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World of Warships

World of Warships is an arcade naval MMO, pitting players against each other in open seas arenas. Command a vast arsenal of ships, unlocked through tech upgrades, and fire artillery, torpedoes, and other weapons of war at enemy ships to secure victory.

Publisher: Wargaming
Playerbase: High
Type: Arcade Naval Combat
Release Date: July 02, 2015
Pros: +Various ships to captain. +Detailed ships and graphics. +Tactical gameplay.
Cons: -Ship balancing issues. -Slow combat may not appeal to some players. -Limited game modes.



World of Warships Overview

World of Warships is an online naval arcade MMO developed by Wargaming. Become captain of a 20th Century vessel and engage in exhilarating combat within the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. While an arcade game, navigating your warship closely mirrors naval vessels, forcing players to plan strategically before thrusting their ship into the midst of combat. Look through your periscope to line up volleys of artillery shots at players, predicting where enemy ships will move to maximize damage. A tech tree features a huge library of military ships to be researched and purchased given enough experience. Sail ships from multiple countries, based on historical vessels employed in conflicts around the world and blueprint prototypes. Ship modules can be improved through research, increasing your vessels durability and firepower to rule the high seas. Employ an arsenal of weaponry, from torpedoes to smokescreens, to manipulate the battlefield tactically and take command of the seas.

World of Warships Key Features:

  • Large catalog of varying ship types to captain - battleships, cruisers, and destroyers offer unique ways to attack enemies.
  • Ship mechanics - arcade steering movement forces you to tactically consider your ships speed and positioning.
  • Tech trees - unlock new ships and module upgrades by collecting experience from playing games.
  • Highly detailed vessels - each ship in the game features model-like intricacies based on real historical ships or blueprints.
  • Tactical game play - command your ship with strategic planning and employ an arsenal of weaponry, from torpedoes to smokescreens, to effectively eliminate opponents.

World of Warships Screenshots

World of Warships Featured Video

Full Review

World of Warships Review

By, Sean Sullivan

I haven’t played a fun naval arcade game since the PSX submarine shooter In The Hunt. But now I’ve emerged from the underwater bullet hell to captain an enormous vessel in World of Warships. WoWS has excited my interest for some time. It’s the first arcade 20th Century naval game I’ve seen, tucked neatly into Wargaming's “World of…” franchise. And it’s quickly become my favorite vehicle arcade game from Wargaming. Does World of Warships float in the shooter arena, or will it ultimately wait in some trench for James Cameron to unearth?


Navigating your ship is simple, and it's a wonder why any vessel has a crew when a captain could just use a QWERTY keyboard. “W” and “S” control the speed of your ship, while “A” and “D” control your movement, left and right. Your ship takes time to respond, so you have to calculate your movements tactically; you can’t accelerate and decelerate wildly. Nor can you make sharp turns like its World of Warplanes. Movement is inebriated—hard turns are impossible and if the developers wanted to mess with players they would have included capsizing as a consequence. It takes time to get used to, as you navigate the blubbering tonnage of steel across the seas, avoiding collisions with scattered islands and enemy fire. But once habituated, the seemingly lethargic movement immerses you as the captain of a military ship. And you don't have to constantly worry about where your bow is pointed on the high seas.

By pressing “M” you can bring up your map and turn on autopilot, allowing you to chart a predesignated course. The more I played, the more helpful I found auto navigation. It can be used tactically to steer you into cover, while you worry about aiming a fusillade at enemy ships.

Fire At Will

Firing artillery across kilometers of tumultuous seas and sending an enemy into an inferno of flames is intensely satisfying. In WoWS you don’t aim directly at an enemy ship, but fire where you expect your enemy's trajectory to take them. Using the mouse-wheel you can adjust the camera to zoom in through your periscope, and line up shots. Depending on how far a ship your crew will take a moment to calculate distance before you’re able to fire, so you can’t switch from 4KM targets to 8KM targets instantly. Imagine if you had to do the math to angle your artillery yourself? Navigating island terrain, and sinking stagnant sniper ships who dropped anchor too soon is a pleasure as you fire off a salvo. And it’s intently satisfying when your barrage barrels into the port, brow, or starboard of an opposing ship.

But, while World of Warships is an arcade naval simulator combat is more slow paced than some players may be used to. Circumnavigating Atlantic islands takes time, reloading your cannons takes time, and sometimes meeting enemy ships takes time. But the somewhat slow-pace creates a nearly unbearable sense of tension in the midst of a firefight. As you watch timers tick down until you can fire again, you’ll cross your fingers that the destroyer in your sights misses the next volley, so you can sink his ship with everything in your arsenal.

The open seas evoke a sense of vulnerability as you patrol, looking to spot an enemy before they sight you. Using terrain as cover and keeping your distance without being ganked is key to returning to port. But there’s an enormous amount of inertia behind steel beasts, prohibiting you from popping out of cover, firing, and taking cover once again. World of Warships is at the opposite end of the shooter spectrum from games like Counter-Strike. Once your ship is moving it can’t easily turn around; it’s going to keep going. Emerging from behind cover puts you in danger, but its the only way to land a kill. So you have to set up way points using the map, and alter your ship's speed to trick enemies into firing early or late.

