World of Warships Destroyer Detailed Guide

World of Warships Destroyer Detailed Guide by KmsH44

Even if you don’t play DDs, this can still help you counter them. “Know thy enemy, know thyself”


1. Introduction to Me and My Cause
2. Introduction to DDs
3. The Basics
-The Roles Of DD (Special Thanks to Special_Kay)
-Evading Fire
-Smoke Screens
-Speed Boost

1. Introduction
2. Weapons
3. How to Hide USN DD
-Island Hugging
-Smoke Screens
-Abuse of Detection Ranges

1. Introduction
2. Weapons
3. Way to Hide IJN DD
-Island Hugging/Docking
-Smoke Screens
-Abusing Detection Ranges
(Other nations will be added as the guide progresses)


Introduction to Me and My Cause:
Hello everybody, whether you’re here to get help with piloting or countering DDs. I hope you learn something from this guide, I really do. Of course if I didn’t want you to learn something I wouldn’t be wasting ~6 hours a day on this. “6 hours a day?!?!” You say. Yes, 6hrs/day on this thread, creating the quintessential guide almost all by yourself is hard work. I have to research, test, hold focus groups, study polls, and consider suggestions. Not to mention I’ve committed myself to update this at least once a day for the sake of all the newbs. So be grateful I’m creating this guide for all things DD so you don’t have to. Also, don’t mind PMing me questions or critiques. This is a guide for you, the community, if you aren’t satisfied, I’m not either.
Kriegsmarine BB H44

Introduction to DDs:
Obviously all of you are here for a reason, and it’s not because of the voluptuous BB over there. You’re here because you like the finessed, gracious way a certain kind of sleek sexy ship at the end of the dock plays you. IfyaknowwhatImean *nudge nudge*. You’re here for destroyers, the classiest class of all. Lean, mean, torpin’ machines.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way. DDs, the stealth class, the annoy the crapout of everything class, and the “Sit yo’ [edited]down” class. Some people think cruisers are the most versatile class, I think DDs are. Opinions are like A**h***s, everybody’s got one. I could ramble about DDs all day, so moving along swiftly. Think back to the time you were taught to play basketball, “Ok, you put this ball, through this hoop. Got it?”, well guess what, THIS ISN’T BASKETBALL! This is me, telling you how to get your DD act together. This is far more complicated than Basketball. This isn’t simple, everything you do is a thought out plan. If it isn’t, you die. I think that’s all the introduction we need for now, so time for the basics.

The Basics:

The Roles of DD:
In that vein I picture a list of styles to use:
Submarine (use superior concealment and caution to approach your prey unseen, and careful torpedo aim to perform a long-range torpedo attack)

Ambush (wait at a choke point or around a corner to carry out a close-range torpedo attack)

Gunship (use cannonade to cause damage and fires; use torpedoes to deter pursuit and dodging to avoid return fire)

Knife-fighter (use superior maneuverability to approach your prey to carry out a very close-range torpedo attack, using guns whenever it does not interfere with dodging; commonly used in destroyer vs. destroyer encounters)

In turn, the styles were inspired by a list of roles which destroyers can perform:
Counter-destroyer (eliminate enemy destroyers to give your team a tactical advantage)

Eliminating capital ships (eliminate an enemy capital ship [battleship or carrier] which otherwise has the potential to cause your team significant difficulty)

Countering capital ships (force an enemy capital ship to choose between focussing its attention on you or risking being sunk to maintain its focus on your teammates; obviously inferior to simply eliminating the capital ship, but easier to accomplish without imperiling one’s destroyer)

Opportunistic damage (cause as much damage as possible by whatever means presents itself, much like the WWII submarine doctrine of maximizing tonnage sunk per patrol)

Allied support (lend your might to a teammate who is engaged with an enemy force; whether by providing supporting fire, using tactical self-spotting [getting close enough to be seen or firing guns] to interfere with enemy aim, or outright “tanking” by attracting fire and dodging)

Sea control and denial (deter the enemy from moving into or through an area; capzones need capturing, enemies will reconsider their course when they see a destroyer tactically revealing itself among thick island cover, and an enemy group which turns away from a channel full of torpedoes puts themselves another minute away from joining the fight)

Survival (while not a role per se, abandoning all other priorities to secure one’s survival is often appropriate when under immediate threat, and occasionally appropriate even when not under immediate threat; destroyers which survive to late game have a greater impact when there are fewer ships to spot them)​

Guns: On DDs, the guns aren’t fantastic. They’re the death of a thousand needles, you fire all you want, it’ll still take about 5-8 minutes to kill an enemy if you fire nonstop. If you are in a cluster with some BBs & CL/CAs, put your guns to use. You don’t really have to worry, as your bigger teammates are your meat shields. If you want to stay hidden while on the edge of your detection range, don’t shoot. That’s pretty much it from me for now. Go below for more.

