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  Home » Combat Strategies

Combat Tactics

Basic Combat Tactics

Basic Combat Survival Guide

Welcome to your bootcamp! These are considered basic combat tactics in World of Tanks that every player should know and use. It applies to all types of vehicles from tanks, to tank destroyers and SPG.

Use these fighting tactics and you will excel above the majority of players.

Make Use of Cover

Buildings, rocks, cliffs and dead tank hulks abound in World of Tanks. Make use of them while sniping at the enemy. Hiding behind obstacles reduces your tank profile, making it more difficult for the enemy to spot you, provides protection from enemy fire, and makes you more difficult to target. When using buildings for cover, move forward, shoot. Then retreat behind the building to reload.

Basic Cover Tactics

Make use of rocks, buildings and natural terrain for cover.

Hide behind rocks
Hide behind rocks and tank hulks where possible to make you more difficult to target.
Hide behind buildings
Take cover behind buildings.
Move forward, shoot, then retreat behind the building to reload!!!
Protection from artillery
Buildings provide excellent protection from enemy SPG.
Be aware which direction artillery is attacking from, and take cover!!!

Make Use of Natural Terrain, Hills and Slopes

You have an advantage on higher ground. As the enemy climbs the slope, he is slowed by an uphill climb. And you can take a shot at his turret before he can depress his gun low enough to hit you. After taking a shot, back away to force him to make a further climb, while you reload your gun. Never go down the hill unless you are sure of the kill.

Use slopes nad hills to your advantage
Let the enemy climb up the hill. You get the first shot!!!
Hug the edges of cliffs
Hug the edges of cliffs for protection and also prevents artillery from hitting you!!!
Hug the edges of cliffs
When on high ground, pop over, take a shot, then retreat.
Be careful that enemy snipers don't catch you, otherwise it may not be worth it.

Stop, Fire, Move. Stop, Fire, Move.

Especially on open ground, never standstill and shoot continuously. You not only become an easy target for snipers, but especially for artillery. Artillery loves stationary targets. Even moving a little backwards or forwards between shots is better than not moving at all!!!

The best strategy to use on open ground is to Stop → Fire → Move. Stop → Fire → Move. Rinse and repeat...

Sopt, fire, move on open terrain
Never standstill continuously fire on open ground.
Press spacebar to quickly stop your tank.

Attack Enemy Flanks

When attacking in a team of two or more, observe where your team mate is heading, and move in the flanking direction. Attacking from two different directions forces the enemy to expose his weaker side or rear armor. Getting hit from multiple directions also causes confusion and forces him to cover a larger arc of fire.

Attack flanks
When in teams, split up and attack flanks!!!
Attack flanks
If attacking alone, circle the enemy and attack flanks!!!
This is the best way to kill artillery.

Protect Your Flank

If the enemy tries to flank you, reverse your tank to force him to run a bigger circle. This not only makes it harder to be flanked, but it buys you time to get another shot off.

Protect your flank
Reverse to prevent being flanked!!! Or back up against a wall.

Track Your Enemy

Tracking your enemy many times have far greater advantage than directly hitting his armor. A tracked opponent is a sitting duck, and it allows your teammates to get off a shot. It also allows artillery to hit a stationary target. It has far greater benefits than you getting off a single shot, because a tracked opponent allows many shots to be delivered to the target. A tracked opponent in open ground is a dead opponent.

To track a vehicle, shoot the tracks or the drive wheel or rear wheel. Hitting the road wheels won't track it.

Shoot the tracks
Aim at the shaded area!!!
Shoot the drive wheel
Track your enemy if he pops out from a building!!!
Aim at the drive wheel.

Stick Together. Attack Together.

Attacking in a group increases your odds of survival because players are supporting each other. The benefit of attacking in a group needs no further explanation. If you're moving too fast, hold back to wait for your teammates.

Heavy tanks should stick together to form an attack force. Medium tanks stay close, but behind your heavies to lend support. Tank destroyers should stay further back for base defense, or take sniping shots from extreme distance.

Going solo is a bad idea unless you're a scout looking to light up the enemy.

Attack Formation.

