Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
You need to play a total of 50 battles to post in this section.


12 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

920 posts
11,130 battles

Welcome to „WoWsWHY”.
Creative, I know... sarcasm aside, I owe you a little explanation. There are already tons of very, very good tutorials on the web about World of Warships. Problem is, that if you did not read those, chances are, you will not read this either.

So, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of (visibly...) going with the usual spiel, I’ll bring up commonly asked (or more like shouted) questions and try to answer them.
Aaand here comes problem two. While WoWs is a quick-to-grab arcade shooter, some of the mechanics are a bit more - well, I wouldn’t say that complex, just takes more time to explain. ...which you will still not read either, right? As such, I will try my best to provide a tl;dr answer for the issues, and then proceed to explain it with a little bit better, but preferably with as much illustration as I can.
There are still some things that I can’t just explain or give my opinion about in two sentences, this is why I will not touch here things like captain builds. I could either show you an already existing, well-written (by others) 40-page documents, or just give you a very half-assed answer in a few sentences which might cause you more harm than good.

Last disclaimer, I will talk about low-tier gameplay (up to T4), so you will not find extensive information about stuff like manual drops, radar, hydro or reversing with the Großer Kurfürst.


TO EXPERIENCED PLAYERS: There is a fair to exceptional possibility that at one or more points I screwed up hopelessly or you just simply don't agree with me. I will gladly take any input you have and, if I can, build into the articles while of course referencing you!



Where did my damage go? – We are going to talk mainly about artillery and armour (to be revised) - UPDATED: 0.6.13

Where did my shells go? – Ho boy, we are in for a ride for this one... (In progress) - UPDATED: 0.6.13

Planes are cheating! – AA mechanics, speccing, passive defenses (In progress) - UPDATED: 0.6.13


Possible other shenanigans

Oh my god, I am on fire! – DoT management (possible future update)

Screw the torpedoboats! – the complete treaty on W-A-S-D and game sense (possible future update)

I hate to play with torpedoes! – Basically, never from the second row (possible future update)

I hate to play with carriers! – well... I mean, I can see why. (possible future update)

I can’t see anything! – Visibility, target acquisition and it’s management (possible fu... I mean, once I'll have the means and mindset to work on it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

  • Cool 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
920 posts
11,130 battles




Shell types, armor penetration, sector health points and all that fun stuff. basically, what happens right after you hit your target with main guns. However, I'll not write about damage over time here.




Generally speaking, shoot AP at broadside targets and HE at soft targets. If your AP don’t seem to do much, switch to HE or target a different section. Use detailed ribbons. For AP, often times it’s wise to chose a broadside target over a target sailing closer to you, but one that is also angling well. Remember, that overmatching is a thing. If you get a clear hit marker, but you failed to cause any HP damage, chances are you have hit a module/bulge or (rarely) the section is already fully saturated. If you are aiming to cause fire damage, aim at sections that are not yet in flames. Otherwise for HE damage, aim for lightly armoured sections which are not charred yet (saturated), the AP you usually want at the waterline, center of mass. If someone is bow-on to you and you can't overmatch him, with AP loaded, aim higher, at the superstructure – any damage is better than no damage.


The „I have nothing to do with my night”-version

Alright, first thing first. Go to OPTIONS / CONTROLS, enable DETAILED RIBBONS. You know I am serious about this, because out of all the colours, I decided to put a red arrow to illustrate it:




This will give us the visual feedback we need to further discuss about dealing damage with artillery. These "ribbons" are your primary feedback about what happened with the shells you were so kind to lob over to your enemy. A quick table about the issue - I'll explain most of these concepts in depth later:




Technically, a few more ribbons also fall into the same category:




Cool, but how each of this is achieved? To look into it, now might be a good time to introduce the two different shell types.


High Explosive shells


There are fortunately not a lot of things you have to know about HE shells. In World of Warships, „HE” are high-explosive shells set to detonate upon contact, have – usually... - meager armor penetration capabilities and can cause fires regardless of penetration.

