- This page is to provide you with as many details as possible of the core game mechanics, so that you need not search through the forums for this valuable information. The details of some game mechanics are being held "close to the vest" over at Wargaming.net. To the maximum extent possible, we have provided all the data we know about game mechanics.
- 1 Matchmaking
- 2 Tank Stats
- 3 Experience and Credits
- 4 Visibility
- 4.1 Draw Distance
- 4.2 Shell Tracers
- 4.3 View Range
- 4.4 Spotting Range
- 4.5 Spotting Mechanics
- 4.6 Camouflage
- 4.7 Radio Range
- 5 Movement
- 6 Aiming
- 7 Accuracy and Dispersion
- 8 Penetration Mechanics
- 9 Damage Mechanics
- 9.1 Shell Damage
- 9.2 Ramming Damage
- 9.3 Zero Damage Hits
- 9.4 Ghost Shells
- 9.5 Damage Per Shot/Damage Per Minute
- 10 Repair
- 11 Crew Voice Messages
- 12 Sources
The performance of your tank depends directly on the qualification of its crew. Each crew member is fulfilling one or several roles in your tank and the performance of your tank in those areas depends on their effective primary skill levels. For example, reload time depends on the Loader's skill. Since the commander provides 10% of his own skill level as a bonus to each crew member, he is also relevant for every stat of your tank. If you have more than one crew member responsible for the same stat (e.g. two Loaders), then the average of their effective skill levels will be used to calculate the effective stat. Refer to the Crew page for more details about which crew member affects which stat of your tank.
How tank stats are calculated
The stats of your tank as they are shown in the garage or in the tech trees, i.e. the nominal stats, do not necessarily represent your tank's actual performance. In game versions up to 0.7.1.1, they were calculated based on a hypothetical 133.33% effective primary crew skill, which cannot be reached in game. Game version 0.7.2 introduced a change to how the stats are displayed, now they are shown based on 100% effective primary crew skill. However, since all skill modifiers, even the Commander's bonus, are ignored, most stats will continue to differ from what is displayed even if you happen to have a 100% crew.
Your tank's actual performance for each stat can be calculated based on the effective skill levels of those crew members which are responsible for the operation of that part of the tank, using one of the following two formulae:
A degressive stat becomes reduced with higher skill. For example, your aiming time is shorter as your Gunner's skill level increases. A progressive stat increases with higher skill. For example, your view range as Commander's skill level increases.
Note that only stats that depend on actual crew interaction are affected by crew skill. Your tank will not get thicker armour or become heavier with more experienced crew. Also while a better Loader will make your gun reload faster, he will not influence the speed with which auto-cannons or autoloaders fire the shells in their magazines, because shells from the magazines are chambered automatically. The Loader does come back into play when reloading the magazines, however.
Note further that the values displayed in game are just approximations because either the actual values are rounded to the nearest integer, or only the integer part is shown without any rounding. This is not only inconsistent, but also means that since 0.7.2 you can unfortunately only calculate an approximation of your effective stats based on what is shown in game.
Increasing Stats past 100% primary crew skill
Apart from advancing your crew's major qualification to 100% skill level, you can advance your tank's performance further as follows:
- Bonus to Tank Stats
- Certain skills and perks provide bonuses to specific tank stats.
- You can buy equipment for credits that gives a direct bonus to specific tank stats. For example, Coated Optics provide a 10% bonus to view range, and a Gun Rammer provides 10% bonus to reload time.
- There are also credit or gold bought consumables that provide a bonus to engine power and turret traverse.
- Bonus to Crew Skills
- Brothers in Arms is a perk that increases every skill level of every crew member by 5 as long as it is active for all crew members.
- Improved Ventilation is a credit bought equipment for close-topped tanks only that increases the skill level of the primary skill and non-role specific secondary skills of every crew member by 5, i.e. effectively +5 for the Commander and +5.5 for his crew. This bonus is displayed in your garage screen when you mouse over each crew member, but the displayed numbers are rounded to the nearest integer.
- Chocolate/Rations/Cola/Coffee are gold bought consumables that equally increase every skill level of every crew member, but by 10, i.e. effectively +10 for the Commander and +11 for his crew. This bonus is not displayed in your garage screen.
Let's go through a few examples to make it clearer or confuse you more, as the case may be. Hopefully you like math!
- Easy example
The entire crew of your stock Leichttraktor is at 50% primary skill level. What is your view range?
- The garage stat shown for view range is 262m
- Note that actual view range is 262.5m, but the decimals are not shown in game, so your calculations will unfortunately never be quite exact. The following examples are based on the values actually available to you.
- Responsible for view range is the Commander. He has an effective skill level of 50%.
- View range is a progressive stat. Thus we calculate 262m / 0.875 * (0.00375 * 50 + 0.5).
- We obtain as a result your effective view range of 206m.
- That means your Commander cannot see any tank further away than 206m even if it is right in front of you and shooting at you. Keep that in mind and make sure you train those crews!
- You decide to remedy the situation immediately by equipping Binoculars equipment that you had available and which give a 25% bonus to view range. You calculate 206m * 1.25 = 257.5m. There you go, marked improvement, but only while your hull does not move for at least 3 seconds.
- Advanced example
You just bought your stock Marder II with a 75% crew and want to know how fast it reloads.
- The garage stat shown for rate of fire is 26.25 rounds per minute. Since you want the actual reload time, you calculate 60s/26.25 = 2.286s reload time for every shot.
- Responsible for that is the Loader. The Marder II does not have a separate Loader. Instead, the Gunner is loading the gun himself. What is his effective skill level? His primary skill level is 75%. But we must not forget the Commander's bonus. The Commander's skill level is also 75%. So we calculate 75% (Loader) + 75% (Commander) * 0.1 (in a case like this where Commander and crew have the same skill level you can also simply calculate 75% * 1.1) and obtain the effective skill level of our Loader at 82.5%.
- Reload time is a degressive stat. Thus we calculate 2.286s * 0.875 / (0.00375 * 82.5 + 0.5). We obtain as a result our effective (rounded) reload time of 2.47s.
- We can also calculate rate of fire. Since that is progressive we go 26.25 / 0.875 * (0.00375 * 82.5 + 0.5), i.e. our stock Marder II has a (rounded) rate of fire of 24.28 with a 75% crew.
- Difficult example
You have advanced in World of Tanks and bought a shiny new AMX 50B. It is still stock, but you invested some gold into training your crew immediately to 100% skill level. But you ran out of gold so only your Commander and your Gunner got trained to 100%, while you trained the rest of your new crew to 75% with credits. You also installed Improved Ventilation equipment. What is your rate of fire?
- Unfortunately, for all auto-loader and auto-cannons the in-game stats shown for rate of fire don't show the reload speed for the entire drum, instead showing how many shots you can shoot with the time it takes to reload the entire drum and the gap in-between firing the separate clips. Since we do not want to work with incorrect data and also make the example a bit more complicated, let's look at the stats not shown in game. The vehicle's gun has an autoloader and can fire 4 shells every 2.5 seconds until the magazine needs to be reloaded, which nominally takes 30 seconds.
- Responsible for that is the Loader. The AMX 50B has three crew members assigned to that role, the Commander, the Gunner and the Radio Operator. The Commander and the Gunner are at 100% primary skill level, the Radio Operator is at 75%. So what is the effective skill level for our calculation? As explained above, we take the average of each crew member's effective skill level, so we need to calculate it for each of them first, add them and then divide by their number: 100+5=105% (Commander) + 100+5+105*0.1=115.5% (Gunner) + 75+5+105*0.1=90.5% (Radio Operator) / 3. As you can see, it becomes a bit more complicated here, we need to take into account equipment, which crew member receives the Commander's bonus and which doesn't. Our calculated effective skill level is thus 103.67%
- Now back to our formula to calculate the actual tank stats. If you paid attention above, you'll know that the 2.5s for revolving the magazine while firing are automatically performed by the tank and not influenced by crew skill. Reloading the magazine, however, depends on the crew. Knowing that, we take the 2.5s as a constant and calculate 30s * 0.875 / (0.00375 * 103.67 + 0.5) = 29.54s as the time it takes to reload a magazine. But we wanted to know rate of fire, i.e. the average amount of shells the tank can shoot every minute. We know the tank takes 28.13s to load and fire the first of four shells and then fires the remaining 3 shells with a 2.5s delay between each shot. Thus we calculate 60/((28.13s + (4 - 1) * 2.5s)/4 and finally obtain our answer, our crew allows our tank to fire 6.74 rounds per minute.
Experience and Credits
Gaining experience and credits is one of your primary goals in World of Tanks. Experience is used to research new modules and tanks and to progress your crew, while credits can be used to pay for new modules and tanks, equipment, consumables and ammunition, crew training/retraining as well as temporary camouflage patterns.
Tank Experience and Credits
Experience and credits are gained in all game modes except training battles for the following actions:
|XP awarded?||Credits awarded?|
|During the battle:|
|Joining a battle||
Fixed amount scaling with player's tank tier
|Spotting an enemy tank for the first time||
Small flat bonus per detected tank, double per detected SPG
Small flat bonus per detected tank, double per detected SPG
|Damaging enemies you are spotting yourself||
Per point of damage, modified by victim's tank type and tank tier compared to your own (damaging higher tiers pays more).
All damage counts, whether caused by direct hits, splash damage, ramming, fire or ammo-rack explosion.
Per point of damage.
