World of Warships New Captain Skills (v 6.2.0) Guide By: Kurbain

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A) your mileage may vary as skill choices can depend on your playstyle. These distributions are merely recommendations and not the ultimate choice to beat all others.

B) Apart from the Light Cruisers, these distributions assume you keep moving your captain along to the next ship until you reach T10.

C) Captain skills in bold are those I recommend the most.

Information about skills and general game mechanics:

HE penetration is the gun caliber divided by 6, except for German BB main guns and 128/150mm BB secondary guns, for which it is caliber divided by 4. HE penetration is rounded up or down to the nearest value. HE penetration is the same at any angle and range and has to be above the thickness of the armor to penetrate. The Donskoi with exactly 30mm of HE penetration cannot penetrate 30mm plates. If a HE shell dealt no damage, it has either failed to penetrate, hit a module or the torpedo belt.
AP shells overmatch (ignore angle and ricochet mechanics) if their caliber is at least 14,3 times bigger than the thickness of the armor they try to penetrate. Auto-ricochet angle is 60° for all ships except high-tier US cruisers (67,5°) and British non-premium cruisers (~75°). Technically these are 6° to 10° higher for each ship as shell normalization is applied before checking if the shell bounces.
“Expert Loader” only works if all gun barrels are currently loaded, not including those that are destroyed.
“Incoming Fire Alert” only warns you of incoming shells that have to travel for at least 6 seconds to arrive.
For the skill “Preventive Maintenance”, these are ship parts that count as modules: Main guns, torpedo tubes, propulsion, steering. (Thanks to shamelesscreature for the info)
“Survivability Expert” increases flooding and fire damage, which deal a certain percent of your total HP each second.
Basic Firing Training and Advanced Firing Training apply to ALL secondary armaments regardless of caliber, even the 155mm on ships such as the Yamato. The 139mm limit only applies to primary guns.
The 100% damage bonus for Manual Control of the AA guns multiplies with the defensive AA barrage. This makes the skill especially useful for cruisers, assuming they got enough 85+ mm AA guns to make the investment worthwhile.
Torpedo Acceleration increases the arming distance for CV-dropped torpedoes.
The 10% fire reduction of Fire Prevention is multiplicative. If a shell has a 20% chance to set you on fire, the chance will be reduced to 18% should you have the skill. In reality the reduction is even lower since there are other factors further reducing fire chance, such as natural fire resistance.
Please do not use IFHE on any ships with a caliber of 203mm or above.
DE and IFHE also affect secondaries.
Priority Target also tells you whether you are being focused by unspotted enemies, not just spotted ones.
Builds for specific ships are mentioned at the bottom of the guide. If a ship you would like a build for is not listed, feel free to ask.

Battleships

First Row

Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft | Despite the reduction of the plane duration to 90 seconds, it is still a very good choice for BBs as the second plane can spot torpedoes and defend you against carriers, which is especially important for BBs.

Priority Target | More useful than one may expect, even for BBs. Keeping an eye on how many enemies are focused on you or if they are paying any attention at all can help you decide how to angle and when you have time to turn.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Expert Loader | A decent choice considering the long reload of BBs, but other skills are generally more useful since you will spend most of your time shooting AP.

Second Row

Expert Marksman | Still the main choice for BBs because of their slow turret traverse.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Very valuable skill for BBs, which have the best survivability of any class.

High Alert | One point cheaper than it was in the past. Quite useful due to the high cooldown of the damage repair party on BBs.

Third Row

Basics of Survivability | Even for 3 points, one of the best choices for a BB since they are often on fire.

Superintendent | Provides you with one extra heal, which can be quite useful. Now that the plane duration has been reduced, the extra plane can also come in handy.

Vigilance | Very useful on Japanese and American battleships, which do not have Hydro.

Basic Firing Training | Decent choice if you want to boost your AA and secondaries.

Fourth Row

Fire Prevention | Excellent skill for BBs since it transforms the two superstructure fire sections into a single one, which means only one fire can be set in the middle of a BB. The 10% fire chance reduction is a nice bonus.

Concealment Expert | Great choice even for BBs, especially now that it is one point cheaper.

Advanced Firing Training | Extends your AA and secondary range. Highly useful.

Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament | Good choice for Japanese and German BBs with their strong secondaries, especially now that it is one point cheaper. Less effective on American BBs.

Manual AA Control for AA Armament | Greatly increases AA DPS on most BBs, especially the German ones. You should take AFT first, though, because AFT also extends secondary range. Exceptions are the Scharnhorst, Tirpitz and Dunkerque if you got a specialized commander for them.

