Here are a couple of tips and tricks that will help you and your team succeed when you’re playing as a tanker.
This whole guide assume you are using the A7V Heavy assault tank version. Why because it is the best tank for team oriented gameplay. There are 3 version of the A7V:
- Assault – High explosive primary gun and smoke screen
- Breakthrough – AT primary gun and supplies package
- Flamer – High explosive primary gun and gas grenade with flamethrower rear gunner seats
The Assault version is the one I use the most and recommend. The smoke screen cover your retreat and allow you to back away to repair in relative safety.
The Breakthrough primary gun does more damage against enemy vehicles, but it has almost no splash damage and sucks against infantry. You’ll get eaten by rocket guns for breakfast. The side guns are really good against infantry, but they require competent gunners. It also has only 4 seats instead of 6 for the other version, making it less useful as a mobile spawn point.
The Flamer is good in close quarter map like Amiens. On other maps, not so much. The flamethrower give your position away from afar, and the lack of smoke screen is a weakness in open maps.
DO NOT PICK LIGHT TANKS, I REPEAT DO NOT PICK LIGHT TANKS
I often see people using the Light Tank on the battlefield. Let me tell you why this is not a great idea:
- Light tanks are slower than heavy tanks
- Light tanks are weaker than heavy tanks
- You cannot spawn on light tanks
- No gunners
If you pick light tanks, you are at a disavantage (unless you are really good with it to start with). You will be outgunned on the field. When you die, your team will have to deal with the enemy tanks while waiting for a new tank to spawn. When you are using a heavy tank, you act as a mobile spawn point, your team can spawn on you, exit the tank and help you. Light tanks are not teamplay oriented.
Use the third person camera
Third person camera is your friend. Use it as often as possible. You get a greater view of your vehicle and the threats that are closing in. Since the last patch, you can’t always hit what you can see in third person, so remember switch the camera to first person when you’re not sure if the shot will connect or not.
Do not push too far
Map knowledge is paramount when you’re tanking. Always try to draw a virtual “front line” considering the points you have capped and the enemies cap. Ideally you should be a little behind this “front line”. You follow the infantry, trying to stay a little behind them. This gives you a better view of the field and you act as a mobile spawn point. This will also protect you from flanking. When playing, I often see tank rolling full speed into battle, only to get blown to bits a second later.
Try not to get tunnel vision
“Oh I see that tank. You engage. You spam that left mouse button as fast as you can landing and receiving shots from the tank. Oh, two rockets guns joined the party, but that tank is almoooost down. I can get a last shot and get him. BOOM. You are dead. The enemy tank start repairing and is back to full strength in no time.”
Tunnel vision is when you focus on a single tank / soldier / enemy vehicle. Your greatest strength on the battlefield is to know when you need to revert back to repair / reload. If you focus too hard on an enemy, you’ll probably end out of position and dead.
Shoot and scoot
Your tank has 6 primary round. When those are expended, the reload process start. Firing during the reload process greatly increase the reload time. Why? Because the first shot has a greater reload delay than the others. If you always find yourself frantically clicking the left mouse button while waiting for ammo to magically appear in your tank, you’re doing it wrong.
That brings me to my point: Shoot, pop smoke, reverse to safety to reload and repair. Repeat. Enemy vehicles trying to follow you will get caught out of position and will be at a disadvantage.
You can press the reload button to start the reload process manually instead of waiting for it to start automatically, gaining precious seconds.
When retreating, smoke first, and start moving diagonally. If you retreat in a straight line, enemies will have an easier time correcting their aim to hit you. Also try if possible to have indestructible obstacles that you can hide behind near you. Use the terrain to your avantage.
Spot and prioritize targets
Q button, use it, abuse it. Not only you’re helping the infantry and your gunners, but it will help you monitor the enemies coming at you.
- Tanks and assault player.
- Support players.