Torpedoes: This, like guns, are influenced by WG wanting each nation to have its own unique “flavor”. USN don’t really have torps to speak of until tier 8, tier 7 if you’re generous. On the other hand, low tier US DDs can spam torps better than a Kitakami,. T3 Wickes, 12 torps every 32 seconds. However IJN get great torps all the way through the line, but they can’t spam them like US DDs can by any stretch of the imagination. . You’ll need to look below at what’s recommended for each nation.

Evading Fire: This is always one of the hardest things for me to explain, that’s why I wish I could take all of you to a practice room to show you, but oh well. The evade fire, well, firstly you have to spotted, duh. Ok seriously, in order to evade fire all you have to do is either remain undetected, or zigzag your ship to throw off the enemy’s elevation. That’s how you evade normal fire. When you’re on an attack run, you point the bow (front/nose) towards the enemy and then continue to zigzag accordingly. Fire comes towards you right, quickly turn left and then right in quick succession to allow the fire to graze past the entirety of the vessel. Same with torps.

Detectability: KNOW YOUR RANGES BEFORE YOU GO INTO BATTLE! Know your gun range, torp range, surface detection range, air detection range, and the fluctuations of these ranges. Detection ranges fluctuate based on whether you fire or not. Your torps are a stealth weapon, they don’t effect your detectability range. Also, if you can get something that decreases you detectability range, GET IT. This will help you keep from using your smoke charges. Firing your guns will practically make you have a 50 km detection range, so if you’re trying to sneak close, don’t fire. It tells the enemy you’re there, and if you’re there, you probably just shot off torps. So hold off if you’re trying to ambush. Staying hidden is one of a DDs most important characteristics. It means you can launch torps from unknown locations, ambush the enemy, or scout an area. If spotted, YOU are priority number ONE to the enemy! Your torps are extremely deadly, if allowed to have your way you can destroy a Yamato is a single torpedo salvo. In order to make the best use of this, you must not be seen while on an ambush.Smoke Screens: Supposed to hide you from view, but with this new cruiser skill, you might as well not have it. Use it only AFTER YOU’RE SPOTTED, for christ’s sake. If you’re not spotted, you just told them where you are. Sharing is caring, share only when using IJN DDs, they barely need it anyway.

Speed Boost: This is a crappy trade that’s supposed to justify the nerfing of smoke. It has virtually no use whatsoever. However, if they’re gonna give it to us, we might as well use it. So, the speed boost, I really hate this mechanic if you can’t tell. Now to actually tell you about it. The Speed Boost allows your DD to go 2-4 knots faster, it can help you escape gun range, and can help you rush a BB that’s strayed from the herd. I’ve personally do not approve this mechanic, it just doesn’t make that big of a difference to me. Your opinion may differ.


A U.S. DD is a gunboat first, torpedo boat second. Your guns can keep up with your target no matter how hard you fling it around. Not mentioning the reload of these 5 inch guns all US DDs get, with the exception of the low tier ones which have 4 inch guns. You can make very good use of the guns against enemy DDs, especially the IJN ones. Always use the guns when spotted if you think you can evade incoming fire. Most of the time when I do this I “clutch fire”, meaning I don’t use binocular mode and hope for the best. When near allies you can harass enemies that are in range, this doesn’t mean go out of your way to get them in range. Stay close to your BBs and CAs. Remember that they are big and easy to hit, this means you take your time using binocular mode and let your allies be your meat shields.


4 inch: On low tier DDs, they will get the job done. However they don’t have an astonishingly great rate of fire.
5 inch: On mid to high tier DDs, pack a bigger punch. They also have a great rate of fire.

Shoot nothing but HE, I hate to do it to people, but AP just doesn’t cut it, not even on cruisers. If you’re spotted, and their guns aren’t facing you, spam the guns. The RoF is insane, and you can keep them on target all the time. Just don’t stick around long enough for them to get a bead on you. You can keep firing after you’ve gotten outside your detectability range, but when they really do start aiming your way, stop firing. Since you’re outside your detectability range you can just disappear as long as you don’t fire, and no other enemies are spotting you.

Torpedoes: These are weapons of opportunity, use them when enemies get too close. US DD torpedoes have a suicidal range until tier 8, anything before that has a 6.4 km or below torp range. This short of a range doesn’t give you a lot of opportunities. Of course you could do what US DDs are best known for in-game, Ambushes!

