World of Warships Gameplay General Guide

World of Warships Gameplay General Guide by Scryptar

Welcome to Admiral Scryptar’s Academy of Pwnage (ASAP), Ensigns… at ease!
The following briefing will prepare you for the mighty battles you are going to fight.
I will give you an overview on the basics, for the advanced training check the in-depth guides of my fellow A(lpha)dmirals.

[=] Military terminology

As you join in battle with seasoned Captains you will encounter a variety of acronyms.
It is essential that you know them to contribute effectively to your victories.

Ships (nice paqe: http://www.navweaps…._ships_list.htm):
DD = Destroyer
BB = Battleship
CA = Cruiser (soon to be: CA = Heavy Cruiser, CL = Light Cruiser)
CV = “Carrier Vessel” aka Aircraft Carrier

AA = Anti Aircraft

Port = your left side (“there is only a little port left”)
Starboard = your right side
Stern = the rear of your ship
Bow = the front of your ship

[=] The current 4 ship classes

Destroyers are fun and easy to play but hard to master.

Destroyers are the most manoeuvrable and fastest ship class you will encounter out on the high seas.
Their low profile and evasive capabilities make them hard to hit, their high camo rating makes them hard to spot.
Their low reload time for torpedoes and the amount of launchers they carry make them deadly opponents at short range.

Paper-thin armor, guns are no (real) threat for bigger targets, low HP, HE to the engines or launchers will cripple them

Smokescreen – use wisely to cover your approach and retreat or to cover a staging area for your team.

Reasonable play-styles – Sneak attack:
Sneak up on your target and stay out of detection range.
If possible wait for your target to be distracted (starts shooting at someone), then go in and hammer it.
Once you dropped your torps… get out! Reload and repeat.

Reasonable play-styles – Ambush:
Find a choke point on the map through which your enemies will probably advance.
Set up an ambush. Use your smoke and camo to make sure you (and your team mates) cannot be seen until the enemy is too close to outmanoeuvre your torpedos.
Increase your deadliness by using the choke point tactically to decrease the enemies dodge possibilities.

Reasonable play-styles – Scout:
Your low detection range makes for an excellent scout.
You can break right through the middle of two flank fights and nobody can see you.
Beware of aircraft…
If you succeed, the enemy CVs are an easy target and your spotting will allow one or two salvos of your own hard-hitters before the enemy can retaliate.

Reasonable play-styles – Support:
Having a DD accompanying the main BB/CA force can make THE difference.
Scout the enemy, smoke your ships and use torps tactically to cut off certain enemy advance routes.
You need a high map awareness to avoid torping your own guys and to use your smoke effectively.
During a full-fledged fight you will probably be the only one looking at more than one enemy.
Use this to your advantage by highlighting priority targets for focus-fire to decimate the enemy effectively.

Reasonable play-styles – Blitz-Cap:
The low detection range plus the availability of a smokescreen can be played to your advantage.
Sit in the cap circle using your smoke if needed to gain points or even the victory for your team.
Deactivate your AA by pressing P to stay hidden (once you fire, you get detected…).
There is nothing more frustrating than having a 10 to 1 advantage in ships and losing to a single DD capping unseen and unchallenged.

Play Vs. DD:
avoid if possible, the outcome is highly dependant on skill and vessel differences.
For example a US DD with fast firing guns and fast turning turrets will out-gun an IJN DD.

Play Vs. BB:
Main target #1.
Avoid getting into secondary artillery range (~5 km) of BBs or they eat you for breakfast without even actively looking at you.

Play Vs. CA:
Unless you have an extra advantage, like the CA focussing on another ship or island cover until you are within 2km.
If you do have the advantage… “fast in, hit hard, fast out”. Nothing more fun than a “Kilroy was here” moment.

