Welcome to The Game Plan! Making your shots count is essential in any battle – a single shell could mean the difference between killing and being killed. If you’re looking for ways to significantly up your game, these simple yet effective tips from EL Gaming’s GuanRen will help you start putting your trigger finger to better use right away!
Common Marksman Mistakes & Tips
First, a quick introduction!
What led to the squad leader’s tragic death on the Himmelsdorf 8 line? Wherefore did the artillery all plunge to their fate in the river? How do premium tanks frequently come to run at a loss? By whose hand do the scouts repeatedly go to their undeserved deaths? Why does the frontline continually evolve into a site of disaster? When all your teammates are collectively trying to play hero, is this the work of man or of cruel destiny? What anguished secrets do the souls of the constantly betrayed conceal? Does this all stem from twisted humanity, or the ruin of morality? Could these mistakes actually be a stroke of genius, or simply a beginner’s folly?
- Aim your turret: Keep your turret pointed in the direction from which enemies are most likely to come. Enemy tanks can be as stealthy as snakes, and you can only attack in one direction at a time; if your turret is constantly turning aimlessly, then when you finally meet your foe, you will surely be the first to fall.
- Shoot with caution: Don’t fire at random before you meet an enemy, as you may give away your position. This is particularly true of lower-tier autoloaders; there’s nothing like emptying your clip indiscriminately to alert your opponents of your imminent arrival. All the better for them to prepare a special round of focus fire just for you!
- Know your arc of fire: Get familiar with your tank’s firing range – don’t simply take aim as soon as you see an adversary. Positions which you feel good shooting from are likely to be good spots for enemies to return fire! So start figuring out how high/far/at which angles your shells can travel: the places from which you can hit opponents aren’t necessarily those from which they can counterattack, and vice versa.
- Lower your gun sight: Using your gun sight can improve your accuracy, but it also limits your field of vision, so players who tend to leave it focused on one direction (while also forgetting to check the mini-map!) are likely to soon find their vehicle riddled with shell holes. Please feel free to use your gun sight when shooting, but remember to keep it off until then!
- Take the blind shot: Tanks are not ninjas – even if your enemy has vanished from your sights, you may still be able to hit him with a blind shot as he retreats, because he’s probably still within your range of fire. But if your opponent is a moving target, remember to gauge the necessary distance before shooting, or the result might be an unpleasant surprise.
- Cool guys don’t look at explosions: Once you’ve fired your shot, please lower your gun sight. What’s done is done, and whether or not you watch the shell hit (or miss) its target will do nothing to change the outcome. Many people seem to enjoy watching their shells strike their enemies, only to be targeted themselves the next moment! It only takes 3 seconds for the shot you’ve fired to light you up – plenty of time for your foes to have the pleasure of taking you down.
- Do the math: No matter the tank – even the high-accuracy German tanks – all shells need travel time, so when it comes to moving targets, your shells’ speed and your adversary’s travel speed must both be taken into account beforehand, otherwise you’ll soon find your shots eating the enemy’s dust.
- Not every shot will be golden: You don’t need to hit your opponent’s weak spots every single time. Some players are always holding their fire till they can get a clear shot on a vital point – by the time they do, the enemy is already out of sight. If you only have a fleeting shot at your foe, then please seize the opportunity to make it a good (and preferably armour-penetrating) one, before you go pondering whether it would be more enjoyable to destroy his engine or his ammo rack.
Even if the moment is right and you have plenty of time to line up your shot, you should still prioritise which critical parts to target first. If you’re in a slow-moving vehicle, and the enemy in question is a light tank, then your first objective should be to put his tracks out of commission – though very little damage may be dealt, this can put the initiative in your favour for a while. If your foe is in a powerful TD, and his weak spots are well hidden, then please send a round of HE raining down on his ammo rack – at the very least this will force him to expend a precious repair or first aid kit, which could very well be his downfall the next time he crosses your path.
- Premium ammo is not invincibility: Over-reliance on premium ammo is a very bad habit. Please remember that other than your own skills, nothing else is a given – only through practice can you truly become competent. Even the best players only start using gold shells once they’ve achieved proficiency, not the other way round.
- Go easy on the burst fire: This is World of Tanks, not World of Machine Guns. All guns take time to reload – they’re not machine guns; they can’t unload thirty shells at once, whether in semi or in bursts. Even the Waffenträger auf E 100 needs time to reload! Use this fact to your advantage – the biggest and most hard-hitting TD will still be vulnerable when his clip is empty, so time your attack to kick him when he’s down. After all, he who grasps the rhythm of battle will be master of life and death!