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World of Tanks - Starting Tanks Overview

An overview of the first 9 tanks you get in World of Tanks

This guide will detail the differences between the nine starting tanks available in World of Tanks. Deciding which tank to use can be difficult when you first begin your World of Tanks career. We’ve done a bit of research and spent some time in the Tier 1 tanks and have condensed the available knowledge down into a few snippets. The following will help you decide what starting tank to play first.

T1 Cunningham (USA)

The T1 Cunningham is a nimble Tier 1 light tank from the USA tech tree.
The T1 Cunningham is a nimble Tier 1 light tank from the USA tech tree.

The T1 Cunningham is a Tier 1 Light tank from the USA that offers incredible speed and damage. Operating at a higher speed when compared to other Tier 1 tanks, the T1 Cunningham is able to get into position faster than other tanks. You are also able to equip the 37 mm Semiautomatic Gun M1924 that has a 5-round magazine, and if all these rounds land you will find yourself quickly destroying opponent’s Tier 1 tanks. Use the T1 Cunningham in quick hit-and-run encounters, opting for mobility over staying in one position.

Leichttraktor (Germany)

The Leichttraktor is one of the most powerful Tier 1 tanks.
The Leichttraktor is one of the most powerful Tier 1 tanks.

The Liechttraktor is a Tier 1 Light tank from Germany and is one of the best Light tanks currently available. With high hit points and covered tracks, you will find yourself surviving engagements that would otherwise destroy any other Tier 1 tank. With a view range that beats out any other Tier 1 tank, the Leichttracktor excels at scouting and sniping. 

MS-1 (USSR)

The MS-1 can take advantage of its small size to hide well.
The MS-1 can take advantage of its small size to hide well.

The MS-1 is a Tier 1 Light tank from the USSR that is good at hiding thanks to its small stature. Even though it has some of the thickest armor, it has the lowest hit points of all Tier 1 tanks, so be extremely careful when using this tank. Most of the armor is at the front, so when preparing to engage, if any of your vehicle must be seen, make it the front. The MS-1 also has a fast hull and turret traverse, meaning it is able to turn and shoot quickly. It is advised to use the 45 mm mod. 1932 as it has one of the best penetration and highest damage of any Tier 1 guns. To make both crew members practically invisible, try training Camouflage first for both crew.

Vickers Medium Mk. 1 (UK)

The Vickers Medium Mk 1 is the only Medium tank available in Tier 1.
The Vickers Medium Mk 1 is the only Medium tank available in Tier 1.

The Vickers Medium Mk. 1 is a Tier 1 Medium tank from the UK that offers one of the most powerful guns in Tier 1. The gun offers decent accuracy as well as penetration. The Vickers Medium Mk. 1 has the highest hit points out of any Tier 1 tank making it last longer in battles. The Vickers also has a higher crew count, meaning if a crew member goes down less of the tank will underperform. Be cautious, as the Vickers Medium Mk. 1 has quite thin armor, making it an easy target.

Renault FT (France)

The Renault FT is one of the most revolutionary tanks thanks to its revolving turret.
The Renault FT is one of the most revolutionary tanks thanks to its revolving turret.

The Renault FT is a Tier 1 Light tank from France with a high rate of fire and fast aiming. The Renault FT offers a thickly armored hull, allowing players to hold out in narrow corridors with just the gun visible to the enemy. The Renault FT does suffer from poor penetration, but the rate of fire will help land more shots quickly. Try to position yourself below opponents as the gun is quite good at aiming up but struggles to aim down.

Kolohousenka (Czechoslovakia)

The Kolohousenka is able to spit out a lot of damage.
The Kolohousenka is able to spit out a lot of damage.

The Kolohousenka is a Tier 1 Light tank from Czechoslovakia that boasts impressive damage and penetration. To take advantage of the Kolohousenka’s high damage, you will need to research the second gun, the 47 mm Rychlopalne delo Vicker L/20. After researching this gun you are able to begin researching the next tank immediately. Use the Kolohousenka’s excellent gun depression to your advantage by sitting atop hills and firing down on tanks unable to aim up.

Renault Otsu (Japan)

While similar to the other Renaults, the Renault Otsu is one of the better versions.
While similar to the other Renaults, the Renault Otsu is one of the better versions.

The Renault Otsu is a Tier 1 Light tank from Japan with excellent front and side armor. A lot of single-shot shells will penetrate the armor on the Renault Otus, however many machine gun or autocannon shots will tend to bounce right off. Use the Renault Otus in close combat as much as possible as the two available guns are not able to penetrate very well nor are they overly accurate. The Renault Otsu is best used above enemies as its gun depression is excellent, just ensure your turret is protected by your armor as it lacks decent shielding.

Renault NC-31 (China)

The Renault NC-31 is quite similar to the other Renault variants.
The Renault NC-31 is quite similar to the other Renault variants.

The Renault NC-31 is a Tier 1 Light tank from China, and is not an overly good tank. However, the sloped armor means it is ideal at leading the charge into the enemy. The Chinese Renault NC-31 has better speed and armor than its French counterpart, so if you enjoyed the French version but wish to be faster and have more survivability, opt for the Renault NC-31.

Strv fm/21 (Sweden)

The Strv fm/21 is one of the newest Tier 1 tanks added to the game.
The Strv fm/21 is one of the newest Tier 1 tanks added to the game.

The Strv fm/21 is a Tier 1 Light tank from Sweden, a tech tree that was only recently added to World of Tanks. As far as light tanks go, the Strv fm/21 has similar armor stats to the Liechttraktor with a slower top speed. However, it does offer higher damage per shell, so shots will hurt more than individual shells from a competing tank. Just be sure to practice the peek-a-boom tactic so as to avoid high rate-of-fire tanks.

The eight starting tanks, although all fairly weak in hit points, offer a few different play styles to try out while you’re deciding what tank you should buy first. Some of the Tier 1 tanks are better at hiding and scouting, while others are better at scouting and sniping, while still more are better at bullying and being aggressive. No matter what your playstyle is, the starting tanks are a great introduction to the World of Tanks.

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Sam Chandler

Sam loves all things shooters, whether it's a cheeky chicken dinner in PUBG or diving into a raid in Destiny, he'll be there.