Spotting is a key mechanic in World of Tanks and one that many newer players take for granted. When an enemy is spotted, their location is revealed on radar. Importantly, this information is also shared with nearby allies, so they can “see” a target even if they don’t have a direct line of sight to it.
Most of you reading this already know what it means to “spot” an enemy, but if you really want to become a better player, you need to understand the mechanics of it. In this guide, we’ll look under the hood of how to spot in World of Tanks. We hope you’ll take away a greater appreciation for spotting and its importance in combat.
Spotting Range is the distance from which your tank will spot enemies, revealing them on your radar and making them visible to you. While that sounds obvious, it’s actually quite a complicated mechanic. In order to really understand spotting, we need to talk about 4 concepts: Draw Range, View Range, Radio Range, and Camo Factor.
Draw Range is the maximum distance the game’s engine will render objects. Anything outside of this range will not be visible to you. This is determined in the in-game settings. You want this valuable to be as high as possible. Note that this is not the same as
View Range, which is the maximum distance that your Commander can see. If your tank’s View Range is larger than your Draw Range setting, then your Commander can spot targets before they’re rendered for you. This is why you want a Draw Range that’s as large as your rig will allow—you want to be able to actually see the targets your tank is spotting!
Radio Range is the maximum distance of your radio comms. If your Radio Range is within the Radio Range of an ally, then any enemies you spot will be instantly relayed to your ally (and vice versa). You can boost your Radio Range by upgrading relevant Crew Skills.
Camo Factor is a value that reduces Spotting Range. The higher a target’s Camo Factor, the closer you have to be to spot it. Camo Factor is a complex topic on its own, so we suggest reading our article on how camo works in World of Tanks. The formula behind Spotting Range is too complex to get into here, but it boils down to this: Spotting Range is View Range minus the effect of your target’s camo. In other words, if an enemy tank does not have camo, your Spotting Range is the same as your tank’s View Range. The better their camo, the closer you have to be to spot them.
Note that all tanks have a natural Camo Factor, so Spotting Range will always be at least slightly shorter than your tank’s View Range. Other factors that affect Camo Factor include:
the density of bushes, trees, or hard obstacles between you and the target,
whether the target is shooting, moving, or sitting still,
the type of camo the target has equipped,
and any relevant skills or modules that affect Camo Factor.
A quick example of spotting
Let’s put all these concepts together with a simple example. Let’s say there are three tanks: Tank A, Tank B, and Tank C. Tanks A and B are on the same team; Tank C is on the other team. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume they all have line of sight to one another, and each tank has a Camo Factor of 0. Here are the View Ranges and Radio Ranges for these tanks:
This table shows how far away they are from one another:
The results after spotting calculations are:
Tank A is 210 meters away from Tank C and has a Spotting Range of 200 meters, so Tank A does not spot Tank C.
Tank B is 140 meters away from Tank C and has a Spotting Range of 160 meters, so Tank B spots Tank C.
Tank C is 210 meters away from Tank A and has a Spotting Range of 220 m, so Tank C spots Tank A.
Tank C is 140 meters away from Tank B and has a Spotting Range of 220 m, so Tank C spots Tank B.
Now, it’s important to note that although Tank B can spot Tank C, this information isn’t shared with Tank A. Why? Because Tank A is 145 meters away from Tank B and their Radio Ranges combined make 125 meters (75 + 50 meters).
How to spot effectively in WoT
Now that you know how spotting works, we can talk about applying this knowledge in combat. To spot effectively, you should be able to spot targets before they can spot you. In other words, your Spotting Range should be larger than theirs. How do you do this? By maximizing your own tank’s View Range and Camo Factor.
You can increase View Range by investing in skills like Recon for your Commander (+0.02% View Range per level) and Situation Awareness for your Radio Operator (+0.03% View Range per level). Boost the effects with the Brothers in Arms perk and Improved Ventilation. Consuming Nation-specific food also adds 10% to the training level of all roles and skills, which affects View Range.
To increase your base Camo Factor, upgrade your Camo skill and use equippable Camo. Equipment alone isn’t enough, though. Make it a habit to scan the environment for potential hiding spots. You want to keep an eye out for trees or thick bushes—these provide excellent Camo Factor. Additionally, if your goal is to spot as many enemies as possible without getting caught, minimize moving and shooting. Camo Factor is the highest when you’re sitting still.
For those dedicated to effective spotting, we suggest picking a Light Tank. You want to be quick and agile, as faster speeds allow you to get into position earlier than your opponent. Light Tank are naturally nimble, so you can dash away if things start getting heated.
And that’s it for our guide on how to spot in World of Tanks. As you’ve learned, spotting is a surprisingly deep mechanic. Now that you understand how it works, you’ll be able to contribute more to your team than mere shell hits and the occasional tank destruction. For practice, try staying within Radio Range of your allies and staying behind some sort of cover the next time you play World of Tanks (even a light bush is better than nothing).
What is spotting in World of Tanks?
Spotting in World of Tanks refers to the act of detecting and marking enemy tanks. When a tank is spotted, it becomes visible to all members of your team and can be targeted.
Why is spotting important in World of Tanks?
Spotting is important in World of Tanks because it allows your team to share information about the location of enemy tanks.
How do I spot in World of Tanks?
To spot in World of Tanks, you must have line of sight to an enemy and it must be within the spotting range of your tank.
What is the spotting range in World of Tanks?
The spotting range in World of Tanks depends on the specific tank that you are using, which can be affected by various factors such as upgrades, skills, and equipment.
Can I spot while moving in World of Tanks?
It is possible to spot while moving in World of Tanks, but it is more difficult to detect enemy tanks when you are moving. It is recommended to stop your tank and use your binoculars for a clearer view of the battlefield.
Can I be spotted by the enemy in World of Tanks?
Yes, you can be spotted by the enemy in World of Tanks if you are within their spotting range and they have line of sight to you.