You've earned some credits and experience in battles; now you can spend resources on upgrading your vehicles for greater combat performance. Learn what modules are; explore various ammunition, consumables and equipment, and don't forget about crew training! Finally, learn how to add new vehicles to your collection of combat machines.
Modules are essential basic elements of any vehicle.
Researchable modules fall into five types.
The gun is the module that serves as a vehicle main armament, which is generally mounted on a turret or, if there is none, directly onto the hull. Gun characteristics define the overall firepower of the vehicle.
One of the most essential modules. It carries the main gun; also in most cases, several crew members are seated in the turret. It is the only module that has armor and thus influences the vehicle's survivability. It also influences the vehicle's spotting abilities and Hit Points.
A track mechanism that determines traverse and movement speed, crossing capacity and load limit of the vehicle.
The module that sets the tracks into motion. Engine power determines the vehicle's acceleration and top speed. A direct hit can destroy the engine and set it on fire, which deals damage to the vehicle.
This module allows you to exchange information about spotted vehicles with your teammates. The greater the Signal Range of your radio, the better your ability to stay aware of enemy vehicles.
You can upgrade modules on any regular vehicle except for most Tier X vehicles. Why is that essential?
- Better modules enhance your vehicle's characteristics.
- To move to the next tier, you have to research a certain number of modules of the current vehicle.
- Vehicles with all modules and subsequent vehicles researched acquire Elite status. Combat Experience earned in an Elite vehicle can be either used to accelerate crew training, or converted to Free Experience.
You will need credits and experience to research new modules:
- Click Research in the upper-right corner of the Garage to access the current vehicle's Tech Tree.
The amount of Combat XP required to research modules is displayed on the unresearched modules. If you have enough Combat XP, the research cost is displayed on a green background.
- Click the cost and confirm researching. Now the module displays the purchase cost in credits.
- Click the purchase cost and confirm purchase. The module is automatically mounted on your vehicle.
When you first enter the game, your Tier I vehicles are equipped with standard armor-piercing shells, but these are not the only shells that you can use. Explore all the shell types and learn their main features. Knowing when to switch between shells will bring you better results on the battlefield.
Armor-piercing (AP) shells are the standard type of shell for most vehicles in the game. They deal their damage when they penetrate armor or hit a module.
AP shells are generally suitable for firing at vehicles of the same tier or lower, and at vehicles with moderate armor protection.
Disadvantages of AP shells:
- No damage if they do not penetrate
- Have a high chance of ricochet
- Penetration ability declines at long range
Some vehicles can be equipped with premium AP shells with better penetration or higher damage.
High-Explosive (HE) shells generally have a low penetration potential. However, if they do manage to penetrate a vehicle's armor, they are likely to cause heavy destruction, including critical damage. If they fail to penetrate the armor, HE shells explode on the armor surface, dealing (at most) a small amount damage and having a chance of breaking a module.
Therefore, on the one hand, HE shells can be a good choice against thinly armored targets that they can actually penetrate: light tanks, open-topped tank destroyers, and the like. On the other hand, they may also be your best option against extremely heavily armored targets, because doing a small amount of damage and perhaps breaking a module is better than doing no damage at all.
HE shells also deal splash damage, which can affect any target within their explosive radius. Typical tank rounds have a very small splash radius, but the massive HE shells fired by high-caliber tank destroyers and SPGs pack a large, powerful splash.
Disadvantages of HE shells:
- Low penetration rate
- Low damage if they explode on armor exterior
- Damage can be fully absorbed by armor
Some vehicles can carry premium HE shells with even greater splash damage. Some British guns can be equipped with special HESH shells with greater penetration.
Armor-Piercing Composite-Rigid (APCR) shells are the most common premium shell type in game. Their effect is similar to that of AP shells, but their speed and penetration are higher. However, their penetration drops off faster than that of AP shells at long ranges. And, like AP shells, they can ricochet if they hit an armor plate at an extreme angle.
Disadvantages of APCR shells:
- Low effectiveness when shooting at angles or at great distance
- High cost
These shells are used as standard ammunition for some mid- and high-tier vehicles.
High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) shells are a special type of shell with penetration much higher than that of AP and APCR types. HEAT shells don't lose penetration at distance and don't follow the standard principles of ricochet. Premium HEAT shells are great against heavily armored vehicles and at long range.
Disadvantages of HEAT shells:
- Often have no effect when hitting armor at high angles
- Detonate instead of passing through destructible objects
- High cost
These shells are used as standard ammunition for some mid- and high-tier vehicles.
Shells can be bought in the Garage.
- Click any ammo slot above the vehicle panel. The Service window is displayed.
- In the Ammunition section, use sliders to set the number of the shells you want the vehicle to carry.
Mouse over the type of shell to learn more about its characteristics.
- Click Accept and confirm the purchase. The ammunition is purchased and loaded into the vehicle.
Equipment is a category of additional systems that can improve a vehicle's combat characteristics and minimize its weaknesses.
All players can use Standard equipment, which is divided into Removable and Complex equipment types.
Removable equipment can be mounted on any vehicle and demounted at no cost for re-use. The removable equipment items are the Camouflage Net, Toolbox, and Binocular Telescope.
Complex equipment can significantly improve your vehicle, but these items are installed permanently and can be demounted for gold or with Demounting Kit. Some types of Complex equipment fall into different subtypes, suitable for particular vehicles: for example, Gun Rammers come in different types, depending on the caliber of the gun on which they can be mounted.
There is also Improved equipment, which provides a greater bonus to vehicle characteristics. To buy these items, you'll need bonds—a special currency that can only be earned in certain in-game activities. Improved equipment is of a Complex type and can be demounted for bonds only.
You can mount up to three items of Equipment on your vehicle. Equipment can be purchased in the Garage:
- Click on any empty equipment slot over the vehicle panel. A pop-up Equipment menu appears.
Mouse over an equipment item to learn more about its characteristics.
- Choose the equipment you want and click Purchase. The equipment is purchased and automatically mounted on your vehicle, and is then displayed in one of the equipment slots.
If you want to remove equipment from your vehicle, click the slot, then click Demount.
Use Consumables to repair modules, increase vehicle performance, heal crew members, and extinguish fires during battle. Consumables are cheaper than Equipment and work for any vehicle, but, if used in combat, they are gone at the end of the battle and have to be resupplied.
Consumables fall into two types:
- Standard consumables provide a limited effect, but they are quite cheap.
- Premium consumables are far more effective, but cost a significant sum of credits.
The Repair Kit, First Aid Kit, and Fire Extinguisher are reusable during a battle; when activated, the consumable has a 90-second cooldown, after which it is ready for re-use. You will have to resupply the consumable if you use it in battle, no matter how many times it was activated. All other consumables are activated automatically; they provide an effect within one battle and are gone at the end of it.
You can buy consumables right in your Garage:
- Click on any slot for consumables above the vehicle panel. The Service window appears.
- In the Consumables section, click any empty slot for consumables.
Mouse over the type of consumable to learn more about its characteristics.
- After you select the items you need, click Accept and confirm purchase. The consumables are loaded into your vehicle.
No vehicle can roll into battle without a crew. A well-trained crew enhances your battle performance and is a key to your success on the battlefield.
Crew members get experience after each battle and improve their major qualification—their basic function—on the vehicle. After their training in their major qualification reaches 100%, crew members can begin learning special perks and skills. An experienced crew can provide noticeable benefits to the functioning of the vehicle.
You've battled in your vehicle and upgraded it to the utmost; now are you ready to try out a new armored machine? It's time for you to explore the huge variety of Regular and Premium vehicles in World of Tanks.
Regular vehicles are the vast collection of vehicles, of different nations and types, available to all players.
Go to the TECH TREE tab in your Garage to view all nations and regular vehicles that exist in the game. Each nation is represented by at least one branch of vehicles from Tier I to X. On the TECH TREE screen, you can explore vehicle characteristics in detail and see research and purchase costs. Here you can also research and buy new modules and vehicles.
Premium vehicles are unique vehicles that you don't need to research. You can buy Premium vehicles with gold, get them as presents, win them in various specials, receive them as rewards for completing certain in-game missions, or buy in Premium Shop directly.
Premium vehicles provide a range of benefits:
- Boost Credit and Combat Experience earnings
- Carry Elite status by default, allowing you to accumulate Combat Experience that can be converted into Free Experience
- Allow the option of accelerated crew training
However, with all their economic benefits, Premium vehicles are not invincible and don’t have special advantage on the battlefield. Therefore, to get great income on Premiums you still have to be a skilled fighter.