War is hell, as one general put it (whose name became the name of a medium tank, ironically) , but war was probably a lot more hellish before tanks. Think about it: first people lined up, charged, and chopped each other with blades and arrows, or lined up and shot at each other in volleys, or dug trenches and shot each other. Courageous, yes, but messy and brutish. Tanks brought mobility and a measure of elegance back to land warfare, and with WWII, war was made mobile again. World of Tanks is all about mobility and firepower, and offers plenty of clan warfare options, crew & tank development, and customization options to keep RPG types and social gamers interested. But how does it all tie together?

Strap on your goggles and padded leather helmets and read along as Ten Ton Hammer reviews World of Tanks, the breakthrough online tank vs. tank shooter from Wargaming.net.

At its core, World of Tanks is about
blasting the hell out
of the other team in large battles, typically 15 vs. 15. style="">  Victory is achieved by
total domination, or
by capturing a base near the enemy team’s spawn point. 
This latter win condition is quite possibly the slowest capture ever,
requiring a full 60 seconds of taking no damage. 
But that might be the only slow thing about the

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/97591"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 639px; height: 361px;" alt=""

style="font-style: italic;">A typical zoomed in shot.
 Unfortunately I was driving at the time, so my accuracy is
absolutely horrid.   But if I stop, the enemy will have an
easier shot too!

You pilot a wide range of Soviet,
German, and American war
machines, each differing from similar tanks from the other countries and ranging in design from the start of WWII to the Korean War, . style="">  This leads to tons of
tanks to play as, with
all of them offering completely viable tactics. 
does this work, you might ask?  Think
it like WoW Battlegrounds—each battle you fight is automatically
around your tank’s strength, so if you have a newbie tank, you’ll be
against other newbie tanks and at the most one upgrade higher than you.

You’re not always piloting tanks
either.  You’ve got
a wealth of tank destroyers and
artillery to choose from, and the heaviest tanks, the main battle tanks, also
have a wide
range of playstyles and strengths. 
two tanks will handle alike, no two games will play out the same way,
and that
adds to a lot of the core appeal that makes World of Tanks so damn fun.


World of Tanks is safe for all ages. It only has mechanical violence, with no bloodshed or even swearing. That's not to say your team won't reach for some colorful language though, so typical online warnings apply.

Gameplay - 95 / 100

You’d think a PvP-only game with a single
match type would get boring fast, but matches in each tier of tank
combat unfolds differently.  Early
you’ll be sporting speedy but frail tanks that excel at flanking each
which results in some crazy circle-strafing battles. 
Once artillery and tank destroyers come into
play, battles become more about controlling territory and slowly
boxing in the enemy.   It
changes more and more as you rise in the
tank ladder, and eventually in the mighty top tier battles you’ll see
standoffs of King Tigers and T-30s and even Wunderwaffe tanks like the Maus and P.1000 Ratte. The heavier the tanks used, the more important strategy becomes and the more costly mistakes become; mistakes like revealing themselves to artillery by firing too soon.

The flow of the battle depends on the
tank tier, but the
flow of the game is quite simple. 
fight to gain experience and credits. Experience goes towards improving your crew, and once
they’re fully
trained, researching new tanks and tank parts. 
You might just want to get into the big guys immediately,
but upgrading
your current tank can be critical to your performance or playstyle. style="">  For instance, a Panzer IV
can be upgraded with a long barrel for accurate sniping, with components to enable rapid
firing for mobile
combat, and a terrifyingly powerful howitzer that could blow similar tanks
apart in
one clean shot. 

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style="font-style: italic;">Cover is everything.
 Being in the open is a good way to get shot from all sides
and get destroyed before you can fire a shot!

Credits are used for the obvious purchasing of the researched tanks,
and purchasing weak one-time consumables for mid-combat
repairs.  They’re also used for two things you might not be
used to paying for—ammo and tank repairs.  Even if your tank
makes it out of combat in one piece, getting hit will give you a repair
bill.  This repair cost is almost completely negligible at
first, but as you scale in tank level, getting blown up begins to cost
as much as the profits of a good round.  Ammunition also
scales from 10 credits a shot to 1000 credits a shot for the high end
artillery, making accuracy and kills all the more important.

You can queue with up to 2 buddies and still join normal games. Three is company, but beyond that you'll need a full platoon of 15. Some might see this rule as a design flaw, but this was a wise response to beta feedback: matchmaking (and accessibility) breaks down if you have larger, experienced groups working in tandem. When you die, there are no respawns, but you can
immediately leave the game and join the queue again in a different
tank.  You will still receive full experience and cash for the
game, whether it end in victory or defeat.  This solves the
biggest problem of these last man standing game types: being
the first one to die.

