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Freakazee's Partial Guide to Warships

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Alpha Tester
246 posts
131 battles


Title: The Partial Guide to Warships (Version .014 OBT)


Release: Intended for Open Beta Test (Do not distribute)


Disclaimer: This is the beginnings of a guide I wrote during Alpha and BTW. As such, not all information may be relevant.


Change Log:


12-11-2014: Version .01 BTW added. 

Beta Guide Links added. Added Battle Phases section. 

Version .011 BTW: Added zig-zagging.

Version .012 BTW: Changed Misc. Basics to Basics.

Version .013 BTW: Changed Gunnery Tip 3. Removed Misc 3A. 

Version .014 OBT: Slightly updated. More revisions to follow. Links re-labeled "Old Links".  









Important Stuff: 

This guide is being written and edited with the intent to aid and spread general tips, advice, and information regarding the gameplay of World of Warships. As such, it will always be improving and changing.

DO NOT DISTRIBUTE outside of the WoWS forums. 


Also, please read the following post by Super_Dreadnought. Super_D's 10 commandments to create a more pleasant test environment

Other Guides

There are a number of guides already written on various subjects by other people. If I've missed a guide or if you don't want yours linked here, please send me a message. 

NOTE: This list is currently being updated.

 Old Links:

Guide: Gameplay (Gunlion)

Guide: Ship Classes (Gunlion)

Guide: Controls (Gunlion)

A short rundown of US DD (Elysion)

Smoke (Quaffer)

The Versatile Destroyer Guide - Abridged (Arcticfire)

Tedster's tips for new testers (Tedster59)

Gunnery Basics, abridged (Quaffer)

Higgle's Guide and Review of the Japanese Battleship Line, abridged (Higgle)

Torpedo Basics, abridged (Quaffer)

Jeewees manly bb guide (JeeWeeJ)




Long Range: Anything beyond 12 kilometers.

Medium Range: 6-11 kilometers.

Short Range: 4.5 to 6 kilometers

Close/Knife Range: 4.4 kilometers and below

Beaching Range: .5 kilometers.

BB: Battleship. Big, heavily armed and slow. May carry scout planes. Typically has a half-minute reload time and slow traversing turrets.

DD: Destroyer. Carries small, fast firing guns and torpedo launchers. Fast, maneuverable, stealthy. 

CA: Cruiser, Armored (According to Wikipedia on USN Hull classifications). A ship with decent mobility, armor and guns with a decent rate of fire. May carry torpedoes, sonar or scout planes.

Shallows: These are typically marked by yellow buoys. Unless you're in a destroyer, there is a good chance trying to sail over one of these will result in a beached ship.

Dance/Duel: When you and another ship are engaged in a fight and are constantly maneuvering around each other to maintain your “firing solution” for lack of a better term.

LRS: Long Range Slow Torpedo.

SRF: Short Range Fast Torpedo.

RS: Ranging Shot/Salvo

Main Guns: These are the main armament of cruisers and battleships everywhere. Ranging in sizes from five inches all the way up to an almighty 18.1 inches, these guns are the weapons with which the majority of fighting will be done. For destroyers however, these guns will be primarily used for enemy harassment, fire starting, and destroyer hunting. Effective range varies from ship to ship.

Secondary Guns: These are the other weapons on your ship. For most ships, these serve to augment a ship's combat ability within short to close range. Some ships have more secondaries than others. Unlike the main guns, these are fully automated and commence firing 2-5 seconds after their engagement range has been reached. Players may prioritize ships for the secondaries to target.

Anti-Air Guns: Also known as "AA" or "Ack Ack". The third set of weapons on any given ship. These are also automated and may have targets designated for it.

Torpedo: Also known as "hot fish" or simply "fish". They come in three flavors: Long Range - Slow, Short Range - Fast and Plane-based Torpedoes. Typically causes heavy damage, flooding and/or fire. Usually has a minimum distance of .5 to 1 kilometer to arm. 

