Each ship class in the game has a unique play style and role on the battlefield -- none of them is useless or unplayable. A good player knows these roles, plays to the strength of their ship's class, and knows which class of ship fits his or her playstyle the best. It's important to understand the role of every class in the game, even classes you don't actually play, in order to better serve your team. By knowing the roles and capabilities of each ship on your team, you can provide better support to your teammates and even predict their actions without needing to communicate with them. It's this kind of silent teamwork which can often win many a game.
Destroyers, characterized by their small size, high speed, and excellent maneuverability, are arguably the most versatile class in the game. They are vital to a team's composition as a screen for larger ships, and can serve roles ranging from support DPS, to Anti-Air, to Anti-Submarine Warfare, to providing vision when aircraft are unavailable, and even to acting as a kind of assassin -- taking out targets of opportunity like Carriers or distracted Battleships. They can also lay and sweep for mines; however, it is generally recommended that you avoid using your mines unless covering a retreat. They do not cause significant damage and are more likely to harm your team than the enemy.
Scouting, Screening, and Capping
Even down at tier I, destroyers play a huge role in securing sight for your team and protecting your capital ships against enemy destroyers and cruisers. Packing high speed and incredible landing force power, DDs are second only to APAs in their capping ability. Especially on maps with only a few islands, capturing bases can often determine the outcome of a battle. If you get a good spawn at the head of your team, rush forward to the nearest base and release a couple of landing craft -- just enough to grab control of the island for a few seconds and provide your team vision on the approaching enemy. Do NOT stick around for more than a second or two. A DD's lifeline is its mobility, and if you sit around for too long (like 10 seconds), you will die.
Once you've gotten the initial spot on the enemy, the larger ships on your team should open fire on them. If you got in and out fast enough, and your teammates have good marksmanship, you may even succeed in halting the enemy advance and causing a few casualties. Sight is everything in NavyField, especially in lower-tier rounds where nobody has access to recon aircraft. So being smart about capping can massively swing the course of a battle in your favor right from the start. As the game progresses, make sure you continue capturing bases when the opportunity presents itself. Secure vision and map control for your team, and deny it from the enemy.
DD's also tend to have greater sight range than other classes of ships. The tier VI destroyers, in particular, receive upgrades to their base sight range, giving them a line of sight of over 1km. This allows you to act as something of a pseudo-scout, when friendly aircraft and bases are either unavailable or nonexistent. If you see a battlegroup on your team advancing into darkness, take up a position ahead of them and advance carefully. As soon as an enemy ship enters the periphery of your sight range, drop back and keep them at your max sight range. You'll be out of their line of sight, and you and your larger teammates will be free to rain hell upon them.
Be careful which advances you choose to push. A DD should only have to scout when absolutely necessary. If there are friendly planes inbound or a teammate is readying a scout (listen for the sound of a radial engine starting up), then do not risk your life unnecessarily. If you see a friendly battleship charging headfirst into darkness with no prior knowledge of where the enemy is and no teammates supporting them, they're already a lost cause.
Playing in this manner also allows you to defend or "screen" friendly capital ships from the attacks of enemy destroyers and light cruisers. Make sure you give friendly ships, especially BBs, plenty of room. They tend to need a lot of space to maneuver, especially when fighting enemy ships. Crowding them is an easy way to anger them, even if you're trying to protect help. Avoid crossing paths with them, lest you get shot accidentally. The bigger ship always has the right of way.
All destroyers come equipped with AA shells and sonar -- use them! While you'll want load your guns mostly with HE shells, make sure you take at least 10% AA. The first destroyer you get in the game has better Anti-Aircraft capabilities than even some high tier battleships and cruisers, so when you see an enemy scout or a group of bombers coming for your team, whack them out of the sky.
Although you won't have access to depth charges (DC) until you get the Tier IV DD, you can still help your team by using your sonar to ping for enemy subs. Bound to 6 by default, switch to your sonar, press space, then immediately switch back to your main weapon. Fire off several pings if you suspect there could be a sub nearby, since most of your teammates will not have sonar. Successfully detecting a sub takes into account the distance between you and the sub, as well as your crew's ability to detect subs versus the enemy crew's ability to remain hidden. You might not light them up the first time, so keep pinging until you are sure they are gone! Equipping your DD with enhanced sonar can also help when trying to detect a sub.
If you successfully ping a sub, you'll a flashing red circle above its position with a number range, either 1-5 or 6-10.These numbers indicate the sub's current depth range. For example, 1-5 indicates that the sub is somewhere between depth 1 and depth 5. Only high tier subs can go deeper than depth level 8.
