Enter A World of Epic Tank Battles
The town of Himmelsdorf is just one example of the realistic looking battle scenarios you can experience
Have you ever wanted to take to the field as a tank commander, blasting your enemies to pieces from behind a thick layer of steel armor? Well, now you can! Of course, so can your enemies, so you're in for frantic tank vs. tank action. In World of Tanks, everyone drives tank, and everyone fights each other for dominance on the battlefield. Can your tank crew out-fight the rest of the crews on the battlefield? Find out in World of Tanks.
This teaser trailer for one of the newer game updates gives you a feel for the action and graphics.
The Story of World of Tanks
You are a tank crew. You pilot a tank. You fight other players who are also controlling tank crews piloting tanks. What more do you want? Who cares about story, you're driving a tank!
Medium tanks are just one of many unit types you can control.
There isn't much in the way of story to World of Tanks. It is loosely based on real life, between the introduction of tanks in World War I to the Cold War era prototype tanks some players use. There's no plot or story mode to follow. There's no rationalization for why these tanks from different eras are on the same battlefield. The goal is to fight, and fight you will.
What Kind of Game is World of Tanks?
World of Tanks is, at the core, a team deathmatch battle arena game. It is a third person shooter, with your character model taking up some of the screen and a floating crosshair indicating where you can shoot. The only difference between it and another third person shooter is that your character model is a tank.
World of Tanks is an online game, and to encourage the time investment that makes MMOs thrive, there is a lot to unlock. As you play matches, win or lose, your tank crew and your overall rank level up. You also gain currency. You use this rank to unlock new tank models, as well as various augmentations that make your tank more powerful. New players are limited to a handful of starting tanks, while veteran players can build monstrosities with nearly unlimited destructive power.
Tanks aren't the only units you can control. This artillery unit is an example of a mobile gun platform you can command.
Playing World of Tanks involves situational awareness, mobility and accuracy in shooting. Strategy plays a big role as well, when you must determine an effective build of tank and augmentations to combat the players you're playing against. Your reflexes don't need to be quite on part with a twitch shooter like Call of Duty, but you do need to be fast and aware of both your team and the enemy.
Choosing the right tank is an important choice. Tanks are divided by nation and by class. Each nation has a handful of tanks spanning each class. Some are unlocked through normal game play, while others require money to purchase. The classes are Light, Medium, Heavy, Tank Destroyer and Self Propelled Gun. The exact selection of tanks changes from week to week, as some are only available for special events and others require real money to purchase instead of in-game currency.
Tank destroyers can really mess up your opponents' armored strategy.
American Armor Options
American tanks are all-around versatile machines. They have a generally high rate of fire, but they lack armor on the sides and rear of their machines, making them prone to losing crewmembers in the heat of battle.
American Units: (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tanks include: T1 Cunningham, M2 Light Tank, T2 Light Tank, M22, M3 Stuart, MTLS-1G14, M5 Stuart and M24 Chaffee
- Medium tanks include: T2 Medium Tank, M2 Medium Tank, M3 Lee, M4 Sherman, M4A2E4, M7, Ram-II, M4A3E2, M4A3E8 Sherman, T20, M26 Pershing, T23, T26E4 Super Pershing, M46 Patton and M48A1
- Heavy tanks include: T1 Heavy, T14, M6, T29, M6A2E1, T32, T34, M103 and T110E5
- Tank Destroyers inclide: T18, T82, M8A1, T40, M10 Wolvering, T49, M18 Hellcat, M36 Slugger, T25 AT, T25/2, T28, T28 Prototype, T30, T95, T110E3 and T110E4
- Self Propelled Guns include: T57, M37, M7 Priest, M41, M12, M40/M43 and T92
British Armor Options
British tanks are relatively new to the game, and as such they lack both Self Propelled Guns and Tank Destroyers. The tanks they do have are well rounded, with some light tanks rolling with heavy armor and heavy tanks with high mobility.
