Weigh Anchor: World Of Warships Plunges Into Open Beta


After invading land of air, World of Tanks and World of Warplanes developer Wargaming has launched the third arm of their attack against free-to-play wargames. World of Warships [official site] entered open beta today, letting all and sundry in to roam the seven years blasting the heck out of each other for funsies.

I’m still impressed that they’ve made mainstream a type of game that was once quite niche (not that they’re sims, but y’know what I mean), and even more surprised that they’ve got away with the World of Warthings naming. I suppose a gnome isn’t much match for a shell bigger than they are.

World of Warships sees players duking it out as four classes of swimming car: zippy destroyers, balanced cruisers, gun-laden battleships, and multi-role aircraft carriers. While mostly they’re just plain old ships, with different speed and armour and mixes of guns and whatnot, the carriers are an interesting idea. They can carry four types of AI-controlled plane – scouts, torpedo bombers, dive bombers, and fighters – to send out over the battlefield.

A lot’s similar to World of Tanks, from a gentle arcadey tone down to the tech tiers players level up through. And, of course, it’s a bit microtransaction-y. I haven’t played it myself so I couldn’t tell you how far it is. Any commenters fancy chipping in here?

You can download World of Warships from its site. Here’s the open beta launch trailer:


  1. Bodge says:

    Have played a fair bit of the open beta, those who are familiar with F2P models of WoT and WT will not be surprised by how the model works. Premium currency can get you premium time (increase credit and xp earning) that will allow faster progression. You can use it to purchase the premium vehicles that gain extra xp and credits per battle, nothing out of the ordinary. You can definitely compete on a free account and tiers are less discrete than in WoT a tier 6 taking down a tier 7 is more common for example.

    The game is pretty, sounds great and so far less frustrating than some games in the F2P paddock, at the moment perhaps it’s biggest issue from personal experience is how much random numbers can affect you when using the heavily armoured, hard hitting but slow firing battleships. They have also introduced premium consumables that have a significant affect on boat abilities and performance so it remains to be seen as to how controversial they will end up being.

    All in all, if blowing the crap out of other ships seems appealing then give it a try. The different classes offer several different ways to play and it is likely one will agree with you.

    • Asurmen says:

      How does shooting work? Do you choose elevation of guns and fire manually or is it something more automatic? Do you get feedback from your shots allowing you to adjust?

      • Mr Bismarck says:

        You zoom in to a sort of binocular view, then use your mouse to pick elevation and lead. The feedback from your shots is just staying in that view and watching for splashes. BB engagements can happen at a distance where your shells take ~17 seconds to reach the target, so missing isn’t unusual.

        A ship moving directly across you is pretty easy to hit, because everyone is usually going top speed and you get used to how fast that is for different ship types. A ship zig-zagging or varying speed, or turning away or toward you is harder, of course. Traverse speed is a thing, especially for IJN Destroyers, which are essentially torpedo boats with bad guns.

        The classes do play differently, especially the Carriers, (which is essentially a top down RTS), and due to spotting ranges, smoke and reload times, skilled DDs can comfortably live with Battleships and be useful to a side.

      • Bodge says:

        As bismark said you basically aim by distance and bearing with your guns by mouse aim. You have control over each turret, so you can fire them all together in a full broadside or one after the other for series fire. This video is pretty good at the basics – link to youtube.com

  2. Gibster says:

    I believe you meant to ask how “fair” it so I’ll try to answer that question. It pretty much works the same exact way that World of Tanks does it. Premium will boost your earned credits and XP by about 50%. Premium Ships range from 15$ to 40$ (depending on tier) and get boosted credit and xp earings (bassically good moneymakers). Make of it what you want, you can get deals though, a premium ship some gold and premium time all bundled together (right now you can get the HMS Warspite, 5k gold, and 30 days premium time for 30$). Interestingly, gold, premium time, and free xp (xp that isn’t tied to a specific vehicle) are shared across all World of Wargames on your acount. I think its fair enough, and their games are good enough for my time (World of Warships has been a blast for me recently).

