Starting out in World of Warships can be a confusing like any other game for your first handful of battles. If you have played World of Tanks or World of Warplanes you will be familiar with the menu and port layout where you will research modules, unlock new ships, and prepare for battle. Take your time to look around and figure out where things since there is useful information pertaining to your ship class, armor thickness, firepower, detection range, etc. that will be useful once you get the hang of the game. Starting out however you can hop into a ship of your choosing and get into a battle(most likely against AI until you unlock PVP). This guide will give you helpful tips for starting out and get you on your way to becoming a feared force on the sea.
Movement and Firing
Being that World of Warships involved sailing through the sea and not driving across solid terrain like in World of Tanks the way your warship moves is different than driving a vehicle. For larger ships you will take time to accelerate and to gain momentum, while smaller ships will be able to maneuver easier. It will also take longer to turn your ships depending on your displacement(size), turning capabilities, speed, and if your modules are damaged. Knowing this you should plan ahead to where you will be heading and remember that if you aren’t looking at least 30 seconds to a minute ahead of time you will find yourself caught off guard very often.
Firing your main guns is relatively simple but takes time to master hitting your enemies reliably. You do not have control of your secondary armaments and they will automatically engage enemies that come within range and the same goes for your anti-air defense guns. You can however press and hold “control” and then click on incoming enemy planes or warships to have your secondary guns and/or AA guns focus on that specific target first. This is important to know since while they are AI controlled you will get more out of them if you choose the targets for the AI in many situations.
For your main armament you will be able to zoom in and out depending on the distance to your target. Since the distances can be very far in comparison to World of Tanks you will want to work on leading targets and making educated guesses on where they will be when your shells reach them. Even at shorter ranges you will need to lead targets based on their speed and that even at close range you are still a decent distance from your enemies. Choosing between AP and HE rounds depends on your distance to the enemy ship, what type of damage you wish to inflict, and what type of enemy ship you are firing at and will be covered in its own section since it deserves a full explanation.
Armor-Piercing or High-Explosive Rounds?
In World of Warships you have two types of ammunition in the form of armor-pierces(AP) and high-explosive(HE) rounds that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. AP rounds are great for doing a massive amount of damage but require you to fully penetrate a ship to do damage to it and to hit a critical area of the ship. HE rounds do more consistent damage over time, cause more fires, and are meant to heavily damage a ship through hurting its modules. AP is more reliant upon hitting crucial areas such as the citadel(usually the center of the ship), under turrets, and the engine area. HE is less reliant upon hitting specific areas and will whittle your enemy down consistently but not always quickly.
For the most part AP rounds are great when you are able to have your shells coming at an angle that will not have your shells land on the enemy ship’s deck or have a high chance of missing. This is usually at longer ranges where AP shells are not reliable since they have a very low chance of hitting an area that will allow you to do a lot of damage. At ranges where you will be capable of hitting an enemy ship’s side(especially near the waterline) AP is excellent since you have a good chance of doing a massive amount of damage if you hit the center of the ship. One important thing to keep in mind is whether your guns will have enough penetration to go through the enemy armor and also if your guns have too much penetration for the enemy ship’s armor. You can understand that if you do not have enough penetration your shell will simply not penetrate and do little or no damage, but in World of Warships you can also penetrate to much. This usually is the case with shooting small destroyer ships and if you have to much penetrate and use an AP shell your shells will do less damage unless they hit a vital area of the ship. In this situation it is better to use HE shells which might still penetrate the poorly armored ship but will cause more damage than AP shells.
