World of Warships General Information and Guide
World of Warships General Information and Guide by MrMooFlarby01
Welcome to World of Warships (commonly referred to as WoWS, in case you didn’t already know that), Wargaming’s final main installment in its mid 20th century combat games. This guide will go over basic information that you, as a “noob”, may find quite helpful. After I go over many basics, I will go over some of the low tier ships and talk a little about them. After all, they will be among you first ships you use in this game.
So, lets get started. First, what is World of Warships? Well, I’m not going to get into too much detail, as you probably already know a lot about this game. Essentially, it is a free to play third/first person 20th century naval combat game. In this game, you will find both historical and arcade elements, making for a game that is based off history but doesn’t get bogged down in historical detail. For geeks, the game runs of off a heavily modified BigWorld engine, which is pretty much optimised for MMOs. Gameplay centers around the use of artillery type guns, although torpedoes and aeroplanes do play a significant role. There are four classes in World of Warships:
Destroyer: If you are a World of Tanks veteran, think of destroyers as sort of a light tank mixed with some tank destroyer. A destroyer, according to Wikipedia, is “a fast maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers.” In WoWS, destroyers are the fastest ships available. They are quite small and difficult to hit. They also a very maneuverable, meaning they have both a tight turn radius as well as a very responsive rudder, which allows for quick direction change. They have smoke, which allows them to lay down cover for a set period of time. This offers concealment. They also have torpedoes, which allows even the smallest destroyers in the game to cause potentially serious damage to the mightiest Battleships. They also have guns, although their armaments are usually significantly weaker than that of cruisers or battleships. IJN (Japanese) destroyers are generally known for having quite weak guns, but powerful and long range torpedoes, with ranges of around 20 km in the high tier ships. Meanwhile, USN (American) destroyers may not have as powerful torpedoes, but they often sport rapid firing and quick turning guns. This makes them a good harasser of larger ships, and a good hunter of enemy destroyers.
Cruiser: Think of this one as sort of a medium tank. They are “smaller than a battleship but larger than a destroyer”. These ships may be considered more of a jack-of-all trades ship. There are both light and heavy cruisers. As a general rule, American cruisers tend to be heavier than their Japanese counterparts. Some of these ships have torpedoes, although USN ships do not after tier 5. They make up for that with more guns and armor than the IJN ships. Cruisers also generally have very good anti-air capabilities. This makes them excellent for escorting battleships. In later tiers, some cruisers get a special ability which makes their anti-air even more effective. This makes cruisers sometimes a scary target to go after for an aircraft carrier. Some cruisers can launch their own scout planes. Cruisers are generally decently maneuverable. They cannot turn as well as a destroyer, but better than a battleship. This can make cruisers difficult to hit with torpedoes. Most cruisers are also moderately fast.
Battleship: Here is perhaps most peoples’ favorite ship. Battleships were “a symbol of naval dominance and national might, and for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy”. While they are no longer in use, having been replaced because of immense upkeep costs as well as the effectiveness of newer weapons such as missile cruisers, jets, and nuclear powered submarines, battleships continue to be an awesome machine. With armor often over half of a meter thick, powerful high calibre guns, secondary batteries comparable or better than the main armament of cruisers and destroyers, and large amounts of AA guns, these ships could be considered the most powerful in the game. They have the longest range, with some of the high tier ships shooting nearly 25 km. However, because of the immense size of the powerful shells, these ships often have long reloading times. Their size and weight makes them slow to accelerate and stop. The maneuverability is often pretty bad. This makes battleships an excellent target for enemy dive bombers or torpedoes. Battleships often can launch scout planes, and they can also, to some extent, repair themselves. USN battleships have better maneuverability, as well as high velocity shells, good AA, and heavy armor. On the other hand, IJN battleships are generally faster, have a significantly longer range, often a somewhat shorter reload time, and they often have more hit points.
Aircraft Carrier: Today, aircraft carriers are the heart of the most powerful navies. With abilities to run for years without refueling, these carriers provide a mobile strike force with enough firepower to defeat any earthly enemy. In WoWS, they aren’t quite so powerful, but they are a rather unique class. You control them from a top down view, such as that of an RTS. Players can control several squadrons of different kinds of planes. There are fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers. Each can serve a different task, of which I will go into more detail later. Aircraft carriers may find other carriers or battleships the easiest targets, since they are the largest and least maneuverable. Aircraft carriers lack primary artillery armaments and are quite vulnerable to enemy ships that get within range of them. Also, they only have a limited number of planes. If a plane or several planes get shot down, they will be replaced from the planes in the carrier’s hangar. If all planes are lost, aircraft carriers are much less useful. They still can be used to capture points or engage enemies with secondary weapons (which is relatively ineffective). Most aircraft carriers happen to have quite good anti-air capabilities, so remember to utilise that if you are under attack from enemy planes.
