One of the most frustrating things that I see in this game is poor prioritization of targets. So many times have I been in matches where a ship gets down to less that 5k health – sometimes even 2k or less – and then the team ignores them and farms some other ship. This then allows that low health ship to disengage, go dark, and get back some of their health. In the case of some battleships, they can now come back with close to 20k health. These players now have the health to make plays and in turn, continue to do damage and sink allied ships. With that said, I want to put together this short guide to cover what I believe is the best way to Prioritize targets within the game.
Target Priority Tree
Below is a short target priority tree. A targets placement on this tree can be ‘adjusted’ based on multiplying factors that will be explained later. The one exception to this, in my opinion, is low health targets. If they exist, they should ALWAYS be the top priority when picking a target.
Below is the list of target multipliers, with explanations, starting with the most important. Any one of these ‘multipliers’ can be stacked, so to speak, as a way to increase their priority.
On the Flank
Targets on the flank should always be taken seriously as they create a crossfire for other members of their team and can force you or your teammates to over angle or give broadside to avoid either their shells or torpedoes or the shells or torpedoes of their teammates. Due to these factors, any target that is on your flank should have this multiplier applied judiciously.
Any target that gives you the better chance to remove from the game with either a single or to bring to very low health in hopes that your allies can finish them off. This multiplier is typically applied to light cruisers, like Minotaurs, that are easily overmatched or ships with easy to hit citadels given their armor and angling, likes Conquerors, Thunderers and Yamato-class ships.
Over extended targets have their own multiplier, even though it is less of a multiplier than the ones previously mentioned. An out of place target can easily and quickly be focused down and as such, lead to one less enemy ship
Hit-ability to Reload Ratio
This one is tricky as it is the only one that can move a target in both a Higher priority or a Lower priority. To put this in simple terms, if I have the possibility to kill a target but it is at max range and I have a long reload (super cruiser or battleship) vs the opportunity to do guaranteed good damage against a closer target, this ratio will push that potentially higher priority target, say a broadside Des Moines, to a lower priority while moving an otherwise lower priority ship higher. This is multiplier is most important to battleships and super cruisers. However, in late game situations where a cruiser DPM, as an example, has a better change of killing a high health target, versus something like a low health Kleber beyond 15km, the choice goes to prioritizing the target I know I can hit. I would rather have the potential of ‘wasting’ shots on a ship I can do damage to and maybe sink versus wasting shots on a ship that I may eventually hit and sink. Either way, in scenarios like that, it’s a crapshoot.
While this all seems like a lot to take in and remember, this is something that I have learned and developed as a player over the last 4 years of playing this game. It takes time and practice to figure this stuff out but I hope this helps some of the newer players, as well as more experienced ones, understand the importance of proper target prioritization. However, if nothing else, what I want readers to get from this article is to ALWAYS prioritize low health targets.