WoWS: Submarine Testing

Source: WoWS EU Portal

Submarines have come a long way since their official announcement in August 2019, with a closed beta test having been conducted, and even special Submarine Battles in Updates 0.9.4–0.9.5.

For the new test, we’ve updated the sonar ping mechanics, added anti-submarine defenses for battleships and heavy cruisers, and made many other improvements. We invite you to participate in the new stage of submarine testing.

How to Participate

You can install the client right now. Your live server account details will be used to enter the test. You don’t need to wait for an email with login and password data. Everyone can take part in the test. By installing the client in advance, you’ll be able to prepare for the test in good time. To install the client, follow the simple step-by-step procedure below.

  1. In the Wargaming Game Center, navigate to the World of Warships tab.
  2. Open the “Game Settings” menu and select “Install additional game instance.”
  3. Select “Region: TST” in the upper-left corner of the screen that appears and start the installation process by selecting the installation folder.

Testing Period and Conditions

Starts: Thu. 22 Oct. 18:00 CEST (UTC+2) / your local time: Thu. 22 Oct. 19:00
Ends: Tue. 27 Oct. 22:00 CEST (UTC+2) / your local time: Tue. 27 Oct. 22:00

Prime Times: 13:00 to 20:00 UTC and 01:00 to 04:00 UTC

The server will be available during the Prime Time only. This way, we can get the maximum number of real players together at one time, so as to reduce the number of bots in battles.

The next prime time begins in: 1 days | 02 : 30 : 21

Only Random Battles will be available. If necessary, team lineups can be completed with bots. This will reduce the time spent in queues for battles if there aren’t enough players on the server to match a real-players-only battle.

When testing starts, a container will be credited to your account that may drop one random submarine. You’ll receive two more containers by completing a chain of three combat missions playing any ship type. For completing the last mission, you’re guaranteed to receive all three submarines. To do that, you need to earn a total of 12,000 base XP.

A combat mission is available for each ship type, except submarines: earn 8,000 base XP and you’ll get a reward of three special signals of each type on the live server. In total, you can receive up to 96 signals.

Testing will take place in Russian and English only.

List of Changes After Submarine Battles

Submarines will retain their traits as stealth hunters, while other ship types will gain new capabilities in order to counter them.

Updated Sonar Ping Mechanics

You no longer need to aim your sonar pings at the indicators located at the bow and stern of an enemy ship. To guide your torpedoes to the target, it’s enough to hit any part of the enemy ship with your sonar ping. A successful hit will highlight part of the hull, the size of which depends on the width of the sonar ping. Your torpedoes will home in on this part of the hull, and a second hit on the highlighted part will enable the torpedoes to ignore the target’s anti-torpedo protection. If a sonar ping hits a different part of the ship while the effect of a previous ping is active, the initially highlighted part will relocate to the new area.

It will now be easier for submarines to hit targets with sonar pings, but it will require more advanced skills to activate the effect of two sonar pings hitting the same area.

The pinged part of the target ship will also be highlighted for the player controlling that ship. If there’s no line of sight between the highlighted part of the ship and incoming torpedoes, the torpedoes will stop homing. Assess where the ping came from and turn the highlighted part of your hull away from that direction—this will reduce the effectiveness of the torpedo attack.

As part of the changes to the sonar ping mechanics, we’ve removed the ability to switch their width and speed—it’s easier to use one type of sonar ping to hit the ship’s hull and highlighted part than two sonar ping types with different parameters.

Changes to the Battery Mechanics

In the previous test, submarine batteries recharged while underwater when traveling at 1/4 speed, and a low battery charge didn’t impose any penalties. This factor allowed submarines to operate underwater continuously without any significant difficulties.

Now, when a submarine is underwater, her battery charge will restore to approximately 30% of its capacity at any speed and will not be consumed while moving. When the charge is depleted to 20%, the width of sonar pings is reduced.

Anti-Submarine Weapons for Battleships and Heavy Cruisers

In the new test iteration, battleships and heavy cruisers will be able to call in anti-submarine warfare aircraft. When choosing this type of weapon, the camera rises and the aiming reticle will allow you to select an area within a radius of about 10 km. After a while, a group of aircraft will arrive and drop depth charges in this area. The charges carried by anti-submarine warfare aircraft gradually restore. Battleships and cruisers will be able to determine a submarine’s approximate location with the help of the Hydrophone at distances of 3–5 km.


