Aiming and shooting in Armored Warfare consists of two actions – turning the turret and putting the aiming circle over the target. Both actions are performed at the same time with the mouse.
The aiming circle represents the area into which the shots fired by the gun of the vehicle the player is driving will fly. Its size increases with the following actions:
- Vehicle moving (forward or backward)
- Vehicle hull traversing
- Turret traversing
The penalties from these three actions are cumulative. The aim circle that is larger than its minimum size gradually shrinks until it reaches maximum accuracy status. The speed with which it shrinks depends on the properties of the vehicle and the quality of its crew. Some special vehicles do not have a turret and can only traverse their weapon in a certain angle, visible in the Vehicle Status part of the screen (lower left corner).
The accuracy of each vehicle is individual and is one of the most important balance parameters. It depends on the following factors:
- Aim time (the time the aiming circle takes to shrink to its minimum size)
- Maximum aiming circle size (how big the circle grows when the vehicle moves, for example)
- Minimum aiming circle size (how small the circle gets when the vehicle just stands and aims)
- Shell ballistics (shell velocity and ballistic curve)
Regarding the last point – faster shells do fly “straight” but slower shells (especially artillery shells) tend to follow the ballistic curve. Please note that the ATGMs do follow different sets of rules – they are guided by the player moving the mouse cursor – the responsiveness and velocity of the missile is individual for each missile type. In any case, the game corrects the ballistics for players to ensure that the shell does not overshoot its target at the given distance.
After each shot, the gun has to be reloaded. Every vehicle has its loading time, which improves with the quality of the crew and certain retrofits or modules. Automatic cannons reload very fast or fire in bursts but they have limited magazines – once the magazine is empty, it has to be loaded, an action that typically takes more time than reloading a typical gun. Please note that main battle tanks with automatic loading mechanisms (such as the Soviet MBTs) are represented as if they had a loader since the automatic mechanism typically does not allow for a higher rate of fire. Switching between different types of shells triggers full reload time as the old shell has to be removed from the gun and a new shell loaded in its stead.
Players can look around without traversing the turret by clicking the Right Mouse Button and holding it while looking around. For player convenience, the game camera is also stabilized and compensates for the bumps that would otherwise interfere with comfortable gameplay.
Many vehicles in Armored Warfare are equipped with secondary weapons such as ATGMs and automatic cannons. Machineguns are generally not represented in Armored Warfare as their effect on heavily armored targets is negligible. Secondary weapon combinations follow different rules: Gun-launched ATGMs do count as reloading a different type of shell and trigger full loading time.
- Multiple launcher ATGMs (such as the four-launcher ATGM bloc on the Terminator) can be fired quickly without reloading between shots, but once all the missiles (four in the case of the Terminator) are fired, the entire bloc has to be reloaded
- External launcher ATGMs have a reload time independent of the main gun: you can fire the main gun, switch to the external ATGM, fire the ATGM and switch immediately back to the gun
All these secondary weapon actions are performed using the ammunition selection interface. Please note that two paired guns (such as the ones on the Terminator) count as one weapon for the purpose of aiming and reloading.