Tips and Trick for World of Tanks

  World of Tanks today announced their pre-order packages for the upcoming release. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone in that game (my handle is the same name as my email address) and I’ve really enjoyed it. Its not flawless of course, but should be proud of what they have accomplished. To that end, I am planning one of my famous “reviews” before launch. Until then though, here’s some protips to tide you over. (Please note that while I have tons of screen shots at this point, I wanted to make these tips flow and be read easily, so you get a wall of text today, but for a good reason).

Just Push X

If you are playing as a self-propelled gun (aka “arty”) or a tank destroyer (“TD”) learn the X button. It locks the gun and hull in place, allowing you to look around without giving away your position. This is very, very handy, as it appears that siting mechanics do involve, at least partially, where you at looking at on the screen, and how long you look there for. For TD’s its great to look around without breaking cover, especially if you have had to put yourself in a corridor more open than you would like.

But this button really shines with arty. Have you ever cursed arty for being right on top of you almost immediately after you are spotted? And wondered how they aimed so fast? This is why. You may have noticed that if you move too much left or right while aiming, your dispersion circle gets blown to hell – it opens up like a flower in springtime. Pushing X will lock things down, so that only your gun will move and not the hull. It limits your field of fire for the time being, but as an arty, you should already know what your intended field of fire is. The benefit is that your dispersion circle, within this field of fire, will remain about the same. This will drastically reduce your aim time as you normally must wait for the circle to close down enough to ensure at least some damage. On many maps, I will point myself at critical junctures, lock the hull and just wait. Eventually, someone will appear, and most of the time, I get a solid direct hit on them instantly. This almost always has an impact on the fighting in that sector.

Adjust Your Scope

You can use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom your view in and out, rather than just hitting the shift key. Or you can be smart about it. In gun mode (shift key) mouse wheel yourself in all the way, or one click out from all the way. Now in regular 3rd person view, mouse wheel the camera as far back as it will go. Now you have great visibility around your tank, and you can move quickly to hit targets far away or get well aimed blows in up close, all with the touch of one key.

Exit Strategy

If you are tired of watching the one sided battle unfold or are just irritated with teammates, you don’t have to stick around after your death. Hit ESC and select “Exit Battle.” This will not incur any XP or Credit penalties to the battle. You will still receive everything that you would have normally. The only downside is that the tank you use will be locked into the game until it finishes, so you will have to select another tank to play with until that battle is over. But that shouldn’t be a problem. If you are like me, you have a screen full of tanks that you just can’t bear to part with.

Command Decision

Your commander is a vital component of your tank crew. If you hover your mouse over the crew member, you will see their base skill plus another number. That number is 10% of the commanders skill level, which is added to the skill levels of everyone else on the crew. In addition, it is the commander who aids with sighting distance, which can often be a life or death issue. If you have the silver or even gold to upgrade even one crew member, make it the commander. 20K silver is not a lot for the basic 75% skill upgrade, so its worth saving enough to at least bring him to a higher level. And if its an elite tank that you plan on keeping and keeping the crew in place with, consider that 200 gold 100% upgrade. That comes to 80 cents – a true microtransaction.

Get a Custom Paint Job

Tired of the way your tank looks? Flex your creative muscles or just enjoy the work of others at:

Cruise Control

R is for forward and F is for reverse. Don’t ask why. I’ve even had one person tell me they had to reassign those two keys for just that reason. But here’s the key – there is more than one speed of cruise control. You will need to push the button multiple times to engage the highest level of speed for your ride.