All damage counts, whether caused by direct hits, splash damage, ramming, fire or ammo-rack explosion.
|Damaging enemies that are not lit up at all|
|Damaging enemies that your team is spotting, but not yourself||
50% of the above
50% of the above
|Damage done to targets you are spotting, by team members who are not spotting them themselves||
50% of what the team member doing the damage would earn if he spotted the target himself, divided by the number of team members spotting the target.
50% of what the team member doing the damage would earn if he spotted the target himself, divided by the number of team members spotting the target.
|Inflicting critical (module/crew) damage||
This means destroying an enemy tank's module (only damaging it is not enough), or killing a crew member.
Small bonus depending on the tier of the target compared to yours, whether caused by direct hits, splash damage, ramming, fire or ammo-rack explosion.
Light tanks receive a bonus for critical damage inflicted to heavy tanks.
In all cases, only the first critical destruction counts (or second, in case a repair/first aid consumable was used)
|Disabling an enemy vehicle (killing complete crew)||
Same reward as inflicting damage for the remaining hitpoints
Same reward as inflicting damage for the remaining hitpoints
Small bonus modified by the tier of the killed enemy compared to yours
|Close combat bonus||
Damaging enemy tanks at under 200m range gives a very small bonus
|Scoring base capture points||
Per point scored, up to 100 points, if the base was captured successfully
|Scoring base defense points||
Per point scored, more than 100 points possible
|Completed base capture||
Flat amount paid to everyone who is in the capture circle at the moment of completed base capture, independent of individual contribution
|After the battle:|
Small flat bonus
|Team performance factor||
Coefficient based on the total damage inflicted to the enemy team by your team
Coefficient of 1.5
The "Joining a battle" reward is multiplied by 1.85. No bonus to other rewards earned during the battle.
(Battle Hero, Epic or Platoon achievements on a loss)
When your team is defeated but you get one of the Battle Hero, Epic or Platoon achievements, you will receive the same experience bonus as the victorious team. Coefficient of 1.5.
When your team is defeated but you get one of the Battle Hero, Epic or Platoon achievements, you will receive the same credit bonus as the victorious team. The "Joining a battle" reward is multiplied by 1.85.
|Victory in a tank company or clan wars battle||
In addition to the normal bonus for victory, 50% of the XP gain of the losers is transferred to the winners.
In addition to the normal bonus for victory, 50% of the credits gain of the losers is transferred to the winners.
|Tank specific balancing factor||
Tank specific coefficient, assumed to be 1 for all tanks except the Churchill III.
Tank specific coefficient, generally higher for premium tanks
|Active premium account||
Coefficient of 1.5
Coefficient of 1.5
|First daily victory with the vehicle||
Coefficient of 2
|Exiting battle during loading screen or countdown||
No "Joining a battle" bonus. Since your tank is actually present in the battle until it gets destroyed, it can passively earn XP e.g. for spotting enemy vehicles.
No "Joining a battle" bonus. Since your tank is actually present in the battle until it gets destroyed, it can passively earn credits e.g. spotting enemy vehicles.
|Exiting battle after countdown||
There is a penalty for XP earning, but only if the tank has not yet been destroyed. Also, if the tank was not destroyed before exiting, further XP can be earned passively while it remains on the battlefield, e.g. for spotting enemy vehicles.
Credits as earned, there is no penalty. If the tank was not destroyed before exiting, further credits can be earned passively while it remains on the battlefield, e.g. for spotting enemy vehicles.
|Team Damage inflicted||
Small penalty, supposedly twice the amount of XP you would receive for causing the same amount of damage to the enemy.
Penalty to an amount of four times the repair costs required to fix the damage that was inflicted, limited by the total amount earned during battle.
|Team Damage received||
Half the repair costs required to fix the damage or a quarter of the penalty paid by the player(s) who caused the team damage, whichever is lower.
You will NOT get experience for:
- Damaging an ally's tank, even if said ally is "blue" (i.e. the player's name is shown in blue after team damage/team kill).
- Shots that deal no hull damage, destroy no module or kill no crew member.
- Shots that destroy a module that had already been destroyed prior (except when a repair pack has been used on it).
- For receiving damage. As stated above, you must damage your attacker.
- For receiving titles in the "hero of the battle" window.*
- For receiving medals or completing achievements.
- No bonus experience for a draw or a lost battle.
- A specific bonus for "killing all enemy tanks" does not exist, but as listed above, the entire team receives more XP the more damage to enemy tanks is inflicted by the team (see "Team performance factor").
(*You will, however, get bonus experience or credits if you receive a specific award during an "Operation" event. For example, if it is "Operation Sniper", you would receive extra experience or credits for earning the "Sniper" achievement.)
Free experience can be used in the research of any vehicle instead of just the vehicle it was earned with. It can also be used to increase training level of skills and perks for crewmembers.
You always gain 5% of the amount of experience earned in a battle as free experience. This is a bonus and is not subtracted from the vehicle's experience.
Additionally, you can use gold to convert vehicle specific experience to free experience. The vehicle must be elite, i.e. fully researched.
A Standard_Battle can be won either by destroying all enemy tanks or by capturing the base. To capture the enemy base, your tank must drive into the white circle in the enemy base (commonly referred to as the cap circle or simply cap). A green bar with the title "Enemy Base Capture :" appears at the top of the screen for your entire team. Your tank must remain within the circle until the capture bar reaches 100%. Each tank in the capture circle generates 1 capture point per second. You cannot generate more than 3 capture points per second. Once you have completed the capture, the title of the capture bar changes to "Enemy base captured!".
If you leave the cap circle before capture is completed, all capture points earned by you are lost and the capture bar progress is reduced accordingly. The same happens each time you get damaged while within the cap circle before capture is complete. Both hull damage and critical damage (e.g. tracks) have the same effect, as does damage inflicted by the enemy or your own team.
Once capture is complete, the round does not end immediately. There is a delay of at least 5 seconds before victory is yours (unless the battle timer runs out earlier). According to Overlord this delay gets extended each time a vehicle is destroyed. The following outcomes are possible:
- All friendly vehicles are destroyed within the delay: Enemy team wins.
- All vehicles of both teams are destroyed within the delay: Draw
- Enemy completes base capture of their own within the delay: Draw.
- All other cases: Your team wins.
If you are playing the Assault game mode, then only one team owns a base that can be captured by the other team. Everything else works as in standard battles.
In Encounter Battles there is only one neutral base that both teams can capture. The same mechanics as in standard battles apply here as well, however there are two differences. First, in an encounter no capture points can be gained while there are tanks of both teams within the capture circle. Capture progress is simply halted and resumes if the intruding tank leaves the circle again. The other difference is that the capture rate is slowed down to 1 capture point every 2.5 seconds.
Not everything that happens in the game world will be visible to you at all times. Game mechanics and technical limitations alike limit what you can see at any given moment. The main reason for technical limitations is server performance. We are told the current spotting system costs 30% of the server resources needed for a battle.
We need to distinguish three main terms that often get confused by players:
- Draw Distance - a technical limitation to being able to see tanks and other objects in the 3D world. Maximum is 564m.
- Spotting Range - the game mechanics limitation to spotting, i.e. "lighting up" a target yourself. Maximum is 445m.
- View Range - a tank specific value only used for calculating spotting range, without any relevance of its own. No theoretical maximum.
The following sections explore each of these terms and other relevant factors in detail.
Draw Distance is the maximum distance at which fixed objects are drawn on your screen by the rendering engine. The bigger the draw distance, the more computing power is required both for client and server. The rendering engine used by World of Tanks sees the world as cubes. The map itself is a cube, and every object within that map cube is drawn within an invisible circle centred on and aligned to your view point. Everything near the boundaries of this circle starts to fade into a distance fog and everything outside of the boundaries is entirely invisible to you. This circle is your draw distance.
- Draw Distance Setting
Draw distance can be limited in Game Settings->Graphics via the "Draw Distance" parameter that allows you to choose from the following three options:
- High: Maximum allowable draw distance (this is defined separately for each map, usually 1600m x 1600m x 1600m)
- Medium: 1100m x 1100m x 1100m
- Low: 900m x 900m x 900m
Higher draw distances will limit framerate if your computer is on the slower side but unless your framerate is low you should always opt for the highest draw distance available.
- Server Horizon
- Even with your draw distance set to high, dynamic objects (i.e. spotted enemy vehicles, terrain destruction, tracers) may remain invisible to you. This is because the server decides whether to send information about dynamic objects to you based on whether they are within the boundaries of a separate circle with a 564m radius circle (prior to 0.9.12 it was a 1000m x 1000m x 1000m cube. It is unknown if the circle represents a sphere or a cylinder.) centred on your tank regardless of your view point. Every vehicle outside of that circle will always be invisible to you regardless of your draw distance setting.
- If a tank would be visible for you on the server, but you lowered your draw distance such that you cannot actually see it, the user interface will nevertheless draw the respective vehicle marker, it will appear above the invisible vehicle when you press Alt (using the default UI; using UI Modifications can make it constantly visible). You will however not see the tank or its outline.
- Self-Propelled Guns have another view mode available to them, the so called Strategic View, giving them a top down view on the battlefield regardless of drawing distance limitations. The server will also send information about all dynamic objects to your client that lie within that view port.
The minimap is not part of the 3D world and thus unaffected by the limitations discussed in this section. What you see on the minimap is however influenced by Radio Range discussed below.
For the visibility of shell tracers there are some special rules:
- Tracers from friendly vehicles are always shown (subject to the above limitations to draw distance).