Subs are visible to all ships and vulnerable to torpedoes and gunfire when on the surface or at depth level 1. Once you're in a ship with depth charges, you can take the fight to subs even when they're submerged. Ping a submerged sub with your sonar, switch to your DCs (bound to 5 by default) and drop them off the back of your ship by pressing the spacebar. It takes a moment for the charges to fall off your ship and explode at the appropriate depth, so lead your shots! If your aim is spot-on, but you're not causing any damage to the sub, use R and T to increase or decrease the depth at which your DCs will explode. You will still score 1/2 damage if you misjudge the depth by 1 level.
Under certain circumstances, you can attempt to assassinate high-value targets like capital ships. Keep an eye on the minimap to determine where the enemy team is deployed, and pay special attention when you see a radar ping. Take note of which islands are enemy-controlled, and where the enemy has aircraft deployed. From all this information, determine if there are gaps in the enemy line and in their vision. If you find one, and are unneeded by your team at that moment, shoot through the gap and see if you can find some high-value targets of opportunity, especially enemy carriers. They are typically easy to find: when the radar pings, they'll typically be the one, lonesome dot near the borders and corners of the map away from the rest of their team. Sneak up on these targets, close the distance, and drop a full salvo of torpedoes. Even if they survive, you'll make short work of what's left with your guns. Be careful, though: some carriers have powerful defensive armaments of their own, and won't take too kindly to your presence.
A similar but much riskier manuever can be made against enemy battleships. If you see an unprotected enemy BB rushing your lines and engaging your teammates, an assassination attempt can be a powerful counterattack. Make sure they are distracted, get in close, and torp them. Coordinate with teammates, if you can. If you see a friendly DD making a good pass at an enemy capital ship, join them and approach from a different direction, making it even harder for the enemy to defend themselves. Enemy flagships make excellent targets for this type of maneuver.
Do not try to assassinate targets that are nearly dead or badly losing the fight against your team -- you're only wasting your torps. Find a better target!
Check out the General Gameplay Tips page for more advice on torping!
Light Cruiser (CL)
Light Cruisers can be a bit of a mixed bag. At high tiers, ships like the Brooklyn and Mogami 1935 are absolutely terrifying, boasting a versatile weapon set and some of the highest damage output in the game. Then, at the lower tiers, there are ships like the Emden, which are arguably worse than the equal-tiered DDs they're supposed to out-class. They may be small, fast, and hard to hit, but they're not as small, fast, or hard to hit as DDs. This, combined with their incredibly poor defense power (poorer even than some DDs) make early CLs like the Emden very squishy indeed, all while packing essentially the same armament as their DD counterparts.
They key to surviving these early tiers and to thriving in the late tiers is to avoid overestimating your strength. Your playstyle should be somewhat similar to that of a DD, except that you're slower, larger, and easier to hit. Also unlike DDs, you can and should rely on your guns far more than your torps. As with DDs, you should reserve your torps primarily for close range engagements and covering retreats.
CLs are not typically suited to assassination missions, especially as their torp launchers are usually on different sides of the ship, unlike DDs. The exceptions to these rules for torping in CLs are the dedicated torpedo cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy: the Sendai, Kuma, and Kitakami. All three of these Japanese torpedo cruisers excel at laying massive torp walls from mid to long range to disrupt enemy formations. The Kitakami, in particular, can assassinate targets with brutal lethality.
The great advantage of the CL class at higher tiers is the sheer volume of fire they can put out. Even 5" shells can be intimidating when there are 15 of them flying at you every two seconds. This volume of fire makes CLs in many ways more effective than DDs when it comes to roles such as screening. They are much better equipped to deal with enemy DDs as well as subs that have surfaced. Their volume of fire also makes them the most terrifying AA platforms in the game. As with DDs, though, make sure you give plenty of room to the teammates you're protecting.
CLs lack depth charges, but they do have access to sonar. Ping that sonar if you think a sub is near! Even if you can't do anything about it while it's submerged, a sub with its location known is far less threatening than an invisible one, and you'll be ready to open fire if they surface for an attack!
CLs also have mines at their disposal, though as with DDs, it is generally advised that you do not use them unless covering a retreat.
