In order to be battle-ready, every vehicle in the game must first be manned by a complete crew. Crew members have different roles depending on their function in operating the vehicle, and their skill levels effect how efficiently their respective part of the vehicle operates. A vehicle with a well trained crew is often far superior to the same exact vehicle with a poorly trained and inexperienced crew. Crew members' skill levels can receive bonuses from things like food consumables and ventilation equipment. Crew members who are placed in a vehicle they are not trained for will receive a large proficiency penalty, unless the vehicle is a premium tank of the same class of vehicle as the one they are trained for.
Crew members can be knocked out during battle, resulting in a severe penalty in their respective role(s). If a vehicle's entire crew is knocked out, the vehicle is considered dead (regardless of whether or not it has any remaining hitpoints) and the player who delivered the final blow is credited with the kill. Players can use consumables such as the large or small first aid kits to revive knocked out crew members, but cannot use these items to revive their tank if all its crew members were knocked out.
Training and Experience
Every crew member has a major qualification, which is what role they fill in the vehicle. There are five major qualifications: commander, gunner, driver, radio operator, and loader. Depending on the vehicle, a crew member may fill the roles of another major qualification aside from their primary one (for instance, a gunner can also be a loader as well), or there may be more than one crew member with a certain major qualification (for instance, vehicles with large guns commonly have two loaders).
Much like how a vehicle gains experience with every battle it takes place in, crew members accumulate experience which increases their skill levels. A crew member's skill in their particular major qualification is known as their proficiency, which is represented as a percentage. A crew member with an effective 100% proficiency will operate in their role with the same effectiveness as advertised in the vehicle's statistics. A crew member with an effective 0% proficiency will only operate at half capacity of what is expected for that vehicle. Crew members can have effective proficiency higher than 100% thanks to certain bonuses, and in such cases will cause the vehicle to operate more effectively than its displayed stats.
Below is a table explaining how a crew member's proficiency in his or her respective role affects the performance of the vehicle:
|| The commander is responsible for acquiring and targeting enemies as well as leading the vehicle's crew. The commander's proficiency level affects the vehicle's view range. An inexperienced or knocked out commander will reduce the vehicle's effective view range. |
The commander also provides a commanders bonus to his subordinate crew members based on 10% of his current proficiency (see Bonuses and Penalties).
||The gunner is responsible for aiming and firing the vehicle's main weapon. The gunner's proficiency level affects the vehicle's aim time, accuracy, and turret traverse rate. An inexperienced or knocked out gunner will reduce the vehicle's ability to fire accurately, aim quickly, and rotate its turret or gun.|
||The driver is responsible for driving and maneuvering the vehicle. The driver's proficiency level affects the vehicle's ability to maneuver - specifically its terrain resistance, traverse speed, and acceleration ability. An inexperienced or knocked out driver will reduce the vehicles ability to accelerate, climb inclines, and maneuver quickly.|
||The radio operator is responsible for using the vehicle's radio to communicate with other allied vehicles. The radio operator's proficiency level affects the vehicle's radio range. An inexperienced or knocked out radio operator will reduce the vehicle's radio range, and potentially leave it incapable of communicating with other vehicles with a poor radio range.|
||The loader is responsible for loading and reloading the vehicle's main weapon. The loader's proficiency level affects the vehicle's reload time. An inexperienced or knocked out loader will greatly increase the vehicle's reload time.|
Skills and Perks
Once a crew member has reached 100% proficiency, they begin to train for their first crew skills. These crew skills can be used to increase the vehicles performance even more, and can allow the vehicle to do things that vehicles with regular crews can't. The player can chose which kind of crew skill to train. If the player changes their mind on which to train, then can then reset them (see Training, Retraining, and Resetting) and change them to something else. Crew skills require more experience to increase their percentage levels as they approach 100%. A crew member can have multiple crew skills, with the amount needed to completely train a crew skill increasing with each subsequent one. If a crew member is knocked out in battle, the vehicle loses the benefits of that crew member's crew skills.
Some crew skills are specific to crew members of a certain major qualification, while others can be trained by anyone. A crew member with secondary roles aside from their primary major qualification can train crew skills for these other qualifications (a gunner who is also a loader can train loader-specific crew skills), but will lose the ability to use these skills if moved to a vehicle where they do not have this secondary role.