Radio Location | Not as useful as it is for cruisers and DDs, but it can be valuable in specific situations.

Light cruisers (not including British AP cruisers)

First Row

Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft | Since the duration of fighter planes has stayed at 6 minutes for cruisers, this is an excellent skill for cruisers to spot torpedoes and fend off carriers. Only take this skill if your cruiser actually has fighter aircraft! Some cruisers, such as the Russian ones, do not have any!

Priority Target | Surprisingly useful skill for the fragile light cruisers if you know how to use the information. Keeping an eye on how many enemies are focused on you or if they are paying any attention at all can help you decide how to angle and when you have time to turn.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Expert Loader | Not the best choice for light cruisers since they reload quite fast, but it can come in handy in certain situations and only costs 1 point.

Second Row

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Very valuable skill, especially for cruisers with low concealment and/or smoke, which can survive for a while even on low HP.

Expert Marksman | One of the classics. Despite the fast turret traverse of light cruisers still a solid choice as its always useful.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice for light cruisers with smoke since it reduces the amount of time you have to wait until your next smoke screen is ready.

Smokescreen Expert | Provides you with a bit more maneuverability inside your smoke. Keep in mind that smoke deployment depends on your distance to the previous smoke cloud among other factors. This skill may make the deployment of smoke clouds more difficult on cruisers like the Belfast.

Last Stand | Some light cruisers, especially those at the mid-tiers, can lose their engine and propulsion relatively easily. Feel free to select this skill if it happens to you often.

Third Row

Demolition Expert | Despite the nerf still an excellent choice, especially if you intend to use IFHE.

Superintendent | Very useful on cruisers with smoke and heal to receive one extra charge. Relatively useless on all light cruisers without smoke.

Vigilance | Light cruisers generally have no torpedo belts and take nearly full torpedo damage, which makes Vigilance quite useful, especially if you sit in smoke a lot.

Basic Firing Training | Decent choice if you really want to boost your AA.

Fourth Row

Concealment Expert | One of the all-time classics, now 1 point cheaper. What is not to like?

Radio Location | Quite useful on low detection cruisers, especially if you want to hunt DDs. If you take this skill, you probably won’t need Vigilance.

Inertia Fuse for HE shells | Very useful for all 150/152/155/180mm cruisers because they will be able to penetrate the 32mm plates on high-tier BBs and 27/30mm on high-tier cruisers. Particularly useful for 150/152mm cruisers because they cannot penetrate the 25mm plates of mid-tier BBs and high-tier cruisers otherwise.

Advanced Firing Training | Extending your AA range is quite useful, especially to defend your allies.

Manual Fire Control for AA Armament | Greatly increases AA DPS on some light cruisers such as the Atlanta/Flint. Check your AA DPS stats before choosing between this skill and AFT.

British AP Cruisers:

First Row

Priority Target | Surprisingly useful skill for the British AP cruisers since they are very fragile. Knowing whether you are being targeted or not is valuable information, especially if your smoke is on cooldown or you are just about to smoke up.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Preventive Maintenance | A decent option for the British to increase the survivability of their torpedoes and main guns.

Second Row

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Very valuable skill for the British cruisers, because their low concealment, smoke and strong heal allows them to survive at low health for long times if they are careful.

Expert Marksman | One of the classics. Despite the fast turret traverse still a solid choice as its always useful. Keep in mind that EM becomes useless once you reach the Minotaur.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice to reduce the amount of time until you can deploy your next smoke screen.

Smokescreen Expert | Provides you with a bit more maneuverability inside your smoke. Keep in mind that smoke deployment depends on your distance to the previous smoke cloud among other factors. This skill may make the deployment of smoke clouds more difficult for the British cruisers, which already have issues with it.

Last Stand | Decent choice since the British AP cruisers lose their propulsion and engine more easily than heavy cruisers.

Third Row

Superintendent | Excellent choice for the British AP cruisers because they use a lot of different consumables, most importantly smoke and heal.

Vigilance | Good choice since you’ll be sitting in smoke a lot and your torpedo belt is pretty weak.

Basic Firing Training | Decent choice if you really want to boost your AA.

Fourth Row

Concealment Expert | Your concealment can never be low enough, especially in a British cruiser.

Radio Location | Very beneficial for the British due to their low concealment, hydro and effectiveness against DDs.

Advanced Firing Training | Extending your AA range is quite useful, especially to defend your allies.