The first thing to note is the magical number: 1/6 (...or 1/4, as shells of different nations can follow different rules, but for now, let’s just go with the standard). You have to multiply your gun caliber by this number and round the answer to get your HE penetration value. For example, let’s say you are shooting a 152mm HE shell with your Eire at a Hashidate. 152mm / 6 = 25,33 ~25mm, this is the thickest plating that the shockwave of your detonating HE shell can still damage. So, if we take a look at the Hashidate:


152/6 ~ 25mm, anything below that is fair game


For the most part, as you can see, you will achieve penetrations, but if you manage to hit the armor with 30mm thickness, you will not get through.
As for the damage values, you can check in the game client that your Eire’s HE has an alpha damage of 1100 points. Alpha basically means the highest amount of damage your shell is capable of, in practice you have to damage the vital parts of your enemy located inside a (more-or less) well-armored central section called the citadel. „HE citadel” is a thing in WoWs, but usually you have to shoot with big freakin’ shells at very unfortunately „armored” targets – for example, you can easily citadel-nuke an Emerald with an Orion’s HE. Should you not reach inside the citadel but still manage to damage the inside of the ship, you get about alpha/3 points of damage, as seen on the first table. In our case, that’s in the vicinity of ~366 points. These are the classic regular penetrations. The actual numbers might differ if your target already has suffered damage („damage saturation”, more on that later). For a rule of thumb, if you see that your enemy has some sections with black, charred overlay, try to aim at undamaged sections if you can penetrate those as well.



Practically, this is how you perceive damage saturation


Last thing you should be aware of regarding HE that regardless of whether or not you penetrate the plating, you have equal chance to cause fire on the deck. I will talk about fires in a different article, but you can check the base fire chance of your ship in your port:



Yes, that's a lot. It doesn't mean you should never switch to AP.


Note, that this is the base fire chance, meaning that if the number says „25%”, this does not mean that every fourth shell will cause a fire on average, as there are modifiers in play in the background. For now, simply: the higher the better.


Now, I already mentioned „sections”. Ships have four main sectors (bow, mid, aft, superstructure), plus the modules like AA guns, torpedoes, main and secondary guns, steering, engine etc.

In theory, each section has it’s own HP, and depleting those can result in funny consequences. To deplete the global HP, you have to damage the aforementioned four main sections (bow,mid,aft, superstructure), but while their overall healh points are bigger than the global HP bar, their sole „destruction” (HP -> 0) does not necessarily mean the destruction of the entire ship. In this case, firing further at the „killed” section can result regular penetrations on paper but with zero damage. This process is called damage saturation. Do note that saturated, but not yet zeroed sections can already provide damage numbers less than what you would expect. You can easily imagine this, if someone were to shoot five 152mm HE shell into your living room, the market value of your real estate would plummet drastically. Then if they would send another two 152mm shell into your house, that would change things rather little. Not that I ever tried this, it's just educated guessing. ¯\_()_/¯

Anyway, damage saturation can look hilarious, unless you are the guy who shot the torps:





Okay, but what happens if you happened to hit something else, say, an AA gun or a torpedo tube?



...because main guns are optional.


In that case you will not cause harm to the ship's global HP, but have a chance to temporarily or permanently knock out said modules. Some modules can only be knocked out until repaired (engine or steering), some are either functional or completely destroyed (AA or secondaries) and some can be either (main guns) depending on your luck. (For example, on the picture above the black X marks on the reload-bars indicate that both of my turrets are gone for good.) The game will inform you about caused module damages with a distinct sound effect and a little icon popping up faintly above your target, plus you might get an „Incapacitation” ribbon depending on the wrecked module.



Sure, the bot has other problems as well, but theoretically, he also got his engine messed up.



This is how it looks on the receiving end. Engine incapacitation is the definition of fun. Two engine incapacitations in a row are Fun incarnate.


Damaging modules are possible with both shell types, and even other armament, for example HE shells/bombs are prone to decimate the AA armament on the deck, or torpedoes can disable engines. The non plus ultra of module damages are the detonations. Inside the citadel (if you have any) sits your magazine. Each hit to it has a chance based on the module's current HP of detonating your ship for Fun and EngagingTM gameplay. You can lower the chance of happening to you by mainly two means:

Wows_icon_modernization_PCM032_PowderMag - Magazine Modification 1 - You will find this under Modules / Upgrades in your port, and will lower the detonation chance by 70%.