In WoWS and other games, you will find quite a bit of slang terms and acronyms being used. Here is a list of ones you should know:
WG = Wargaming, the company that makes this game
RNG = Random Number Generator. This is basically a random value generated by the game that dictates how much damage your shots do, or how inaccurate your shots are, or whether or not a shell penetrates, etc. Players may often refer to this as “rolling”, as in rolling dice. For example, if a player finds themselves consistently doing low damage, they may say “I am getting low rolls”.
MM = Matchmaker. This is what places you into a random battle. A lot of people get mad at MM when they feel they are disadvantaged in a battle.
Meta = The current style, feel, or strategy of the game. This one is sort of difficult to explain. For example, in World of Tanks, it is widely believed that the old meta of the game was geared to heavily armored and armed tanks, while the current meta focuses around maneuverable and fast tank with high alpha damage.
Alpha = Either alpha tester, or (I haven’t seen this really used too much in WoWS) the amount of damage a shell does as listed in the stats.
Beta = beta tester
CAT = Closed alpha test (you must have been invited by WG)
CBT = closed beta test (you were either invited or given/bought an access code)
OBT = open beta test (anyone can join!)
CW = Clan Wars. Clan wars are groups of players (clans) who battle against each other over certain lands around the world. Being successful at clanwars can get you free gold.
Cap = capture (verb) or capture point (noun)
Nerf = Downgrade or make something worse. Example, a shell that did 1000 damage was changed to 800.
Buff = opposite of nerf
OP = Overpowered. A ship or module is deemed to be too powerful.
Flaming = insulting. Do not do this
Toxic = Like flaming, but used to describe an environment. A forum topic where many people are being rude to new players could be called a toxic thread.
IIRC = If I remember correctly
IRL = In real life
Mod = short for modification. Modifications are downloadable user created content that can change things, such as skins, music, interface, etc. Also short for moderator.
Skin = Paint job or look of a ship. Purely superficial.
Modder = Moderator. This is somebody who watches over chat boxes or forums to make sure players are playing nice and following the rules. They have the ability to ban players.
Dev = Short for developer. Developers are the ones who make the game.
Test server = A special version of the game that is used to test new patches. Progress doesn’t carry over to your main account.
FPS = Frames per second. More is better
Ping = The amount of time (in milliseconds) it takes from your computer to send information to a server and back. Lower is better.
Pen = short for “penetration”. As in a shell going through armor. Pervs.
Bounce = probably more common in WoT. This is when a shell ricochets off armor.
AP = armour piercing shell.
HE = high explosive shell
AA = anti-air
DPM = Damage per minute. Ex. There is a ship with a shell that can do 2000 damage and has a 10 second reload time. There is 3 turrets with 3 guns per turret. This makes a total of 9 guns, or 9 shells every 10 seconds. This means 18000 damage per 10 seconds. There is 60 seconds per minute, so 18000 * 6 = 108000. DPM = 108000 (this would probably never be achieved due to misses or low rolls).
RoF = Rate of Fire
HP = hit points. The amount of “health” a ship has.
Soft stat = a stat that is part of the game but isn’t displayed in ship statistics. Examples include shell velocity and penetration.
XP = Experience points. These are gained in battle. They are used to research (or unlock) new ships and modules.
Citadel = Where you want your AP shells to penetrate. The citadel protects ammunition spaces and engines. It is generally heavily armored. Penetrating causes high damage.
Barbettes = turret mountings
Bulkheads = thick walls that create armored compartments inside a ship’s hull to prevent to much flooding
Belt = Armor belt. Thick belt of armour that runs along the side of the hull
Torps = short for torpedoes
DB = Dive bomber
TB = Torpedo bomber
DD = destroyer
CL = Light cruiser
CA = heavy cruiser
BB = battleship
CV = aircraft carrier
USN = United States Navy
IJN = Imperial Japanese Navy
RN = Royal Navy (Britain)
KM = Kriegsmarine (Germany)
XVM = eXtended Visualisation Mod. Currently in use in WoT and WoWP. It is a useful and terrible mod, as it allows you to see other players’ stats in battle, which sadly allows for much insulting and bullying by elitist players. At the same time it can be useful, so perhaps you know which players to trust or which ones to target. XVMs implementation into WoWS is currently kind of controversial.