At higher tiers, CLs gain an asset that truly distinguishes them from DDs: recon aircraft. As soon as you gain access to a CL that can carry a scout, EQUIP ONE! Unlike in the original NavyField, weight and crew constrictions are not a concern in NavyField 2. Consequentially, it is absolutely inexcusable for any scout-capable ship to enter battle without having loaded recon planes. Once in battle, micromanage your scout as much as possible. In most cases, you'll be less distracted by engagements than your team's capital ships, freeing you up to control your scout plane and making it more difficult to kill. Whenever possible, try to stagger your scout with your BBs' scouts. When your BBs are about to recall their scouts for refueling, that is when you should launch your scout, thereby providing uninterrupted sight of the enemy.
Heavy Cruiser (CA)
Heavy Cruisers are the masters of support DPS and opportunism, and are very frequently the driving force behind an advance. Play a CA well, and you'll find yourself topping the rest of your team for damage dealt in most of your games.
Surprisingly, as with DDs and CLs, the CAs' greatest asset is their good speed and maneuverability. Combined with their excellent firepower, the CAs' solid agility make them a force to be reckoned with. They are the absolute masters of controlling the engagement -- picking what fights you get into, and when. Anything they can't outrun, they can blow out of the water in short order. Anything that can outgun them, they can typically outrun. All of this means that as a CA driver you are an incredibly powerful and valuable asset to a team. It also means that CA gameplay requires quite a bit of finesse.
An easy way to get the hang of the CA playstyle is to find a friendly BB and escort it. If they're at all smart, they'll be grateful for the support, as a BB with a competent CA escort is infinitely more difficult to kill than a solitary BB. CAs excel at being the nuisance which the enemy cannot afford to ignore.
The moment you see an enemy BB engage your teammate, counterattack! . At this point, the enemy has two choices: they can either continue focusing on the engagement with your teammate, in which case your added supporting fire will prove the enemy's undoing, or they can shift their attention to you, in which case you can easily drop back and outrun them, should they choose to pursue you. During that time, they will have opened themselves up to free shots from your teammate, and more than likely lose the engagement. Once their attention has shifted back, you can repeat the process until they're dead. At the very least, you might buy some time for a teammate to avoid death.
CAs can also act autonomously, but you must be cautious and opportunistic. Above all, remember to constantly keep moving, juking, and jiving. You can take much more of a hit than a CL or a DD, but you are not meant to sit still and tank damage for the team. Speed and maneuverability are your lifelines, so you should be constantly making use of them!
To augment the effectiveness of your speed and dodging abilities, try to keep your engagements at or near your maximum range, especially when fighting BBs. By keeping enemy BBs at long range, their poor shell spread will hamper their ability to land a solid salvo on you. Moreover, the increased shell travel time between them and you gives you more time to dodge incoming salvos. Meanwhile, you should be landing most if not all of your shells thanks to your superior accuracy, the BB's larger size, and their inability to dodge as effectively. If you need to engage smaller targets, or get caught with your pants down at close range, be sure to make liberal use of your secondary battery while your main guns reload. It can drastically increase your damage output and quite frequently make the difference between living and dying.
Maintain map awareness at all times. Use your scouts, the minimap, and radar pings to determine where on the map both teams are at their strongest and weakest. The CAs' combination of speed and firepower mean that they can act as something of a first-responder, transitioning between many different points on the map as needed to counter enemy pushes, aid faltering allies, or add that extra bit of momentum to an advance. Using bases to teleport can further augment your ability to respond to the changing conditions of a battle.
Learning to manage and exploit map visibility is another vital skill for any CA driver. Make use of the sight range of friendly bases when you're in a position where you need to engage multiple capital ships (or even just a lot of lower-class enemies) and the enemy has the upper hand. Try to discern what parts of the map the enemy can and cannot see by paying attention to what bases they controls and where their aircraft are deployed. If you have sight of the enemy, find an angle of approach where they're blind and exploit it! Always observe where the enemy has directed their attention, and strike from the opposite side, and/or while shrouded in the fog of war.
Managing vision becomes even more important once you acquire a CA with access to AA and a scout plane -- both of which you should use extensively. Swatting enemy scouts out of the air should be a priority. It should be the first thing you do before making an attack, or as soon as you begin a retreat.
As with CLs, try staggering your scout with your friendly BBs' scouts. Unlike with CLs, however, you should also be scouting for yourself. CAs' main batteries have enough range that scouting is absolutely vital for using your ship to its full effectiveness.
Although CAs are not at all meant to be the main damage sponges of a team, it can be prudent to mount a little bit of armor. Before you do, though, equip a boiler. This is an absolutely vital piece of equipment, especially if you choose to mount armor on your CA. Once you've added a boiler, you can add a stack or two of deck, belt, and bulge. Bulkhead armor is generally not worth the cost in both credits and in speed. Play around to find the best setup for your particular style, but do NOT mount so much armor that you cannot outrun a BB.