Crew skills are divided into two categories - skills and perks - which work differently. A skill is progressive - its effect is felt as soon as it is chosen on a crew member and increases as the skill reaches 100%. Perks are not progressive, and do not come into effect until fully trained to 100%. This means that training crew skills with perks selected is inefficient, and it is much more efficient to train a crew skill to 100% with a skill selected and then drop it once it reaches 100% in favor of a perk (this is commonly done with the Commander skill "Sixth Sense").
List of Skills and Perks
It is worth noting beforehand that all skill or perks which provide either a percentage reduction or increase of certain vehicle attributes stack additive with bonuses provided by relevant equipment, consumables, or other skills/perks. This means the percentage bonus of crew skills/perks and other enhancements are based on the vehicle's base statistics, and are then added on at the end. For instance, a vehicle getting a 10% increase in accuracy from crew skills/perks and another 5% from a consumable will get a total 15% increase in accuracy.
Crew skills and perks for specific major qualifications usually are not cumulative when two crews members in the same vehicle have the same skill. In such cases, only the skill or perk with higher proficiency is counted, and if both are skilled to 100% only one is counted. Assume this to be true for any skill or perk in the table below unless stated otherwise.
On the other hand, the crew skills common to all major qualifications (repairs, firefighting, and camouflage) are cumulative. Their actual effectiveness is determined by averaging their proficiency among each crew member. For instance, a four-member crew with 25%, 100%, 100%, and 100% proficiency in repairs will get an effective 81.25% of the maximum bonus of repairs.
|Crew Skills (by major qualification)|
| The repair skill allows crew members to more quickly repair destroyed modules on a vehicle. The total effectiveness of repairs is determined by averaging its proficiency on all of the crew members of the vehicle. For every effective percentage of repairs, repair times are decreased by 0.5% with a maximum of 50% when fully skilled on all crew members.
Repairs is a very general-use skill, and is therefore useful on a wide variety of vehicles. Heavy tanks and assault gun tank destroyers which are designed to soak up enemy hits will find it useful for repairing their oft-damaged modules and preventing tanks from outmaneuvering them by destroying their tracks. Medium tanks also find it useful for keeping their tracks up in order to stay mobile. Tanks which are fragile and not meant to take any hits are not greatly benefited by repairs, and are better served by crew skills which prevent them from being shot in the first place.
| The firefighting skill allows crew members to more quickly put out a vehicle which has been set on fire. The total effectiveness of firefighting is determined by averaging its proficiency on all of the crew members of the vehicle. For every effective percentage of firefighting, extinguishing times are decreased by 0.5% with a maximum of 50% when fully skilled on all crew members. It is important to note that firefighting does not decrease the chances of a fire happening, and only decreases the time it takes to put one out.
Because of the relative rarity of fires in most vehicles, firefighting is often skipped in favor of repairs. Firefighting can be useful as a second or third skill on vehicles which rely on their durability or are particularly prone to fires.
| The camouflage skill increases a vehicle's camo values, thereby making it more difficult to spot. The total effectiveness of camouflage is determined by averaging its proficiency on all of the crew members of the vehicle. For every effective percentage of camouflage, camouflage values are increased by 0.5% with a maximum of 50% when fully skilled on all crew members.
Camouflage is most helpful to vehicles which play at a distance and are too fragile to rely on repairs to keep them safe. Poorly armored sniping tank destroyers can use camo to stay concealed while firing, and light tanks can use camouflage to increase their inherent concealability and stay safe while spotting enemy targets.
| The brothers in arms perk (also known as BiA) increases the training levels of all crew members in a vehicle by 5%. In order for BiA to take effect, all crew members in the vehicle must have the skill fully trained. Female crews start out with a similar perk, called sisterhood of steel. This perk works the same as BiA, however it does not work with BiA, and mixed-gender crews will not gain bonuses from either perk.
Because of the inherently all-encompassing nature of crew proficiency levels, brothers in arms is a useful perk choice on almost any vehicle in the game.
| The sixth sense perk enables the commander of a vehicle to indicate when it is spotted three seconds after it has happened. When spotted, an icon of a red light bulb will appear in the middle of the HUD and then disappear after a set amount of time. Sixth sense does not tell the player when or if their vehicle has been unspotted and only indicates when the player has gone from unspotted to spotted.
