How to Play: Light Tanks

The variety of vehicles in World of Tanks may seem overwhelming at first, but learning their differences is fairly straightforward. Everybody starts off with light tanks (except the British lines), so it's often the first class everybody attempts to learn how to play. Like other vehicle classes in World of Tanks, however, battling with light tanks is all about playing to its strengths, and trying to minimize its weaknesses.

What Makes a Light Tank?

Speed! Light tanks generally favor mobility over armor. Compared to the other vehicle classes, light tanks have plenty more to worry about -- one wrong move and they can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Light tanks could be considered the ballet dancers of the battlefield: nimble yet fragile; focused yet excited.

Leverage your mobility to outmaneuver big and slow foes

Your initial tier I and II battles will be a chaotic rumble of new players and seasoned tankers. Most vehicle classes at low tiers aren't greatly defined, but once you enter tier III or higher, you'll really need to identify and play to your vehicle's strengths!

Know Your Role and Shut Your Hatch

When entering a battle, develop a habit of looking at the composition of your team, and the enemy's. With light tanks' mobility, they're greatly relied on to be the eyes of the team, especially at higher tiers. Their ability to sprint towards the front to concealed vantage points and reveal enemy positions is absolutely vital to the whole team's success. This practice is known as scouting, and although it takes patience to fully learn, it's a tactic that must be developed to properly play mid- to high-tier light tanks.

The primary role of light tanks is providing reconaissance.

Technically, any vehicle in the game can detect enemies, but the inherent advantages of light tanks in regards to their size and speed make them the first and best candidates for the job. Their natural view range is typically better than other vehicle classes (and can be further boosted with equipment), and they have an easier time hiding behind foliage, hills and other obstacles due to their small size.

But, as mentioned, light tanks don't wear much armor. Because of this, scouting is best done a little at a time, moving from place to place on the field, hiding properly, spotting any enemies you can, and moving on to the next safe area.

Play to your Strengths

When entering battle, take note of your advantages that you might have depending on your vehicle class and composition of your team. Play to your vehicles strengths, and try to minimize your weaknesses. 

Light tanks come in a variety of styles

Know your strengths:

  1. Speed
  2. Camouflage values
  3. View range

If you're a speed demon at heart, then light tanks are the way to go! Whether you're preparing to outmaneuver an enemy, or need to perform a hasty retreat, don't hesitate in "turning on the jets" to accomplish your objective. Light tanks tend to have an excellent power/weight ratio, and with their high top speeds, they are able to launch themselves up terrain that would be too steep for heavier tanks.

Camouflage affects how likely you are to be detected by an enemy. Light tanks come with excellent camouflage values when compared to other vehicles, and while other classes see a drop in their camouflage value when moving, light tanks do not! This distinct advantage allows light tanks to swiftly and stealthily relocate across the front lines in search of vantage points.

Light tanks also tend to have above-average view range, allowing them to detect enemies that might still be moving into position. A light tank with excellent view range and camouflage values is best suited at detecting enemies from the frontlines for your team. If at any moment you feel that your position is exposed, turn on the jets and relocate to another, concealed vantage point!

TO scout or not to scout

You're not always going to get one over on the enemy; someone, in some battle, will eventually find you in your hiding place. This is why scouting is not the same as camping, and why light tanks have the least relaxing role on the battlefield. But you're here for the thrill of it, right?

While scouting, resist the urge of firing your gun, lest you be revealed.

This is where knowing your immediate surroundings is most crucial. Try not to focus on going to just one known vantage point, because if you find it popular, chances are seasoned enemies know it as well.

While concealed and scouting, be careful of firing your gun at exposed targets. Remember, it's your job as a scout to detect enemies for your allies to deal damage. By firing your gun, especially from the front lines, you increase your chances of being detected and thus, being counter-attacked. One of the toughest things for new scouts is knowing when it's safe to fire their weapon!

Light as a Feather

Playing in a light tank opens up opportunities that the rest of the vehicle types can't enjoy, from seeing distant enemies to simply zipping around the battlefield thumbing their proverbial noses at enemies. If you enjoy seeing the action up close, and don't mind sacrificing a bit of firepower for it, look at spending some extra time in a light tank!