Finally, CAs' speed makes them useful for pushing a team's advantage and leading the assault. Try to discern when your team has the upper hand and when the enemy is faltering. When you see the enemy begin to fall back, push hard, especially if you have the sight advantage. Most enemy BBs won't be able to get away from you, meaning you can continue chipping away their health as they retreat. You'll deny them the chance to repair, recollect themselves, and reengage.
Similarly, CAs are often the best class for securing important kills. Even a crippled BB is still a threat. They can get out of your teammates' range and start repairing, only to return later in the round and turn the tide of battle in their favor. In these situations, you can use your speed to quickly give chase, fire off a salvo or two to put them out of their misery, and then return to your lines. It can be a surprisingly important move. An enemy ship is always a threat until it's dead. Even if knocked down to 1 DP; a crippled battleship is still a battleship with full offensive capabilities.
The first type of capital ship, battleships are the main alpha-damage-dealers and tanks on a team. However, don't get cocky. Despite being the ship class with the most health, armor, and alpha damage, BBs are not invulnerable, nor are they easy to play. At the same time, these traits make you a huge asset to the team. By playing a BB, you undertake a huge responsibility.
Avoid overconfidence. You might be the deadliest class afloat, but your low rate of fire means you cannot easily fight against superior numbers. Running off by yourself is an easy way to die. Determine where on the map your force is needed and head there. Just make sure you have a good screen of destroyers and cruisers to act as a buffer against smaller enemy ships which might try to assassinate you.
Over-relying on your armor or on your ability to shoot your way out of trouble will end in your death. You might have the most DP and best defense level, but anyone -- even a Tier I DD -- is still perfectly capable of damaging you. The balance of power between BBs and other classes is drastically different than it was in the original NavyField, and BBs are no longer the undisputed champions of the seas.
The guns on NF2's battleships are far less accurate than their NF1 counterparts, and as a result the advantage you wield over lower-classed ships is not as monstrous as it once was. Even two or three well-coordinated DDs represent a massive threat to you.
Additionally, a BB's large size and general sluggishness makes you the easiest to kill: even the wildest of shell spreads can easily find purchase on the long deck of a BB. They're also easy targets for bomber aircraft. Add to all of this the fact that most enemy ships will prioritize you as a target due to your importance, and you'll find that merely surviving in a BB is much harder than you might think.
Yet at the same time, your importance to the team makes it crucial that you stay alive, keep the fight going, and keep contributing damage. Cautious gameplay is therefore vital for any BB player, though it's a fine line to walk. Play too passively, and you might throw the game. You can't be as audacious as some of the lower class ships, but nor can you afford to sit back and let your team do the fighting for you.
Driving a BB effectively and ensuring your survival begins with your most important asset: range. Though your shell spread will be frustrating at max range, try your best to keep your engagements as near to your max range as possible. Enemy BBs should be your primary targets, so you should be able to score some solid hits even with a poor spread. If you're using auto FCS, make liberal use of the E key to converge your guns and tighten your spread. This only becomes more important as you move up the tiers and your forward and aft guns grow farther and farther apart. Further improve your spread by attempting to learn manual FCS, or by mounting an Enhanced Distance Gauge.
Avoid the tunnel-vision that often comes with constantly fighting at maximum range. Keep an eye on your ship, and especially what's approaching your ship. If you're engaging an enemy capital ship and things are going well, but all of a sudden you see a fleet of smaller ships running you down and your team can't handle all of them, it's time to drop back, no matter how well your fight is going.
The minimap is your best friend, as it lets you keep one eye on your ship while you keep the fight going.
As with the CAs, use your secondary battery! The secondary batteries on BBs are usually somewhere between the main guns of a CL and a CA in terms of damage output, meaning that you're essentially two ships in one. This applies to fighting enemy BBs as well. If they come into range of your secondaries, light them up! A few extra thousand damage in between salvos frequently determines the outcome of an engagement. However, don't become over-reliant on your secondary battery. The secondary batteries on BBs Tier IX and higher can only fire AA.
The use of AA is absolutely necessary once you have access to it at tier VI. Unless they're extremely low level, a CV's bombers aren't likely to miss your fat behind, so AA is your only defense. Use it! It's also a crucial weapon against enemy BBs. Sight is everything, and if you can knock an enemy BB's scout out of the air while keeping yours alive, you'll have a colossal advantage. AA'ing down an enemy scout is what will allow you to press an attack and avoid getting killed.
