system doesn’t account for the latter.

6. You’re wasting your breath whining that I “stole your kill”. I’m going to kill everything I can, without exception.

Players that whine “kill stealer” are either ignorant or selfish. Because a tank with 2% health is as effective as a tank with 100% health, I’m going to fire at everything I can, regardless of its remaining hit points, lest it get one more shot off into me or my teammates. You whittled that guy down to 12% by yourself and then I killed it, tough sh*t, it happens to all of us.

7. If you’re an IS-7, don’t fire at the well-covered TD in the tree line when there’s an IS-4 sitting right next to you hammering your side with shells.

Be smart with how you prioritize your targets. That TD sniping you from half a click away is going to be a hell of a shot compared to that serious threat right by your side. Kill that guy first; use him as cover while you’re at it.

8. If you’re one of the two mediums left searching for the one remaining heavy, don’t run out from cover and go Rambo on it when your friendly medium is trying to get to you from across the map.

This is just an extension of throwing yourself at the enemy one by one. When I’m across the map or valley, I won’t be able to help you in a brawl; the best I can do is snipe. Don’t throw away the power of two coordinated tanks by taking it on solo. Regroup and work together.

9. Stop jumping in front of my fire! Unless I just fired and you’re able to get in and out in time for me to reload and re-aim at the target, just don’t. Know that you’re not only blocking my fire, but ruining my pinpoint aim on whatever target I have my making my reticule jump to you.

10. If you are asking for artillery support, please don’t be too close to the target you want your artillery to eliminate.

Contrary to popular belief, artillery isn’t laser accurate and splash damage doesn’t discriminate. If you’re too close, most artillery players will hold fire. Those that do risk the shot means that you run the chance of getting splashed, or even worse, getting directly hit.

11. Stop whining to me in chat that I let you die after you walk into an ambush at an obvious choke point or kill zone where I didn’t/couldn’t support you.

Learning these maps is a trial and error affair, but it helps by watching more experienced players (often with higher kill counts). There are open no-cover areas and choke points all over these maps where experienced players choose to avoid. Don’t cry to me because you made a poor decision and I didn’t follow you to my death.

12. The next person who uses me as cover and drives right up to the back of me so I can’t retreat will become my primary target.

By all means, use the thick hide of my stronger tank to protect you, but don’t get in my way as I retreat to cover. A key tactic is firing from cover by ducking out, firing, then ducking back in. If you’re stuck to my rear, I can’t back up and I’m left exposed to enemy fire. I may yell at you on chat to move, but if you don’t get out of my way before my next round loads, it’s going into you.

13. Stop firing randomly at the ground and in the air for no apparent reason other than you’re bored. It gives away your position and mine. I’m very tempted to just kill you right there and then so you’re not a liability.

14. High-tier tanks, especially heavies, don’t camp and force the rest of your team to advance/defend the line.

Unless you’re a sniper tank, your team needs your heavy armor and boatloads of HP to tank damage and dish damage on the front line. In matches where the top three tier tanks are the heavies for your main push, one sitting back leaves the other two to take the brunt of the enemy’s top tanks. This effectively results in you feeding your enemy one tank at a time until you’re out of tanks.

15. If arty is firing at you behind your little bush, please move, you’ve been spotted and chances are that next shell won’t miss.

In general, if an artillery shot hits near you, you’ve been spotted and it’s time to move before they reload. Even if you kill the spotter, the arty player isn’t stupid–he’ll anticipate your movement based on your speed and direction last he saw you. If you were last seen standing still camping/sniping behind a bush or ridge, expect arty to fire in that spot once more for good measure.

16. Know your tank’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your enemies’.

If you’re observant, by trial and error, you’ll learn how to engage enemy tanks depending on what they and you are driving. This is critical to deciding whether you can take that derp KV while it reloads. Take a look at the tech tree to find new tanks you’ve seen in battle and see how they relate to what you’re driving; playing them yourself helps as well. Over time, you’ll learn how to approach tanks on the field, so you’re not that guy in the A-20 trying to peck a Tiger to death.

