The vehicle crew in World of Tanks is represented by virtual tankers. No vehicle can operate without a complete crew. The mastery of the crew determines a vehicle's performance on the battlefield.
Depending on the vehicle type, a crew can consist of between two and six members. Each tanker has a major qualification that influences certain vehicle parameters, as follows:
- Commander: The chief crew member in any vehicle whose training level influences the vehicle's view range and the general performance of the crew.
- Gunner: Influences the gun traverse speed, aiming time of the reticle, and gun accuracy.
- Driver: Influences the maneuverability of the vehicle.
- Radio Operator: Influences the vehicle's view and signal range, which determines the distance at which enemy vehicles are displayed on the minimap.
- Loader: Influences the gun loading time and shell type switching.
Tankers can perform several functions. For example, the I MS-1 's Commander performs the functions of the Gunner, Loader, and Radio Operator. The crew's influence on a vehicle's technical characteristics increases with the major qualification level, as well as with perk levels.
If one or more crew members become injured, the technical characteristics of the vehicle are reduced until the tankers are healed. An artillery strike stuns the vehicle's crew for a particular period of time, and the vehicle's performance is reduced for the same period. Use a First Aid Kit to heal an injured or stunned crew member. If all crew members are injured, the vehicle is considered destroyed.
Please note that the vehicle characteristics are approximate and given for a crew trained to 50% (with the Commander's bonus not applied).
A crew is present on Tier I vehicles at the beginning of the game. When purchasing a vehicle, the crew is recruited automatically by default.
If you checked the "Purchase without crew" box when purchasing a vehicle, here's what you can do:
- Recruit the crew to the vehicle you already have in the Garage.
- Transfer the crew from another vehicle using the Barracks.
Here is how to recruit a crew member in the Garage:
- Click the crew member slot in the crew members panel in the upper-left corner of your screen.
- Click the Recruit button at the top of the screen.
- Choose the type of the training for your new crew member and click Recruit.
You can choose one of the following three training levels:
- Rapid Courses: These courses are free, but a tanker is only trained to 50%.
- Regimental School: A tanker is trained to 75% for 20,000.
- Tank Academy: A tanker is trained to 100% for 200.
If you choose to train a crew member for free or for credits, you can train their major qualification to 100% in the Tank Academy for gold later at any time.
To maximize the battle performance of your new vehicle purchased without a crew, you can transfer your experienced crew members from another vehicle in your Garage or from a sold vehicle.
When transferring your crew, consider the following:
- The vehicle's nation: Tankers can only control vehicles of their own nation. It is impossible to retrain an American Gunner to control a German tank, for example.
- The vehicle's type: If you transfer a tanker to the same vehicle type, the level of their major qualification decreases by 25%. When transferring a crew member to another vehicle type altogether, the level of their major qualification decreases by 50%. In order to avoid this decrease, retrain your crew members to a new vehicle. Also, when transferring your crew to another vehicle without retraining, they gain 50% less experience.
The major qualification level does not decrease when crew members are transferred between Premium vehicles of the same type or from standard vehicles to Premium vehicles.
Here's how to transfer a tanker to another vehicle:
- In the Garage, select the vehicle from which you want to transfer the tanker.
- Right-click the tanker on the crew members panel and click Send to Barracks.
- Select the vehicle in the Garage to which you want to transfer the tanker.
- Click a free slot in the crew members panel and select the desired tanker from the menu.
If you want to transfer all crew members, you can also send the whole crew to the Barracks. Click (Crew Operations) above the crew members panel, and under the Send Crew to the Barracks section, click Send. The entire crew will then be sent to the Barracks.
If there is no bunk in the Barracks for at least one of the crew members, you cannot send the crew to the Barracks.
When transferred to an unfamiliar vehicle, a crew member’s major qualification level decreases. When transferring your crew to another vehicle, remember that they will be ineffective without retraining.
To retrain the tanker to a new vehicle, do the following:
- In the Garage, select the vehicle to which the tanker was transferred.
- In the crew members panel, right-click the tanker you want to retrain and select Retrain.
- Choose the training level of your tanker (Rapid Courses, Regimental School, or Tank Academy) and click Retrain.
You can also train all crew members transferred to a new vehicle at once. Click (Crew Operations), and then then select Retrain Crew. In the Crew Retraining window, choose the retraining level and click Retrain. All crew members who are not trained for this vehicle type will be retrained.
Returning a Crew to a Vehicle
To return your crew to the vehicle from which you transferred it, do the following:
- Select the vehicle to which you want to return your crew in the Garage.
- Click (Crew Operations), and under the Return Crew to Vehicle section, click Return.
When retraining a crew member to another vehicle, their ability to control the previous vehicle is lost. Because of this, when returning your crew to the vehicle from which you have transferred it, you need to retrain your crew members.