Ways to Hide USN DD:

Island Hugging: You can stay close to the islands to obscure the enemies view. This is useful when you’re lining up an ambush on enemies. You can’t be spotted through islands, so they’ll have no idea you’re there until it’s too late

Smoke: Claimed by WG to be used to cover allies. After this smoke nerf though, no longer, their all for us. Never waste a 20 second smoke screen on friendlies, just to wait four minutes to get the crappy smoke charge again. This smoke should be used for escapes, approaching, and covering yourself. Use it for that. I recommend that you use it for long approaches on BBs in which you can’t hug islands. If you can island hug, DON’T WASTE SMOKE! Use the smoke to cover your escape.

Detection range: For US DDs, this detection range barely matters until you decide to go for an ambush. Most of the time you’re firing and are spotted, ambushes however, require the upmost stealth. Those are the moments in which knowing this range is most important. Until T8 you’ll always be spotted when you go for a torpedo run. Not an opinion, this is fact. You can however get the drop on your enemies using the tactics above.


IJN DDs, the ships lurking in the shadows. Laughing at the idiots dumb enough not to notice their torps coming straight at them. Ok, time for the actual very serious introduction. First thing, IJN DDs are almost the polar opposite of US DDs, almost. IJN DDs are torpedo boats first, gun boats second. As you can probably guess by the reversed order of guns and torps, they have more powerful torpedoes. Of course since WG thinks that all the nations need their own “personal flavor”, the guns are pretty crap. When I say crappy, I really mean crappy. I’m talking the guns are maybe about a fifth of what US DD guns are. They’re that bad. Of course you aren’t supposed to be the annoying, pestering [edited]that U.S. DDs are. You are a sneaky stealthy ship, pulling strings like the Godfather. Making enemies fall into the hands of your allies by forcing them not to continue. If your lucky, you can get a few hits from 10-20km away. However, the long range torpedo sniping the IJN DDs are good at is like playing the lottery. With some torps taking up to 3 minutes to reach the target, it sure does leave a lot to chance. Either way you still block off that area for ~1-3 minutes. That’s just the life of IJN DD captains.


Torpedoes: Even at low tiers, you notice almost immediately how much larger of a torpedo range IJN DDs have over US DDs. This torpedo range allows you to always torp from beyond your detectability range. This is a very important aspect of IJN DDs. This means you can whack enemies without even being seen, unlike a certain DD line I know. LOOKING AT YOU U.S. DDS! Anyway, this aspect of the IJN DDs allows you to snipe (more like guess lottery numbers ) large targets with ease. This also allows blockage of parts of the map because of the long run time and range. You might even get lucky and get a hit on an unseen enemy. Long story short, IJN DDs, torpedoes=main/most effective weapon!

Guns: Wait, IJN DD have guns? Since when? Yes, yes they do. Terrible and nearly useless, but they do have them. They are basically last resort weapons, you don’t want to fire them so you get detected so you can be the stealthy DD you are. Not to mention reload and traverse aren’t great either. Of course if you’re far enough away from your enemy, you could try to set the enemy ship on fire. However, I would only ever use them if another DD tries to get too close. Then you’d basically be throwing crap at the wall and hope some sticks. Basically all I can say about their guns.

How to hide IJN DD:

Island Hugging: Ok, yeah, I know I did this for US DDs. However, IJN DDs do a different type of Island hugging. IJN DDs I’ve seen, unlike US DDs, which are the hunter that chases prey, IJN DDs are the patient hunters, hiding until the opportunity to go for the kill. I see IJN DD players sit patiently behind an island with their torpedo tubes able to broadside an enemy that that is derpy enough to come around the corner. Much like how I play arty shotgun.

Smoke Screens: Yeah this was also covered in the U.S. DD section, and yet again, they use it differently. Now, since IJN DDs are the stealthy, torp sniping ninjas they are, you wouldn’t want to give away your position. This line of DDs doesn’t really rely on smoke. It’s, like the guns, kind of a last resort, using it to escape fire when spotted. That’s why in these DDs I tend to actually use it for what WG invisioned, covering allies.

Detection Range: IJN DDs have the lowest detectability ranges in the game, down to 5.6 kms. If you don’t fire when not spotted, and do what IJN DDs are known for. You can stay undetected the whole game. Your fete range is almost a third of your torpedo range at tier ten. You are the epitome of stealth, use your ability.

Feel free to leave your opinion below. I also don’t mind if you have an addition you’d like to be put in, just keep in mind this is an incomplete product,and that I’m working on this in my spare time. Discuss the guide, I’d like to know what points are good, and which ones need tweaking.

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