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Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in Electronic Games

Money Makers and Money Takers – The economics of World of Tanks

By Jim Zabek

Economics in World of Tanks. Strategy Guide. Publisher: Developer: Free-to-Play

For a free-to-play game, World of Tanks does a good job of tempting gamers to shell out cash. Its highly addictive gameplay means that gamers who start playing are likely to stick around. The ability to purchase gold allows players to accelerate their progress through the game. Some gamers frown upon so called “wallet warriors” but those purists seem to forget that without the paying customers, the free game wouldn’t be free.

That said, economics these days mean many gamers have tight budgets. Sometimes the cash is there, sometimes it is not. This article will examine various strategies for maximizing income in the game (credits) while minimizing cash paid out (the purchase of gold).

…players should not overlook the mid-tier SPGs to turn some quick money.

During the Beta gamers were given a bonus of 250 gold each day. Since the commercial launch, that bonanza has ended. There is only one way to get gold in the game and that is to pay for it. The exchange rate for gold can vary from as little as $6.95 for 1250 gold to $99.95 for 25000 gold. The full schedule of exchange can be found here. Rounding the numbers, gamers will find that the best rate they can get is to plunk down about $100, where they’ll get about 250 gold for every US dollar spent. Gamers who buy in smaller amounts will find the worst exchange rate is about 175 gold/ $1.00. Clearly the more convenient approximation is 250 gold = $1.00 but that’s a false number if you’re not spending $100. Awkward as it is, gamers are probably better off using the 175:1 ratio. Or we could try to meet somewhere in the middle and say 200 gold = $1.00, which sort of splits the difference.


Approximations are just that, approximations. With the exchange rate varying so widely, each gamer will have to keep his own number in mind as if he plans on budgeting any kind of money into the game.

The decision itself to pay even a single dollar in the game can be controversial. Some gamers are purists and I have heard of clans that will snub any gamers suspected of purchasing their advancement in the game. Others are more forgiving, but there is a clear divide in the World of Tanks gaming community.

World of Tanks can be enjoyably played without paying for anything, though the grind can be long at times. Buying gold can accelerate advancement, but that is not the only reason to purchase it. Premium items can only be purchased in gold – and credits cannot be reversed back into gold. That means if you want a premium item you have to pay real money for it. These premium items range from ammunition that deals out more damage to tanks that are both fairly high-level, robust, and perhaps most importantly, generate lots and lots of credits for every battle fought.

The most recognizable premium tank is the Löwe, though the KV-5 is a rough equivalent and is available to gamers who prefer Soviet equipment to German. There are some differences between the tanks in terms of armor, speed, and reload times, but they both do the same job – provide instant access to Level VIII tanks and they crank out the credits. Paying for these tanks returns the favor.

The IS-7's performance on an average day.

How much money can you make with a Löwe or KV-5 and how much can other tanks cost? For the last couple of weeks I’ve been recording the results of battles for tanks across a variety of levels, nations, and types. Veteran World of Tanks players know that the high level tanks can soak up money. My Level X IS-7 is a monster. Played well, I can come out ahead. Have a bad day, and it’s easy to be in the hole. The IS-7 can take over 25,000 credits to repair. In one game with one kill and three damages I earned 22,465 credits and was fortunate enough to only suffer about 500 in damage. However, those days aren’t guaranteed. In another game my Level 10 T-30 American heavy tank was taken out early. Costing some 28,000 credits to repair it only earned 9800 in that game. Deficits like can take time to dig out of. But there is hope.

My T-30 on a bad day.  This gets expensive.

To support the credit munching high level tanks players can, as noted above, buy gold to then purchase a premium tank. Löwes and KV-5’s can quickly pay for themselves even on bad days. Good days can be huge. A recent battle in my Löwe where our team was outplayed, I had one kill and one damaged to my credit. The repair bill for a fully destroyed Löwe was 8,473 credits, but my income was 20,509! Not bad for a sloppy day’s work. A good day can see income nearly double that. Another game saw my Löwe only damage one tank. But our team won the game and the bill was just shy of 8000 credits to repair it and 31,000 earned. Good games can see returns of that more than doubled. With three tanks destroyed and four damaged with me helping to cap and surviving, I managed to score the Sniper award and scooped up a whopping 77,000 credits! In chatting with someone about the wins of a Löwe he claimed he had earned a staggering 150,000 credits in one game. I guess on a lucky day, it’s possible, though I would have liked to have seen proof.