Which brings us to the most important aspect of playing a BB: USE YOUR DAMN SCOUT! All nations gain access to recon aircraft from tier VI onward, with a few exceptions (the Revenge class, Nelson class, and Amagi class battleships lack scout planes for historical reasons). Though other classes of ship are also capable of carrying scouts, BBs carry by far the most recon aircraft, and with good reason. Given their range, BBs benefit from scouting far more than any other class, and therefore are meant to be the primary scouters on a team.
Not making use of your scout is the most self-detrimental act you can take as a BB driver. A BB that refuses to launch its scout more than useless; they're a liability to the team. You need to be able to engage at your max range; your slow reaction times mean you need to see what's coming for you far in advance; your relatively low line of sight means you can and will get out-dueled by ships of a lower class if you get caught alone without your scout.
Keeping a scout up is also necessary if you want to undertake any sort of aggression. NEVER be the one to lead the charge into the dark. If you're advancing, you should either have a teammate or a scout plane in front of you. If you simply drive straight forward into the darkness with no support, you can and will get absolutely murdered by smaller ships with better line of sight before you can even fire a shot.
When you've grown more comfortable with the flow of BB gameplay, you can try incorporating some of the finesse and opportunism of the CA playstyle in order to improve your chances of survival. Although these tactics aren't always as viable or as vital for a BB driver as they are for a CA driver, they can often make you a better driver.
For example, learning to dodge salvos may be significantly harder and less viable for a BB as compared to a CA, but it nonetheless betters your ability to survive. Learning to manage sight is also something which can benefit all classes, and BBs are no exception. Lastly, it might be a lot harder and perhaps less necessary to be sneaky in a BB, but doing so can absolutely make you a terrifying force.
A final note: if you're interested in starting down a BB line, try out some CA gameplay first. It will prepare you for the BB playstyle far better than the DDs and CLs you grind through to get to your first BB.
Aircraft Carrier (CV)
Carriers are the other type of capital ship, and therefore another incredibly valuable asset to any team. Playing a CV effectively allows you to create for your team the conditions which will lead to victory by keeping the enemy blind and lit up, and by providing bomber support against targets of value. Doing well in a CV is no easy task. You are one of the most vulnerable targets on the map, and effectively controlling your planes requires a lot of micromanagement. Becoming a great CV driver is something that requires a large time investment, but if you can pull it off, it can be rewarding (especially given CVs' impressive credit income), and you'll make yourself unbelievably valuable to any team or fleet, especially given the server's current shortage of CV drivers.
As with BBs, you'll spend more time than you might expect just trying to stay alive when playing a CV. Although most CV's come equipped with guns, you typically won't be able to out-duel anything. Even most DD's will tend to best you in a 1 on 1 situation, especially given their ability to torp you. Your guns are really only useful for taking As one of the slower classes in the game, you also can't outrun most of the things that pose a threat to you (which is everything). As a result, you are totally dependent on your team and your own situational awareness for survival. This is made even more difficult by the fact that CV's tend to spend the least time actually looking at their ships out of all the other classes, since they must focus on controlling their planes.
You should be far from combat and behind a wall of teammates at all times. Keep a constant eye on the minimap to make sure you're not drifting astray into friendly battle lines, islands, or the borders of the map. Pay attention especially whenever you see a radar ping. This is your first and best advance warning to know when someone is coming after you. If you see a gap in your team's defenses occupied by a singular red dot, it's almost guaranteed to be a DD or cruiser, and they're making a beeline for you. Predict where they're headed and get the heck away from them. Make sure you don't have any returning planes in their path, either, as that will lead them straight to you. It's also a good idea to notify your team that an enemy is trying to slip through and make a run for you.
However, watching the minimap alone isn't enough to keep you alive. Enemy aircraft and subs, which don't appear on the minimap, will be after you as well, making it imperative that you do keep one eye on your ship. Make frequent use of the G key to jump the camera back to your ship, check your surroundings, and make course adjustments, before switching back to your planes by double-tapping their squadron number (F1-F7).
