It’s a little-known fact that not all tanks are created equal. Sure, they’re regularly split into classes and divided by roles – the reconnaissance function of light tanks versus the raw firepower (and staying power) of their heavier brethren – but, even accounting for differences in their basic functionality, some have a tendency to naturally dominate others. There are those that shine like glorious beacons of vehicular might, assailing the enemy with such preternatural vigour that all other armoured offerings pale in comparison to the illustrious cannons of these hulking metal beasts – [that’s enough of that – Ed.]
But where to find these kings among armour? With such a huge array of vehicles at your disposal in World of Tanks, it can be tricky to identify the refined from the rough; difficult to see through the hype of a community favourite to parse their actual, tangible performance. To save you the trouble of researching the entire tech tree of each nation, we’ve selected the very best tanks and collected them into a one-stop shop of tier-based tanktacular ranking. No more fumbling through tiers, disappointed with each new unlock; you’ll know the best tanks in World of Tanks from here on out.
To align with the game’s battle system, we’ve picked out the best tanks by tier, choosing those that perform best relative to their peers of the same league. We’ve also opted to exclude premium tanks, knowing that not everyone will want to sink their hard-earned money into an improved tanking experience, and, after all, many of the free tanks overpower their premium counterparts.
So, angle your flanks and move into hull-down, because these are…
The best tanks in World of Tanks:
- Tier I – Leichttraktor
- Tier II – Pz. II
- Tier III – Cruiser III
- Tier IV – P26/40,
- Tier V – T67
- Tier VI – O-I
- Tier VII – AMX 13 75
- Tier VIII – T-44
- Tier IX – Conqueror
- Tier X – Object 430U
Tier I – Leichttraktor
New tankers are offered a generous array of armour to ease them into the frenzied throes of competitive battle. All Tier I tanks are easy to pick up, forgiving in their play, and fairly well-matched. If you know how to use your choice of tank, there’s a good chance you’ll come out on top. But, for us, the standout of this balanced batch is the German Leichttraktor.
You’ll soon find yourself with an envious spot on the leaderboard
Square, stocky, and a perennially popular choice, this light tank boasts the best stock gun of all Tier 1 vehicles. Mixed with comparatively superb penetration, rate-of-fire, and accuracy, its formidable offensive capabilities perfectly suit it to any new player desperate to charge headlong into the fray and carve up enemy ranks. With the longest view range of any Tier I tank, and respectable speed, you’ll quickly traverse the battlefield and soon find yourself with an envious spot on the leaderboard.
But taking the Lechttraktor into battle isn’t all roses and fiery enemy husks. Thin and untangled side armour will leave you vulnerable to even the most average of enemy combatants. Look to quickly upgrade your engine and rely on speed to stay ahead of the pack, escaping from any pyrrhic firefights before they reach their conclusion, because you’ll likely be the heroic casualty.
Tier II – Pz. II
Another pick from the German line (there’s a reason you see so many German tanks plodding across the battlefields in early-tier games), the Pz.Kpfw. II has become something of a staple in the garages of new players. Sporting thick front armour and reasonable maneuverability, its real draw is its highly penetrating auto-cannon, that easily outdoes all other main guns in its tier. Combined with fantastic upgrade potential – particularly in its suspension and engines – the Pz. II makes for an outright fun-filled tank, that’s well-suited to most combat scenarios.
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Like all Panzers, poor rear and side armour are its primary liability, so be careful to angle the tank accordingly, and, as usual, avoid facing enemies with superior armour head-on. But do keep nice and close to them in firefights. Despite possessing high firepower, its cannon has poor range and accuracy, making sniping nearly impossible. Head straight into the fray, and rely on coordinated team engagements to get the most out of this all-rounder.
Tier III – Cruiser III
This light British tank is the epitome of a glass cannon. Dealing huge damage, boasting a respectable 15 degrees gun depression, and consistently dishing out high penetration, it excels at quickly dispatching even the beefiest enemy tanks in its tier, and has become a familiar sight in competitive matches. Unfortunately, its paper-thin armour means seeing its burning husk has become something of an ordinary occurrence, too.
