This guide aims to teach you (Yes,YOU!) how to thrive as a japanese tanker
For that, we’ll make a detailed walkthrough of the most interesting lineups, as well as provide you with Tips and Tricks for your journey
This guide is a Work in Progress!
This guide was made for #WTGuide1
Welcome to the Japanese Ground Tree, now you probably stumbled here for one of three reasons:
– You’re interested in War Crimes Japanese military history
– You’re a mas*chi*t (Also check France!)
But no matter the reason, this guide is here to help you reach the higher tiers of the Japanese Tree with the least amount of pain.
First, forget everything you learned playing the Tigers, Shermans and KVs.
Now, let’s begin
What to expect from the Japanese Tank Tree?
- It’s a small tree, you will complete it faster than any other
- It’s the most fun tree in the game
- Vehicles with good firepower, but no armour
- Great mobility, especially from the Cold War onwards
Note: Nothing in this guide is a “do this and only this“, they are mere suggestions based on my experience with the Japanese tree
(This guide uses Realistic Battle Ratings)
General Tips & Crew Skills
Tip : In most tanks, you shouldn’t bring a full ammo load
More ammo means a higher chance of an enemy round hitting said ammo, resulting in big explosion. I added my recommended ammo loads under each tank’s description in italic
Tip : Keep separate crews for tanks/aircraft
For the Japanese tree, i recommend having 4 tank slots, and one plane/helicopter slot(Or more, if you have the GE)
This is because while tank and plane crew points are shared, the skills you spend them on are different. So, instead of leveling 2 different skillsets, stick with a single vehicle type
I’ll be sticking with ground vehicle skills, as they’re the focus of this guide.
The Crew Skills Menu can be opened by clicking on a crew slot (That has a vehicle in it) and then selecting Crew.
The most important skills are:
Targeting(Gunner) -> Improves turret traverse rate, also allows you to move the gun in two axis at the same time.
Weapon Reloading(Tank Loader) -> Makes you reload faster. This does not apply to autoloaders.
Leadership(Tank Commander) -> Improves other skills by up to 10%
Other important skills include:
Vitality(All) -> Improves your crew health. Is especially useful since Japan features a lot of open-top tanks.
Field Repair(All) -> (This skill uses an average of all 5 crewmembers, so level them up equally) Reduces the maximum time it takes to repair a tank mid match.
Agility(All) -> (This skill uses an average of all 5 crewmembers, so level them up equally) Reduces the time it takes for the crew to swap positions, should one of them die.
Rangefinding(Gunner) -> Makes your rangefinder much more precise.
Tank Driving(Driver) -> Slightly improves tank handling.
And some more specific skills:
Artillery Targeting Accuracy and Artillery Strike Calling Time(Radio Operator Gunner) -> Will make your artillery strikes much more precise and reduce the time between you calling and the first shells landing, respectively.
Repair Speed and Repair Rank(Logistical Services) -> Reduces the time it takes for a tank to be repaired for free after a battle(If Auto-Repairs are disabled) and increases the maximum vehicle rank for this free repair to happen, respectively. Useful for tankers low on Silver Lions.
Keen Vision(All) -> (This skill uses an average of all 5 crewmembers, so level them up equally) Improves the distance at which you spot enemies (You may have noticed a small red arrow on the corners of your screen, this skill improves that).
Rank I – “The Painful Start”
Welcome to Rank 1, if you went ahead and hopped into a match with the reserve duo, the I-Go Ko and Ke-Ni, then you probably understood why pain was mentioned in the Introduction.
Tip : Go for the Type 94 first
You may think it’s weird to go for an SPAA before any tanks, but fear not, young samurai.
The Type 94 is equipped with a mighty 20mm autocannon, capable of destroying any tank you might face early on.
Now, onto the lineups:
The Low Tier Lineup
The first tier does not offer many good options, so we will go with 3 vehicles, with optional aircraft if you have crew slots to spare
Type 94 – Powerful Cannon, Nonexistant Armor (that’s a trend with most Japanese tanks)
Use AP-T rounds to deal with enemy tanks.
Tip: When you get close to your enemies, start driving in reverse, so that you can have a beter coverage with your cannon.
20x Type 100 AP-T
Ho-Ro – A powerful derp cannon, with a long reload (And Nonexistant Armor)
Use HE rounds. With 7kg of TNT, it can send even late heavies into oblivion. But it does come with a cost: The shell has an extremely low velocity of 290 m/s.
You’ll want to play pa*sively, and learn how to accurately estimate the distance to a target.
28x Type 92 HE
Ro-Go Exp. – Not very powerful, but still usable (Also with no armor (You get the idea, right?)).
16x Schneider-Canet SAP
Other notable tanks include:
Ho-I, at a slightly higher BR, you may want to consider using it in place of the Type 94.
Ka-Chi, as a time-limited tank, it is now unobtainable, but if you own it, i strongly recommend using it.
The Ki-32 has a great bomb load, and superb agility.
The Ki-21-la may look heavy, but you must not be fooled! This plane can outturn most biplanes! It can also carry 20x50Kg bombs!
The B5N2 is one of the best dive bombers of the early tiers. It is virtually impossible to crash into the ground, as this plane can recover from the steepest of dives with ease.
You probably don’t want be in this guy’s sights
Rank 2 – “Finally, usable tanks!”
Congrats on reaching Rank 2, pretty much every tank in this Rank is good, but this is my recommended lineup:
The Rank 2 Lineup
Chi-Ha Kai – Upgraded version of the Chi-Ha, now with a reliable 47mm gun with fast reload rates. You’ll want to sneak around and catch your foe by surprise.
Up to 66x Type 1 APHE (Best: 54x)
Chi-Ha LG – Ever wondered what would happen if you strapped a naval cannon onto a tank cha*sis? While this may look very menacing, the SAP round has lackluster penetration (But still enough to get the job done). You definitely don’t want to be seen, as you quite literally have no armor. That’s right, 80% of your crew is completely exposed.
Chi-he – This is like a slightly improved Chi-Ha Kai, it should be played in a similar manner.
Up to 73x Type 1 APHE (Best: 29x)
Ho-Ni San III – A Casemate Tank Destroyer, it boasts a powerful 75mm cannon, enough to deal with most threats. You should still stay out of enemy sights, and play with the element of surprise.
Up to 36x Type 1APHE (Best: 23x)
Other notable tanks include:
Chi-Nu, It has the same gun as the Ho-Ni III, but in a proper tank hull and at a full BR higher.
M16 MGMC, If you’re having trouble with planes, consider adding this to your lineup, with 4x 50 cals, it should be enough to deal with any aerial threats.
The N1K1 has a good set of armaments for dealing with air targets.
The B6N1 Model 11 plays similarly to the B5N2, but with front-facing machine guns.
The Ki-44-I has great flight performance and guns.
“Two of your crewmembers rely on blind faith in the emperor and two more are playing ♥♥♥♥*ng peek-a-boo behind the gun shield” -Many Miles Away
Rank 3 – “First American Tanks”
Rank 3 sees the first american tanks appear in the tree.
The Rank 3 Lineup
M24 – The M24 is arguably one the best low tier tanks in the game. Use your great mobility to flank your enemies, stay hidden, scout targets for your team and peek when you see an easy target. A well played M24 will dominate the enemy team and net your team a victory.
21x M61 shot + 4x M64
Na-To – With a fearsome cannon and a good fire rate, the Na-To excels as a tank destroyer. However, you’re still a gla*s cannon: Find a good sniping spot where you can watch over choke points and/or enemy routes.
21x Type 1 APHE (Or 15x Type 1 APHE + 6x Type 4 APCR)
Chi-Nu – While it is a good tank, the Chi-Nu will struggle against heavier opponents. Learn about your opponents weakspots and try to get side shots as often as possible.
20x Type 1 APHE
Chi-Ha LG – Is still usable at this BR, and should still be played pa*sively.
The B7A2 is like the ultimate evolution of the B5N2, now with two forward-facing 20mm cannons with plenty of ammo, the B7A2 can even be used to engage enemy aircraft. With 10x60Gg bombs or a single 800Kg, you’re able to make short work of any tank.