Information about a submarine’s approximate location received from the Hydrophones of all ships will be shared with allies. The action range of destroyer Hydrophones has been increased to about 7 km. This change will ease the burden of anti-submarine efforts borne by destroyers. However, their depth charges remain the fastest and most effective way to destroy submarines.

Detectability of Ships from Submarines

Submarines previously had too much of an advantage when confronting destroyers due to their low detectability. To balance this, the standard detectability range of surface ships has been reduced by one third for submarines. It’s now harder to detect a ship from a submarine than from a high vantage point. For example, a destroyer with a 6 km detectability range will be detected by a submarine at a distance of 4 km. At the same time, the average visibility of a submarine on the surface is 4.5–5 km. If the ship starts firing, the submarine will see her from a distance that’s equal to the ship’s firing range.

Emitting Sonar Waves Manually

The sonar wave that outlined and highlighted the underwater terrain around a submarine, which enabled players to better navigate underwater, was previously emitted automatically. These sonar waves will now be emitted by pressing the G key and, in addition to the surrounding terrain, will outline the silhouettes of ships that are located beyond the visibility distance. The submarine will receive more information about what’s happening on the surface and be able to launch an attack more efficiently.

Other Changes

  • It will require more time to dive from the surface to a depth that provides protection against HE weapons. The depth at which a submarine can be hit by rockets, bombs, and shells has been increased from 6 to 10 meters.
  • The underwater world has also been updated. We’ve added various objects and improved the visual effect that highlights the terrain, thus simplifying underwater navigation.

These are just the most significant changes. In addition to these, we’ve updated, improved, and adjusted many other elements of the gameplay.

Playing Submarines

Submarines are fragile and cautious hunters. Their diving depth affects their detectability, viewing range, and interaction possibilities with other submarines and ships. Maneuver, change your diving depth, hide from your enemies, and surprise them with stealth attacks from the flanks.

Submarines have small HP pools, so stick to the flanks and attack your enemy from longer distances or while submerged. Try to avoid staying in the same location for too long and make sure to enlist your allies’ support. In case of danger, use the Maximum Depth consumable.

The primary targets for submarines are sluggish ships. Agile targets that are capable of maneuvering are difficult to hit.

Submarine Controls

  • The W, A, S, and D keys control horizontal movement.
  • Press F to ascend.
  • Press C to dive.
  • Ctrl+F and Ctrl+C lock the horizontal rudders to either ascend or dive.
  • 1—sonar pings.
  • 2—torpedoes.
  • Press G to release a wave from an underwater Hydrophone. It highlights the underwater topography and displays ships, including those that are located beyond the underwater visibility distance.

Surfaced and Submerged Submarines

Submarines can move between two operational levels: surfaced, and submerged (6 meters and deeper). Key Areas can be captured only when surfaced. Submarines detect surface ships at a range that’s 30% less than the detection range of surface ships.

When a submarine dives deeper than 6 meters, her speed drops significantly, visibility reduces by half, and viewing range decreases to the value of her torpedo range. While submerged, a submarine can detect ships only within her viewing radius, provided that they are within her direct line of sight.

A submarine at depths of up to 10 meters can be hit with shells, ship- and airborne torpedoes, aerial bombs, and rockets.

A submarine at depths of 30 meters and below can be detected only by ships with Hydroacoustic Search and other submarines, while the Hydrophone allows the approximate location of a submarine to be determined.

The Maximum Depth consumable enables you to temporarily dive to depths of 50–80 meters. At this depth, the damage of depth charges is reduced, and the submarine’s location can no longer be determined by use of a Hydrophone.

Acoustic Homing Torpedoes

The main armament carried by submarines is acoustic homing torpedoes. New mechanics—sonar pings—will help you increase the potential effectiveness of your torpedo salvos. Emit sonar pings at enemy ships. By doing so, your torpedoes will be guided to the target and deal more damage if they connect. Torpedoes can ascend from the depths and hit an enemy only with the help of an active effect from a sonar ping.