17. Don’t expect me to know what you’re thinking. I can’t read your mind and something obvious to you might not be obvious to me.

Use chat to give commands and state your intentions. It’s awful, but it’s the best you’ve got for communicating. WoT voice chat is archaic in its inability to tell you who is saying what and where they are for such a tactical game. A quick, “setup ambush here *click* D5” or “I’ll distract, you flank” can go a long way.

18. Stop running head first into TDs, that’s where their boom-stick points.

Flanking a TD makes for a quick victory, charging its front doesn’t. Get to its sides to flank it; if he keeps turning to face you, fire at his tracks to track him. Even the largest TDs and artillery are prey for mediums, especially with their ridiculous reload times.

19. Um, are you sure you want to sit there?

Every few games, I see one player who accidentally his strategy, parked in the worst place possible. This guy is just waiting to be hit, spotted or ambushed. Be aware of your surroundings and position yourself accordingly, which often means in or behind cover. Also, stay off of bridges unless you intend to block them with your corpse.

20. Don’t pile up! If 85% of the team takes one flank, things are looking grim. 85% is 15% less than a committed “All IN” rush, and 35% more than is needed to push that flank (assuming two possible routes).

It’s been dubbed “lemmings”, as in, “Wee! I’m going to follow the guy in front of me to my death!”. If the team bunches up on one line, the enemy will push the weak flank and defeat you. Even it out, teams of 15 mean you can push 5 tanks per line on three-line maps and 7/8 on two-line maps. Groups over 5 become increasingly less effective as they can only bring so many guns to bear given the available cover on any one line.

21. Dammit, learn how to counter a cap already so we don’t have to debate the greater tactics of capping/defending while it’s happening.

Every instance of capping is different and you have to make the decision based on that circumstance, but let’s take a look at a common scenario: Enemy has two tanks remaining and you have four. All of your four tanks are right next to the enemy base when the enemy begins to cap. Do you, A, all simply drive into their cap and out-cap them 4:2? Or do you, B, **** up? Given this scenario, why try to get across the entire map in time when your group can cap faster than theirs? Alternatively, if most of you are in the center of the map when the enemy begins capping, someone is going to have to slow or stop the cap by hitting or killing the enemy capping; you won’t be able to counter-cap in time. If you know the enemy capping is in a high-tier tank, then that “someone” probably shouldn’t be a lone mid-tier medium. Think of it this way, once the enemy starts to cap, your match depends on either stopping the cap by killing them or capping theirs faster than they can cap yours. Given the remaining tanks and their locations, you need to quickly choose one of these or a combination there of.

22. “Arty, you suck.”

Arty is not the orbital laser cannon everyone makes it out to be. Not only do they have to worry about their arc of fire hitting obstacles, but higher tier arty has 1000+ credit shells, long aim times and can seriously damage friendlies within the blast radius. Sure, sometimes arty does suck, but the battle has never hinged on any one unit–chances are, if you’re losing, you and the rest of your team sucks too. Why is it only arty’s fault? Better to just keep your mouth shut unless you’ve been watching him the whole time and are an elite infallible arty player.

23. Sun Tzu didn’t wing it and neither should you; have a game plan and adapt with changing battlefield conditions.

Alwyas, always, always have a plan and be prepared to adjust that plan as conditions on the battlefield change. Keep your eye on the minimap and strategize for an end-game victory. Avoid risky maneuvers that trade tanks of high value for tanks of low value; your selfish kills cost us a T-44 and them a Leopard and T1 Heavy

24. Don’t let a few tanks stop your entire advance. Your 8 tanks can steamroll a couple heavies guarding a flank. Don’t let them hold you long enough for the enemy to take your weaker flank or reinforce theirs. Push through.

25. TDs, you’re not the best assault vehicle. As much as you want to go Rambo on the other team, you’ll be more effective supported so you don’t get popped.