Manual Fire Control for AA Armament | Greatly increases AA DPS on the Minotaur and Neptune. Up to you whether you take MAA or AFT.

Heavy Cruisers:

First Row

Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft | Since the duration of fighter planes has stayed at 6 minutes for cruisers, this is an excellent skill for cruisers to spot torpedoes and fend off carriers. Only take this skill if your cruiser actually has fighter aircraft! The Moskva, for example, has radar instead.

Priority Target | Surprisingly useful skill for cruisers if you know how to use the information. Keeping an eye on how many enemies are focused on you or if they are paying any attention at all can help you decide how to angle and when you have time to turn.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Expert Loader | Quite useful on heavy cruisers because of their long reload times and the need to switch ammunition often. I consider this one of the priority skills for Steven Seagal.

Second Row

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Very valuable skill, especially for cruisers with low concealment and/or smoke, which can survive for a while even on low HP.

Expert Marksman | One of the classics. Very useful for American and Japanese heavy cruisers. On German ones you may consider taking Adrenaline Rush first.

Third Row

Demolition Expert | Despite the nerf still an excellent choice.

Superintendent | Very useful for the extra heal.

Vigilance | Decent choice, but less useful now that most heavy cruisers can have 2 planes in the air at the same time.

Basic Firing Training | Decent choice if you really want to boost your AA.

Fourth Row

Concealment Expert | One of the all-time classics, now 1 point cheaper. What is not to like?

Advanced Firing Training | Extending your AA range is quite useful, especially to defend your allies.

Manual Fire Control for AA Armament | Greatly increases AA DPS on cruisers like the Moskva. Check your AA DPS stats before choosing between this skill and AFT.

Radio Location | Can be very useful on low detection cruisers such as the Atago or Mogami, less so for ships such as the Hindenburg and Moskva.

Japanese and German Destroyers (excluding Akizuki):

First Row

Preventive Maintenance | Great choice for destroyers because their torpedoes, main guns, engine and steering are often incapacitated.

Priority Target | Very useful for destroyers because it is important to know whether anybody is focusing you during the times you are spotted and it provides you a hint about whether any nearby unspotted DDs are aiming at you.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Second Row

Last Stand | Still an invaluable skill for any destroyer. Select this skill first.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Excellent choice for DDs since they use both and can survive for long times even on low HP.

Expert Marksman | Very useful if you use the guns on your Japanse/German destroyer often.

Torpedo Acceleration | Less effective as it was in the past due to the torpedo range reduction, but still a viable choice for destroyers with longer ranges such as the Shimakaze.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice if you would like to reduce the cooldown of your smoke screen (and other consumables)

Third Row

Survivability Expert | Provides a large HP boost to destroyers. The skill is now more efficient compared to the points it costs.

Superintendent | Quite useful for the extra smoke.

Vigilance | Great choice for Japanese destroyers to protect yourself against unexpected torpedo walls. Less useful on German destroyers because of their hydro.

Torpedo Armament Expertise | Since torpedoes will be your main source of damage, TAE is definitely worth it.

Basic Firing Training | Viable choice if you would like to boost your AA and main gun DPS, but as a German/Japanese destroyer your AA is quite poor and your torpedoes will deal most of your damage. However, if you would like to play your destroyer as a gunboat, consider this an important skill.

Demolition Expert | An important skill if you would like to play as a gunboat during torpedo reloads.

Fourth Row

Concealment Expert | Concealment is invaluable for torpedo destroyers.

Radio Location | Very useful for torpedo destroyers since they spend most of their time at the front lines or flanks. Knowing in which direction the enemy destroyers are located will help you hunt them down, protect you against being hunted yourself and may tell you where a torpedo salvo will be coming from. Can also tell you whether a smoke cloud is occupied or not.

Advanced Firing Training | A useful skill if you intend to play as a gunboat because it extends your main gun range. Also provides you some extra protection against carriers.

US Destroyers:

First Row

Preventive Maintenance | Great choice for destroyers because their torpedoes, main guns, engine and steering are often incapacitated.

Priority Target | Very useful for destroyers because it is important to know whether anybody is focusing you during the times you are spotted and it provides you a hint about whether any nearby unspotted DDs are aiming at you.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Second Row

Last Stand | Still an invaluable skill for any destroyer. Select this skill first.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Excellent choice for DDs since they use both and can survive for long times even on low HP.

