Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon
Tired of invisible tanks shooting you? It's not a hack: Using the vision system in World of Tanks.
The vision system is complicated, but I'm going to simplify it.
[DISCLAIMER: I'm deliberately leaving some things out or greatly simplifying the situations for clarity, so please don't nitpick when this is 95% correct]
- Maximum view range is 445m
- Maximum draw range is 700m
- Firing reduces camouflage to zero, along with the bushes within 15m of your tank
- The smaller the tank, the better the camouflage rating
- 10 seconds - the amount of time it takes to go off of radar if spotted then hidden
That's all the numbers you need to know! Let's go over why I've chosen these numbers and how they can be used.
MAXIMUM VIEW RANGE IS 445M, MAXIMUM DRAW RANGE IS 700M
Unless a teammate is spotting your tank and radioing your position to the enemy, the farthest away a tank can be spotted is 445m.
If a teammate is spotting and relaying the position of an enemy tank, the game will put the tank on screen up to 700m away. Beyond that, they will still be on the mini-map if spotted and in radio range but will not appear on the main screen.
Why this is useful - Put the cursor over the enemy tank. If the distance is over 445m from the nearest enemy, you can't be seen! You can be the invisible tank!
It's possible to stay between 450 and 700m and be completely invisible the entire game! Once the enemy moves closer, just move away and continue being an invisible sniper while your team spots for you.
FIRING REDUCES CAMOUFLAGE TO ZERO, ALONG WITH THE BUSHES 15M AROUND YOU
If you're within 445m of an enemy tank and they are within line-of-sight, firing generally will reveal your position as it removes the camo. Yes, even with a camo net.
How to use it - Use cover/camo to aim unseen on the enemy, and right after firing moving back into cover. Don't wait for 6th sense to tell you that you got spotted: move before the light bulb comes up. By the time the enemy turns their turret, you'll already by behind cover. If 6th sense doesn't go off, that means you can just fire without moving next time.
How to use it, part 2 - Enemies will be more visible when they fire, so make sure you're ready to take advantage.
How to use it, part 3 - If someone else is spotting the enemy, stay 15m+ behind the bush and fire all you want! The enemy won't be able to see you.
How to use it, part 4 - Move into the bush to spot, then back out of the bush 15m+ to fire. The enemy will remain on the screen for a few seconds while you are backing up and aiming, and then you won't turn the bush translucent when you fire. Invisible sniper.
THE SMALLER THE TANK, THE BETTER THE CAMO
Light tanks keep 100% of their camo bonus while moving, medium tanks lose roughly 50% while moving, and big heavy tanks generally don't have any camo to begin with. Turning the turret doesn't count as moving; only moving the hull does.
Chinese and Russian tanks generally have the best camouflage ratings.
Camo rating varies tank by tank, but you can look your tank up here.
How to use it - Light and medium tanks have a lot more freedom of movement around the battlefield for flanking due to not losing their camo bonus. Heavies while moving can be spotted from near max-distance.
10 SECONDS - THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES TO GO OFF RADAR IF SPOTTED THEN HIDDEN
You get spotted, then hide behind a hill. 10 seconds is a good amount of time to wait in cover for your tank to drop off of radar.
How to use it - Aim when in/behind a bush and not seen. Fire, moving back into cover right after firing, and wait 10 seconds to drop off radar. Repeat. Invisible sniper!
HOW TO USE A BUSH/TREE CORRECTLY
If you can see through the bush (it's translucent), then you are viewing beyond the bush.
If you can't see through the bush, you're too far back. However, if you are this far behind the bush your enemy can't see you even if firing.
SKILLS AND EQUIPMENT
Camo skill and Camo net are useful on light and medium tanks. NOT heavy tanks due to how the math works.
View range skills are useful on every tank that has decent or better view range. Generally don't try to improve the terminally blind tanks. Anything with 400m view range or more could make use of view range skills.
That's all you really need to know! It's possible to get super complicated with the vision mechanics, but the above should demystify how enemies are shooting you while being invisible as well as show you how to be the invisible sniper.