The A6M2 mod.11, AKA the Zero, is a very light fighter. With its superior agility, any enemy foolish enough to attempt to turnfight you will quickly find themselves back in the hangar.
The Ki-61-I otsu is a great energy fighter, use its 2x250Kg bombs to kill any unsuspecting tanks, before climbing and achieving air superiority for your team.
Tankers may also enjoy the Chi-To Late and Chi-Ri II.
However, their BRs make it difficult to place them in a lineup, but if you feel confident, bringing the M24 and M19A1 as back-up may work.
Chi-To Late – Has decent frontal protection, but don’t rely on it. You will get better results when using this tank as a sniper. If pushing is needed, stay close to your team and/or cover, and pay attention to your surroundings.
23x Type 4 Kou
Chi-Ri II – It has the same gun as the Chi-To, but with an added autoloader than allows you to fire 3 shots in quick succession. This tank is good at ambushing the enemy, with a secondary 37mm cannon that can be used to bait tanks out of their cover.
35 Type 4 Kou + 21x Type 94 APHE
M19A1 – With a twin 40mm cannon, it can take care of any aircraft, if you can land your shots, that is. Don’t waste your ammo shooting far away planes. Practice is recommended before usage in real battles.
44x Mk.II (For SPAA-only, bring M81A1 if you want to engage tanks)
Other notable tanks include:
Chi-Nu II, a very good grinder (As it is a premium), plays similarly to the other Rank 3 Mediums.
The A6M5, a later Zero variant, with increased thrust. It’s still the same agile but fragile fighter.
The Ki-61-II Otsu Kai, an improved Ki-61, with improved armament and better flight performance.
O frogchaffee of the lake, what is your wisdom?
Rank 4 – “The Cold War Begins”
With Rank 4, come the first JSDF designs.
M4A3 (76) W – Is a great support tank, so work together with your team. It has great performance, but can be lacking against heavier opponents.
25x M62 shell + 6x M93 shot
Type 75 SPH – The ultimate derp gun of the Japanese tree. It lacks a stabilizer, so plan your movements accordingly. Its M107 round, with over 9Kgs of TNT equivalent, will delete any tank with a well placed shot: Aim for coupolas (Or any surface close to the thin roof armour, including roof-mounted machineguns), under the enemy tanks, or other weakspots. Tankers may find it hard to hit long-distance shots at first, but with time and practice you will be better than any rangefinder at estimating distances.
23x M107 + 2x M110 + 3x M107 (PF)
M41 – A fast light tank, stock grinding it may be difficult at first, but once APDS is unlocked, the tank gets significantly stronger. Plays similarly to the M24, in a scouting role.
28x M331A2 + 5x M361
M36B2 – The latest addition to the Japanese tree. It has a great choice of rounds, making it great as a support Tank Destroyer.
15x M82 shot + 6x M348 shell
The ST-A1 and ST-A2 are generally not worth it, as they are basically a sidegrade to the M36B2, but with higher crew and repair costs. However, they may be a good replacement for the M4A3, should you find it too lacking at this BR.
The J7W1 takes skill, but its 4x30mm cannon, capable of loading HE rounds, are excellent at killing open-top vehicles you commonly find at this BR.
The J2M and Ki-84 variants are quite capable fighters.
Type 61 – Japan’s first MBT, it is great at flanking, and the presence of smoke launchers allows you to retreat from a dangerous position. M431 HEAT-FS is good for long-range engagements, but the M82 APHE is also a great choice for maximum damage.
18x M431 shell + 5x M82 shot
ST-A3 – One of the Type 61 prototypes, the main differences being the presence of an autoloader and the lack of smoke dispensers. It plays very similarly to the Type 61 except with a consistent 6s reload until the ready-rack is emptied.
20x M431 shell + 12x M82 shot (Or around 14x M431 shell + 6x M82 shot for increased survivability)
Type 60 SPRG (C) – Featuring two recoilless guns, the Type 60 is a small and nimble tank that excels at ambushing enemies. The impressive -20º of gun depression and your low profile allows you to get an advantage in hilly terrain.
10xM361A1 or 10xM344A1 (I personally prefer the HESH round, but either are valid)
The J7W1 is also a viable choice for this lineup.
