World of Warships Captain Skills Guide

A highly skilled captain in World of Warships can be the difference between you excelling in a battle and being outclassed by your opponents.  This World of Warships captain skill guide will go over each captain skill currently available and whether or not it is worth it to select for your captain.  Since captains can only train a maximum of 19 points worth of skills it is important to select them wisely since changing them will cost you precious doubloons/gold.  The way skills are designed in World of Warships is that a tier 1 skill costs 1 skill point, a tier 2 skill 2 points, and so on.  To reach the higher tier skills you need to acquire at least one in the previous tier before it.

Next to each captain skill will be a colored indicator as to whether or not the captain skill is useful on a ship class.  DD=destroyer, CL=light cruiser, CA=heavy cruiser, BB=battleship, CV=carrier vessel.  This World of Warships captain skills guide is also updated to reflect the most recent changes to captain skills which added several skills and changed many others.

Green= Very Useful skill

Orange= Useful skill but dependent on specific ship and/or build.

Red= Useless skill

Tier 1 Captain Skills

Expert Loader

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(50% increase to loading speed when changing shells)

This skill is not very useful since it only affects reload times when you are switching shell types.  For battleships, destroyers, and most cruisers where you primarily use the same shell type for a large part of a battle this skill won’t help you.  Some cruisers with longer reloads this skill could help, but overall it is better to choose a different tier 1 skill.

Basic Firing Training

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(139mm+ main guns and all secondary guns receive -10% reload time, +10% to anti-aircraft efficiency)

Very useful skill on destroyers and lower tier light cruisers that have main guns 139mm or smaller.  For battleships and cruisers the bonus of 10% to AA efficiency can be worthwhile if you are going for an AA build.  Finally for battleships with poor secondaries(USN) this skill isn’t worth it if you are only taking one 1 point skill unless you want to boost your AA defense.

Basics of Survivability

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-15% to time it takes for fire extinguishing, flooding, and repairing)

Most useful on battleships and cruisers for when you do not have a repair kit available.  Since destroyers usually die fairly quickly when you do not have a repair kit handy for module/fire damage this skill isn’t as useful as you would imagine on a destroyer but it isn’t a complete waste of a point.

Situational Awareness

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(Alerts you when you are spotted by enemy ships)

Useful for every ship and especially those that rely on camouflage and not being seen for every long.  For battleships, cruisers, and carriers it is very useful for alerting you to a nearby invisible destroyer.

Expert Rear Gunner

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+10% to damage from bombers with rear tail-gunners)

The only pure carrier skill of tier 1 sees your non-fighters with tail-gunners get a small boost in damage output.  Due to the low damage of tail-gunners this skill doesn’t help out much but outside of situational awareness it is the only other very useful carrier option at tier 1.

Tier 2 Captain Skills

Expert Marksman

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+2.5 degrees/second for rotation on <139mm guns, +0.7 degrees/second for >139mm guns)

This skill helps every ship and is useful on everything but carrier vessels.  Some ships with very slow turret traverse rates require it while other ships it provides a welcome boost while dodging.  While it isn’t a required skill for many cruisers and destroyers it can be a useful skill to grab if you don’t have enough captain skills on a newer captain for a t4 or t5 skill.

Torpedo Armament Expertise

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-10% to torpedo reload, -20% to torpedo bomber service time)

Great for carriers for the torpedo bomber service time reduction and for any ship that uses torpedoes on a regular basis.  Destroyers and Japanese cruisers in particular will see the most out of this skill while cruisers like the high tier American ones will not benefit at all from it.

Fire Prevention

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-7% to fire chance (multiplicative))

The -7% chance to fire is misleading since it does not affect a shell’s chance of fire like you would imagine.  The way it is applied it reduces a fire chance by .93(so 10% x .93) giving you a 9% of fire on the shell instead of 10%.  Therefore this skill is pretty much useless since it doesn’t turn a 10% fire chance into 3% like you would think it does.

Incoming Fire Alert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(Alerts you to incoming fire 6 seconds or more away)

This skill wouldn’t be worth 1 skill point and with it costing 2 it shouldn’t even be thought about.  You typically see incoming shells and if you are dodging like you should be this skill doesn’t help you at all.

Last Stand

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(Ship is capable of steering and retains engine power in a limited capacity even if engine/rudder is knock out)

Great skill for destroyers if you are not playing IJN destroyers that have long range torpedoes.  For light cruisers it can be useful as well since often times your modules get damaged and you can lose your rudder easily.  Not very useful on heavy cruisers and battleships unless you really hate being immobilized.

Tier 3 Captain Skills

Torpedo Acceleration

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+5 knots to torpedo speed – -20% torpedo range)

This is an interesting captain skill that is solely dependent on how you are going to play your destroyer and/or cruiser with long range torpedoes.  Personally I think the increase in torpedo speed isn’t worth the huge reduction to the maximum range.  However, if you launch torpedoes close to enemies often it can make dodging them extremely difficult.

High Alert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-10% to reload time for damage control party)

Very useful if you do not use the expensive premium damage control party consumable(like me) to save on repairs.  However, it isn’t a required skill unless you are prone to getting into trouble quickly since the shorter reload will help you stay alive longer.  For hardy battleships the reduction in reload helps but is minor compared to having an extra damage control party consumable that superintendent provides.


