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Tactics: Scouting

Tactics: Scouting

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Scouting is a key feature in World of Tanks. Scouting is where a tank spots a tank or tanks on the enemy team. This role can be filled by any tank, but it is best carried out by the light tanks in battles, due to their speed, view range, and camo that no other tank can match. It is not recommended to play any scout lines unless the player is well familiarized with the game mechanics.

Scouting styles

There are two different scouting styles, each with their own tactics and its own tanks that excel in these situations.

Active Scouting

Active scouting is very aggressive in nature, where the scout has to keep moving. This can take place anywhere on the map, which can be peeking around corners, driving on ridges, or just doing circles. The goal here is to try and keep the enemy spotted long enough for allies to hit them. A form of this is Half Court scouting, in which a scout runs several half circles around their side of the map, while not crossing the middle dividing line. Some maps are suited for this while others are not. For light tanks with good maneuverability and speed but poor view range or radios, active scouting is superior due to the bonus that designated scouts receive, namely that they keep the same camo values while moving and stationary.

Passive Scouting

The opposite of Active Scouting. This is where a scout will sit in a location (usually concealed by bushes) waiting for enemies to move into their view range. It is best to find a position with a wide area that you can see without obstruction to get the best out of this. A passive scout should avoid firing in all but the most dire of circumstances as this will dramatically lower your camo values. Relatively unmaneuverable light tanks and fast medium tanks with good view range are considered ideal passive scouts.

Common Scouting Approach

There are two primary schools of scouting in World of Tanks: active and passive scouting. The pros and cons will be listed.

Pros to passive scouting:

  • Generally lives longer, therefore becoming more useful.
  • Those with passive scout equipment choices can become active scouts more easily than those with active scout equipment choices becoming passive scouts.
  • Can detect enemy tanks for longer periods of time, allowing teammates to destroy them all while remaining alive.
  • Lower risk of friendly fire.
  • More available to different classes: fast mediums and tank destroyers are good passive scout candidates

Cons to passive scouting:

  • Being static, which allows enemy players to 'blind fire' the position a passive scout is in. However, many players will not blind-fire at higher levels due to the lack of probability and low rates of fire.
  • Being stationary, which nullifies some scouting tanks defensive strategy - speed and agility - and will often make being spotted synonymous with being dead. However, passive scouts usually have more time to get out of harm's way, especially with the Sixth Sense Perk.
  • Passive scouts are often pressured to engage in active scouting, and occasionally results in being team-killed
  • Ties up two equipment choices (Camo net & Binocs) which limits your ability to take other roles.
  • Can be boring.

Pros to active scouting:

  • Very high reward.
  • Added bonus of confusing and distracting opponents. When timed correctly, it can allow a team to sweep in and savage the confused opponents.
  • Can engage targets of opportunity along the way, such as artillery, lone TDs and isolated heavy tanks.
  • Fun. After all, World of Tanks is a game.

Cons to active scouting:

  • Very high risk factor. Once active scouts are discovered, their time is limited: they will be gunned down very quickly, especially when immobilized.
  • Carelessness in active scouting, which even experienced players are prone to, will usually result in their destruction with little damage done simply because the team was unable to provide support or the numbers of opponents detected meant that evasion would be impossible.
  • Because of the nature of active scouting, support may not necessarily able to take full advantage of the information gathered in the scout run.

Both have their merits and faults. However, active scouting usually becomes suicide scouting when done in the beginning of the match, since opponents will often have guns loaded and will have the numbers to gun down active scouts, and passive scouting is less useful for winning teams at the end of a match since the opponents will usually camp in a defensive position. Therefore, passive scouting should be done at the beginning of the match where tanks can then duke it out, and active scouting should be done towards the end where the remaining tanks will be isolated and probably wounded.

Medium Tanks and CW/Organized Play

For medium tanks and organized play, the preferred playstyle compared to light tanks is somewhat reversed. For mediums this is largely because unlike in light tanks mediums do not receive the same camouflage bonus while moving. With medium tanks, being larger targets and thus easier to hit, traditional active scouting usually turns into a death sentence. Instead, a medium tank that sees itself as an active spotter will more often spot in a smaller area by peeking instead of pathing and will focus more on either supporting a small group of friends or using its vision for its own gun. A medium tank that wants to focus entirely on passive spotting will act as an ambusher, forgoing the normal reluctance to shoot for the chance to pile on damage the group is creating in wolfpack situations.

Another consideration in organized play is the more highly coordinated and concentrated fire that many teams tend to output, which vastly increases the odds of an otherwise successful active scout suddenly becoming tracked and destroyed. At this point normally even the small profile and high camo of light tanks often will not be enough to save an active scout. As organized teams also have a better idea of what parts of a map need to be visible at a time as well, the limited sightlines of a passive scout can be negated entirely. In organized play then passive scouting becomes the standard mode. Passive scouts are used as tripwires (on weak sides or lanes) and forward spotters (in areas the team focuses on), with active scouting usually undertaken when specific areas are being investigated (ideally with all guns trained on likely hiding places already).

Suicide Scouting

As the name of this style suggests, this is when you charge into the enemies cap seconds after the countdown, usually spotting their entire team, but almost always leading to a very quick death. When you do this, your team is usually not ready to fire and everyone you spotted will disappear with very little shots going into them.

