World of Warships is currently in closed beta, and we were lucky enough to get in on the action and participate in some naval warfare. Developed by Wargaming, World of Warships follows in the footsteps of World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, both hugely popular in their own right.

Today we're sticking to the water, providing you with some tips on a game that is sure to scratch an itch we've had for some time. Tank battles are cool and so are dog fights in the sky, but World of Warships will provide the naval warfare chaos that we've craved.

Basic Ship Terminology

One of the most important aspects to any game is communication with your team, made up of strangers or friends on TeamSpeak. In World of Warships, that starts with getting the terminology right, and we collected a few of the common naval terms you should become familiar with. For these to make sense, you need to imagine standing on the deck of the ship, facing the front.

  • Starboard: Right side
  • Port: Left side
  • Bow: Front
  • Stern: Back
  • Hull: Part in the water

Lead Your Targets

We'll be sure to continue with some additional tips that are more specific to the weapons and mechanics in World of Warships, but for today we want to keep it basic. That starts with telling you to lead your targets. Some of the shots that you'll have to make are from crazy distances, and if you don't fire where the enemy ship is going to be, you'll miss. Depending on distance and speed this will change every engagement, but like anything, patience and experience will pay off.

Use the Terrain

World of Warships Combat Screen

Again, this is a simple tip, but we're big fans of giving you the concepts and then letting you mold them into your own personal playing style. Still, using the terrain to break line of sight with your attackers is key. We're talking about huge military ships here, and they don't exactly turn on a dime. If you're facing off with an opponent who has you dead to rights and outgunned, try to put a physical barrier between the two of you, using the environment as a makeshift shield.

Surviving Naval Combat

Here is where our key of common naval terms will help you understand what we're talking about, although you should also use them when you communicate with teammates.

During battle you will get shot at, and the most common mistake players make is to ignore protecting themselves in the interest of offense. That's a good way to end up at the bottom of the ocean.

If you find yourself in combat (which you will... constantly), do your best not to present your foe with your starboard or port side, instead trying to make yourself a smaller target by presenting your bow or stern. Good opposition will still be able to put shots on you, but you don't need to make their job easier by presenting your ship as if it were the broad side of a barn.

Putting It All Together

Being successful in World of Warships is about taking many little bits of information and putting it together in a complete strategy. This article is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a start. It's designed to help you understand the basic terminology and communication, and provide you with the basic concepts that will serve you well in any battle. In the future we'll break down which ship is the best for your play style, as well as more in-depth concepts and mechanics. For now, however, try to keep these tips in mind whenever you play World of Warships.