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Expressman

New Players Guide to Submarine Basics

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How to Play Submarines in World of Warships

The new submarine ship type in the game is creating a lot of buzz, but it’s creating a lot of confusion too. Submarines can be effective ship killers, but they are tricky to use effectively. Here is a quickstart guide to give you some depth of skill (see what I did there?)

 

Throw away most of what you know about playing surface ships. Much like carriers, this is a very different game. The trick to submarines is to deal a fatal blow, then disappear. In some ways submarines are like destroyers, but there are some key differences:

 
  1. Submarine torpedoes reload slowly. While you are accustomed to 30-60 seconds in destroyers, expect even low-tier subs to have 1-2 minute reload times. Theoretically it’s because the tubes must be reloaded and flooded. For the sake of gameplay it keeps submarines from being too lethal.
  2. You aim with steering. Think about that for a long second.
 

The first thing that confuses a new bubblehead is diving. In the game there are three depths:

1. Surface Depth, which is no depth at all. You cruise on the sea like a turtleback ship.

2. Periscope Depth, in which you are hard to detect by ships but easy to detect by planes.

3. Submarine Depth, where it’s just you and other submarines… and depth charges.

 

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Surface Depth

By default, when a match begins you start at surface depth, with any guns, planes, AA undeployed.

If you wish to enter surface battle mode, press the P key (as you would to hide AA in ships). This will deploy any and all deck battle options you have which may include AA, cannons, and aircraft.

Note that deployment takes some time. The crew must assemble deck components piece-by-piece from below deck. Note that it takes as long to stow deck components, which is required before you can dive.

If you want to dive, you must have all deck components stowed.

 

When all is stowed, the soft seal indicator will light up on your display. This indicates you are in a dive-ready state. It should be noted that you can achieve maximum speed only while surfaced.

 

Your desired depth is represented by the keys K (for periscope), M for submarine depth. When you want surface press O. Think of the levels on your keyboard as depths and this is easy to remember.
 

Periscope Depth

So let’s press K and the sub will sink to periscope depth. This puts the top of your conning tower about 1 meter below the surface, and deploys your periscope and snorkels.

 

At this depth your surface detectability is massively reduced, through a nearby vessel can see your periscope and snorkels if they’re close. Also, because you are shallow you are still easily seen from the air, so your aircraft detectability will only reduce slightly.

 

At periscope depth you still won’t have maximum speed capabilities. Full throttle will run you at about 80% of your maximum speed potential.

 

It should also be noted that torpedo bombers and dive bombers can attack you. While you won’t catch fire from dive bombers, they can most certainly inflict damage much like a depth charge would.

Submarine Depth

Now let’s descend to submarine depth by pressing the M key. Your periscope and snorkels will retract into the conning tower and you’ll descend deeper. Now you are about 16 meters below the surface. You can safely pass under any ship at this depth. Your surface detectability is zero except for aircraft almost exactly overhead.

 

You can however collide with other submarines, since the game makes this depth one uniform standard for the sake of gameplay. You can also shoot at other submarines. Many submarines could dive much deeper than this, but it seemed to be an important mechanic decision for Wargaming to make.

 

When you are below periscope depth, a combined air/battery indicator begins to deplete. This is because your crew is consuming air and your engines are consuming battery. This limits how long you can operate below periscope depth. In low tiers this may be as short as a minute. If you stay below when your indicator runs out, you start taking damage rapidly.

 

You can return to periscope depth and your snorkels will allow fresh crew air as well as exhaust for the diesel engines. Note this will recover your air/battery slowly. You can completely surface for a very quick refresh.

 

You can only achieve about 50% of your maximum speed when at submarine depth.

 

Rapid Dive/Surface Maneuver

You can rapid dive or surface by double-tapping the O or M keys. Note this is hard on the submarine and it will take about 15% damage in the process.