But there are other ways to earn credits than simply buying a Löwe or KV-5 and raking in the money. One of my favorite ways is through the mid-level SPGs. My favorite is the American M41. These SPGs are cheap to repair, usually somewhere in the range of 1500 credits, and they can easily pull in 5,000 – 6,000 credits on a bad day, and 20,000 on a good one. Granted, this isn’t a celestial 70,000 credits the Löwe produces, but it’s very respectable and can be accomplished without forking over any money for gold. I’ve had great luck using any of the mid-level SPGs, but would suggest levels IV and V. The Priest, the M41, and the Hummel all successfully reload fairly quickly, can reach large sections or the entire map, and deal out enough damage to sometimes one-shot a tank. The official Wiki states “Credits are awarded for participating in battle and battle performance (mostly for damage inflicted in HP).” Clearly it’s great to destroy a tank, but players should never shy away from simply damaging them.  All SPGs have to do is lend a hand to the fight. Even if they fail to kill a single tank, a handful of damaged ones can be very successful rewarding.

My Löwe has a very good day.

For players interested in generating credits quickly, the best method, of course, is the most costly – buy gold. The second best method is to buy a premium tank like the Löwe or KV-5. But it can be done on the cheap, and players should not overlook the mid-tier SPGs to turn some quick money.

My SPG makes a good account of itself.



  1. Another way to farm credits is to use gold to buy more garage slots and fill the slots with good credit-makers. The World of Tanks forums have threads discussing which tanks bring in the most credits.

    Also, more slots allow you to reap the daily XP bonus from more tanks, and the variety of tanks makes farming credits more enjoyable.

    Instead of calculating an average exchange rate of dollars to gold, I compiled tables listing various World of Tanks price lists in dollars, with five dollar amounts for each gold price corresponding to the amount of gold purchased. The price lists cover almost everything sold for gold in the game.

    This information is available in my blog item “World of Tanks price list in dollars” at URL

  2. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  3. Mid level spg:s make money? eh….
    You didn´t count in ammo cost, did you?

    If I had played your last pic with my Hummel and 15cm gun. I would have lost money.
    1 HE shell is 1100 credits x13 = 14300 + repairs ~12,7k = 27000 credits.
    you earned 21,3k so you rounds loss is 5,7k in credits 🙂
    true money maker, eh 😉

    But M37Priest is lot cheaper(250/shot?) , haven´t played M41.

    imo, tier 5-6 med tanks bring in credits nicely. Low cost ammo and you still can penetrate bigger tanks, at least from side.
    Or just drive KV with 152mm oneshot gun or with 122mm if you dont
    like to wait 20s for reload 🙂

    • No, I didn’t factor in ammo cost. I’m thinking of looking at the cost of ammo in an upcoming article. Good point.

  4. Stug III is a good and stable money maker (10000 to 20000 my average – and cheap to repair and get ammo too)

    I heard the VK3601 and its tier is good too

    and the panther with its 75 mm gun is cheap to use but this I need to confirm myself

    and lastly I heard the ferdinand is a good one too because if upgraded fully it outclasses almost every battle with its X tier gun

  5. I found tier 5 to 6 tanks are the best money generator. Tier 7 is ok but a bad battle will cost you money. The lower tier will always net positive. Higher than Tier 7 you run the risk of loosing money, which can happen even in win scenario.

  6. In front of all i think u should get some tier 3 tanks ( arounde 3-4) and play with them… when one is in battle u play with other one.. so every minute u will get 7-8 thousand dolars.

  7. Okay, here is the debate now. I had to prove to a snob that a KV-5 could out do a Lowe. So I killed 8, damaged 2, found 4, defended 82%.
    My result was 1875 xp and ~119k silver. He called me a liar (even tho I posted the results). He said it is impossible for a KV5 to get that much money in a game.
    So my real question is, what is the theoretical most money and xp you can get in a single game? Anybody know the actual formula?

    • I have had about 100k credits on a very good battle with my T59. Before I bought it, you would have believed the t59 generates on average 70k to 90k and 45k on a loosing bad game. Not true. To get a 100k credits, you also need the premium account. On a standard account, my max is about 50k and usually no lower than 25k. The key is that I don’t loose credits with my t59 win or loose, which is the same for a Lowe or KV5. If you have high level tanks get a premium tank to pay for the bills.