Now that you know acronyms and a ship types, lets go into some detail. First, I’ll talk about the port, or harbor, or whatever you want to call it. This is the screen that you go into after logging in, but before battling.. If you are a WoT or WoWP veteran, you’ll find your way around easily. Even if you aren’t, it’s pretty self explanatory so I’ll keep this brief. Let’s start with the four main tabs near the top of the screen, just below the “Battle” button.
Port: The default screen. This basically allows you to look at your ship. You can click and hold left mouse button to pan the view around your ship. This screen allows you to look at your mission tab, which is on the left side of the screen. Missions are 3 tasks that you can complete each once per day. They may be something like “get 15 torpedo hits” or “shoot down 20 planes”. After you complete one, you get a small reward, such as 5000 credits or something. You can also your ship’s stats on the right side. Click on each set of stats to expand them. Right above the stat section, there is a commander box (you can actually see this on all tabs except for Profile) Here you can see the profile of who commands your ship, as well as certain skills or perks. As you play, your commander gains experience and points. Using points, you can buy different skills or perks. Some may make aiming faster, increase secondary range, or even add another plane to squadron. You can see what each skill or perk does by hovering the mouse over each symbol. You may also send commanders to the reserve (this is a place where commanders not in use on a ship go) or dismiss them (basically permanently delete them). If you want to get a new commander (maybe you have a more experienced commander in your reserve, or maybe you don’t a commander at all to your ship), you must first send your current commander to the reserve (if you have one assigned) or click the “assign commander” button (if you ship doesn’t currently have a commander assigned). If you switch commanders from one ship to another, they must pass retraining before they can begin gaining XP again. Credits or gold can aid in speeding up or completing the process. Keep in mind that the number of commanders you can have in reserve is limited. You may extend the reserve, but it costs gold, a special type of currency that I will talk about later. Above the commander box is where you can see how much XP you have for that particular ship.
Modules: A more specific part of the tech tree, which I will talk about next. Here you can see all the available modules for research for a particular ship, as well as equipment slots. You can view how much each one costs in XP and credits. For all ships except for carriers, you can find upgrades to the following:
Hull: changes look, amount of HP, and possibly primary, secondary, and AA layout, number, or type.
Main Battery: Changes main guns. May affect loading time, turn time, calibre, velocity, or spread
Gun Fire Control System: extends range of guns
Torpedo Tubes: May change torpedo number, speed, type, or aiming speed
Propulsion: generally not upgradeable. May provide more speed and acceleration
Flight Control (CVs only): Changes plane loadout. For example, one flight control may allow for 2 fighter squadrons and 1 torpedo squadron, whilst another may allow 1 fighter, one dive bomber, and one torpedo squadron
Plane upgrades: You can get better fighters, DBs, or TBs by researching better planes. New planes are generally tougher, faster, and more powerful.
Note that sometimes you must research certain modules first to unlock others. Also note that (in case you didn’t know) you must both research, buy, and equip a new module (as of now, modules equip automatically when you buy them).
There is also several equipment slots. Here you may add certain (expensive) pieces of equipment. There is many types of equipment that do different things. For example, some can provide more speed, while others make aiming faster. Sometimes there is a tradeoff, such as when aiming time is decreased but reload is increased. To find out what a piece of equipment does, hover your mouse over it and wait for a description to pop up. It is up to you to decide what you think would be a good choice.
Exterior: Here you can add signal flags to your ship. According to WG, signal flags were historically used so you could “have a series of distinctive high visibility flags which can be displayed way up so you can relay a message to any vessel that happens to be nearby. Typically they’re to alert another vessel to your status, whether it be that you’re fueling, you have a man overboard, or that your ship is on fire and assistance is needed.” In WoWS, they offer bonuses, such as a 50% xp increase or a 20% credit increase. You can found what each type does by hovering your mouse over the particular signal flag symbol. The signal flags are all based off of actual ones used, or once used, by naval forces. You may earn them by completing achievements in battle. For example, there is an achievement called “Detonation”. This achievement comes from getting your ammo magazine blown up and dying in a battle. Humourously, you then receive signal flags that give a 100% chance of no detonation. Signal flags are like consumables in WoT WoWP, there is a limited amount of them and you only can use one type for one battle. After that, you must requip the flag (assuming you haven’t ran out), or you may check autoequip. This is also where you can add camouflage and consumables to your ship. Like in WoT and WoWP, these can offer small bonuses. The bonuses may aid in things such as repairing your ship.
