There's a reason this is in the new players section. For those of you who are more familiar with WarGaming's methods I congratulate you on the depth of your knowledge and wish you many pleasant battles. This is for the tyros* among us and was written at the request of a tyro.
A ship which you have researched.
Each battle, you participate in, awards you a number of experience points and usually a number of credits. The more damage you do to enemy ships the more experience and credits you earn. Sinking enemy ships is not nearly as important as damaging them. It counts in your kill/death ratio but it does not put points in your account. You spend credits to replenish your ammo and repair your ship, so avoid getting sunk or shot up and shoot up and sink the enemy. Hiding in the back is fiscally unsound as you won't gain the rewards that you will by being aggressive.
At the end of each battle go to the ship modules tab (second from the left at the top of the screen) also available from the tech tree, and decide which modules or hulls you want to invest your experience in. Selecting a module will tell you the cost and experience required to mount it and describe the benefits. In some cases you must research specific modules before you can research the next ship.
Eventually you will earn enough to research a new ship. In the example below I must research the Furutaka hull C before I can research the Aoba. Note that I just need to research it. I don't need to purchase and mount it.
The number by the silver star shows the unused experience available for the currently selected ship. The number by the gold star shows free experience that can be spent anywhere. It isn't really free. A small percentage of the experience you earn in battle is placed in your "free experience" vault.
Each nation has their own research tree so if you want a USN ship you will need to play a USN ship. IJN leads to IJN etc.
Each module or ship costs credits to purchase. Gold (doubloons) can be purchased for real life currency from WarGaming. It can be converted to credits that can be spent in the game or you can earn credits by damaging enemy ships. You can also purchase premium ships from WarGaming through their websites or through the game interface for gold. Find your credit and experience totals in the upper right corner of your screen when you are in port.
Slots are available for purchase by clicking on the "purchase slot" icon on the extreme right of the row of ships. They cost 300 gold.
If you have no slot the game will ask you if you want to buy one when you purchase the ship. You also can get a slot by selling one of your current ships. The ship will be gone but the slot will remain, unless the ship was part of a special event, in which case you may not be able to sell the ship in that slot. The slot will go away when the special ship does.
When you sell a ship you need to decide if you are going to keep the captain of the ship, and when you buy a ship you need to decide if you want to use a captain that you kept from a ship, or if you want to train a new one. If you train a new one you can spend credits or gold on his training. Trained captains start with either one or three skills, depending on what you spend. Untrained captains start with none. At the early tiers I do not recommend spending money on training, as you can easily add to your captains skills through battle. If you can afford it, I am certainly not going to tell you how to spend your money, but it is more important, to my mind, that the player gain experience, than the captain learn skills.
The red circle over the captain's shoulder tells you how many skill points are available. Each skill improves the game play in some way. Have care when selecting skills. Don't spend points on skills that improve torpedo range if your captain's ship is a battleship. The top row of skills cost one skill point, the second row costs two, etc. You must have at least one skill in the row above the skill you want to select, save for the first row. Known skills are marked with a check.
You have limited space in your reserve list for captains so keep an eye on who you have in there. Why reuse a captain? Well captains remember their skills even when they switch ships. As soon as the captain has learned enough experience through battle, the skills he already knows will kick in and your ship will be more effective. Some players rotate their favorite captains through premium ships because they cost less to repair and they earn more experience points. Just remember that you can't rotate a USN captain onto a premium ship that flies an IJN flag. Captains stay with their country of origin. WarGaming solves this problem by having premium ships for every country. Did I mention You have to buy Premium ships with real life currency? Don't be upset about it. WarGaming is a business, and if players don't buy things, we will all be looking for a new game to play.
If you are being frugal keep in mind that you start with a ship from each nation. If you want to sell one of these ships for the slot, choose the nation you are least interested in. Occasionally WarGaming will distribute ships or gold as prizes. I almost always spend prize money on slots.
When you research a ship, the game will invite you to spend your credits and gold on a purchase. If you decline you can select the ship later and buy it when it suits you.
*Tyro: a beginner, someone who is still learning the ropes.
You may also enjoy: