World Of Tanks Blitz (Free) manages to pull off the difficult task of capturing the essence of its much-loved PC counterpart, allowing you to get into some pretty tense tank battles with players from around the world. While it lacks many of the vehicles and most of the modes of the PC version, it’s still quite a deep game for a shooter, with a pace unlike most other games in its genre on iOS. The most important trait it adopted from the PC game is that you can enjoy a great gaming experience without spending a cent. I’ve been playing it a fair bit since its wide release a few weeks ago so, as usual, I’ve got some advice for players who are just starting out. Since this is a game which at its core is about teamwork, I’ve taken the unusual step of calling in a little field support from someone who has logged in countless hours on the PC version without dropping any cash: my son, Juon. We’ll be breaking the guide into a few different sections covering various aspects of the game.
Know your role. When you first start World of Tanks Blitz, you’ll have three tanks at your disposal. They all have relatively light armor, which makes them vulnerable but speedy. It may feel like you can’t do much against heavier tanks, but every member of the team has a role to play, and for new recruits, that role is usually scouting. You can also help out by trying to take out the treads on bigger tanks. The reason why it’s important to know what role you’ll be playing in the preparation phase is so that you know what kind of ammo to bring with you.
Bring the ammo you’ll need to play your role. Using the starting tanks, you’re going to be more focused on scouting and using your agility to run around the heavier tanks. Bring plenty of AP bullets and a handful of HE bullets for emergencies. Approximately 50 AP bullets and from 5 to 10 rounds of HE ammo should more than suffice for one round. As you move up to heavier tanks, you’ll want to bring more ammo, since you’ll likely spend more time in the heat of action.
Keep emergency consumables on hand. If you’re bringing along consumables, the best choices are the repair kit, which fixes any damaged equipment, the first aid kit, which heals injured crew members, and the fire extinguisher, which, well, puts out fires. The other consumables are useful, but these three tend to be vital. If you do bring along booster type consumables like cola, keep in mind that since they’re automatically used at the start of battle, you’ll have to pay every round you bring them along, which can get costly.
Light tanks are speedy, easily damaged, and are best used for scouting. They’re represented on the HUD by a solid diamond. All three of the starting tanks are of this type, and the best way you can help out if you’re driving one of these is to search out enemy tanks. Once you spot one, it puts that tank on the map for all of your teammates, a valuable service. The other advantage to a light tank is in its maneuverability. You can easily circle around behind heavier tanks and pop them in their rear where their armor is weaker. Once you get past a certain point in the tech tree, you won’t see many more light tanks, so they’re mostly meant for beginning players.
Medium tanks are the middle ground in all respects and can fill different roles in a pinch. They’re represented on the HUD by a diamond with one slice through it. You’ll unlock at least one of these pretty soon after starting, and depending on how you like to play, this might end up being your favorite kind of tank thanks to its versatility. You have to be careful since you can be outmaneuvered by light tanks and outgunned by heavy ones, but that’s the nature of the jack-of-all-trades.
Heavy tanks can soak up damage like no one’s business, but they are slower than a mule in molasses. Their symbol on the HUD is a diamond with two slices through it. It takes a while before you can unlock your first heavy tank, which is probably a good thing because they can be pretty tricky to use. A heavy tank’s job is to protect its teammates by attracting the enemy’s shots. This type of tank is very slow, and if someone takes out your treads, it won’t be long before they circle around to your weak points, so be careful.
Tank destroyers are exactly what they say on the tin. Their HUD symbol is an inverted triangle. These are a bit difficult to use for a beginner, since they’re quite weak in almost every respect. Their specialty comes in the heavy damage their cannon does to regular tanks. It’s best to think of these as snipers, and if you’re playing one, you should act as such. Hang back and find a safe place to fire from. A well-positioned tank destroyer can turn the tide of a match, but the other team is as aware of that as you will be, so play it very carefully.
Make good use of cover. No matter what your role is, cover is your best friend. Don’t go running out into open areas unless you’re trying to attract attention. Move from cover to cover, especially if you’re scouting. It’s not much good if you’re being spotted more than you’re actually spotting yourself. You’ll know if an enemy can see you if a lightbulb appears in the middle of your screen. If you see that symbol, get behind cover, fast.
