Is World of Tanks pay to win? (The Final Answer)
World of Tanks has received a lot of criticism, with people saying that the game is "pay to win", with some even considering the WoT dead. What does this phrase exactly mean and does it really hold true for this game?
What is pay to win?
The most common definition of pay-to-win doesn't imply that paying makes a player win 100 percent of the time. It simply means that paying for in-game items with real money makes a player significantly more likely to win in a given game.
In World of Tanks, this would mean that premium tanks, premium ammunition, etc. would give a player a significant advantage in winning in a match against equally or more skilled players who don't have items outside those that they earned in-game credits for.
What can I buy in World of Tanks?
World of Tanks offers many items that you can spend real cash on, from premium vehicles to different decorative decals. You don't spend your real money directly: you buy items by spending bundles of gold which is real money converted into in-game currency. If you're curious, find out how to get free World of Tanks gold.
The most important two types of items to buy with in-game currency that can determine a match are: premium ammunition and premium tanks. Let's look at each one of them.
Ammunition in World of Tanks can be standard or premium. Premium ammo is a lot more expensive (you can exchange gold for credits to buy it), and it has better properties than standard ammo. How much does this impact the battle? A lot of players say that it's critical, and you can easily knock out a tank that you wouldn't be able to with standard ammo. In this example, premium ammo has twice the penetration and costs more than 130 times more.
Premium tanks are usually bought with gold, though you can sometimes earn them in special events. A premium tank usually doesn't have much better characteristics than other tanks of its tier, but it will earn significantly more credit money when you play it, especially at higher tiers. Premium tanks will also earn more combat experience against enemy tanks, especially at lower tiers, which might not provide a chance for lower-tier players to improve enough to get to higher tiers naturally, thus making them pay again for premium tanks.
World of Tanks Premium accounts
Last but not least, if you're willing to pay around 1 USD, or 250 gold for even only one day for a Premium account, you can expect significant advantages. You can apply x3 multipliers to your combat experience, have credit bonuses, and go on Premium missions. Playing in a platoon with a Premium account will earn you more experience and credits, as well as more credits for players in the same platoon who have a standard account. Also, check out our article on how to get a free premium account!
The main issue that paying leads to is disbalance in the game. Less skilled players, instead of playing harder and improving their skills, will usually just buy a premium account, shells, and vehicles.
On the other hand, more skilled players will be shot down by players in OP premium tanks whether they have less or more skill than them, making advanced players want to quit. ( And in case you want to quit, here's how to uninstall WoT.) This isn't always the case, and Wargaming has tried to make changes to keep the game more balanced, however, there's still a significant advantage for players who are willing to spend their cash.
If you're a beginner player looking for an easier grind, but don't want to spend money, you might be interested in the best tank lines for beginners.
So, is World of Tanks pay-to-win?
Considering all these factors, yes, one could say that World of Tanks really is a pay-to-win game. Does that mean that it's not fun to play, or that one should just quit and play War Thunder or another massively multiplayer online game? Definitely not, because not everyone will have a Premium account or OP premium tanks, and even if they do, not all is lost. Grinding up to high tiers without paying is difficult, but it has been achieved and can be achieved with enough dedication. World of Tanks could, however, greatly improve if this issue wasn't present.