And keep in mind, this is not a realistic simulator. It in no way depicts actual naval combat. So, there are quite a few balancing issues as the developers polish the game. Whenever a game has an enormous library of weapons and play styles it becomes excruciatingly difficult to create a fair experience. World of Warships is still in beta, so developers working with an active, and dedicated community, will hopefully iron out the kinks before launch.

Distracted By A Pretty Sunset

While your ship is engulfed in an unholy conflagration due to a wrong move, you may notice the beautiful seas. World of Warships is not graphically groundbreaking, but the Big World engine is capable of rendering some breathtaking views. Azure oceans lull along, until your ship slices through them—a wake dispersed with ease. The lighting effects and streaming clouds make WoWS's world looks like a painting, and it’s particularly enjoyable as you spend the first few minutes navigating to a fight. Ships have sharp detail, where even the fire extinguisher looks like it was carefully modeled. As it becomes battered the ship's steel will char and age so it looks more appropriate at the bottom of the sea, foreshadowing your destruction. Fire effects are beautiful, and urge a sense of panic when it's your ship engulfed in flames. The vessels feels like toys in some kids bathtub, as he imagines an epic battle from World War I. And that juvenile expression accentuates the game’s arcade presentation.

The sound effects are particularly well done. Artillery fires with force, an oomph that echos. When they hit your ship, it hurts; you feel the brunt of the blast. And when you retaliate by firing, the alarm sounds to alert your crew—a subtle touch that adds to the intensity of the battle. As your crew desperately puts out the flames of a direct hit, an epic orchestral crescendo plays, fit for an Indiana Jones action sequence. I believe one song included a warlike didgeridoo that distracted me with how ominous it made the clash of the toy ships seem. It turns out the didgeridoo was the last sound my crew heard before joining their comrades in the reef below.

Engineering Victory

As should be expected from a War game, there is an expansive tech tree, with Aircraft carriers, Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers available to sail. And, of course, premium ships for players with cash to spare. Unlocking new ships takes time. As you play a particular ship you accumulate experience, translating into research points towards another vessel. Once researched, you can buy a ship with Exchange Credits—points earned for completing matches. Or, you can opt to buy new ships with aptly called Dubloons, WoWS's cash currency. The same credits can be used to buy modules and improve your ships loadout, upgrading your Main Battery, the Hull, and Engine, among other parts. Equipping a new module requires researching the upgrade first (always with the research), then allowing you to purchase and mount the module with exchange credits.

Every ship has its own stats and play style as well. My second ship, the Japanese Chikuma, has heavier artillery and AA guns for sneaky planes. While the Myoko cruiser is able to launch torpedoes to bust a hull in enemy ships. Other ships have better concealment, protecting them from watchful players gazing at the horizon—masking their ship's presence. Each ship presents its own advantages and disadvantages, and caters to particular play styles; whether that be a speedy destroyer or long range sniper. But it'll take some time before you're able to experience each ship, as you grind out research and credits to upgrade.

Sailing The Seven Seas

As it is in beta, the only current game mode is a salad bowl of capture the flag and Team Deathmatch. And there are a couple of maps at the time of this writing. Since combat takes place on open waters, the maps are essentially big fields with pockmarked structures to add a strategic element. But I do look forward to seeing more variety in future updates, as it does become stale. Stormy seas and glacial environments with ice that moves like clouds to add a new obstacle for players would be welcome. If you're looking to switch up your gameplay you can choose to join a clan, called a Division. They can only consist of three people, so if you have a fourth friend it's time to move on. Division fights function as deatmatches for glory and domination of the seas.

Final Verdict - Great

World of Warships is a great game, with satisfying combat and movement physics that make each kill feel like a deserved victory. And beautiful scenery with fantastic sound effects and music that's a mimesis of Flight of the Valkyries creates an engaging experience. While some balancing issues between ships will have to be negotiated by developers, it does not deter from casual gameplay. It's undoubtedly unique in the growing surplus of military vehicle shooters. World of Warships will sail for some time as one of the better pick-up-and-play games.


World of Warships Screenshots


World of Warships Videos

System Requirements

World of Warships System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU: Core2 Duo E6750 (Pentium 4 2.4GHz or Athlon XP 3100+)
Video Card: GeForce 9600GT (512 Mb) / GeForce 6800 GT or Radeon X800 GT
Hard Disk Space: 30 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU: Core2 Quad Q8200
Video Card: GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024 Mb
Hard Disk Space: 30 GB


World of Warships Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon...

Additional Info

World of Warships Additional Information

Developer(s): Lesta Studio, Wargaming
Engine: BigWorld

Head of Game Design: Peter Poray-Koshits
Development Director(s): Danny Volkov
Composer(s): Artur Tokhtash
Art Director(s): Anton Oparin

Announcement Date: August 16, 2011
Alpha Launch: November 14, 2013
Closed Beta: Marsh 12, 2015
Open Beta: July 02, 2015

Release Date: July 02, 2015

Development History / Background:

World of Warships is developed by international MMO developer Wargaming. The game was announced on August 16, 2011, and was originally titled of World of Battleships. It was renamed on August 2, 2012 to more accurately reflect the game’s core essence according to Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi. During the 2014 Tokyo Game Show Kislyi announced a collaboration between World of Warships and the anime Arpeggio of Blue Steel, but not further details have been released. Open beta testing for World of Warships began on July 02, 2015. It joins sister games World of Tanks and World of Warplanes as part of Wargaming’s military vehicle franchise.