Ship Types:


Battleship: Battleships are slow and tanky, but they have the ability to project large amounts of damage at long range. In the hands of an experienced gunner, they can easily wreck the enemy battle group. Due to your limited maneuverability and slow turret traverse, you will also become prey for destroyers and cruisers up close if you are not careful. You are best utilized at ranges of eight kilometers and above when engaging enemy ships. Any closer, and you risk being unable to bring your guns to bear. As you progress higher up the tree however, your secondaries will become progressively deadlier, so don’t be afraid to close within knife range if you have to. Keep in mind however, your half a minute reload time means you cannot afford to continually miss.  


Against other battleships, you will want to use armor piercing rounds for maximum damage. Keep in mind however, in order for those rounds to do maximum damage, you need to hit the right spots. When in doubt, aim for the center waterline. HE shells can also inflict significant damage, as well as cause fires and module damage. Losing your magazine or a turret will severely cripple your ability to fight, so be wary. You may have to pick and choose when to use express repair.


Against cruisers and destroyers, do your best to keep them mid-range. Any closer, and you risk losing your firing solution due to slow turret traverse, or worse, torpedoes.  



Cruiser: The all-purpose ship, so to speak. While its firepower may not compare to the battleships, their rate of fire and mobility more than make up for it. Their turrets traverse fairly fast, and a number of cruisers are capable of carrying torpedoes, making “dueling” with another cruiser more dangerous.


Against destroyers, you’ll want to use HE. Against other cruisers, you’ll have to experience whether or not to use HE or AP yourself. There is no “one shell fits all” when it comes to combating cruisers. Against battleships, you can either use HE or AP – one will do damage over time and set fires, whereas the other will simply do damage, especially if you know where to hit. Avoid closing within range of battleship secondaries, so stay at least five kilometers away.  


Destroyer: Capable of speeds in excess of thirty plus knots, the destroyer is the David to the battleship’s Goliath. While your main guns may be puny in comparison, they are fast firing – and great for taking out other destroyers. You also have the ability to lay down smoke behind you and give concealment to your battle group, hiding them from sight. In a pinch, you can always boost your engines for that extra bit of speed to dodge incoming fire or to quickly get away from a fight.


While your guns are technically your main armament, your actual main armament comes in the form of torpedoes. At lower tiers, you may not carry that many, making them a bit of a grind, but they are worth it. Your torpedoes come in two flavors, LRS(Long Range, Slow) or SRF (Short Range, Fast). LRS torpedoes are suited for “snipe” attacks against enemy ships which haven’t spotted you yet, whereas SRF torpedoes are suited for “shotgun strafes”, where you close to another ship, drop your torpedoes and speed away. A common trick to increase stealthiness is to turn off your secondaries and AA, because the moment you open fire, you'll be detected. (This depends on a number of factors, as I have personally seen a destroyer hidden in a cloud of smoke 1.9 km off my bow fire and remain hidden.)


Naturally, with shotgun strafing, the closer you are, the more likely your torpedoes are to hit, but the risk of being sunk increases. As a destroyer, you’ll want to avoid getting into gun fights with everything but other destroyers. Please note that because battleships take a while to turn or to change speed, you don't have to get as close before you launch your torpedoes. If they don’t hit the first time, you can always come around for a second…provided you didn’t get too close the first time.


St. Louis: Nobody expects the Saint Louis Inquisition. 




1. When preparing to fire on a target. You’ll want to lock your intended target with the “X” key. Warships does have an automatic lock feature which will cause you to automatically lock on after hovering over them for a few seconds. As of, this is a little buggy, especially when two enemy ships are close together.

2. When calculating lead and elevation, observe your intended target carefully. A ship that is slowly opening or closing in range can appear to be moving perpendicularly, and it will throw off your shot.

3. Leading your targets is not as simple as +1/-1 per KM unless they're traveling in the same speed on a parallel course with you. Calculating the lead, therefore, is best described as basically as possible: Lead = Range + Relative Speed. Other factors you will have to take into consideration:


Relative direction of enemy ship. This affects elevation and lead.

Shell travel time. This will affect how much you will need to add or subtract hash marks. 

