World Of Tanks Tactics : A Compendium

All you want to know when you’re a beginner or you want to improve

Samedi 8 septembre 2018, par Emmanuel Barthe // Liens en vrac

Until 2017, I played World of Tanks (WoT) a lot. Now, much less. Hereunder, you will find both my own personal guide and a "guide to the guides".

I don’t pretend to be a very good player. In terms of win ratio, I’m a bit under average. I don’t pretend either to be able to perfectly follow all of the following tactics. I have simply found them useful : when I implement them, they work. All I hope is they help beginners and other medium level players, allowing them not to spend hundreds of battles before understanding what it takes to play better and to have fun with World of Tanks.

Table of contents

INTRO : WARNING : WOT IS NOT REALLY FREE-TO-PLAY

TACTICS : SOME 60 TACTICAL RULES

MAP RELATED TACTICS

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TANK

VISUALISING ARMOR IN DETAIL

MODS / CHEATS

DEDICATED CORNERS

"WEBOGRAPHY" (useful links, especially tutorials)

INTRO : WARNING : WOT IS NOT REALLY FREE-TO-PLAY

World of Tanks is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Belarussian company Wargaming (now based in Cyprus), featuring mid-20th century (1930s–1960s) era tanks and self-propelled artillery.

Here are three major aspects of this game you should keep in mind :

  • World of Tanks is a game played by tens of millions players throughout the world. Therefore, it is a very competitive game. If you don’t spend a minimum of two hours per day playing WoT, you can’t expect to reach over 49% WR (average win ratio)
  • as most massively multiplayer online gaming communities (MMO) and perhaps more than average, WoT is rife with cheaters. And the game publisher tolerates them de facto (see Mods / Cheats)
  • WoT is very addictive. Spending whole nights on it is very common among players who are new to the game.

WoT is rather expensive to play. Here’s why :

  • frustration at making very slow progress through the grinding process [1] or loosing too often is a very efficent way to induce players into paying ...
  • premium tanks cost a minimum of 10 euros, they’re generally over 50 euros and some are over 70. And lots of them aren’t really worth buying for the average player
  • playing tiers IX and X — the higher tiers — is always very expensive, because at those tiers, if you’re not a unicum (best of the best) [2], you end up most battles with a negative balance in terms of credits — which at some point you have to compensate for. So we’re talking a minimum of a few hundred euros per year
  • gold ammo (APCR) must be bought and can be with credits but also with real money. The thing is, if you want to make a difference in a battle where you’re not the higher tier, you just have to bring one APCR shell or two with you
  • gold ammo may be less expensive if you have a premium account (it lasts a year). But remember : a premium account starts at 100 USD.

As QuickyBaby, a professional player, recently said — and even wrote — in one of his videos, « World of Tanks is pay-to-win (P2W) ». At the very least, it is « pay-to-win-more-often », as a clever player puts it. Taugrim, a quasi-pro player, writes « WoT is rife with pay-for-advantage mechanics, but that’s not going to change, and [...] the vast majority of the community doesn’t care either ». See this debate on the subject on a WoT developper’s blog, particularly this post.

The introduction of wheeled vehicles in WoT at the end of 2018 is probably an effect of both the number of players receding [3] and the usual policy of Wargaming to issue very appealing premium (for-a-fee) vehicules. The designers want to retain or bring back players to the game — and make some more money in the process. With a quite new, over-powered concept. These armored cars, gifted with an insane mobility, all of the French Panhard line, were tested from September to December 2018. They’ve become standard in public battles in January 2019. They start at tier VI and are "too" fast so for the time being they aren’t that attractive to the new player.

So let’s be honest : WoT is not really free-to-play, it’s free-to-test and pay-to-win for at least 2/3 of the payers. In two years, I spent more than 300 euros on the game.

The best way to spare your money is to follow this concise piece of advice : Advice for killing all unicums ! :-) from a _WMD_ clan member, a player with more than 40.000 battles.

1) Avoid light tanks and artillerie. For a beginner these are not easy to play.
2) Save free exp for higher tiers to avoid horrendous stock tank grind, I recommend using free exp at 7, 8, 9 as at these tiers running tank costs credits.
3) What to spend gold on is a good premium tank and garage slots.
4) I recommend a good set of mods, hitskins [4], zoommod, serverside reticle and tank carousal.
5) Take advantage of sales and events, buy tanks, equipment and consumables at 50% off, you will need to have a stash of credits and free exp saved up for this.

TACTICS : SOME 60 TACTICAL RULES

What follows is the most useful tactics for beginners (so called "noobs") and under-medium-level players.

- 1. Wait ! Don’t rush. I repeat : DO-NOT-RUSH. At the beginning of the battle, wait for approximately 3 seconds to see where your allies are going, then identify :
a. whether one flank of the map would really need more allies (if not, go with the flow, according to your type of tank) and
b. the allies you could team up with and move accordingly.

The simple fact or not rushing to the front will save you a lot of hit points (hp), which in turn will allow you to survive till the end of the battle when the winners are those with the maximum health (see rule 2. Avoid getting shot).

If one flank/side of the map is undermanned, try to convince your allies to send enough tanks to that side (the strict minimum is three tanks, with no lights among them), *but* in free-for-all battles, that often doesn’t work so be prepared to follow the "lemming trail" (i.e. the biggest stream of allied tanks) more often than not, just so you don’t hold the undermanned flank and sacrifice yourself with no clear advantage to the team.

- 2. Avoid getting shot. In other words : don’t put yourself in a position that will get you easily shot. Do not stand obviously in view of the enemy. Don’t take that second shot — go back to cover instead. If you drive a TD (TD = tank destroyer/anti-tank, their sign is a triangle turned upside down) or a light tank, hide, run and relocate as often as possible. In a word : do not expose yourself.
Keep your health — refered to as hit points (hp) — as if you’ve only had 1 hit point left from the start of the battle. Save health for the end. Statistics show that at the end of the battle, the winning team is generally the one with the most health. Being low on health means you’re a one shot and you can’t really help your team because you can’t take risks.

- 3. Stay alive. Once you’re dead, you can’t do a thing, right ? Do avoid "suiscout" (suicide scouting : running to the enemy base, trying to reap as many first spot points as possible). And once again, don’t take that second shot, go back to cover instead.

- 4. Play according to tier and win rates (WR) (use the XVM mod to see WR in battle) : yours and your opponents’. For instance, if your heavy tank is tier 5 and you encounter a majority of tier 6 and 7, stay behind your own heavies or act as a TD. If you’ve got a low WR, join a good WR and support him — but don’t bother him, for instance don’t stand in his line of fire.

- 5. Never go/stay alone unless you’re a scout or a unicum (a unicum is darn good player). Work by twos at the minimum. When one is attacked, back him up by shooting when he reloads or by outflanking the opponent and shooting him in the flank or rear.

- 6. If alone — which shouldn’t happen to you if you followed the previous rule — and outnumbered, either a. you have a fast tank so join your remaining allies or reposition yourself quickly in the back or the side of the enemy or b. you have a slow one so you hide with a maximum of walls or rocks behind you and on your sides so that the enemy have to be in your line of fire to get you.

- 7. Run, hide, fire. Run for a brief moment. Then hide for a brief moment (approx. 10 seconds) while checking where the enemy is visually by outfocusing and checking the minimap (see rule 50. Situational awareness). Then fire ONE shot — just one (two shots if and only if your rate of fire is very, very, very high) — otherwise you’ll get fired on in the next second. Then either run etc. (repeat the process) or take cover by moving backwards to reload and fire again (see rule 9. Peek-a-boom).

- 8. Don’t be greedy ! One of the most frequent mistakes — and the most dangerous — of beginners is to keep firing bravely on an enemy ... and getting killed in a handful of seconds because every enemy can see you (firing causes you to loose any camouflaged position you may have taken). Totally useless. Surviving and retaining your hit points is key to success (see rule 2. Avoid getting shot).

- 9. Peek-a-boom. If you’re hiding behind an obstacle and and one enemy is on the other side (be it close or far away) : step out just a little bit just after he has fired (i.e. when he is reloading) then shoot him in a weak spot, then fall back/take cover ASAP to reload. And again. Don’t use this tactic if you’re not good and quick at precision shooting. Also, if you’ve got enough space to move and you don’t need to counter the enemy ASAP, try to reappear a. not at the same place and b. at least after a 10 seconds’ wait. Why 10 secs ? Because that’s the maximum time [5] your tank remains silhouetted (even though you’re under cover and they can’t see you).
For example, see what the unicum Martin WaterWar is doing in the battle hereunder : he spends half the battle in the same place, moving a few meters out of cover, shooting the closest enemy tank or a far one targeting him, retreating under cover, and again. Note that he’s constantly keeping in mind where the enemy tanks, be they close or far away, are and which ones are the most dangerous, so as not to get into their line of fire when he gets out of cover.
For a detailed discussion of peek-a-boom tactics, look at this video from Sir Havoc, starting at 9:35, and pay attention to his commentary.

