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BT-7 Guide

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BT-7 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:58 pm

I will be honest first of all. The BT-7 is not the most powerful Tier 3 light tank. In fact, it has the lowest win rate of all the Tier 3 tanks, and has the 3rd lowest win rate of all the tanks on the EU server (46.98%). It is underarmed, has no armour, isn't as manoeuvrable as the M3 Stuart or PzKpfw II Luchs (which has been buffed up to Tier 4), and has a very poor view range. The only thing it has going for it is speed. It is one of the fastest tanks in the tier (66 km/h), but only slightly better in that respect than the Stuart and Luchs.

Despite all this, I still love the BT-7. It is a beautiful tank, with its sleek lines and conical turret. It is a blast to drive and can respond very quickly to changes in the battlefield. As my first Tier 3 tank, it also has some sentimental value. I hope people will find this guide helpful, even if you have no intention of keeping the BT-7 and simply wish to grind through it.

Tank Statistics
Battle Tiers: 3 to 5
Hit Points: 200 (220 with the BT-7 conical turret)
Credit Price: 37,000
Experience Cost: 1,500 XP
Crew: 3 (Commander/Radio Operator, Gunner/Loader, Driver)
View Range: 260 m (280 m with the BT-7 conical turret)
Signal Range: 300 m (615 m with the 12LL radio)
Weight: 14.1 tons (14.42 tons with my loadout)
Turret Traverse: 44°/s (46°/s with the BT-7 conical turret)

Hardly the stuff of which Mäusen are made of. Don't expect the armour to save you.

Armour Layout with BT-7 cylindrical turret

Armour Layout with BT-7 conical turret

Notable weakspots: The whole tank is a bloody weakspot.

Module Layout

You really do not want to get hit in the BT-7. There are ammo racks and fuel tanks running along the entire length of the hull.

The gun selection is as follows (numbers in brackets are for the BT-7 conical turret):

45 mm 20K
Damage: 47/47/62 HP (AP/APCR/HE)
Penetration: 51/88/23 mm
Rate of Fire: 26.09 rounds/minute (26.09 rounds/minute)
Accuracy: 0.46 m (0.46 m)
Aim Time: 2.3 s (1.9 s)
Elevation: -8° to +25° (-8° to +25°)
Ammunition: 84 rounds

The stock gun. Decent damage and penetration, but comparatively poor accuracy. Better HE round than the ZiS-19. It's essentially the same gun that was used on the MS-1, and it is also used on the BT-2, T-26, T-46, A-20, Valentine II, and T-127.


BT-7 with cylindrical turret and 45 mm 20K

BT-7 with conical turret and 45 mm 20K

23 mm VJa
Damage: 12/12 HP (AP/APCR)
Penetration: 30/42 mm
Burst Length: 3 rounds
Magazine Size: 12 rounds
Cyclic Rate-of-Fire: 300 rounds/minute
Magazine Reload Time: 4.3 s
Accuracy: 0.54 m (0.54 m)
Aim Time: 1.7 s (1.6 s)
Elevation: -8° to +25° (-8° to +25°)
Ammunition: 300 rounds

Your standard autocannon for all light tanks. Nothing really remarkable. Good for killing SPGs and lightly armoured tanks. Has a limited maximum range of 360 m, beyond which it cannot penetrate even the lightest of armour.


BT-7 with cylindrical turret and 23 mm VJa

BT-7 with conical turret and 23 mm VJa

37 mm ZiS-19
(requires BT-7 conical turret to be mounted)
Damage: 40/40/50 HP (AP/APCR/HE)
Penetration: 58/92/19 mm
Rate of Fire: 28.57 rounds/minute
Accuracy: 0.39 m
Aim Time: 1.9 s
Elevation: -8° to +25°
Ammunition: 84 rounds