  • A sub can fire torpedoes and emit sonar pings from any position. When in the submerged position, a sonar ping can be emitted in any direction, even at targets above or below the sub.
  • Aim for an enemy ship, take a lead on the target, and click the left mouse button. Please note: unlike when firing, the camera won’t follow the target automatically.
  • Upon hitting a target, part of the hull will be highlighted. The size of the highlighted part depends on the ping’s width. Your torpedoes will be guided exactly towards that target. The pinged part of the target ship will also be highlighted for the player controlling that ship.
  • A repeat hit to the highlighted part of the hull will make your torpedoes ascend to the optimum depth and ignore the target’s torpedo protection.
  • The effect of a successful ping hit remains active for 10–25 seconds, depending on the exact submarine. Hitting the highlighted part of a ship with another sonar ping will reset its action time.
  • If a sonar ping hits part of a ship that isn’t highlighted, the spot from the previous sonar ping will relocate to the new area. The effect timer won’t be reset in this case.

Emitting sonar pings spends battery charge.

  • Battery charge can be restored to approximately 30% of its capacity while underwater. To fully restore the charge, a submarine has to ascend to the surface.
  • Battery charge is restored up to 30% of its capacity while a submarine is traveling at any speed underwater, and it isn’t depleted while a submarine is in motion. When the charge is depleted to 20%, the width of sonar pings is reduced.

If you attack a ship from afar, keep emitting sonar pings to maintain their effect while your torpedoes are traveling to their target. Remember that guiding your torpedo to its target with the help of sonar pings doesn’t guarantee a hit.

  • Torpedoes have very poor maneuverability. They lose speed when turning and aren’t capable of catching up to a ship that’s actively maneuvering.
  • If there’s no direct line of sight between the pinged part of a ship and your torpedoes, their homing abilities will be disabled.
  • Upon approaching the target to a distance of approximately 1 km, torpedo homing gets disabled and it will travel straight ahead. If the enemy changes speed or course during this time, your torpedo might miss it.

Playing Against Submarines

Surface ships are equipped with Hydrophones. These can detect submarine movement within a 4–5 km radius from the ship. The operating range of Hydrophones installed on destroyers is larger—approximately up to 7 km. The approximate location of a submarine is designated with a special marker. Information about the location of submarines from the Hydrophones of all ships is transmitted to all allies.

One important change to the new test iteration is the ability to call in anti-submarine warfare aircraft for all battleships and heavy cruisers VI Aoba, VI Pensacola, VI Nürnberg, VI Devonshire, VI La Galissonnière, and VI Trento. You can choose that armament type by pressing 4. The camera rises and the reticle allows you to select an area within a 7 km radius from the ship. Aircraft will arrive and drop depth charges in this area shortly after selecting it. Watch the Hydrophone indications carefully and call in aircraft when appropriate, taking into account some lead time before they will attack.

All destroyers and cruisers VI Dallas, VI Budyonny, VI Leander, and VI Perth are armed with depth charges. These are capable of hitting submerged submarines. To use them, get close to a submarine and drop the depth charges by pressing G.

In addition to depth charges and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, high-explosive shells, constant course changes, Hydrophones, and Hydroacoustic Search will come in handy when fighting against submarines.

  • At depths of up to 10 meters, a submarine can be hit with shells, ship- and airborne torpedoes, aerial bombs, and rockets.
  • High-explosive shells are the most effective shell type to deploy against submarines. They can inflict damage to a submarine even when they don’t directly strike one. Falling in a sub’s vicinity is enough, thanks to the shell’s fragmentation damage area.
  • Both depth charges and anti-submarine warfare aircraft can be activated one after another, and they can be used again after their cooldown period is over.
  • If a submarine hides at the maximum depth of more than 50 meters, the damage from depth charge hits will be reduced, but still remains quite considerable.
  • The pinged part of a ship is highlighted—that’s how you can determine where the submarine is attacking from. If there’s no direct line of sight between the pinged part of your ship and the incoming torpedoes, the torpedoes will no longer be guided towards the ship—constantly change your course, and turn your bow or stern to face the submarine’s direction.
  • The Hydroacoustic Search consumable can detect a submarine at any depth.

One thought on “WoWS: Submarine Testing

  1. Typical WG move: rather than fix problems they add new content / add more premium ships. This’ll be another shit show like CVs.

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