- 10. Don’t stay too long in a position where you are blocking the enemy’s advance and you have a lot of them in front of you (approx. 3 or more). Fire one, two or three shots, then retreat under cover 50 m away. If you don’t, they’ll clober you or they’ll outflank you and shoot you from behind.

- 11. If you have to choose between firing and moving (for instance because an enemy has just appeared behind you), move first, you’ll see if you are in a firing position afterwards.

- 12. Take your time to aim properly : you will miss less often. This is especially true for artilleries. Also, some tanks have a very limited number of shells. And if you wait untill the gun reticle has shrunk to its minimal size, the chances your shell will miss are the lowest. One last reason for aiming properly : if you miss and therefore did not stop your opponent, during your reload time he will aim better, he will come closer to you, you will make a better target for him and in the end you will be much more likely to get shot. The one and only exception to this rule is when you are attacked at very close range by a faster tank : you don’t have time to aim, and if you wait, he will "circle-of-death" you. So aim approximately and fire ASAP.

- 13. Focus your fire. Emulate your closest ally by firing at the same target. This will get rid of the enemy tank very quickly and less enemy tanks means less guns firing at you. And less guns firing at you means your chances of winning increase.

- 14. Aim for the weak spots of the enemy tanks. Generally the weak spots are : rear and side of the hull (so whenever possible, try to outflank the enemy tank), the turret sides, the commander’s cupola (the hatch on top of the turret), view (range) ports, machine gun ports, lower front glacis, hatches elsewhere on the vehicle. The front and rear of the tracks are the equivalent of a weak spot : the enemy will be stopped for some seconds at least and during that time it will become an easy target. A not well known weak spot : the fuel tanks, which are easily hit by shots slightly above the tracks behind the turret.
Learn by heart the major weak spots of all major tanks, especially the weak spots on their front. The best tools to do so are :

More details on the last three tools above in the Visualising armor in detail section of this post.


The green areas are the most easily penetrable (image from WoTGuru)

- 15. Gold. Premium ammo (APCR [6]) and HEAT [7] are very expensive in credits (or real money). Make silver ammo your default ammo and only buy 2 to 3 gold shells per battle. Do not forget to change ammo from AP (so called "silver") to APCR or HEAT (so called "gold") when confronted to heavies. But for the above mentioned reason, don’t take the habit to fire gold.
Note : Gold ammo is less expensive if you have a premium account. But remember : a premium account starts at 100 USD.

- 16. HE (High Explosive). That type of shell is only used by experienced players. They have a devastating effect on lightly armored vehicules, i.e. they can one-shot artillery and two-shot light tanks. In a kill-or-be-killed situation, when the enemy is not heavily armored or has lost most of its pool of hit points, they can make the difference. But they are ineffective against heavies best armored parts. As an exception, HE are efficient against the O-I and O-I Exp Japanese super heavies, even when they’re high on health.

- 17. Your back and the upper part of your flanks (i.e. not your tracks) are the weakest part of your armor. Face the enemy (therefore you have to know where he is : see rule 50. Situational awareness) and NEVER expose your flanks. But if you estimate you can’t fight him, turn your back to him as soon as possible and run to a hiding place because tanks are much slower in reverse.

- 18. Angle/slant your front armor towards the enemy. This increases your tank’s effective hull armor. The recommended angle depends on the tank but here is a rule of thumb : when pointing your gun to the enemy, it should be positioned directly over your right or left front wheel — never over your side.

- 19. In corners, "side-scraping" allows your turret to have a line of sight/your gun to bear without over-exposing your armor.


From TheIrishLegend’s video tutorial Advanced Heavy Tank Strategies

- 20. Hull down. Whenever possible, try to hide your hull behind an obstacle (a rock, a sand dune, a small wall or any declivity), leaving only your turret visible. This is very efficient because the turret front (especialy the mantle, the area around the base of the gun) is generally the tank’s strongest armored part and because most of the weak spots are on the hull. Also, since this makes you a much smaller target, you’re much more difficult to hit.
This is especially recommended with the American heavies and most of the German and Russian tanks.

- 21. Don’t block your team mates shot. Don’t stand in their line of fire.
And please don’t sit in a TD’s position behind a bush near base. This means a. you’re not doing your job and b. worse, you’re preventing an ally from doing his.

- 22. If you’re driving a fast tank and are confronting an enemy with a slow rate of fire in a street or a narrow valley, instead of hiding behind an obstacle, you have the option to accelerate forward, rush/overrun him and shoot him in the flank and then in the back. That’s particularly efficient if your tank is a fast-firing one.
See for instance what the same Russian player is doing in the video hereunder with his Object 260 to the powerful but slow to relaod Caernarvon (at 5:00).

- 23. NEVER cross an open field. Use a line of trees/bushes/hills/dunes/rocks/houses/killed tanks/a river bed or make a detour to get to the desired place.

- 24. NEVER attack trough the middle of the map : it’s the killing zone. Always attack through the aisles, even if they are blocked by enemy fire.
As for all rules, there is a bunch of exceptions [8] :

  • not exactly an exception, but if there’s a town in the center of the map (Abbey or Fisherman’s Bay towns are typical examples), you should at least occupy it and hold it — and sometimes attack through it
  • not exactly an exception (again), but if you’re in light tank, at the beginning you have to light up the enemy tanks for your team so you go center at full speed (but you don’t stay here)
  • there are other exceptions, depending on the map, but to master them, you need to be above average (48-49% WR is average) and this guide is not for good players but for beginners and average ones.

- 25. Speed. Don’t count on your speed to evade shells. Always think about where you will hide after and if possible during your move. Use your speed only to get to a good position at the beginning of the battle or to relocate when having been spotted. Specifically :

  • don’t go yolo (going full speed into the enemy ranks)
  • and don’t suiscout (used for light, fast tanks who go full speed into enemy territory just to get as much credits as possible by being the first to spot as many enemies as possible ... and then die quickly, therefore not really helping their team).

- 26. Move ! Never stay at the same place more than a few seconds after having fired or having been spotted. 10 seconds is a maximum. Otherwise, you’re a sitting duck for enemy tanks, especially artillery — in other words, it’s a matter of seconds before arty, a TD or a bigger tank "frags" you. Always bear in mind that even if you don’t see any enemy, enemy arty sees you. Arties can kill you in one shot.

What are the alternatives ? :

  • play peek-a-boom (see rule 9.)
  • or relocate (see rule 7.)
  • a particular case : when you face an enemy and you’re hiding partially between an obstacle and you’re sure arty can’t hit you (i.e. you’re close to wall or a rock), move back and forth to thwart enemy’s aim.
    See for instance what the Russian player is doing in the video hereunder with his Object 260 (starting at 0:32).

- 27. Get under cover when you reload, even if your reload time is very quick (under 3 seconds). When you’re in a heavy, know your reload time by heart. See rule 7. Run, hide, fire and rule 9. Peek-a-boom.

- 28. How to use bushes (1). How to hide *in* the bushes. Bushes or fallen trees hide your tank to the enemy’s eyes — unless he’s closer than 50 meters. Hide behind them or in them. This way, it’s easier for you to detect enemy tanks approaching and you don’t depend on others to scout for you. However, if, apart from your gun, there is but a small part of your tank that sticks out of the bush (the commander’s cupola, a sprocket), you will be spotted. And as soon as you have fired, you become spotted.
How to hide *away* from the bushes. If you hide more than 15 meters from the bushes (you know you’re 15 m away when suddenly they’re not transparent any more for you), you can fire without being spotted.

- 29. How to use bushes (2) : the invisible tank. Put the cursor over the nearest enemy while he is still far away. The distance to the target is highlighted. If it is over 445m, you can’t be seen. It’s possible to stay between 450 and 700m and be completely invisible the entire game. Once the enemy moves closer, just move away and continue being an invisible sniper while your team spots for you. If someone else is spotting the enemy, stay 15m+ behind the bush and fire all you want — the enemy won’t be able to see you. Move into the bush to spot, then back out of the bush 15m+ to fire — the enemy will remain on the screen for a few seconds while you are backing up and aiming, and then you won’t turn the bush translucent when you fire. Invisible sniper.