- Light cars and motorcycles
Learn the range of your primary weapon
This one is easy. Learn the drop of your gun. Only practice will help you there. Try not to engage at extreme range unless you really need to. You will reveal your position, and waste ammo. Instead, spot the vehicle, get closer while monitoring the movement, and engage. Your target should be on the tip of you aiming reticle or inside the little triangle just below. The only exception is when engaging the enemy Artillery truck or AA truck. Firing from afar will force them to move to repair.
You are also allowed to fire at pesky snipers hidden in the mountains IF there is not other target of priority closer.
Do not panic
Another one I see often. Tank gets hit by one rocket gun, panic and reverse full speed, only to get stuck on a building or flip over for no reason. If you get shot and cannot determine where it came from:
- STOP Moving
- Press Q in the general direction of the shot
- Wait for the second shot to come in
- Blow the fucker to kingdom come
- Reverse or repair
Destroy building and towers
Your job as a tanker is to help the infantry. Destroy all buildings you come across. Less sniper hidey hole. Less sneaky assault raining AT nades or support dropping limpets of doom on you. A building you can see in is a building you can shoot in. Give yourself line of sight on your enemies. This is really important on map like Suez or Empires Edge.
Do not get too close of building that can’t be destroyed, for example in Amiens the corner buildings of the bridges near C and D can be deadly if you are too close. As a general rule, stay away from buildings and keep open space that you can monitor around your tank. The fortress in Fao fortress is another example of place where you should never go as a tank.
Do not be too greedy
If you are holding the majority of the points of a map, your job as a tanker is to maintain control and support infantry. For example on Suez if you have E, D and C, do not push to B. Their whole team will spawn there and destroy you. Instead, stick around C and blow enemies rushing to you trying to cap C.
Do not get in a position where you can’t retreat easily
Always keep a retreat path clear behind you. Do not get in a tight spot where you will get stuck while assault player rain AT nades on you. The best way to stay alive is to stay far from enemies.
Do not charge full speed into a battle
Yes I know, you are a large machine of death. But this large machine only need two mine to get blown to smithereens. When moving, try to check the ground for mines. I make an habit of going around craters because they are the best spot to hide mines. Move cautiously and look for enemy vehicles.
DO NOT STAY NEAR MINE EVEN FRIENDLY ONES
If an enemy shoot the mines, they will damage and destroy your vehicle
Get on the points
Nothing is more annoying that a tanks that stay really far away for the whole game, taking pot shots and not being useful. When your team move, support them. Clear the points and help capping.
A captain goes down with his ship
As a tanker, you NEVER abandon your tank. Abandoning your tank is a possibility of an enemy jumping in, and your team losing an important asset until you kill it. When an enemy is using your tank, it won’t respawn for your team until destroyed. You can jump out to repair if you are really far from the front line and there is still friendly players in the tank. But then again you shouldn’t normally need to do that.
Infantry Tips to support your tanks
Want to help your friendly tanks? Here are a couple of tips to help keeping them alive.
As support, repair friendly tanks. When repairing, try to stay behind the vehicle. If I need to reverse quickly as a tank driver, I will be pushing you with me instead of letting you die in the middle of the field.
As an assault, assist taking down other tanks. If you spawn on me, and i’m in a battle with another tank, consider getting out and helping. The best moment is right after the enemy tank fires. You have a couple of seconds of safety to exit and fire your rocket gun. Even a single rocket gun shot can help win an engagement.
Snipers, spot the vehicles. You often have the best vantage point of the battlefield, use it to your avantage and spot enemies vehicle.
Everyone: Spot the vehicles and call them out in the chat. When I’m tanking, I’m alway monitoring team chat. “Heavy on C” or “Light going from B to D” is immensely helpful if i’m coming from the spawn and need to know where to head to.
Alright, that’s all I can think of for now. If you have other helpful tips, write them in the comments and I’ll be adding them to the guide.
Also let me know if I made any mistakes, English is not my main language.
Thanks for reading and have fun on the Battlefield!