Knowing that AP rounds are good for those situations you have high-explosive(HE) rounds for other encounters you will face. HE rounds have high chance of setting a ship on fire which does consistent damage to the HP values of a ship and also damages modules in the process. Not only can you knock a ship out with a fire HP wise but you can also leave it crippled by burning out its modules. HE rounds are great at long range where AP shells are not since most of the rounds that hit an enemy ship will be landing at or above the deck. This allows you to do HP damage as well as take out modules such as turrets, which will reduce the amount of firepower that enemy ship has. Since you are firing at long range it is often difficult to land your shots where you want and HE rounds are a lot less fussy when it comes to requiring to hit certain areas to do damage. Otherwise HE shells should be used against enemy ships with poor armor that you will over-penetrate with AP and also enemy ships with too much armor that you cannot penetrate with AP. Outside of these situations it is usually better to use AP and to learn how to place your shots to do a ton of damage to vital areas of the ship.
World of Warships rewards teamwork and working with your team is key to winning a match. This doesn’t mean you need to glue yourself to the side of your ally and follow their every movement, but rather you should form an organized formation to support each other. Keep enough distance between your ships so that there is enough room to turn, evade torpedoes, and also to not give the enemy a nice juicy target with multiple ships close together. Staying in a group also improves your anti-air capabilities and is key for defending against incoming torpedo bombers and dive bombers.
Unlike other games, such as World of Tanks, in World of Warships there is a somewhat high possibility of your rudder(steering) to be knocked out by incoming fire. This is where keeping a safe distance from your teammates is important since when this happens your ship will be stuck in whatever rudder position it was in at the time of it being knocked out. Having this happen will see your ship either continue on a straight path or unfortunately continue to turn into terrain and cause you to run aground. It takes several battles to figure out the right distance from teammates and where you should be, but regardless it is crucial to work as a group towards a common goal.
Dodging Incoming Fire
One simple but highly effective method of staying alive is to change your heading(direction) between your salvos(shots) and also your enemies salvos. It works especially good at longer ranges where you can easily dodge incoming fire by turning a different direction and it works even in large battleships that don’t turn very well. To do this simply keep an eye on enemy ships firing at your from long range and once(or just before) they fire start turning hard to the right or left. More often than not enemies will lead your ship and fire based on you heading in the same direction without turning but by adjusting your course slightly all of their incoming shots miss. Once you start to turn then you turn hard back in the opposite direction to keep all the guns on your one side of the ship capable of hitting the enemy. Simply fire and then repeat the process.
In other circumstances you might want to completely turn and head directly at or away from an enemy ship. Keep in mind this will reduce the amount of guns capable of hitting the enemy ship until your turrets traverse to catch up. This is a viable tactic if you are faster than enemy ships and can turn away to get out of range, and then turn parallel to them again to have your guns facing their direction. Heading directly at an enemy is good for finishing off low HP battleships and cruisers(avoid ramming at all costs), since you can reduce distance quickly and then turn exposing your guns that are ready to fire. In the process you ship is a smaller target heading towards or away from an enemy but you will still be taking damage if you stick on this heading for to long.
Torpedoes and Torpedo Bombers
The most important rule of torpedoes is that there is no such thing as a friendly torpedo. If one of your torpedoes hit an ally it will still cause massive damage and you will feel like an idiot for crippling a teammates. Knowing this you need to keep in mind that when you fire your torpedoes you need to take into account where your allies are heading along with where your target is heading. If you are firing torpedoes at long range you will often not cause any damage since skilled players will know to turn into or away from the torpedo spread and they simply go right past them. However, at long ranges you can use this to direct enemies to a specific area or to disrupt their movements.
The best tactic is to get in close enough(without being torn to shreds) or to release them from behind an island/cover to not give the enemy enough time to react. The leading indicator provided does a good job for torpedoes firing off of your ship and it all comes down to getting the right distance to prevent the enemy from dodging. For torpedo bombers controlled by aircraft carriers there is an option for the AI to control the launch of the torpedoes on its own. Using this will almost certainly assure that your torpedoes will be dodged or will miss any moving target. It is best to learn how to manually move your planes around to position them at the right angle of attack and then to drop the torpedoes as close as possible to their target. It takes time to learn but you will notice huge improvements over the AI option even if you are not good at doing it manually.
More Coming Soon
This guide will be updated with more information soon to help you start out in World of Warships and will include more information on different aspects of the game.