If you lack crew members with a specific qualification, you can retrain any tanker so that they get a different one. Here's how:
- In the crew members panel, left-click the empty qualification slot.
- Using the Filter button in the upper right hand corner of the screen, pick any other available crew member with a different qualification.
- Click the Change button to confirm your choice..
You will be charged 500, the tanker will acquire a new qualification, and all of their additional perks will be reset.
When changing the qualification, you are unable to change the nation of your tanker.
Each tanker has additional perks that can be improved or changed. To manage this game feature, you should first enter the tanker's Profile and then select the desired action.
If you want to improve the tanker’s perks, click Increase. To do this, you will need Free XP or training materials such as a Universal Manual.
You can also reset your tanker's existing perks at any time by clicking the Reset button and choosing one of the following four options:
- Rapid Courses: Free of charge, but the major qualification level is reduced to 80%.
- Regimental School: Costs 20,000, and the major qualification level is reduced to 90%.
- Tank Academy: Costs 200 and does not change the major qualification level.
- Retraining: Requires a Retraining Order but leaves the major qualification level unchanged.
Barracks are used for keeping, recruiting, and dismissing your tankers. In the Barracks, you can find both your current and unclaimed crew members. The Barracks tab is under the Battle! button in the Garage.
In the Barracks, you can do the following:
- Accommodate a crew after selling a vehicle or when transferring it to another vehicle. (There should be enough bunks in the Barracks.)
- Dismiss unnecessary tankers.
- Recruit special crew members (called Recruits) gained in special missions, events, or specials.
- Enlarge the Barracks to keep additional experienced fighters or to freely transfer crews between vehicles.
Sending a Crew to the Barracks Upon Selling a Vehicle
When selling a vehicle, it’s recommended to send experienced crew members to the Barracks and retrain them to a new vehicle. The "Send crew to Barracks" box is checked by default upon selling a vehicle.
If there are no free bunks, you can enlarge the Barracks for gold or dismiss unnecessary tankers.
You can dismiss unclaimed tankers. You can select this option when selling your vehicle, or you can dismiss the tankers in the Barracks.
Here's what to do to dismiss the crew when selling a vehicle:
- On the vehicle panel in your Garage, right-click the vehicle you wish to sell and select Sell.
- In the Crew section, click Dismiss.
- To confirm, enter the sale price (if required) and click Sell.
Only those crew members who have enough experience to train at least one perk to 100% can be found in the Dismissed section in the Barracks. You can recover these crew members within a period of 32 days. It's free during the first two days after dismissal, but it will cost 60,000 in the next 30 days after that.
Less trained crew members are dismissed immediately, even if a tanker only needs a couple of percent to train the perk to 100%. Treat your crew carefully.
The size of your Barracks determines the number of tankers you can keep after selling a vehicle and how freely you can transfer your crew from vehicle to vehicle. There are 16 bunks in the Barracks by default. You can enlarge your Barracks by adding bunks. Please note that the Barracks can be enlarged by 16 bunks for 300.
- In the Garage, go to the Barracks tab on the panel under the Battle! button.
- At the top part of the Barracks window, click Enlarge Barracks.
- In the confirmation window, click Enlarge.
Your Barracks will be enlarged by 16 additional bunks for 300.
Recruits are crew members gained in missions, events, or specials. All available recruits are displayed in the Recruits section of your Barracks.
When recruiting, you can choose the nation of your recruit. As a rule, recruits have enough experience to start training a perk and/or have already trained a perk. Moreover, among the recruits, there are unique crew members with special personal data.
Appearance includes the name, surname, and image of a crew member. You can find all of these parameters in your tanker’s Appearance tab.
The name, surname, and image of a crew member are randomly selected upon recruiting. Appearance does not influence your tankers performance. You can personalize your tanker’s appearance at any time by changing their name, surname, and image for free.
Here's how to replace your crew member’s appearance:
- Left-click the tanker’s image in your Barracks or Garage. In the new window, go to the Appearance tab.
- Choose the desired new appearance for the crew member. You will then also be offered to choose a new name and surname. Please note that all nations have their individual name, surname, and image sets.
- Click Change.
You cannot replace appearances for unique crew members acquired during specials or in-game events.
Crew skins are special sets of characteristics containing the following:
- Unique image
- Unique name and surname
- Short character description
You can replace your crew member with a real historical figure or a modern, popular, or even unusual character.
All skins can be removed and applied to other crew members. Historical skins are unique for each nation, but non-historical skins are applicable to all nations. All unused images are displayed in the Appearance tab.
Here's how to apply a crew skin:
- Open your crew member’s Appearance tab.
- Select a crew skin and click Apply.
You cannot apply a crew skin to unique crew members acquired during specials or in-game events.
The skin is applied for free. It changes only the appearance of the tanker, while their experience and perks remain the same.