Play Vs. CV:
As soon as they can detect you use HE to set them on fire to hinder planes from taking off.
Get in close and wreak havoc with your torps!
If their dive bombers attack you, go zig-zag once they start their attack run to avoid hits.
If their torp bombers attack you… well dodge, you’re a DD…

The opposite of a destroyer…
This ship needs room, do not drive through narrow channels or move to points on the map where your long range guns are hindered by islands.
ALWAYS get a CA escort for DD and AA defense. If they don’t follow you… follow them. Never go alone!

Armor, Armor penetration values, long range scout, secondary artillery, long range guns

Reload times, dodge capabilities of a “sitting duck”, speed, concealment, big target

BB Health Regeneration

Reasonable play-styles – Tank:
With your armor, regen and HP pool you make an excellent shell catcher.
To inexperienced players you are also a priority target.
Use this to your team’s advantage by absorbing shells while your allies retaliate.
Give yourself enough margin to retreat if it gets to dangerous.
As the hard-hitter of your flank it is your prerogative to issue focus fire commands.

Reasonable play-styles – Lane Blocker:
Just the presence of a heavy BB will make enemy CAs and BBs think twice before they advance through a choke point.
Just by “being there” you can sometimes effectively cut off a whole area of the map for an enemy advance

Reasonable play-styles – Threat Decoy:
This is an advanced play-style that only works if you get it 100% right.
Either you need to be in a no-CV match or you need to anticipate where the first scout wave is going to come from.
If you manage to be the first detected player of your team (at least the first big ship, CA/BB) you will create a threat to the enemy team.
They see you steaming towards a corner of their minimap and cannot help but think that a considerable battle fleet will follow you.
A number of ships will divert from their course to engage you. Little do they know it’s all a trap.
I leave the details to you, as I said, this is advanced play which depends on mind-games rather than ship parameters.

Reasonable play-styles – Fleet Attack:
Team up with other BBs (get CA escort) and crush through enemy lines with focus-firing on one defender at a time.
Do not stop, do not turn around. If you push, you PUSH.

Play Vs. DD:
Your turret turn time and gun reload does not allow for DD defence.
If you can manage to get within 4-5km you can use your secondary artillery to kill DDs pretty easily, but if the DD has torps ready you are toast as well.

Play Vs. BB:
Depends highly on skill of both players.
If you see a BB with half HP (and no more important targets around) go for it.
Otherwise team up with another BB.

Play Vs. CA:
CAs are difficult if they have many fast reloading guns.
If you can catch them off-guard they are no issue. If they are targeting you they can cause a lot of trouble.
Try to get within 10km to increase hit chance and aim at their center. Your spread will be too high to focus accurately but your AP shells will quickly kill them at this distance.
If a CA is chasing you, use the map to get into cover and let them come close for a broadside-instant-kill-shot.

Play Vs. CV:
Well… usually its CV Vs. BB as you rarely get into range.
If you do get into range, HE the heck out of them.

Strengths: all
Weaknesses: none

wait, what?

So you might think these are compromise-ships with no real advantages.
You could not be more wrong, if any class dominates the seas, it’s this.

While it is true, that CAs do not have the hitting power, range and damage absorption of BBs or the speed and evasive capabilities of DDs, they also do not have these classes’ weaknesses.
A CA is highly manoeuvrable with a very nice top speed. This allows you to doge torps and outrun anything that hits harder than you.
Likewise your armor, reload and shell damage is devastating to anything that could outrun you.
The real danger comes from the skies and that is where your special ability comes into play to neutralize this threat.
CA is the only class with no “DO… NOT… ENGAGE”.

Special: AA power-up

Reasonable play-styles – Escort Cruiser, AA:
Stay with your BBs, best between them and the enemy flight routes.
Bombers will need to pass over your heads during attack and retreat.
You will be able to hit them twice, use your special power to derive the CVs of their attack power.

Reasonable play-styles – Escort Cruiser, Anti Ship #1:
Stay with your BBs.
Focus your fire on the ships your BBs are firing on.
Psychologically this will shake up ship commanders due to constantly being hit.
Strategically you cause extra damage which will make the enemy sink quicker, thus less return-damage for your ships.

Reasonable play-styles – Escort Cruiser, Anti Ship #2:
Stay with your BBs.
Focus your fire on any close-encounter threats to your BBs (CAs, DDs) and take out the torps throwing menace.
If you have torps of your own, use them to force the enemy to evasive actions. This will reduce their map awareness and return-fire capabilities.

Reasonable play-styles – Blockade runner:
Team up with DDs/CAs and make a bee-line for the enemy flank or any other unprotected spot of the map.
This will create confusion in the enemy’s strategy and you might just get some lucky kills in return.

Play Vs. DD:
Load HE and kill them as fast as you can.
Never show them your broadside when they get close, they only need two torp hits.

Play Vs. BB:
Use caution.
If you have torps use your speed to outflank the BB. Try to stay in cover and torp it once you are sure to hit it.
If you don’t have torps you should only engage when the BB is busy hammering someone else.
Stay out of the BB’s secondary arty! AP to the waterline below the turrets or smokestacks for crits.

Play Vs. CA:
Depends on skill and differences in ships.
Attack at long range in a gun-CA vs a torp-CA. Short range if the other way around.
Zig-Zag to avoid the bulk of shells coming at you. Duck in and out of your team’s formation and the enemy might decide on a different target.

Play Vs. CV:
Plaster them with HE at long range and get in close for the kill with torps/AP.
Use your AA skills and evasive capabilities to avoid damage.
Doing this will also deny the CV to attack your team as focus is on you.

CVs are NOT artillery!
Playing a CV is easy, mastering the art of CVing is not.

First thing you need to know about CVs is that you are playing a different game than everyone else.
While the other ships engage in ship to ship battles it is your duty to never see an enamy up close.
While everyone is playing a third person shooter you are playing a strategy game.
While others have to decide what their role will be you will have to fulfil all your roles at the same time.

Do not hide in the corner of a map or even at your starting location. That is where they will look for you.
Stay with your main force, just out of range of the enemies. You will have shorter flight times and additional AA cover.
You will also make the enemies want to chase you which will allow for some lucky shots of your team mates.

Strengths: highest attack range
Weaknesses: long reload, no armor, no guns (that are worth mentioning)

Special: PLANES

Reasonable play-styles – Role #1 Scout:
You have the only planes that can move around the map.
The first thing you always do is launch your fighters to scout the enemy formations.
This gives your team intel to act upon and prepare ambushes etc.

Reasonable play-styles – Role #2 Equalizer:
Don’t know what to attack? Look at the teams.
Does the enemy have more BBs? or more CVs? That’s your primary targets.

Reasonable play-styles – Role #3 Difference maker:
Regardless of the previous roles, if you see a fight developing it is your duty to turn the odds in your team’s favour.
3 enemy BBs against 2 allied? head in and do the extra damage or even the extra kill.
DDs flanking your team? Scout them! Keep them visible!
CAs heading for a flank attack? Find a choke point where you can drop with minimal AA engagement and cut off the pincer movement.

Reasonable play-styles – Role #4 Tora Tora Tora:
If you can team up with another CV or if your loadout allows for multiple bomber squadrons you can lead the attack on an enemy flank before your main battle fleet starts the engagement.
Even if you do not critically damage or even sink enemy ships you can still flood them or set them on fire.
If they use their repair skills before the BB/CA/DD shells and torps hit they will not be able to counter the bigger fires.

Reasonable play-styles – Role #5 Fleet Admiral:
Sometimes you just have a team that does not instinctively play well together.
You are the one looking at the map in bird-view. You make the strategic decisions.

Play Vs. DD:
Hide… There is really nothing you can do but wasting torps and bombs.
If your CV is fast… run. And keep focussing on those targets that actually make a difference for your team.
Oh and… shout for help ;-)
If you drive your CV right, you should not find yourself in this situation.

Play Vs. BB:
Focus your attack by attacking simultaneously from both broadsides.
Use your dive bomber as first attack wave to divert attention, then swoop in immediately to take advantage.
Do not attack if BB is under CA protection or in a bulk of other BBs.

