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Secondary Armament

Secondary Armament

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A ship's secondary armament or "secondaries" is composed of all anti-surface capable guns other than the main (primary) batteries. This may include weapons of several calibers and capabilities. Secondaries are organized by common characteristics into "secondary batteries" that nominally share fire control subsystems.[1]

Significant secondary batteries are commonly found on battleships, aircraft carriers, most cruisers, and a few destroyers and submarines. On higher-tier ships, some secondaries become "dual purpose" and contribute to anti-aircraft defense.

Game Mechanics

In World of Warships, secondary battery guns are not controlled by the player. Instead, they fire automatically at enemy ships within range. This has a number of effects:

  • they are modeled somewhat abstractly, downplaying differences with the notable exceptions of caliber and rate of fire;
  • while the secondary batteries of a ship may include guns of different caliber etc., they all share the same range for the sake of simplicity;
  • because they are automatic and require no player skill, they are not as effective as might be real secondaries, with short range and wide dispersion;
  • anti-ship batteries fire only High Explosive shells[2], except for submarine secondaries which fire Semi-Armor-Piercing shells;

Although there are more of them with a higher rate of fire (in most cases) than main battery guns, secondary guns target and fire independently (unlike AA batteries that are grouped into auras). When they come into action, secondary turrets on the ship model rotate toward their targets and the guns fire.

Modules that represent secondary turrets and gun mounts can be destroyed by enemy fire and no longer contribute to the ship's defense.


Secondary mounts target individually, by default each firing at the enemy that is closest to it within its field of fire. In this way, more than one target can be engaged by a ship's secondary armament.

The preferred secondary target.

Manual Target Selection

The gunnery officer may select one enemy to fire at in preference to others. Hold down the <ctrl> key and select the enemy ship with the left mouse button (LMB).[3] When the preferred target is selected, a small icon (illustrated nearby) appears above the ship icon. Only one target can be manually selected. When a preferred target is selected, secondary guns that can bear will fire at the selected target in preference to all others. Secondary guns that cannot bear on the selected target fire at the closest target upon which they can bear. Designating such a target provides no bonuses of any type.

The commander skill Manual Secondary Battery Aiming (see below) functions in a similar fashion. However, it does increase the accuracy[4] of guns that can bear on the selected target.

First Shot

Each secondary mount is considered to be unloaded when an enemy is first encountered. When a target comes within range and field of fire of that mount, the gun(s) begin to load. Thus the first shot from a gun is delayed by the reload time. Thereafter, reloads occur automatically at the rate of the gun type.

Base Dispersion[4]

Data mining[5] has produced a chart of accuracy[4] groups. Each ship may have different types of secondary guns so may participate in different groups. These findings are preliminary and subject to change.

See below for an explanation of each category.


{ [ (Range in km) x 57 ] + 30 } Includes most secondaries in the game barring the ones listed below.

Soviet 130mm BL109A

{ [ (Range in km) x 49 ] + 30 } The secondaries on the tier X Soviet battleships and cruisers have slightly reduced dispersion. This includes Moskva, Petropavlovsk, Stalingrad, Kremlin, and Slava.

German Battleships

{ [ (Range in km) x 43.5 ] + 30 } German battleships received a buff with the commander skill rework. It includes the following ships:

  • German tech tree battleships of Tiers VII+. (Gneisenau — Hannover)
  • The premiums Prinz Eitel Friedrich, Scharnhorst /B, Scharnhorst '43, Tirpitz /B, Odin, Brandenburg, Anhalt, Mecklenburg, Pommern /B and Grosser Kurfurst.
  • Japanese premium battleship Daisen.
  • German premium cruiser Admiral Schröder.
  • The 127 mm guns on Atlantico.


{ [ (Range in km) x 33 ] + 30 } Long associated with Massachusetts, this dispersion type has existed for a while and is present on a long list of ships.

  • German tech tree aircraft carriers.
  • German tech tree battlecruisers. (Von der Tann — Schlieffen) and AL Prinz Heinrich
  • French large cruisers Toulon, Cherbourg, Brest, and Marseille
  • The premium & reward ships: Massachusetts /B, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio, Rhode Island, Agincourt, Renown '44, West Virginia '44, Iwami, Sun Yat-Sen, Navarin, and Max Immelmann.
  • The casemate mounts (only!) of Tiger, Iron Duke, Warspite, Mutsu, Nagato, Ashitaka, Hyuga, Amagi, Kii, Ignis Purgatio, Ragnarok, Yumihari, Adatara, and Bungo.
  • The 234 mm guns on Atlantico.


There are a handful of exceptions. In increasing order of accuracy[4] they are:

  • { [ (Range in km) x 27 ] + 30 } - Wichita's and Florida's 127mm/38 Mod 30 mounts specifically, and Michelangelo.
  • { [ (Range in km) x 21 ] + 30 } - Napoli /B
  • { [ (Range in km) x 12 ] + 30 } - Pensacola
  • { [ (Range in km) x 8.4 ] + 48 } - Graf Zeppelin & Arkansas Beta. Note this is the same horizontal dispersion calculation for "battlecruiser" main battery guns, like Graf Spee, Thunderer, and Georgia.

