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Revision as of 06:34, 23 January 2018
Reworked upgrades section
Revision as of 15:59, 1 February 2018
Line 41:Line 41:
 *'''Slot 2''': {{Damage Control System Modification 1}} *'''Slot 2''': {{Damage Control System Modification 1}}
 *'''Slot 3''': {{Air Groups Modification 2}} *'''Slot 3''': {{Air Groups Modification 2}}
?*'''Slot 4''': {{Propulsion Modification 2}}+*'''Slot 4''': {{Damage Control System Modification 2}}
 *'''Slot 5''': {{Concealment System Modification 1}} *'''Slot 5''': {{Concealment System Modification 1}}
 *'''Slot 6''': {{Air Groups Modification 3}} *'''Slot 6''': {{Air Groups Modification 3}}

Revision as of 15:59, 1 February 2018

N/A | N/A | Tier
Tech Tree Position
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Battle Levels
<span class="b-description-img_type b-description-img_type__<mark_unset_error>-premium"></span>

[[Ship:|]] — N/A promo premium Tier  N/A.

The largest class of attack aircraft carriers. The ship featured a strong air group, powerful AA armament and good torpedo protection. The successful design of aircraft elevators ensured fast takeoff and landing for the aircraft. The unarmored flight deck, also characteristic of her predecessors, made her and her sister ships vulnerable to air strikes.

Four of the class are preserved as military museum ships: USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina; USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas; USS Intrepid in New York, New York; and USS Hornet in Alameda, California.


Compatible Upgrades

 Slot 1  Air Groups Modification 1 Main Armaments Modification 1 Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 Magazine Modification 1 Aiming Systems Modification 0 Spotting Aircraft Modification 1 Damage Control Party Modification 1
 Slot 2  Damage Control System Modification 1 Engine Boost Modification 1 Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 Surveillance Radar Modification 1 Aircraft Engines Modification 1 Engine Room Protection
 Slot 3  Main Battery Modification 2 Secondary Battery Modification 1 AA Guns Modification 1 Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 Aiming Systems Modification 1 Smoke Generator Modification 1 Torpedo Bombers Modification 1 Attack Aircraft Modification 1 Torpedo Tubes Modification 1 Aerial Torpedoes Modification 1
 Slot 4  Damage Control System Modification 2 Propulsion Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 1 Attack Aircraft Modification 2 Torpedo Bombers Modification 2 Bombers Modification 2 Skip Bombers Modification 1
 Slot 5  Flight Control Modification 1 Torpedo Lookout System Concealment System Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 2 Enhanced Engineering Systems Reinforced Emergency Response Upgraded Damage Control Equipment Improved Main Battery Loading Mechanisms Aerosol Smoke Curtain System Master Fire Control Director Torpedo Fire Control System Improved Hull Concealment Improved Main Artillery Ship Consumables Modification 1||Squadron Consumables Modification 1||Heavier Torpedo Warheads||Additional Smoke Generators
 Slot 6  Main Battery Modification 3 Torpedo Tubes Modification 2 Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 Flight Control Modification 2 Air Groups Modification 2 Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2 Main Battery Fire Control Station Improved Ammunition Hoists Main Battery Director System Improved Bridge Enhanced Propulsion Plant Enhanced Countermeasures Extended Main Battery Effective Range Torpedo Quick Reload System Main Gun Automatic Loader Modified External Hardpoints Fuel Injection System Auxiliary Armaments Modification 2 Improved Camouflage Patterns Automated Main Battery Loading Mechanism Forced Takeoff and Landing Equipment

Player Opinion


As with the Lexington you can upgrade your Dive Bombers to equip either HE or AP bombs. The AP bombs provide lower max damage, but have the possibility to citadel and have a much smaller dispersion area.


  • Versatile 2-1-2 layout provides both strong anti-air and strike capabilities
  • Significantly better detection radius than Lexington.
  • Can equip Air Groups Modification 3 in Upgrade Slot 3, making her already tough squadrons of bombers even more resilient to anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters. The torpedo bombers become significantly less easily taken out than the same bombers on the Lexington.
  • Good cruising speed; can keep up with friendly ships.
  • Two fighter groups provide good anti-air capabilities, although the lower tier (8) means they are somewhat weaker than expected. A plus of this is that that effect may be negotiated with Dogfighting Expert skill.
  • Dive bombers are equipped with 1,000 lb. bombs and inflict tremendous damage if they hit.
  • Dive bombers may be equipped with AP bombs, which are extremely accurate for hitting large battleships and may cause lights-out damage.


