Guide: AntiAircraft Gunning

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By Obst


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Table of content:

The Golden Angle
Graphical Explanation of hitting Planes on Default Height
Where to find the Golden Angles
Personal Favourites of AA-Guns
Hitting Planes which are not on Default Height
Aiming with the Guidelines
Planes coming directly towards you
Planes not coming directly towards you
Know your Firing arcs!
AA-Escorts and Formations



AA-Gunning is a crucial part of the Game, especially once you have a Ship that attracts Bombers like Flies, eg. a big CA, BC or BB.
It is also a great way to gain EXP, so considering to be an AA-Support Ship might also be a good idea.

The Success of your Team often heavily depends on AA-Defense-Teamwork, so please read this Guide thoroughly.

Now, the usage of AA-Guns depends on some basic principles, which will be looked at below.

However, as you need to manually adjust angles often and fast,
you need to have Aiming FCS, or at least Finder FCS mounted, do not try it with Auto FCS!

Another common mistake is to think that the small explosion when an AA-Shell has reached a certain point harms the planes, but that's wrong!

The AA-Shells need to "hit" a plane to do damage, read below to find out why I used Quotation Marks.

The Golden Angle

The Golden Angle is the Angle which guarantees the most amounts of hit on Planes flying on their Default Height,
the Default Height is the Height they are at when they have been launched from a Ship without adjustments to their Height.

AA-Shells detonate when they are close to a plane, they don't need to hit "perfectly".

As a Rule of Thumb, always set your AA-Guns' Angles to the Golden Angle at the start of a Game!

For better understanding, please check the following Graphic:

You can read the Golden Angle from the lists on, go to Naval Guns -> Anti-Aircraft Gun Information to find the lists.

You may also use these Quicklinks to get to the table for the AA-Guns of a specific Nation:


The Golden Angle is called Normal Angle on, you can find it at the marked position in the tables I linked to, see above:

The Golden Angle varies from Gun to Gun, so you have to use the one listed for the Guns you are using!

There are some hints on the selection of your AA-Guns.

Please keep in mind that those are personal favourites, if you want to know more don't be afraid to ask other players,
but don't annoy them with your questions.
For Germany, I recommend:
Only use the level 30 Dual 3.46"/ 76 Sk C/32 with 0.8s reload and the level 42 Dual 5"/ 61 KM40 with 1.2s reload..
The Firing-Rate and therefore Damage-Output combined with Range is what makes them my favourites.

For Japan, I recommend:
Stick to the Dual Guns, type A, use whatever you have and what suits you reload-wise.
IJN, on most Ships, have few AA mounts so Duals give me the most Bang for the Buck

For UNITED KINGDOM, I recommend:
For AllWelcome-Games use the level 45 2pdr 1.57"/ 39 Mark VIII, aka "PomPoms",
for CLCABB-Games try any of the 5.25"-ers.
The Firing Speed of the PomPoms makes them my Weapon of Choice against swarms of Bombers,
and the Range of the 5.25"-ers allows me to take down Scouts from a Distance

As with IJN, stick to the Dual Guns, use whatever you have and what suits you reload-wise.
The Reload Speed of the US Duals combined with moderate Damage per Shell allows me to fight planes before they are too close
Now, when you see Planes which are no on the Default height, you have to adjust the Angle.

When a Plane flies above Default Height, increase the Angle,
when the Plane flies below Default Height, decrease the Angle.

Remember that this also changes the Hit-Zone in which the Shells hit the Planes!

For better understanding, please check the following Graphic:

As you can see, there are multiple Angles to hit a Plane at a certain Height, which one you need to use depends on the position and the height of the plane, which also brings us to our next point.

How to aim the Guidelines

The classic mistake is to aim directly at the Planes.

Do not aim directly at the Planes!

The proper way is to aim ahead of the Planes' shadows.

In the following pictures marks the direction of the Planes.

Aim like this:

Do not aim like this:

In this case (Planes coming directly towards you) you can simply aim at the shadows,
but often the Planes to not come directly towards you, in this case you have to aim ahead of the shadows.

How far you have to aim ahead depends on the distance to the plane, their height, their speed and your AA-Shells' speed.

The closer the planes are to you (at a certain height) the more you must increase the angles!

So when you are hitting a big group of planes and some get through your Golden Angle Coverage Area you have to increase the angles!

You have to get used to your AA-Guns in order to aim properly, but you will get a feeling for it fast.

In the following pictures marks the direction of the Planes.

Aim like this:

Do not aim like this:

Know your Firing Arcs!

When you want to use AA, no matter whether you are a target for Planes yourself or are an AA-Escort,
you have to know the distance in which you will hit Planes depending on the Angle of the AA-Guns.

For this, the following pictures should give you an idea of what I am talking about

The pics show the Coverage for a Ship can has a 360-Degree Firing Arc (combined)!
Of course many Ships have Limitted Firing Arcs!

As you can see, there are gaps in those Covered Areas.

This is where having multiple Ships giving each other AA-Cover comes into play

AA-Escorts and Formations

As you can see from the above pictures, Ships working can create an AA-Defense-Shield.

For this, first you need to keep in mind that small AA-Escorts must not block the big Ships. Never.

Block big ships means the Enemy's big Ships will rape you because your big Ships cannot maneuver and/or shoot.

Do not get in the way of a big Ship's path and do not get too close to a big Ship!

Now, let's look at a picture that shows an AA-Defense-Shield:

The Ships are covering each other, you can notice that the Air directly above any Ship is covered by another.

This is the Situation when travelling in a Fleet and shows the power that lies within multiple Ships caring for each other.

However, for the Individua Escort-Ship, you can stick to this principle:

You need to know from where the enemy Planes are going to come in order to provide proper Cover.

So find yourself a Ship that needs or even wants AA-Support, stay behind it so that your Golden Angle Coverage protects that Ship.

And, let me say it again... Do not block the big Ships in any way!

Never ever click on a friendly Ship to follow it!

If you are noticed to be a worthwile AA-Escort, you will soon find yourself to be protected against enemy Ships by the Ship you cover.



This concludes the Guide to Anti-Aircraft Gunning.

Now go, have fun shooting down enemy planes and get to know a new level of Teamwork