 

Torpedoes

You can fire torpedoes at any depth, though only on the surface and at periscope depth can you hit ships. You can fire torpedoes while in transition, though they’re virtually guaranteed to not hit anything because of their odd depth.

 

Some higher-tier subs will have a second torpedo type, the AHT or automatic homing torpedo. These torpedoes have the ability to chase the sound of ships. The advantage is you do not need to steer your sub exactly to aim. The disadvantage is anything can throw it off, including friendly ships.

 

To aim, you get a target leading indicator like you would for a surface ship, only because you lack turrets, you must rudder steer to your desired aim. It’s usually smart to have high confidence in your shot before firing, which is why we use depth to get up close.

 

The general idea is you are out there, then you disappear, then you reappear for a moment, wreak destruction, then disappear again. Runs aren’t easy but it only takes one or two successful runs to be an asset to your team.

Sonar

Sonar is your most bitter enemy. Think of it as turning on the lights. It doesn’t matter who is running sonar, everyone sees everyone.

Surface Battle

When you are at surface depth and your deck components are deployed, depending on what you are equipped with you have AA defense, a launchable aircraft, and cannons. All of these behave exactly as they would on a surface ship.

 

Note that in a cyclone you may take intermittent flooding damage if your deck components are deployed. I won’t go as far as to say you should never deploy in a cyclone, but if you are taking storm flooding bear in mind that is the reason, and you can’t use repair on it. It will stop on it’s own. Your mate might announce something like “Our deck is awash!”

Depth Charges

Depth charges are anti-submarine bombs dropped from ships when they believe a submarine is beneath them. They are so named because they explode when they reach a preset water pressure. This act much like torpedoes in that they inflict flooding damage.

 

How to Attack

An effective attack follows a similar pattern, called a “run”.

 

Run at periscope depth so you can effectively spot enemy ships. You can also benefit from your allie’s radar because an antenna is part of the periscope/snorkel array.

 

When you identify a ship you want to attack, you initiate your run. Note the dotted circle on your minimap. This indicates how far you can run at submarine depth. Make sure this is at least near your target ship. Note the torpedo bearing, as this will be the direction you want to go.

 

Now dive to submarine depth. You’ll see your speed increase, and your bat/air begin to fall.

 

Keep cruising in the direction of the indicator. This is not updated live so know the ship may change course.

When you are about 2km away from where you think the ship is, go to periscope depth. Now as your periscope deploys, you should be able to see him. And probably he can see you too. Assuming you still have a shot, make a rudder adjustment for aim, and fire your torpedoes. As soon as they are away, dive.

 

It’s usually advisable to turn aft of your target, so that if he begins to drop depth charges, they will be too late. For the same reason it’s a really bad idea to turn under the path of the ship. Unless you’re really confident of your kill, in which case there won’t be anything left to counterattack. Just beware that a sinking ship can crush you.

It’s worth keeping in mind that if there are other ships with him, they will know the turn-aft trick and may lay supporting depth charges where they expect you to be.

 

Many captains will not try to turn 180 and retreat because of their limited bat/air time, and opt instead to cruise straight ahead to get behind the enemy. It’s a gamble either way, but if you think about it, by the time you make your turn and try to put a little distance between you and them, you’ll probably need to surface much sooner than you want to.

Is it Ever Smart to Use Surface Weapons?

 

In general surface weapons are risky, because they prevent you from diving, and they don’t give you much in return. You get maybe 1-2 guns, which is sad even by Japanese destroyer standards.

 

The two times they make a lot of sense is supporting early DD caps, and anti-air defense of allied ships.

 

If you follow a fast-capping DD, you can support him by firing torpedoes into enemy smokescreens, you can add a little cannon fire, which against a DD *can* make a difference, and you can help scare away aircraft spotting the DD. You just need to know when to bug out and change over to a ship hunting mindset. Really deck components usefulness has a lot to do with the tier and nation of the submarine.