- Tracers from spotted enemy vehicles are always shown (subject to the above limitations to draw distance).
- Tracers from unspotted enemy vehicles:
- In Arcade View and Sniper View, tracers are only shown if they originate from within +/- 25° of the direction you are looking at and from within maximum spotting range.  In the following illustration, you will only be able to see the red tracer in the first two cases:
- In Strategic View, all tracers are shown that originate from within your Strategic View Port.
- In Arcade View and Sniper View, tracers are only shown if they originate from within +/- 25° of the direction you are looking at and from within maximum spotting range.  In the following illustration, you will only be able to see the red tracer in the first two cases:
Shots viewed by opposing team with the turret facing the origin of the shot from an undiscovered tank:
- Tracers from light tanks, N/A
- Tracers from Mediums, N/A
- Tracers from Heavies, N/A
- Tracers from Tank destroyers N/A
- Tracers from Artillery, Applicable even when unlit
Artillery can see all tracers from origin of the shot while in strategic mode only.
View Range is the theoretical maximum distance that your vehicle's Commander (not you!) can see, and depends on the vehicle's turret, the Commander's effective primary skill level, whether the Commander has the Recon skill and the Radio Operator has the Situational Awareness skill, as well as the usage of view range stat enhancing equipment like Coated Optics or Binoculars. View Range has no relevance of its own, its only purpose is to serve as a factor for calculating the spotting range. It is not to be confused with draw distance, nor does it have any influence thereon.
Note that unlike what the in game description of the view range enhancing equipment indicates, there is no 500m limitation. View range is unlimited. The better your view range, the better your spotting range, at any range.
The maximum possible view range you can currently (v0.9.17.1) achieve in game is 607m with a Patton and 100% Commander and crew having the Brothers in Arms perk, the Commander having 100% Recon skill, the Radio Operator having 100% Situational Awareness skill, the tank having Improved Ventilation and Binoculars equipment installed and using Case of Cola premium consumable.
Spotting Range is the maximum distance at which you will detect/spot an enemy tank if you have line of sight.
Minimum Spotting Range
You will always spot any vehicle that comes within 50m of you, regardless of line of sight. Because you do not need line of sight, this is also called proximity spotting, and can be used on certain maps to spot enemies going past a choke-point without actually being exposed to them.
Maximum Spotting Range
You can never spot a vehicle further away than 445m, the game engine performs no spotting checks past this boundary.
Note that unlike draw distance limits, spotting range limits are the same in all directions (think of a virtual bubble instead of a cube).
Calculating Spotting Range
Spotting Range is not a fixed value particular to your tank, but depends on the target you are spotting, its current position and situation. In other words, as many different individual spotting ranges are calculated by the server for your tank as there are targets within the minimum and maximum spotting ranges to you. For each target the spotting range is calculated invidiually according to the following formula:
If your spotting range to a vehicle equals or exceeds your distance to that vehicle, and you have line of sight, or if the vehicle is within the minimum spotting range, you will spot it. Otherwise it remains hidden to you unless spotted by another vehicle on your team that you are in radio communication with.
To determine whether you have line of sight to a vehicle within your spotting range and will thus spot it, the server calculates a virtual vision ray extending from one of two view range ports on your vehicle to each of the six visiblility checkpoints of the target vehicle.
If a vision ray is obstructed by non-transparent objects like houses, terrain, or even just a lamp post, this ray ends there and does not reach the target vehicle. Important to know is that both the vehicle being spotted as well as other vehicles from other players are fully transparent as far as spotting mechanics go.
If no vision rays reach their target, you will not spot it. But if at least one of the six vision rays reaches the target, you will spot the vehicle and it will light up if it was previously hidden. At this point it makes no difference if any of the other visions rays would reach their target as well.
View Range Ports
Each tank has two View Range Ports as shown in this illustration:
- Static View Range Port: A static location on the tank model, placed on its highest elevation and centered there.
- Dynamic View Range Port: Located where gun is mounted to the turret, dynamically moves along with the turret.
In general, the two view range ports take turns every 2 seconds, i.e. every 2 seconds visibility checks are performed using the respective other view range port.
Each tank has six Visibility Checkpoints distributed across the tank as shown in this illustration:
- Top, Middle of Turret (same location as Static View Range Port)
- Gun Mount (same location as Dynamic View Range Port)
- Front, Center of Hull
- Rear, Center of Hull
- Right Side, Middle of Turret
- Left Side, Middle of Turret
Rate of Visibility Checks
You will not necessarily spot an enemy tank as soon as you have line of sight on it. The rate of visibility checks is limited as follows:
- within 50 m range - every 0.1 sec
- within 150 m range - every 0.5 sec
- within 270 m range - every 1.0 sec
- within 445 m range - every 2.0 sec
NOTE: While Overlord confirmed the above as still correct for 0.7.1, US community manager Vallther claimed on 23 January 2012 that the frequency of the visibility checks depends "a lot on the map" and that he "requested a total check from Q&A regarding the matter". 
The rate limitation on visibility checks means that it is entirely possible that a hidden tank moves out of cover right after a visibility check, shoots you, and returns back into cover right before the next visibility check, thus never getting spotted and staying hidden. This can also lead to fast tanks getting spotted only closer to you than your spotting range would normally allow - at a maximum speed of 72 km/h a tank can cross 40m between spotting checks past 270m range.
NOTE: As of 9.16 most information in the "Rate of viability checks" area is outdated, due to the updates to the spotting system that happened in that update. 
Once spotted, a vehicle stays lit up for a minimum duration of 5 seconds which can extend up to 10 seconds after the spotter moves out of spotting range or gets destroyed. The exact duration seems to be random. Tanks spotted right next to each other may stay lit up for different durations. The Designated Target perk for the Gunner extends this duration further.
One factor when calculating spotting range is the camouflage factor of the vehicle to be spotted. The higher the target's camouflage factor, the shorter the spotting range.
Calculating the Camouflage Factor
The camouflage factor is calculated as follows:
camoFactor = baseCamo * (0.00375 * camoSkill + 0.5) * camoAtShot + camoPattern + camoNet + environmentCamo
The camoFactor cannot exceed a value of 1, so if the equation results in a higher value camoFactor is set to 1.
Let's look at the different elements of that equation in detail:
- Every vehicle in game comes with a base camouflage value assigned to it by the developers as part of game balancing. The value is defined separately for moving and for standing still. The baseCamo value is generally lower while moving the hull than while standing still, but for some tanks including most light tanks the values are equal for both states, which is a big advantage for dedicated scout tanks.
The baseCamo values are not shown in game but can be calculated based on the spotting range formula and the formula for the camouflage factor explained here. Allow for a certain margin of error because of differences in the distance display in game and the distance between visibility checkpoints and view range ports plus the fact that in game distance is only shown in 1 meter steps.
This tool can give a dynamic value for each tank. All Camo values available are player-tested and unofficial, and may differ from the current live version.
- This is another value defined by the developers for tank/turret/gun combination individually as part of game balancing. The same gun can have a different value on different tanks (or theoretically even on different turrets on the same tank, although no example is known of that). Gun caliber or existence of a muzzle brake on the gun have no influence on this value.
The value is not displayed in game, but can be determined through testing in the same way as the baseCamo value (see above). The value is on average around 25%.
- This is the camouflage bonus provided by a camouflage pattern permanently bought for gold or temporarily rented for credits via the "Exterior" window. If a camouflage pattern of the same type as the map you are playing on (summer, winter, desert) is applied. The amount added depends on vehicle type, biggest is for tank destroyers. the Maps page for details on which category a map falls into. Since map selection in most game modes is random, for most of your tanks you'll have to buy a camouflage pattern for all three map types if you want to ensure you always get the bonus. As of 9.2, only summer maps are available to Battle tiers 1-3. As a result, it is a waste of gold or credits to buy desert camo for tanks that can only see these Battle Tiers since they will never see desert maps.
- This is the camouflage bonus provided by Camouflage Net equipment, if installed and active (you must have been standing without moving your hull for at least 3 seconds). It provides a bonus based on vehicle type, biggest is for tank destroyers.
- You can use the different objects on the map to provide additional cover. Solid objects like terrain elevations, rocks, houses, or other static objects on the map cannot be seen through and thus always provide 100% camouflage, i.e. you will not be spotted. But also half-transparent objects like bushes or trees (up or felled) provide a camouflage bonus up to 64%, depending on the density of the object. A full list can be found here.
As soon as you fire your gun, the camouflage bonus provided by transparent objects in a 15m radius around your tank is reduced to 30% of the original value. Objects furter away are unaffected.
Environment camouflage bonuses stack, but special rules apply when firing your gun:
- In the illustration to the right, each bush provides the same environment camouflage bonus X. Since these bonuses stack, tank 1 has an environmentCamo value of 3 * X.
- However, as soon as tank 1 fires its gun, the environment bonuses within the 15m radius no longer stack. Instead, only the bonus from the bush with the highest camouflage bonus is taken into account. In addition, the bonus from that bush is reduced to 30% of its original value, so 0.3 * X. Bonuses from environment outside of the 15m radius stack as usual. Thus, while firing tank 1 has an environment camouflage bonus of 0.3 * X + X = 1.3 * X.
- Note that environment bonuses get reduced only for the tank that fired - other tanks in the vicinity do not get penalized
No camouflage bonus is provided by:
- Player tanks (dead or alive)
- Downloadable camouflage skins (as opposed to the camouflage patterns you buy for gold or rent for credits)
- Anything else
Note that your tank does not need to be fully hidden to take advantage of an environment camouflage bonus, the environment only needs to cover all of your visibility checkpoints in the direction of the spotting tank's view range ports for the bonus to apply.