Sit hull down in hilly terrain to leverage your high firepower
Despite improving upon the mobility of its previous model, the Cruiser III can’t match the speeds or turning rates of its peers. Mix in poor survivability, and you’ll find the Cruiser III struggles to get out of tight spots, unable to survive volleys of fire or make a speedy getaway. So, prepare accordingly. Sit hull down in hilly terrain to leverage your high firepower and protect your feeble chassis, making good use of the tank’s gun depression to avoid unnecessary exposure. Played well, the Cruiser III is a force to be reckoned with.
Previously a Tier II tank, the Cruiser III was bumped up a tier in last year’s 1.9 update. Far from struggling to match its new peers, it’s retained the same offensive capabilities. Focus on researching engine upgrades to counteract its naturally poor maneuverability, and then look to improve its radio so you can pick a strategic spot and hunker down well before the enemy’s advance.
Tier IV – P26/40,
Although not a popular mid-tier choice, you’d do the P26/40 a disservice to dismiss it as yet another dull medium tank amongst a slew of alternatives. This Italian offering might not boast the combat balance of the German Pz.IV or the effective cannon of the US T6, but it excels where most other Tier IV tanks slump – HE shell penetration. To say the P26/40 packs a punch would be an understatement. It can swiftly destroy all other tanks at its level, with only a cursory glance at their spots of weak armour.
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Combined with an exceptionally fast reload time, its damage per minute is nearly unmatched. Poor HP, unremarkable mobility, and sub-par range limit the tank’s versatility, but in terms of penetrating armour, there’s no comparison. Perhaps not the easiest pick for a new player, but by the time you’ve reached Tier IV, you should be able to identify moments of enemy folly, swiftly leaping upon them in a targeted attack.
Tier V – T67
Often labelled an overpowered kill-joy best suited to seal-clubbing spoilsports, the US T67 tank destroyer received a significant nerf in 2020’s 1.9 update, reining in some of its more overzealous advantages, but maintaining its primary combat potential. A rapid rate of fire, quick acceleration, and the ability to maintain a high top speed across even the most undulating terrain make it perfect for performing hit-and-run sallies. Quickly flank the enemy, target their weak spots, and make a dashing escape before they’ve had time to recover.
Its top-tier cannon, excels in damage and penetration
Combined with a low profile and compact size, the T67 can be easily camouflaged – perfect for launching a surprise darting attack. And, like most tank-destroyers, its guns are to be feared. Its top-tier cannon, the 76mm M1A1, is particularly powerful, excelling in both damage and penetration.
Use the T67’s agility to your advantage. Poor accuracy will require you to get close and personal with hostiles, and a low HP pool allows heavy tanks to one-shot you into scraps. The 1.9 update increased its maximum ammo capacity from 45 shells to 70, so don’t worry about taking risky shots – your main priority will be to get in, and, crucially, out of the firefight quickly.
Tier VI – O-I
The tankiest of tanks, this Japanese heavy tank leans into its heaviness. With a range of powerful guns, and some of the thickest armour among tier VI tanks, it looks like any child’s drawing of a typical tank: big, bulky, green, and covered in rivets.
Packing massive HP and a 150mm-thick front armour panel clear of weak spots, the O-I can take a beating – again, and again. Face multiple enemy tanks with ease, absorbing their shells consecutively before two-shotting them with your capital cannon.
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A typical ‘derp gun’, it deals huge damage at a low rate of fire with limited range, requiring you to stay close to your target. Given your massive armour, that should be no problem at all.
A tall turret lets you shoot across the battlefield (although be careful not to expose yourself when parking), and be wary of your gun’s poor handling. Regardless, if you’re looking for a tank that’s heavy through and through, the O-I is for you.
Tier VII – AMX 13 75
For those tankers keen to stay away from the frontlines of a skirmish, and prefer to delicately poise themselves on the borderlines of battle, ever-ready to provide essential suppressing fire in a single, timely push, the AMX 13 75 is a great choice. A French light tank that can switch combat roles on the fly, it makes for a mean scout early-game and an effective flanking support unit mid-battle.