  8. Yes, that is the true key. It takes a lot to lose money with any of the 3 Tier 8 premiums.

    I just set my best with a Lowe. 2157 xp and 147000 credits in one game. Now my KV5 is jealous and trying to outdo that. 🙂

  9. I am going to try the arty method, but its really weird, my best tank now is the American T25 TD, and my last battle was a really bad one, i fired 1 shot, died, and we got defeated but still won 3k credits, and an earlyer game i shot 25 rounds hitting 24 of em, got the sniper achievement, died and won 5k credits, because i used 25k for ammo restore. I just cant see how i get more money for doing nothing 😛

    • I noticed that more after the last update. Before the update if you left a game before being destroyed, you got 0 xp and 0 credits thus losing money since the tank was destroyed. Now the tank will sit there and possibly not get destroyed. I was in a game and had a power outage. When I came back on hours later I found that my tank had NOT been damaged in the least and my team had won. For sitting doing absolutely nothing I rec’d 822 xp (2x for the first win) and 12k credits (This was a Lowe). For doing NOTHING. Now I see why there are a lot more people AFK during games. Heck, I got destroyed in my KT by one of those lucky arty shots. Didn’t get a shot off myself. I got more xp and credits for that game then the next one where I won but got destroyed. The credits because of shells costing so much. But less XP for actually fighting and winning? Strange.

  10. That is very disturbing news, Don.

    Yea, Diederik, those credits are not enough to keep alive tier 8 and higher tanks or grinding credits for high tier tanks. My Tiger 2 shells cost over 1,000 credit per shot. I am grinding for my IS3 with my IS and 65% of the time I am loosing money and when I do make money it is like 3k to 5k. I grind for credits this weekend with my Type 50 and went from 200k to 2,100,00 credits in two days with a Premium Account for 3 days, which I bought on the sale for 250 gold. No way would that have happened otherwise with any non-premium tank. I estimate my credit generation was between 200k to 350k per hour. Hard to do without a premium tank and a premium account.

  11. Cycling through all 3 Tier 8 premium tanks I can get a million credits pretty quick. I average 40k credits per game net. I have some games that are really bad and some that are outstanding but they all average out.

    For XP tho, I can go with a Tier 8 or above tank. I average about 550 xp across all of them. I kept track of just wins and found I average a tad over 1100 xp for wins with the high tier tanks. Getting the double brings it way up of course.

    • Now i see that i really want those premium tanks but i dont want to spend so much money in the game, because i dont have a job etc its kinda expensive paying 50 euro’s for 1 tank

  12. I know that feeling. Even the lower tier premiums make money, just not as fast. Keep an eye out for the free give aways of gold or tanks. Mid range arty does pretty good on money too.

    • What do you guys suggest as the best premium tanks to use? Then i might just buy one and see how well it is getting me money 😀

      • If I had to just choose 1 tank to buy, it would be the KV-5.

        The Lowe is double the price but doesn’t deliver double the performance. It is actually slower than the KV-5 and can’t take the pounding. Of course if you are a sniper type, it may be the one for you.
        But since funds are limited …… go with the KV-5.

        The KV-5 is a scrapper. It is hard for other tanks to kill it. I have taken Steel Wall with 124 hits. Of course things like high tier TDs will take it out with 2 or 3 shots but if you keep your front to most tanks you can take a hell of a beating. Which is good because it gets tracked A LOT.

        The Type 59 is no longer for sale so it is out of the question.

        My high score (xp and creds) is with the Lowe, but my best average is with the KV-5.

      • So the KV-5 if i get enough money and what if i am looking for a tank a little cheaper?

  13. Don is right. I only have one premium tank, Type 59 and I love it. Than again, I like speed that’s why I am grinding to the IS4, which is way faster than my Tiger 2.

    I have played the KV line a lot and I enjoyed all of them. The KV is OP within a reasonable tier spread.

    The developers are coming out with more Premium tanks so you may want to wait. In reality, the lower tier battles are much more fun as you don’t get one shot 🙂

    This is a Free game? I have spent more money in WoT than I have spent on WoW. In 6 months, I have spent a couple of hundred dollars. Getting a premium tank reduces my spending because I don’t need a premium account to maintain my stable of higher tier tanks.

    I hear you Diederik. If you have tanks tier 7 or higher and you don’t want to buy premium account, a premium tank would do the job of feeding your high maintenance tanks.

    As for Don, he must be an amazing player with all that money earned 🙂 LOL.

  14. I AM an amazing player. Just ask my clan mates and enemies. lol

    I have about 70 tanks for those days when there is x5 XP. Then, if my wife allows me to play all day, I can generate 120k xp or more in a day.

    But when I just want to have fun I go to the low tiers. SU-18 is one of my best arty actually. I keep getting 5 kills with it. Something always seems to keep me from getting Top Gun with it tho.

    You could go for the T14 heavy. It is pretty good.

    • I am thinking about the T14 or the KV-5, so thank you guys and yeah i need one of those tanks to generate enough money to buy new tanks and to maintain my old tanks.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      • Be careful with T14; its basically an up-armored sherman with shitty match-making. When its top tier it can clean up, but most of the time its mid tier, and lack the mobility to really flank.

