World of Tanks Beginners' Guide: Garage, Crew, and Battle Management

Learn how to properly manage your garage, crew and battles in our World of Tanks guide for beginners.

World of Tanks is a free-to-play MMO tank simulator set in the times of World War 2, developed by The main concept of World of Tanks is based on tank battles in the PvP mode. The game is hugely popular around the world and is one of the major players in the global e-sports arena.

But, besides the tasty event prizes, World of Tanks is an excellent tank simulator in its right and you will have tons of fun with it just by playing at home. However, at first you may find the game mechanics and the whole management system a bit too complicated. Don’t worry! This guide is specifically designed to provide easy entrance into the World of Tanks for beginners.

There is a lot to this MMO, indeed. That’s why it’s important to start with the most basic features, such as Game Settings and Garage Management.

Don't Neglect the Game Settings

world of tanks guide

The first thing you want to do, after you’ve downloaded and installed the game on your PC from the official game website, is properly manage your game settings.

The game starts in a windowed mode, so you have to click on the settings icon in the top left corner of the window. Go to the Graphics tab and choose fullscreen mode and the proper resolution for your screen.

You can also experiment with Controls or settings under the General tab titled Battle Interface, which allow you to add or remove certain effects within the game. But for now, it is recommended that you leave everything by default. Later, as you gain more experience, you will know what features you want to use and which ones you want to get rid of.

At the bottom there’s a nice feature - Battle Recording, which saves the replays of your last battle at the following directory “World_of_Tanks\replays” on your hard drive.

Garage Management

world of tanks guide

Garage is the place where you manage your tanks. You begin with seven Tier 1 tanks and another free slot for a premium tank, which you can buy with real money.

Tier 1 tanks

There are seven nations presented in World of Tanks: USSR, Germany, USA, France, UK, China, and Japan. Each nation has tanks of different classes divided between Tier 1 and Tier 10. Here are your first 7 Tier 1 tanks (click here for the complete list of tanks):

  1. USSR: MS-1 - the first Soviet mass-produced light tank.
  2. Germany: Leichttraktor - has four prototypes with different armament, crew, weight, and suspension features.
  3. USA: T1 Cunningham - created by James Cunningham in 1928. Various modifications of the tank were tested but never saw mass production.
  4. France: Renault FT - World War I tank, also used in World War II.
  5. UK: Vickers Medium Mk. I - the first British tank to carry the gun in a rotating turret, developed by Vickers in 1922.
  6. China: Renault NC-31 - a modification of the Renault FT-17 tank featuring a soft ride suspension and a fanged rubber track. Along with an upgraded engine, it can achieve 16 km/h.
  7. Japan: Renault Otsu – was developed in France as an upgraded modification of the Renault FT. The Japanese tanks were slightly upgraded and were widely used both in training and action campaigns.
Tank management and upgrading

For now, let’s take a look at the T1 Cunningham, an American light tank. If you click on the tank icon below, you will notice another row of smaller icons above showcasing modules currently equipped on this particular tank.

  • If you hover a mouse cursor over the first module indicating a gun, you will see a pop-up describing the features of your tank’s gun, such as Rate of Fire (rounds per minute), Avarage Penetration and Avarage Damage (types of ammo), Aiming Time, Weight, etc.

world of tanks guide

  • The Research button in the upper right corner shows the full development tree of your tank: everything that is equipped currently and other elements to be equipped in the future. In order to open a module, you need a certain amount of experience points, which you earn in the battles. Then, you need to equip these upgraded modules, which you can purchase for in-game credits.

world of tanks guide

  • If you press on the American flag in the upper left corner, you’ll be sent to the menu showcasing all American tanks subdivided into Tiers. You will notice that T1 Cunningham is the first in the list.

Back on the main Garage menu screen you will find the Service button below in the center, just right above the tank modules.

