This article will lay out the basics for any new player looking to understand how crew and crew training works in World of Tanks. There's a lot of information available so we’ve distilled it into the essentials. However, if you wish to learn more, be sure to follow the links for additional details on a given area.
Training a crew and managing the Barracks can be a complicated experience for new players. The entire process requires a lot of sitting in the menu and performing micromanagement on several different aspects. As such, you want to ensure you put aside some time to familiarize yourself with these menus.
A tank using a fully-trained crew with Skills and Perks has an advantage over a tank without these abilities.
How the Crew Works
Every tank needs a complete crew to operate regardless of whether it's two crew members or six crew members. Each of these crew members has a special role within the tank to help with its operation such as the Commander who spots enemies, or the Gunner who fires the gun. This is called the Major Qualification.
Once the Major Qualification reaches 100%, the crew member can receive additional training in the form of Skills and Perks. These are abilities that add an effect to your tank, such as the ability to know when you’ve been seen by an enemy.
If one of these crew members is knocked out during battle, the other crew will take their place. However, this will reduce the effectiveness of your tank as the Gunner doesn’t have the same qualifications as a Driver.
Whenever you purchase a new tank, you're given the choice to hire recruits to be the crew of the tank. Alternatively, you can use the crew from an old tank in your new tank, as they'll only need to undergo retraining.
Crew Member Skills and Perks
Once a crew member becomes fully trained in their chosen Major Qualification, they can begin researching and training in Skills and Perks. These two abilities alter the way your tank behaves during combat and often give you an advantage over an opponent without Skills and Perks.
- Skills become effective immediately when selected, but they're only as effective as their training percentage. If a Skill is trained to 20% it will only be 20% effective.
- A Perk becomes effective once it's trained to 100%, making Perks a long-term investment.
Each Major Qualification (Gunner, Commander, etc) have their own Skills and Perks that can be trained, but there are also communal Skills and Perks that anyone can train such as Repairs and Concealment.
While it comes down to personal preference, there will sometimes be Skills and Perks that are more popular and should typically be researched before others.
Your First Tank’s Crew
The first tank you play in World of Tanks will be a Tier 1 tank with a complete crew trained to 100% Proficiency. You can begin training Skills and Perks immediately in this Tier 1 tank, which is helpful as it will give you an insight into how the systems function.
It may be a good idea to play a Tier 1 tank until you completely train a chosen Skill or Perk. In doing so, you'll know what's involved in leveling it up and how it works on the battlefield.
Buying A New Tank
After playing the Tier 1 tank, you may decide you want to research and purchase a new tank. When this time comes, you'll be given the option of training a new batch of recruits (crew members) for your new tank, or purchasing the tank with no crew members.
Consider purchasing the tank with no crew members and retraining the crew from the previous tank to use in your new vehicle. This is a good way to familiarize yourself with the other processes involved with crew and crew training.
As an example, when you purchase a Tier 2 tank and choose to use your old Tier 1 crew, the new tank will be more effective in battle than if you'd chosen to train a new batch of recruits. The only time this won’t be the case is if your old crew had no Skills or Perks (if you chose to spend Gold on training new recruits).
Transferring crew members between a single Nation’s tanks is a good way to skip some of the grind. By transferring a crew member with Skills and Perks, you'll decrease the time it takes before you can begin using those Skills and Perks once more.
To transfer a crew member, right-click on their icon in the Garage and choose “Send to Barracks.” Do this on all crew members you wish to transfer to the new vehicle. Next, select the tank you wish to fill with the old crew, then select each of the crew members you sent to the Barracks.
Now that the new tank is full of your old crew members, it can be used in battle. However, it will not run efficiently. To make the tank run correctly, you'll need to retrain the crew.
Training and Retraining Crew
A crew member—when being recruited or transferred to another tank—will typically always need to go through training. Training for a crew member comes in three distinct levels with three different costs: Gold, Silver, and Free.
- The Gold option is Tank Academy and will train or retrain a crew member to 100%, meaning they're able to begin training specific Skills and Perks. This costs 200 Gold.
- The Silver option is Regimental School and will train or retrain a crew member to 75%, meaning they'll need more training before Skills and Perks can be researched. This costs 20,000 Silver.
- Finally the Free option is Rapid Courses which will train or retrain a crew member to 50%, meaning they require the most amount of gameplay to reach 100%. This is the free option.
We showed you how to transfer the crew in the previous section; now that they're in the tank, you'll need to retrain them. To do so, right-click the crew member’s icon and select, “Personal File.” Under the “Training” tab you can select “Current Vehicle.” This will select the appropriate training for the vehicle and tank type.
Next, select how much you wish to spend on their training, then click “Train” to complete the process. The crew members will now be trained for the new vehicle and will be able to operate it correctly. Depending on how much you spent, they'll have a certain amount of Proficiency. Remember, if the Proficiency is less than 100%, the Skills and Perks won't be fully functional.
Keep in mind that a crew trained in a Premium tank will suffer no negatives when transferring to a tank of the same nation and similar tank type. This is one of the many benefits of Premium vehicles as you won't have to deal with the retraining costs. Plus, a crew receives increased experience gains from battles when trained in a Premium tank. A lot of players, when looking to train up a new crew, will place them in a Premium tank and train them that way to cut down on the grind.
When to Train New Recruits
Training a batch of new recruits for a new tank can be a good idea when first figuring out whether or not the tank matches your playstyle. In the event you dislike a tank and want to move to another vehicle prior to using cheap recruits, you'll have avoided the cost of retraining your old crew and losing their Skills or Perks.
It's also worth training new recruits when you have no old crew members worth putting into the new tank. Old crew members that aren’t worth retraining are those with low Proficiency and without Skills and Perks.
Training, retraining, transferring, and everything else involved in crew member management can be a confusing mechanic for new players. Nevertheless, it’s a process that becomes easier the longer you play World of Tanks. Take some time between matches to look at your crew and see how they’re progressing, as even small amounts of interaction will help with comprehension.
For the veteran tankers out there, what crew training tips and advice would you give the new pilots among us?