World of Tanks strives to keep the mechanics of armoured vehicle combat as realistic as possible. This includes the turning rate of each tank, its acceleration speed and the thickness of each part of its armour, but nothing is more important than emulating the experience of aiming and firing the tank gun.
Each player is therefore presented with two game concepts to simulate this experience in the game: the reticle and bullet spread.
The reticle is one of the first things a player sees in World of Tanks - a dotted circle surrounding the crosshair on the game screen. This circle highlights the area that all fired shots may have a chance of hitting at any given point in time.
The reticle will inevitably expand and contract throughout the course of each battle due to a range of causes (which will be explained below). This represents the gun's relative accuracy; the larger the reticle, the more inaccurate the round if fired, and vice versa.
This variation in accuracy within the reticle is sometimes known as 'bullet spread'.
The ability to manage Bullet Spread is one of the most essential skills required to perform well in battle. Keeping Bullet Spread to a minimum ensures that your shots will have the best chance of hitting your target.
To begin mitigating its effects, its cause must first be understood. Bullet Spread is primarily caused by a shift in the gun's relative position, either by turret traversal or by moving the entire vehicle. This is in keeping with real-world physics - a 20th century tank bouncing across a rocky field or swiveling the turret hurriedly cannot be expected to hit its target at long range, after all.
Conversely, a gun that is allowed to stay still reduces Bullet Spread almost immediately; the gunner is given time to zero in to the target as much as possible, ensuring a hit.
Now that we've gone through both topics, here are some do's and don'ts for increasing your accuracy and damage output in battle:
- Move your tank while firing at distant targets. The bullet spread will dramatically decrease your chances of hitting successfully.
- Turn your turret unnecessarily., as any movement increases the reticle slightly. If you have to track a moving target, do so gently.
- Allow time to stay still and aim whenever possible. Beware of enemy ambushes in contested areas however!
- Protect your gunner. An injured gunner permanently increases the base reticle size for the remainder of the battle. Remedy this by carrying and using a First Aid Kit consumable.
- Install optional equipment:
- Enhanced Gun Laying Drives will reduce aim-time by 10%. The reticle will therefore shrink in size faster than usual.
- Vertical Stabilizers will reduce accuracy penalties by 20%. The reticle's minimum size will therefore be smaller than usual.
- Improved Ventilation will increase over Crew Skills by 5%. Your gunner will reduce aim-time and increase overall accuracy of the gun slightly more than usual.