PCEF010_JC_SignalFlag.png - Juliet Charlie - Apply this signal flag under Exterior / Signals. (Theoretically...) this will prevent detonation altogether, regardless of any other det.ch. increasing modification.

In my experience, it's either-or, and the class most prone to detonations are of the destroyers'. Do note that depending on your account level, some of these options might not  be opened for you just yet.


One last thing to note about HE shells that there is a possibility that you hit your opponent's torpedo bulge with them. The sheet metal here is usually weak enough for your HE to penetrate, thereby gaining you the "penetration" ribbon, but because the torpedo defense system is - strictly speaking - not one of the four vital sections of the ship, you will still get zero damage.


Allow me to recap what you might want to remember about HE shells:

  • They penetrate plates of (caliber/4 … caliber/6) thickness for (alpha/3) damage, or – in case of citadel hits – full alpha damage.
  • They are consistent in dealing damage and can help when AP does not seem to be working
  • As a rule of thumb, HE is a good choice if the target is either too weakly armored (so your AP shells overpen), or too heavily armored (so your AP shells shatter or bounce because of your target's current angle).
  • Aim at sections that are preferably not well-armored, are not yet damaged (are not charred) and/or not on fire.


Armour piercing shells


In WoWs, armour piercing shells are a shell type with higher alpha damage, but one you have to fulfill specific conditions to fully utilize. To understand their mechanic simply, it's probably the best to compare them to HE shells.




As you can see both here and on the first table, HE shells had two states: they either penetrated (for 100% or 33% of the alpha damage depending on reaching the citadel or not), or not (making you feel bad with your 0% damage). Armor piercing shells however, have four states. They might either not penetrate for two different reasons (too much armor or too steep angle), penetrate but not detonate, and penetrate and detonate. Probably the most logical thing to do is for us to check WoWs's algorithm, and see what happens at each step.




As we can see, the first thing I need to address is is overmatching. Similarly to HE penetration, again your rifles' calibre is the deciding factor, but here the magic number is 14,3. If...

your shell calibre > 14,3 * armour thickness of your target

...then no other checks are required to determine if your shell will go in. (This, however, does not say anything about your shells staying inside your target.) The classic case of overmatching in WoWs is the bow-overmatching, as a fair amount of your targets can and will minimize their incoming damage by maximizing the areas on their ships where AP shells hit them in a steep enough angle to ricochet. Practically, this often means for them staying bow-on to you. Overmatching means that while the angle can be bad enough, the thickness of the plate is not enough to present a good enough structural stability to bounce said shell.

If you can't overmatch your opponent's armor (and that is usually the case), then all is not yet lost, as it's time to check the ricochet angle. It's rather simple. If you manage to hit the armor under an angle of 45°-90° (or if you are using f.e. American Piercing Shells, 30°-90°), then your shells will not ricochet - we don't know yet if they will penetrate, but at least they will not bounce off. Down to 30°, and ricochet becomes a possibility, and anything under 30° (22,5° for the specialized shells) will guarantee a bounce.


So far what we have is basically these situations:



In the first case due to the low impact angle (alpha) we managed to get through. In the second case, the beta impact angle is big enough for the shell to bounce off. In the third case, the angle is the same beta, however, the armor is thin enough for the shell to overmatch it, so it will go through regardless of the angle.

This brings us to the actual armor penetration capabilites of the shells that comes into play in case it did not bounce. That... is a bit of a more complex issue, as it is depending on the current velocity (which in turn depends on the distance and air drag coefficient), the mass, the Krupp-value (which is proportional to the "degree of quality" of your shells) and the calibre of the shell. While there are experimental functions derived to deal with thiss mess (see link [4]), the easiest thing to do is to use some already existing graphs or calculators (links [2] and [3]). Obviously, you will not use these in battle, so you will have to go mainly by your experience and trial and error. Should your shell fail this "test", you will get the "non-penetration" ribbon.