Tech Tree: Basically the same as WoWP or WoT. You can see all the research paths of all the ships in the game, as well as premium ships and their price. Clicking on different ships will bring you to a preview of the ship’s modules. You can also see the cost in both XP and credits for the ship and its modules.
Profile = Your user profile. This will show data and stats about your user, such as amount of battles played, victories and losses, number of ships, etc. Your profile is visible to other players through the official website or, maybe in the future, through XVM.
Now we’ve covered the four main tabs. Down on the very lower leg there is a little orange button thing. This is where you can open up chat channels. Here you can search other players and start a private chat with them, or you can go to one of the official channels and talk publicly with other people.
Just above that is a whole section that runs across most of the bottom. This is where you can switch to other ships by simply clicking on a picture of them. You can see what type, nation, and tier your ship is. I would assume that in the future you will be able to sort the ships by nation, tier, and type. You can also see how many ship slots you have left. A ship slot can contain one ship. By default, you have 5 of them. After you get 5 ships, you either need to sell old ones or expand the number of slots in order to have new ones. New slots cost gold.
In the upper left corner, there is two gears. These are your settings. Directly to the right of them is a basic profile account information box. To the right of that is some information that lists what server you are on and the amount of players currently on the server (It doesn’t say how many are in battle)
On the far right, your amount of credits, gold, and free XP is displayed.
Credits = standard ingame currency. You earn this from battles or missions.. It is used to buy most ships, consumables, and equipment. It is also used to buy a commander with more advanced training after recruiting him or retraining him.
Gold = Premium ingame currency. You may purchase this. You can also earn it through clan wars, contests, or very special missions, such as resetting your password. Mostly you will have to purchase it. Over about 4 years I have probably got about 1500 free gold in WoT. Gold can buy premium ships, premium account, or can be converted into credits or free XP.
Premium ship = Highly useful shapes named after specific ships from history (instead of just class names like with regular ships). Often they are unique in some way, such as being able to launch 40 torpedoes or lay down ridiculous amounts of 127mm shells. Premium ships are great for helping with credit income, as they earn more than their regular ship counterparts. This increase becomes more noticeable as tier increases, with tier 8 being the highest. Tier 8 premiums are expensive but can easily earn 4 (or more) times credits than regular ships. Premium ships can be won and awarded by WG, or purchased from the tech tree or the online site. They also cost less to prepare. Some premium ships are very rare, some (such as the infamous Type 59) will only be for sale for a while and then permanently no longer for purchase, and some were never for sale (Mostly reward ships. Think of the M4A3E2 or Me 210.)
Premium Account = special account that gives you a special port with special music. Credit and XP income is increased by 50%.
Free XP = Like regular XP, except it can be used to research anything, even ships (or modules on ships) that you haven’t bought yet. 5% of xp earned in a battle is free XP. You can accumulate free XP by battling or by completing special missions.
In the middle, there is a big orange Battle button. This puts you in queue for a battle. To the left of it, you can create a division. Divisions allow you and up to 2 other players to be put in the same battle together on the same side. To the right of the Battle button is where you can switch the battle type. Here is a list of the basic ones that you should know:
Random Battle = you battle with other players matched up by MM. In random battle, you can get two game modes. One puts three capture points in the middle of the maps, while the other has one team base near their spawn and the other teams’ base near their spawn, respectively. There is 100 points. Each time starts with 300 and earns more as they capture bases or destroy enemy ships. You also lose points when one of your ships is destroyed. The exception is Hotspot, a tropical map which has teams spawn split across opposite sides of the map. There are 5 capture points.
Team Training = You will go into training rooms. The host (can be anyone, including you) picks a map and decides who is one what team. The teams can be unbalanced as the host wishes, so you could have 10 Tier X vs 1 tier 1. Sometimes people can host rooms for practice, other times people play games like tag or demolition derby. You receive no reward in training, and repair costs are free. Ammunition costs still must be payed though.
Special Battle = Usually locked unless you have a Clan Wars or a tournament battle soon.
