WoT Guide for New Players

WoT Guide for New Players by ZXFT

This is a relatively concise guide to the basics of WoT with links contained within for additional reading on important subjects.


What the fuck is this game?

It’s 15 vs 15 tank combat divided into ten different tiers that span WW I through the post-war era including some totally made up prototype tanks that never actually saw combat.

What tank should I play

New players are always pushed towards the soviet heavies (IS-7) as they are some of the most forgiving tanks for a new player, but I’ll describe each nation and each class in general terms. (Please for the love of everything that is holy I know there are exceptions to these general descriptions).


  • Soviets tend to be in-your-face tanks that thrive on aggression.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_ussr
  • American tanks tend to be the all-rounders of the group. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but generally they are prized for being flexible machines with strong turret armor.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_usa
  • French tanks are le pew pew of the bunch. Super quick with great burst damage, but no armor and punishing reloads. Typically not recommended for newer players as mistakes are heavily punished. However, with a skilled driver these tanks quickly become the best assassins on the battlefield. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_france
  • German are known for their accuracy. Not always snipers, but there are some in this group that love being invisible laser-accurate death cannons from afar. If a German tank isn’t a sniper, you bet your ass it’ll be up in your face pushing your shit in.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_germany
  • Chinese tanks are terrible for fighting over hills because they have a hard time getting their guns to point down enough to hit their target. Some real highlights in these tanks, but the tier 10s are underwhelming. They do however boast the highest damage guns for medium tanks that can really frighten other mediums in a peek-a-boom war.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_china
  • Japanese tanks are unarmored and not that quick ending in a tier 10 that is interesting. High reload, but an inaccurate gun leave this tank feeling like “just another medium” according to some players. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_japan
  • UK tanks tend to be low damage, fast reloading tanks that can punish enemies in the open, but many British tanks struggle to really shine because they aren’t normally fast. However, there are some BIG changes headed towards the British as 3 of their 4 tier 10s are having major renovations done to their statistics. I can’t comment on this yet as there just isn’t enough information on it. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_nations_uk

If you’re looking for tier 10s check out this guide on what’s hot and what’s not:http://wotlabs.net/articles/best-tier-10-tanks/ As always, be careful of nerfs that may sneak up on your favorite tank line.


  • Lights- Tend to be zippy tanks that are used often to spot enemy positions. Often fun to play, these tanks have received recent changes that have made them much more powerful relative to the tanks they must fight. Don’t expect armor.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_types_lighttank
  • Mediums- The ultimate flankers. These tanks are for moving to the sides of heavies and punishing them for letting you get there. You’re slower than a light, but you often are responsible for spotting enemies. Compared to a light, however, you have much better firepower. Don’t expect much armor, but there are some exceptions.http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_types_mediumtank
  • Heavies- The meat of your team. They tend to be heavily armored and slow with big guns. These tanks love cities where they are king and can control the flow of battle. Often out maneuvered by mediums and lights, so watch out. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_types_heavytank
  • TDs- These are your fire support tanks. Besides some Germans and Americans they have fixed guns that only have slight side to side support. This makes them bad at being in the front since they can be circled and cannot peak around corners reliably. The closest you’re going to get to a traditional sniper role is a TD. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_types_at-spg
  • SPGs/Artillery- These are long range, indirect fire support units of your team. They have huge guns that are wildly inaccurate but deal splash damage, so they only have to get close. If you’re playing arty be prepared for long grinds, hatred, and annoying reloads. Remember: PRESS SHIFT for arty view. http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Tank_types_spg


Study study study

People that want to be good and not just average have to learn the game inside and out and know the mechanics. This isn’t for everyone, but the fastest way to get good from average is to learn tank characteristics. Armor models, gun profiles, strong points (gameplay wise–not armor), and weak points of every tank will tremendously help you. Notice: This is a metric shit ton of information for a new player. If you’re new, don’t worry. Everyone is shit at some point. Go have fun and come back in 5k battles when you think you have a grasp on the game (Spoiler: you don’t).

Resources to Study:

Game Mechanics- http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Battle_Mechanics

Tanks- http://tankinspector.sinaapp.com/

If you can learn all of this info, first off congratz, because I sure as hell can’t. Rather, a decent grasp on important statistics is primarily what is needed. Reloads, damage, and armor weak points are some of the biggest things to learn.

Watch streams

Personally I find this option immensely boring, but some people love it. Watching how good players position themselves and how they respond to battle scenarios is a fast way to learn. Map positioning is a huge portion of this game and streamers know where to go in each tank for every map. You might not be able to pull off the shit they do, but at least you’re not totally lost driving through a field with 15 guns trained on you.

Idk how good my buddy’s stream is (as I never watch streams), but imo Dodoma of OTTER is one of the best players in the game and I platoon with him often. He streams at http://www.twitch.tv/dodoma_naLearn from the best to become the best.

Play the game

Trial and error is painful, but if you get rekt enough, you’ll learn how not to get rekt. Focus on doing damage without taking it. Learn the maps. Aggression is how you win, but only when the situation permits it–don’t over commit too early.

About learning the map, Mac from SIMP has good map guides on SIMPs YouTube channel located herehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmAiFX65jgAZEYi5aCE-jsw

How to tell if you’re shit

http://wotlabs.net/ will tell you straight up. You cannot hide from your WN8 and win rate. Teams aren’t rigged and RNG is out to get everyone, not just you. Statistics are meaningful and to say otherwise is straight up dumb. And if you didn’t already know, a “unicum” is someone in the >99th percentile of players as far as skill/statistics goes.

