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Anti-Aircraft Fire

Anti-Aircraft Fire

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Learn more about how anti-aircraft fire works in World of Warships.
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Nearly every ship in World of Warships mounts anti-aircraft guns in order to defend themselves from hostile planes. These mounts can range from small-caliber machine guns all the way up through anti-aircraft artillery; some ships are even capable of utilizing their main battery weapons to provide anti-aircraft fire. Each weapon and caliber is grouped into set range bands in order to defend a ship from incoming aerial attacks.

How It Works

Unlike the artillery or torpedo armament in World of Warships, anti-aircraft guns do not calculate actual trajectories or have limited fields of fire. This is due to the amount of processing which would occur, and would result in an immense stress on the servers.

Losing AA mounts will reduce the amount of consistent dps your auras will be able to put out, and reduce the amount of flak clouds that can be generated. The location of the destroyed AA mount does not matter in that regard, as each gun works in all directions. This also means that the sector reinforcement remains unaffected aside from the reduced damage dealing. Once all AA mounts in a given range bracket is destroyed, no more damage (continuous or flak) will be generated in this range band, as other AA auras will not cover this even if they have the range to do so. When this occurs, the 'band' for that AA aura will no longer appear in the sector reinforcement UI.

Every plane in World of Warships has an amount of hit points applied to it. In order to shoot down a plane, this health pool must be reduced to zero. For a ship's AA defense to be able to reduce the health of a plane within range, there are two options: continuous AA and anti-aircraft artillery bursts (sometimes referred to as "flak").

Continuous Damage

Every aura has a continuous damage attached to it. This damage is being dealt without fail unless the AA guns are destroyed or the plane leaves the AA range. The damage is applied to each squadron within range, and will not be spread across several squadrons. Each squadron will take the full amount of damage. Within the squadron one plane will be randomly chosen to receive the damage.

Flak Bursts

AA guns of medium- or long-range are capable of generating flak bursts, which will appear as dark clouds in the air, with the initial bursts appearing orange. These clouds spawn in the flight path of incoming squadrons, and planes entering them will take damage. The amount of flak bursts depend on the ship and modifications. The reload of the flak clouds is set at two seconds, after which the cloud will be spawned again.

The way these clouds spawn is dependent on a few factors. In general, there are two possible zones in which a flak cloud will spawn: either directly ahead of the squadron's direction of travel, or in a zone shifted to the left and right. The size of the central area is dependent on the speed of the aircraft, and will become smaller the slower the plane is. The amount of flak clouds in the central area are limited depending on if the squadron is being engaged by one ship or several. In the case of one ship firing, the long range AA will be capable of placing up to five clouds, while medium range can generate up to six. If more flak clouds can be generated, they will be placed in front of other squadrons in the AA Aura. In case no other squadrons can be engaged, the clouds will instead spawn in the outer areas. When more than one ship engages the squadron, the number of flak clouds increases to ten to eleven, depending on the AA auras contributing. In this event, the most powerful flak bursts are prioritized to appear directly in from of the aircraft rather than the areas to the left or right.

The damage of these flak clouds is significantly higher than the continuous damage, which mean that a plane within the burst radius can be expected to take substantial damage and could get shot down from the first hit. The burst radius is not uniform, and scales up with caliber. Thus, long range auras typically contribute larger clouds. For example, the long-range flak bursts from a Massachusetts, which is generated by 127mm guns, can be expected to be larger than that of a Roma, which relies on 90mm guns for long-range AA. In terms of damage applied by flak bursts, it's a case of either being within the blast radius or not, and no transition zone exists. Also worth of note is that the damage is only applied to those planes within the blast radius, so if only one plane is within the zone no other plane will be affected by the flak burst. Also, flak bursts do not overlap.

Anti-Aircraft Auras

Anti aircraft armament works using auras, with each aura having a minimum and maximum range applied. The ranges are adjusted so that no aura will overlap with each other. The three main auras, short range, medium range and long range, differ in the way they deliver damage against enemy aircraft. All guns up to 25mm are considered short range, all guns up to 85mm are considered medium range and all the weapons with a larger caliber are long range.

Hit Chance

AA Auras have a hit percentage applied to each gun. This hit percentage will usually increase the higher tier'ed a ship is. Contrary to what the name may suggest, this hit chance is not truly a hit chance, but rather describes the reduction of the damage dealt by a ship's AA guns. The way this stat influences the AA defenses is by either reducing the continuous dps, or by reducing the amount of FlaK bursts that a ship is going to generate.

Sector Reinforcement

Every ship has the ability to focus the AA firepower on one side of the ship, which will result in the other side having a weaker defense. This increase in AA fire only affects the continuous fire, not the flak bursts. The screen which allows for the sector assignment is by default the "O" or "~" key, and after assigning a side for increased defense a timer starts, after which the sector has been successfully reinforced. While a sector is reinforced, the tracers from AA guns will appear red. The increase in firepower and the timer depend on the ship type.

Base AA Sector Reinforcement Values
Ship Class AA bonus on assigned sector Switch Time
Destroyers +50% 5.0 seconds
Cruisers +25% 10.0 seconds
Battleships +25% 12.0 seconds
Aircraft Carriers +60% 15.0 seconds


AA Sector Reinforcement Values with the "Manual Control for AA Fire" commander skill
Ship Class AA bonus on assigned sector Switch Time
Destroyers +80% 4.0 seconds
Cruisers +50% 8.0 seconds
Battleships +50% 9.6 seconds
Aircraft Carriers +92% 12.0 seconds

Example

Below are the characteristics of the Tier VIII Premium German Cruiser Prinz Eugen as an example.