Torpedo Acceleration | Very useful for the Gearing because of its high torpedo range, but I don’t recommend it for any other US destroyer.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice if you would like to reduce the cooldown of your smoke screen (and other consumables)

Third Row

Survivability Expert | Provides a large HP boost to destroyers. The skill is now more efficient compared to the points it costs.

Superintendent | Quite useful for the extra smoke.

Vigilance | Provides you with extra protection against unexpected torpedo salvos, especially if you are sitting in smoke.

Torpedo Armament Expertise | A great choice if you prefer using your torpedoes.

Basic Firing Training | The boost to main gun DPS is excellent for those that primarily use the guns. The AA boost is a nice bonus because high-tier US DDs can select defensive AA.

Demolition Expert | Highly valuable for any US destroyer player that deals most of his damage with his guns.

Fourth Row

Concealment Expert | Concealment is invaluable for the US destroyers.

Radio Location | A very effective skill for the US destroyers because they spend a lot of their time hunting DDs or torping enemy ships. Knowing in which direction the enemy destroyers are located will help you hunt them down, protect you against being hunted yourself and may tell you where a torpedo salvo will be coming from. Can also tell you whether a smoke cloud is occupied or not.

Advanced Firing Training | Can be useful if you focus on gun damage, but due to the bad ballistics of the US destroyers, the usefulness of this skill is limited.

Inertia Fuse for HE | A nice buff to mid and low-tier US destroyers like the Clemson and Farragut, but a lot less effective for the high-tier destroyers, which only gain an advantage against cruisers with this skill.

Russian Destroyers:

First Row

Preventive Maintenance | Great choice for destroyers because their torpedoes, main guns, engine and steering are often incapacitated.

Priority Target | Very useful for Russian destroyers since the are always visible while shooting unless they are sitting in smoke.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Second Row

Last Stand | Still an invaluable skill for any destroyer. Select this skill first.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Excellent choice for DDs since they use both and can survive for long times even on low HP.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice if you would like to reduce the cooldown of your smoke screen (and other consumables)

Third Row

Survivability Expert | Provides a large HP boost to destroyers. The skill is now more efficient compared to the points it costs.

Superintendent | Quite useful for the extra smoke.

Vigilance | Provides you with extra protection against unexpected torpedo salvos, especially if you are sitting in smoke.

Basic Firing Training | A great choice for Russian destroyers since they are gunboats. The boost to their decent AA is a welcome addition.

Demolition Expert | Mandatory for Russian destroyers. Setting fires is their business.

Fourth Row

Advanced Firing Training | Mandatory for Russian destroyers. They need to keep their distance.

Concealment Expert | Now that concealment expert is one point cheaper, it is easier to afford for Russian destroyer players. A great choice, but not as important as AFT.

Radio Location | Not as useful for Russian destroyers because they are meant to be played more like light cruisers, but still a good choice, especially if you already got AFT and CE. Due to their high speed, they can hunt down other DDs very effectively if no cruiser or BB is around to stop them and contest caps with their firepower.

Inertia Fuse for HE | A nice buff to mid and low-tier Russian destroyers like the Gremyashchy, Gnevny and Leningrad, but a lot less effective for the high-tier destroyers, which only gain an advantage against cruisers with this skill.

Aircraft Carriers:

First Row

Aircraft Servicing Expert | For just one point, the benefits are great.

Dogfighting Expert | A surprisingly useful choice, especially for Japanese fighters, since it now increases fighter ammo by 10%.

Evasive Maneuvers | Only recommended for Experts! An interesting skill that still requires some testing. May seem like a poor choice at first because of the speed reduction, but could be quite effective if enough micro-management is used, in order to dodge the negative effects (Manually sending planes back, recalling planes just before they get strafed and then nullifying the recall once the strafe is over)

Second Row

Torpedo Acceleration | The only skill worth taking in the second row. The reduced range is irrelevant for carriers and the speed increase is very useful, especially against high-speed destroyers. Keep in mind that this skill increases the arming distance and you have to drop from further away.

Adrenaline Rush | A decent choice considering Adrenaline Rush affects both the preparation and replacement time for carriers. Selecting this skill and intentionally taking damage at the start of the match can be quite useful.

High Alert can be considered if you got some points left over in the end.

Third Row

Torpedo Armament Expertise | Another tier with few sensible options for carriers. This is definitely the best one.

Emergency Takeoff | A useful skill for low-tier carriers, especially the Langley, which are under attack often because of the small map-size. Not recommended on high-tier carriers unless your positioning is poor.

Basic Firing Training | Useful to defend yourself against enemy carrier snipes.