Let's look at an example to see how it all comes together.
Say our spotting target has a baseCamo coefficient of 25% or 0.25 while standing still and 15% or 0.15 while moving the hull. The camoAtShot factor is 25% or 0.25 as well. The entire crew of 5 has 100% Camouflage skill level and the Commander has 100% primary skill level. Improved Ventilation equipment is installed. Our tank is sitting completely inside of a dense bush and has not been moving for more than 3 seconds.
The effective camouflage skill is:
- (100 + 5 + (100 + 5 + (100 + 5) * 0.1) * 4) / 5 = 113.4
Should this calculation be confusing to you, remember that you need to factor in both the bonus from Improved Ventilation equipment as well as the Commander bonus. It would, however, be understandable if the calculation above still seems confusing, because there's no way to tell what those figures relate to unless you spend some minutes figuring out the equation. To make things easier for you, here's the above numbers explained:
- (CommanderSkill + VentBonus + (CrewSkill + VentBonus + (CommanderSkill + VentBonus) * 0.1) * NumberOfNonCommanderCrewMembers)) / TotalNumberOfCrewMembersIncludingCommander = X
Now we can calculate the camouflage factor using the value for the effective camouflage factor:
- 0.25 * (0.00375 * 113.4 + 0.5) + 0.64 = 0.8713125 (87.13%)
As soon as our tank starts moving out of the bush, the camouflage factor is as follows:
- 0.15 * (0.00375 * 113.4 + 0.5) = 0.1387875 (13.88%)
First example: 400 - (400 - 50) * 0.87140625 = 95.01m spotting range.
Second example: 400 - (400 - 50) * 0.1387875 = 351.42m spotting range.
- A camoFactor of 1 means your tank is invisible up to 50m to any possible spotter.
- Bushes or standing trees within the 15m diameter become transparent to your view. This helps you determine your distance from them.
- To maximize your use of camouflage bonus provided by your environment, do not sit inside of bushes while you fire, instead sit more than 15m behind one or even several bushes. This is particularly important for scouts. Firing reveals your position. If you absolutely need to take a shot, e.g. to track your target for your team's artillery, pull back just before you take the shot - your target will stay visible to you even with the bush intransparent for the normal spotting duration. However, don't forget that enemies can see your tracers, so you may see shells homing in on your position despite being invisible to the enemy.
- Since dedicated scout tanks have the same high base camouflage values while standing still as they do while moving, they are best for reaching forward spotting positions unseen.
- Baiting the enemy to shoot you can be an effective tactic to light them up because of the camouflage reduction while shooting.
- As long as you are outside of 445m maximum spotting range you do not need to worry about camouflage, you will be invisible to the enemy team regardless of what you do. The difficulty is knowing whether you are outside of their maximum spotting range - keep paying attention to the minimap as enemy tanks get spotted and memorize their locations/count.
Each vehicle comes equipped with a radio that allows your Radio Operator to communicate with other vehicles on your team. Two friendly vehicles can communicate if they are no further away from each other than the sum of their respective radio ranges (also called signal ranges). For example, a tank with 300m effective radio range and a tank with 500m effective radio range stay in communication up to a distance of 800m. Your effective radio range depends on your vehicle's radio and on the effective skill level of those crew members responsible for the Radio Operator role.
If you are in communication with a friendly vehicle, then you will share information about the position and health of all enemy vehicles either of you are currently spotting. You will not relay any information received from other friendly vehicles via radio communication, however, nor will it be relayed to you. In other words, you will know the location of:
- Any friendly vehicle within your combined radio ranges.
- Any vehicles (friend or foe) spotted by you.
- Any vehicles (friend or foe) spotted by a friendly vehicle that is within your combined radio ranges.
- You are looking down a long street from your tank destroyer and do not see any enemies, because they are outside your own spotting range. However, when a friendly tank moves down the street, it spots an enemy tank that was there all along. As long as you are within radio range of that friendly tank, you will see that enemy tank just as if you were spotting it yourself.
- See the illustration to the right for an example of a more complex situation. (There is an English translation of RadioRanges.jpg here.)
Movement of your tank in World of Tanks is critical not only to reach advantageous locations or to retreat from disadvantageous ones, but also and in particular while figthing other tanks to increase your effective armour or avoid shots entirely.
Engine Power & Acceleration
Acceleration is mainly based on your engine power/tank weight ratio. More engine power means better acceleration while more weight means less acceleration. Several consumables are available to give your engine power a boost during battle.
Other factors that play a role are your suspension's terrain resistance and the terrain type and elevation you are driving on. Note that the different types of Enhanced Suspension equipment provide no bonus to your vehicle's driving performance.
The terrain resistance, or passability/passing ability, as Wargaming calls it in their patch notes, describes your suspension's performance (top speed, acceleration, traverse speed) on different types of ground. The performance degrades the softer the ground becomes. The game distinguishes three types of terrain: hard (roads, pavement, cobblestones), average (some paths, dirt, sand, grass, shallow water), and soft (swamps, deep water).
Most terrain types are easily recognizable, but swamps can be difficult. On Karelia and the aptly named map Swamp it is quite easy, but on Lakeville in the valley the grass texture looks like any other, when in fact the underlying ground is soft.
The exact amount of this degradation is a property of the suspension installed to your tank but is not displayed in game. Wider tracks do not necessarily provide better handling on soft ground, e.g. the M24 Chaffee has by far the best off-road performance of the dedicated tier 5 light scout tanks despite also having the narrowest tracks. For all tanks, if a suspension upgrade is available, it always comes with better performance on some or all types of terrain, i.e. less terrain resistance.
A common misconception is that the listed forward/reverse speed of your tank is an indication of the speed your tank should drive at. That is not the case. Instead, this stat indicated the speed limit of your tank's transmission system. While there are some tanks which can reach their speed limit on flat ground, other tanks can only reach it on a downhill slope and some may never reach theirs at all. Prior to 8.0, this stat was a hard limit that could not be exceeded no matter what. Now, it's based on weight vs. engine power, and can be exceeded under the right conditions.
Hull Traverse Speed
Note that some tanks can traverse their hull on the spot (pivot) while others can only lock a track while driving forwards or backwards, effectively rotating in a larger circle around the locked track.
Although traverse speed is affected by both engine and suspension, in game tank specifications only show the change in traverse speed when different suspension is mounted, but not when different engine is mounted. This means that tracks info only shows values for stock engine, and it can be very confusing and misleading because some vehicles gain a lot of traverse speed by mounting stronger engine, but this change is not visible in tank specifications.
The actual formula is as follows:
- Tr = Tn x (Ec / Es) x (Rh / Rx) x (Ws / Wc) x Pc
- Tr = Real traverse speed (deg/s)
- Tn = Nominal traverse of a tank, including bonus from clutch breaking, drivers' skill and consumables (deg/s).
- Ec = Current engine horsepower (HP) including any bonuses from equipment and consumables.
- Es = Stock engine horsepower (HP).
- Rh = Tank's terrain resistance on hard terrain, including bonuses from Ventilation, Brothers in Arms, Off Road Driving and consumables.
- Rx = Tank's terrain resistance for terrain one is calculating traverse for, including all the bonuses.
- Ws = Weight of stock tank without equipment (kg).
- Wc = Current weight with used modules and extra equipment (kg).
- Pc = Neutral (centre) turn capable, or pivot (locking one tread) steered, 1 for pivot tanks, 0,95 for neutral turn tanks.
In version 0.8.0 a new physics model was introduced.
- If your vehicle enters water that's too deep, an icon will appear on your screen indicating that water is entering the crew and/or engine compartment. If you stay in deep water for too long your tank will destroyed. Prior to 0.8.0, you simply had an invisible wall preventing you from driving into or falling into such bodies of water.
- You can drive off of cliffs. You can use this to attack enemies from directions they weren't expecting. If you're not careful you can fall to your death in some places on some maps. Fast tanks can catch air as they go off a cliff at high speed. This also has interesting implications for ramming (or then again you could just drop your tank on an enemy). Prior to 0.8.0, you simply had an invisible wall preventing you from driving or falling off of cliffs.
- If your tank is going fast enough and you turn sharply, your tank will now drift (slide sideways) while turning.
- Ramming a tank will knock that tank away from you in addition to causing damage. In the right situation, you might be able to knock them off a high cliff.
- You can push friendly tanks up hills far more effectively now than prior to 0.8.0.
- The steepness of the terrain you can climb is now determined by your tank's weight, horsepower, and the speed it was going before it started climbing.
A newer physics model has been introduced as of version 9.14.0, retaining most of the original "items of note" for the 0.8.0 system.
Hills are able to be climbed easier and tanks have a more tendency to slide on steeper inclines. Handbrakes have been added to tanks allowing for more complex maneuvers.
Items of the newer physics engine to note:
- Handbrakes are disabled on SPG's and TD's for balancing reasons. (No-one wants a Foch 155 pulling a 180 at the tip of a hat)
- High speed drifting is harder to do in 9.14 and beyond as the newer physics model seems to make tanks grip more and slide less unless the handbrake is pushed.
- Tanks can now roll completely and can be set on their sides.
- There has also been an update to the physics with ramming and collisions. (as stated in the 9.14 patchnotes http://worldoftanks.com/en/content/docs/914-updatenotes/ )
All about pointing your gun at the enemy and hitting them. Make sure to read the section about Accuracy and Dispersion as well.