Average weeaboo tank
Rank 5 – “Lineups?”
Rank 5 is a rather tricky one. It used to be small enough that you could go past it with just the STB-1, however, many tanks were added to this rank in recent updates, but it is still difficult to form proper lineups.
Ideally, you’ll want to use your Rank 4 lineup until you have most of the tanks listed below, then use the Rank 5 tanks to research the 6th Rank.
The best tanks at Rank 5
Ho-Ri Production – Comes too late to the party: It is the only japanese tank with armor, but it comes at a BR where most tanks have high-pen APDS or HEAT-FS rounds. It still has a powerful cannon, comparable to German 88mm cannons(but at a higher BR). Play this tank as a sniper, staying away from the enemy will make your armor more effective.The shell has 200g of TNT filler, so a penetration is as good as a death sentence.
40x Type 2 APHE
M47 – Plays very similarly to the Type 61, but with negligible extra protection.
Up to 42x, use any ratio of HEAT:APHE as you want, depending on which you prefer
STB-1 – The first Type 74 prototype. This is the first awesome tank of the tree: full stabilizer, laser rangefinder, great APDS round, good mobility, adjustable suspension…
With the STB, you can play more aggressively. Its rounded turret may bounce some shots, but don’t rely on it. The HESH rounds are also good at dealing with light targets, especially once you unlock the laser rangefinder.
15x M392A2 + 6x Type 75
Type 87 RCV – Fast and with a 25mm APFSDS autocannon. It may be hard to get on the enemy flank because you look like a ma*sive brick, but once you get your sights on their weak side armor, its back to the hangar for them.
4x PMB 090
The Kikka is a valid choice, having access to a powerful 800Kg bomb, but it may suffer in the low-altitude fights of Ground RB.
The R2Y2 Kai (Any) is the better plane for Ground battles, also having a 800Kg bomb (Just make sure you don’t take the Naval AP bomb), it also features 4x30mm cannons for dealing with aerial foes.
Extra: The 8.3 Lineup
These vehicles can make a great 8.3 lineup. If you only have 4 tank slots, take your least favourite out.
Type 89 / Type 87 RCV / Type 75 SPH / STB – 1 / Type 87 (SPAA)
Legend has it that you’re not a true Japan main until you have a spaded Type 60 ATM
Rank 6 – “The Honorabu Type 74”
Rank 6 has only 4 tanks, but some great ones at that.
Tip : After you’re done with researching Rank 6, go for the Type 16 instead of the Type 90
The Type 16 can be used alongside 8.7 vehicles, and will be much more helpful at grinding.
The 8.7 Lineup
Type 89 – Despite being nerfed in every update, it still is a viable IFV. Don’t be seen, find a good camping spot and retreat to a capture point to refill your missiles and ammo as needed. The stabilized cannon is good, but you won’t be able to fire your missiles on the move.
230x DM23 + 25x DM11A1 + 2x Type 79
Type 74 (E) – The staple tank of Japan, it has great firepower and mobility. Unlock the first APFSDS as soon as possible. This tank suits a variety of playstyles, including flanking, sniping and even pushing(If you’re confident you won’t be shot). Also features Hydropneumatic Suspension, allowing you to get more depression/elevation on your gun and improve off/on road performance. (Also has a dozer blade, but it’s not particularly useful)
21x Type 93
Type 87 – What’s better than 2x35mm fast firing guns? Auto Tracking 2x35mm fast firing guns! The Type 87 has both a search and a track radar, providing you with the ideal lead for your shots ant even following the plane automatically. Can also equip a 40-round belt of APDS for protection against tanks.
What’s this? Mobile Suit Gundam?
Also no, this isn’t a Gepard, stop saying it’s a Gepard variant
2x Default + 2x DM23 (Or 2x DM11A1 + 2x DM23, but this significantly decreases your anti-tank potential)
Type 74 (F) – Is basically the same as the (E) variant, but without dozer blade 🙁 (Also with some extra 10mm panels on the hull).
21x Type 93
The R2Y2s are still viable.
The F-86F-30 can carry 2x1000lb bombs, and can also take care of enemy fighters.
You can even bring it to your local lowrider meeting!