Wait for the right opportunity to fire. If you see the enemy first, find some good cover, zoom in, and wait for a good shot. Depending on which tank you’re using and which tank you’ve targeted, you’ll want to aim at a different part of the enemy. Most of the tanks have a reload time long enough that if you miss a shot, you’re going to be at risk from retaliation before you can shoot again, so get back behind your cover as soon as you shoot.
Don’t go right for the base flag. Yes, this is capture the base, but since there’s only one base and both teams will be going for it, it’s better to find a good hiding place where you can see the base area. Let the enemy expose themselves and pick them off as best you can from a distance. Heading in there yourself is just asking to be the first victim.
Don’t waste shots on the front armor. Virtually every tank is hard to damage in the front, where its armor is thickest. The turret also usually has heavy armor on it, so don’t try to do a justice shot where you shoot their cannon. The sides and especially the rear are typically very vulnerable. Use the zoom feature to see which parts of the tank are weak. If a part is solid red, that means you won’t be able to penetrate it with your shots. If you’re in a light tank, take advantage of your agility. Conversely, be careful of your rear and flanks. Face front when you can, even when retreating.
If you’re in a pinch, remember, you don’t have to outgun your enemy if you can outrun them. Remember those HE bullets I told you to bring? Well, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re being outgunned by a stronger tank and you need to get out of there, change over to your HE rounds and try to take out the enemy’s treads. Doing so will cripple their mobility and give you a good chance to escape. Of course, the enemy might be packing a repair kit, so this isn’t a surefire plan. Remember not to turn your back to the enemy as you make your escape.
Stick with a buddy while you learn the ropes. When you’re new, there’s nothing wrong with sticking near another player so you can watch each other’s backs. Be careful you don’t get in the way, however. You obviously don’t want to block the other player’s line of fire, but also be mindful you aren’t blocking off their retreat, as well. There’s safety in numbers but tanks aren’t the most graceful of machines so you really have to pay attention to where your teammates might need to go.
Do not, under any circumstances, open fire on your own team. If you kill a member of your team, you’ll earn yourself a nice blue name, which means anyone on the field can attack you without penalty. Moreover, you’re likely to earn a ban from Wargaming. Accidents happen, but be careful. The consequences are dire. Similarly, if you see someone with a blue name, they’re an open target. Have fun chasing the fox!
If you’re killed, feel free to exit out and play using one of your other tanks. Whenever the game ends, you’ll still get your reward, so there’s no point sitting there watching your toasted tank when you could be getting into the thick of another round. Time is money, as the old saying goes, and it’s also experience points in this game.
Tech Tree Tips
Choose a line and specialize. The sooner you open up better tanks, the better, so it’s a good idea to choose one line and concentrate on it. American tanks tend to be balanced and a good choice for beginners. Russian tanks tend to be a bit faster but they have weaker armor. German tanks have very accurate guns and nice armor. You’ll also want to choose whether you want to focus more on medium or heavy tanks, or tank destroyers. That one is up to you.
Prioritize upgrades according to your playstyle. Like to play offense? Shore up your guns first. Plan on tanking with your tank? Then you’ll want better armor. Doing a lot of scouting? Improve your mobility. Choosing the right upgrades first can help you earn silver and experience at a beter pace, enabling you to move through the tech tree that much more smoothly. You’ll eventually want to buy every part for the tanks you like, while tanks you’re just using to earn experience can get by with just the parts you need.
There are two types of experience points. You’ll earn different types of experience as you play. One type is free, meaning you can apply it to upgrades for any tanks, while the other type can only be used for the tank that earns it. This means that you’ll have to buy pretty much every tank along the line you want to pursue, because to reach the next tank, you’ll have to earn experience with the one before it. If you max out a tank but still like using it, you do have the option of converting its experience points to free experience at a very unfavorable exchange rate.
That’s really just scratching the surface of World of Tanks Blitz, and with more updates to come, there’s sure to be a lot more to digest in time. For now, this guide should help you with with what might be the hardest part of the game, which is getting started. It might seem overwhelming at first, but if you stick with it, you can enjoy all the fruits of high level play without ever sinking in a dollar. Good luck!
Contributions to this guide were made by Juon Musgrave.