Sixth sense is useful on vehicles which can react to being spotted. It is useful on light and medium tanks for testing whether an area is safe or not. It is also useful on sniping tank destroyers for knowing when they have had their cover blown and need to relocate. Sixth sense is not particularly useful on close-range brawlers which are often lit aren't greatly affected by whether or not they are spotted.
| The mentor skill gives bonus experience to all the members of the crew but the commander. How much experience it gives is based on how much the mentor skill is trained. For each percent of mentor trained to the commander, the other members of the vehicle's crew will 0.1% bonus experience per battle, yielding a maximum of 10% bonus experience per game when mentor is trained fully.
Mentor is helpful when skills learnable by other members of a vehicle's crew are more important than the commanders. Still, many players chose not to skill mentor as it takes the place of useful skills such as recon or jack of all trades, and perks such as sixth sense or eagle eye.
| The eagle eye perk enables the commander to identify damaged modules on spotted enemy vehicles. When spotted, indicators showing damaged modules will display below enemy vehicles after a delay of four seconds. This perk only works with vehicles spotted by your commander, and will not display damaged modules on vehicles spotted by allies instead.
Because eagle eye only works on enemies spotted by the player's vehicle, it is best used by close range brawlers and flankers. Unlike sniping tank destroyers and artillery, close range medium tanks, heavy tanks, and assault gun tank destroyers often spot their own targets, and unlike light tanks these types of tanks are often close enough and possess enough firepower to exploit damaged modules on enemy vehicles. Eagle eye can be useful on light tanks acting as scouts to identify weak targets for allies, but this requires a good deal of team communication and coordination to produce results.
| The recon skill increases the vehicle's view range, most noticeably when the vehicle's optics are damaged. For every percent of recon trained, the vehicle gains 0.02% of its base view range as a bonus, for maximum bonus of 2%. In the event that the vehicle's observation device is damaged, the bonus increases to 0.2% per percent of recon trained, with an increased maximum of 20% effective bonus.
Recon is a somewhat misleading skill, as it appears to be a simple bonus to base view range when in reality it's more specialized. For instance, a vehicle with a 400 meter view range will only get eight bonus meters of view range from a commander with recon fully trained. The bonuses from recon are only really noticeable when the vehicle's observation device is damaged. Therefore, recon is mostly useful on more hardy tanks which are likely to have their observation device damaged and are expected keep fighting on.
| The jack of all trades skill enables the commander to fill the roles of knocked-out crew members with reduced proficiency. The skills takes effect as soon as a crew member (aside from the commander, of course) is knocked out. The commander then fills the role of the knocked-out crew member based on half of his proficiency in the jack of all trades skill. A commander with 100% skill in jack of all trades will fill the role of a knocked-out crew member at 50% proficiency. This proficiency is split evenly among the all knocked out crew members. The aforementioned commander will fill the role of one dead crew member with 50% proficiency, two with 25% proficiency, three with 16.6%, four with 12.5%, and five with 10%. Knocked out crew members being substituted by a jack of all trades commander do not have their crew skills substituted too.
Jack of all trades is most useful on front-line vehicles which absorb a lot of enemy fire, such as heavy tanks and heavily armored assault-gun tank destroyers. Jack of all trades enables such vehicles to more effectively fight on when losing crew members, as they almost inevitably will.
| The armorer skill helps the gunner mitigate the accuracy penalty of having the main gun damaged. For every percent of armorer trained, the gunner reduces the damaged gun accuracy penalty by 0.2%, up to a maximum of 20% penalty reduction for gunners with 100% armorer skill.
Armorer is helpful on vehicles that are likely to have their gun damaged but keep on fighting. Well armored heavy tanks and assault gun tank destroyers benefit from armorer, allowing them to use their damaged guns effectively for close range brawls and save repair kits for more important modules.
| The snap shot skill allows the gunner to decrease the accuracy penalty caused by traversing the vehicle's gun and rotating the vehicle's turret (if it has one). The accuracy penalty is reduced by 0.075% for every percent of snap shot learned, up to a maximum of 7.5% aim dispersion reduction for a gunner with 100% proficiency in snap shot.
Snap shot, as its name suggests, is useful for vehicles which need to take quickly aimed snap shots at other vehicles. Specifically, fast moving medium tanks and light tanks which need to quickly turn their turrets to maneuver and aim at targets. While snap shot also affects non-turreted vehicles, it generally isn't very useful on them since it does nothing to mitigate the accuracy penalty of turning the vehicle's hull. Snap shot is sometimes useful on heavy tanks if the player tends to take a lot of quick peek-a-boom shots, but this is more up to player preference.
| The deadeye perk increases the chances of an AP, APCR, or HEAT shell to score a critical hit and do damage to an enemy vehicle's modules or crew members. When active, the deadeye perk increases the chance to do critical damage by 3%.