Automatic Aiming, or auto-aim, aims to the lower section of the tank that is closest to you: often putting your shot on heavily armored or poorly angled spots. It does not lead your target at all. It is only useful for aiming at weaker armoured tanks very far from you or when you are both at close range and you need to focus on dodging incoming shots rather than carefully aiming at the enemy. In these occasions, auto-aim can save you some worry. By default, auto-aim is engaged by right-clicking on a target, and disengaged by pressing E.
Note that auto-aim will keep aiming at the target as long as it remains visible to you, even if it is behind a rock, a house, or a friendly tank. That does not mean you should actually shoot at it in these situations - sounds like a stating the obvious, but it happens all the time, in particular with newer players.
In most cases it is better to aim your gun manually rather than rely on auto-aim, but there are a few factors to consider. Every shell in the game has its own trajectory and flight speed, and you often need to consider them while manually aiming, but since the game does not tell you these parameters, they are best learned from experience.
Arcade View is the default view mode that you load into battle with. It is a third person view mode that places the camera above and behind your turret. Your aim follows your view-point. This can be confusing to players in particular next to buildings, because the elevated view point causes the gun to point up the obstacle.
This can be mitigated by locking your gun in place. By default this is done by holding down the right mouse button. This enables free mouse look without losing your aim. Note that by default the right mouse button also enables Automatic Aiming, therefore it is recommended to assign a different mouse button or key to Automatic Aiming.
Sniper View gives you a first person view basically through the gun. By default it is accessed by pressing the left Shift key or by zooming in on the target using the mouse wheel. Because of the different view point, this view mode does not cause any aiming problems in proximity to buildings or other elevations.
The other advantage of this view mode is the magnification of the target area, allowed for more precise aiming. Beware of "tunnel vision", however, and keep a close eye on your minimap so you do not get surprised by tanks sneaking up on you from behind while you are busy sniping.
The penetration indicator is an option to the gun marker in your aiming reticle - enabled by default - which uses an easy colour code to help you evaluate whether you will be able to penetrate the target's armour in the location you are aiming at and with the shell you have loaded. A red indicator tells you that you will be unable to penetrate the targeted tank in that location, a yellow indicator means that the target's armour thickness lies within the -/+25% range of your penetration rating, while a green indicator means that your shell's penetration rating will exceed the target's armour thickness in all cases.
While the penetration indicator is an invaluable tool in discovering a target's weak spots, always be aware of its limitations. It is a simple comparison of your penetration rating versus the target's armour thickness along the normal at the aim point and does not take into account the impact angle, so even with a green penetration indicator your shot may still ricochet or fail to penetrate the target's effective armour thickness. Also, because of dispersion affecting every shot you take, you may not actually hit the weak spot you were aiming for.
Leading the Target
If your target is moving perpendicular to you, you always have to adjust your aim manually. This is also called leading the target. Factoring in your shell's flight speed, you have to aim where you estimate the target your shell's trajectory intersects with with the target's movement. For example, if your shell flies 1000 m/s on a flat trajectory (e.g. AP shells fired from the 8,8 cm KwK 43 L/71 "long 88" of the Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger), and your target is 500m away, your shell takes little more than half a second to reach it. If your target is a light tank moving perpendicular to you at 72 km/h, i.e. 20m/s, theoretically you need to aim 10m in front of it to hit it or more depending.
However, since this is an online game and not reality, you also have to account for network latency, i.e. your ping. If you were playing with 500ms ping (an extremely high ping), then you would have to lead the target by an additional 0.5 seconds of movement. In the example that means you would have to double your lead and aim 20m in front of the target (see also Latency Correction below).
While all that is easy enough with a high velocity gun, it becomes much harder with a low velocity gun like the 105 mm AT Howitzer M3 of the aforementioned T82. It fires HE shells which fly at a velocity of 311 m/s on a very high trajectory, i.e. they can take several seconds to reach a far away target. The amount you need to lead your target by with such a gun increases accordingly. Naturally, the more you need to lead the more will your aim be off if your target changes its course even slightly. That is something to keep in mind when trying to avoid incoming shots: never be predictable.
The reticle takes the ballistic trajectory into account, so it will automatically aim a little higher while you hover over a visible target (red outline). However, as soon as you move your aim away from the target, this automatic correction goes away. This is important to consider when leading a moving target as described above, because then you will have to correct your aim for the trajectory yourself. An easy way to know by how much to correct is to first hover the reticle over the target, note how high it aims, and then aim to the same elevation while you lead. While doing that the reticle may adjust to terrain or objects your aim passes over, so you might need to compensate for that as well if the situation arises.
Aiming and Line of Sight
Despite shells following a ballistic trajectory, aiming is strictly line of sight. That can lead to situations where you cannot place your reticle on a target, because it is hidden by a terrain feature, although the ballistic trajectory of your gun would actually allow you to hit the target. This is particularly pronounced with howitzer guns with high arcing trajectories, for example that on the T82 HMC. Due to the automatic correction of your aim it can be quite tricky to shoot the target in such situations, but there are a few considerations that can help you with:
- Sniper View has the lowest view point (gun mount), so do not use it if your target is behind an elevation and you have trouble placing your reticle on it.
- Arcade View has a higher view point for aiming purposes (Commander's cupola), so you may be able to aim at the target in this mode.
- Auto-aim does not actually rely on line of sight, so in situations where manual aiming fails, you can try to right click the target in arcade mode and see your reticle drop a little bit further, possibly just enough.
- If all of these fail, and if the target is far enough away, you can try to simply aim above the elevation, and hope for the best. It takes a lot of experience to get these fully manual howitzer shots right, however.
Regardless of elevation there can also be situations where you do have line of sight on the target and can place a shot, but you cannot see the target's red outline. This usually happens if another object is closer to you than the target and your reticle prioritizes the other target instead of the tank you clearly see and want to aim at. You can take the shot regardless, but aiming can be tricky if your reticle also tries to adjust the aim for the closer object. Be particularly careful if the closer object is a friendly tank - many have accidentally been shot in the back by their team mates in such situations.
Strategic View (SPG)
If your vehicle is a self-propelled gun, then Sniper View is not available to you, instead you have an SPG-specific aiming mode called Strategic View available. It is accessed in the same way as Sniper View. It gives you a top down view onto a section of the battlefield. You can use your mouse or the cursor keys to move the view around. You can also place the Strategic View directly onto a certain battlefield area by holding Ctrl and right clicking the desired location on the minimap.
Unlike in the other view modes, in strategic mode the aiming circle does adjust to terrain elevation and ballistic trajectory. Thus it will usually not be a perfect circle but an oval shape. This helps you judge both the angle of the terrain your target is positioned on and your shell trajectory to the target. The little dot within the aiming circle/oval represents the height adjusted center of your aim.
It takes a little getting used to perfect aiming with self-propelled guns, see the illustration to the right for the basics to get you started.
Client vs Server
Shots that fall outside of your aim or go into a completely different direction are usually caused by network or server lag. This can happen because every movement of your aim on your client has to be transmitted to the server first and executed there as well. So regardless of your latency the server aim will always lag slightly behind your aiming on the client. If you press CapsLock + 0 during a battle, your client will show an additional blue reticle which shows the last information the client has received about where the server is currently placing your aim, as well as the size of the aiming circle on the server. Since this is subject to latency as well, it is not entirely accurate either, but if you are having latency related problems it can be a good idea to use the server reticle and wait until server and client reticles match before you fire a shot. The server reticle is not displayed while Automatic Aiming is engaged.
Where to aim
When shooting at an enemy tank, it is always useful to aim for areas with less armour. All tanks have the strongest armour in the front, with the rear being the weakest. In addition, a tank's armour is not uniform. Use the Penetration Indicator to discover weakly armoured spot, so called weak-spots (typically hatches, machine gun mounts, etc.).
Often it can also be helpful to inflict critical damage, e.g. by destroying the tank's tracks and thus immobilizing it, by shooting it's fuel tank to set it on fire, etc. Follow the links for more details.
Accuracy and Dispersion
Every shot you take is dispersed randomly around the center of your aiming reticle, i.e. you will not necessarily hit exactly where you aimed. The actual dispersion amount is based on a Gaussian (normal) distribution curve and depends on your gun and the turret it is mounted to.
The accuracy value for a gun is given in meters at a range of 100m. The lower the value the more accurate your gun is. The value describes 2 standard deviations σ from the center of your aim. In other words, for a gun with 0.32m effective accuracy at 100m, 95.45% of all shots will land within 0.32m of the center of your aim at that distance. Dispersion amount increases linearly with distance, i.e. 0.32m effective accuracy at 100m translates to 0.64m at 200m and 1.28m at 400m
The aiming circle (also called the dispersion circle, dispersion indicator or reticle) describes the area of 2 standard deviations (2σ) from your aim point. Based on a standard normal distribution, this means that 4.2% of your shots would fall outside of the aiming circle. The shots move (deviate) away from your aim point, outwards toward the edge of the circle, but rarely shoot past its edge.
The accuracy discussed above applies is the best case scenario. During actual game play several factors can come into play that result in a penalty to your accuracy:
- Dead Gunner: If your Gunner gets knocked out the Gunner's skill will be set to 0% for the purposes of calculating the accuracy stat. The effect is mitigated if the Commander has the Jack of All Trades skill. The effect is removed if the Gunner receives first aid via a consumable. See the Crew page for more information.