This old video is otherwise still accurate, but fallen trees do give camo bonus nowadays.

- 30. How to use bushes (3) : looking for the invisible tank. If you see an enemy tank silhouetted behind a very light cover (bushes or wood planks) and it suddenly disappears, this doesn’t mean it’s gone very far. It’s just gone a few meters away. So you may still fire at where it was two seconds ago.

- 31. How to use bushes (4) : looking for TDs. Bushes with a view on a large area are THE place where TDs will hide. Know your map, look for them, search them, fire blind at them.

- 32. Under train carriages. If the enemy tank is hidden by a train, try to aim for its tracks. Yes, by firing under the train carriage !

- 33. No pain, no gain. Aka campers are loosers. Camping (staying near one’s base and waiting there for the enemy to come), while being the easiest tactic to devise, and the more comfortable in the beginning, generally ends in a sudden defeat. Because you give the enemy all the necessary time to scout your perimeter and light up all your tanks on their mini-maps, then their arties start aiming at you while their heavies and TDs prepare to move just a few meters away and as soon as they appear in your scope, they fire their gold shells on all your first line’s weak spots. You are now 2 to 3 tanks down, outnumbered, confused and trying to retreat ...

- 34. If playing scout, do *not* fire on the enemy. You won’t penetrate it, you will loose all your camouflage, therefore you will get spotted and most probably destroyed in ten seconds. There are two exceptions to this rule : you should shoot a. arties any time (because they have no armor) and b. all tanks (in the back) at the very end of the game.

- 35. If a medium, a heavy, a TD or an arty has its back to a big stone, a wall or the red limit of the map, don’t try to kill it. Spot it for arties and bring the big tanks.

- 36. If you are in a corridor/bottleneck/funnel and you’re blocked by one or more enemy tanks, leave the same number of tanks to contain them, but only well armored ones (*not* scouts, they have neither the firepower nor the armor), then outflank them with the rest of the tanks. Don’t wait, do that quickly or *they* will outflank you. If there is no way to outflank them, don’t take stupid risks, just hold the position and either wait for them to make a mistake or — better — send one fast tank with a powerful gun (a fast TD, for example) to try and peek-a-boom the nearest enemy.

- 37. When you’re David (v. Goliath) or : When you face a stronger tank. If your tank is slow, face him and shoot his belly (so called "lower front glacis" or LFG ; only if it’s a German or a Russian), his machine gun slot, the commander’s cupola or the front wheel. If your tank is fast, outflank him and shoot his side or — much better — his back. If you’re too close to escape his fire, run to him in zigzags, angling your tank. Then "circle of death" him — only if you’re good at that (if not, train yourself).

- 38. When you’re Goliath, or Tactics for heavies. If you’re among the three heavier tanks (biggest guns, heavier armor) among your allies, it’s your job to make the push and take the shots for your team mates. But don’t go into open spaces and don’t try to climb hills, you’re too slow for that. Prefer cities/villages/houses/walls, corridors between rocks or ridges. Although it has good armor, keep your tank angled (see also Taugrim’s guide to angling) and its hull down (see rules 18. and 20.) and use sidescraping. You have armor, so you can take a few seconds to expose yourself to the enemy’s fire in order for your gun reticle to close in on them. You’re slow, especially when moving in reverse, so don’t be greedy, because in case you get yourself into a bad situation, making a U-turn or going backwards won’t be a viable option. Finally, you’re ... heavy, so you can ram all enemies but heavies.
NB : at least one very good player recommends to use one’s heavy as a scout. In his video How To Not Suck In Your Heavy Tanks, he gives four other excellent tips — not to be followed if you’ve played less than 1000 battles.

- 39. Auto aim : when to use it. When circling an enemy, it’s difficult to aim at the same time, so use the in game auto aim (to activate it, right click on or near your target ; it will stay on the target till you turn it off, lose sight of the enemy, or it gets destroyed). The other situation in which you can use auto aim effectively is when you’re chasing down a target from behind in a straight line. But do NOT use auto aim in any other situation because it aims at the center of the tank (it does not know weak spots), so if you use auto aim while firing at the front of the target, you’re going to hit its highly protected upper front plate. Also, auto aim is unable to lead the target.

- 40. Avoid putting yourself into positions you can’t get out of. Always look for paths for retreat or stay with your allies.

- 41. When an enemy tank reaches the top a hill, it cannot fire down on you from there until it has reached the down slope. So you may stay on the slope and shoot at the opponent when it appears, right in its vulnerable belly, before it can even point its gun on you. Another alternative is retreating quickly down hill backwards when facing a better opponent and firing at him whenever he tries to go down the slope, provided you can find some cover or allies at some point — not too late.

- 42. Keep into account/learn by heart the enemy tank’s reload time. This is especially useful when you’re fighting a corner (city/village battles).

- 43. When fighting around a corner or in a street, if you choose a static position, don’t forget to angle your tank or to sidescrape (see rule 38.). Try not to show the enemy your side. But the best tactic, generally, is moving forward just enough to see the extremity of the opponent (the best target being the front sprocket because then the enemy can’t move), fire on it and then go back very quickly. If you pilot a fast tank and your opponent is alone, try to go full speed, overrun the enemy and shoot it in the side and the back (Cromwells are very good at that.) If the curve of the corner goes inverted (like a hole in the curve), defend the corner from this "hole" but watch out for not being overrun — which means you can’t do it alone, you need at least another allied tank behind you.

- 44. If playing a TD, always find a well hidden place with a clear line of sight/fire. Generally, it is located on slopes, small hills and in bushes/under trees or behind a rock.

- 45. When waiting for the enemy to come, especially if you’re in a TD, do not look to where your allies are. Instead, look the other way. That’s because an experimented opponent will not go straight for the trap but instead will try to flank you.

- 46. If you are engaging multiple targets, take out the most dangerous and the weaker one first. Look for the remaining hit points. Erase heavies and powerful, "glass cannon" TDs first (glass cannon = devastating gun but no armor).

- 47. How to cap (1). Do not capture the enemy base ("cap") until you are 100% sure to have gained total supremacy, i.e. you have killed all but one of your enemies, he is not a dangerous tank and you still have 3 or more tanks. Why ? Because capturing the enemy base indicates where you are, maintaining the capture puts you at a disadvantage because it limits your movements, and generally base areas offer very few protection and places to hide. Nevertheless, it can be efficient to "cap" to force the enemy to approach its base, then "decap" after a while and hide around the enemy base to snipe at them.

- 48. How to cap (2). [exception to the rule above] When the end of the battle looks like it will be a draw (3 v. 3 for example or the last enemly cannot be found), don’t hesitate to capture the enemy base quickly, even though good players may oppose it.

- 49. How to cap (3). When capturing enemy base, check before that there is no arty or enemy tank hidden near the base — that’s very common. Remember arty or a good TD can one-shoot you.

- 50. Situational awareness (SA) : make the mini-map bigger and glance at it every five seconds, look for enemies behind you and on your flanks, do not concentrate all your attention on the opposite tank/the tank you’re firing on (cf rule 4. : run, hide, shoot, run ...) and know where your allies are to check whether they need help. In one sentence : it’s the tank that you haven’t seen that will kill you. More about it.

- 51. Maps / Location. On any given map, learn by heart where to go and hide and where not to. At tier 3 and over, WoT is (mostly) a game of where-should-I-be. Being in the wrong place will get killed very quickly. See map related tactics infra. There are two ways to learn map strategy and stop being a poor player :

  • study a well known resource for that : the WoT Guru MapStrategy Guides
  • and/or pay attention in battle to where experienced tankers playing the same type of tank as you go (instal XVM to know who’s good or not).

- 52. Once the strategy for the map has been (implicitly most of the time) chosen by the team, it’s no use having second thoughts. On the contrary, if you drive a light, a medium or a heavy, you should push it at its maximum till the end. And if you play a TD, you should either a. go with them if they’re good players or b. stay well hidden close to base if they’re bad because they’re not going to be able to prevent enemy tanks from coming for the arties and base. For instance, if your team leaves three tanks plus arty at the base and they play campers, then it’s not three tanks your team should leave but eight : three is barely enough to defend base against a concerted enemy attack and at the same time, two or three of those allied tanks left behind will be sorrowly missed by the attacking allied party.
You can’t play a defensive and aggressive strategy at the same time. It just doesn’t work. In open battles, 95% cases are attack strategy. So only leave arty and one or two TD behind, that’s all. If you’re too slow to tag along, find a spot from where you can play the sniper and protect your arty.
That doesn’t mean that all tanks should go to one side of the map, leaving the other flank uncovered ... But as I wrote in rule 1., if that happens, sacrificing yourself to counter the threat on the other flank won’t change the outcome — you’ll get overrun very quickly. At the very minimum, you need three tanks to hold a flank (without any of them being a light). If one flank isn’t covered, then I recommend even arties go with the flow. Or at least hide further from base.

