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How to beat other skilled players?


I've noticed a nasty habit lately where I actively avoid fights with skilled players (I use XVM, and I'm referring to 2k+), and when I do have to engage them, I often find myself losing regardless of who has the bigger epeen. This is made worse by the fact that in Advances, there are 15 of them (fuck you ELO based MM) so I often flounder and throw my tank away. I know that these are a given when fighting good players:

  • Mistakes will be punished hard
  • Any kind of exposure will be punished hard
  • They'll actively be trying to prevent you from damaging them
  • They'll take any advantage presented to them
  • They'll actively try to get rid of you and won't let you dictate the engagement

The problem is, although I know all of this, I keep overexposing and throwing my tank away because I'm not used to having to work with limited control of the engagement. 

My question basically is, what does it take to outplay a skilled opponent (not necessarily in an 1v1, but generally in smaller-scale engagements) and what are some tips to prevent being outplayed? I've found that my game sense and ability to farm damage has developed to a point where I can consistently pull high winrates and damage scores, but my consistency is severely limited by the fact that I keep letting myself get outplayed. 


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Don't bother.

In terms of 1 vs 1 or shooting weakspots the game has an incredibly low skill cap. Trying to beat another skilled player head on is basically a coin toss.


Start by avoiding any direct "equal" engagement, always seek terrain advantage, first shot advantage(camo/VR or sheer distance), numerical advantage. Good players don't tend to give you a lot of good shots, no problem, take care of the lesser skilled pubbies first to create a numerical advantage.

Or better yet, predict where they will be, and actively avoid them and play the other side.

Example being El halluf, good players will go north west almost without fail, in a fast medium/heavy/light, you can easily take low river, in conjunction with your camping pubbies, take out their campers, arties and cap out to force a diversion.

Steppes, good players will go to east side every single time(aside from occasional TDs), a good way to win is often to make a strong push west, cross the rail in the north west corner and again, tell pubbies to cap out and force them to come back and cross into the open.


In these scenarios, you are not fighting against the good players directly, instead you are fighting them in a sense that you are challenging them to a race of "who can kill the dumbasses faster", if you play aggressively enough on the easier flank knowing you won't have to worry about good players, you can easily create a scenario where you and the other good player each win your respective side, but you having a significant lead on initiative, number and map control.

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I don't know what Advances are, so the following answer applies only to pubs.

  • Turn off xvm
  • Learn to play the map, the terrain, the position of the tanks
  • Take what you can from the map, use your team's positions better
  • Deny what you can from them, finding weak deployments by their team
  • Stay calm, don't overexpose, pen your shots

That is all there is. You play your game, they play their game, and some combination of : better pubbies, better map control, better tanks and less mistakes (exposures and non-pen shots) wins. 

Just this week I was chatting with Smylee and he was telling me how mad he is when he sees me and @dualmaster333 in our T49s. This isn't because the T49s are particularly scary tanks in their own right, but simply because he knows that we're gonna play our dumb game of vision/peekaboo/fuckyourarmor as well as we can, plus all the things above. Will Smylee absolutely annhiliate either of us in 1v1? Absolutely, he's an amazingly talented player. Will he possibly farm a flank we're not able to contest - absolutely. But that depends on the map/tanks/pubbies. At the same time, we might get a map/tanks/pubbies where our niche fills in the gaps to simply not let the other team contest. Its really up to you to maximize within those parameters, and let the rest shake out. 

I have a replay, although I am not sure I could find it right now, of Lakeville. Smylee in process of 3 marking 30B on enemy team. I know it irritated him though, because he ended with like 1700 dmg and 600 spotting, because I denied the middle of Lakeville, spotting him each time he tried to approach or shoot on my team entering or exiting city. I exhorted my team to push city once middle control was set up. Valley of course held. And we eventually chased their forces in a retreat into the valley from both sides. This isn't picking on Smylee, he's one of my dearest tanks buddies and a truly amazingly skilled player. He just didn't have the map/deployment/pubbies/tanks to counter my game that time. If he'd had the team to crush valley and trap us in city...welp, gg. If his team had pushed and won the city brawl, I wouldn't have been able to control the middle and city exit with vision. 

But none of this has to do with Smylee and his 30B, simply about doing the checklist above. The best player in the game can't do anything when his team is collapsing faster than he can take down targets - so learn how to control the maps and enable the teams, and thats how you win vs good or bad players.

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Answer to most problems, this included: disable XVM. Then you have more time to focus on game and not who have good stats and who doesn't. I have no idea how often I get outplayed in randoms by good players and how often by bad players, but in SH/CW thing is that you should not be afraid of good players. If you do that, they already have a big advantage over you. In a larger scale that it what happens when inferior team faces better team and decides to camp in one corner because they see big numbers in XVM and are afraid to do anything...sure way to lose.

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If you go in with a losing mentality then of course you're going to get shat on. What you need to do is treat everyone the same, some respect and you should punish if they don't respect you. The latter happens far more often than you'd think so I just end up outplaying salty permablues, permateals, permagreens, permalightpurple and 4k+ players the same way. I don't give a shit how good they are, if they're misplaying then they are and their playerskill won't change that

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Ignore XVM - you will tend to (and obviously have been) giving away more of your personal tactical advantage than gaining. Trying to focus down a skilled player will rarely work - they will expect it, will not give you anything decent to shoot at or will just head somewhere else if you do manage to tilt the area in your favor. The tactics which beat skilled players will beat everybody - map control, vision control, early-game area denial and effective force concentration are very difficult to counter. In some cases, you will be at a vehicle, team, map or skill disadvantage which will lead you to lose by failing to accomplish these objectives. However, if you give these up willingly to try and play "whak'a'purple" you are going to be in for even worse of a steamroll. 

I always assumed that I had a skill edge over anyone on the enemy team, and tried my best to dictate the battle in the way my vehicle and the map/team composition suggested was optimal. Sometimes it wouldn't work - somebody besides you has to be doing something with their tank. There were a few map/tank/team combinations (especially in a 3 man platoon) where you could basically do it all yourself, but most of those have either been patched out by well-deserved nerfs (M4 derp anyone?) or are rare enough to not affect statistics. 

TL:DR, uninstall XVM, play better as a result - It worked for me. 

Note I am retired from tanking (playing WOWS), so if I am dating myself then laugh at the old man yelling at a cloud. 

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Sounds like you're XVM focusing and getting punished for it. :minidoge:

Really though, the most reliable way to beat a skilled player you meet in random battle is to kill his team faster than he kills yours. 

Just don't engage him unless you're very likely to come out on top. Fair fights suck.

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