World of Warships: What Type of Shell Should You Equip on your Warship


John Paul Santiago

Writer and Storywriter

John creates game guides and covers the latest updates and developments in Valorant, Diablo Immortal, and GTA V for PlayerAssist. He is a PC gaming enthusiast with an affinity for FPS and RPG titles, but he has recently also developed a newfound appreciation for MMORPGs.


Gun Caliber and Armor are important ship parameters to consider when choosing between which of the three Main Battery Shell Types (Armor Piercing, High Explosives, Semi-armor Piercing) you should be loading into your ship’s guns in World Of Warships.

World of Warships: What Type of Shell Should You Equip on your Warship

Beginners, most likely, cannot be bothered with figuring out what caliber of guns can penetrate which specific ships’ armor. In this case, it might be better to give players who are new to the game a general idea of the type of ammo to use in most situations to be most effective.

The type of ship you are currently using and the type of ammo you fire from said ship matter greatly in World of Warships. Here are a few easy guidelines to remember when going into battle with just about any type of warship.

The Best Ammo to Use on Each Type of Ship

Destroyers (DD)

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Destroyers are quick and stealthy scrappers on the battlefield. These small but fierce ships are the fastest and most agile in the game. Destroyers are also often equipped with a smokescreen which they can use to disappear from enemy radar and line of sight immediately.

Destroyers more often than not deal the most damage with their torpedoes, though, which is why it might not be a very good idea to try and sink other warships by using your main guns.

As a Destroyer, your best strength in battle is your stealth and speed. Engaging in dogfights with other warships with your relatively small-caliber main guns might not be a very effective strategy. As a Destroyer Captain, staying under the radar and wreaking havoc with your torpedoes is the way to go.

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However, if the situation calls for it, Destroyers can deal the most damage over time with HE Shells. Causing Fire to enemy warships will deal the most damage over a few seconds.

Fire AP Shells at just about any type of ship, exposing their full broadside at close range. Even the smallest caliber Destroyer AP rounds can deal significant damage with a direct broadside hit towards heavily armored Battleships at close range. Do not count out Armor Piercing rounds just yet, though.

Cruisers (CA)

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Cruisers are better-armored warships when compared to a Destroyer, but less so when compared to full-sized Battleships. The mid-sized Cruiser-class warships can battle with Destroyer-class ships and fellow Cruiser-class ships with very little drama.

Cruisers are well equipped with both AP and HE rounds. Some Cruisers even have Torpedoes and SAP Shells as standard. Unfortunately, a typical Cruiser-class main battery can penetrate Destroyer-class armor and fellow Cruiser-class ship armor at close range.

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For Cruisers, it might be best to load up HE Shells, for the most part. An HE Shells’ blast radius is large enough to cause damage to Destroyer-class ships’ modules (engine, steering gears, etc.), and the rapid-fire capability of some Cruisers can cause continuous Fire damage to larger ships such as the Battleship class. 

The only time you should be loading up on AP Shells is when a similar Cruiser-class ship shows full broadside.

Battleship (BB)

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The Battleship-class warship possesses the largest caliber main guns of any warship in World of Warships. The mother of all Battleships, the Yamato-class Battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, possessed the largest caliber guns ever mounted onto a warship (18.1-inch 45 caliber Type 94 Naval Gun)

In general, High-caliber guns = high penetration capability. However, high penetration is not always a good thing in World of Warships.

There is this thing called “Over penetration” in World of Warships, which means that rather than Shells piercing through the armor of a ship and causing damage to its internals, the Shells instead shoot through the entire hull of the warship and end up in the water instead. In World of Warships, Overpenetration can only deal as much as 1000 damage.

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Another thing to consider when choosing which Shells to use as a Battleship is the Battleship’s inherent slow reload times. Battleships take the longest time to fill when compared to Destroyers and Cruisers. Because of this, Battleship players should think long and hard about which type of Shells to use in certain situations and targets.

However, as a general rule:

  • Battleships should use HE rounds when the target is a Destroyer (since AP rounds will only Overpenetrate Destroyer Armor)
  • Against Cruisers, AP rounds are the way to go. The improved armor plating of Cruisers mean that they are less prone to Overpenetration unlike the Destroyer-class warships. Well placed AP Shells against Cruisers can eliminate them in one Salvo.
  • Against similar Battleships, use AP Shells when the Battleship is more or less at broadside (less chance of richochet, or the Shells bouncing off of enemy Battleship armor) Use HE Shells when they are at a tougher angle (HE Shells do not ricochet regardless of the target’s angle)
  • To deal maximum damage to enemy Aircraft Carriers, AP Shells are once again the way to go. Aircraft Carrier Citadels are easy to hit from both vertical and horizontal angles.

Ammunition’s Cool

Knowing which type of ammo to use in World of Warships will help even the newest players increase the total amount of damage they deal in a 20-minute match.

Aiming in World of Warships is already difficult as it is. Landing a couple of good shots with the wrong type of ammo will often negate the effectiveness of your Shells regardless of how clean your shots have landed.

Now that you are armed with the general knowledge of which type of Shells to use in most situations on most warship types, it is time to head onto a battle and put these theories to the test! Good luck!

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