Ship Class: Cruiser shells travel slower than battleship shells. Take this into consideration or you'll wind up missing a lot of shots.


Remember to adjust your aim appropriately so that your shells are aiming for the center of their ship, not their bow.


I can't give you anything more definitive than that, because this is something you, as a player, will have to experience and work out for yourself. Keep in mind however, that at longer ranges, the likelihood of your shots missing is significantly greater than those fired at targets closer to you. Longer range shots with both shells and torpedoes will always have that greater chance of missing due to speed and course corrections. It will be up to you to attempt to anticipate those changes. 


4. Ensure you are not inadvertently firing on a friendly ship even if your scope is aimed at an enemy. Friendly fire hurts.

5. Some prefer to salvo fire, some prefer sequential fire. It is entirely up to you how you fire your guns.

Gunnery Techniques:

(RS)Ranging Shot/Salvo

As the name implies, this is simply a single shot designed to determine how off you are. Keep in mind this will not always yield a firing solution due to possible course and speed changes in the enemy. The salvo variant of this means you fire multiple shots with varying ranges and elevation in order to determine a firing solution, but this requires you to keep track of which shots were fired how.

Semi-Blind Shot

This shot requires you to be able to remember the target’s bearing and speed, and manually lead your shots after the enemy ship has disappeared off your scope. This is not an easy shot to make, and increases in difficulty the further away your target.


As the name implies, one constantly alternates between left and right rudder, causing the ship to zig-zag in the water. The idea is that this makes your ship harder to hit, although being predictable with it will render it ineffective. Best utilized by cruisers. May be utilized by battleships. Can be used by destroyers, but not recommended for offense. .

Ripple Fire: As the name implies, you fire your guns off one at a time instead of a full salvo. 


Battle Flow: The Three Phases

Every battle can generally be broken down into three phases - The Start, The Battle, and the End.


The Start: This is the beginning of the battle and typically lasts three to five minutes unless it’s a small map or a rush is in progress. This is the time where you will want to work out a general plan with your team and begin moving your ships accordingly. Do you scatter and charge in? Split into two groups and take both sides of the map? As it takes far longer to get from point "A" to point "B" in ships than it does in tanks, this phase is absolutely crucial. If a ship gets bogged down here for whatever reason, it will throw your team off the flow slightly. During this time, battleships may launch scout planes and spot the other team, resulting in periodic bombardment from enemy ships at long range. Determine whether or not your team wants to go for capture, as there is a "supremacy mode" where points are awarded for every enemy ship sunk and for each additional objective captured. Take this time to look at the team lists and identify ships you think will be the biggest threat to you and your team. 


The Battle: This is where the fight begins. This is where the shells and torpedoes begin to fly in earnest. During this time, it is important individually to always keep an eye on the minimap and your ears peeled for torpedo warnings. You'll know when you hear them. This is because when the battle starts, it's very easy to focus in on your target and lose your situational awareness. At this time, while friendly ramming doesn't inflict damage, (most of the time) ramming a friendly ship effectively stops two ships in their tracks and throws off each other's shots. It also adds considerable time necessary to get up to speed and maneuver away, in addition to making the two of you bigger targets. 


It is important to note that on a supremacy map where there are multiple objectives to be taken, should your team ignore them, the chances of the enemy team winning through supremancy goes up significantly, because chances are when the third phase rolls around, your team will be well on their way to losing supremacy. This phase will last anywhere between five to ten minutes. 


The End: Your team has done it. The enemy team has been mostly defeated, but a few ships remain. By now, chances are, the battle group has spread itself out. If you're on supremacy mode and your team holds two of the three points, congratulations, you're on your way to winning. However, if your team only has one and the other team has two, chances are your team is behind in points, even if the bars appear to be relatively equal. The solution is to either re-take another objective or sink the entire team. If you weren't careful during the fighting and the other team's up on points by a large margin, work fast. 




1. There are two things that are ABSOLUTELY VITAL – teamwork and communication.


2. Pay attention to the lists and do your best to learn about all the ships in game. Nothing will ruin your game faster than not knowing what you are up against, especially if you get caught unawares by torpedoes fired from that other cruiser you were standing off with. You'll want to know whether or not they carry torpedoes, as well as their weapon ranges at the very minimum. 