- 53. Use consumables, and first off repair kits. Know by heart the keyboard keys to them.

- 54. Radio. When researching and installing better modules do not neglect to upgrade your radio. Otherwise, you won’t be able to signal enemy tanks to your allies and they won’t be able to do the same for you either.

- 55. In public battles, you can always try to direct your allies but don’t count too much on them. So always do yourself what you think the team should do. For example, if the left flank of the map is not covered at all, tell the team and then, if no answer, do it yourself. Just do it while taking into account your tank’s limits.

- 56. Statistics. Do not look at any stat about you other than damage done until you have about 5000 battles under your belt, especially if you play scout. The rule of thumb is doing damage equal to your own hit points ("Shoot to destroy" medal).

- 57. Instinct. Once you have reached a few thousand battles, you can start trusting your instinct.

- 58. Resources. Have a look at the WoT Wiki, WoT Tank Compare and vbaddict.net (when vBAddict recovers from having been hacked) and search the WoT forums (one forum per server : EU, Russia, North America, Asia, Korea, China). Also, have a look at the guides listed at the bottom of this page.
Those web sites give commentaries on performance and/or comparative statistics about the tanks. It will help you choose the best tanks and among them, the ones best suited for you. Those sites — and a number of videos on Youtube — will also help you improve your tactics.

- 59. Don’t hurry to tier VII to X tanks. You’ll get cursed and bullied by your own allies, you won’t have a clue to what’s happening in the battle, it will cost you a lot of real money (playing tier IX and X is always expensive : we’re talking hundreds of euros here) and your Win Rate (WR) will suffer. Take the necessary time to master — and appreciate — even a simple Leichtraktor (tier I) or a Vickers Medium II.

- 60. Focus on a tank line. Ideally, don’t play all kind of tanks from all nations at the same time. This causes you not to learn fully a tank line and its play style. Also, when you transfer crews, it costs you a lot of XP or gold. Instead, play all the tanks in a line you like until tier VIII, one at a time. Transfer a crew from a tank to the next one in the same line and don’t do it until they have reached a minimum of 100%. To speed train them, use an elite tank and tick the "Speed training" box. From that 100%, develop skills and perks. They should roughly have 1 skill once they reach tier III.

- 61. Specialize in one tank. The best way to have a good tank is simply to play only that one for a long time, untill its crew accumulates as much experience and skills (to "grind" a tank is the phrase used) as possible. Then your tank will have a better speed and will aim better and quicker than "stock" tanks. Also, your own experience with it will allow you to know its limits (i.e. when not to confront certain enemies) and to manoeuver it perfectly (e.g. to master the "circle of death" with light tanks and some mediums).

- 62. Crew skills an perks to install first : sixth sense (a perk) for the commander (this skill tells you when you’ve been spotted), then repair (a skill) for everyone else. Brother in arms (a perk) for the commander. Camouflage (a skill) on scouts and TDs.
Remember :

  • skills are immediately effective but their effectivity grows with the percentage reached
  • but perks don’t become effective until the crew member’s level reaches 100%.


Basic skills and perks

- 63. Mods. Install and use the most useful software, mods and add-ons. First of all, install Tank Inspector (it’s not a mod but a separate program) : it will teach you the best places where to shoot an opponent (i.e. the weak spots on every tank armor). Or read the WoTGuru Weak Spots Guides. Hitskins mods (this kind or mod covers tanks with colors indicating weak spots [9]) have a similar effect but in game and at the same time with less precision. Or also distracts the average player a lot. Then install XVM : it will tell you the level of each player, therefore whom to follow or quasi-platoon with. Other suggestions : Zoom (Sniper mode).
Most other mods are the suject of a heated debate since a lot of players think they amount to cheating (see further down this page).

- 64. Practice. Practice in itself does not suffice but combined with putting these rules into pratice it will generally improve your skills. Remember that it is rare to have an all time win ratio above 50% before having played a few thousand battles.

- 65. Guides and videos. To learn more, read the guides and tutorials referenced underneath in Webography and watch Youtube videos by good players. I don’t recommend QuickyBaby or Jingles that much because in my opinion, they do not explain the tactics enough (but they’re fun to watch). I prefer to watch Martin Holding aka WaterWar, Taugrim, or Lemming Rush, for instance.

- 66. Platoon, clan, academy and Mumble/Teamspeak servers. To learn even more, specially if you want to play at tier VI and over, you generally have to play in a clan : it does help in raising your play skills and your stats (WR, Win7, Win8). An alternative is to go to a WoT academy, such as EFTAC for French speaking players. Another, less exacting alternative is to go join a number of Mumble or Teamspeak servers where you can talk with members and get some advice.

- 67. Breathe ! If playing repeatedly badly or if you start calling your allies names, just quit WoT for some time and get some fresh air ! Electronic games are known to create addiction and frustation. But WoT is just that : a game, not real life :-)

- 68. Forums. In the game chat and the forums, experienced players will often be patronising. They love to call "tomato" (red level, the lowest) or "noob" (someone unable to learn the basics) any player who complains, even if the guy is average — average is *not* tomato. By the way, 47% win ratio is low but not bad and 48 to 49% *is* average (see Wotlabs color chart, it’s the reference), it represents 40% of the player base. Just ask some advice or discuss with facts, data, screenshots and (most important) replays. If something in your post was unclear or ambiguous, you may add another post. But then just leave and let others continue the discussion. This way you won’t get dragged into a flame war.

MAP RELATED TACTICS

- 1. At least on the six maps most frequently played by beginners (Himmelsdorf, Ensk, Mittengard, Prokhorovka, Malinovka, Mines), learn by heart the places where to go to and hide after start.

- 2. If you’re not a unicum, on all maps, avoid the center : it’s the killing zone. Always attack through the aisles. (Yes, I know, we already said that. But this is THE major mistake made by beginners, so it’s worth repeating.)
By the way, staying alive/not getting killed/surviving is a great way to improve your credit earnings and to make the game more fun since you can participate longer. (Yes, I know, we already said that. But this is THE major mistake made by beginners, so it’s worth repeating.)

- 3. If, in a given map, you know your team won’t be able to get enough tanks (i.e. generally a minimum of 3) to a bottleneck/chokepoint (place where one must go through to capture the enemy base ou outflank the enemy) before the enemy does, you’d better not rush to this place and instead wait for the enemy at another hidden, well positioned place far enough and from which you can retreat easily without exposing your tank (for instance, don’t use a little rock isolated in an open space and behind which only one or two tanks can hide).

- 4. Any big dominant height (hill, sand dune ; but don’t take a simple isolated slope for a dominant height) with enough protection (rocks, houses) on it must be taken and held. It allows you to fire down on the enemy with great efficiency and from a long distance. Take into account that the armor "ceiling" (the armor on the turret’s and engine’s roofs) is very thin.

- 5. Always leave a strong mobile (*not* a heavy, this is not its job : rather a fast TD or medium) tank at base with arty. Arty cannot defend themselves from other tanks attacking from a short distance.

- 6. Always look for lines of sight, especially from far away and above, that you can use to fire on enemies from a distance (especially if you play TDs) or which allows to fire on you (whatever you play).
http://guidescroll.com/2014/05/world-of-tanks-where-not-to-go-on-maps/

Map guides :

Paris :
https://wotguru.com/map-strategy-paris/

Prokhorovka :

  • fast light tanks go first the center ridge and regularly scout there, but they also have to scout the Eastern flank — a dangerous but much needed task (see infra)
  • never forget to send at least 4 tanks (among them at least 1 TD with a very good view range, 1 heavy and 1 fast scout) to the road on the (right) East side with the trees. At the beginning, they should not reach farther than one third — maybe even a quarter — of the distance. They should stay less than 70 meters away from each other and the TD should take a position high on the slope. Otherwise, they won’t be able to detect the enemy firing on the farthest allied tank — and fire back. The problem, if you spawn from the South, is this flank is prone to a sudden, often devastating attack from the North if you camp there. But at the same time, especially on the South bottom, there aren’t a lot of hiding places so tanks generally don’t move and it’s pretty easy to spot them or guess where to shoot
  • the hill is a key position : if spawning from the North, send 5 tanks (among them 2 heavies at least) to it (less is useless) or 2 to it and 2 others to the village if spawning from the South. Failing to capture it does not mean loosing the battle but TDs should then be watching it in order to prevent any enemy sitting on its slopes from sniping easily and effectively at your allies. If a scout is able to reach the top of the hill before any opponent, it can control the hill : the scout patrols the hill at high speed, always twisting and turning to avoid hits, and lights the enmy tanks for its fellow artilleries and the TDs or heavies with good gun depression sitting on the slope just before the top of the hill and playing peek-a-boom
  • the key to protecting yourself is to hide behind the high slopes such as the one on which the railway sits or in the depressions on each side of the central ridge, much more than using bushes.