Do not do this: a dead scout is a useless scout.

Scouting tanks

Currently, only four countries have scout lines. America, France, Germany, and China. Each country has their own advantages and disadvantages to these lines.


Starting with the M5 Stuart and ending at the T71 and T49, this scout line offers a wide variety of play styles, and a wide variety of tanks if you continue down the line past tier VII. American scouts are well known for their view range, damage per minute, maneuverability, and the overall fun factor. They are generally either active or passive scouts.


Starting with the ELC AMX and ending with the AMX 13 90, the French scouts are very sneaky, but can deal a very healthy amount of burst damage. They all boast autoloaders (except for the ELC AMX), with exceptional view range, and can cause a lot of damage if let behind enemy tanks. They, however, lack the speed and maneuverability of their American counterparts. They are generally active scouts, due to their autoloaders.


Starting with the Luchs and ending with the Spähpanzer Ru 251, German scouts start out small and fast but then turn into large, sluggish, punchy behemoths, with the exception of the Spähpanzer Ru 251. They are known for their view range and their ability to ram exceptionally well, they however lack the speed of all other scout lines. As a result, they are often passive scouts.


Starting with the M5A1 Stuart and ending with the WZ-132, the Chinese have the speed of the Americans, a very low profile, slightly bouncy armor, quick aimtimes, and very punchy guns. The Chinese guns lack the autoloaders of the American and French lines, giving them a slightly different feel with consistent DPM rather than bursty damage. Due to their poor hull-down performance, they are often active scouts.

Recommended Equipment

All Play Styles

  • Improved Ventilation: Increases Major Qualification of all crew members by 5%(an effective 2.22% bonus to all tank parameters and crew skills including camouflage and view range skills).
  • Coated Optics: Increases View Range by 10% and is the foundation of any successful scout.

Passive Scouting

  • Camo Net: Improves the tank's camouflage factor when the tank is stationary for three seconds. Deactivates on hull movement. Adds a flat 5% to Heavy Tanks and SPG's, a flat 10% to Medium and Light Tanks, and flat 15% to Tank Destroyers.
  • Binocular Telescope: Increases the tank's view range by 25% when the tank is stationary for three seconds. Deactivates on hull movement.
  • Coated Optics: Increases the tank's view range by 10%. Always active.

Active Scouting

  • Coated Optics: Increases the tank's view range by 10%. Always active.
  • Improved Ventilation: Increases Major Qualification of all crew members by 5%(an effective 2.22% bonus to all tank parameters and crew skills including camouflage and view range skills).
  • Vertical Stabilizer OR Enhanced Gun Laying Drive: more accurate shooting on the move.

Recommended Crew Skills & Perks

  • Sixth Sense(Commander-Perk): Adds an indicator to the battle interface that appears three seconds after the vehicle has been spotted. Useful as it lets the scout know when its position has been compromised and thus time to re-locate.
  • Camouflage (Entire Crew-Skill): Improves camouflage rating of the tank.

  • Brothers in Arms (Entire Crew-Perk): Adds a flat 5% improvement to the Major Qualification and common skills (Camouflage, Firefighting, and Repairs) of the entire crew. Only works if all crew members have the perk trained to 100%.
  • Recon (Commander-Skill): Increases View Range of the tank. Maximum increase of 2%. Useful as it increases the scout's capability to spot enemy tanks.

  • Situational Awareness (Radio Operator-Skill): Increases View Range of the tank. Maximum increase of 3%. Useful as it increases the scout's capability to spot enemy tanks.

  • Designated Target (Gunner-Perk): Enables the Gunner to make targeted enemy vehicles within 10 degrees of your reticule remain visible for two more seconds than they normally would remain visible. Useful as it gives allies more time to place effective fire into spotted enemy tanks.

  • Clutch Braking (Driver-Skill): Increases hull traverse speed of the tank. Maximum increase of 5%. Useful for active scouting since it increases the scout's capability to evade enemy fire.

  • Off Road Driving (Driver-Skill): Improves terrain resistance of the tank when not on paved roads. Maximum increase of 10%. Useful for active scouting since it increases the scout's capability to evade enemy fire.

Key Concepts

Vision Control

Vision control is a term in scouting that - as its name suggests - implies allowing your team to be able to spot while denying the enemy the same. Vision control is often more than a one tank job, and as such requires teamwork, intuition, and map awareness. To frame this concept, ask yourself: "where is the enemy spotting me from?" and "Where is the enemy most likely shooting from?"


The key role for this portion of vision control is ensure that areas that can safely spot your team are watched, and tanks that seek to gain this area do so at the expense of most if not all their HP. This may entail taking a position to kill enemy scout tanks as well, and facilitates transitioning to offensive vision control.


This involves pushing back the area in which enemy tanks are able to either shoot or idle without being lit, and seeks to provide effective lights for your team to destroy the enemy. Often this involves taking somewhat risky spots, and it is important to know where an enemy will have a line of fire on you, and for how long. Ditches, berms, embankments, and bushes are all key elements for this stage. Popping up (to move at full speed and briefly go) to gain a spot momentarily, and poking (moving up slowly and then reversing) are the cornerstones of this technique.