- Gun Damage: A damaged ("yellow") gun typically fires with halved accuracy for as long as it remains damaged. The effect is reduced if the Gunner has the Armourer skill. The effect is completely removed if the damaged gun is repaired via a consumable.
- Shooting: With each shot you take your accuracy temporarily gets reduced dramatically depending on the vehicle type, but your Gunner will immediately start aiming again.
- Turret Rotation: Rotating the turret results in a temporary accuracy penalty. The exact amount depends on the installed gun and the speed of your turret's rotation. The effect is reduced if the Gunner has the Snap Shot skill.
- Vehicle Movement: Moving your vehicle forwards or backwards temporarily reduces accuracy. The exact amount depends on the installed suspension and your moving. The effect is reduced if the Driver has the Smooth Ride skill.
- Vehicle Rotation: Rotating your vehicle left or right temporarily reduces accuracy. The exact amount depends on the installed suspension and your rotation speed. The effect is reduced if the Driver has the Smooth Ride skill.
The aiming time listed for each gun (in a specific turret) describes the time it takes for the aiming circle to shrink to a third of its size. A wounded gunner will increase the aiming time. The effect is removed if the Gunner receives first aid via a consumable such as a health pack. However, most of the penalties described above increase the aiming circle by a factor bigger than three, which is why fully aiming the gun typically takes longer than the listed amount of time.
Client vs Server
When you fire a shot, your shell trajectory is first calculated based on the data the client has. It is later updated with the data confirmed by the server. If the difference was big, then you may see shell tracers leave your barrel at an angle or change flight path mid-trajectory.
It is unclear whether only the aiming point or also the dispersion of the trajectory around this centre point is corrected based on server data. At least in v0.7.1, if you watch a replay, you can notice that each time you play it, your trajectory will be slightly different. This indicates that either dispersion is not synchronized between client and server, or that it is during a battle but that data is missing in the replay files. In any case, currently replays cannot be used to find out where your shot went exactly.
Aiming properly and hitting the enemy tank are only the means to an end, and that is actually damaging and eventually disabling it. And that is not automatic. Once you have hit an enemy vehicle, the game then calculates where the shot hit the enemy, at what angle you struck the armour, the effective thickness of the armour (based on the impact angle), and thus ultimately whether your shell penetrates the armour.
The angle at which an Armour Piercing (AP), Armour Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR), High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) or High Explosive (HE) shell hits the target's armour is crucial for penetrating it. The ideal impact angle is along the normal, i.e. perpendicular to the armour plate. The actual impact angle is calculated as the deviation from the normal. For this, the ballistic flight path of the shell is taken into account, which can be particularly important for artillery guns and their high arcing trajectories if you fire AP or HEAT shells with them.
If the shell hits an external module (e.g. tracks, observation device, turret rotator), impact angle is not taken into account. The exception to this rule is the gun.
The impact angle of AP and APCR shells onto a vehicles armour is normalized, i.e. adjusted towards the armour's normal axis at the point of impact.
In case of spaced armour, shells are normalized at the point of impact on the spaced armour, and if they penetrate, continue along their normalized flight path into the vehicle. Once it impacts the hull armour, normalization occurs again and the remaining penetration potential (i.e. the original penetration potential minus the effective armour thickness of the spaced armour) is used to calculate whether the shell penetrates the hull proper.
As of update 8.6, APCR shells are normalized at 2°. The normalization amount is a constant value depending on the shell; there is no randomization.
The impact angle of HEAT and HE shells is not normalized at all. Angle is used for armor line-of-sight thickness calculations, as normal.
If the pre-normalized impact angle of an AP or APCR shell on the target's armour exceeds 70° (85° for HEAT), a ricochet (a specific variant of a bounce) occurs regardless of its penetration value and the shell is deflected off the target without causing any damage. You may ricochet off of spaced armour as well, and even if you penetrate that your shell may still ricochet off the underlying hull armour.
As mentioned above, impact angle is not taken into account when hitting external modules except the gun, so a ricochet off those is impossible.
A ricochet off terrain features, buildings or wrecks is impossible.
If the AP or APCR shell's caliber is more than 2 times the nominal thickness of the armour (Such as a 130mm shell hitting a 60mm thick plate), projectile shell normalization is increased by the following formula: basic normalization * 1.4 * shell caliber / nominal armour thickness. Note that the shell is still capable of bouncing if it strikes the armor at an angle of 70° or more from normal.
If the AP or APCR shell caliber is more than 3 times the nominal thickness of the armour (such as a 130mm shell hitting a 40mm thick plate), no ricochet will happen even if the impact angle is more than 70° from normal. The increased shell normalization described above will also occur.
In cases involving HE shells or external module hits, overmatch does not occur.
Effective Armour Thickness
Your tank is armoured with plates of varying thicknesses. The game only provides you with the nominal armour strength of the three main armour plates of your tank's hull and turret, respectively. However, the tanks are actually modeled in much greater detail. The penetration indicator can help you discover the actual nominal armour thickness of your target.
However, the nominal thickness of an armour plate is just the minimal amount of armour a shell impacting it must penetrate. As soon as the impact angle deviates from the normal, i.e. is not perfectly perpendicular to the armour plate's surface, the effective armour thickness that the shell needs to penetrate will be higher than the nominal armour thickness:
The effective armour thickness is calculated by dividing the nominal armour thickness with the cosine of the nominal impact angle. For example, in the diagram above we have a nominal armour thickness of 100mm and an impact angle of 30°, thus we have an effective armour thickness of 100mm/cos(30°) = 115.47mm that the shell needs to be able to penetrate. In other words, at an impact angle of 30° the armour is effectively over 115.47% stronger than its nominal value.
The following table provides the coefficients for a number of normalized impact angles:
|Impact Angle||Effective Armour Thickness|
As you can see, the effective armour thickness increases exponentially with the impact angle. For shells impacting you at 60° your armour is effectively twice as thick and at 70° nearly three times as thick. As explained above, for angles higher than 70° all AP and APCR shells will ricochet regardless of armour thickness.
As of 8.6, HEAT shells will start to ricochet if the impact angle equals or is greater than 80 degrees. The armor penetration after ricochet will remain the same. As of 8.9, HEAT shells will start to ricochet if the impact angle equals or is greater than 85 degrees. The armor penetration after ricochet will remain the same. The same applies to your targets, of course, so always take that into account when deciding if and where to shoot them. Reducing the impact angle to your target only slightly will exponentially reduce its effective armour thickness and a target that was previously impossible for you to penetrate may suddenly become easy prey. This is also the reason why you should always attack from two different angles at once. A target can only maximize their effective armour in one direction, as soon as they try to accommodate two possible impact angles they suffer an exponential loss in effective armour thickness towards both of them (thus if you are the one getting flanked while in a strongly armoured tank it is best to maximize your effective armour towards one opponent while shooting the other one).
Penetration values displayed for a gun/shell combination are average values. The actual penetration value is randomized by up to +/- 25% around the average value. Randomization occurs on impact with the target, separately for each new shell you fire.
Penetration Loss over Distance
Since shell speed decreases the longer a shell flies, the game models linear penetration loss over distance depending on the gun and shell type used:
- Armour Piercing (AP) shells experience low penetration loss over distance.
- Armour Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR) shells generally experience high penetration loss over distance (the exception are the APCR shells used as default ammunition)
- High-Explosive (HE), High-Explonsive Squash Head (HESH), as well as High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) shells experience no penetration loss at all.
The penetration values displayed in game indicate average penetration values at 0-100m distance (no penetration loss occurs within this range). Penetration values at higher distances are not displayed. As a rule of thumb, the higher the tier of the gun used, the lower the penetration loss over distance. For example, a Leichttraktor loses up to 17.5% penetration firing AP shells and 51.4% firing APCR shells with its default gun, whereas a Maus only loses about 2% with AP and 15.4% with APCR.
A shell can continue its flight path after the initial impact, either on the outside of the tank in case of ricochet or inside of the tank following penetration of spaced armour, hull armour or external modules. A shell will continue flying for ten times its caliber (a 100mm shell will continue for 1 meter). The remaining penetration potential is the initial penetration value, randomized at the point of impact +/- 25%, minus whatever effective armour thickness that was penetrated. This remaining penetration potential is then used to calculate whether any other armour plates that are hit can be penetrated. Internal modules or crew members have no armour and thus will always get hit if any penetration potential is left in the shell.
Until update 9.3 the penetration model was simplified and after initially impacting a vehicle a shell is "bound" to this vehicle and cannot hit any other tank anymore (no longer true since). That means that a shell could neither ricochet off a tank to hit another tank within its deflected flight path, nor could a shell pass through a tank to hit another tank behind it. A shell's flight path also ended after impacting the ground and those buildings structurally invulnerable to shell damage.
If your shell penetrates the enemy tank's armour, its journey is not over, the enemy tank does not automatically take damage. It all depends on the path of your shell after penetrating the armour and what parts of the enemy tank it hits on that path. A shell can indeed pass clean through a tank without causing any damage.
Each shell has a specific damage potential. The game mechanics differentiate between armour damage and module and crew damage, but only the potential armour damage of a shell is actually displayed in game. The potential for module and crew damage exists in addition to the armour damage potential and is not shown in game.
The potential for module and crew damage is balanced individually for each shell - generally speaking low tier guns can cause more critical damage than armour damage, whereas the inverse is true for high tier guns. The reason is that low tier tanks have considerably more module hitpoints - another hidden property of your tank - than they have armour hitpoints. At high tiers the opposite is true.