Red Light, Green Light

Your cross-hair indicator is not always black. When you put it over a tank, it will give you one of three colors. Green indicates that your shot is likely to penetrate the enemy vehicle – fire away. A sort of brownish-red indicates that your shot can penetrate, but that its not likely – find a new aiming point. And if the cross-hairs are red – hold your fire. You are not going to do any damage. Unless…

Know your Ammo

…you are using High Explosive ammo. This ammo does catastrophic levels of damage if it does penetrate – which is one of the reasons you will see tanks with those snub-nose howitzers instead of the long barrels on occasion – but its not good at penetrating. (This is also a good reason to be passingly familiar with penetration and armor levels – so you will know those tanks that you can one shot with that thing!) But the real treasure of HE ammo is that even if it does not penetrate, it can still do damage, often to critical components of the tank, even if it does absolutely no Hit Point damage. Tier 4 Light Tanks in particular, who often find themselves in battles with high tier super-heavies, will want to pack HE shots almost exclusively. There will be no chance of penetration on some of those tanks, but with HE you may be able to knock out a periscope, or pull off a track, and small component damage like that is often the edge needed by your team as the big dogs slug it out back and forth.

The Secret Voice Chat Button

To enable voice chat, you first have to go into the settings menu, select the voice chat box, and hit OK or Apply. From there, Q is your PTT button.

Add a Little Color to the Afterlife

Also, while you are in that same menu, check the “Disable Post-Mortem Effect” box and hit OK or Apply. Now, after your death, you will see the battle unfold in the same glorious graphics, rather than that sad and gloomy grey tone pall hanging over everything.

Premium Tanks

If you have been in the Beta and have gotten a feel for the maps and the typical strategies used by different tanks and teams on each map, put that premium tank to good use, either earning you some solid cash, or, if you have some gold, putting out some Free XP that can be used to smooth over some of the rough places in the Tech Trees (M3 Lee anyone?).

But…if you are just now entering the World of Tanks – stay away. The premium tanks are often Tier 5 – a place where players who have worked their way up from Tier 1 have a solid base of experience and knowledge to draw on. And there is a decent chance that you will much up the game for your teammates if this is your first time on map X with premium tank Y, which you bought because you wanted to “level up” faster. World of Tanks not only encourages steady, rather than rushed, advancement – it actually *rewards* it. You will be well served to stay in your current Tier and unlock that extra gun or radio rather than just diving through to the next Tier. And not just for the better gear, but also to get more battles under your belt. And to learn to transition from lights to heavies. A map with all tanks Tiers 7-10 may require a completely different strategy than one full of Tiers 1-3. Why? Because of increased survivability, lessened artillery presence, high view ranges…and a host of other things that can’t be taught – they must be experienced.

That said, if you are going to buy just one of the premium tanks, I heartily recommend the Ram-II. It has good speed, decent HP and armor, and packs a solid punch with its 6-pound gun. You will be able to contribute to high Tier battles, and you will put a hurt on opposing teams in mid Tier battles with it.

Well that’s all for now. I will probably do another of these in the future, because there are a lot of great little things to learn in this game, which is part of its charm, and I think will be part of its success. Feel free to look me up in game anytime, I’d love to blow some stuff up with you.


32 thoughts on “Tips and Trick for World of Tanks

  1. John

    Thanks for the tips. Just started playing (non-stop) 2 days ago. Being a noob, I’m usually one of the first ones dead, so I have been spending a lot of time waiting for the fight to end. Good to know I can exit out and get to the next fight sooner.

    1. Your welcome! This has been a popular page, and I myself have learned a few things in the 1500 or so battles I’ve had since I read this. I think it may be time to do a sequel post!

  2. Arjen

    Tip for upgrading: sell your old tanks, but don’t sell them before you have unlocked the next tank you are aiming on! Maybe it’s better to sell after you have purchased your next tank and use the money you receive from selling your old tank to upgrade you new tank.

    1. A good point Arjen. Along with that, I usually strip my tanks down to stock before I sell them and hang on to the modules. So many of them carry over to future tiers that it saves money in the long run.

      1. nate

        Another tip. Don’t switch to the next tier till you get your crew to 100% with the ability unlocked. There for you swap the crew over. Retrain you will have the bonus. And just have to get the crew to 100% again. But if it like most, you will get that done before you get to the next tank in the tier.

