Although World of Tanks is a free to play game many will end up purchasing a gold package at some point if the game interests them. There are a few options as to how to buy gold and each have their own benefits.
While the gift shop might seem to offer many great “deals” and specials it is not ideal for purchasing gold or packages for yourself. The concept of the gift shop is for buying others packages and the packages usually have the worst dollar:gold exchange compared to buying gold directly. The only exception is when offers are based around credit bundles which usually offer a better exchange than the conversion rate that is in-game.
Buying Gold Directly
The main option of buying gold for your own use is to use the option on the official World of Tanks website for your server. Buying in large bundles will get you the best value for your money and is the option you will most likely use the majority of the time.
Occasionally there will be codes that are offered by companies like Logitech or gaming websites that give away low tier premium tanks and/or small amounts of gold. Finding them can be difficult if you do not check the forums or look around a bit outside of the game but generally codes pop up around a dozen times a year. Another option are the “starter” kits sold online that come with a code that gives you various in-game items. Packages like this(found on Amazon) are able to be used on existing accounts and are discounted at times. This allows someone to spend a small amount of money($12-$19) and receive $30 of in-game items. Keep in mind that some of this is tied to the credits given away which might not be worth it for those not in need of credits.
Maximizing Your Gold
Using gold wisely can be difficult at times since you can easily blow it quickly on the numerous options to spend it on. While there is no “wrong” way of using gold there are some options that are not very cost effective and/or worth it for using your precious gold on.
One of the most useful options available for gold is to buy time for a premium account. This will give you 50% more experience and credits per battle while you have a premium account. This makes the grind to tier 8 and above much quicker and will allow you to earn a small profit on non-premium tier 8+ tanks compared to a normal account where you will loose credits. The only downside is that once you buy the time you cannot pause it and it is slowly ticking away.
Unlike a premium account buying a premium tank has no time limit and it will be there whenever you log on(unless if you sell it). Premium tanks earn more credits and experience compared to similar tanks in their tier. They have a small experience modifier that will net them more experience which might not sound fair but there is nothing to research on these tanks. The experience can only be used to train crews if you check off accelerated crew training or converting using gold into “free experience.” The credit boost is why most players own a premium tank and these boosts allow many to earn 1.5x-2x the amount of net credits per battle than similar tanks in that tier. Premium tanks from tier 2-5 make a decent amount of profit but the tier 6-8 premium tanks are where you will see a noticeable difference in income.
One other small bonus is the ability to use crews not trained for the premium tank with no penalty. Crews will gain crew experience while in the tank allowing you to grind credits. Only crews that are the same nation and tank type will work without the need of being retrained. For example the tier 8 American premium heavy tank T34 is capable of having any American heavy tank crew(like the T29 or T110E5) placed into it with no need of retraining. This crew can fight with no penalty while still racking up crew experience.
You can find several tank guides which review premium tanks over in the tank guide section here on WoT Guru that will help you with a purchase of a premium tank.
Free experience in World of Tanks is gained for each battle any player plays. 5% of the total experience a player earns each battle becomes free experience which can be used to research any tank/module and is not tied to any specific tank. There is also an option to convert the experience on elited(fully upgraded) tanks using gold into free experience to be used on other non-elited tanks. This can be a money pit for many who lack patience and want to skip up to the higher tiers quickly. While this might sound like a good idea it will burn through your gold very quickly and higher tier battles aren’t always as enjoyable as low tier battles.
Instead using free experience and converting experience should be used sparingly to skip past stock tanks. Instead of spending a ton of gold and free experience on skipping tanks completely it is more cost effective to only skip past the stock configuration. For example you can use your free experience to research the top gun/turret set ups to skip you past the horror of being an under gunned stock tank. This makes the grind much less frustrating and faster while not burning a hole into your pocket.
Converting Gold to Credits
Many players will find themselves low on credits if they do not own a premium tank(and play it a lot) and are looking to buy multiple tier 9 and tier 10 tanks. World of Tanks is set up since it is a free to play game to make the credit requirements of the higher tier matches requirement a lot of time invested without spending money on a premium account or a premium tank. This can lead some to convert gold into credits at a 400:1 credit for gold ratio. This is a very expensive service for a quick gain of credits since those credits can be quickly earned just by playing matches. If you are lacking credits it makes more sense to buy a premium tank that you will own “forever” instead of converting gold into credits.
The option to buy premium ammunition for gold is available for the majority of tanks in World of Tanks. These shells generally add increased penetration values and some will add different damage values in exchange for other benefits. These shells are usually HEAT, HESH, APCR, and APDS rounds and are available for purchase for gold or credits. The gold option makes using these shells very expensive and wasteful since you are literally throwing money at people for small gains.
The credit option however is the better option(it follows the 400:1 credit:gold ratio) since you are not spending actual money. These shells are typically used in large numbers for competitive player but in public matches should be used a bit less. Typically carrying 15%-25% premium rounds in public matches to deal with heavily armored tanks will fill most player’s needs. Since they are expensive you only want to use them against tanks you cannot penetrate reliably, but when you do use them they will increase your chance of doing damage and winning which offsets the increased cost slightly.
Garage Slots/Enlarging Barracks
Running out of garage slots happens to every player the more they play. Buying them costs 300 gold a piece which is not that bad, but they go on sale often and waiting for those 150 gold garage slots are the best option. The same goes for enlarging the barracks for extra crew members which is not a bad deal but it is often discounted like the garage slots and waiting for these specials will save you gold.
There is a small option to rename your crew members which only changes their names for your own eyes in your barracks. Useless and should be avoided if you don’t want to waste gold.
Camouflage and decals are available for every tank to personalize the appearance for everyone to see. Camouflage gives a very small boost to the tank’s camouflage modifier but is not very large to be a huge deal. It cant also be bought for credits but only lasts for 7 days or 30 days compared to the gold option which remains until you sell that specific tank. Decals only offer small visual changes and do not add any bonus to the tank. If you are looking to save gold then skip blinging your tank out but for those with some gold to spare buying some camouflage does help hide your tank ever so slightly.
Buying equipment for your tanks is a must once you have the credits to spare and when you make it to the higher tiers. Moving it from tank to tank however can be impossible without gold for some equipment(usually the expensive ones). Instead of selling it for a 50% credit loss there is an option to demount it for a small gold fee and move it to another tank. Due to the high costs of some equipment the demounting fee does make sense to use if you are selling a tank with equipment on it.
To create a clan in World of Tanks you must pay an upfront gold free to create it. While this is not a “bad option” if you wish to start a clan, you should make sure that you actually want to go through with it. Running a clan in this game is very time consuming and difficult to find good members. The better option might be to hold off and join one of the numerous clans that have been around for a while and then move up the ranks and see if managing a clan is right for you.
Located on the official website in your account settings is an option to change your in-game name. Useful for some who want a change or to shed a bad reputation but useless for the masses. Just pick the right name the first time and you’ll save yourself a nice chunk of gold.