Again, TDs have their armor and boom stick up front, which leaves side and rear shots are deadly. Every once in a while some hot-shot TD goes on the assault to slug it out with the mediums unsupported–it often doesn’t end well if said mediums happen to know what they’re doing. This is just a matter of knowing your strengths and weaknesses. I once killed a Jagdtiger solo in a (tier 5) T-34…the guy was probably laughing until he missed and I ran up next to him.

26. Quit yelling at me to “stop capping” so you can kill the last two enemies; if victory is in my grasp, I’m sure as hell going for it. What happens if some remaining ace kills you and your little pals and then comes gunning for me? I’m capping.

Only fools would give up the opportunity to win the match by cap. Don’t waste other players’ time by running around searching for that last tank. If you can take the cap, do it. It should be noted that unless otherwise stated, you should NEVER CAP or stay in cap in training matches. The unspoken rule is that these are to the death and end when one team is out of tanks. In addition, while effective and ok for use in standard battles, camping cap in training matches to draw out your opponent is a piss-poor dishonorable tactic and, as host, I’ll kick you if you do it.

27. Don’t rage quit because the battle isn’t to your liking.

Ragequitting poorly reflects on you and your clan; I’ve heard all the excuses (“my precious time”, etc.) and I think it shows poor character. Matchmaking and bad teammates can be frustrating, but you’re already committed to the match. If a fiery death is inevitable, make the best of it. The right mentality: “If I’m going to hell, you’re coming with me.”

28. You’re allowed to retreat.

Unlike Soviet conscripts, you have the peace of mind that you won’t be gunned down if you retreat. So when facing unsurmountable odds, why don’t you? Sure, sometimes your only choice may be to push on to cover or continue what has become a suicide venture, but often you can pull back and regroup. If a scout uncovers a massive force headed your way, your best option may be to retreat or fire while retreating. Only dig in and hold ground if you must and never advance on a larger force.

29. Stop knocking down tress and cover.

Enemy tanks and arty can see you hitting trees and crushing objects (fences, cars, houses, etc.) on the map. Avoid it when possible. In addition, if you just crushed a bunch of stuff, you might not want to sit right there as exploratory arty might blindly plop a shell down. Thirdly, destructible cover is still cover; please don’t destroy all the cover, especially if I’m behind it.

30. Matchmaking sucks pole, no need to remind us.

Whining is your prerogative, but you can take comfort in the fact that we all know the matchmaker blows. When your anchors are mediums and theirs are heavies, it sucks. When you’re repeatedly tossed in a 3 or 4 tier spread, it sucks. When you’re on a dopey team with mostly un-clanned players vs four platoons, you know it’s gonna suck. Until the matchmaking is improved, there are going to be endless things to complain about. Unless it’s miraculously unbalanced, save your breath in-game; after 300 battles, seeing an awful match-up shouldn’t surprise you. If you have the energy to complain, do it on the forum where the devs can read it.

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5 Responses to “World of Tanks Things Not to Do Guide”

  1. DUDE!! You forgot the most important thing not to do. Just don’t play that piece-o-krap kiddie game.

  2. Quit yelling at me to “stop capping” so you can kill the last two enemies

    One exception – when we know where enemy is, when we have enormous power (for example: three full HP HT going to kill two encircled 10% meds) and when you are f…n coward who did nothing whole game and now you are an hero who wants to do sth in match.

    I would like to add also two more:
    • Don’t use bots. When experienced players look into your stats it’s clear you are using bot and you’ll be reported. But more important – using bot is playing against your team.
    • If you were coward who whole game sit in base and was doing nothing, keep your profile very very low. You suck and you know it so other players have full right to call you coward and sucker. Don’t answer with “but I’m alive”. Yes, you are alive but it doesn’t show your skills. You are alive because other fought when you were sitting in bushes and were looking for toilet paper.

  3. “Common sense is not that common.”

    (not my quote)

  4. I see most of this as common sense, unfortunately a lot of players are lacking in this area.
    Love the Guide, well done :)

  5. Just about a week of playing, and I must agree with you on all points. I enjoy being the scout for the team, but cringe when the team isn't able to take advantage of my superior view and sometimes expect the scout to roam the maps.

    Suffice to say, rushing = death.

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