More accurate than the 45 mm 20K, with a slightly higher rate of fire and penetration, but lower alpha damage and DPM. Good for sniping, and acceptable for close combat. Of all these guns, this is the one I find the most worth using. It has pretty good accuracy, although the penetration with AP is useless against the vast majority of Tier 5 tanks. I'm not a big fan of autocannons and the "run-and-gun" style they use, plus they are completely useless against anything above Tier 3, but if you just want to run about spraying other light tanks and killing artillery, it works quite well. All of them are highly inadequate against Tier 5 tanks and even against some Tier 4 tanks (B1, Hetzer and M3 Lee from the front, Matilda, AMX 40, Valentine)


BT-7 with conical turret and 37 mm ZiS-19

My ammunition loadout for the 37 mm ZiS-19 is 50 UBR160 bis (AP), 24 UBR160PA (APCR), 10 UO160A (HE). APCR is needed against some tanks like the KV-1, which are virtually immune to regular AP except through the rear turret machine gun port. HE is there in case I run across open top SPGs or tank destroyers, or I need to reset cap.

Engine Power: 480 hp (500 hp with M-17F engine, 480 hp with V-2 engine)
Hull Traverse: 48°/s (50°/s with BT-7 suspension)
Speed Limit: 66 km/h
Power/Weight Ratio: 31.91 hp/ton (34.67 hp/ton with my setup)
Suspension Weight Limit: 14.2 tons (15.5 tons with BT-7 suspension)

There is really only one engine you should be using: the M-17F. The V-2 is significantly heavier and provides less power, plus the 5% reduced chance of fire is insignificant. The BT-7 needs all the power it can get. With a hp/ton ratio of 33.54 using the 500 hp M-17F, the BT-7 accelerates very quickly, and can easily reach its top speed of 66 km/h. Unfortunately, due to the fairly long hull, its turning properties are not quite as good as one would like, although they are significantly better than the BT-2's and the A-20's. When driving a tank as fast as the BT-7, you must be mindful of the irregularities of the terrain or you might track yourself, which can be fatal.

I'm not exactly sure what Wargaming wants the BT-7 to be. You would think with the gun selection, armour, mobility, and good radio that it is supposed to be scout. But then why is its view range so poor at 280 m? The MS-1 has the same view range when fully upgraded, and the Tier 2 T-26 tank has a better view range, as does the T-46. The Luchs and Stuart are much better in that respect (330 m), and are far superior scouts, being only slightly slower. Is it a flanking tank? The T-46 has better guns and does that job better. So what is it supposed to be?

For me, I found the BT-7 works very well as a flanking sniper in Tier 3 or 4 matches, using its speed and mobility to get around to the flanks of heavier enemies, and the good accuracy and aim time of the ZiS-19 to snipe at lighter enemies. It also makes an excellent counter-scout against most of the Tier 3 and Tier 4 scouts, although the T-50 can be a very formidable opponent. It can scout in a pinch, but the view range is a big letdown for me, and I only do that as and when necessary. I use it more as a passive scout, using the mobility to escape as and when necessary, or to reach good passive spotting locations quickly.

It would be wise to read up on the weakspots of Tier 5 tanks, since you will be seeing them fairly often, so that you will not be completely useless at Tier 5. It ain't easy when they can one or two-shot you, but you can kill them with some smart play.


You can also play the "traditional" light tank role of raider and go hunting artillery behind enemy lines. The BT-7 is more than capable of it, though you have to be careful of certain artillery pieces like the SU-26. If you choose this dangerous way of life, I have only one piece of advice to give you: don't stop for anything. You stop, and you are dead. I recommend the 23 mm VJa autocannon for this, as well as the BT-7 cylindrical stock turret, which is lighter, for that extra bit of speed.

- Speed, speed, speed.
- Fantastic accelereation.
- Fairly manoeuvrable.
- Quite stealthy, with good camouflage values.
- Excellent radio range with the 12LL radio.

- Poor gun selection, with low penetration and damage.
- Virtually no armour, with only average HP.
- Highly vulnerable modules.
- Very poor view range.