...but, let's say you got through! Here comes even more problem. Your AP shell uses a fuze which requires a certain amount of shock to turn on. (I'll spare you from the "That's what she said"-s...) You can check the wiki[5] for the actual values (wether or not you believe it, it's up to you), but the important thing to note here is that your AP shells require a minimal effective armor thickness to go through for them to arm. Most of the "overpenetration" ribbons you get can be traced back to this problem: Your target was so soft that your shells did not even "notice" them being there. If that's the case, you get 10% of the potential alpha damage.


So, where are we now? Your AP shell penetrated (either by overmatching or by the "regular" process) and encountered enough resistence for the fuze to start working. What happens now is that a timer starts to tick - usually your fuzes are set to detonate after 0,033 seconds. Depending on it's current speed, your shell will travel some distance over that time and if you are not lucky, it might just be enough time to exit the ship and detonate on the other side of it. Usually this is the less likely situation, but if that happens, you will - again - get an "overpenetration" ribbon again for 10% of the alpha. ....but if everything goes just right, your shell arms and the fuze detonates inside the ship, in which case you get either regular penetrations or citadel penetrations.

Some fuzes, like of the british cruisers' or the Hood's, have special (usually shorter) fuze settings, which in some cases might prevent you from reaching the citadel, but more often it prevents your shells to overpenetrate, gaining in the end more regular penetrations for you.

To summarize:




  1. Due to the impact angle, the shell bounces
  2. Shell penetrates, but hits a module. In this case, there is a chance to incapacitate or destroy the turret.
  3. Shell overpenetrated, most likely did not even arm, or did arm but had too little travel time inside the ship
  4. Regular penetration, the shell detonated inside the ship (damage: 33% of the alpha value)
  5. Non-penetration, the shell shattered on the armor belt
  6. Citadel penetration (damage: 100% of the alpha value)



[1] Datamined list of IFHE penetration changes (Reddit)

[2] AP calculator (impact angles and penetration values depending on the range)

[3] Our forum's armour piercing curves

[4] Formula for armor piercing

[5] Wiki

  • Cool 5

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
920 posts
11,130 battles




Basically: ballistics. What happens after you clicked the left mouse (but before your shells contacted the enemy), and why does it happen?




Stuff dumped in for later editing:


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
920 posts
11,130 battles




Planes suck, I know. They are loud, obnoxious, stupid and they probably routinely kick their dog and deal damage to surface targets, but what's maybe even worse, spot just about everything. Time to check the countermeasures.

(Even though after the CV rework, this guide will become complete rubbish, but that probably won't happen for another fifty year or so)




Sail in groups, because AA auras (while they are technically and strictly speaking not additive) help out each other. When it is plausible that you will be attacked by torpedo planes (check minimap / their distance to your ship degrades rapidly), close the angle. If you only do that when they are approaching final run (< ~3km), you are too late. If dive bombers attack you (especially if you are in a destroyer capable of maneuvering well), do the opposite: open the angle, don't stay parallel to them. If any of them managed to hit you and you are suffering from damage over time (fire/flooding), check your surroundings for further threats before burning your damage control. Remember to select enemy plane squadrons for your AA (ctrl+left click). Don't waste your seaplane fighter at the first second of the match, he is up there for a limited time.


The „I am so angry I'll man the autocannons myself!”-version


While I stated on the main page that we will talk about sub-T5 gameplay, I'll talk about AA in a more general sense, as there isn't a whole lot of difference in the base mechanics in top tier as much as simply bigger AA-values. ...or I should say that on lower tiers you borderline don't have AA, at higher tiers however, you do. Sometimes even a lot.

...okay, there is no reason for me to not be sincere with you: in low tiers, even if you have some peashooters to scare pigeons with, you barely have any of the later unlocked tools at your disposal, but hopefully you will still find this material somewhat useful.



Let's play "Find your AA guns"!


To utilize your ship's AA armament, let's understand first...

how it works.

Your ship is usually equipped by some means of surface-to-air combat of varying quality (except if you are sitting in a Kolberg, Bogatyr etc. in which case your anti-air protocoll consists of loud yelling and fist-shaking.) These guns, unless you turn them (and the secondaries at the same time) off with the 'P' key or all of them are destroyed in the battle, work automatically.



