Destroyers are fast, maneuverable, and are the main carriers of torpedoes. These ships are the bane of any battleship if in the right position. Destroyers have the thinnest armor values in the game, making it rather easy for Armor Piercing shells from other ships to over penetrate them, meaning the shells pass through harmlessly without doing much damage. However, this advantage is offset by the fact that High Explosive shells will inflict massive damage on them. Coupled with the low health pool, this means destroyers can’t take a hit. Destroyers get incredible maneuverability to counter this problem, they can easily avoid shells when they’re in the air, and they can change direction very quickly as well. Their torpedoes are usually their main firepower, capable of causing massive damage with flooding and explosions. Destroyers get smokescreens, these can shield destroyers from enemy fire, and can also conceal allied ships so that they can close the distance without being seen. The American destroyers are gunboats, well armed with artillery and have relatively weak torpedoes, they don’t shoot very far at all. However Japanese destroyers have very good torpedoes, the later ships getting the deadly Long Lance torpedoes, which are very fast and do lots of damage. However, their artillery guns are very bad, they turn incredibly slowly and the reload is abysmal.
Battleships have heavy armor and excellent firepower, and they have the most health in WoWS. These ships are overflowing with heavy armaments and secondary artillery guns. But this makes them slower than old people. Armor is their answer to this problem. They have the thickest armor in the game, some even going to 400 millimeters of armor. They also have the longest range in direct fire support, the best reaching to over 20 km. But these ranges make battleships so inaccurate, they are more likely to hit water than metals. These ships get a special ability, repair teams. Battleship can repair their ships in battle, which can make some invincible if given enough time to repair. American battleships have good armor, excellent anti aircraft capability, and are as maneuverable as some cruisers. However, they are slow, some even going to a mere twenty knots. Their range is also not very good, comparable to long range cruisers. Japanese battleships have very long range, have good armor, and a overwhelming amount of secondary armaments. These ships are better off staying outside other ship ranges, peppering them with huge shells while using their high speeds to keep out of range.
Cruisers are jack-of-all-trade ships. They are slower than destroyers, but more heavily armed and armored. They are faster than battleships, but less armored and armed. These ships have very good rate of fires, some capable to spitting out shells in a few seconds. Cruisers also have the ability to use a special skill that gives a massive increase in anti aircraft firepower, which completely messes up aircraft carriers. American cruisers are mostly escorts, providing covering fire for battleships and can go ‘play’ with carriers later on in the game. Japanese cruisers get torpedoes, which make them slightly more armored and armed destroyers.
Finally, carriers have aircraft, excellent speed, and decent health. They are the undisputed kings at long range fighting. These ships have torpedo bombers and dive bombers to attack enemy ships, while having fighters to escort allied ships. They are also very fast, capable of going to over 30 knots. Some, such as the Japanese Kaga, Akagi, and Taihou, are very well armored, Kaga and Akagi being well armored because they are converted battleships(Akagi is a battlecruiser, Kaga and Akagi aren’t in the game though), and Taihou because she’s a armored carrier(think of it as a carrier with steel plates slapped onto the flight deck and hull). American carriers are pretty much the average American ships in World War 2, lots and lots planes and anti aircraft guns. They have several squadrons consisting of six per squadron. They also have unparalleled anti aircraft armament, which makes it very difficult to sink the ships with planes. Japanese have very good speeds, even more than the American one, which have good speed already. They also get more squadrons, some even going to 7, compared to the 5 squadrons the Americans have. However, they only have four planes per squadron. They also have less anti aircraft armaments and less reserve aircraft when compared to the American.