When attacking, let your heavies lead the attack. Mediums can hide behind your heavies and use them as cover as they have better armor protection. Just be careful about their movements. If they back up, make sure you don't block their path.

Attack behind heavies
Attack behind your better armored heavies!!!

Teamwork. Depend on your Teammates. Use Friendly Artillery. And be Patient.

Good teamwork always win hands down. But how can you teamwork when players are chosen at random at you're thrown against a bunch of players for the first time. Here are a few tips :-

Use Friendly Artillery
Be aware of your friendly artillery and what they are doing. If you're caught in a choke point, and friendly artillery is supporting you, and have either scored hits or near misses, then let arty do their job. All you need to do is to draw the enemy out so arty can hit him. Then duck back behind cover. You don't need to needlessly risk yourself when you can stay behind cover. Letting artillery take all the kills is probably not as fun, but it is good teamwork.

Use Your Teammates
Very often a choke point develops, and two opposing teams are trying to breakthrough. In this instance, it is better to defend and let the enemy come through. By moving forward to attack, you expose yourself to hostile fire from several tanks.

Instead, you should sit back and bait the enemy to come forward. When they do, try to track him, and you depend on your teammates to open fire on him, while you still sit safely behind cover.

In simplified terms, be patient, and let them come!!!

Draw the enemy out
Draw the enemy out so friendly artillery or teammates can open fire!!!
This works well also for enemies coming up on a cliff.

Manual Aim vs Auto Aim.

As the tip says, Experienced tankers use Manual Aim. That is so true.

Auto aim has a few drawbacks :-

  • it targets the center of the tank, which may not be the best spot to aim. You may want to aim for the tracks, the turret, or hull - it depends.
  • it does not aim ahead, so if you're shooting at a moving target, it will surely miss.

Auto aim is useful only during very short distance fight, such as when you're circling your enemy and too distracted to manually aim.

At all other times, use Manual aim. It gives you maximum accuracy on where your shell lands.

Aim Ahead.

When shooting at targets moving past you, it is necessary to aim ahead of the spot where you want to hit. Using manual aim is an absolute must for this. There are a few factors to consider :-

  • the speed and angle of the moving target. The faster the speed, and higher the angle (maximum 90 degrees), the more lead is required.
  • the distance from you.
  • the shell type you are using. AP has higher velocity than HE. Therefore HE needs more lead time.
  • your lag time.

How much to aim ahead actually comes with experience. Don't worry, as long as you understand that your shots are missing due to lead time, then you will be able to aim slightly ahead. Once you understand that, the rest will come with practice.

Spot Spots, Attack Angle and Range.

Shoot at the weakest armored part. As a rule of thumb :-

  • The front hull is the thickest armored part, followed by the front turret.
  • The rear hull has the thinnest armor.
  • German tanks - aim for the turret as most German tanks have thinner turret armor. Except for Ausf. B, Maus and Panther which are weaker in the hull.
  • Russian and US tanks - always aim for the hull. The M6 for example has 44mm hull armor vs 83mm turret armor (almost 2x thicker).

The angle at which your shell impacts the enemy armor is very important. 90 degrees impact provides the highest chance of penetration. If the impact was not at 90 degrees, your shell needs to penetrate thicker than the published stat.

Consider this. An armor plate with 50mm thickness would have an effective thickness when subjected to penetration at :-

  • 90 degrees - 50 mm
  • 45 degrees - 71 mm
  • 35 degrees - 87mm

Sloped armor
Sloped armor increases the effective armor thickness.

Tank destroyers and other tanks that have sloping armor have a higher effective thickness than the published stat. That is of course unless you hit at a 90 degree angle.

Engage Tanks One At A Time.

Take on tanks one at a time. Its better to completely kill off one tank, than to damage several tanks at the same time because a damaged tank can still return fire at you.

Avoid exposing yourself into the line of fire of several tanks. Take cover so you engage on a one to one basis.

Engage tanks one at a time
Take cover and don't let several enemies target you at the same time.

If you're in a Fair Fight, then You've Failed!!!

Finally, I'd like to leave you with this phrase to ponder upon - "If you're in a Fair Fight, then You've Failed to Plan. Use these combat tactics for World of Tanks and fight to your advantage.

Happy hunting.