This guide explains the concept of “angling” in World of Tanks (WoT).
Angling is turning the hull (body) of your tank so that the front of your tank is pointed slightly to the left or right of your target.
Proper angling increases your tank’s effective hull armor, which can cause incoming shells to ricochet or bounce – i.e. angling increases the probability that a shell fails to penetrate armor. Angling can also cause indecision on the part of your opponent as they debate where to aim.
One analogy to explain this is to think about a martial arts strike hitting a wooden board:
- If the strike hits the board at an angle as shown in the upper panel, the fist may bounce off or not break the board
- If the strike hits the board straight on as shown in the bottom panel, i.e. the impact angle is 0°, maximum force is applied and the board is more likely to break.
The same concept applies to shell penetration in WoT.
How Much Do I Angle My Hull?
Short answer: it depends on how thick your side hull armor is relative to your front hull armor.
As general rule, you want to angle your hull to the extent that you can increase your effective front armor without over-exposing your side armor.
Here are the impact angles and effective armor multipliers based on the angle of your hull:
|Hull Angle1||Front Hull Impact Angle||Side Hull Impact Angle||Front Hull Effective Armor Multiplier||Side Hull Effective Armor Multiplier2|
|< 20°||< 20°||> 70°||Between 100% and 106.41%||Ricochet3|
1 There are select tanks, such as the IS-3/IS-8/IS-7 and the Chinese variants of those tanks, that have a “pike-nose” front, and for such tanks the front of your hull should be pointing at the enemy tank, i.e. you would want to maintain a hull angle of 0°
2 The tracks of your tank add 20mm of armor if hit, so the effective side hull armor is increased when a shell has to penetrate the tracks
3 Note: If the AP or APCR shell caliber is 3 times or more than the nominal thickness of the armor (such as a 120mm shell hitting a 40mm thick plate), the shell never ricochets. See Shell Normalization below
Tanks with low armor may not benefit meaningfully from the increased effective armor gained by angling, since increasing a small number won’t matter much, in which case you may want to not angle your hull so that maintain the smallest possible silhouette.
Recommended Angles for Specific Tanks
With the earlier table in mind, here are some examples for recommended hull angle when your tank is in the open field without available physical cover, taking into account only the thickness of the front and side hull armor.
|Tank||Front Hull Armor||Side Hull Armor||Recommended Hull Angle|
|Tier 4 Matilda||75mm||70mm||40°|
|Tier 5 KV-1||75mm||75mm||45°|
|Tier 8 Tiger II||150mm (sloped)||80mm||25°|
|Tier 9 E-75||200mm (sloped)||120mm||25°|
|Tier 10 E-100||200mm (sloped)||130mm + 60mm spaced||35°|
|Tier 10 IS-4||140mm (sloped)||160mm||35°|
Longer answer: to determine how much to angle your hull, you need to consider not only the thickness of your front and side hull armor but also the slope and sizable weak spots.
For example, the tier 10 IS-4 Soviet heavy tank has a frontal weak spot in the Lower Front Glacis (LFG), which at 0° angling has an effective armor of 209mm and is easily penetrated by most tier 9-10 tanks. However, the IS-4 has thick side hull armor of 160mm, so the driver is able to angle at 35° to boost the effective armor of the Lower Front Glacis to 255mm while still maintaining a high effective armor value of 279mm for the side hull.
This video covers the basic concepts of angling:
The following video provides a more advanced look at angling techniques in a city map, using the footage from the battle on my tier 10 IS-4 in which I earned the “Ace Tanker” Mastery achievement:
Of course, you won’t always have the benefit of hard cover as shown in the IS-4 video. The following video of my E75 demonstrates hull angling in the open field and leveraging even subtle crests to hide your LFG:
For more advanced videos, check out my “Road to Unicum” tank reviews in which I share what I’ve learned as I progress towards account Unicum rating (top 1%). I talk through how I’m reading each battle as it unfolds and discuss key decisions and mistakes. My hope is that these videos meaningfully help other players improve their gameplay.
The following diagrams illustrate the concept of angling in various situations.
As Crueldwarf posted below, another angling technique is “sidescraping” in which you only expose your angled side to the enemy.
Sidescraping tends to work best when:
- You have thick side armor, so that shots that hit your side will likely ricochet or get absorbed by your tracks
- You are trying to cover notable weakspots in your front hull, e.g. the soft LFG of many German tanks, the “R2D2” machine gun turret of the KV-5, etc
- It’s OK if you get “tracked” (tracks knocked off, which immobilizes the tank)
As a final note, there is a variant of sidescraping known as “reverse sidescraping” where the rear of your tank is what you are covering while sidescraping – you are essentially facing backwards. This technique is only applicable for tanks with strong rear hull armor, such as the KV-5, which has an armor layout of 180/150/140, and for tanks that have obvious weak spots in the front hull armor. Reverse sidescraping requires some time to set up, and it can leave you in a vulnerable position if your enemy rushes at you.
AP and ACPR shells are normalized, i.e. they are adjusted towards the armor’s normal axis at the point of impact. In layman’s terms, this means AP and ACPR shells effectively reduce the angle of the armor. AP normalization is 5°, ACPR is 2°. HEAT and HE shells are not normalized.
So for example, if an enemy tank is firing AP at your side armor, and the impact angle is 60°, for penetration purposes, your side armor is treated as if the impact angle is 55°.
On top of this, there are “overmatch” mechanics when the shell’s caliber exceeds the nominal armor thickness. If the caliber / nominal armor ratio is
- 2+: shell normalization is (7 x caliber/nominal armor) for AP and (2.8 x caliber/nominal armor) for ACPR, instead of the normal 5° and 2° values
- 3+: it’s a guaranteed penetration
This is a lot of math, but it basically means if your tank has very thin armor, angling won’t meaningfully help.
Learning the Armor Models of Tanks
Getting skilled at WoT does require some homework – in particular you need to learn the armor models of tanks, so you understand how to protect them and how to damage them.
This incredible site allows you to view the 3D models of every tank in a web browser.
You can mouse over various parts of the tank to see the penetration values. You can also rotate the turret, so that you can determine side and rear turret values.
It also has an interesting feature which allows you to see the gun depression values for any direction.