Malinovka :

  • the hill and the river are the two key corridors
  • always leave at least 3 non-arty tanks (among them 2 heavily armored ones) to defend base, mostly from (unprobable) attacks from the left side following the river
  • always send 5 tanks to the hill (3 mediums and 2 heavies). Pay attention : winning the hill does not guarantee you win the battle, especially if the opposite team is experienced : they will simply back down and their TDs will wait for you on the slope downward. In this case, either use the rock at each end of the flat top part of the hill to hide and fire on the enemy or charge down hill with at least 2 tanks : one will locate the enemy, the other will fire on them as soon as they reveal themselves by firing
  • send 1 or 2 tanks (preferably snipers with good armor) to the bushes on the top of the small hill on the right (if spawning from the South) or the left (if spawning from the North)
  • advice to beginners : never try to cross the open plain before the end of the battle approaches, even for scouting purposes, it’s too flat and without a hiding place
  • if your team makes progress on the East (hill) side, one TD may position hilmself on the cliff and fire down on the enemy, especially if there is only one base because from here one controls the approaches to it
  • this map may favor experienced campers : the hill is difficult to win and to get down from, and the plain is just a killing zone. So sometimes, the right side of the lake, where the village is located, may be an option. But it neverthless implies you have tanks to defend any attack from the plain or the hill.

Himmelsdorf :

  • if the opposite team is not a bunch of unicums, the real place to be is the street at the foot of the hill and the railway, not the hill since it’s difficult to shoot down hill : there is nothing but one or two difficult places to shoot from and the buildings mostly obstruct your line of sight. So the main rule is : do NOT go to the castle/hill
  • but if a very, very good team takes control of the hill, they can use it as snipers’ paradise. This is a very, very rare exception to the rule. If you’re a beginner or simply under average, forget it.

Ruinberg :

  • the key to victory lies in the city, so controling its streets with heavies and TDs in a peek-a-boom style is of paramount importance
  • nevertheless, at least approx. 5 tanks must take care of the Eastern side

Hills (Mines) :

  • the central hill is the key : try to get to it and hold it before the enemy : scouts and fast mediums should rush to it
  • neglect the island since it can be watched from near the bases. Also, it is very rare one succeeds in getting to the enemy’s base through it, because the accesses to it are open (killing) fields. Any massive attack from the island is doomed
  • the second important place after the hill is the town, especially if you have lost the hill
  • only leave 2 tanks (TDs) to defend the base, not more and ask them to watch the central hill and the island for enemies and shoot at them when they pop up to shoot. Those TDs should have some rocks in their vicinity to hide behind and relocate frequently.

Cliff :

  • having a tank at the top of the hill is an advantage only if its commander knows how to hide behind the firelight and peek-a-boom. This is also a good spot for scouting
  • if you spawn from the South, get a TD on the immediate right of the rock on the right above the spawning zone (in J5) : from there, he will be able to fire on the firelight hill and on any enemy tank trying to fire or invade from the center of the map at the foot of the hill (E5, E6). But beware, there is no obstacle to protect you, just a bush. The idea is to abuse the TD view range and load APCR or HE
  • another TD or two is to fire in the corridor on the West side.

Highway :

  • don’t be too many to go on the left side, the (right side) long run is the best bet
  • always leave at base at least 1 heavy and 2 TDs.

Steppes :

  • on the West side, try to reach the big rocks. If your team cannot send in time at least two heavies or TDs to them, then it’s better to snipe at the enemy from the small hills before the rocks
  • on the contrary, always send a minimum of three tanks (with at least two heavies) to the East side ravine and advance as far as possible into it. If you don’t, the enemy will and once they get out of the corridor, they’re in a position to easily wipe out your arties
  • if the enemy stays in the ravine on the East side of the map (especially in encouter mode, because the base is located there), it’s no use trying to get them from above because to fire on them you need more gun depression than you have, so you need to advance dangerouly or show the weak front under side of your hull. Also, as they are hidden from view, you don’t know their exact number and positions, so you might easily get killed by surprise. Instead, get into the ravine from one of its entries, advance cautiously on the right side sloped banks of the ravine and either wait for them from some distance to leave their position and ambush them or, if they don’t move at all, go ahead, spot them, send one tank to have a brawl with them from above and then, when they focuse on the attacking tank, shoot them from your position
  • with two fast and mobile tanks with a canon with huge rate of fire or good penetration (Pz. I C, M5 Stuart, Luchs, BT-7 Art., T67, M8 Hellcat etc.), use the old river bed, encrusted in the central plain, to scout and spot the enemy arties. In some best scenario cases, they may arrive undetected at the enemy base ...

Sand River :

  • do *not* use the dried up river bed to launch an attack : sniping at you from the river banks above is very easy and your gun elevation won’t be enough to fire on your opponents
  • use the dunes to peek-a-boom
  • if you spawn from the north-west, very often your allies won’t send enough tanks to the north-east and a couple of fast enemies will sneak into your base and destroy your arties and possibly your TDs looking the other way.

Redshire :

  • the base is located in the very small valley between two small and steep hills, but the corridor between them is open at its two ends : instead of taking base immediately and trying to retain it at all costs, it is much more efficient to ask TDs to position themselves in the axe of the corridor and snipe while the heavies go over the hills and on their sides and try to kill the enemies at close distance
  • sniping spots : if spawning from the South, the fields immediately on your left (K4 to K7), the small hill on the Eastern border of the map (F0 and F9)
  • from both spawning points, a risky but rewarding path for attack is (this is, for once, an exception) the central road.

Ensk :

  • this map is one of the very rare exceptions to the "no-go-center" rules because its center is occupied by the town : all heavies — I mean ALL heavies — and a number of TDs should invade its narrower streets as soon as possible while sticking as close together as possible
  • the slower TDs should stay at the rear watch the road along the railway, another should watch the forest and a last one the road on the other limit of the map. They should pay attention, in the middle of the battle, to fast enemy tanks coming from their flanks
  • the scouts will try to reach the arties and the enemy TDs on the other side.

Lakeville :

  • don’t send more than 25% of your allies to the mountain pass (sometimes called the "canyon"). Two TDs with big guns and one heavy are generally enough (but at the same time, that’s a minimum) to prevent the enemy from geting through the pass. The struggle at the mountain often extends until the very end of a battle, which proves the battle’s result is not made there
  • the town, especially the area around the church, is the key to victory on this map : don’t camp outside it, encircle it and invade but only up till the center around the church. Because if you go too far, the enemy will shoot you at the very moment you reach the the outskirts of the city and come out in the open
  • SPGs with high shell arc should feel at home on this map so if you’re watching the pass, don’t stay motionless
  • always have one TD on the narrow central path between the lake and the moutain firing at the enemy tanks near the church or driving on the urban banks of the lake
  • other TDs or tanks with good long range guns should position themselves at the outskirts of the town.

Abbey :

  • contrary to the general rule, you can attack through the middle of the map (i.e. the houses), but remain behind their walls. Holding the acropolis is an advantage
  • the narrow road along the river on the right side of the map is a major way to attack and is in most cases better put to use by the team spawning from the North base. It is so difficult to defend from the South that it is often more efficient to simply leave two tanks at its Southern "door"
  • but the twin path corridor on the left side of the map is the best way to attack, because it allows control over the center of the map. So it is better not to send a "lemming train" of tanks to the river.

El Hallluf :

  • in the sand dunes, never go far, remain far away from the middle of the dunes and shoot enemies in sniper mode
  • use the river bed only if you are very well armored.

Mountain Pass :

  • if spawning from the North, send 3 tanks on the left, including one fast medium who shall try to cross the river and position himself on the opposite side, his back poiting to the bridge. This way, your team will be able to fire on the enemy tanks from two directions, preventing them from advancing.