    On World of Warships itself, I briefly took part in the Closed Beta Testing. Destroyers are the most exhilarating, agile and fast, they rely on manuverability as their main defence, they hit real hard with torpedos though. They’re also real stealthy (theres an ongoing joke about Destoryers and their “Cloaking Devices”). Cruisers are a personal favorite and they really are in between (fast firing guns that actually do damage and agile enough to dodge battleship shells). I imagine most people will go down this path, they’re pretty popular already. Battleships (or BBs) are a hard one. They have thirty second reloads (putting food in the microwave in between salvoes) but can hit as hard torpedos (if they hit*).

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    Lol, it’s much more arcade than what you are thinking. This is a third person “slow” action game. You put the crosshair where you want to fire, you press LMB. Done. The only thing you have to adjust for is the time travel of the projectile, as you have to fire at the future position of the enemy.

  4. jasta85 says:

    I will say that even though premium ships definitely could seem P2W (and some of the premium ships are very good) this game does rely quite a bit on skill so a player in a regular ship can absolutely destroy a premium ship player if he’s better.

    I will say that the grind is definitely real, after Tier 5 you will definitely feel the amount of games that you have to play to get exp and credits for a new ship, and I say that as person who has a premium account and gets that exp/silver bonus. But the game is still quite fun around the mid tiers

    I am looking forward to farming all the open beta noobs who immediately jump into premium ships at mid to high tiers hehe

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Wonder if this means WARRR Thunderrr will be trying to add naval battles now.

  6. Bodge says:

    It is probably not important for some people but accounts are only valid for a single region and there are separate client installs for EU and US so plan accordingly (Yes this sucks).

  7. Admiral666 says:

    How does this compare to Navyfield?

    • Admiral666 says:

      And I mean Navyfield 1, not the botched sequel. And, while we’re at it, any recommendations on games similar to the original Navyfield? Sank a lot of time into that game back in the day.

      • Osi says:

        I played it at PAX AU 2014, havent played it since but it isnt like navyfield 1 at all :(
        It uses a quasi first person perspective to aim at ships off in the distance.

        I didnt find it anywhere near as satisfying as the skill of NF1’s grouping and trajectory estimation.

        Miss NF1, wish there was a modern version that didnt suck :(

  8. Lyon says:

    There is some talk about how simple the aiming is in here, but I’d argue it’s more complicated than how the projectiles work. If you just get yourself into position to shoot at the nearest enemy as quickly as you can you probably won’t float for very long. The shooting is simple enough but the positioning of your ship is key. If you and a team mate can concentrate your fire on one target whilst using land mass or distance to protect yourself from other ships you might do quite well. It sounds simple until you’re having to constantly check your positioning and speed and enemy movements and firing solutions.

    It’s not just about how the artillery works either, I mostly stick to Japanese Destroyers. They’re small, agile, hard to spot, have rubbish guns but great torpedoes. This is all about position, getting close enough to your enemy, firing torps and getting out of there before you are spotted. I can’t describe how satisfying it is when you pull off a move like that. is one of the most satisfying kill streaks I’ve ever had in a competitive video game.

    It might be a bit grindy to get the the top tiers on a free account, but who cares? Mid tier is where I am and I’m having a great time.

  9. mariandavid says:

    It is a lot more sophisticated in terms of shooting than the ‘arcade’ comment above: You have to decide on HE or AP and since the latest update armour quality versus shot penetration has much improved (shoot cruiser AP at a battleship and watch your rounds bounce off); then you have to open arcs for maximum broadsides – and with a BB it can take over a minute for your main turrets to rotate; of course you have to lead shots, which is trickier when firing at a close DD than a distant BB; finally the aim is to hit an enemy ‘citadel’ in effect its magazines and engines and of course using the right ammo against it.