Best Beginner Tanks in World of Tanks For A Smooth Start
Getting started with World of Tanks can seem intimidating. There are 11 countries and countless vehicles to choose from! But what's best for a beginner is a question of what's most intuitive and comfortable for playing while giving the player space to improve.
What are tiers in World of Tanks?
Each vehicle belongs to a tier numbering from 1 to 10 (I to X). The higher the tier, the better the characteristics of the vehicle. But worry not! In battles, tanks are matched so that they're playing against tanks of the same or similar tier. You're only really starting to get into the game after developing vehicles up to tiers 3 and 4, and at that point, you will have a much greater choice than in the first two tiers. Vehicles can be light, medium, or heavy tanks, tank destroyers, or self-propelled guns. You might be interested in our list of best tanks by tier by tier in World of Tanks.
Keeping it basic
If you've heard about a tank from a military history documentary, chances are it's worth a mention due to its good qualities and significance in combat. This transfers to the game well: you won't go wrong with most bigger nation tanks, like the Soviet Union or the USA. Usually, the most common vehicle in early tiers will be the light tank. Light tanks are faster and more maneuverable than medium or heavy tanks.
The BT-5 and BT-7
Soviet light tanks are mobile and fast, giving you an advantage of, for example, taking a great position before the enemy does. You can try the tier 3 and 4 BT-5 or BT-7 light tanks as a beginner.
The BT-5 light tank is a fast, maneuverable vehicle with a low profile, and it is armed with a 45mm gun. However, its flaws include its long hull, making you an easy target, and its poor armor doesn't help either. You will be able to get to a good location with its speed, so use that as an advantage. The BT-7 light tank is a further improved version of the BT-5, with higher stats at tier IV.
When it comes to Soviet medium tanks, the T-34 is the obvious choice, a middle-tier tank with good frontal sloped armor after which there are two different tank lines. Following either tank line means fast and versatile vehicles with great camouflage. The T-34 is, unlike most Russian vehicles in World of Tanks, pretty versatile. It has a good top speed and good camouflage values compared to other medium tanks, however, the cost is poor hull armor and bad acceleration. While you're at it, you can look at the best USSR tanks in World of Tanks.
Russian tank destroyers fulfill their role pretty well, even though they can lack in hit points. A beginner tank destroyer like the AT-1 can deal a lot of damage to other tier 2 and tier 3 vehicles. It has decent alpha damage with the 75mm gun and a conveniently small silhouette. You can not only count on its firepower but also its turret traverse speed! Play it by staging a good ambush and unleashing its powerful gun upon the enemy. If you love playing a good tank destroyer, check out the best tank destroyers in WoT!
American vehicles are one of the best choices for beginners, due to their simplicity and ease of playing, as well as their tendency to be universal (fulfilling multiple roles but not meaning they excel at a particular one.) American light tanks like the M3 Stuart could be a great beginner choice with a high rate of fire and acceptable armor while maintaining speed. The M3 Stuart is a very mobile tank with good accuracy and good frontal armor compared to other light tanks. Another good feature is its upgradeable radio.
T6 Medium Tank
Equipped with a 75mm main gun is the T6, suitable for grinding up to higher tiers. It has strong frontal armor along with great 75mm and 105mm cannons. It also boasts impressive gun depression but suffers from slow reloads on the 105mm howitzer, and it doesn't have decent mobility. This tank will prepare you for playing the M4 Sherman- one of the most well-known tanks out there. Your tactics on the T6 will depend on the gun you chose, since the 105mm has slower reload times but deals more damage, meaning you should use good cover while waiting. You can find out what are the best medium tanks in World of Tanks!
Pz. Kpfw. II Luchs
Pz. Kpfw. II Luchs is a great example of a mobile tank providing great firepower. Still, it's considered a reconnaissance tank so you will need support in a heavier mission. The small but mighty Luchs has a good view range and camouflage value. You can count on high penetration with its 3cm auto-cannon. It can be an easy target due to poor armor. It is best used in a hit-and-run manner: unleash fire onto enemy vehicles, then hide until the gun is reloaded.
Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. J
German medium tanks retain accuracy and are effective at a great distance. There are two tank lines here: the Leopard tank line and the E50 tank line, the first tank line full of mobile medium tanks good for harassment, and the second with agile, well-armored machines that tend to have more firepower in higher tiers. Whichever line you choose to pursue, the tier IV Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. J is a powerful beginner-friendly medium tank, especially effective against lighter and faster enemy tanks. Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. J medium tank line leads to Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. H.
Among British medium tanks, the tier IV Matilda will provide outstanding penetration and a great silhouette. You can't go wrong with the Matilda, with a gun that can cope with tanks up to two tiers higher, whose tank line leads to the Churchill I. However, the speed is comparable to a heavy tank, and it is an easy target for artillery. The radio signal isn't the greatest either, but you can count on good gun depression values.
The best of the best
It's very difficult to choose one vehicle as the best, as for different players, different factors come into play and everyone has their own play style. However, as someone who loves playing German tanks, my choice would be the Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. J, because while it takes time to learn to play with this tank as with any other, it's very rewarding and fun to play, which I consider the two most important aspects of a true beginner tank: it's (moderately) challenging and fun.
We also have a guide on the best tank lines for beginners, which you might want to check out if you're new to WoT.