How to Submarine in World of Warships / Submarine BattlesBy Denis Marasan ☆ 19/Apr/2020
Did you know that WoWS developers are planning to introduce USA, USSR and German Submarines of tier VI, VIII and X to the game? Soon World of Warships (play now!) will feature a new Submarine Battle mode that will be playable on tier VI ships only for the duration of patch 0.9.4. Submarine Battles will feature tier VI USA Submarine Cachalot, Soviet Submarine S-1 and German Submarine U-69. And here’s a guide on how to Submarine.
Ammunition & Consumables
All Submarines feature Acoustic Torpedoes and Sonar.
Acoustic Torpedoes are most effective against large, armored targets. Maneuverable ships have high chances of dodging the strike. The efficiency of a torpedo salvo increases after a sonar ping hits the special indicators on an enemy ship.
When Sonar ping hits one of the special indicators on a ship’s hull, your torpedoes will home in on the target. Hitting the second special indicator will further increase the accuracy of torpedo guidance and enable your torpedoes to ignore the target ship’s torpedo protection.
All Submarines feature Damage Control Party and Maximum Depth consumables as standard and an additional third consumable that is nation-specific.
Maximum Depth consumable allows a submarine to dive to its maximum depth. At this depth, the submarine will take reduced damage from depth charge explosions.
USN Submarines feature Engine Boost, Soviet Submarines feature Repair Party, and German Submarines feature Hydroacoustic Search.
Anti-Submarine Warfare and Depth Charges
Destroyers and Light Cruisers (these are Cruisers with main battery caliber equal to 152 mm) feature Depth Charges as means of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The deeper the enemy Submarine is, the less damage it takes from Depth Charges.
By activating the Maximum Depth consumable, you’ll be able to dive to a maximum depth. A Submarine becomes undetectable from the surface (unless the enemy uses Hydroacoustic Search) and takes reduced damage from Depth Charges, though it may still get a flooding. And since it takes a helluva lot of time to dive to a maximum depth, this maneuver is better done well in advance.
When on surface, Submarines can be destroyed by all manner of means.
Submarine game play basics
A Submarine goes faster on the surface: approx. 24 kts on the surface vs. 15 kts underwater. This means that it's better to approach enemies on the surface.
You can always dive to avoid detection, enemy main battery and secondary armament fire, and torpedo salvos. To avoid Depth Charges activate Maximum Depth consumable and dive to maximum depth as mentioned above.
There’re two effective ways to attack surface ships.
Long-range concealed attacks
You can attack enemy ships from the surface. In this case you’ll see a standard interface showing you a lead. Note that when a Submarine dives deeper this interface stops working, making deepwater launches not very effective. Another great feature is Sonar, since checking one marker enables homing guidance to your acoustic torpedoes and checking both markers makes them ignore target ship’s torpedo protection, greatly increading the overall damage.
In case of long-range surface attacks from far off, I recommend launching torpedoes first and use Sonar later, because sonar ping action time is limited by 20 to 35 seconds depending on a nation.
Short-range surprise attacks
You may also approach an enemy underwater, brake surface as close as possible, launch torpedoes and dive under the enemy ship. Since all Submarines have aft tubes, you may come up from another side and launch more torpedoes from the aft.
In case of short-range surprise attacks, I recommend using Sonar first and come up and launch torpedoes later.
Underwater launches and hunting down enemy Submarines
Launching torpedoes from underwater to hit surface ships is not always a good idea because of the absence of lead feature. There’s always some kind of problem with homing feature when launching torpedoes from a short distance. So I highly recommend launching torpedoes either from the surface or from a longer distance so they could steer up to the surface and hit the target. Just make sure you check at least one marker with your Sonar to enable the torpedo homing feature.
As for attacking enemy Submarines, I recommend either launching torpedoes from the closest range possible (just a second before ramming into an enemy boat), or from a longer distance by using Sonar, though dodging those torpedoes is not big of an issue by diving or ascending.
Managing your battery charge
When a Submarine is submerged it operates on batteries. A battery indicator is shown in the lower left corner together with a hit point indicator (the upper part is a hit points bar, and the lower part is a battery indicator). Take note that Sonar is a battery eater that spends your battery every time you activate it. To replenish your battery you may reduce your speed to 1/4 and the battery will magically replenish over time. Or break surface for faster replenishment.
For good or ill, flat battery has no grave impact on play.
First impressions on Submarines
Submarines look half-done and I just don’t understand why testing this on main servers. Some things are made worse compared to the first appearance on Halloween 2018, e.g. continuous diving and ascending instead of stepped. Some mechanics are strange, e.g. Submarines are the best spotters now thanks to better concealment. Some ideas behind the new class are harmful to the game itself, e.g. an ability to deal no-return damage to Heavy Cruisers and Battleships from underwater.
In addition, the graphic design when playing on a submerged Submarine is not good enough. The latter opinion is subjective, but you can form your own opinion just by watching the below videos. I specifically added a promo Halloween video from the developers for comparison.