Overlord :

Empire’s Border :
https://wotguru.com/map-strategy-empires-border/

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TANK

  • as long as you haven’t played 2.000 or 3.000 battles, it is more useful to specialize in a type of tank and then to grind through one of them, rather than hopping from one tank to another one or — worse — from one line to another one
  • it is generally recommended to begin with heavy tanks (the KV-1 is probably the best heavy tank for a beginner) before moving to TDs and then scouts. Do not begin with scouts or artillery
  • that a tank is considered overpowered (OP) doesn’t mean it’s the best tank for you. So choose your OP tank wisely, test it and do not hesitate to sell it back if you don’t succeed in it a minimum. For more information, see our comprehensive list of OP tanks further down
  • the majority of premium tanks are not overpowered. They are just (more or less) rare and you need to learn how to play them. All premium tanks have a major weaknesss in order to counter balance their qualities. And for most of them (not all), a non premium (in other words, free) equivalent exists : for instance, the OP KV-220-2, compared to the KV-1 and the KV-1S, is more OP. But in the hands of a beginner, it is overall less efficient, mostly because of its fragile turret, which all experimented players target and shoot through (generally to lethal effect ...)
  • play a tank you’re comfortable with. If you have played a tank dozens of times and read the guides about its gameplay but still don’t understand how to play it, just sell it.

VISUALISING ARMOR IN DETAIL

There are three main resources that allow you to visualise in detail and through all angles any tank’s (effective) armor. Here, we’re not talking about a weak spots guide such as WoT Guru’s one (it’s the best one, by the way). We’re talking about much more detailed, complete apps.

For a limited yet quick and simple visualisation of armor, go to tanks.gg, select a tank and click on the Model tab to visualise the thickness of its amor and its efficiency through all angles. For instance, the tier X, British premium tank destroyer FV215b (183) armor (above).

Tank Inspector is a free software you can download and install on your computer (Windows only). It is mainly used for inspecting — hence its name — tanks’ armor, i.e. getting a better understanding of their weak spots than Taugrim’s web site can allow. One notable feature is that you can specify the shell type (AP/APCR/HEAT/HE/HESH) and caliber of the gun firing on the tank, as shell normalization varies by shell type, and this enables you to see the effective armor values. More details about Tank Inspector (in French). In order to get the latest release, download it from the Smelly river Github page.

Its more recent rival WoT Inspector has more features such as comparing two different tanks, includes Blitz and console versions of WoT and works on Android and iOS, but is only partially free and may not work on low bandwith connections.

MODS / CHEATS

Nearly everything you need to know about mods and other useful software — but it’s in French : http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/forum/953-mods-et-logiciels-utiles/

Good to have mods :

  • XVM (open source software) : shows the WR or recent WN8 of players and real-time damage done to enemy tanks (ok by me)
  • Aslain’s modpack : a pack comprising a limited number of "legal" mods, including XVM. Often recommended, but not by everyone. I generally prefer to play without it. For instance, it comprises hitskins, a mod showing tanks’ weak spots in battle (not ok by me, see why in these comments). Aslain’s modpack often brings a number of problems with it. For example, in version 1.3 of WoT, Aslain’s modpack has deactivated the "2" key : I can’t change the ammunition type !
  • Relhax Modpack, ex-OCM modpack (EU forum post). Includes XVM.

Controversial mods (this type of mods automatically aims at weakspots and therefore is considered a cheat but Wargaming doesn’t ban it, neither de juro [10] nor de facto and it’s widely used : make your own choice)
 :

More mods :

NB 1 : Wargaming (WG), a lot of guides and 95% of forumers pretend cheating is impossible in World of Tanks because, they say, it is server based and the server can’t be hacked. Another way to say that is "everything you can’t see cannot be used".

But on February 2016, Rita Sobral, on her quite-respected blog Status Report, analysed a replay sent to her and acknowledged it to be from a player using an "aimbot". She then wrote that WG is "is seeking to fight illegal mods". And in March 2016, QuickyBaby, one of the quasi-official Wargaming WoT professional players, issued a video recognising that some modpack aiming assistance (aim assist mod or aimbot) are a cheat and are "illegal" (aka will get your account deleted) according to WG. In August 2017, Sobral re-confirmed aimbots in WoT are for real and pointed at numerous videos showing the problem. But she also re-confirmed Wargaming doesn’t care at all. Other players have published videos similar as QuickyBaby’s one on cheating.

Well, the game being server based is a reality (shots calculation and their results are done only on the server, and a random number generator (RNG) adds some random to your shots’ results ; also, you can’t make your tank really invisible), but that still leaves a lot of information available to the client software, i.e. on your PC (such as the location of the enemy tank, its speed, its direction, its type, when it has last shot), and that information, connected to a database of tanks characteristics (weak spots, time between shots ...), can be used to build cheating mods.

So cheating is possible using certain mods, especially the free Gox WoT Mod pack and for a fee (14 USD per month) Warpack (see below). The cheat mods include, for example, Tundra Mod, which removes from your view trees and houses that can be fired through, Lazers, which tells you where enemy guns are pointing i.e. whether they can fire on your tank [11], and, most important, mini-map showing destroyed objects — therefore indicating enemy tanks that haven’t yet been detected — and a number of aimbots (such as AimBot-Shaytan or AutoAim by SAE) which automatically drive your gun reticule on the enemy tank weak points and sometimes even give lead to the target (locked aiming from WoT doesn’t move around searching for best weakspots like it does here, it stays locked in the center of the target).

Up until March 2016, WG EU seemed not to have any problem with these mods. Apparently, only laser pointers were supposed to be banned but since the mods are on the client (your PC) and WG does not scan your PC for them, they can’t be detected. The risks of course when you use such mods is to get viruses with them, to see your game client slow down or to have your computer crash when you play WoT.

This is not to say that all cheat mods are that much effective (IMO, it’s mostly aimbots which really are), but nevertheless any beginner should know about their existence since, again, they are de facto not banned from the game and do seem to be widely used. In 2017, some players were saying that about one fifth of WoT players use cheat mods, and that most clans exact their members to use a set number of them. If you take into account that in January and February 2019, in public battles, 4 players out of 15 in average are clan members, then ...

NB 2 : apart from mods, another cheat exists in WoT : bots. These for-a-fee programs drive your tank automatically while at the same time emulating a human player (very) basic behavior. They are de juro prohibited by Wargaming (see rule 4.07 of the game). Most popular (sigh...) are dniwebot (from Warpack), Cyber Tank and Tankleader.
According to forum threads and surveys, bots account for less than 10% of the "players".
According to Cyber Tank’s web site, they are "safe" from WG’s detection programs until tier V. The main aim of bots is to farm credits and grind tanks without any pain. While giving your account a bad win rate (WR) of 40 to 45%.
In order to prevent his bot-using-account from getting banned by Wargaming, according to all testimonies about botting, one should buy in-game virtual property, the most useful being premium time and premium tanks.

As an ex-boter puts it on Reddit [12] :
wotbotthrowaway : « Reports came a lot. If enough people reported it then the game automatically penalized all credits and xp earned for that battle. I never received a ban on either account though I did receive a harsh email from WG once. [...] »
tg110e5 : « My theory is since some people spend so much money on this game, WG doesn’t want to ban someone who spends 100-200$ a month on WoT, they only ban the cheap cheaters. »
wotbotthrowaway : « My original intention was to just use the bot to get myself a T95E2 quickly and then never boot it up again but when I saw how quickly it unlocked tanks and how much silver it made, it was honestly too much temptation for me to overcome. I thought "oh the E4 is on track now. Maybe I’ll just use it to get enough silver and xp to unlock that on the main." Then it was "well I’m not that far from the T-54 now and oh man the Kranvagn looks great maybe I’ll just bot the whole swedish line." It’s a very slippery slope that is encouraged by WoT’s hellish stock grinds. [...]
The way WoT is set up it’s either invest time and money into playing the game with a premium account or spend a bit on a bot that will get you money and xp while you do other things. I feel like anything that WG could do that would make botting less appealing (make stock grinds better, rework gold rounds, actually look at balancing the game) would cut into the things which make them the most money. »
w0nk0 : « The blame is all on WG. They could easily identify bots with a little AI of their own, but they choose not to. They choose to effectively allow botting.
wotbotthrowaway : « I don’t remember my exact WR before but I want to say it was 51-53% and it fell to 46% [...] If you care about stats at all then you should never bot. It absolutely destroys WN8 and win percentage. »

NB 3 : another cheat is buying accounts. Experienced player LemmingRush shows a quasi-proof of that on his Youtube channel.