Ok, so now you know pretty much everything about the Port. Now how about the good stuff, the battle?
After waiting a few seconds (usually less than a minute) you will be in a battle. When you get into battle, you will have a view of your ship. The camera can be rotated by moving your mouse. The camera will pan around in an elliptical shape around your ship. You can zoom using the mouse wheel. Zoom in far enough and you’ll get to sniper mode. Sniper mode is kind of odd. At some point you can manually elevate the guns , but once you zoom in about more than half way all the sudden you are looking from a viewpoint around where I would say the crow’s nest would be. The more you zoom, the higher you go.
The interface is very similar to WoT and WoWP. On either side you have each team, with info such as ship symbol, username, and number of kills. On the top left corner your frames per second and ping are displayed. On the very top, the scores and ship type symbols are displayed. When a ship dies, its symbol is greyed out. On the upper right is the time left in a battle, as well as a help reminder. This help is very useful. I recommend spending some time looking those over in your first few battles. Don’t worry because they will be versus the computer!
In the lower right is a very important box: The minimap. Pay attention. Enemies and friendlies will be shown, as well as capture points. There is a very useful grid here to call attention to certain points.
In battle, ships have abilities, some generic, some unique.
Fire HE – Loads HE. Default.
Fire AP – Load AP. You can press it once to load AP after you fire a salvo, or press it twice to instantly load AP.
Repair – The red fire extinguisher. This repairs any problems:
On fire – does constant damage. Up to 4 fires can be caused on a ship.
Flooding – Like fire, but caused by torpedoes
Gun damaged – guns temporarily disabled
engine damage – temporarily no propulsion
steering damaged- you are stuck in whatever steering you were in when it was damaged
The repair cannot fix one thing, which is destroyed turrets. Knocked out turrets are gone for the rest of the battle.
Heal – only for BBs and high tier cruisers – repairs a small(ish)l portion of health. Use this after you have taken a lot of damage, as its effectiveness is proportional to the amount of damage you have recently taken.
Smoke – Only for DDs (exception is Iwaki Alpha). This lays down a smoke screen which offers concealment. Smoke has many tactical uses.
Boost AA – provides a bonus to AA power for a short period
Engine Boost – DD only. Makes engines faster.
Launch scout – Some BBs and cruisers Launches spotter plane or fighter. Spotter planes increase range, fighters can help spot and fight off enemy planes.
Radar Scan – used by cruisers. increases spotting capabilities.
Now we get a bit more into the tips and tactics part. When you get into a battle, talk with your team to find out where you are going. It is wise to split up your forces. DDs generally go ahead and probe at the enemy force. Cruisers follow behind, sometimes escorting BBs. BBs may split, but it is actually an effective tactic to have all or most BBs all go in the same direction. With proper support this creates a heavy offensive force that can smash the enemy and grant control of one part of the map. Carriers should obviously hang back and run from basically any enemy ship. I’ll get a bit more specific here.
Destroyers: You are the preliminary strike force. Talk with your teammates, and go for a capture point. No more than two destroyers should go after one point, and you should at least go for two capture points. So if you only have two destroyers, have each one go to a different point. If you have 3, you can try one for each capture point, or you can have two go for one and one destroyer for the other capture point. Destroyers rely on concealment and maneuverability for survival. You have neither enough HP nor armor to survive direct hits. Here’s a good trick: in order to not be spotted as easily, press ‘P’. This turns off you secondary and anti-aircraft armament, which means you won’t have you AA auto firing at any enemy airplanes that happen to pass over. If you leave it on, firing AA makes you much more visible. Make sure to find out what your concealment distance is. This allows you to sneak up on enemies. So if you have a concealment of 6.0 km, try to stay that far or further from enemy ships. When you get close, you can unleash a devastating torpedo barrage. You can then pop smoke to escape. This brings us to a strategic weapon: smoke. Smoke can be used for retreat as well as attack. If things are getting to hot or you are outnumbered, pop smoke, turn, and sail away. Remember that firing you guns makes you much easier to spot, even in smoke. You can also use smoke to help aid in advances or attacks. When you deploy smoke, you have to understand that the smoke trails behind you. So often I see players going straight when they deploy smoke. This is excellent for covering friendly advances, but should only be used for that. When you go straight, you are ahead of the cloud of smoke you are making and are thus still mostly visible. If you are trying to conceal yourself, remember to turn back into the smoke cloud you made. Towards the edge, there is times when you can see the enemy but they can’t see you. This can be extremely annoying for enemy cruisers and battleships, since you can just keep shooting them but they can’t see you to return accurate fire. This is also good for ambushing with torpedoes, which I will talk about more later. Destroyers are also good for hunting enemy carriers. If you can slip through into enemy territory or exploit an undiscovered gap, you can use your high speed to push to the carriers. Enemy airplanes are often almost useless against destroyers due to their excellent maneuverability. When you get close, open fire with your guns and maneuver close enough to launch torpedoes. You barely have to worry about their secondaries. Facing other destroyers can be quite fun and involves fast paced close combat. USN DDs have much better guns than IJN DDs so I would say they are at a definite advantage at this close quarters combat, where the IJN range and power doesn’t really matter. Cruisers are probably a DDs greatest threat, due to their decently powerful guns but relatively high rate of fire. You will often have to utilize cover from larger ships, islands, or smoke to get in close enough to take down a cruiser. Especially be wary of the Atlanta. With BBs, utilize your torpedoes. Try to set them on fire with your main guns, but torpedoes are your main weapon, as BBs are big and slow. Their guns, while extremely powerful, are often very unwieldy and slow so its easy to maneuver around a BBs firepower. Main firepower, that is. Watch out for their secondaries, which, while hilariously inaccurate (all the gunners must be drunk), has enough volume to eventually do serious damage. To increase survivalist, zigzag.
Cruisers: When you play as a cruiser, you must react to the enemy and friendly forces forces. If the enemy has many DDs, you can become a DD hunter. A lot of cruisers? Well here’s my favorite – engage the other cruisers! Lot’s of BBs? Wolfpack with other cruisers or hide behind the bigger guys to whittle down the BBs health. Lots of enemy aircraft? Most cruisers, especially USN ones, have good AA, so you can escort your own battleships. You can take a lot more punishment than DDs, but remember, you aren’t as strong as a BB, nor can you heal yourself, so be wary! Faster firing cruisers like the amazing Cleveland or Atlanta excel at destroying lighter armored cruisers and DDs. Cruisers with high RoF can either launch salvo after salvo, or you can launch a highly demoralizing streaming fire Do this by firing one shot, then a little then a second later, than another, and so own. Depending on how many guns you have and what your RoF is, you can tweak this to consistently fire a stream of shots that rains a nearly constant set of hits on the enemy. Use HE vs DDs, and a mixture of HE and AP vs other cruisers. I’ll into more detail of ammo types later. Take down battleships by setting them on fire first with HE, and then using AP if you have heavy enough guns. The 203mm guns on later cruisers are generally enough firepower to have pretty decent AP pen. Cruiser generally have some armor, especially at higher tiers, so utilize it. Angle yourself as much as possible. Never go parallel to an enemy ship that has full broadside on you unless you are dodging torpedoes or something. If facing a BB that is equal or higher tier than you, I recommend going bow first toward the BB. This makes you harder to hit and maximizes armor effectiveness. As for enemy CVs, just spam HE until they are set on fire and put a few AP round into them. It’s usually pretty easy. Enemy aircraft are somewhat of a threat to some cruisers. You probably have very good AA though, but remember to keep an eye on enemy TBs. As with destroyers, most cruisers can zigzag, which makes it more difficult for enemies to hit, especially at long range.