My planned skill set for the BT-7 is:

Commander/Radio Operator: Sixth Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness, Brothers in Arms
Gunner/Loader:Camouflage, Snap Shot, Deadeye, Brothers in Arms
Driver: Camouflage, Smooth Ride, Off Road Driving, Brothers in Arms

- I run all Camouflage my crew members as their first skill, to negate the enemy's view range advantage as much as possible, and to help whenever my BT-7 has to scout.
- Once the Commander reaches 100% on Camouflage, I will switch it to Sixth Sense, invaluable on any tank, but especially on light tanks.
- Situational Awareness is to increase that view range as much as possible.
- Brothers in Arms for a very useful bonus to everything.
- Snap Shot and Smooth Ride will allow the BT-7 to get an accurate shot off faster after coming to a brief halt.
- Deadeye for increased chance of critical damage to enemy modules
- Off Road Driving to further improve the BT-7's mobility.

Research Order
M-17F engine ---> BT-7 suspension ---> BT-7 conical turret ---> 12LL radio ---> V-2 engine ---> A-20

The guns can all be unlocked on the BT-2. The 12LL radio is also used on the SU-5, SU-26, and A-20.

Speed Grind: M-17F engine ---> V-2 engine ---> A-20

My equipment loadout is:
- Improved Ventilation Class 1 - For increased overall performance.
- Enhanced Gun Laying Drive - Improves aim time, though I would have preferred using a Rammer. It is the only equipment that can really improve the BT-7's combat abilities besides Vents. It isn't absolutely necessary, though, since the BT-7's guns already have pretty decent aim times.
- Binocular Telescope - Helps while passive scouting.

Bear in mind that I love my BT-7 and am willing to spend a lot on it. If you do not wish to spend so much on it, you can't go wrong with a Camouflage Net or Toolbox instead of the Gun Laying Drive, since those can be removed without using gold. Coated Optics could work, but the BT-7 need as big a boost as possible to its view range.

Some Replays
Some replays illustrating what the BT-7 can do:
Spoiler: - This is why you bring APCR. (8.2) - Some passive scouting on Lakeville. (8.2) - The game where the pics in which I killed a Pz III/IV came from. (8.2) - Fun and Games on Prokhorovka (8.2) - Karelia (8.2) - Highway to the Danger Zone (8.2) - Tier 5 game on Erlenberg (8.3) - Tier 4 game on Serene Coast (Bye-bye, Serene Coast!) (8.3) - More Fun and games on Prokhorovka (8.3) - Narrowly missed Top Gun on Mines, with some decent spotting on the hill. (8.3) - My first Top Gun on the BT-7 (9 kills), and hands down my best game on it ever. (8.3)

Additional Comments
- The BT-7 works especially well in wolf packs of other fast light tanks. A platoon of 3 good players can dominate a Tier 3 battle.
- The BT-7 makes a pretty good suicide rammer, if it has to. Controlled Impact and Spall Liner can allow it to troll other light tanks and SPGs with ramming, though i hardly consider it the best use of the tank. Nevertheless, I have a few Kamikaze badges on it.
- If you like the BT-7 enough and have the gold, consider investing in gold camouflage for an added 5% camouflage bonus.

The BT-7 is not an easy tank to master, and many people view it as am underpowered tank to be ground through, not kept. I do not disagree that it is an underpowered tank, but I love my BT-7, and I love the challenge of doing well in it, and I think it can perform if given the chance and investment. And who knows, maybe in the future Wargaming will buff it, given its current low win rate. Till then, at least, I hope this guide helps people with this little underappreciated Tier 3 light tank.

Originally written by Wen90

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Re: BT-7 Guide

Post  Wen90 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:49 pm

Oh, nice to see you post it here! Did not expect it to be here, since it wasn't the one that won. Razz

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Re: BT-7 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:05 pm

All of your guides will be posted eventually. I posted many guides that did not win Wink I filter by quality, and there are many past the quality barrier I deem to be of some use. Having said that...I did filter many that wasn't up to scratch.

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Re: BT-7 Guide

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