A French light tank that can switch combat roles on the fly
With a four-round drum autoloader that boasts a speedy reload time, and a strikingly accurate main gun for a light tank, the AMX 13 75 can hold its own in battle, but won’t be the star of the show. Look to finish off injured enemy tanks by moving to their rear or sides when they’re distracted by the bigger beasts on your team. And make good use of your fast reverse speed, ducking out of the melee when you’ve misjudged the enemy force.
Poor gun depression and elevation, alongside subpar penetration, and a noticeably low ammo count, means this tank will roll up an impressive death count. But it does make for a sharp thorn in the enemy’s side, as you harry and disrupt their advances. Best played in a well-coordinated team, your allies might not thank you for your efforts, but they’ll surely miss you when you’re gone.
Tier VIII – T-44
Playing higher-tier matches, you’ll need to channel all of your tactical wits to keep your tank alive and kicking. Absent flocks of new players that carelessly roll across the map, wilfully exposing their flanks and, ever so generously, offering themselves as easy pickings to farm, the tactical prowess of your opponents at higher tiers likely calls for a little more thought on your part. At this point you no longer burst into the fray guns-blazing, but rather look to flank the enemy at every opportunity, keeping them on their toes.
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No Tier VIII tank is so adept at fast-paced flanking and agile gunplay than the T-44. This Soviet medium tank sports the best net mobility of all vehicles in its tier, perfect for performing a quick flanking manoeuvre to finish off, or distract, those enemies focused on your teams’ heavy hitters. Reasonable armour makes for impressive defences when angled properly, and your low profile lends itself to camouflaged assaults, supporting reliable offensive play. Poorly penetrating gun options are its downfall, so make sure to stick to a support role, and strike alongside your heftier teammates.
Tier IX – Conqueror
A bombastic name that appropriately reflects this British heavy tank’s fearsome damage and firepower, the Conqueror is a regular scourge of the battlefield. Its 120mm L1A1 main gun boasts high damage that can reasonably compete against the beefiest of the Tier X tanks, and its rapid rate of fire will let you sink in a couple of shots before your opponent has an opportunity to reload.
Its main gun can compete with the beefiest of the Tier X tanks
But it’s the Conqueror’s accuracy that made its name. Combined with a formidable view range, you can easily target enemies across the breadth of the map, and are certain to land a shot each time at mid distances. Watch out for its weak chassis, which is likely to take serious damage even if angled, and don’t expect to move anywhere fast. Despite its high agility and turning speed, you’ll be plodding behind your teammates.
These limitations restrict the Conqueror to a supporting role, so engage in direct assaults sparingly. Be eager to make the most of its powerful cannon, but do keep yourself alive for long enough to fire it. Its gun is its strongest asset – know how to use it.
Tier X – Object 430U
The final tank of the Soviets’ medium line, and a regular sight on the Tier X stage, the Object 430U excels for its malleability. Bringing the optimised manoeuvrability, speed, and camouflage of a medium vehicle, alongside the extraordinary armour and firepower of a heavy tank, it draws solely from their strengths and dispenses with their shortcomings. There’s much to rave about and little to criticise.
With a 122mm gun dealing one of the best damage-per-shot rates in its tier, impressive reload speed, and generous accuracy given its size, its raw firepower is matched by its large HP and fantastic agility. Despite its reasonable acceleration, the Object 430U also boasts impressive, thick surrounding armour.
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Sloping, front plate armour combined with a well-protected turret makes it tricky to immobilise or send running. Even its spaced side armour can impressively withstand all but HESH and HE shells, leaving its front caterpillar track the only obvious point of weakness.
Best of all, the Object 430U is a forgiving tank. Well-suited to close encounters and mid-distance firing (although sniping is out of the question) it can happily punch away at the enemy with little thought to angling or shell-choice, content in the knowledge that it’s likely dealing more damage, more accurately, and faster, than whatever faces it. Not difficult to play, and requiring little work to master, it’s a guaranteed tank-busting menace.