Survivability Expert and Basics of Survivability can be considered if you got points left over and don’t know what to spend them on.

Fourth Row

Air Supremacy | An obvious choice for any carrier, especially now that it only costs 4 points.

Concealment Expert | A viable option now that the skill is cheaper and a surprisingly useful one at that. CVs gain the largest benefit from concealment expert and will be able to operate closer to the front lines, which reduces plane fight times.

Advanced Firing Training | Helps you against enemy carrier snipes. The secondary range can be useful since high-tier carriers have strong ones.

Manual Control for AA Armament | Greatly increases AA DPS on some carriers, most notably the Hakuryu.

Akizuki

First Row

Preventive Maintenance | Great choice for destroyers because their torpedoes, main guns, engine and steering are often incapacitated.

Priority Target | Quite useful for the Akizuki since its a gunboat.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Second Row

Last Stand | Still an invaluable skill for any destroyer. Select this skill first.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Excellent choice for DDs since they use both and can survive for long times even on low HP.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice if you would like to reduce the cooldown of your smoke screen (and other consumables)

Third Row

Survivability Expert | Provides a large HP boost to the Akizuki. The skill is now more efficient compared to the points it costs.

Superintendent | Quite useful for the extra smoke.

Vigilance | Provides you with extra protection against unexpected torpedo salvos, especially if you are sitting in smoke.

Basic Firing Training | Highly valuable skill for the Akizuki because of its strong AA and gunboat playstyle.

Demolition Expert | Gives a large fire chance boost to the Akizuki. Mandatory if you decide to get IFHE.

Fourth Row

Inertia Fuse for HE | Extremely useful for the Akizuki, because it cannot penetrate 19mm armor plates without it. IFHE enables the Akizuki to damage high-tier BB superstructure and high-tier DD hulls.

Advanced Firing Training | Mandatory for the Akizuki because of its short base range. Gives a lot more opportunities to stealth-fire.

Concealment Expert | Despite being a gunboat, CE is important for the Akizuki to give it a larger opportunity to stealth-fire and make better use of its torpedoes, which can be quite deadly if the reload booster is activated.

Radio Location | A great choice because of the low concealment and effectiveness of the Akizuki at fighting DDs (especially with IFHE). The slow speed makes it important to plan ahead and gather as much information about enemy positions as possible.

Gremyashchy/Leningrad/Anshan/Blyskawica:

First Row

Preventive Maintenance | Great choice for destroyers because their torpedoes, main guns, engine and steering are often incapacitated.

Priority Target | Very useful for gunboat destroyers since the are always visible while shooting unless they are sitting in smoke.

Incoming Fire Alert | 1 point cheaper now than in the past. A good option which fulfills a similar role as Priority Target, but I would value Priority Target slightly higher since IFA only works when you are already being shot at.

Second Row

Last Stand | Still an invaluable skill for any destroyer. Select this skill first.

Expert Marksman | A very important skill for the Gremyashchy, Leningrad and Anshan because of their awful turret traverse. Not as important on the Blyskawica, but still worthwhile.

Adrenaline Rush | Increases the reload of your main guns and torpedoes by up to 20% depending on the percentage of health you have lost. Excellent choice for DDs since they use both and can survive for long times even on low HP.

Jack of all Trades | A decent choice if you would like to reduce the cooldown of your smoke screen (and other consumables)

Third Row

Survivability Expert | Provides a large HP boost to destroyers. The skill is now more efficient compared to the points it costs.

Superintendent | Quite useful for the extra smoke.

Vigilance | Provides you with extra protection against unexpected torpedo salvos, especially if you are sitting in smoke.

Basic Firing Training | A great choice for these four since they are gunboats. The boost to their decent AA is a welcome addition.

Demolition Expert | Mandatory for gunboat destroyers. Setting fires is their business.

Fourth Row

Advanced Firing Training | Not mandatory for these four premiums because their base range is quite good for their tier, but still highly recommended.

Concealment Expert | Particularly useful because all four can launch their torpedoes from outside their detection range and Blyska/Gremy will be able to stealth-fire more easily.

Radio Location | Even though they play like gunboats, Radio Location is a valuable skill because of their good concealment and because you’ll be spending some of your time close to the enemies to launch the excellent 8 KM torpedoes of these ships.

Inertia Fuse for HE | Boosts the penetration from 22mm to 28mm (20 to 26 for Blyska). Suprisingly useful for these premiums since they meet a lot of mid-tier BBs, but also high-tier cruisers.

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Additional Guide Tips Welcomed!