Choosing and Controlling Your Planes
As far as plane loadouts go, you have a number of different options, but for beginners it's a good idea to run with a fighter-heavy mix of about 2/3 fighters to 1/3 bombers, as this will best prepare you to fulfill the CV's primary role: securing air superiority. At your disposal, you have two types of bombers: dive bombers and torpedo bombers. You'll hear mixed opinions as to which is the better bomber, and most high tier CVs tend to carry a mix of both, but for lower-tiered CVs it's a good idea to settle with one, due to your limited plane space. In general, dive bombers are more useful for hitting large targets, and torpedo bombers for smaller targets, though both can be extremely lethal when aimed well and massed together. For those just starting their CV line, dive bombers may be the better choice. Your pilots' low level will mean that your planes are less resistant to enemy AAW (the automatic machine gun fire of all ships and bases), and torpedo bombers rely on AAW resistance much more than dive bombers. Some CVs also choose to load a few recon planes to supplement a team's scouting, but fighters can accomplish the same purpose well enough, while also being harder to kill.
From tier VIII onward, you also have access to two more types of planes: transport planes and medium bombers. Transport bombers allow you to use paratroopers to capture bases as a CV, and can be a very powerful asset for securing the initial spot, or merely putting pressure on the enemy and denying them map control. The usage of medium bombers, on the other hand, is not recommended in the current meta of the game. They wield more potential damage than divebombers, but only if all of their bombs hit the target. They are slower, more vulnerable, and harder to use than dive bombers, and take up more space on your carrier as well. In terms of ammunition, you'll want to go with what does the most damage: HE bombs for DB's, and the "damage" torpedos for TB's.
Controlling your planes is a bit different from NF1. The "circle of non-death" no longer exists, so constantly dragging your fighters away and having them re-engage is less crucial than it once was. In NF2, the tier of your planes and the amount you throw at the enemy seem to be the two biggest factors in determining who comes out on top, with crew morale also playing a fairly noticeable role. Ironically, crew skill seems to be the least important factor, though not enough tests have been conducted at this point to say for sure. Still, the most important piece of advice about controlling your aircraft is that you actually control them, rather than simply leaving them to their own devices.
Pay attention to your bombers and what's ahead of them, lest you waste them by running them headlong into a wall of flak or a screen of enemy fighters. When moving your fighters, make sure to hold shift while right-clicking. This will issue an attack-move order, which means your fighters will engage anything in their path while en route to the target area, then continue moving on once the threat has been disposed of. Also, if you right click a friendly or enemy ship, your fighters will automatically follow that ship. However, it's best if you avoid using this feature. Due to the way it makes your planes dive and juke around, your fighters will succumb to enemy AAW if you use this on an enemy ship. If you try to protect a friendly ship in this manner (or yourself, for that matter!) your fighters will not engage incoming bombers until the absolute last second. Ideally, you want to be engaging bombers before they even come into range of friendly AA. As a result, micromanaging your planes is always better.
Many have argued that the primary role of a CV is to scout for one's team. This is only partially correct. BB's are the primary scouters on any team, as mentioned earlier, and cruisers should be supplementing their ability to light up the enemy. As a CV, your job is to secure and maintain air superiority, taking out enemy fighters to allow your team to scout the enemy unhindered. Taking out enemy scouts and bombers to keep your team in the dark and free of damage are also central to your role as a CV. Only when your team is unable to scout -- either due to lack of planes, or due to overly flak- and fighter-infested skies -- should you consider yourself the primary scouter for a team, and act accordingly. Even outside of these situations, however, it can be a good idea to park some fighters over the enemy's half of the map to snipe down scouts as they get launched. However, keep in mind that doing so leaves your team vulnerable to sneakier aircraft.
Be able to respond to the changing situations of battle. If you've beaten back enemy planes in one sector of the map, they're likely to pop up elsewhere. Keep your planes moving, and go wherever they're needed. Try as best you can to focus on important sections of the map. For example, on maps with only one radar, you'll want to give the most support to teammates attempting to secure that position.
Beating the Odds
Starting out as a CV player can be frustrating. You can and will find yourself in engagements where you are completely outclassed both in numbers and in the quality of your planes and pilots. In these situations, you may find that you're completely out of luck -- if the enemy CV is at all competent, they'll park their fighters over you, prevent you from launching planes, and simply bomb you out of the water at their leisure. Before you resign yourself to this fate, however, you can try to be sneaky. If you can manage to avoid direct confrontation with enemy planes, you can still be a threat. Pay attention to where the enemy fighters are deployed, and try to find an opening. The borders of the map are frequently left without air cover, but they're also a fairly obvious choice, so be careful if you choose to make use of them. Once you've found a weak point, sneak some bombers through if you can manage to launch a wave before getting CAP'ed, or while enemy fighters are refueling. At this point you have one of two options:
- Support your BB's in their fight by dealing some support damage to enemy BBs, thus helping swing the flow of battle to your team's favor, OR
- Find the enemy CV that's beaten you and give them a nasty surprise, hopefully taking them out of the game.