  • Open the Service Menu and be sure to check all the boxes next to Repairs, Ammunition, and Consumables to be automatically resupplied, for convenience.

world of tanks guide repairs

  • If you decide to purchase premium ammo, then change the settings to in-game credits instead of the gold. You can buy ammo, repair kits and other stuff at the in-game store, available from the main menu.

Crew Management

world of tanks crew

There are five types of crew members: Commander, Gunner, Driver, Radio Operator, and Loader. They all have their respective responsibilities and a complete basic training. However, each new crew member will have only 50% training completion rate, so you will eventually have to invest in them.

The Crew
  1. Commander spots all enemy vehicles. The Commander's degree of Proficiency directly affects his View Range skill. The better Range Skill he has, the greater the distance at which he can spot an enemy. Commander also adds 10% bonus experience to the rest of the crew members.
  2. Gunner aims and fires the tank's main gun. His Proficiency directly affects the aiming speed, targeting, the accuracy of each shot, and the turret rotation.
  3. Driver drives and maneuvers the vehicle. His Proficiency directly affects maneuverability, acceleration, speed, resistance, and hull rotation speed.
  4. Radio Operator manages communication with allies. By having him on board, you will be able to communicate with any allied tank within your range. This gives you a huge advantage and overall situational awareness, which can be crucial for the outcome of the battle.
  5. Loader manages rounds in your tank’s main gun. He can quickly load the gun, and the higher his Proficiency, the faster the gun reloads.

If one of your crew members gets killed during a battle, you will notice that his responsibilities are still being carried out, but much slower and with a lot less accuracy. This is important to understand and take into account, as your Tier 1 light tanks have free sits only for two of your crew members.

Crew Upgrades

To upgrade your crew members, you need to right-click on the crew member icon at the main menu and choose Personal File option.

world of tanks guide

You will see different tabs, but the one you’re looking for is Skills. There are different types of Skills and Perks you can upgrade. You need to know that Skills take effect as soon as the training begins, but Perks take effect only after the training is fully completed.

  • Your first upgrades should be Camouflage and Repair, and assign these two Skills to all of your crew members, as they are very important. The most important Perk for your Commander is Sixth Sense.
  • You can accelerate the process of training by purchasing or receiving a Tier 2 premium tank as a gift. The Tier 2 tanks add 50% more experience points to your crew during battles. All you have to do is choose the option Accelerate Crew Training located above the list of your crew members in the main menu.

 Battle Management

world of tanks battle

Now you are ready to enter the battle. Just press the big red button on top of the screen that says “Battle” and start your first 15 vs. 15 standard match-up.

  • As soon as the battle begins, in the upper right corner you will notice a countdown. If you don’t destroy all enemy tanks or capture the flag by the time it hits the deadline, then the battle will end with the draw result.
  • On your screen you can also see a complete list of all players and their tanks. You can manage these contacts (adding to friends, blacklisting, etc.) by right-clicking a certain player’s thumbnail.

world of tanks contacts

  • You can use chat to give commands by pressing Enter on your keyboard, which enables the chat window, and then, pressing functional buttons to quickly assign various tasks.
  • In the lower left corner of the screen, you will see your tank’s orientation and the current health status indicated by the green line above. If you need to heal your Commander, you can press “1” on your keyboard.

world of tanks tank health

  • In the lower right corner, there is a mini-map. The bigger the map you choose to play, the more blind spots you will have on your mini-map, so choose smaller maps in the beginning.

world of tanks minimap

  • Press “F1” during the battle to activate a help menu with all the available commands and their respective hotkeys in case if you forgot them, or simply weren’t aware of.

This should be enough for now. You will notice a lot of other small details during your gameplay sessions, but the main goal here is to play as much as you can. This will give you a personal experience and let you decide how to manage garage, crew and battles in your own special way.

Come back soon for more awesome World of Tanks guides at Gameskinny!


Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin. Sergey doesn't own consoles because a PC is all he needs.

Published Oct. 29th 2015

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