  3. Joe Schmoe

    How do I switch to a new tank if I’ve researched it? I started with the MS-1, did a few battles, got exp, did the research… now I have an “Elite” MS-1 (yay?) and a bunch of other variants researched – SU-18, BT-2, T-26, and AT-1. Problem is – HOW do I switch to one of those? Do I have to buy it or something? Clicking on it just brings up the tech tree for that variant. Please help, thanks!

    1. First the most pressing concern – switching tanks. And don’t worry, many new players have this confusion! On the bar across the top of the screen, just under the battle button, there are several options – Depot, Store, Statistics, Tech Tree, etc. You want to click on store, and then select your new tank and purchase it. Generally speaking, you will want to sell your old tank first, and that can be done through the Depot button.

      Maybe not in this case, though, as the MS-1 won’t net you any cash, unless you sell the upgraded components too – something I don’t recommend. When I sell, I first go to the components bar, just underneath the tank, and re-equip all the baseline equipment (the ones listed last/on bottom). PRO-TIP – go left to right so you don’t get errors about turret compatibility or weight limits. Why do I do this? A lot of equipment is shared between tanks. If you buy an upgraded gun, then sell it (for less money), only to have to buy it again on the next tier tank – you’ve lost cash!

      I will also usually keep my crew – you can click on each of them and “send to barracks.” This probably doesn’t matter a whole lot below Tier 6, with how quickly you switch/retrain for new vehicles, but the longer the grind (the higher the tier) the more you want to hang on to them, because they have a better chance of maxing base skill and working on advanced skills. And while base skill dips with each new tank – advanced skills hang around with no drop off, forever after! I do keep a crew for each pathway though. For example I have a crew that I use for all German medium tanks as I climb that bracket. Why? Because then I can track, through their statistics (yeah the game tracks stats for each crew member as well!), how well I do with that particular category.

      As for the MS-1 being elite – that really doesn’t help all that much if you are a free player. The only thing it does for you is allow you to convert the free XP over to another tank – but that costs money. It can also be used to accelerate crew training, but again, at the lower tiers, its not going to be worth the time invested. You are better off grabbing the next tank up.

      Hope that helps, feel free to post up any other questions you may have. And you can always look for me ingame in the evenings if you like – under the handle HZero.

      1. Cornelius

        You can also purchase the tank right from the tech tree. If you hover over the tank to be researched, it will display the silver and research cost, and how much more you need. When it turns bright green you can click “research”. When it turns bright orange you can “Purchase”. This is how I work my way up every line.

  4. Beire

    If you sell a tank with it’s crew can you get that same experienced crew back. Sold it but forgot to send the crew to barracks first


    Should i sell the elite tanks?? should i complete all the upgrades before selling the tanks? doing that i can buy the next tank?

    1. Shan, it depends on a couple of things. Elite tanks tend to make better credits because they do well against other tanks and in the matchmaker lineup – plus you will have good experience by that point to know how to get the most out of the tank. So if you need credits and enjoy the tank – hang on to it.

      If you are eager to move up though, there is nothing wrong than skipping upgrades and selling it off to fund the new tank, particularly if you are grinding something you aren’t really a big fan of.

      1. SHANZINE

        Thanks HarbingerZero! anyway another question sir, What can you prefer to me, What Country have the best Heavies and TD’s? I’m kinda confused. but now i used to play with 3 countries to get their heavies, is it good that i play with them at the same time after each battle or should i concentrate on one country to get the tank that i want.?

      2. Shan, I usually run two or three lines at a time. Its the fastest way to grind as you can jump from match to match as soon as you are destroyed. More than three and you the rotation goes slower than the battles. The only downside is that different tanks have different personalities, so it can be hard to get into the mentality of a USSR heavy and then try to play a US medium, for example.

        For heavy tanks, the T110E5 is considered the best tier 10 heavy right now. The USSR heavies are good all around, but rely more on strategy than firepower. The German heavies are considered underpowered, but will get a boost in the next update. They are slower and more heavily armored, with moderate firepower. I have the T110 and am working on the IS-7 and E-100 right now.