Battleships: You can split up, or gang up with other BBs. Remember to keep distance from friendlies so you don’t run into them, as BBs don’t turn too well. BBs have the best range in the game, especially IJN ones. Use this to your advantage. At long range, press Alt to see how far awy the enemy is. Use the information on the reticle (shell travel time) to judge where you should place you shots. This applies for all long range shots. I always recommend shooting a bit farther than an enemy actually is, since ships are tallish and you will get more hits. For example, if a ship is 18 km away, aim about 18.2 km, provided they are going straight. If they are coming or going at an angle to you, remember that you will have to take into account that they will no longer be 18 km away from you when your shells land. Just as with cruisers, remember to angle yourself to make your already thick armor even better. At longer range battles I often find it useful to slow my speed to 1/2 or even 1/4. This trips the enemy up as they find it difficult to judge how fast I am going. I personally try to avoid enemy DDs, as they are hard to hit and have dangerous torpedoes. If you need to hit them, always use HE unless you already have AP loaded. I’ve destroyed a DD several times with a single salvo with just HE. USN BBs are a bit better for attacking destroyers due to better shell velocity, but you should still watch out. Enemy cruisers are a good target. Use AP against them, as your heavy guns will easily go through most cruisers for some serious damage. Enemy BBs can do serious damage to you, however. Aim for their citadels and use AP when they show you their sides. When an enemy BB (or later tier enemy CA) is head on, I usually load HE, especially at mid range. This is where it is still kind of hard to hit them, but your shells lack enough arc to effectively hit the deck. Hunting aircraft carriers shouldn’t be a priority for a BB, but attack them the same you would with a cruiser. Enemy aircraft can be quite a threat. Even with generally powerful AA, you are still very vulnerable to DBs and especially TBs. If you see an enemy TB squadron flying towards you, it is often wise to turn toward or away from them, which makes it much easier to dodge torpedoes. Perhaps do the same tihng with enemy DDs, but I recommend turning away to maximize the time you secondaries can damage it. Enemy DBs can set you on fire easily. This is another problem for BBs. Cruisers are good for setting BBs and fire, and it can become deadly. You must be careful when you use a repair for a BB, since just a few seconds later you get hit again and set on fire or flooded by a torpedo. And then you may have to wait for a minute or longer until the problem fixes itself. In a pinch, you can use one of your 4 health replenishing things to stall the drop of HP, but it only lasts for 30 seconds. I recommend investing in equipment and perks that lower fire chances and speed up the damage control party.
Aircraft Carriers: CVs play from a top down RTS sort of view. To launch your planes, you click on their icon on the bottom (where shell types would normally be) and command them where to go. Fighters engage other enemy planes, and DBs and TBs attack ships. DBs are kind of ineffective, although they are good for starting fires. You must decide whether you want to go fighter heavy or not. This is where you have more of your squadrons dedicated to fighters, which makes you deadly vs enemy planes, but useless if the other team happens to not have a carrier. Or you could go TB or DB heavy. 2 TB squadrons can be used at the same time against the same target. After ordering a squadron to attack a ship by clicking on it, you will see the green cone of the torpedoes launch path and a circle shape. You can grab the cone and drag it around the circle (similar with DBs, but its with a small oval instead) to change what direction the drop comes form. Using this and two squadrons you can create a crisscross attack, which almost guarantees hits. You can also press alt to make a manual drop, in other words you control where the drop happens. This takes some practice. CVs should run from enemy ships. Going to the extreme corners of the map or behind islands is a tactic that is sometimes used. As the battle progresses, you may find your team is pushed up really far on one side. Advance up that side, because it will make a shorter flight for your aircraft and allow you to do more damage. To make aircraft return home at any time, press F. As a sidenote CVs have pretty good AA. One time I had two enemy fighter squadrons chasing my DB squadron. I lured them near my carrier and then my carrier chewed them up with its AA. That was a pretty good tactic, and is especially effective if the enemy isn’t closely monitoring those fighters.
HE – good for starting fires and doing consistent damage. It is good to hit the superstructure with this. You can knock out weaker turrets too. You should always use HE against DDs. Use HE to do consistent damage to cruisers. Starting fires on BBs and CVs is good.
AP – can cause serious damage, but may also bounce off of enemy armor. Best used when you have a good broadside on the enemies side armor. Aim for the citadels, as can do well over 10000 damage with one shell. Smaller guns really shouldn’t use much AP. At higher tiers, I would say anything below 203mm shouldn’t use AP unless its versus lightly armored cruisers like the Pensacola. The higher the caliber, generally the better the AP power. AP is usually not too effective versus highly angled armor, such as when ship shows just their bow or stern.
Torpedoes. Torpedoes very in range, power, and speed. Torpedoes have about a .5 km arming distance. This can be seen when you switch to torpedoes as your weapon by pressing 3. It is where the green wedge starts. Pressing 3 multiple times alters being wide and narrow spread. When targeting an enemy, there is a grey zone. This is a aim indicator, showing how if they enemy was to continue on the same course at the same speed, that’s where you could hit them. Most of the time people will turn short of where that is. What I like to do is launch on salvo on the grey indicator, maneuver around a little for a better angle, and then launch one behind it, This si so when the enemy turns they will have a torpedo threat still anyways. Remember not to get too caught up in aiming torpedoes. Your guns can’t fire when using torps, so you are vulnerable.