3. Stick together. With the threat of torpedoes, this may seem a little unwise, but there is a reason for this. When sailing against an enemy force, it is always better to have at least one other ship with you. This is to (hopefully) spread out the amount of incoming damage you will take, allowing you to fight longer. 


3A. ALWAYS LEAVE AN ESCORT WITH THE CV IF THERE IS MORE THAN TWO DESTROYERS ON THE OTHER TEAM. I cannot stress this enough. Carriers are strategic assets. Without them, your team’s ability to win diminishes drastically. If the other team’s destroyers play it careful and your team has no escort on your carriers, your carrier will either be sunk or combat ineffective while it tries to run and defend itself.


3B. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BATTLESHIPS WITHOUT ANTI-AIR SUPPORT. They are too slow to effectively dodge torpedo bombers. If you have to, take the hit for them. This is entirely up to your discretion.  


4.Pay attention to your mini-map. This is especially crucial for battleships because of your inability to rapidly change course and speed. Nothing will ruin a good battle plan like a pair of friendly ships doing a friendly kiss (T-Bone) or hug (side scraping from partial collision avoidance). Not only is it annoying, it also slows you down.


5.Destroyers are deadly. Just because you can sink them easily does not mean that they are harmless. Nothing will drop your chances of winning faster than a destroyer (except well placed torpedo bombers). TARGET THEM FIRST.


6. Keep track of your express repair cool down time. Express repair is your best friend in this game. However, due to its cool down time, you *may* want to save it for more critical repairs, such as flooding, module damage, or multiple fires. 


7. Maintain Beaching range around landmasses. Beaching yourself may be funny (once or twice), but it not only makes you look like a fool, it also deprives the team of a ship in formation. Depending on the degree of "beaching", it will take a considerable amount of time to maneuver away from said landmass. Beaching yourself makes you more prone to incoming shells, hot fish, ramming, dive bombers, bomber torpedoes, module damage and death. 


8. Resist the urge to hide behind landmasses. This is not tanks. Angling will not bounce enemy shells, nor will it help avoiding damage if you remain at a low speed or stand still. Not only does this bog down the team, the tempo of the fight and make you a sitting duck just waiting for torpedoes to come from behind, it just looks silly. That is not to say that taking cover behind a landmass isn’t useful, but sitting behind it the entire time reduces your combat effectiveness.


9. Ensure your shots are actually clearing said landmasses. If you are zoomed in and you have a good sight picture, fire away. But you may want to make sure that your shells are arcing over the island. Because...


10. Land is ridiculously over-powered. Do not try to get into a fight with the islands. They will always win. It doesn't matter how fast you ram them or how many torpedoes, bombs or shells you put into them, they will always win. Period. The only way to win, therefore, is to deny it battle. (TL;DR: Don't waste time shooting islands.)


11. Ctrl+X is your friend. This locks your guns on relative bearing, meaning they will stay pointed at whatever angle you had them set to.


12. Ctrl+Click to prioritize targets for your secondaries.


13. Look at your minimap. Learn how to gauge distances with the minimap, and keep an eye glued on it at all times. Unless you are engaged or dodging enemy fire, you should be looking at your minimap.





Edited by Freakazee
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21 posts
393 battles

Ive never understood the point of ctrl x.

I understand it locks your guns but when is this useful? Youre constantly moving so in order to hit a target, dont your guns need to constantly adjust?

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Alpha Tester
246 posts
131 battles

This mainly applies to battleships when preparing to engage. By using Ctrl+X to lock their turrets to one side, they can "prep" for incoming action and cut down on the amount of time needed to aim the guns. This also lets you look around without having to hold the RMB. 

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This mainly applies to battleships when preparing to engage. By using Ctrl+X to lock their turrets to one side, they can "prep" for incoming action and cut down on the amount of time needed to aim the guns. This also lets you look around without having to hold the RMB. 


Ok. I c

ty +1

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