        For TD’s – these depend heavily on your style of play. If you like long range sniper work, the German line and US line without turrets are for you. If you like to get in and mix it up with the other tanks, the USSR and US turret line work well. The French line I like best of all – very fast, powerful guns and excellent speed and agility, but very fragile. Handle with care!

      3. SHANZINE

        Thank you Sir! :> you never fail to help me a lot. thanks a lot, anyway Sir One more How about the crews can I transfer them to one tank to another in any tank or there is a desirable tank to transfer a crew. thanks Sir and more power. :>


    Thank you HarbingerZero as always you really help me a lot! thanks for always responding, One more Sir How about the crews?? For example i got a 100% crew with skills and perks can i transfer it to other tanks? or different nationality?? If i want to sell my Elite tank can I transfer my crews to other tanks? Thanks and more power sir! :>

    1. Crew transfers must be to tanks within the same nationality. Until about tier 6, there is no reason to keep a crew unless you have interest in your accumulated statistics with that crew. Transferring crews will need to be retrained and will not keep their 100% unless you pay gold. (How much their percentage drops depends on how different the new tank is – light tank to heavy tank will be a large drop, heavy to heavy would be a smaller one.) They will however, keep their secondary skills, so if you have any, its worth transferring them.

      To do this, when you go to sell the tank, just check the box that says “sent crew to barracks and demount equipment”

      1. silvertiprm

        Say you have a 100% crew, then put them in a newer tank, I realise they have to be re-trained, NOW, after a couple of weeks you send this same crew Back to oringinaal tank, will they retain the original 100% there , or do they need to re-train in old tank again, I mean they already were trained there once, I hope they didn’t for get how to run it, (not sure how game soft-ware handle this.

      2. You will have to retrain them again. It seems silly, I assume do it so they can use it as a money sink.

        Of course this doesn’t apply to premium tanks, which is one of their perks and the best way to do the remainder of your retraining, once you have paid for whatever level you had in mind. A tank crew trained for an IS-3 for example, can handle any premium RU heavy tank without retraining.

  7. Matt

    Hey there
    I am trying to change the command to switch from sniper to normal mode. I want to use keyboard only so mouse scrolldoesnt help. By default it is left-shift, and I want to change it to gain speed. It isn’t possible in the control panel
    I did the change in the past so pretty sure it is possible… just I can’t find it anymore. Do you know how to do it?

  8. Strummer77

    After i press shift for my overhead arty view is there something i can press to zoom out further? thanks

    1. I think I have mine set to the scroll wheel on my mouse actually. There is also a mod that you can use called “overzoom” that will let increase the zoom in and zoom out by one factor. Its very helpful with arty and sniping both.

  9. Grandalph

    Hello Sir
    Can you help me please? I can’t find how to mount a gun from my depot onto my new tank instead of buying a new gun.

    1. If the gun fits on your new tank (I’m assuming it does), you can mount it by using the gun icon just under your tank in the garage. Click on it and it will give a list of all the guns for that tank, and then you can click again to select which one you want to mount.

  10. Dave Jones


    I just started playing about a week ago and am getting hooked. Yesterday, after I got blown away I was watching a mobile artillery piece on my team. He was sitting on an shelf overlooking the other team’s flag. There was a tank on the other side of a building to the left of the flag. This tank poked its head out and immediately showed up on the minimap. The MA hit him once before the tank retreated back behind the building. The MA continued to fire at the building with no effect. I had been blown away while also parked behind a building so I wondered why the same thing did not happen to the enemy tank.

    Two things came to mind: The building by the flag was higher than the one I had been behind and blocked the MA shells or the blast radius of the artillery shells is small and even though they were hitting on the other side of the building, the tank was outside the blast radius.

    And then I had another thought. Can repeated bombardment take down a building and thus expose tanks sheltering behind it?

    Any thoughts?

    1. Some buildings are destructable, some are not. But I think you have the right of it, the tank was just outside the splash radius. Some nations artillery does not do very well in the splash department, trading that for better accuracy or rate of fire.

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