Or to your local Special Region
Also useful against wyverns
Rank 7 – “The Good Ending”
Rank 7 is fast, very fast. Japan has some of the fastest top tier vehicles in the game.
Tip: Commander Thermals can be used as thermal binoculars.
The 9.0 Lineup
Note: The Type 74 (F) is used here because it’s likely you haven’t spaded it yet, so use the bonus RP to research the next vehicles.
Note2: The Type 87 RCV should enter this lineup after you finished researching the MBTs, as it is a Rank 5 and therefore does not help with Rank 7 research.
Type 16 – Remember the powerful Type 74 cannon? Ever wondered what would happen if we strapped it to a F1 car?
The Type 16 is like a super Type 74, it’s fast, very fast, has crisp clean Gen 3 thermals for the gunner and commander, its super angled frontal armor can bounce a lot of poorly-placed shots. Play this as a flanker or a sniper, always switching positions and scouting targets for your team.
Also featuring a Laser Warning System, letting you know when you’re about to die
20x Type 93 + 5x Type 75
Type 93 – What would happen if you took a Toyota Mega Cruiser to battle? Well if the terrorists use them why can’t we? I’ll be honest with you: This thing sucks, but its FAST, very FAST, SUPER FAST, so fast in fact you can outrun the traverse of many tanks (But you’ll never get this far anyway). How to play this? 1) Get speed 2) Do some sick jumps and get out of the map 3) Die because you can’t lock on anything
Did i mention you can’t shoot at tanks?
1x Type 91
Other notable tanks include:
Type 74 (G), is still very similar to the previous Type 74s, but with the IR illuminator swapped out for a thermal sight and the addition of sideskirts.
The UH-1B can work, but it’s honestly ♥♥♥♥.
Top Tier Lineup
Note: Use the Type 90 (B) until you get the Type 10(And try to spade it as you get a nice RP boost)
Type 90 – 4s Autoloader, fast, limited hydropneumatic suspension. Honestly, this tank is very lacking: The shell is not great for 10.7 and protection is nonexistant.
However, the 4s autoloader will prove an excelent a*set in any engagement, and its great mobility allows for long range, short range and even urban combat.
Type 10 – The Type 90 evolution (It still has no armor). Now with the exclusive Type 10 round, capable of over 600mm of penetration, full hydropneumatic suspension and crisp Gen 3 Thermals for Gunner and Commander. It plays much like the Type 90.
22x Type 10 (Or 15x Type 10 For increased protection from the sides)
The T-2 and F-1 carry great bomb loads.
The F-4EJ and F-4EJ Kai carry even greater bomb loads.
The AH-1S Kisarazu can work, but it’s not awesome.
The AH-64DJP can carry 16xHellfire II ATGMs, capable of dealing with any of those pesky tanks.
Did you say “Lowrider”?
Nani? Negative Ground Clearance?
Common sight while driving the Type 93
Nani? Octa-Wheeled Dorifto??
Japan as a whole takes a lot of skill, and therefore may not be suited for beginners.
Those who do master the Japanese tree, however, will be able to excel in any other nation in the game, as Japanese tanks teach you how not to depend on your armor, and instead abuse superior positioning and well placed shots.
We reach the end of the Guide (except for the trivia below)
I hope you found it useful.
Please do post any suggestions and/or criticism in the comments below.
While the naming of WW2 Japanese tanks may seem weird, they all follow a rather simple convention:
All tanks are named Type + Last 2 digits of the year
Nani? Why is the Chi-Ha called Type 97 then? Was it made in 1997?
The year used is actually the one in the Japanese Imperial Calendar, based on the founding of Japan in 660 BC, therefore the Chi-Ha is actually the Type 2597
As for stuff like “Chi-Ha”, “Ho-Ro” and such:
Most of the tanks are cla*sified in the following categories:
Chi -> Medium
Ho -> SPG
Ke -> Light
Ka -> Amphibious
Followed by a number based on the poem Iroha
I Ro Ha Ni Ho He To Chi Ii Nu Ru …
Therefore the Chi-Ha means the Third Medium Tank, and the Ho-Ro is the Second SPG (The first being the Ho-I, also in the game)
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