World of Warships on Windows:
World of Warships, commonly referred to as WOWS, is beautiful naval warfare simulator that pits teams of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and carriers against one another. Developed as a free to play game by Wargaming, this game leverages many of the concepts they created for World of Tanks and World of Warplanes but deploys them in a more thoughtful, cerebral fashion.
WOWS is an online-only multiplayer-only game who’s core gameplay revolves around naval warfare including firing artillery shells, firing torpedoes and (if you play a carrier) directing your fighters, bombers and torpedo planes safely to their targets. Each game round is 20 minutes or less, making any loss less painful and also a great game for those of us with limited or unpredicatble free time.
When first starting the game you will select a starting nation (and begin with the first tier cruiser). As you play you will be able to buy modules (improve abilities or performance of your boat), research upgrades (better range, longer range torps, improved hulls etc) as well as unlocking a new ship. After the first or second ship upgrade you will start getting the ability to move from the more general purpose cruiser line to destroyers, battleships and carriers.
Types of Warships:
What ship is best? Cruisers are generally the counter to destroyers, destroyers are the counter to battleships, battleships counter cruisers and carriers (with their massive ranges) are strong until they’re in range of the rest. I’ve described the ship class differences below but as Wargaming adds new nations and ship lines to the game there are always ships that blur those lines slightly.
Commonly referred to as a CA in game chat, these are the swiss-army knives of the fleet. CA’s are generally decently fast and have a good rate of fire meaning they can usually protect the rest of the fleet from a destroyer.
BW10G TIP: A great place to start and fun through tier 7 and 8.
Referred to as a DD in game chat, these are your fleet’s surgeons. DD’s lose the armor and gunpower of a cruiser while gaining additional speed, the ability to pop an obscuring cloud of smoke and mighty power of the torpedo.
BW10G TIP: While tricky to play, a good game in a destroyer can really make your day!
Referred to as a BB in game chat, these are your fleet’s tanks that even have a repair party “heal”. Lower top speeds, slower turning, these ships trade agility for massive guns that have a massive range with a lower rate of fire.
BW10G TIP: While the loss in speed is jarring at first compared to smaller ships, that first time you nearly one shot an enemy through their hull will remind you why this ship class is so popular.
Referred to as a CV in game chat, these are you fleet’s artillery. Capable of delivering bombs and torpedoes around the map while fending off an enemy CV with it’s own fighters, when carriers are present in the match the game will always play out differently. When playing as a carrier, the user’s screen is replaced with the tactical map form which they can set waypoint for their ship and direct their planes.
BW10G TIP: While I love playing with carriers on the map, the fact that the interface feels so different from the rest of the game leads me to not enjoying playing that role myself.
Once you’ve picked your ship, there are three primary game types:
Maximum Number of Players: 8 (8 per team; enemy team is entirely computer-controlled)
In a Co-operative Battle, a team of players face off against a team of computer-controlled bots. Bots are denoted by the colons before and after their names (such as “:Hipper:”). Credit and experience rewards earned in co-operative play are notably lower than those earned in Random Battles.
BW10G TIP: While I prefer to play game modes with exclusively human opponents, after you’ve just purchased a new ship this can be a good way to get your bearings. This is also a great place to retrain a captain you’ve switched from another boat or just to take a break from a string of losing matches… we all have those days 🙂
Unlocked at: Account Level 3
Maximum Number of Players: 24 (12 per team)
Random Battles are the most popular battle type in World of Warships. Captains are dropped into a game full of other players, according to the matchmaking system. The majority of Random Battles are 12v12 battles; however, occasionally the matchmaking software will create smaller games (such as 7v7 or 9v9). Players queue for Random Battles individually or in a team of up to 3 and are placed on teams randomly by the matchmaking system solely based on the tier and type of ship selected; player skill is not taken into account. Credit and experience rewards are greatly enhanced from Co-operative Battles.
BW10G TIP: You will spend a majority of your time in this mode.
Unlocked at: Account Level 12
Number of Players: 14 (7 per team)
Ranked Battles are only available at specific times and are restricted to certain tiers of ships. A typical “season” of Ranked Battles runs approximately 6-7 weeks, and involves players progressing up a ladder-style ranking system from a high rank (such as “Rank 20”) towards a low rank, with Rank 1 being the pinnacle of the ladder. Players queue for Ranked Battles individually and are placed on teams randomly by the matchmaking system, similar to how Random Battle matchmaking is done; however, Ranked Battle matchmaking is grouped such that players are teamed up with — and playing against — players of similar rank. Credit and experience rewards are equivalent to those earned in Random Battles.
BW10G TIP: Ranked battles generally require late tier ships that will take a new player a little while to unlock and gain skill using.
Requirements: CPU – Intel Core i3 or AMD six-core 3.5 GHz (AMD FX 6300) Graphics – Nvidia GeForce 460GTX (550 Ti) and higher OR AMD 250x, AMD 7770 and higher
Graphics: Visually, this is a beautiful game! Between the rolling oceans, tree dotted islands and detailed warships this game really delivers on the visual front; the first 3-5 minutes of each match is actually really relaxing and peaceful 🙂
Audio: Sound-wise, this game also excels. From the snipe shots of a destroyer, to a torpedo impacting a hull and the massive caliber shell of a battleship deleting a cruiser the sound design in this game is just supremely satisfying. Voice chat is also included for those who want to chat with their squad in game.
This has been my personal “go to” game for over a year, I love knowing that I can log in and play one or tow quick 20 minute rounds and progress in a meaningful way. I also like that because there are 4 different types of ships, 10 tiers and 3 game types (and multiple game modes for each map) that there is a lot of variety and variability in the game play.
That said, you will, on occasion, hate this game. Matchmaking and luck just isn’t a perfect science; you will sometimes hate the game after you are presented with some seemingly impossible matches or are deleted (blown up) near the start of a match due to a lucky shot… It happens… I’ve come to accept those things that aggravate me as a sign to play something else or just move to a lower tier for a while.
BW10G TIP: Lower tiers (1-4 especially) are much more casual than the games found at higher tiers. If you feel stressed or burned out just grab a low tier ship or start a new nation’s line of ships. Even though I mainly play my tier 7-9 ships, a couple rounds at 2 and 3 (where mistakes don’t matter so much) can be a ton of fun.
While completely free to download and play, Wargaming does offer some premium/paid services including:
50% more credits and experience in game across ALL Wargaming games. (BW10G TIP: Not mandatory but if you are trying to progress to later tier ships that may save you 10s/100s of matches to get there)
Premiums are unique ships not usually attainable by playing for free. In many cases these ships play slightly differently than an already existing ship (trading shorter gun range for higher fire chance, for example) but may in other cases offer something altogether unique. One of the bigger advantages a premium ship provides is that your captains from ships in the same nation can train on this ship more quickly without having to be retrained.
You are able to buy flags (one time use) that can increase stats, xp, income for a match. Flags can be useful when trying to access higher tier ships more quickly. Flags are also awarded when dying in fabulous ways (ammo cache detonating for example) and in the daily reward crates just for playing.
It’s free, it’s fun, looks great and you get to blow up warships with artillery, torpedoes, bombers and fighters. Solo or with a group this is a fun game to play.
You need to download this game!