Quick Start: Aircraft Carriers

Naval Academy
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Aircraft Carriers are the game's stand-alone, multi-role ship, bringing RTS-style gameplay to the battle. As they are quite different from other ship classes in the game, we felt like a specific guide needed to be put together for your convenience. A general overview of this unique class can be found in this dedicated guide. Now, let’s get you started!

Ship controls

In comparison with battleships, aircraft carriers move faster. However, keep in mind that turning significantly reduces the aircraft carrier's speed and their rudder shift is slower. As a result, ships of this class can reach a high speed quickly but can’t change their heading very quickly.

Basic movement controls are the same as with any other ship. Your warship is controlled with the default WASD control scheme. The W and S keys adjust your speed in increments, indicated in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

With aircraft carriers, however, you will find the waypoints mechanic rather helpful. To set waypoints or the point of view to your ship, use button “1”. To set waypoints, press shift+left click the map or minimap. You can set up to 5 waypoints. You can also adjust the position of your waypoints by clicking on a waypoint and dragging it on the tactical map.

Camera

Basic Carrier view allows you to direct your air groups and ship. From this bird’s eye perspective, you can easily plot the course both for your ship and your air squadrons.

If you wish to plan longer routes, you can switch to the Tactical Map overlay (M). Here you can easily plan and coordinate your strikes - or set waypoints for your aircraft carrier.

If you want to switch to the standard 3rd person view, you can do by pressing Shift. You will find this view useful for many situations, including dodging torpedoes.

 

Air attack

To select a target for your squadron, just hover your mouse cursor over a friendly or an enemy unit.

If you aim at a friendly unit (ship or squadron), an Escort symbol will appear. By left-clicking on it, your squadron will automatically follow the target and protect it from enemy planes. This selection works best with fighters - you can provide air cover to friendly units or escort your strike planes to the target.

If you aim at an enemy air unit with a fighter squadron, or at an enemy surface unit with a bomber squadron, an appropriate attack icon will appear. By left-clicking, you assign your squadron a target.

 

 

While attacking with torpedo or dive bombers, you can see and change the direction from which your planes will attack - just drag and drop the white arrow symbol along the circle marking where your planes will start their attack run. The torpedo / bomb spread indicator shows you how accurate your attack will be.

To be most effective, concentrate your attacks on the same target. For dive bombers, the best attack angle is alongside the long axis of the enemy ship, either from the front or from the rear.

For torpedo bombers, your best bet is to coordinate two squadrons with one attacking target from the front and the other from the side - that way the target will get hit, no matter how much manoeuvring it does.

Air group controls

To select an air group, press “2”, “3” etc. depending on which air group you want to use. By default, you have fighter squadrons, torpedo squadrons and dive bomber squadrons.

To issue movement orders to your squadron, simply click on the map in the top-down view, on the mini-map or in the Tactical Map overlay. To add waypoints, hold Shift when setting them. By pressing the "F" key, the squadron will return back to the carrier.