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style="font-style: italic;">Cover is extremely important. The enemy could be anywhere in my view, lining up a perfect shot even, but I would be none the wiser without eyes of my own out there.

So you want to be a tank driver in
the World of Tanks, but
are a little afraid of what you’re getting into? 
Don’t worry. 
Your MMO experience will come in handy as this game has a
lot of
trade-offs to weigh as you compare ammo, turrets, armor thickness, and
more.  You may start
driving little more
than a tin can on treads, but eventually you’ll make your way to the
medium tanks, and eventually the heavies such as the legendary King
Tiger and
Maus.  But you
probably have questions
about the game before you dive into a multi-GB download and a potential
and that’s what we’re here to clear up!

World of Tanks is a semi-realistic
shooter.  style="">  You’ll
be piloting a variety of Soviet, American and German vehicles with one
goal—devastate the enemy team.  But
unlike most first person shooters, there are many ways to go about any
map, many ways to protect yourself, and twitch reactions won’t get you
far.  You’ll be
spending no time on
foot.  You’ll spend
a lot of time in the
menus comparing stats and verifying what tanks is strong with, and weak
to, but
over time you’ll spend all of your time on the battlefield.

Your Role

You start off as a lowly light tank
with a pathetic top
speed, durability and gun.  Fear
not.  You aren’t
going to be matched
against the titans of the war; you’ll be pitted against mostly the same
kind of
players with maybe one upgrade on you or two. 
The matchmaking for this game is fairly good about giving
everyone a
fair shake in a given game, and groups the teams by their general tank
level or
tier as the players will typically refer to it as.  Once
you get a few games under your belt, you’ll
accumulate the resources needed to make the next step into perhaps a
type of death machine.  There
are three
main types of vehicles in World of Tanks


It wouldn’t be World of Tanks without
Tanks, now would
it?  Tanks are
characterized by high maneuverability,
and the ability to fire one direction while moving another. style="">  This makes them excellent
specialists behind cover, and offensive for keeping mobile and not
locked on by the other two classes of units. 
Life as a Tank varies depending on the branch of tank you
go with, but
generally you’ll play defensive initially, but lead the surge forward
when the
time comes.

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style="font-style: italic;">Backup is extremely important.
 Beating the odds is rare in a game of equal firepower.


The big assholes of the game, the
Tank Destroyers are
masters of area denial.  They
love to
park in shrubbery, point their massive guns at a pass, and wait for
some poor
sap to enter their crosshairs.  Tank
Destroyers have better range and accuracy than Tanks, but at one major
turret.  In order
for the Tank Destroyer
to fight, it must turn the whole vehicle to face the target. style="">  As such, a flanked Tank
Destroyer is quickly
annihilated, and if your treads get blown off in combat, pray that
someone is
still in front of you to aim at while your team repairs! style="">  Tank destroyers have
respectable HP and
frontal Armor compared to tanks, but extremely vulnerable sides and

Self-Propelled Guns

The class that requires the most
patience, but also
instigates the greatest rage for both you and your opponents, SPGs have
incredible firing distance.  Typically
this is about ¾ of the map in distance, but it’s highly inaccurate and
affected by terrain.  Since
the shot is
arced, anything whatsoever in the path will deny your shot. style="">  You’re still welcome to
try if there is a
faint chance of getting it over and into the steel of an enemy tank,
but don’t
try this at home kiddies.  Much
of your
time is spend staring at the map in a Birds Eye perspective, and you
have the
hardest prediction of all in your shots due to the time they take to
their targets.

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style="font-style: italic;">Imbalance is rare, because the
matchmaker creates even teams of each type and tier of tank in general.
 Now skill-based imbalance.... that it can't account for.

of Battle and
Victory… or Death

The biggest problem for most new
players of this is that
they drive straight to the front lines, get shot at from all sides and
blown to
hell before they even locate the opponents that killed them. style="">  Passive play is smart play
in World of Tanks.  That’s
not to say camping is the only strategy
to win, quite the contrary.  But
headlong into enemy Tank Destroyers is a good way to accumulate repair
that outweigh your income.  Move
forward and if you see an enemy, use cover or elevation to protect
while you wait for backup, artillery, or an opportunistic shot. style=""> 

Victory is achieved after a 15 minute
time victory, the
obvious massacre of the opposition, or capturing of their home base. style="">  Capturing is no easy feat. style="">  Even the slightest damage
will set your
capture back 30 seconds, so it’s impossible to ninja the objectives out
underneath your opponents.  But
what if
you don’t make it to that point of victory? 
Perhaps one of the greatest features of World of Tanks
presents itself—you
don’t have to sit and wait.  There
is no
respawn in these missions, but you can repair your tank between
missions.  The tank
is unavailable until the mission is
finished for all players, and you can leave early if you are killed! style="">  You can even queue up for
another game so
long as you have another tank that is not currently locked in combat. style="">  You receive full rewards
whether you stuck
around or not once the game completes.


To progress in this game only
requires time and money.  Fortunately,
I’m not talking about your checkbook;
I’m talking about credits earned in game. 
Experience points are earned every battle and can be spent
on upgrading
your current vehicle, or researching another one. 
Once researched, you purchase the tank with
Credits earned from each battle.  Note
that you don’t want to always progress directly in power—you might find
like a tier 4 Medium Tank for the Germans, so you might research down
to that
level for the Soviets and Allies to see if their tank offers any subtle
differences—which it does!

Just realize you’ll have to pay for
repairs and ammunition
as you go, and the bigger the vehicle, the more it costs to fire and
fix it!


With so many tanks that have
different playstyles and
strengths, the game almost has a Pokemon-esque gotta-catch-em-all feel
it.  The playstyles
of Tier 2, 5, and 10
tank battles are almost completely different from each other, so there
incentives to play less powerful tanks for more entertainment and
variety.  There are
also 15 man clan tank wars, where
the ultimate in communication and tactics are needed to press on and
beat a
similarly coordinated group.

Besides, do you need a reason to keep
logging in and
punching giant holes in Nazi tanks? 
didn’t think so!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Tanks Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016