Just like shell penetration, all shell damage is randomized by up to +/- 25%, regardless of shell type. The gun properties display the average value. The shell properties display the damage range. Note, however, that the shell values are rounded to the nearest integer, whereas the damage amounts shown in game are truncated. This is a display issue, and both are incorrect: The server uses the exact values.
Each vehicle has hit points, displayed in the garage. Each vehicle enters the battle with 100% hitpoints because you must repair any damage taken by your vehicle in a previous battle before you are allowed to join the fight in it again. Each time the vehicle takes armour damage, its hitpoints get reduced. Once a vehicle's hit points reach zero, the vehicle is destroyed. During a battle, the remaining hitpoints of a vehicle are represented by the progress bars displayed over the targets you aim at.
Spaced armour is a special type of armour that exists to deflect a shell's flight path and to protect against the explosion blast from high-explosive (HE) shells. Spaced armour is special in that it is separate from the hull armour. Damage applied to spaced armour does not reduce the hit points of the vehicle itself.
AP, APCR and HEAT Shells
AP, APCR and HEAT shells cause damage only if they manage to penetrate the target's hull armour. Once the hull armour is penetrated the target will take the full listed damage, +/- 25%. Other factors play no role to the damage calculation. For example, it makes no difference whether you barely penetrated or easily penetrated the target.
The situation is more complex for HE shells because both penetrating and non-penetrating hits and even misses can cause damage.
If this type of shell penetrates the hull armour, the situation is identical to the one just described for the other types of shells, damage is done to the full listed potential, +/- 25%. Since the shell, as high-explosive ammunition, explodes inside of the vehicle after it passes through the armour, any internal modules or crew caught within the explosion radius risk taking damage/getting knocked out (see Module and Crew Damage below).
However, HE shells typically have low penetration values, so unless you aim carefully at a weakly armoured area of your target, you will not penetrate and the shell explodes on the outside of the target vehicle at the point of impact. This also applies if an HE shell penetrates spaced armour, which causes it to explode before hitting the hull armour. Finally, even if you miss the target, the shell will explode on impact and may still cause damage to the target if that lies within the explosion radius, which depends on the shell used. In all these cases where hull armour is not penetrated by the shell itself, the amount of damage is lower and calculated according to the following formula:
SpallCoefficient may be 1.2, 1.25, 1.3, or 1.5 if a spall liner is installed and you calculate armour damage, otherwise 1 (i.e. a spall liner does not protect external modules). actualDamage results of zero or below mean you cause no damage.
ImpactDistance is the distance between the point of impact of the shell and the point of impact between the explosion's blast and the target along a straight, unobstructed line. Since the blast will cover an area of the target's surface, the game selects the spot that leads to maximum damage according to the above formula, i.e. it will be a trade-off between the spot with the lowest nominalArmorThickness and the closest spot that can be hit. Ideally your blast wave reaches an unarmoured area of your target, e.g. the open top and rear on certain tank destroyers or self-propelled guns.
Once the exact point of impact has been determined this way, the actual damage amount is determined as well as is the actual damage potential that the shell can now cause to the target. Whether this actual damage potential causes any damage to the vehicle follows the normal rules, but with the following limitation regarding internal modules and crew:
- If the shell exploded on the vehicle itself, then the propagation of the blast wave into the tank is simulated by calculating a cone-shaped area 45° wide originating from the point of impact of the shell along the normalized impact vector. Damage to internal modules and crew is possible within this area.
- If the shell exploded elsewhere and only the external blast wave impacted the vehicle, then no propagation of the blast into the vehicle itself takes place. Because of this no damage to internal modules and crew can occur.
If spaced armour is impacted by the blast wave first, the calculation above is conducted a second time for the underlying hull armour. Since this second calculation is based on the remaining reduced damage potential, its result is typically zero, i.e. no damage.
Module and Crew Damage
As mentioned above, you can not only damage a vehicle's armour, but also its modules and crew. Armour damage and module/crew damage are distinct. That means hitting a module only affects that module, not the hitpoints of the tank, just like hitting the armour does not affect a module. However, the same shell can damage both hull armour and module(s) or crew since it travels through the tank after penetrating the hull armour.
Just like the vehicle's hull, also each of its modules and crew have hitpoints. During a battle, you only see a simplified display of the amount of hitpoints remaining on your modules and crew represented by one of three colour states in the damage panel at the bottom left of your screen. These states are:
Default (i.e. no colour shading): Enough hitpoints for module and crew to be fully operational.
Yellow: This state signifies that a module has taken considerable damage (≥50%) but is still operational. Crew members have no yellow state.
- Tracks: No negative effect.
- Rangefinder: No negative effect.
- Fuel Tank: Subsequent hits are more likely to set your vehicle on fire.
- Turret: 50% reduction in turret traverse.
- Gun: 50% increase in dispersion and decrease in accuracy.
- Engine: 50% engine HP.
- Ammo Rack: 50% Reload speed.
Red: This state signifies that a module is not operational/a crew member is knocked out. Crew members remain in this state unless a consumable is used to restore them to full health, whereas modules will automatically be repaired over time by your crew up to the "Yellow" state of being operational.
- Tracks: Vehicle is immobilized.
- Rangefinder: Maximum spotting range reduced by 85%. The penalty is lessened with the Recon skill.
- Fuel Tank: Fire will start.
- Turret: Turret traverse is disabled.
- Gun: Unable to fire gun, vertical traverse is disabled.
- Engine: Vehicle horsepower drops to 0. You can still move downhill or on any momentum you had. Fire likely.
- Ammo Rack: Vehicle is destroyed unless there are 0 rounds remaining. Light, Medium, and Heavy tanks will have their turrets 'blown off'.
All module and crew state changes are accompanied by a voice message.
When a module or crew member is hit, they do not necessarily take damage from the hit. Instead, most modules have a specific chance not to take damage. This is also referred to as a saving throw. The base chances of damaging a specific module or crew member when hitting it are as follows:
- Suspension: 100%
- Engine: 45%
- Fuel Tank: 45%
- Observation Device: 45%
- Radio: 45%
- Turret Ring: 45%
- Gun: 33%
- Ammunition Rack: 27%
All crew members have the same chance to get knocked out when hit, however starting with game version 0.7.4 this chance depends on the damage type:
- Crew hit by AP/APCR/HEAT shell: 33%
- Crew hit by (internal) explosion: 10%
Each of these base chances to damage a module or knock out a crew member can be increased by 3 if the Deadeye perk is active for the attacking Gunner at the time of a shot with an AP, APCR or HEAT shell.
No other factors influence these chances. The amount of ammunition you are carrying does not affect the chance of your ammunition rack taking damage.
Complete Crew Death
Note that as soon as all crew members are knocked out, the tank becomes inoperable. Consumables to restore a crew member's health cannot be applied anymore at this point, i.e. there is no way to restore the tank to operating condition. It counts as destroyed, even though its hull stays on the battlefield with all its remaining hitpoints.
Ammunition Rack Explosion
If the ammunition rack's hitpoints reach zero, it explodes, destroying the tank and its crew completely regardless of the remaining hitpoints on either of them. The only case the tank does not explode with a "red" ammo rack, is when the rack is completely empty.You can increase your ammo rack's hitpoints by installing "Wet" Ammo Rack equipment or by training the Safe Stowage perk on a crew member with the role of loader.
There are two ways the enemy can set your tank on fire:
- If your fuel tank's hitpoints reach zero, your tank automatically catches fire.
- Each time your engine gets hit, there is a chance that your tank catches fire. This chance depends on the engine and is displayed on the engine module's properties in game or here on the wiki. Note that the transmission counts as part of the engine but hits to the transmission do not cause fires.
While your tank is on fire, it constantly takes both hull as well as module and crew damage. The exact damage rate depends on the tank but is not displayed in game. The duration of the fire also depends on the tank, on your crew's effective Firefighting skill level, and whether your Driver has the Preventative Maintenance perk active and whether you use Automatic Fire Extinguishers consumable. You can also extinguish a fire manually by using Manual Fire Extinguishers consumable.
You can also damage a target by ramming it. The collision creates an explosion at the point of impact similar to that of a high-explosive shell. The strength of the explosion, i.e. the damage potential, depends on the kinetic energy applied in the collision (0.5 * combined weight * relative speed^2), or in other words the combined weight of you and your target as well as your relative speed. That means that the heavier both you and your target are and the faster you collide, the stronger the explosion caused by the collision will be.
However, that damage potential is distributed according to the weight of each of the two colliding vehicles relative to their combined weight (1 - individual weight / combined weight). For example, if you weigh 75 tons and you ram a target weighing 25 tons, only 25% of the explosion will affect you.
Actual damage calculation then follows the same rules as for high-explosive shell explosions, thus ramming lightly armoured targets/areas of the target will cause more damage than strongly armoured parts. Damage taken can be reduced by having a Spall Liner equipped. You can further reduce damage taken and at the same time increase the damage inflicted to the target by having your vehicle's Driver trained in the Controlled Impact skill.
If you are about to be rammed, you can reduce the damage you will take by moving away from the approaching enemy, thus reducing your relative speed, and pointing your strongest armour at them. If your Driver has the Controlled Impact skill, you need to be moving to activate it, anyway.
