For heavier ships, enemy aircraft can be a real thorn in the side. A good CV player can tear you apart with well-timed strafe runs and careful torpedo timings (you can learn to do that, too, by reading our guide on how to manually drop torpedoes). That’s why one of the most satisfying things in World of Warships is shooting planes down. However, it can also be one of the most challenging tasks, as planes can be fast-moving and difficult to lock on to.
In this article, we will explore how to shoot down planes in World of Warships. From selecting the best ship to using the proper Upgrades and Skills, we will cover everything you need to know to keep those enemy fighters grounded.
This one should be super obvious, but you should always double check that your anti-aircraft batteries are on and firing. They should be enabled by default, but a single stray keystroke or motion of the hand could have accidentally disabled them.
To see if your AA guns are disabled, check the secondary battery indicator next to the ammo type icons at the bottom of your screen. If the icon is yellow and has the word “OFF”, that means your AA guns are off!
Now, there may be times when you want your AA off. We talk about the biggest example in our guide on how to turn off AA in World of Warships. In most cases, though, you’ll want them on and alert for incoming fighter planes and bombers.
Pick a ship with great anti-aircraft batteries
There’s no better way to shoot down aircraft than to have great anti-aircraft guns. Cruisers, in general, have decent AA armaments compared to other ship types.
Keep in mind that even the best anti-aircraft guns won’t protect you from a skilled CV. AA, like all secondary batteries, fire automatically. This means you have limited control over when and where they shoot, limiting their effectiveness in combat situations. When all else fails, learn to dodge effectively.
Equip the appropriate AA Upgrades
Here are the Upgrades you can equip to enhance the effectiveness of your anti-aircraft guns:
Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 — Makes your anti-aircraft mounts more resilient to enemy fire.
Auxiliary Armaments Modification 2 — Increases continuous and flak damage. Enhances the effect of the Defensive AA Fire Consumable.
AA Guns Modification 1 — Reduces the cooldown for AA priority fire by 20%.
Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 — Makes the effect of the Defensive AA Fire Consumable last 20% longer.
Enhanced Countermeasures — Legendary Upgrade for the Worcester which makes the effect of the Defensive AA Fire Consumable last 20% longer.
We don’t suggest equipping all of the Upgrades above, just one or two at most. Each slot can only hold one Upgrade, so having three slots dedicated to anti-aircraft batteries might be overkill.
Use AA-enhancing Consumable
The Defensive AA Fire Consumable can be used before battle to make your anti-aircraft batteries more effective. This Consumable is only available on high-tier cruisers, battleships, and destroyers. What it does is increase the continuous damage of your AA guns by 50% and quadruple the damage caused by flak clouds.
You also may have noticed that a few of the Upgrades above have the effect of enhancing AA-related Consumables. If you’re using them, always be sure to use the right Consumable to maximize the possible synergies between your Consumable and Upgrades.
Use AA-enhancing Commander Skills
Here are the Commander Skills that boost the effectiveness of your anti-aircraft guns:
AA Defense and ASW Expert — Makes AA more effective and reduces the cooldown on Consumables.
Secondary Armament Expert — Makes secondary armaments (including AA) more powerful.
If you have the option, go for the AA Defense and ASW Expert Commander Skill. This synergizes well with your Upgrades and the Defensive AA Fire Consumable to reduce Consumable cooldowns and boost Consumable effectiveness.
Shooting down planes in World of Warships is a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can effectively defend your ship against aerial attacks and improve your chances of victory in battle.
Remember to stay alert, prioritize targets, and communicate with your team to effectively coordinate your defenses. With practice and determination, you can become a skilled aircraft destroyer and earn your place as a valuable asset to your team!