Now that you know all they, let’s talk a little a bit about some of the ships you will be using in first few days of you naval adventure.
Erie: Funfact: The Erie is not actually a cruiser, it is a gunboat. The Erie has bit less health and armor than the IJN ship, but it has better guns. The upgrade path really doesn’t matter; its only tier 1! Such low tiers are fun for just throwing yourself into the middle of a fight. The 6 inch guns are actually decent. At such low tiers I perfer HE, since everything has such light armor.
Katori: Funfact: The Katori doesn’t exist when are reading this, but it did for me. Now its a similar ship, but I still call it the Katori. This thing is a bit heavier than the Erie. Its guns are the standard IJN cruiser caliber – 140mm. Its 4 of them like the Erie, but only in two turrets, which I see as a disadvantage. Careful about enemies firing HE as your turrets aren’t really protected and its easy to knock them out with HE.
Chikuma and Chester: Funfact: They both start with a ‘C’ Nothing really specially. Just like bigger faster versions of the tier one ships. I recommend researching everything for these two before you sell them.
Sampson: Funfact: This thing has 4 torpedo launchers. Plays like the Tier 1 ships, just faster. Also, the torpedoes are intereesting. Sine you have 4 sets, but only two aside, you can maximize your torpedoeness by launching 2 of them, turning around, and launching the other two.
Umikaze: Funfact: First destroyer designed for open ocean use by Japan. I don’t really like this ship. It has 3 torpedo turrets but only two per turret. The reload time is pretty good though. The guns are not really even worth talking about. Use your smoke!
Saint Louis: Funfact: Perhaps the funnest and most OP ship in the game. I also think its kind of ugly without the beautiful white and gold. The Saint Louis is known for its amount of guns, which is why you have to get the best hull asap. 14 6 inch guns at tier 3 is pretty darn good. This is one of those ships that you can do that streaming fire I was talking about. This ship exiles at combat with pretty much everything. Keep cruisers and destroyers at mid or close range, and BBs at longer range. Its kind of slow, so have a plan where you are going. The armor is ok for tier 3. This ship cannot angle as well if you want a full broadside due to the placement of some of the guns. Also, your front back guns turn kind of slow and are vulnerable to enemy HE fire, although you have 6 more for backup on each side.
Tenryu: Funfact: Used to be called Tatsuta. This plays like the mid tier IJN cruisers. It is a pretty light cruiser, but is fast and turns well. The guns are decent, but I would say the St. Louis definitely wins in the guns category. The Tenryu does have torpedoes though, and shoots a good amount of them for tier 3. Don’t rely much on your armor though. Be aggressive with enemy DDs, but directly engage cruisers and BBs when they are distracted (or your just really pro).
South Carolina: Funfact: These things flooded the servers when USN BBs were released. The South Carolina is a good example of a proper US BB. Terrible range, slow, inaccurate, fat… No but really, it has its advantages. Excellent shell velocity, maneuverable, and well armored. Use your turning to dodge torpedoes, but don’t overturn! The shells are quite fast. I like using AP versus the tier 2 and 3 cruisers. It can easily destroy them in one or two salvos. I like to get in close to enemy BBs. The reload time will get you though, so make sure you have support.
Kawachi: Funfact: Really weird turret layout. The Kawachi has 6 turrets, one fore and aft and two on each side. There is two guns to a turret, which means you can deliver 8 12 inch shells with a broadside. At tier 3 this is pretty decent, and this means you don’t have to wait as long to fire from the other side of the ship since there is two turrets on the other side, ready to be fired. The shell velocity isn’t quite as good, so you need to lead targets more than you do with the South Carolina. The Kawachi is kind of unlike the BBs following it, but I enjoyed it. Don’t be in any rush to get the Myogi though, which I think is kind of awful.
Langley: Funfact: Converted from a cargo ship. I recommend you upgrade aircraft a soon as you can. Get the 1x figher and 2x TB squardon and practice manual drops. If you don’t want to play the Langley as more of a practice ship, then I suggest going fighter heavy, since USN fighters are better than ghe IJN ones. The Langley is really slow so make sure to stay extra far away from any ships. It’s self defense it pitiful and DDs will eat you up. Actually, mostly anything will eat you up. The one good think is that at this tier, the AA usually isn’t very good.
Hosho: Funfact: The English helped convert another ship into the Hosho. Has worse fighters than the USN carrier, but probably better bombers, so go bomb heavy.