Since there has been a massive influx of new players, we should gather some basic knowledge so they can possibly get into the game better (and be more helpful to their team…;) )
- read the in-game help (ESC – Help in Harbour, F1 in Battle), basically that tells you all you need to know to control your ship, the rest is experience.
- be aware of your surroundings, don’t fire torpedoes at your teammates, don’t fire at enemies at max range when there’s a DD in point blank range, don’t go alone in front of 3 battleships, don’t leave your caps undefended
- can’t hit the side of a barn, try using ALT in zoom view, this shows the time it takes your shots to impact at the target marker. Use this to lead your target. Still not confident in hitting – holding left mouse fires your guns in sequence, allowing you to “walk” your shots into the target.
- wanna use those shiny new torpedoes, get in close. Torpedoes have a max range and won’t go beyond. Furtermore torpedoes spread, the further they go, the more room the target has to evade. Additionally take in account who you’re firing at. The smaller/more maneuverable the target, the easier it can evade your eels. And don’t neglect to calculate your lead with X before firing.
- use evasive maneuvers. The easiest target is a stationary ship, the second easiest is one that is going in a straight line at constant speed. Keep changing your heading and speed to mess up your enemies aim. And don’t drive into the islands, while it doesn’t do any damage (yet), it stops your ship, making you an easy target.
- learn how your abilities work. Eg. smoke screen, a destroyer ability, makes smoke appear BEHIND your ship. If you’re driving towards the enemy, it won’t help you, only the ships driving behind the smoke. Better drive in a circle if you wanna use the hiding abilities of your smoke.
- talk with your team. Let your team know what’s happening. Are you going to cap a spot – let them know so they can possibly put their attention elsewhere. Need help, let them know…
- when you have a ship selected in the harbour, you can select the different modules on the right side. Mouse-over will tell you the stats, eg. the turning time of your guns or the range and speed of your torpedoes. A good start to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of your ship.
- use the power of the community. If you’re having problems or need some help/hints – just ask. So far the community isn’t as toxic as in other games (yet) and will be helpful. I’d recommend the general chat in the harbour though, in battle priorities are usually elsewhere.
So much for now, I’ll see you beneath the waves…;)
edit: seems I forgot the carriers yesterday (shame on me). Thanks to all the ppl adding stuff, maybe we can get a guide started here.
- (advanced) Carrier gameplay – Carriers play quite differently from the other ships in the game, more like real-time strategy. First you have the ship itself with negligible armament – you just drive around on the map trying not to get found/hit. Take into account, that your planes have to return to rearm after attacking, when positioning yourself – too far from the front and you won’t be able to attack very often, too close and you might get spotted/shot/sunk.
- Ask your team to show you some love. Carriers are sitting ducks, unable to defend themselves if anything gets close. Even one cruiser nearby is a great deterrent for sneaky destroyers looking for an easy kill.
- Show your team some love as well – Setting a friendly ship as target for your fighters will give air cover to your buddy.
- Consider your plane loadout. One ship module is the plane loadout of your ship. Usually there is a fighter heavy option, a mixed option and an attack heavy option focused on torpedo and dive bombers. Unfortunately you never know what you’re up against until MM decides it and you could be stuck with a fighter only CV without enemy planes. However, even if you can’t deal damage then (fighters are unable to attack ships), you can still send out your squadrons to scout for your team.
- Controlling your squadrons is like controlling your ships with autopilot. Select the squadron and set waypoints. You can select more than one with shift + click. Use this to fly a specific course eg. to fly around AA heavy areas.
- protect your planes – In contrast to the shells on combat ships, your number of planes are limited. Losing too many to enemy fighters/AA can cripple your ability to strike. Avoid enemy fighters especially with your bombers. Also take into consideration what carriers your enemy has. Higher tiers usually have better fighters which will rip lower tiers to shreds.
- Pick lonely targets – Starting at the medium tiers, ships will have quite nasty AA. Avoid enemy ships unless you want to attack them. Select lonely ships to reduce your losses.
- Torpedo strikes – Attacking with your torpedoes is pretty easy, select your torp bombers, click on target, voilá. This is, however, far from the best way to do it.
First you can set the angle of your attack by pulling the corresponding marker on the circle around your target. Best attack from a near perpendicular position, taking into account targets options and agility. Selecting targets, you wanna focus on the big, immobile ones. Hitting cruisers can be tricky and destroyers near impossible.
To improve your chances, you should coordinate your squadrons for simultaneous attack from different angles.
- manual torpedo strikes – When you have the basics down, you can try yourself at manually attacking with your torpedo bombers – this requires quite a bit of micro-management however. With a torp squad selected, pressing ALT brings up a targetting circle with a much narrower spread pattern than the standard attack. Using this, you can set the spot your squadron starts your attack run from yourself. Note however, that these orders are fixed to the position on the map, not relative to your target – not taking target movement into account will result in your torpedoes hitting nothing. For best results, set your bombers on a parallel course to your target, starting the attack when you think you have enough lead. Best practice on slow/immobile targets first, this is quite a hard skill to master.
- Damage control – Especially on carriers, damage control is vital to your ability to stay in the fight. A burning carrier can neither land nor start planes. However, using your repair ability immediately after starting to burn might not be advisable. Wait until your squadrons are ready to start, then repair your ship, and send them out as long as you can. Repairing too early might result in getting burned again and having the ability on cooldown, essentially crippling yourself.
edit: Gonna update this post with your hints as well – Keep it coming:
- bigger ships have right of way. if a bigger ship is on a collision course with you or you are on a collision course with it then you should turn away or slow down. bigger ships have poorer maneuverability and can´t turn as easily. (thanks trymetal95)
- pressing the torpedo key (3) switches between narrow and wide spread. (thanks Abominable_Joe)
- torpedoes have a minimum range as well. Get too close, and they won’t explode. (thanks cantthinkofanickname)
- AP is in 95% of all cases better than HE, somewhat depending on your ship and class. Using AP deals ALOT more damage than HE does, and while there is a risk of not penetrating/overpenetrating, when you do penetrate, the damage you do easily make up for it. The occasions you should use HE are generally against destroyers, this is beacuse with HE, you have the ability to knock out and destory their modules like the engines, which makes them much easier to hit afterwards. (thanks Sikletrynet)
- Press CTRL + X to lock your guns to a fixed position and free your mouse view from aiming. Equally, press SHIFT + X to keep your guns automatically pointing to a certain spot in the sea. (thanks bidoncito)