 

The other is pretty obvious: adding a few AA guns to defense when you are unlikely to be targeted.

 

Summary

Submarines are a fun and rewarding addition to World of Warships. While they’re not exactly a game-changer, some players will find them to be a lot of fun.


If you find this guide helpful, let me know. Also constructive feedback is appreciated. Edited by Expressman

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It's April 5th. You're 4 days late.


 

dOHTNbC.gif

Edited by CapnCappy

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It's April 5th. You're 4 days late.

 

 

dOHTNbC.gif

 

It took a couple days playing it to write the guide.

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It took a couple days playing it to write the guide.

 

I know I should not be asking this.... but......

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Posted (edited) · Report post

excuse me - on a slight tangent, but weren't destroyers called such because they are there to destroy submarines?

Edited by husband

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Posted (edited) · Report post

excuse me - on a slight tangent, but weren't destroyers called such because they are there to destroy submarines?

 

The non-sarcastic answer... no.

'Destroyer' is short for 'Torpedo Boat destroyer'.  Back in the pre-WW1 days, torpedo boats were one of the biggest threats to battleships and secondary guns couldn't always handle them.. so they created a ship that had the speed to keep up with these torpedo boats and had the firepower to sink them.  The name was then shortened to Destroyer.

It's also why you sometimes see 'Anti torpedo gun' used for secondary guns in some navies (And occasionally pops up here too in things translated from Russian).  They're 'Anti torpedo boat guns'.. ie, guns that are used to kill torpedo boats.

Edited by Jinxed_Katajainen

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excuse me - on a slight tangent, but weren't destroyers called such because they are there to destroy submarines?

 

I think they were originally designed to combat motor torpedo boats.

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Oh shite. This thread....

 

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I sold my submarine. Didn't like it. Too slow.

 

Yeah a lot of people hate the fact that when you need speed the most, during your sneak attack, you have reduced top speed. Between that and your air/battery meter running down it always makes you feel antsy.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I sold my submarine. Didn't like it. Too slow.

 

+1 !

 

 

Made me laugh out loud.

 

 

Too bad you quit the game and all.

 

 

 

Yeah a lot of people hate the fact that when you need speed the most, during your sneak attack, you have reduced top speed. Between that and your air/battery meter running down it always makes you feel antsy.

 I see. You're on the very very long con... like you were in the shower and thought of the perfect comeback but it was April 5 but you decided to do it anyway.

 

 

+1 for all that typing.

 

Edited by CapnCappy

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The non-sarcastic answer... no.

'Destroyer' is short for 'Torpedo Boat destroyer'.  Back in the pre-WW1 days, torpedo boats were one of the biggest threats to battleships and secondary guns couldn't always handle them.. so they created a ship that had the speed to keep up with these torpedo boats and had the firepower to sink them.  The name was then shortened to Destroyer.

It's also why you sometimes see 'Anti torpedo gun' used for secondary guns in some navies (And occasionally pops up here too in things translated from Russian).  They're 'Anti torpedo boat guns'.. ie, guns that are used to kill torpedo boats.

 

 

I think they were originally designed to combat motor torpedo boats.

Thanks for clearing that up!

also I was always wondering what the "anti-torpedo" guns were.. what a horrible translation we have from the Russian text sometimes.

 

On a historical note: Anyone know when did the English speaking Navies stop using the phrase "dreadnought" and when did they start using the phrase "battleships" and "cruisers". I presume in other languages the classes of ships are different and have different etymologies.

 

From a design perspective in game there is a distinct change from the late 20's onward when the ships replace the sponsons with turrets-  presumably to up armor the sides of the ship up to the deck


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This is a much better April Fool's than WGs, albeit a bit late...


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Apparently Expressman forgot the section on battery charging and the option to use a snorkel. How droll. Still, a very credible first cut. Well done.

 


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You win this time, OP. You made me log in just to post this...

 

 

PFd8FbC.jpg


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