Play Vs. CA:
Tricky. This is not your main target and thus should only be attacked if it is necessary for the overall team goal.
Engage to assist another CVs attack wave.
Engage if you know the CA just used up his AA skill, or make him use it by getting in range and retreating to save distance again.
Engage if you are the only defense on that flank (even if you actually are not really at that flank).
Use the terrain to predict blocked evasive paths to drop your torps at the right time and angle.

Play Vs. CV:
Dive-bomb the heck out of them. Any fire will prevent/delay enemy planes from being a threat.
If you have fighter superiority (for example an all fighter layout), or if the CVs AA is too strong you can also set up a ring of fighters (outside enemy AA range) to effectively block (and scout) any bomb/torp run until the carrier is an empty shell.

[=] Customisations

Modules are researched as in any other Wargaming title and part of the exchangeable setup of your ships.
Select the right ones to fit your play style.

Upgrades can be bought for in-game currency and unequipped using premium currency (piasters, token, gold, …, soon TM).
As these are a permanent addition to your ship, altering its stats, use the ones that fit your play style.
If you are driving a DD it might just be a little wiser to select an upgrade which reduces damage to torp launchers rather than AA engagement area.
Use common sense.

Skills are different in a way that you have a limited pool of skill points.
Generally speaking you can select one skill in each of the 5 tiers.
If you do not want a tier 5 skill you can use those 5 points to get other still available skills (like one tier 2 + one tier 3) but you will not be able to get another chance on a tier 5 skill.
Again, select skills that make sense. You drive a BB? Really want a torp reload time upgrade?

[=] Prepare for battle

To do before you start:
Select the ship according to the type of game you want to play.
No use jumping into a BB if you want to go all sneaky-torpy.
Running a division? – make a plan with your buddy/buddies on how you want to play (what ships, what strategy, …).
A division of 3 Clevelands can be the deadliest thing on the map, or the most ineffective.

To know before you start:
You selected the ship, now have a look at its stats and configuration.
concealment, detection, firing range guns and torps..
If you can launch torps without being seen, you would want to know that, right?
If your CA is outfitted as an AA-shredder, did you select the right CA or did you want to go all guns blazing instead of AA cover?

Key bindings:
“Concentrate fire on enemy warship” – ever heard that during a battle?
There is a key binding (usually unassigned) in the settings menu.
I prefer to have that on middle mouse instead of the gun camera, works like “T” in WoT.

[=] Pre battle

First tactics planning from team setup screen:
So you picked your ship and hit the Battle button.
Look at the team setup as soon as you get to the loading screen.
What are your team’s strengths, what are the enemies?
Who has more BBs, are the carriers balanced, do 5 DDs make more trouble than all those high tier CLs?
Now is the time to do a quick danger/priority estimate.
Generally speaking – ignore everything you have more of and focus on the ships where the enemy is better than your team.

First tactics from looking at the map:
Now that you know where you start (by looking at the map), it is time to decide your role.
Going AA? Going to cap? Doing support? patrolling specific area? Setting an ambush?

Single Vs. division:
Keep in mind that you have other options when playing division (especially if you use voice chat).
If your division is 3 out of 4 BBs from your team, then you can make a real difference.
You could also set yourselves up as self-contained strike force (for example: 2 CA + 1 DD) and act as attack spearhead or flank sneaker.
Remember that your division is also part of the rest of the team and the game is not one by one person or division alone.

[=] Battle!

How to warship:
As there is no basic tutorial yet, most captains lack in naval tradition and thus have no clue about the basic maritime rules.
If you ram an allied ship you will cause damage. More than that you will both be stuck for a while and an easy target.
Even if nobody shoots at you, you will lose time getting back up to speed and might cause allied losses due to your guns not being part of the action.