Other useful sites include http://www.vbaddict.net/wot.php for very in-depth analysis if you upload your data, or http://wotcs.com/ to compare the relative skill of clans if you’re thinking of joining one.

Improving WN8 is done by dealing more damage each match and securing kills. Personally, I think that playing to raise you’re WN8 to artificial levels is dumb and you should focus on winning, but together WN8 and win rate tend to tell the majority of a player’s story at a quick glance. With a deeper analysis you can tell if these are padded or inflated in some manner, but for most people a quick glance is sufficient.




Keep your crews from tier 4 and up so they eventually learn many skills and perks. These skills and perks are immensely useful and every tier 10 should have at least 3 of them to be fully effective. As for what to assign to each crew member take a look at this guide: http://wotlabs.net/articles/crew-skills-perks-unicum/

Crew skills should be retrained with gold only for the most part, so get them right the first time or be prepared to spend a few bucks fixing them. The amount of exp you lose by using silver is painfully high.



For those without gold, pick up a set of binoculars, camo net, and tool kit and move these to each tank before using the tank. However, moving equipment that can only be moved with gold is a VERY worthwhile use of gold since it only costs 10 gold to remove a 500k credit piece of equipment. Equipment isn’t necessary like a crew is, but it is strongly suggested. The benefit it provides is impossible to ignore and extremely beneficial. Good recommendations are found here http://wotlabs.net/articles/equipment-guide/ but there is some room for player preference in equipment choice.


Many clans choose to just have fun in a social setting, but there are the few that brawl it out on the “Global Map” (http://worldoftanks.com/clanwars/maps/globalmap/) much like a game of Risk to earn free gold for their members. Pretty much any clan that participates in clan wars has requirements for players looking to join, primarily focused on specifics stats such as

  • WN8
  • WN8 for the last 1000 battles you’ve played
  • Win rate
  • Win rate for the last 1000 battles you’ve played
  • Number of CW viable tier 10s
  • Damage per game and win rate in those tier 10s
  • Player Activity (are you going to be on for clan wars)

Joining a clan that is a good fit for the player is a great experience. You can play this game with other players who are approximately your skill level and maybe even stake a hold on the global map for some free gold. But be warned, clans will deny you if you don’t meet requirements… They’re called requirements for a reason. You won’t get into any top 5 clan with 1 tier 10 and an 1800 WN8 despite how well you think you’ve been playing. However, if you’re interested in joining look the clan up, find their teamspeak, and talk with an officer or recruiter of that clan. You can message people in-game too, but most of the actual talking will probably take place in teamspeak. Once you’re in a clan you get to participate in quite possibly my favorite game mode WoT has to offer: Clan Wars.

Clan Wars


This is a 15 vs 15, no holds barred, clan vs clan fight. Bring whatever tanks you want, coordinate with clan mates, and beat your enemy into submission. These battles happen at specific times as determined by many factors (that your commander is usually in charge of) on specific maps depending on where you’re fighting. Be prepared with a sound strategy and good tankers and go take over some gold.

If you’re planning to make it into a top 10 clan, you’re going to have to start somewhere. Once you’re yellow to green with a tier 10 or two look for a top 100-200 clan that occasionally holds land somewhere like Canada or Greenland to have some basic clan wars experience. If you continue to improve as a player and your stats reflect this, you can move up to the next “tier” of clans that includes clans that can regularly hold land in territory that isn’t highly contested. Again, if you continue to improve, move to a clan that holds land in the good ole US of A. This is where the fiercest competition resides (especially in the central and eastern timezones). Finally, if you out grow one of these clans go ahead an jump to a top tier clan that holds land in the most valuable locations on the map. However, just remember that you might not continue to improve to the point where a top level clan will want you. Top level clans areEXTREMELY selective because they can be. Top 5 clans often have blunicus knocking on their doorstep begging to join, so they aren’t going to fill that spot with a yellow player. Getting denied from a clan is nothing to be ashamed of, hell, OTTER said no to me at first, but Gab succumbed to my sexy talk and let me in and now I’m so glad I didn’t join the other clans I was thinking of joining (no offence, just that OTTER is the bomb). Just know that there will be a clan that wants you, and there will be others that don’t. Find your spot and enjoy your time there.


Premium Features

Premium accounts earn credits and exp much faster than standard accounts and is often a recommended upgrade for someone getting more serious about the game to save time and effort on the longer grinds found in the higher tiers. Premium tanks are easily the best credit earners in the bunch for when you need a quick shot of credits, but they come at a hefty price.

Crew training also utilizes gold to maximize the level of operation of a crew when switching tanks or skills.

Gold has other uses too, such as converting to credits or buying premium ammo with gold, but these options are usually reserved for players with large gold incomes from clan wars and tournaments because they do not have a good pay off per dollar of gold.

Here is a list on what you should spend money on if you decide to: http://wotlabs.net/articles/gold-spending-guide/

A couple of last notes

Platooning in this game is immensely helpful to learning the basics of teamwork while giving your and your platoon mates way more control over the outcome of the battle. Platoon with players at of above your skill level whenever possible and see how they adapt to situations you might not be familiar with.

Don’t be afraid to shoot premium shells if you need to. They are part of the game, so you might as well use them.

If a unicum yells at you in game, listen. I know people tend to just fling shit in pubs, but I wager if you PM’ed the person that was yelling at you, provided they are actually good at the game, and ask what you did wrong you might have a great learning opportunity at your hands. Granted, unica aren’t infallible, but they tend to be right more than they are wrong–how else would they get those stats?

Warpack actually does exist. It’s not as prevalent at 42% players think it is. In fact, hardly anyone uses it.

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