British Units: (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tanks include: A13 Mk. I Cr. Tank Mk. III, Cruiser Mk. I, A10 Cruiser Mk. II, A13 Mk. II Cr. Tank Mk. IV, A13 Covenanter, Valentine Mk. III and Crusader
- Medium tanks include: Medium Mark I, Vicker Medium Mk. II, Vickers Medium Mk. III, Matilda, Matilda Black Prince, Cromwell, Comet, Centurion Mk. I, Centurion Mk. 7/1 and FV4202(105)
- Heavy tanks inclide: Churchill I, Churchill VII, Black Prince, Caernarvon, Conqueror and FV215b
German Armor Options
German tanks have heavy armor and extreme range, making them kings of long shots. However, they are slow, relatively low damage and prone do engine fires in close combat. And yes, the name are mostly jumbled letters.
German Units: (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tanks include: Leichttraktor, PzKpfw 35 (t), PzKpfw 38H735 (f), PzKpfw II, PzKpfw 38 (t), PzKpfw II Ausf. J, PzKpfw II Luchs, PzKpfw III Ausf. A, T-15, PzKpfw 38 nA, VK 1602 Leopard and VK 2801
- Medium tanks include: PzKpfw S35 739 (f), PzKpfw III, PzKpfw III/IV, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw IV Hydraulic, T-25, PzKpfw IV Schmalturm, PzKpfw V-IV, PzKpfw V-IV Alpha, VK 3001 (H), VK 3001 (P), VK 3601 (H), Panther-M10, PzKpfw V Panther, VK 3002 (DB), Panther II, E-50 and E-50 Ausf. M
- Heavy tanks include: PzKpfw B2 740 (f), PzKpfw VI Tiger, PzKpfw VI Tiger (P), Löwe, PzKpfw VIB Tiger II, VK 4502 (P) Ausf. A, E-75, VK 4502 (P) Ausf. B, E-100 and Maus
- Tank Destroyers include: Panzerjäger I, Marder II, Hetzer, StuG III, Dicker Max, JagdPz IV, Jagdpanther, 8.8 cm PaK 43 Jagdtiger, Ferdinand, Jagdpanther II, Jagdtiger and JagdPz E-100
- Self Propelled Guns include: Sturmpanzer I Bison, Sturmpanzer II, Wespe, Grille, Hummel, Panther, Tiger and GW Typ E
French Armor Options
French tanks vary. Low tier tanks are excellent at survival, but not much else. High tier tanks are fast and powerful, but tend to have thin armor and explode at the drop of a hat.
French Units (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tanks include: RenaultFT, D1, Hotchkiss H35, AMX 38, AMX 40, ELC AMX, AMX 12t, AMX 13 75 and AMX 13 90
- Medium tanks include: D2, Lorraine40t and Bat Chatillon25t
- Heavy tanks include: B1, BDR G1B, ARL 44, AMX M4 1945, AMX 50 100, AMX 50 120 and F10 AMX 50B
- Tank Destroyers include: RenaultFT AC, FCM 36Pak40, RenaultUE57, Somua Sau 40, S 35CA, ARL V39, AMX AC Mle1946, AMX AC Mle1948, AMX50 Foch and AMX 50Fosh 155
- Self Propelled Guns include: RenaultBS, Lorraine39 L AM, 105 leFH18B2, AMX 105AM, AMX 13F3AM, Lorraine155 50, Lorraine155 51 and Bat Chatillon155
Russian Armor Options
Russian tanks are very fast and powerful, but have low accuracy and thing armor. They function as glass cannons in close range combat -- they can run circles around the enemy and demolish them quickly, but if they're hit, they will go down quickly.