  • Long- and mid-range anti-aircraft firepower is a downgrade from Lexington; Essex is more vulnerable to enemy aircraft than her immediate predecessor. Combined with mediocre fighters this means Essex captains will need to defend themselves a bit more skillfully than before update 0.6.14.
  • Fewer hit points than Japanese counterpart Taiho, further underscoring her vulnerability if spotted.
  • Bad rudder shift time and turning circle radius.
  • Fighters and torpedo bombers are downtiered, making them more vulnerable than those of the IJN counterpart Taiho.
  • Relies on torpedo bombers only for taking out destroyers when AP bombers are chosen, since these bombs hardly do any damage to destroyers (and light cruisers).
  • Terrible concealment.
  • Long squadron re-arm times, especially when a squadron of planes is destroyed entirely.
  • Dive bombers have somewhat questionable accuracy due to randomness of bomb drops (even when dropped manually).


Depending on what the captain wants to do, upgrading to the Douglas BTD-1 (AP) first may be a priority.

  1. Upgrade to Hull (B) to increase anti-aircraft protection.
  2. Upgrade to Douglas BTD-1 (dive bomber, HE or AP).

Both dive bomber upgrades provide (equal) additional HP and speed to the aircraft, with the only difference being in the bombs they carry.

When it is chosen to research better dive bombers first, it is still recommended to upgrade the Hull (B) before continuing to research the other set of dive bombers.

Optimal Configuration


The recommended upgrades for ' are as follows:

Upgrade Slot 3 is the 1st main choice of upgrades with '. For players looking to improve their fighter's capabilities, Air Groups Modification 2 (Increases HP of the aircraft carrier's planes: +7.5% aircraft HP.) is highly recommended. Otherwise, the Flight Control Modification 1 (Accelerates aircraft servicing and increases the maximum number of aircraft on deck: -5% aircraft restoration time / +2 carrier deck places available.) helps players land and launch '`s multiple flight squadrons, as ' has five separate plane squadrons to manage.

Upgrade Slot 5 offers players Concealment System Modification 1 (Reduces the detectability range of the ship and aircraft carrier's squadrons: -10% to detectability radius. / +5% to the dispersion of enemy shells fired at your ship.), which stacks with Concealment Expert and Camouflage to bring '`s surface detection down to a small range of 11km.

Upgrade Slot 6 is the 2nd main choice of upgrades with '. Due to the common presence of multiple battleships and cruisers with very high AA power, Template:Air Groups Modification 3 is highly recommended to make sure '`s planes will survive their trip to and from their target. If survivability isn't the player's foremost preference, Flight Control Modification 2 (Increases cruising speed of the aircraft carrier's squadrons: +5% cruising speed.) is viable, decreasing the speed gap between '`s and Taiho`s planes, allowing the slower and larger American squadrons to have a better chance of escaping from their Japanese counterparts.

Commander Skills

As Essex is a Tier IX carrier, the player has access to the special carrier Defensive Fire consumable, which lasts for two minutes and increases the ship's AA DPS by a factor of 1.25. Coupled with Basic Firing Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament, the player can significantly increase the ship's AA DPS to shoot down enemy planes effectively. Or, as Essex has access to the Concealment System Modification, the player can opt to choose to utilize the Concealment Expert skill as an indirect form of further protection from enemy ships (with skill, camouflage, and upgrade, detection is 10.61km).

The Dogfighting Expert skill is not generally recommended throughout the USN Aircraft carrier line; however it is valuable for the Essex since it provides both additional ammo and damage versus all planes of an upgraded Taiho. Additionally, due to dive bombers having over 100% chance of causing fires, Demolition Expert is not a recommended skill, especially when AP bombs are chosen as dive bomber ammuntion.


As a Tier IX carrier, Essex has access to the following consumables:

Premium Defensive AA Fire is highly recommended to counter any enemy carrier's attempts to "snipe" the player (that is, by having all bombers bypass allied ships undetected and attempting to sink the player in one hit). Premium Damage Control Party II is not recommended as it is only needed in dire moments, or when the player is the last one alive.


Type 1, 2, or 5 camouflage can be equipped for credits; Types 1 or 5 are recommended at a minimum to reduce detectability range.

Players who wish to spend doubloons can equip Essex with the permanent premium Type 19 camouflage that lowers her detection radius, reduces the accuracy of incoming shells, reduces her repair costs, and increases the amount of experience she earns. They can also choose to equip the premium pay-per-battle Type 6 camouflage which does not include a reduction to repair costs.


As a carrier, Essex can only mount at most four signals at a time and has no risk of detonating. Players should mount Equal Speed Charlie London (for faster XP grinding / increased XP gain per battle), Zulu Hotel (when coupled with Equal Speed Charlie London greatly helps increase commander (re)training), November Echo Setteseven (for better bomber self-defense against fighters and increased AA DPS), and Juliet Whiskey Unaone (to have a better chance at causing flooding and dealing damage via flooding). Players can also choose to equip the Dragon Flag for faster commander (re)training.

Note: Use of the Juliet Charlie signal makes detonation impossible.


Historical Info

Historical Gallery

<span class="b-tech-nav_icon b-tech-nav_icon__<mark_unset_error>"></span>Ships of N/A
Aircraft Carriers
<span class="b-tech-nav_icon b-tech-nav_icon__<mark_unset_error>"></span>N/A

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