Zero Damage Hits
Hits that cause no damage, also called zero damage hits, are notorious among the player base, and various conspiracy theories abound in their respect. However, in most cases they are simply the result of the above described game mechanics in conjunction with poor and sometimes incorrect visual and audible feedback given to the player about what happened with their shell. Bounces and ricochets, hits to spaced armour or to external modules are difficult to distinguish for the player, yet they all have a chance of not resulting in any visible armour damage to the enemy tank (they might still cause module or crew damage, but that is not always immediately visible to the attacking player and thus dismissed).
Everybody experiences zero damage hits, just like everybody experiences misses. However, a thorough understanding of the game mechanics described above will help you minimize them. There is randomization in the game, but you will always hit what you aim for, namely the area covered by your dispersion circle, so aim wisely to maximize the chances of your shots to damage your target.
Players also like to claim ghost shells, i.e. shells that either disappear straight out of the barrel or pass straight through a target as if it wasn't there.
The first type is typically due to the player missing the visual tracer effect - watching the battle's replay from a different angle will reveal it to you.
The second type can in rare cases be caused by heavy lag in the client/server connection that causes a synchronization loss - what you are seeing on the client is not actually what is happening on the server, and what's happening on the server is what counts. It may also be caused by a mistake in the collision model of the opponent's vehicle. The collision model is a simplified version of the visual model of the target vehicle, but separated into various hitboxes. If two hitboxes are not perfectly aligned, they may create a void between them that a shell can pass through if it flies through at just the right angle. Finally, for some vehicles there are parts of the visual vehicle model that are intentionally not reflected in the collision model and a shell can pass straight through them. This is often the case for elements fastened to a tank's external hull, e.g. boxes or fuel tanks. In many cases these are just decoration.
Damage Per Shot/Damage Per Minute
The most common metrics used to measure the performance of a tank in terms of firepower are referred to with the terms Damage Per Shot (also referred to most commonly as 'alpha') and Damage Per Minute (DPM).
Alpha damage refers to the amount of damage a player can expect to output in one shot (or in the case of autoloaded guns, in the span of a magazine or partial magazine dump) - essentially, how much damage a player can output for minimal exposure to enemy fire. Normally, tanks with very large alpha damage for tier will have long reload times, and tanks with smaller alpha will have shorter ones.
Damage per Minute, however, refers to the sustained output of a given tank over time and can be seen as the opposite metric of alpha; DPM measures the damage output that a player gains from maximum exposure rather than the minimum. Traditional DPM is calculated as the damage per shot times the rate of fire.
On average, tanks with large alpha values will have less traditional DPM than tanks with smaller alpha values. This rewards tanks with smaller alpha for the increased risks associated with remaining exposed to gain damage output, but such a playstyle does leave a player open to incoming fire.
An alternative measure of DPM is the 'advantageous' (most often referred to as 'first-shot') DPM, which is the value of DPM plus the damage of shells already loaded into the chamber (and hence do not need reloading at the opening of hostilities). This metric tends to better reflect the nature of WoT combat, with engagements not starting at the beginning of the game, and will tend to show large increases in DPM for the high-alpha tanks. In the first-shot paradigm, in fact, most larger-caliber guns will have a higher DPM than most traditionally high DPM guns.
If you take module damage during battle, your crew will instantly start repairing it by restoring a specific amount of hitpoints to the module every second. The actual amount that gets repaired every second depends on the specific module itself (not just its type) and the effective repair skill of your crew.
Your crew will only repair a damaged module just enough to make it operational again, i.e. it will remain in "yellow" or damaged state. The exact amount of hitpoints this state represents depends on the specific module as well.
To get a module fully operational again and restore all of its hitpoints to it during battle you must use a consumable. The Small Repair Kit is bought for credits and allows you to repair one module during the battle (starting from patch 0.7.4 both tracks can be repaired at once if they are both damaged). The Large Repair Kit costs either gold, or, starting from patch 0.8.5, credits, and fully repairs all modules that are damaged at the time you use it. It will also provide a bonus of 10% to the crew's repair speed unless consumed.
Crew Voice Messages
During battle your crew notifies you of various events. Here you can find a list of them all:
Η=== Battle Start ===
- Auto-aim engaged
- Permission to engage!
- Ready to fire!
- Auto-aim lost
- Target lost!
- I can't see the target!
- Auto-aim disengaged
- Let's find another target!
When hitting your target, multiple events can apply at the same time, but only one message is played. Unfortunately the same or very similar messages are used for different events of this type.
- Ricochet with AP and APCR
- That one Bounced!
- We've dinged them! (Only on British tanks with the national voices setting)
- Armor not penetrated / Ricochet with HEAT
- We didn't penetrate their armor!
- We didn't even scratch them!
- That one didn't go through!
- Enemy set on fire
- Enemy on fire!
- Enemy fuel tank is hit!
- We've torched them!
- We lit that one up good!
- Enemy brewed up!
- Critical Hit
- Critical hit!
- Great shot! (Only on British tanks with the national voices setting)
- Armor penetrated / Critical hit to external module
- Enemy armor is damaged!
- Enemy is hit!
- Enemy armor is hit!
- HE splash damage
- That was close!
- Target destroyed
- Enemy destroyed!
- Enemy vehicle destroyed!
- They're knocked out!
- Got 'em!
Module Damage Taken
- Ammunition Rack damaged
- Our ammo is hit!
- Ammo stowage is hit!
- Ammo hit,we're lucky it didn't explode!
Ammo stowage is hit!were lucky it didn't explode!
- Engine damaged
- The engine is damaged!
- The engine is smoking!
- We've lost half of engine power!
- Engine destroyed
- Critical engine damage! We're stuck here!
- Our engine is knocked out!
- Fire! Put it out quickly!
- We're on fire! Put it out!
- Extinguish those flames!
- Fire! Take it out!
- Fuel Tank damaged
- Our fuel is hit! We've lost half our gas!
- One of our gas tanks is hit!
- Gun damaged
- Our main gun is damaged!It working but not really well!
- The main gun is damaged! We can't fire accurately!
- Gun destroyed
- The main gun is destroyed!
- The main gun is knocked out!
- They took our gun!
- Radio damaged
- The antenna is damaged! We can only talk locally!
- The Radio is hit. We can't raise anyone outside this area!
- Observation Device damaged
- Optics hit!
- The periscope is damaged!
- Observation Device destroyed
- We can barely see through the scope!
- The range finder took a hit! We can only shoot close targets!
- Track damaged
- Track hit!
- One of our tracks is damaged!
- Track destroyed
- We're immobilized!
- We've lost a track!
- We're stuck here !
- Turret Ring damaged
- The turret ring is damaged!
- Hydraulics are down!we can only hand crank the turret!
- Turret Ring destroyed
- The turret is jammed!
- Turret jammed!
Module Damage Repaired
- Engine repaired
- We've repaired the engine, but we can't go very fast.
- The engine is fixed, but it's not going to hold up its speed.
- Fire extinguished
- The fire is out!
- We've put out the flames!
- Gun repaired
- We fixed the main gun, but it's still not very accurate!
- The main gun is up, but accuracy is off!
- Observation Device repaired
- The periscope is fixed, but it's still fragile!
- We've got the rangefinder working, but it's marginal!
- We've cleared the view ports! Keep your eyes open!
- Track repaired
- We've fixed the track!
- Track fixed!
- Track repaired!
- Both tracks repaired
- Drive on!
- Track repaired! Drive on!
- Track fixed! Let's roll!
- Track fixed! Get going!
- We fixed the track! Get going!
- Get going!
- Let's roll!
- Let's go!
- Turret Ring repaired
- We fixed the turret, but it's still not turning very fast!
- Try rotating the turret slowly, it should be working now!
Crew Losses Suffered
- Commander killed
- The commander is hurt! He can't focus!
- The commander is hit!
- The commander is knocked out!
- The commander is hit, we can't see what's going on!
- Driver Killed
- They killed our driver! We're covering his position, but not very well!
- They killed our driver!
- Gunner killed
- The gunner is dead! We're trying to cover for him!
- The gunner is wounded! He'll have a hard time hitting anything!
- The gunner is dead! We're shooting blind!
- Loader killed
- The loader bought the farm! We can't reload as fast!
- The loader is hit - he's moving slowly!
- Radioman killed
- The Radioman is down! We can only signal nearby vehicles!
- The Radioman is bleeding! We can't rely on him!
Out of Action
- Vehicle destroyed
- Bail out! This vehicle has had it!
- We're done for! Everyone get out!
- All Crew killed
- Crew is knocked out!
- Crew members are killed!
- Bail out!
- We're done for!
- we've lost all of our men!
- Ally killed by you
- That was one of ours!
- We've killed a friendly!
Crew messages which are in the game client but are not being used (anymore).
- Gun reloaded
- Loaded and ready!
- Ammo up!
- Locked and loaded!
- Enemy destroyed by your team
- Another one down!
- Enemy vehicle eliminated!
- Scratch another bad guy!
- Enemy destroyed!
- Enemy sighted
- Target spotted!
- Enemy exposed!
- There's one!
- I see one of them!
- Enemy detected!
- Explosion next to you
- That was close!
- They almost got us that time!
- They're right outside!
- Ally killed
- Friendly vehicle knocked out!
- One of the vehicles destroyed!
- One of our vehicles destroyed!
- They destroyed one of our tanks!
- Battle lost
- Fall back men, this mission is over!
- We can't hold on!
- We may have lost this one, but we'll be back!
- Nothing more we can do here!
- Fall back men, the mission is over!
- Battle won
- Victory is ours!
- Great job, men!
- Mission accomplished!
- We've won!