If you see this sexy yellow icon, then you pressed 'P' and you have no dakka.

Now, I could tell you the exact process of what's going on (current AA DPS/plane HP=probability of shotdown/time), but unlike when we talked about artillery for example, here the exact numbers don't really matter, because you only have very limited tools to dynamically manage it. Instead, let me explain it in Layman's terms.

Imagine that every second you roll a dice. If you have „bad” AA rating, you have to roll exactly a six to shoot down a plane. If you have „good” AA rating, six, five and even four results in the destruction of a plane.



What happens in WeGas...


This results in the phenomenon of what you can encounter with ingame, where sometimes nothing seems to happen, then suddenly you shoot down 2-3 enemy planes almost at once. You can also see by this explanation that strictly speaking overlapping AA auras don't technically „add to each other”, but it's still a very effective way of countering enemy aircrafts because you „roll more dices at the same time”, still resulting in a higher kill rate. So, this is our first solution: Sail together with your teammates, especially with teammates with good AA rating, and especially if you yourself lack the necessary AA-suite for self-defense (for example, sailing in an Arkansas Beta alone and isolated while two enemy carriers reign the skies is bound to grant you a bad day).


I talked about „AA auras”, but what are they really? Each and every one of your AA guns operate in a full 360° circle (they are not restricted in their firing angle), and their range is calculated from the center of your ship. Meaning, not only is the visual dakka-dakka of your ship you can see irrelevant when it comes to actual AA calculation, but neither does your AA guns actual location on your ship matter. Overall, given that you have long-, mid- and low-range guns, your „AA-bubble” looks like something like this:




You can also visualize this on your minimap:


Check those small, orange circles


First,the attackers will fly into the effective range of your long-range anti-aircraft guns, then proceed into the mid-range, and finally the low-range.

As a rule of thumb in WoWs, good long-range equipment defines a good AA-capability.

The reasons for this are simple. The bigger the „AA-bubble”, the less free space your enemy carrier has, but more than that, when attacking, the airplanes will spend most of their time in your long-range AA-zone. If you have very deadly short-range suite, you might shred planes in their „terminal phase”, but chances are most of them will live long enough to drop their payload, and then succeed to leave your most lethal zone rather quickly. This is why long-range AA is generally speaking the dominant tool.


Passive countermeasures


To enhance your AA-capabilites passively, you can go with captain skills and ship upgrades.

(W. I. P.)



What can you do while in battle

We already talked about the importance of sailing in groups, but as a lone ship there is still a fair amount of things that can be done to mitigate incoming damage to a significant extent. Your first task is very simple.

Press control, then click on your choice of aerial target – that could be either the most important/dangerous squadron in the air, or simply the closest one. If you succeed, it should look like this:




This is a lovely thing to always do whenever possible, as it will give +30% dps for your AA suite. If you have the „Manual control for AA armament” captain skill, then this will give +100% dps for every AA gun above of a caliber of 85mm, but if you do have a 10-pts captain, then I'm not sure why are you reading this instead of clubbing seals?

Another option is using the „Defensive AA fire” consumable, however, as far as I am aware, the only T4 ship that has this option is the Yubari. This consumable also ramps up AA dps, and what's even more important, it disturbs the drop pattern of enemy strike aircraft. Sometimes you can use it to annihilate enemy squadrons en masse (usually when grouped up for some reason), more often you will use it to screw with the drop pattern of the strike planes. Be aware that as with every consumable, this also has a cooldown, so be on your guard as experienced carrier players can and will „bait” you to use your DefAA prematurely.


The most important skill is, however, your own situational awareness. You might not be able to completely deny the enemy aircraft of attacking you, but keeping an eye on the air can be a difference of eating four or only one torpedoes. The rule of thumb is:

  • When torpedo bombers are approaching, turn into them!
  • When dive bombers are approaching, turn away from them!

That, of course, is only one parameter in the equation, as you could maybe not turn just so simply if in the meantime you completely show your broadside to the entire Hochseeflotte, but you get the idea.




  • Cool 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
577 posts
12,142 battles

Even after like 5000 pvp battles is useful to read it and refresh your knowledge.



Kibaszott jó tutorial ;)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this