NB 4 : some gamers consider there is a third cheat in WoT, a totaly legal one this time : premium (so-called "gold") ammo. True, it’s cheap enough to be called that.

Sources for cheat mods and bots :

DEDICATED CORNERS

Overpowered vehicles (OP) : a comprehensive list

Underneath you will find a list of tanks which are obviously "above average" (as the British say) — overpowered (OP) as they say in the game and in the forums. Strictly speaking, an OP tank is a tank in which most players (and that includes bad and average players) do better in terms of win ratio (WR) than their average.

This list relies on statistics firstly (see sources hereunder) and gamers’ consensus secondly. It is not 100% comprehensive but tries to be and will surely have to be updated. Vehicles retired by Wargaming are not listed.

Test OP tanks and see which ones you like and are successful in. Use them as much as you can. One should use the best tanks, period. But remember : not all OP tanks are for you — in fact, a huge number of them are not suitable for beginners.

NB : to verify that a tank is OP or simply test it, don’t try it stock, but with all equipments upgraded — the gun first and foremost — and a crew with at least 75% experience.

Warning :

  • even the most OP premiums are not "automatic win" buttons. If you are crap, you will do just a little better than in other tanks — in other words, in average you’ll be a little less crap. No tank will turn a 48% WR player into a 55% player, more like it will get him towards 50%
  • some tanks may seem OP, but when you look at their stats or try them, you are very disappointed. This is because they’re not really OP, they just suit the play style of very good players : such is the case of the Hetzer when used in brawler mode. Its armor looks strong : it’s sloped and it bounces some shells. And its HE shells may look like they have a devastating effect. But all this is because its driver knows perfectly well how to position himself and on which weak spot to shoot.

Tier I

Tier II

Tier III

Tier IV

Tier V

  • lights :
  • mediums :
  • heavies :
  • TDs :
    • T67 (not to be used as a classic stationary sniper TD, no wonder it’s OP only for players above 50% WR)
    • SU76F GT
    • S35 CA, nicknamed the "Bathtub"
    • AT 2 : very heavily armored, very slow, to be played like a heavy tank
  • arties : leFH (its real name is 105 leFH18B2). This premium arty has been retired from the shop but may be given as special awards during specials and events, as well as sometimes appearing as a special offer in the premium shop, but generally only as a freebie for a package with the highest gold offers.

Tier VI

  • mediums :
    • T-34-85M (premium)
    • T-34-85 Rudy (premium)
    • Cromwell : a typical unicum’s tank : poor armor, very fast, very manoeuverable, good gun with high DPM, made for flanking
    • Cromwell B (premium) : same qualities as the Cromwell, even faster
    • Pudel (a Polish, better Panther) (premium)
  • heavies : O-I : less OP than its predecessor O-I Exp. [18]
  • TDs :
  • arties : M44 : this arty is a rare case of OP vehicle, since it is OP only with players below 50% WR.

Tier VII

Tier VIII

Tier IX

Tier X

Sources :

Guides for scouting/spotting

Advice to beginners : do NOT start with scouts, wait ’till you’ve got a thousand battles behind you. Otherwise your WR will suffer.

Since the following guides on how to use scouts are very good, I will not write a complete, special guide for scouting.

Here are, extracted mostly from the first guide infra, the really important rules to become a good scout :

  • you don’t need to be a light tank in order to scout. Medium tanks and even tank destroyers can act as scouts too
  • as long as enemy locations are known, then there is no need to scout. If your mediums and heavies are in the midst of engaging enemy tanks, and red dots are already lighted up, then just be patient and sit quietly in the base. When all the red dots disappear, and your team is starved for intel, that’s when you’d serve your team the most as a scout. That usually happens toward mid to late game, after half the team is dead
  • there are three roles a scout can play :
    • the observer : it’s the most efficient one and at the same time the easiest one. You can stop, and hide, and observe and provide more useful intelligence than rummaging through the enemy’s base for a lifetime of 5 seconds. The key points in this observation scouting are :
      • to know your map very well
      • to reach your position and hide *before the enemy* shows up. So only use the fastest scout in your tier
      • to position yourself hidden at a hilltop or a road crossing
      • to NOT shoot (see of rule 33. above)
    • the spotter (also called passive scouting) : sneak up from behind, from the side, from beneath a hill, from behind a building, etc. Use cover wisely and take a peek in. As soon as you spot the enemy, back out and hide behind somewhere safe where you can’t be hit. Let artillery do the work. As soon as the red blip disappears, peek in again, then back out, out of sight. Rinse and repeat, never engaging the enemy yourself
    • the rushing scout : if you decide to rush, don’t approach the enemy base head on. Always approach from the side, and sweep to the other side [23]
  • auto-aim is your friend : use it (right-click the enemy and go around him in circles)
  • equiping your scouting tank : it’s most important to have the best radio, binoculars, camo net (which is not that necessary if you have camo skills activated) and a small repair pack (number 5 on keypad)
  • crew skills : camouflage, sixth sense (this skill allows you to know when you’ve been spotted).

Recommended guides/tutorials for scouting :

Special SPG/artillery corner

- 1. Advice to beginners : do NOT play artie before you’ve got a thousand battles under your helm. Or your win ratio will suffer badly.

- 2. Crew : use your credits to bring gunner and commander at 75% minimum. Otherwise, you’ll miss most of your shots.

- 3. Do not miss. When using parabolic fire, take the time to make sure the line of fire is not red and the targeting oval stops shrinking. Even when this oval is at its smallest diameter, the WOT server will not let you hit the target every time. The same applies in direct fire. Make sure that the circle is tiny and aim slightly low. Never try to fire on the move. You will miss.

- 4. Hide as best as you can. Far from the base and not close to another friendly arty. Conceal yourself in a bush high enough to hide your canon in an elevated position or — better — behind a slope or a building and use a camouflage net.

- 5. Move (not the same way as others tanks). Find your hiding spot quickly, use your reload time to move 10 meters minimum after each shot to escape counter-arty fire and relocate so as not to remain alone (i.e. follow your allies in their major moves) and escape the approaching enemies. Beware of fast tanks hunting arties, especially at the end of a battle. So regularly leave your special arty view to check your surroundings.

- 6. TD mode. When too much obstacles prevent you from using parabolic fire or when the enemy gets close (generally, you’re too slow to escape), act as a TD. Switch to normal view, face the enemy, get into reverse and try to guess the enemy trajectory and use auto-aim. This is particularly useful on urban maps such as Winterberg or Himmelsdorf.

- 7. Prioritize. As a general rule, always choose a stationary target. Tanks threatening your base (and yourself) become priorities — so always watch your minimap. Then shoot 1. Heavies first. 2. TDs. 3. Mediums. 4. Lights/Scouts. 5. Arties. Open top vehicules and scouts are a tempting target because they are easy to kill in one shot. But they generally move too fast and too frequently for them to be easy targets. Heavies, mediums and TDs engaged in ambushes or "round the corner" fights, as well as tanks detracked or on low health, are generally easier to hit because they move slower and less often. Of course, always leave regularly your arty view to look out for incoming scouts : when seen, they are the first priority target. Also, when an arty is lit up on the mini-map, it becomes first priority target.

- 8. Aim according to range. Remember : in an arty, the aiming circle (or "oval", or reticule) represents the area where your shell would land, should it go through the target, while the crosshair represents where the shell will hit the target (or the earth). Also keep in mind that when you put your crosshair on an enemy tank, the game, in order to maximise your chances to hit the target, behaves as if you’re aiming at mid-heighth of the tank (that means that if the hull of the tank is hidden, you get a red line of fire, while if you move your crosshair slightly behind the tank, the line of fire becomes green and in fact whithout seeing it, you’re aiming at its turret !). At long range (more than 400 m), your trajectory flattens, so put your crosshair a little further behind the target and the target should be in the front part of the aiming oval. At mid range (between 300 and 400 m) : crosshair on the target, the aiming oval behind the target (yes, this is normal). At short range (50 to 300 m), crosshair on the front of the target. At close range (less than 50m), switch to normal view (often called "TD mode") and if the enemy is a scout shoot in the ground just in front of him. In parabolic (arty) view, when firing a moving target, know the speed of your shells, estimate the target’s length, heighth and speed and shoot accordingly : before the target, where it will be in 1 or 2 seconds, and through it.


From The Comprehensive Guide to Playing Artillery

- 9. Target the weak spots. Which is, in the SPG’s case, the *deck* of enemy tanks, not their flanks nor their front.

