Ammo in Armored Warfare – HEAT vs AP vs HE vs ATGMs…a quick ammo guide

ammo in armored warfare

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42 Responses

  1. Kaimera says:

    Hi Spooky, great page. Could you in detail explian Tandem Heat? I havent got to test them myself yet. Seems very interesting. It doesnt explain if it just ignores ERA completely everytime or just has a chance to work against it.

  2. WOT player says:

    Hey spooky, you forgot to add that ATGM has a significant higher penetration value than Kinetic Penetrators.

  3. Barcel says:

    Is there any difference between standard and tandem HEAT ATGMs? Does the latter really ignore ERA?

  4. Thourq says:

    Hey Spooky!

    This is quite a helpful guide to newbies. But after reading the comments, might I recommend you add info on some special types of ammo? Such as HESH, APSE, API, etc?

    HESH: Does less damage than HE but has a better chance of doing module & crew damage than HE
    API or Armor Piercing Incendiary: I’m not entirely sure on this one, but assuming so by it’s icon, it’s an AP round that has a high chance of causing fires if it ruptures fuel tanks or breaks engines.
    APSE: Another version of API (in game) in reality it’s generally an APHE round used by autocannons.

    These are just my suggestions, overall it’s a great guide already and generally this is all the info you need to play without getting into the nitty gritty.

    • Spooky says:

      I think adding the different types when their impact in the game is known is a great idea. It is that “when” part that is a bit fuzzy right now. I actually started this article eons ago and stopped because the mechanics of the different shell types were not done/implemented into the game yet. I need to follow up with them to see whats what with the different categories (to make sure they have implemented a game mechanic to the different flavors).

  5. Tesop says:

    Thanks Spooky, very helpful information!

  6. Themuffinmaster says:

    “This type of ammo will do more damage than AP when it penetrates because it has little projectiles that disperse inside the target.”

    Is that really how HEAT works? Small pieces?

    It’s a high velocity stream of metal that penetrates the target.

    • Spooky says:

      Maybe I didn’t chose my words carefully enough but stream of metal vs little projectiles seems the same to me, but maybe not. The photo taken from the video shows it best.

      • Thourq says:

        It’s not entirely an inaccurate description if you take into account other factors. Generally it’s a stream of hot metal that punctures through the armor. But as it penetrates and comes out of the armor, it generally carries with it high velocity chunks of the armor, creating an effect very much like spalling. This last bit is a little fuzzy, but if I recall some shaped charges were even made in a specific way that let’s it penetrate no larger than a small coin but come out the other side with a much larger hole.

        All in all, your description isn’t inaccurate.

      • Themuffinmaster says:

        It is not the same. HEAT works by puncturing armor trough a stream of metal projected forwards by the conical shaped structure inside the warhead. This is the primary and only means of penetration.

        Chunks of armor and spalling, like Thourq mentioned below, are secondary effects and can be attributed to pretty much any of the ammo types listed in your article.

        But alas, its your article. You can do what you want, just try not to spread misinformation.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-explosive_anti-tank_warhead

        • Spooky says:

          No, never want wrong information. I can change the wording to be a bit more technically correct. The intent was to convey the effect more than anything else, but it is better to have it correct.

          • Track_Tension says:

            The Star Wars tie in way of explaining it is, not unlike when a lightsaber is plunged through an armored door. (December 18th) But instead of trying to cut a hole by pulling the blade around in a circle, the liquid metal stream continues on into the inside of the tank. This payload of liquid metal then splashes on; crew members, ammo, fuel tanks, the engine and electronics. The game avoids (awakening) the horrific (force) secondary effects of what a HEAT round does to the human body. Let alone the disabling effects that most equipment would straight out fail after expose to this type of ammo.

  7. CLAYM0RE says:

    what about thermobaric ATGMs? are they treated as a HEAT charge too? i thought they were considered an HE round

  8. Taihou_chan says:

    You forgot a few ammunition type
    For Auto-cannons, there is an APSE (AP Special Effects) which I have no idea what does that mean in-game.(no tool tip).
    There is also HEAT-MP (multipurpose HEAT) that will do a small damage like an HE if it doesn’t penetrate, or HEAT damage if it does pen.

    I also wonder about if HE missiles should be in-game since they are next to useless…guess it is a highly situational weapon (de-capping a hulldown MBT that you can’t flank in Ramka?)