So here are some very basic forms of conduct to keep in mind.
– you drive straight ahead and see a ship on your starboard (right) heading towards your general direction -> you must evade
– you drive straight ahead and see a ship on your port (left) heading towards your general direction -> they must evade
– you drive straight ahead and see a ship coming straight at you from the front -> both must evade to starboard (right)

How to remember? There are some old rhymes that work well once you got to terms with the fact, that ships have two running lights. Red and green.
The red light is mounted on the port side, the green one on the starboard side of a vessel.

So if you see a ship on your starboard side, showing the red light, you know you see the left side of the ship (which means it is going to cross your path).
“If to your starboard Red appear – It is your duty to keep clear.”

Google that and you find more tips. Here is the one for the three basic rules above: http://www.eudesign….ms/searules.htm

Find and adjust your role:
So you looked at the map and the team setup and now the battle starts and your team is doing the usual chaotic stuff?
Re-evaluate your role. No use being on the prime BB patrol area when you’re suddenly left without cover.
Whatever you do, have one eye on the map and see where you are needed (and if it is worth going there).

“how did you hit me from there”… “torps are so OP”… “I got killed so now i spam the chat with useless conversation”…
No this is not what I meant with “communication”.
You can easily give your team superiority just by communicating your actions better.
– When 4 BBs shoot at 4 BBs it does make a difference if they shoot randomly or with concentrated fire.
– Communicating the use of consumables (scout, smoke, AA screen) can help your team mates to effectively use their own.

Scout planes:
Press T and that’s it. Kidding.
I cannot remember how many battles i have seen where everyone launched their scout at the start and when the enemy finally advanced all scouts were on cooldown.
Avoid this. Check the minimap. The BB next to your CA has a scout out? Your team’s CV sends torp planes over your head? – Don’t waste yours then.
Keep in mind that BB scouts have a bigger patrol circle than CA scouts.
Use your scout tactically… approach an island under cover and then start your scout to peek behind it.

[=] Fire at will

Leaving behind all the strategy and tactics, at the end of the day what matters most is your shooting skill.

Lead your aim:
Remember your zoom setting. Do you zoom in to the max? or just one notch less?
When you lead your aim this is important. By doing so you can roughly memorize how much you need to lead your aim, depending of your target.
Is it a CA? 5 lines on the scope lead @ 15km, 4 @ 10km… (just an example).
Fiddle with this for a while and you will become fairly good in hitting with your first salvo.
As long as you are unsure if you are going to hit, fire just one gun (stay in scope view) and watch it hit the water.
Add/Subtract the distance between water-hit and ship-center to your lead and fire at will.

Aim where:
Remember that shells have a ballistic curve. The farther away the more they come from the top down rather than horizontally.
It’s no use aiming at the waterline when the shells hit the deck anyway.

You have secondary artillery? Use it.
It usually becomes effective around 4-5km, so whenever the enemy gets too close (~8km) Ctrl+LeftClick the ship to focus fire your sec. guns.

Same as “Secondary”, range is 1-5km depending on AA calibre.

HE vs AP:
Officially: use AP whenever you make more damage with it.
To build up damage with AP you need to penetrate but not over-penetrate (shell going right through the ship without exploding due to too thin armor).
So if your guns are not big enough or too big: HE
In general I use AP on everything except DDs. Exceptions depend on what I want to achieve.
For example I might fire HE at CVs to set their deck on fire and prevent plane starts rather than trying to kill the CV over time with AP.
Or if my CA prepares for a torp salvo on a BB I might use HE as the torps will do the main damage and setting them on fire might make them waste their repair before the torps come in, leaving them flooding without countermeasures.

Torps are THE main damage dealer. No shell gives you 15k damage per hit. Then again no shell reloads for 2 minutes ;-)
Torps need to be accurately aimed to maximize effect. There is not much to list here, most of it is learning-by-doing.

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1 Response

  1. Tailspin45 says:

    CV stads for Carrier Fixed Wing, not Carrier Vessel. Why V? Not even the Navy knows for sure, but V might have represented volplane, a French word for an aircraft sustained in the air by lifting surfaces as opposed to a bag of a gas. See:

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