Deadeye is generally helpful on any vehicle that doesn't fire HE as its primary ammunition type as it allows them to not only score important tracking shots more often, but to also increase their chances to cripple enemy vehicles from the inside out. Because HE round are not affected by deadeye, the skill is almost completely useless on indirect-fire artillery and direct-fire howitzers.
| The designated target perk allows the gunner to keep a targeted enemy vehicle spotted for additional time. Vehicles within ten degrees of the aiming reticle are affected, and stay spotted for two additional two seconds after they would normally go un-spotted. Designated target works in both arcade and sniper view, but not in artillery top-down strategic view.
Designated target is most helpful on sniping tank destroyers or otherwise which often aren't spotting their own targets. Using designated target to keep an enemy spotted can allow for more time to aim at them and therefore score effective shots. Scouting light tanks also benefit from designated target, and can use it to keep fleeing tanks lit for additional time. Since designated target does not work in artillery's strategic view, it is almost completely useless to self-propelled guns.
| The clutch braking skill enables the driver to increase the speed at which his vehicle traverses. For every percent of clutch braking skilled, the vehicle gains an additional 0.05% of its base traverse speed, up to a maximum 5% bonus when fully skilled.
Clutch braking is useful on wide range of vehicles, benefiting any kind of vehicle with mobility deficiencies. It can be used on slow, casemate tank destroyers to allow them to better react to flanking maneuvers, on heavy tanks to give them increased mobility, and on vehicles of any class which suffer from a below-optimal traverse speed. Though generally not needed on medium and light tanks which are already reasonable maneuverable, it's still an option for players who like make a lot of high speed maneuvers.
| The smooth ride skill enables the driver to decrease the accuracy bloom caused by moving the vehicle or traversing its hull. For every percent of smooth ride skilled, the accuracy bloom due to movement is decreased by 0.04%, for a maximum of 4% reduction when fully skilled.
Smooth ride is useful on almost any vehicle in the game. On casemate tank destroyers and artillery, it helps to lessen the considerable accuracy penalty caused by traversing the vehicle's hull. On medium and light tanks, it helps to keep the gun relatively accurate while the vehicle is making high speed maneuvers. On heavy tanks, smooth ride enables the player to quickly poke corners and shoot without having to spend a prolonged time exposed in order to aim.
| The controlled impact skill decreases the self-damage caused by ramming an enemy vehicle. For every percent of controlled impact skilled, self-damage inflicted due to ramming is decreased by 0.15%, up to a maximum 15% damage reduction when fully skilled. Controlled impact does not increase the damage done to enemy vehicles by ramming.
Since ramming as a tactic is considered rarely beneficial, even on vehicles which are good at it, controlled impact is usually not advisable. Controlled impact is most helpful to players who, despite the inefficiency of ramming most vehicles, chose to go for it for style points or for the pure fun of it anyway. Regardless, it is advisable to pick skills or perks such as brothers in arms and smooth ride before skilling controlled impact.
| The preventative maintenance perk enables the driver to decrease the chance of a fire being started by engine damage. When fully skilled, preventative maintenance decreases the chance of an engine fire being started by 25%. Preventative maintenance does not to decrease the chance of fires started by damaged fuel tanks.
As with most skills/perks that increase a vehicle's durability, preventative maintenance is most useful of close-range brawlers which are often taking a lot of enemy shots. When deciding whether or not to skill preventative maintenance on a vehicle particularly prone to fires, it is important to identify whether it is the fuel tanks or the engine causing the most fires, as preventative maintenance is mostly useless to tanks on which the latter is true. Particularly, tanks with rear-mounted turret and front-mounted engine are often prone to engine fires, therefore making them good candidates for this perk in some cases.
|The signal boosting skill enables the radio operator to increase the radio range of his vehicle. For every percentage of signal boosting skilled, the vehicle's signal range is increased by|
Training, Retraining, and Resetting
When training new crew members, retraining old crew members for new vehicles, or resetting crew skills, the player must chose from three different options. Whether the player chooses to use Rapid Courses, Regimental School, or the Tank Academy will determine how much experience the crew members will gain or retain. Better forms of training will yield better results, but will cost more.
Below is a table showing how much the three different training choices cost and what they yield when training, retraining, and resetting.