  9. Woodstock says:

    Have to disagree with HE – they don’t do damage always. It’s not that bad on an AFV with 30-40 rounds, but can be quite infuriating on a Begleitpanzer, where I empty a whole mag in the side of an MBT and get no damage …

    • Spooky says:

      Didn’t think I said it always does damage, but HE is the best round to rely on for the potential to do some damage.

      • Woodstock says:

        My bad, misunderstood you then. Still, infuriatung when in the Bagel :-(

      • BBA says:

        I think thats a thing to discuss about.
        Is HE meaningful?
        When I play in a starship or sheridan and I pepper tanks with HE, I can what I want, no module turns red, whatever Im shooting at….
        HE against module are for sh*t!!

        • Spooky says:

          HE is certainly situation based. I don’t think I would want to sit back all day and sling HE at a target not doing much, but a couple just in case and then repostion. Or to reset cap, or if you are trapped. It has uses. But if that is all you are able to do and you have time to relocate, flank, or go pick another target that is probably worth your time to move on. Otherwise you are exposing yourself to returning fire for a lesser gain.

        • BoredSights says:

          In the Scorpion anyone should be able to deal 1k+ damage a game slinging HE from an undetectable distance.

  10. BBA says:

    Something veeery important is missing.
    SHELLVELOCITY:
    Heat and HE are extremely slow.
    AP is fast.

    There is a big problem hiding in these differences: shooting at moving targets.
    If u change ammos to often, u get confused how u should aim, when tanks are moving fast.
    Thats why my advice is, to shoot only with AP or Heat, and use the other two ammos for special situations.

    • Spooky says:

      I have it in there but not too clear. I’ll adjust to make it better. Thanks!

    • Matticus says:

      Personally, I prefer to take a roughly 30/15/5 split of AP/HEAT/HE when I drive MBTs. HEAT doesn’t always have the pen to go through the front of other MBTs, so I tend to err on the side of more guaranteed pens. The HEAT is there for softer targets or if I can somehow get the flank of another MBT. HE is for the off chance I find something that I can’t pen from the front, but since mathcmaking settled down I haven’t run into that situation.

  11. ATGM says:

    ATGM top attack is also a viable solution to something that you can’t pen frontally, but its tricky to pull of.

  12. Fredrik says:

    “Kinetic Perpetrator” that had me laughing pretty hard :)

    Good article though!

  13. Rob0 says:

    Good guide, simple but to the point. I would add two details, overmatch mechanic for AP, lowering damage on targets with weak armor; and a star on the top ammo of each type in addition to having most stripes to make it more visible

    • Spooky says:

      I think there is a huge misconception out there about what overmatch means. I think people think overmatch and overpen are one and the same. Overpen and passthroughs would be when your round goes through a thinly armored vehicle for no or little damage because it was just too powerful.

      Overmatch on the other hand just means your shell’s caliber is going to penetrate the target’s armor everytime regardless of any angle. A 400mm caliber is going through a 30mm armor side no matter what the angle.

      But does this cause less damage….or are people just thinking so because they observe an overmatch in areas that would have less damage no matter what (unmanned turret)? Or remember the pass-through doing no damage? According to an Obsidian developer just this week:

      “”Overmatch” means your shell automatically penetrated because the caliber of your gun is so high compared to the armor thickness of the location. It has no effect on damage.”

      • Rob0 says:

        I guess I meant overpen then? I always mistake the two. It is very annoying when playing the Chieftain and Challenger in PvE though because they don’t have HEAT. Of course they can’t just add it but it makes the tanks kinda meh and I agree with you that they need a slight buff.

        • Thourq says:

          I thought the Chally 1 actually had HEAT. HEAT-FS to counteract the rotation from the barrel and stabilize the HEAT round in flight.

      • shd says:

        Overmatch currently does 15% less damage because it’s bugged. Overpen does not exists in the game (yet).

  14. Woras says:

    AP – for guaranteed pen.
    HEAT – for maximum damage output against unprotected areas.
    HE – against impenetrable targets and to make people fall back.
    ATGM – for maximum lulz or if you lack penetration.

  1. October 21, 2015

    […] I wrote the quick start guide to ammo in Armored Warfare I glossed over a lot of the differences inside the various ammo types. I generally lumped all the […]

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    […] tossed around but never verified it. Most will fit into a couple of categories and we have our own ammo guide for Armored Warfare that helps in selecting the best shell to use in different […]

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