        Id suggest vk36 with short 88 for a non-prem tank. Firstly unless you have a really bad game it usually makes respectable profit. Secondly, short 88 is a great teacher; if you use it on the flanks of a tank you are well rewarded with impressive damage. Use it on the frontal and itll bounce, and youll be screwed waiting on a 10 second reload…

  15. I have 3 gold tanks.. None are the Lowe or KV 5…

    I have thte T-14, PzB 2 (before the french came out), Matilda

    All three are fun to play. Pay out even on bad games.. Good games its a steal.

    Grabbed the t-14 when they put it on sale. Rotate through them you can do 100k in an hour. But I like to play everything. I’m currently grinding for my t-95.. which I got by dropping 40 bucks of my birthday money to use exp to jump the t28.

    Wish me luck..

  16. imo, its rlly best to keep some tier 5-6 tanks for the moneymaking if you don’t have premium, and then you focus on just one tank starting from tier 7, and level up from there. From experience, I believe the KV is the best moneymaker, as ive made 15k on a bad battle and up to 35k on good ones. This is from having had most of the tier 5 tanks, with the exception of the t-34, m7, the t1 heavy, and the scouts. The tier 4 scouts, such as the t-50, can actually be exceptionally wonderful moneymakers, with an average repair cost of only 1,000 to 1500 and extremely cheap ammo. The t-50 can bring in 10k to 15k average, and even 20k on rlly good matches. The good moneymakers are really tier 6 and below, especially with the economic changes of 7.2. I used to make only 1k credits with my loltraktor. Now, I can make up to even 8k credits on a good match in it. It rlly just depends on how well you play ur tanks 😛

  17. I have money problem too. I have an is-3, a tiger and a GWpanter. I have no credits to repair the tanks and start a battle and i might delete my account

    • Well, my advice would be to first, if you’ve got an open slot in ur garage, buy a loltraktor, don’t upgrade the gun, and go fight. Play well with it, and save up the credits with it until you have enough to fix and resupply one of your good tanks that bring in good cash. Ammo and repair cost free, as usual. Keep ur loltraktor and use one of ur tanks to bring in money and if u can, buy a KV(soon to be KV-2), fully upgraded w/ the 107mm. Use the KV as your main moneymaker. Then, itd be ur loltraktor to fund ur KV, and then ur KV to support ur three tanks. That’s what I do. I have an ms-1 and loltraktor to support my KV and my KV-3, and then my KV and my KV-3 to support my tiger and t29. U shld try it out.

      • Another cheap gold tank is the T25 German Med. tank. On a bad day, it still makes money, but on a good day, a couple of kills, and damage to other tanks, you can easily get over 20k exp. Very cheap to repair.

        Both the Easy 8 and Jumbo produce pretty good experience too. You have to have a very bad battle not to be in the possitive figures. The ammo is cheap and the repairs run around 6.5k. It’s easy to get 15k plus in one of these Meds.

        The KV as mentioned earlier also consistently produces possitive results.

  18. So the summary of this is, if you want to continue to play the game past Tier 6//7 without having to worry about money, get premium. Whether it’s in account, tank or shell form it’s up to you. But Wargaming isn’t gonna make playing this game easy :P.

  19. And how about the churchill, it is on sale right know, and i want to know, should i buy it or does it suck.

  20. Diederik: The Churchill is overall pretty great. Good MM (usually w/ a bunch of T4s), good money, average-ish to a bit slow speed, and a weak but rapid firing gun (which for 9/10 of MM is perfectly fine). Get a good crew, rammer and it’s a fun time.

  21. Ill do, thank you!

  22. hello all, I’m thinking about buying premium tank Super Pershing (this will be my first premium if I buy) but I’m in doubt. how do you thing about that tank? shall I buy or not? and how much money does it make in an average match? Need some suggestions . Thank you.

    • The SuperPerishing is quite an interesting tank. I don’t own one, but based on what I’ve seen, experienced, and by asking SP owners, I’ve come to a conclusion.

      The SuperPerishing is an average medium tank, and most people who own it see it as a little worse than the T-54. It doesn’t have quite the speed and mobility as many owners expected, and some say it is almost like a heavy tanks pretending to be a medium tank. Some of my friends say they would exchange their T34 for a SuperPerishing anyday, for some reason. I myself find it an all-around tank, and I myself got raped by two SuperPerishings in my PzkPfw VI Tiger (P).