(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+25% to torpedo acquisition distance)

Kind of a useless skill on anything but cruisers unless you are bad at situational awareness or don’t have the situational awareness tier 1 skill.  Otherwise there are better skills at tier 3 for most ships aside from some cruisers that don’t benefit from an additional plane and/or repair party.

Dogfighting Expert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+10% combat performance against enemy fighters if they are a higher tier)

The only carrier skill at tier 3 is a must have since all others don’t help a carrier at all.  It gives a 10% boost for each tier difference between fighters for carriers.  For example a tier 5 carrier facing a tier 7 carrier will receive a +20% boost to fighter performance against the tier 7 carrier’s fighters.


(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+1 additional charge to all consumables mounted on a ship)

Probably the best tier 3 skill for most ships that are not carrier vessels or some cruisers not reliant upon consumables.

Tier 4 Captain Skills

Demolition Expert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+3% chance of fire(additive))

Unlike the fire prevention skill this one does directly affect a shells chance of fire(so 10% goes to 13%).  Very useful on destroyers and most cruisers.  Not very useful on cruisers at higher tiers and on battleships/carriers for the lack of use of HE shells.

Advanced Firing Training

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+20% range for <139mm guns and all secondary guns, +20% anti-aircraft gun range)

The +20% range works for both primary(139mm or smaller) and secondary guns so this skill is great for a lot of ships  The +20% AA range is icing on the cake and makes it a universal skill for all ship types.  Since the captain skill was changed from 155mm down to 139mm some mid tier cruisers might not benefit from this skill as much as before.  The skill is most useful on destroyers for the added main gun range and battleships for the AA/secondary boost.  For light cruisers some can skill benefit from the skill while others might want to grab manual AA control instead.  The AA 20% range boost is still well worth it for cruisers who do not benefit from the main gun range boost.

Survivability Expert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+400 HP for each ship tier)

Worthless skill on anything besides destroyers since +400 for each tier does not tally up to that much even at higher tiers.  At tier 8-10 you can gain between 3,200-4,000 HP for your ship which is a significant boost for most destroyers.

Aircraft Servicing Expect

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+5% aircraft survivability, -10% aircraft servicing time)

The only pure carrier skill and being as useful as it is you’ll be acquiring this for a carrier captain.

Manual Fire Control for AA Armament

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+100% efficiency to AA armament after manually designating a target for AA guns 85mm+)

This skill requires players to manually target aerial targets for it to be active and it only applies the 100% boost to 85mm and larger AA guns.  Depending on the ship this can be a massive boost for your AA defense and make it a better option than the 20% AA range boost found on advanced firing training.  For most high tier cruisers this is a huge boost to your AA and also some destroyers(mainly USN) and battleships.  The skill is highly reliant upon you making use of it since it requires you to manually target planes for it to activate.

Tier 5 Captain Skills

Last Chance

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-30% reload time of all guns if ship HP is below 10%)

Very situational and since there are other useful 5 skill point skills you are better off taking a different skill or several less expensive skills.  This skill would most likely be used best on battleships due to their capability of staying alive longer with low HP.

Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-15% to maximum dispersion for tier 1-6 | -60% to maximum dispersion for tiers 7-10 for secondary armament on ship when manually targeting enemy ship)

This skill is a double edges sword and is even more reliant upon the user when compared to manual AA control.  Unlike the AA captain skill your secondary guns will not fire unless you designate a target and thus if you do not manually target someone your secondaries will not fire at all!  Once targeted your secondaries will also only fire on that one enemy even if you are surrounded on both sides by multiple enemies.  If an enemy is invisible for a second(ex: smoke) you will need to target them again for your secondaries to fire.

The boost of -15% to maximum dispersion doesn’t do much for any ships tier 6 and lower outside of the Warspite and Mikasa.  It isn’t that large of a boost so even on these ships it is stretching it.  For tier 7+ however the massive -60% reduction is very noticeable and can produce 40% accuracy for secondaries in some matches(compared to the usual 8%-15%).  It is most useful on the Fuso, Nagato, Amagi, Izumo, and Yamato battleships due to their decent secondary guns.  The skill is worth grabbing if you are going to skill your captain for maximum secondary capability and if you are good at switching back and forth to continue manually targeting enemies.

Preventative Maintenance

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-50% to module damage chance)

Great for battleships since with external modules being destroyed less you will suffer less HP damage from non-penetrating hits/HE rounds.  Otherwise for destroyers/cruisers it comes down to how much you hate module damage since it does its job well but isn’t that useful outside of battleships.

Concealment Expert

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-10% detectability for destroyers, -12% cruisers, -14% battleships, -16% aircraft carriers)

Great for any ship and ship class.  If you can’t be seen you stand to survive longer!

Air Supremacy

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(+1 aircraft to fighter and dive bomber squadrons)

Only CV specific skill at tier 5 and its a no brainer with how good this skill is for CVs.

Jack of All Trades

(DD  –  CL  –  CA  –  BB  –  CV)

(-15% reload time of all consumables)

Decent skill for destroyers for the lower reload on smoke and consumables.  Mostly a battleship skill for the damage control party but it comes down to play style with tier 5 skills for battleships/cruisers.

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