This second strategy can be extremely effective. CVs that have gained the upper hand can often get overconfident once they've placed a CAP over you to prevent you from launching any more planes. Frequently, they won't have any fighters devoted to protecting themselves, nor will they be expecting an attack from the air. Taking them out of the game from this position is massive, as it allows you to retake control of air superiority and effectively come back from the dead. It can be a game-winning turnaround. If you're that CV who has gained the upper hand, be on the lookout for this at all times.
You can also deal with superior enemy planes by dragging them down to lower altitudes near your teammates, so friendly AAW takes care of them for you. Remember: aircraft are the source of a CV's power, and they're also a very finite resource, so preserving your aircraft while inflicting the most damage possible to the enemy's is of the utmost importance. If you come up against a superior CV, but can force them to run out of planes before you do, then they'll be completely at your mercy.
Persevere through the difficult early ranks of the CV class, and you'll find yourself carrying games and boosting your credit income. For even more tips about CVs, including advice on how to manually bomb targets and on the advantages of the various different nations, check out Godhand's guide on the forums.
Masters of stealth and assassination, submarines are a truly unique class that plays like no other. While not really designed to solo carry an entire team, subs can nonetheless prove an invaluable resource, drastically turn the tide of battle, and secure victories from otherwise questionable situations. They're not hard to play either, after the entry tier (which can be difficult to play due to very limited air supply).
As a sub, your task is very simple: deal massive amounts of spike damage to enemy capital ships -- in many cases assassinating them outright -- and sow chaos among the enemy ranks through fear of your invisible presence. This means that you should almost never be engaging anything other than a capital ship. Your stealth allows you to pick and choose your targets to the ultimate degree, as well as enabling you to pick the exact moment to strike. So, unless you absolutely need to engage a target -- ie, unless you're absolutely certain that the DD you just spotted has pinged you (you can hear an audible cue when an enemy ship has successfully pinged you with sonar) and is coming to drop some DC's all over you, and it's a try-to-kill-him-before-he-kills-you situation -- then ignore anything that's not a BB or CV. Consequentially, and also given the short range at which you should be engaging, your torps should almost always be on "fast" speed and set to detonated "on contact," except when dealing with wildly-maneuvering DD's and the occasional surfaced enemy sub.
Unsurprisingly, subs are the squishiest class in the game, and so you must make the best use of your stealthy nature to avoid getting shot at in the first place. Your small size will also help keep you alive for slightly longer if you get caught out on the surface and under fire, but it's a stopgap measure at best. Eventually, they will nail you. Therefore, you want to stay submerged as much as you can when you're around the enemy, and that means making the most out of your limited air time.
As a result, it can sometimes -- though not always -- make sense to submerge at the last possible moment. Especially at the beginning of a round, it can be a good idea to remain on the surface until you start taking fire. This gets you closer to the enemy faster, and gives you a lot more time underwater than if you were to submerge sooner. As mentioned previously, though, this is not always the best strategy as it clearly telegraphs your heading, and the enemy will be prepared for an attack. A sub's strength is its ability to attack and score massive damage without the enemy even knowing you are there. This strategy sacrifices much of that element of surprise to gain a longer amount of time underwater and safe(r) from harm. At the same time, however, you can also use this strategy as a kind of fake-out. You have the option of telegraphing such an attack on the enemy line at the beginning of the round, only to pass right on by them and make a run for ships farther back (especially CVs), thus causing regaining some of that element of surprise back when the expected attack does not come.
Spending as little time as possible at depth level 1 is also vital to maximizing your effectiveness and preserving your life. You have to be at this level to fire your torps, but at this level you're also visible to all enemy ships and vulnerable to surface fire. Therefore, you should never be at depth level 1 unless you're actively firing torps at the enemy. It's a good idea to get used to using Shif+F and Shift+V so you can surface and submerge more rapidly, and expose yourself only for the briefest of moments to fire on the enemy.
After you've made your attack, always have an exit strategy, and give yourself ample time to get out of dodge. Once you make your first attack, that ship and other ships nearby are going to know that you're skulking around, and will be prepared to unleash hell on you when you next appear, either for an attack or due to lack of air. If you run out of air in the middle of a bunch of pissed off enemies, you're gonna have a bad time. Keep an eye on your air, and consider pulling out once you're down to 20 or 30 seconds of air left, unless you're about to reload for anther attack or you're already in an unoccupied sector of the map.
