Note:I do know there is a tutorial in the game itself and to most people this guide is useless but this guide is for very new players.
So first when you want to start playing you must choose a nation and a tank or plane path to choose. This mainly depends on your play style and if you want a plane or a tank. I won't be talking alot about planes since i personally don't use them alot and don't have experience with them.
The differences in the nations is that:
Germany:Mainly heavy,medium,tank destroyer and anti aircraft vehicles.The heavies have strong armor and medium guns,the mediums are like the heavies but with a little more speed and less of the heavy-ness,the anti-aircraft vehicles are well..anti aircraft,the tank destroyers have high damage and penetration but a pretty low rate of fire and decent to good armor.
USSR:Mainly fast and small,with medium penetration.USSR has some of every kind of vehicle.The lights:Great speed,no armor,medium penetration,the medium tanks have good armor,medium speed and medium penetration,the heavies have greatly angled and thick armor,low tiers have weak armor and they all have decent penetration and almost the same speed as the mediums.
USA:Has light tanks,alot of mediums and not alot of heavies and tank destroyers.Light tanks are about the same as USSR's,the mediums have good armor,good penetration and medium speed,heavies have good armor,low-ish speed and about the same penetration as the mediums.
Britain:Has light,medium,heavy,tank destroyer and anti-aircraft tanks.The light tanks have a high rate of fire,very high speed and little armor,the mediums are with good armor,low-ish speed and good penetration,the heavies have good armor,low speed and good penetration,
the tank destroyers have medium armor,medium speed,great penetration.
Now,let's talk about penetration,probably the most important thing in War Thunder. To penetrate a tank you need to have a shell penetration higher than the enemy tank's armor thickness (for example 50 mm penetration can easilly go through 40mm of armor).
To destroy an enemy tank you have to either:Blow it up by destroying some of its parts (engine,fuel tank etc) or by killing all of its crew members. This is usually quite easy to do at least in lower tier battles which means that when you go against an enemy the fight doesn't last for very long so in lower tier games the main key is to have a high rate of fire+penetration.
So,now,finally on to the tanks you should choose. Probably the best tanks to get when you start would be either some german or british heavy tanks or lights depending on what playstyle you like more. German tank destroyers are also pretty good as in the lower tiers they can often destroy an enemy with just one to three shots.
Thank you for reading.
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