Graphics - 87 / 100

Lots of detail goes into every tank
design.  They’re
accurate to their original
schematics, and have great details such as worn armor, bold plates, and
more.  When you get
hit hard, your
interface will be rocked, you’ll have a general idea of where the shot
from, and your tank will possibly even light on fire. 
All of this is done with more than a nod to realism.  When
you scope in on an
opponent, the view blurs slightly and if you get hit during it, your
tank rocks
appropriately and messes with your shot before you can line up your
sights once

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style="font-style: italic;">You're not going to get a
skyline like this from any other F2P.

Even the maps are pretty. style="">  
Buildings are varied in their design so they don’t look
like cookie
cutter maps, and Wargaming.net did a stellar design of the
beyond their actual boundaries (e.g. skyboxes and landscapes), making the cities feel more like cities
of boxed combat arenas for tanks to play in. 
The graphics on the whole have the production values of a
retail game,
in a wonderful F2P package.  They
truly impressive, but they do more than just get by.

Sound - 77 / 100

Music is limited to pre-battle anthems, but they do a great job of setting the tone for the battle. In-between combat missions, your garage resounds with the hum of machines and steel being worked on. The real star of the show is the sound of the tanks in general—each tank class sounds different as it accelerates, struggles through rough terrain, or deflects a shot. The roar of a tank shell flying out of your barrel is wonderful regardless of your vehicle. When a part gets damaged, there are a variety of voices to announce the damage and repairing of it, which contributes to the overall semi-realistic feel of the game.

Value - 90 / 100

High value free-to-play games are in short supply. Most reek of
low production values, and free-to-play shooters, in particular, tend to have less variety in maps, silly weapon rental mechanics. and other pay-to-win quirks. F2P MMOGs, on the other hand, tend to offer exceedingly grindy mechanics, and vampiric microtransaction models, derivative gameplay, and aging graphics. Thankfully, World of Tanks avoids all these pitfalls - graphics are competitive, the gameplay changes with each battle, and RPG style vehicle and weapon development kept me busy between matches.

Since World of Tanks is free to download and subscription free, let's talk about how Wargaming.net makes money. Players purchase gold with real money, and gold is the game's secondary currency (alongside credits). Gold can be converted into credits, but experience points cannot be purchased directly (for full disclosure: players can purchase experience boosts). Gold will purchase some unique vehicles and ammo, but none of these are overpowered or completely outclass the ones you can pilot and purchase through just playing the game normally. The value for a purchase of gold is quite good though, and dropping a twenty will likely last you weeks longer than your last Call of Duty or Halo playthrough.

If you want to know the value of the game as a F2P player strictly, it’s incredibly high. No two battles will play out the same way, no two tanks handle the same, and there are several varieties of vehicles to pilot so you never get stuck doing the same thing two games in a row. If you don’t like the idea of a grind, your first victory with each tank daily will earn you double experience points, which helps keep you in the game with the obsessed.

Lasting Appeal - 87 / 100

With tournaments and clan warfare being a main drawing point of the game, you’d think that solo battles would get old after a while, but, remarkably, they do not. On top of that, a tactical map control mode that resembles something out of Global Agenda or Planetside is coming soon, testing the mettle of clans in their ability to take and hold territory from other clans. Wargaming.net has set the bar very high with their standards and future of the game, and so far they’ve lived up to it quite well.

Pros and Cons


  • Great production values in
    graphics and sound
  • Very little downtime between
    matches, no waiting on death
  • Huge variety of tanks and tactics


  • Starts off well-paced, later
    tanks are a huge grind
  • Shots bouncing off the enemy are
    extremely frustrating and
    seemingly random, regardless of armor penetration.
  • Tank Destroyer-heavy teams slow
    the pace of the game to a


World of Tanks has done something that other free-to-play developers should be jealous of—delivered an exciting, original, and complete game that really has no equal on the market at the moment. The concept is simple, but the variety and customization are without equal and keep you coming back for more. You have nothing to lose by giving this game a try after all, and just like the wildly popular League of Legends, you can be the best player in the game without spending a dime. If you can get past the title, which is the most derivative aspect of this surprisingly innovative and full-featured game, we don't think you'll be disappointed.

Overall 87/100 - Very Good


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

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016