Short Range Aura

The detailed statistics of Prinz Eugen’s short range defenses.

Prinz Eugen's short range aura works at a range between 0.1 and 1.5km. Within that aura 184 damage are being dealt every second. Given the hit chance of 81%, this results in 149 damage per second.

Medium Range Aura

The detailed statistics of Prinz Eugen’s medium range defenses.

The medium range aura is active at ranges between 1.5 and 3.5km. Just like the short range aura, a consistent damage of 173 is being dealt every second. Once again the hit chance is being applied, which results in a 147 damage per second which is being guaranteed.

On top of that, the medium range aura is also capable of generating flak clouds. By default, Prinz Eugen is capable of generating up to seven clouds, with each cloud having a cooldown before it can be generated again. The hit chance of 85% reduces these clouds to six on average, and each cloud is capable of delivering 1190 damage per second. This means that planes from a Tier VIII Shokaku would not be able to sustain that sort of punishment for longer than a few seconds.

Long Range Aura

The detailed statistics of Prinz Eugen’s long range defenses.

The furthest reaching aura is capable of delivering damage at ranges between 3.5 and 5.8km. Following the rules of the short and medium range aura, a consistent damage is being applied. However, this value is noticeably lower than for the other auras with 91 damage per second. This is further reduced by the 85% hit chance to 77 damage per second.

What makes up for the low consistent damage are the flak clouds which are generated just like for the medium range aura. Up to six clouds with each dealing 2100 damage per second stock mean that the same planes from Shokaku would be unable to survive even one direct hit. With the hit chance being 85%, on average five flak clouds will be generated and the amount can vary between four and six.

Sector Reinforcement

Using Prinz Eugen’s long range defenses as an example. When no sector has been assigned, a plane approaching from the starboard side will be facing the continuous 77 damage per second and the on average five generated flak clouds with each dealing 2,100 damage per second. The player now assigns the starboard side as the reinforced sector, and after ten seconds the damage will be increased to 97 damage per second consistently and 2,100 from every flak cloud. The plane now flies over the ship and enters the zone in which the port side long range AA is active. The damage in that sector is reduced to 58 damage per second consistently and 2100 damage per second from each flak cloud.

Enhancing Anti-Aircraft Fire

Captain Skills

Direction Center for Fighters

The usage of Direction Center for Fighters adds an additional plane to a Catapult Fighter (While active, a group of fighter planes circles the ship providing protection by attacking incoming enemy aircraft.) squadron, providing additional defenses.

Basic Firing Training

The usage of Basic Firing Training increases the stream of continuous damage from your auras by a flat 10%.

Advanced Firing Training

The usage of Advanced Firing Training affects the damage dealt by FlaK bursts, increasing it by 15%.

Manual Fire Control for AA Armament

The usage of Manual Fire Control for AA Armament will enhance the effectiveness of Sector Reinforcement by reducing the time required for a shift by 20% as well as adding 20% to the AA bonus (Note that this means that the bonus gets multiplied by x1.2, not that a flat 20% get added).

Upgrades

Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1

The usage of Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 (+100% to secondary battery survivability. / +100% to AA mounts survivability.) increases the survivability of your AA mounts, and make a loss of AA power throughout the game less likely.

AA Guns Modification 1

The usage of AA Guns Modification 1 (+2 to number of explosions produced by salvos from medium- and long-range AA defenses.) increases the amount of FlaK bursts your ship can create by two per aura. This is especially recommended for ships with few bursts by default, as the relative increase will be larger.

AA Guns Modification 2

The usage of AA Guns Modification 2 (+15% continuous damage from all AA mounts. / +15% damage per second within the explosion radius of shells fired from medium- and long-range AA defenses.) increases the damage from both the continuous sources and the anti-aircraft artillery bursts by 15%.

Defensive AA Fire Modification 1

Installing Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 (+20% to duration of Defensive AA Fire.) in Upgrade Slot 2 increases the duration of your Defensive AA Fire (While active, the damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns is increased.) consumable by 20%.

Combat Signals

The usage of November Echo Settoseven (+5% continuous damage by all AA guns, +5% damage per second within the explosion radius of shells fired from medium- and long-range AA defenses.) increases your continuous dps as well as the dps within the FlaK bursts by 5%.

Defensive Fire

The usage of the Defensive AA Fire (While active, the damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns is increased.) consumable increases both your continuous as well as your flak burst dps by 100% for Cruisers and 200% for Destroyers.

While Defensive AA Fire (While active, the damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns is increased.) is active, flak bursts will appear with a more reddish hue, whereas normally flak burst animations will appear more orange. If the player is operating an aircraft carrier, they should take note of the color of flak bursts, as this is the only visual cue that Defensive AA Fire (While active, the damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns is increased.) is active.


Other notes:

  • Activating the Defensive AA Fire consumable will also immediately activate AA fire without the need to press P.
  • Deactivating AA fire will immediately terminate the Defensive AA Fire consumable if it is active, and begin its cooldown. This can be used to shave a few seconds off until the next charge is ready.