Know Your Tank: An Overview of Tank Types

World of Tanks features five distinct vehicle classes. Each one plays a unique yet vital role on the battlefield, and an expert tank commander will understand and master each class by learning all their important differences. To succeed in battle, it's necessary to appreciate the ways in which these machines operate. Read on for an overview of each vehicle class!

Light Tanks | Medium Tanks | Heavy Tanks | Tank Destroyers | Artillery

Light Tanks: Built for speed

Run-'n'-gun tactics definitely apply in a light tank

Light tanks () are faster than most other vehicles on the battlefield. In exchange, they tend to have weak armor relative to other vehicle types. As a result, their most important role is as a flanker or scout.

When in a light tank, you need to remember two key principles: keep moving and stay concealed. Remember: because you lack armor, almost any other tank is a threat, including enemy light tanks! However, the trade-off is you'll likely be one of the fastest vehicles in battle, and you must absolutely use this to your advantage.

Learn these basic principles early on, and you'll have a strong foundation to learn proper scouting techniques when you proceed to higher-tier battles.

Recommended for beginners:  III flag  M3 Stuart  ,  III flag  Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C  &  III flag  BT-7  

Medium Tanks: Jack of all trades

Medium tanks: the backbone of your team

In some ways, medium tanks () can best be described as a cross between light and heavy tanks. Medium tanks are often faster than heavy tanks but slower than most light tanks. Similarly, medium tanks boast stronger armament than most light tanks, but are overmatched against heavy tank weaponry for the most part.

When battling in a medium tank, the first task should be to survey the battle as it unfolds. Depending on numerous variables such as the map, composition of your team and the matchmaker, medium tanks might need to take up roles such as scouts, flankers, support-fire and even as brawlers. It all depends on the scenario!

Given these possibilities, medium tanks should be used as first-response units, where you can use your speed to help blunt an enemy flanking attack, your firepower to give an assault an extra effort, or your armor to help defend your base from an enemy assault.

Recommended for beginners:  V flag  M4 Sherman  ,  V flag  Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H  ,  IV flag  Matilda   &  V flag  T-34  

Heavy Tanks: The Bruisers

When in need, call in the heavy tanks

Heavy tanks () enjoy some of the toughest armor and can pump out serious firepower. For that reason, they're often considered the brawlers of the battlefield. Though less maneuverable than other vehicles, the heavy tank contributes through the unbridled distribution of damage output and absorption.

Naturally, heavy tanks match up well against other heavy tanks, and this action is quite a sight to behold. Often, the battle between heavies results in a small war of attrition where the team whose heavy tanks survive will benefit from the remaining firepower. Additionally, heavy tanks are most effective at controlling and pushing through choke points where tanks have only one route to an objective. Their tough armor and potent damage output allows them to "tank" key positions.

It's the job of the heavy tank to disrupt the enemy team, whether through bullying through brute force or merely appearing ominously at a strategic position.

Recommended for beginners:  V flag  T1 Heavy Tank  ,  VI flag  VK 36.01 (H)  ,  V flag  KV-1  &  V flag  Churchill I  

Tank Destroyers: Overwatch

Steady does it -- keep your eye on target!

The role of the tank destroyer () is unique in that they tend to lack an often-overlooked asset: a turret. They also come with varying differences in armor, mobility and armament. Some have speed comparable to light and medium tanks, and others have guns that often exceed the damage output of heavy tanks. Tank destroyers are as unique as the tankers who command them!

As you might guess, their namesake is apt, stemming from the massive, intimidating guns they're armed with. A well-aimed shot can put some pretty big dents in even the toughest armored foe. However, there is a catch -- the lack of turrets on tank destroyers means (for the most part) that they are succeptible to being outflanked.

Tank destroyers rely on their powerful armament to dictate the outcome of battle. As such, they can be considered the snipers of the battlefield. When played effectively, tank destroyers are absolutely ruthless; a well-positioned tank destroyer concealed on a vantage point can block an entire enemy advance. Tank destroyers are critical to any team’s success.

Recommended for beginners:  III flag  Marder II  ,  III flag  Valentine AT  &  III flag  T56 GMC  

Artillery: Force multiplier

You don't want to sit still with one of these on the enemy team!

Playing artillery (), also known as a self-propelled gun (SPG), requires discipline and patience. These vehicles enjoy some of the largest-caliber, strongest weapons in the game; however, the main role of artillery is always supportive. A good artillery commander will rely on his teammates -- particularly light tanks -- to reveal the enemy.

When you deliver surprise shells from above, it's imperative to not waste your shot! Watching a volley hit an enemy will put a smile on your face, but choose wisely -- large-caliber guns mean long reload times. Each shot reveals to nearby enemies that you're firing on them; as they scurry and hide, your ability to hit that target and affect the battle is drastically diminished if enemy targets are suddenly taking cover.

As artillery is most effective while hidden and at long distances, the use of a Camouflage Net is almost always imperative. Once the battle begins, remember to seek out and maintain a strong, but concealed, firing position, and be patient! You will need your teammates to detect enemies for you. It is often best to wait for the perfect shot, take it, and relocate to a new position to avoid potential counter-artillery fire. Otherwise, the enemy may deduce your position by spotting your tracers and move in for an easy kill.

Recommended for beginners:  II flag  SU-18  &  III flag  M7 Priest