Horizontal Dispersion Formula

Improving Performance

There are three ways to increase the effectiveness and decrease the dispersion of a ship's secondary guns: upgrades, commander skills, and signal flags.

The effects of these improvements are multiplicative. For example: combining the use of the Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament skill (up to -55%) with the effect of the Secondary Battery Modification 1 : +20% secondary battery firing range. / -20% secondary battery dispersion. upgrade (-20%) with a Mike Yankee Soxisix +5% to secondary battery maximum firing range. / -5% to maximum dispersion of secondary battery shells. / -5% to secondary battery loading time. signal (-5%) reduces the dispersion of secondary battery shells by up to -65.8%.


Commander Skills

Several commander skills improve the performance of a ship's secondary armament:

  • Demolition Expert (1 or 2 skill points) increases the fire chance of HE ordnance by 1%.
  • Adrenaline Rush (2 or 3 skill points) speeds the reload time as a ship takes more damage.
  • Inertia Fuse for HE Shells (2, 3, or 4 skill points) increases the armor penetration of High Explosive shells at the expense of fire chance. It increases the effectiveness of some secondary guns against some targets.
  • The battleship skill Long-Range Secondary Battery Shells (3 skill points) adds 20% to the range of secondary guns.
  • The battleship skill Manual Secondary Battery Aiming (4 skill points) See below.
  • The cruiser skill Pack a Punch (3 skill points) increases the range of secondary guns by 20%.
  • The cruiser skill Top Grade Gunner (4 skill points) increases the reload speed of secondary guns by 10%.
  • The aircraft carrier skill Secondary Armament Expert (2 skill points) improves the reload speed of secondary guns by 10%.
  • The aircraft carrier skill Close Quarters Expert (4 skill points) increases the range of secondary guns by 20% and tightens dispersion by 30%.

Manual Secondary Battery Aiming skill

The operation of this skill is rather complex.[7] The skill permanently decreases base reload time and dispersion by -10%.

In addition, when a target comes into range and firing begins, a unique mechanism is activated.

  • Over the first ten seconds of firing, a dispersion bonus up to -25% accumulates, for a total of -32.5%.
  • For the next 35 seconds, the bonus continues to accumulate an additional -25%, to a total of -55%.
  • This bonus is not applied until: a primary target is designated. Then the current accumulated bonus is applied immediately.
  • If a new primary target is designated, the bonus is decreased by 20%[8] and applied immediately.
  • When firing ceases (no target in range), the bonus disperses over 15 seconds.
  • The skill has no effect on the anti-aircraft function of dual purpose guns.

Signal Flags

There are three signal flags that improve secondary battery performance.

  1. Mike Yankee Soxisix +5% to secondary battery maximum firing range. / -5% to maximum dispersion of secondary battery shells. / -5% to secondary battery loading time. adds +5% to a ship's secondary battery range, and decreases the dispersion and reload time by -5%.
  2. Victor Lima +1% chance of causing a fire for bombs and shells with a caliber above 160mm / +0.5% chance of causing a fire for bombs and shells with a caliber below 160mm. / +4% chance of causing flooding. adds a +1% chance of causing a fire for shells with a caliber above 160mm, and +0.5% for shells 160mm and below. Most secondary guns are 155mm or smaller so the majority will see a 0.5% increase in fire chance.
  3. India X-Ray +1% chance of causing a fire for bombs and shells with a caliber above 160mm. / +0.5% chance of causing a fire for bombs and shells with a caliber below 160mm. / +5% to the risk of your ship's magazine detonating. also adds a +1% chance of causing a fire for shells with a caliber above 160mm, and +0.5% for shells 160mm and below. However, this comes at a price, adding a +5% chance to the risk of the ship's magazine detonating. (Use of Juliet Charlie -100% to the risk of your ship's magazine detonating. is highly recommended.)


  1. Fire control across multiple mounts is not modeled in World of Warships.
  2. Update 0.7.11
  3. Secondary target selection can be tricky at first. To make it more sure, with the Alternate Interface Mode on the Settings.Controls panel set to Full (highly recommended) <ctrl-left click> on the red damage bar just above the range number.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Dispersion" is incorrectly referred to as "accuracy". It is properly "precision". However, since the accuracy of automatic guns is not variable, only dispersion affects the hit rate.
  5. Data mining primarily by AprilWhiteMouse in spring 2021. forum thread
  6. 6.0 6.1 Because they share an upgrade slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1, Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1, and Secondary Battery Modification 2 are mutually exclusive.
  7. Development Blog 175. Expand the FAQ at the bottom. A few parameters have since been changed.
  8. There is some question about the actual amount of the decrease. The documents say "by 20% of the current bonus" (i.e. multiplicative). Some empirical tests indicate that the reduction is additive.