      In the end, it really just depends on your style of fighting. But remember, don’t take this seriously. It’s only been a day since the SuperPerishing was released, and I was not able to test out the SuperPerishing on the Common Test. So you may want to wait a bit and see what other people have to say. If you really want it, then buy it, I can’t stop you. If you do buy it, then just remember to have fun playing with it.



  23. Hello. I’m in that precarious situation where I’m starting to get into higher tirer tanks. My VK3601(H) and VK3001(P) do good for me creditwise, but, the VK3002DB is a money pit. I’ve had to pay after some games. Also, I’m about to buy the Panther and the Tiger and close to getting the TigerP. With that in mind I was thinking of getting a low cost premium to subsidize my endeavors. My thoughts were getting a T14 but I’m not sure if it is a good money maker. Any thoughts?

  24. Hi Nick, I recommend to not sell the tier 6 tanks you mentioned. As with tier 7 the costs raise and you really need to be efficient with your shells. I recommend to add some space in the garage and not sell the tier 6 as they are good for getting the credits needed to feed the tier 7 upwards.

    I have done this the wrong way and now am sad about that… I bought the Lowe and now am able to fill this gap this way. Now I am playing some other tanks up to tier 6. Then I will buy tier 7 as soon I have the money to not sell the T6. The T7 you can sell later on to get to T8.

  25. Hello all. I’ve been playing WoT for just over a year now, and I have yet to spend any money on it. That is, until tonight, seeing as they have that special for discounted tier 8 premium tanks. I am actually considering the Super Persh as well over the T34 and Lowe, mostly because it’s not 60 bucks for ONE freaking tank. I’m thinking of putting 50 bucks into gold, buying the Super Persh, spending the rest on tank slots or some premium time or who know what else. Why am I choosing to spend money now? The credit grind for tier 9s is a drag, that’s why. Lol.
    As for free, money-making mid-tiers, I like the E8 American medium. Great gun and mobility, and don’t forget the merits of good gun depression! It can hold its own even in tier 8 games. Other than that, most tier 5 and 6 vehicles are decent money makers. KV-1, VK3601, M10, T34 (the Russian medium), etc.
    Don’t forget: creds and xp are a result of dmg you deal to enemies and dmg teammates do to enemies you’ve spotted, NOT KILLS. If you want to see how you can improve, check the post-battle stats screens. They give clear indications of how your shots are damaging or not damaging the enemy, and how well you’re doing relative to your teammates. Also, i suggest checking out the hundreds of Let’s Play videos out there. VERY informative.

  26. The only way to make some credits without going for your wallet is to play Tier V – VI tanks. For that matters I strongly recommend the Panzer IV or Panzer III/IV or VK 3601 (H) . I am recomending these, becouse most of my expirience in game came from the german tanks. I have (till now ) roundly 5k games and more than the half of them are with VK3601 (H) and the Panzer III/IV. When you lose with the Panzer III/IV and get destroyed you can win from 5 to 15k credits depending on the dmg you’ve made. With the VK it’s almost the same. When winning the amount of credits won is from 15k to 30k WITHOUT PREMIUM. With premium account I have few games well over 70k credits profit. However, THE BEST WAY TO MAKE CREDITS is to play the V -VI tier tanks, and I strongly recommend medium tanks over scouts and heavy. Cheers

  27. yea Tier V are the most profitable… light or medium ..or some heavy but heavy are matched with high tier.
    Try to play well,don’t go on front line, don’t take damage you can avoid (don t engage in hopeless fight)
    the perk “sixth sense” can help dodge arty and snipers
    camo is also usefeull.
    All the tier V premium are cheap (1200-1700) …they are undepowered but bring money even when battle is lost( often)
    to me best credit maker are: T34-85 ,PzIV,ELC AMX,Vk3601H,M4A3E8,M6 heavy,Marder II,
    *Tier VII you must win to earn credit and shells cost too much.

    • made 50 k profit with T32 ……at start i hated the tank ..same as tiger and tiger 2 but after 100 battles in each u start to get how those things work … i have a strage list of money makers …….T29….T32 ….Tiger and Tiger 2 …ARL 44 and Hellcat

  28. Been playing the game for a little over a month and now I have a kv-is and a video told me not to go past this tank is that true?

    • Short answer: I think listening to that video is a bad idea. Long answer: it depends on what you’re looking for in the game. If you just want to play and have fun, the KV-1S can be very much that. It’s considered quite overpowered for its tier, so playing it a lot and upgrading it with equipment and a good crew can turn it into a beast. It’s one of the easiest tanks to do well in, given enough practice. However, if you play the game to advance through the tiers to the tier 10 monsters or to see just how good you can be at the game, then stopping at tier 6 won’t do you any good.

  29. This was a awesome article, thanks a bunch for making it.