If an enemy DD pings you, dodges or survives your torps, and begins dropping DCs on you, there's not a whole lot that can be done. If they're at all competent and know how to adjust the depth of their DCs, it's pretty much game over at that point. You can try changing your depth, maneuvering in all sorts of crazy ways, even coming to a stop to try to dodge them, but eventually they will outmaneuver you and chase you down. In most cases, your only hope is to try to steer them toward your team and hope that your team helps out, or that the DD thinks twice about rushing into the enemy line just to kill one sub. The other option is to surface to avoid damage from DCs, at which point you'll be at the mercy of the DD's guns, as well as whatever else is in range.
Subs have the worst line of sight out of all other classes in the game, and it only gets worse as you submerge. Therefore, YOU ARE NOT A SCOUT. If anyone, especially a BB driver, asks you to scout for them, they've effectively advertised themselves as an incompetent player. Although subs can venture into the dark with a much greater degree of impunity as compared to other classes, thanks to their stealth, this does not mean it's a good idea. Before you venture forth, always know where your target is ahead of time, either through radar pings or through friendly scouting. Try to ascertain where the target is headed, and where they'll be by the time you get to their side of the map.
That being said, there are times when it's prudent to linger around a target area and maintain vision of the enemy for you team. For example, let's say your team has scouted an enemy BB and is actively engaging them. You speed over to them, drop your torps and land several hits, but they're still alive and still fighting your team. Except by this point, your team's scout has been shot down, or has returned to refuel, leaving you as the only thing on the team lighting up the enemy. In this scenario, it makes sense to linger around the enemy BB and keep them lit up to help your team secure the kill, even though you're reloading and even if you're low on air. Be careful, however. You'll have to judge how the engagement is going and determine whether your continued lighting of the enemy will actually end in a kill for your team, or if your teammates aren't up to the task.
Be sneaky, attack the enemy when they've let their guard down, hit them where they're not expecting you, try to slip through and take out enemy CVs. Be the unpredictable, invisible terror that shatters enemy lines and takes their focus away from your allies. Eliminate high-value enemy targets, and swing the battle in your favor.
APA's are a bit of an odd, but truly unique class that excels at one thing and one thing only: capping the ever-living heck out of every base on the map. At higher tiers, it may be a bit difficult to justify the use of an APA, as it takes a team slot away from what will almost certainly be a more-useful ship. The presence of a greater number of aircraft and the resultant lower importance of bases in higher-tier games mean that APA's are not a very good long-term choice, although that could change in the future as more gametypes (especially fleet-based gametypes) are added. However, in low tier battles, where map control is vital and often the only thing giving one team a vision advantage, APAs can be a valuable asset and a powerful nuisance. If you're strapped for cash, APAs can also serve as decent early-game credit grinders until you acquire a CV for your credit acquisition needs.
Above all else, you should avoid any and all combat when driving an APA, as you are completely defenseless. You have two small cannons, but these are mostly for show. They're placed in horribly inconvenient locations on your ship, and do less damage than most DD weaponry. They're not even terribly useful for shelling enemy bases. Rather, your primary defenses are your speed, your map awareness, and your use of the bases you cap to teleport.
Playing an APA is therefore pretty simple: cap everything! But be cautious, and be strategic. Secure the easy bases first -- the "gimmes" next to which your team spawns. Make sure you capture these until they reach 100% of their health. Your insane landing force power allows you to do this quickly, so there's not much reason not to. Whenever you can, prioritize important bases like Airfields and Radar stations. The latter in particular will allow you to see where the enemy is deployed, determine which islands are under-defended, and thereby show you where to strike next.
Of course, the enemy won't take too kindly to an APA running around and capping all of their bases out from under them -- you WILL draw some hostile attention. You can outrun a lot of these threats, but that won't always be the best option. Ironically enough, if you arrive at an enemy base and begin capping before the enemy shows up, often the best plan of escape is to continue capping even once they open fire on you. Once you cap a base to 50% health, you'll be able to use it to teleport to any other friendly base with greater than 50% health, including spawn points. As a result, if you're close to nearing that point, it may make more sense in some cases to simply take a few hits, continue capping, and then teleport to safety, right under the noses of the enemy.
Playing on maps with fewer bases -- especially maps where all bases are contested, rather than given -- can be a bit more difficult. You can either rush these bases right off the bat and attempt to gain a massive health advantage on it in favor of your team, or you can wait for a point late in the game where you have the opportunity to surreptitiously steal a base from the enemy. Other than that, there's not much you can do on these maps.
Keep an eye on the flow of battle, and keep control of the map in your team's favor!