Russian Units: (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tanks include: MS-1, BT-2, MkVII Tetrarch, T-26, BT-7, BT-SV, M3 Stuart Lend Lease, T-127, T-46, A-20, T-50, Valentine and T-50-2
- Medium tanks include: A-32, T-28, Matilda Lend Lease, T-34, T-34-85, KV-13, T-43, T-44, T-54 and T-62A
- Heavy tanks include: Churchill, KV, KV-1, KV-220, KV-220, KV-1S, KV-2, T-150, IS, KV-3, IS-3, IS-6, KV-4, KV-5, IS-8, ST-I, IS-4 and IS-7
- Tank Destroyers include: AT-1, SU-76, SU-85B, SU-85, SU-85I, SU-100, SU-100M1, SU-122-44, SU-152, ISU-152, SU-101, Object 704, SU-122-54, Object 263 and Object 268
- Self-Propelled Guns include: SU-18, SU-26, SU-5, SU-8, S-51, SU-14, Object 212 and Object 261
Chinese Armor Options
Chinese units are being added all the time. Here is a quick overview:
Chinese Units: (not a comprehensive list as new units added to the game all the time, view full list here)
- Light tank: Type 62
- Medium tanks: Type 59 and Type 59 G
- Heavy tank: WZ-111
Playing World of Tanks
In World of Tanks, you do two things. First, you play games. These games are generally two teams of fifteen players each battling each other. Each team has a base to defend, and they lose if their base is captured. The other method to win is destroying the entire enemy team. Players for each game are chosen based on the class of their tank, to keep the strength of each team roughly similar.
An example of standard gameplay narrated by an experienced player.
The other half of your time will be spent researching new skills and buying new tanks. This gives you more options in combat, stronger tanks with more abilities and more survivability. You can't do one without the other. Buying and researching more skills and equipment helps you win matches, and winning matches gives you the resources to gain new skills.
Playing solo in World of Tanks is impossible. There are only degrees of other players involved. The smallest matches are still thirty people, but larger matches can bring entire hundred-person clans together. There's no single player mode. Even traveling off on your own to take on the enemy team is likely to bring ruin to your team.
The Rave about World of Tanks
Critics across the Internet rave about World of Tanks because of its simple depth. There's not a lot to it -- pilot a tank, upgrade your tank and kill other tanks. Yet the sheer number of tanks and upgrades give the game an endless variety. The gameplay is slow paced but addictive, with none of the frantic frustration of modern shooters. The concept is unique, for what other game allows you to pilot a tank?
The main gripe that many players have with World of Tanks is the limits on game types. There is only a handful of team versus team battles, and there are no other variations on the PvP standard. Will more game types be released in the future? It's a distinct possibility.
Tank Tech Platforms
World of Tanks is by default a PC game. This means that mac users will have to run some kind of Windows emulation in order to play. There are several national versions, including American, SouthEast Asia and European servers. It is generally best to play on your country's servers in order for the best connection.
Pay to Drive Tanks?
World of Tanks is free to play. However, in order to support itself, the game offers a type of currency called Gold that is purchased with real money. This Gold allows you to buy upgrades faster, including certain tanks that are not available anywhere else. There are also types of Premium Accounts that allow you to form larger parties, to include more of your friends, as well as become the founding member of a clan.
Recently Gold was tweaked in the game to allow you to purchase it with standard game currency. The prices for many things are prohibitive, but it does mean that any free user can access any paid item with enough time investment.
World of Tanks, being primarily focused on 15 v 15 player battles, benefits greatly from an organized team of skilled players. You are able to form a platoon with one or two other friends, which means you and those friends will be put into the same match to fight on the same team. If you gather 10 or more players, you are able to form a company. Companies are pitted against each other in battle; this prevents an organized team of fifteen steamrolling disorganized new players.
Two game companies face off in World of Tanks
Premium users can even found clans, which are groups of up to a hundred players. Clan wars are incredible affairs, and take place on a national scale. Clans own territories on a real map, and fight to drive each other out of other territories and claim them as their own.
The benefits of forming groups are high. You gain currency and experience when you deal damage to enemies, and if an organized team rolls over your allies, you might not have enough time to rack up the beneficial resources you need. It's always better to roll with a company if you have the chance.
Here's a great way to learn the game and get up and running quickly. Watch these videos to walk you through how to play the game.
Getting Started Tutorial
First Battle Tutorial
Tank and Crew Progress Tutorial
Game Modes Tutorial
Clan Wars Tutorial
- Official Newcomer's Guide - learn game controls, how to upgrade your tanks, the battle screen, various tanks and tactics, and more
- Game Manual (PDF) - download the entire game manual in PDF format