- 10. Use keys and mouse clicks. Press the X key to stop your tank moving when you move your crosshair, which causes the server reticule to widen. Press T or F2 when you fire to warn good players that you’re targeting a special tank. Hold down Z and pick the "Reloading !" in the bottom right or press F8 to indicate your reload time to your allies. Ctrl + click on the mini-map to indicate your allies the zones to watch (you have a much better view of what ’s going on than them).

- 11. Equipment : use a shell rammer and enhanced gun laying drive. Recommended skills and perks : sixth sense for the commander, camo and brother in arms.

Sources :

Special German corner

  • most German tanks have very weak lower front glacis (LFG) armor : hit them there
  • so, when playing them, try hull down tactics (hide your hull).

Special American heavies corner

  • American heavy tanks have weak hull armor : hit them there
  • but their turret is mostly impenetrable so, when playing them, always use hull down tactics.

Special (often slow and) fragile TDs (anti-tank / tank destroyer)

This deals with tactics for so-called "glass canon" : FCM36 Pak40, Alecto, SAu 40, S35 CA, SU-76, T-28E F-30, Pz.Sfl. IVc, Nashorn, Sturer Emil, Dicker Max ...

  • choose carefully two places at the rear with maximum line of sight and go from one to the other when you’re spotted
  • fire once and hide immediately, NEVER fire twice in a row. Remaining hidden is the key to survivability, but also to kills and credits
  • don’t go to the first line, you don’t have enough armor, speed nor manoeuverability. And you’re not a unicum. I know, it’s frustrating :-) Some exceptions :
    • your team has advanced a lot and protects you. Then find a long alley/street and position yourself at the end of it
    • at the end of the battle, there are only two allied tanks left including you and not more than two enemy tanks left either
    • the enemy is caping or there is only 3 mn left and your team is down to you and one or two arties
  • don’t come to your opponents and don’t let them outflank you or get close to you. On the contrary, go far away and up from them to take advantage of your gun and change location after having fired.

Sources :

Special KVs corner

  • do not engage a KV-1/KV-1S/KV-220/KV-2/KV-85 without having an anti-tank canon yourself or a TD by your side using APCR shells or another superior heavy tank
  • best tactics against a KV is to drive around him and fire at his flanks (easy penetration) or rear (strong fire possibility)
  • weak spots are the entire bottom rear portion of the KV’s hull, the portion of the hull above the tracks on its flanks, the machine gun port and — especially if not angled — the upper front glacis and upper side hull. For the KV-1S and especially the KV-220, add the turret’s sides
  • don’t drive a KV alone, work in pair. Ideally, have mediums to cover your flanks
  • don’t drive your KV in plains, go into the city
  • use sidescraping and pop up/"peek-a-boom" (get out, fire, get back under cover while you reload, get out, etc.)
  • prefer the 85 mm gun, but if you use the 122 mm, prefer HEAT shells

Sources :

Special O-I Experimental (a Japanese heavy tank, widely used) corner

  • don’t go out in the open
  • never stay alone, you need mediums to cover your flanks
  • weak spots : the vertical upper glacis, the turret when not angled, the two small turrets on the front and above all the sides.

Sources :

Special Matilda and Valentine corner

  • those two British tanks medium are so heavily armored (and so slow) that they can be considered as heavies : it’s no use firing at their front, their turret or even their side. It’s very simple yet very difficult : you have to drive around them and fire at their rear hull only (maybe the commander’s cupola if your canon cain aim very precisely)
  • if you drive them, beware : their good armor shouldn’t induce you into getting too close to enemy heavies. Your gun is not powerful enough and you weak spots are known all over the world (of tanks).

Sources :

"WEBOGRAPHY" (useful links, especially tutorials)

Hereunder you will find guides for beginners and intermediate level players.

- Guides and tutorials - Whole web sites :

- Guides and tutorials - Guides made especially for beginners (so called "noobs") :

- Guides and tutorials - Going further :

- Auto aim :

- Camouflage / detection :

- Weak spots :

- Ammunition ("ammo") :
http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ammo

- Armor angling :

- WoT matchmaking :

- Alternatives to clans (recommended) :

  • in game, use Mumble or Teamspeak servers to communicate with your platoon mates
  • EFTAC French speaking WoT academy :
    EFTAC has its own dedicated topic on WoT forums.

- To find a forum thread or a guide on how to play any given tank, type "wot [name of tank]" in Google (without the quotes and brackets) and have a look at the five first results.

Notes de bas de page

[1Grinding here means spending boring time to get to the next tank.

[2A unicum is an exceptionnaly good player. The exact definition is : a player among the 0,1% best. In statistics, the color of his profile is purple.

[3By the way, Is World of Tanks dying ? It’s hard to question the longevity of a title you’ve played for years and appreciate, but on December 7th, QuickyBaby, a famous professional player and promoter of the game, did just that. He had noticed Wargaming had officially introduced bots on the Asian server, officially so that lack of players in battles at low tier can be overcome. So he asked himself : « Why ? » He then discovered that the number of concurrent players are down every year since 2016 and that, on TwitchTV, WoT is down in terms of popularity (data come from SullyGnome for TwitchTV and WoTnews web site). Just so you know.
The recession in the number of players can also be seen in the growing proportion of players belonging to a clan (a category of better-trained players, or so supposed so). Four years ago, in a public battle, there was, on average, only one clan member in a 15 player team. Now we’re in 2019 and there are three on average. This is proof that the game attracts much less fresh recruits. Long time player and blogger Rita Sobral also thinks the game is dying. But it’s a pity, since it generally is a fun game (and I won’t adocate the rival game War Thunder, because it’s technically inferior and sooooo slow on my PC). Hence this (long) post. BTW, QuickyBaby has published his suggestions on how to fix the game.

[4Hitskins are really on the verge of cheats, so I do not recommend them myself. But on the other hand, they are not illegal per se. See the Mods / Cheats section in this post.

[5The exact time is random and between 5 and 10 seconds.

[6APCR : Armor Piercing Composite Rigid.

[7HEAT : High Explosive Anti-Tank.

[8Another, real this time, exception will happen when you’re a better player driving a heavy tank and you know what you’re doing : this time, you will be able use the center of the map to control the map and inform your team mates about the location of the enemy. But that’s not for beginners.

[9In my opinion, it’s very close to cheating.

[11Lazers has been officially validated by Wargaming on their Mod Hub site.

[12I used to run a bot on WoT. AMAA, posted by wotbotthrowaway in r/World of Tanks on Reddit in 2017. The whole thread is worth reading. Very instructive.

[13If not top tier, any heavy with HEAT and any TD with APCR will frag you in two shots. One sure way to make it impotent is to shoot its tracks and, once stopped, to ask artillery to shell it. As Balc0ra, a very experienced player explains, you can also bait it into the firing line of TDs sitting far away, but this takes coordination with your allied TDs. Another way is to use HEAT shells. Last but not least : if your tank is higher than the Pz. II J, shoot the commander’s hatch, its only real weak spot.

[14The last time the Pz. J II was sold (mid-January 2019), the sale lasted only three days and the price was 99,99 euros. Its preceding appearance in the shop happened in ... 2015. Not only is this tank very expensive to buy — it is also awfully expensive to play since its small gun absolutely needs premium shells to penetrate your opponents.

[15Personnaly, I do find it boring and I don’t like it. I find it over rated.

[16The premium TD FCM36 Pak40, which was outrageously OP and had never been nerfed, was retired from the shop in 2015. The awfully OP SU-76I has never been sold again since 2014.

[17The B2 was retired from the game in 2012 but appears sometimes in the gift shop. If you encouter one, shot its weak spots — nothing else. Otherwise, you’re dead.

[18Why isn’t the KV-2 in this list ? Because it is not really, clearly OP. See its statistics.

[19Why isn’t the premium medium US tank M6A2E1 (nicknamed the Mutant) in this list ? Because the recent (end of 2018) statistics I cite show it is not OP.

[20The premium TD Rheinmetall Skorpion G is not in this list because it’s not really OP. See its statistics. Same for the other Rheinmetall in the game, the Rhm.-Borsig Waffenträger loved by good players (its stats). They were so OP that they both got nerfed.

[21The first Death Star being the tier 10 TD Jg.Pz. E 100, which is not OP, although being impressive and liked by unicums.

[22The FV4005 Stage II, often called the "Shitbarn", may be a unicum’s tank or a one-shot-one-kill tank but is not — I repeat not, according to its stats — an OP tank. The T110E3 is not OP enough to deserve to be in this list.

[23A (bad and inefficient) version of the rushing scout is suicide scouting. If you really want to try it, follow this guide.

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