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T-54 Guide

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T-54 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:08 am

-Tier IX Soviet Medium Tank-

Stock T-54:

Fully upgraded T-54 with my configuration:

WoT Wiki page:

Notes are marked as [#]. Scroll to the bottom of the guide to read them.

General Information:

XP Cost:

-Researched through the T-54 for 142 000 XP

Credit Cost:

-3 450 000 total
-3 189 670 for the hull
-260 330 for the stock modules

Crew (4 total):


-Loader (Also acts as a Radio Operator)




Basic Stats:

-HP: 1 550 (stock turret) - 1 650 (upgraded turret)
-Weight (tons): 34.0 (stock) - 34.98 (presumed top modules, no equipment)
-Hull Armour (mm): 120/80/45
-Top Speed (km/h): 56
-Camouflage: Great[1]


One of the major strengths of the T-54- it features a high top speed, excellent acceleration, and impressive maneuverability. Really, it has no real drawbacks in this area other than the lack of neutral steering.


Best among the tier IX mediums. The front of the hull (120mm @ 60 UFP, 120mm @ 55 LFP) can bounce shells from tier VIII heavies and most tier IX mediums with angling- and while the lower plate is weaker, it doesn't usually qualify as a weakspot because it's a tiny target that is made even harder to hit by movement, in particular when crossing bumpy surfaces. Its turret is extremely hard to penetrate, being very thick and having a rounded shape with impressive sloping everywhere other than the cupolas and the section right around the mantlet (which is always a risky target anyway, as it's still quite strong and the nearby areas nearly guarantee a bounce). Of course, the rear is paper, but very few tanks can expect a significant amount of protection there anyway.

Upper front plate protection against AP/APCR/HEAT+HESH+HE --- Upper side hull protection against AP/APCR/HEAT+HESH+HE

Head-on: 209/226/240 --- n/a / n/a / n/a
20 degrees: 220/240/255 --- ricochet/ricochet/234
25 degrees: 227/247/264 --- 160/176/189
30 degrees: 235/259/277 --- 139/151/160
35 degrees: 246/272/293 --- 124/133/139
40 degrees: 260/289/313 --- 113/120/124
45 degrees: 277/311/339 --- 104/109/113

Basically, due to your thin side armour, you should not angle significantly away from enemies on open ground, as your side becomes vulnerable- unless they are going to punch through reliably anyway, in which case your best bet is to try to bait them into shooting the front at a bad angle. When around corners, however, you can peek out at a wide angle- at 45 degrees, this allows you to bounce most tier X *premium* shells frequently off your UFP, and it becomes virtually impenetrable to most standard ammo.

Note that the tracks add 20mm of armour, and the "premature detonation" effect neuters the damage caused by HE/HESH, as well as causing HEAT to lose a lot of penetration over the distance (especially if hit on the outside of the tracks at a shallow angle).


Disclaimer: the T-54 has access to two tier IX guns, both of which could be considered its top armament, but this guide assumes the use of the D-10T2S.

Since the tank scores very high in the two other main criteria, you can't really expect that much here; the gun has lowish alpha damage and the worst penetration in tier. However, the D-10T2S still has excellent accuracy, which it maintains fairly well, and a high rate of fire that grants it some of the best DPM among its peers.

This of course assuming you aren't spamming HEAT, you despicable statpadder.
The T-54 is basically an excellent platform compensated for by a weak gun.



The T-54's features lead to an emphasis on aggressive play. Its mobility allows you to flank effectively, and in combination with its sturdiness, you can pull off moves that would be mildly risky to suicidal in most medium tanks. Because it's an absolutely tiny target, and the upper third of it is more or less impenetrable, even low objects and gradual slopes qualify as viable cover. Good examples include stone fences and the grassy terrain to the north and south of the central road in Fisherman's Bay. Furthermore, the tracks repair very quickly, meaning you won't be immobilised for long if they get blown off at a critical moment. All these traits need to be used to compensate its inability to effectively fight most opponents head-on.

T-54s also make good brawlers. The rapid rate of fire can be used to permatrack enemies, which allows the tank to stay out of the way of all but the fastest turrets at close range, or at least force the enemy to take half-aimed shots. With the aforementioned compact hull and troll turret, it can also humiliate opponents with tall profiles/poor gun depression/both by sidehugging them and rolling back and forth, so they are forced to target the erratically moving cupolas whilst getting repeatedly hit square in the side at point blank range. In fact, some tanks (in addition to limited-traverse TDs, of course) might not be able to hit a T-54 pressed against their side in the first place, but I haven't tested this out myself.

Thanks to the camo (which is actually comparable to a few light tanks), the speed/agility/accel, and good view range, it's also the best spotter among the tier IXs. The only major drawback compared to dedicated scouts is the increased visibility while moving, but it can still reach key areas without being lit up. The low visibility can also be abused for ambushes/sniping

Besides the lack of raw firepower, the T-54 has poor gun depression (5 degrees). It's also got an ammo rack and a fuel tank at the front, right next to the driver- but due to game mechanics, this isn't as much of an issue as it might seem[2].


-Very mobile
-Great stationary camo
-The above works well for scouting
-The gun is fast-firing and accurate in all respects
-Fast track repair
-Very tough armour, especially on the turret and the UFP when angled


-Lacks gun depression, limiting the ability to peekaboom on hilly terrain
-Low penetration, less damage per shot than most other mediums

Comparison to its peers:

-The E-50 has similar hull armour (120mm @ 60 UFP, equally strong LFP), though its turret is fairly easy to punch through at close range. It's also a much bigger target, and feels sluggish in terms of accel/traverse, though it can keep up with or even outrun the T-54 on long stretches- especially if it can use hills or dips in the terrain to pick up speed. Its gun is arguably better overall (unless large amounts of prem shells are involved), with lower RoF/DPM, but superior RoF/alpha and even better accuracy.

-The Leopard PT A is even better mobility-wise, and its gun can slice through anything frontally with deadly accuracy... without the usual DPM advantage of the tier IX mediums, thanks to its much slower reload. It's also much easier to kill, with its larger hull and borderline useless armour.

-The Centurion Mk 7/1 has pretty much the same gun as the Leopard PT A, with much better gun depression and decent protection, making it more effective at positional warfare/sniping than the T-54 at the cost of failing@flanking due to its very low top speed, and otherwise ”meh” mobility.

-The M46 Patton is slower than the T-54 (though its maneuverability is similar) and has weak armour, offering decent protection only against tier VII mediums and the like. It does excel at low-exposure fighting because of its powerful gun and its ability to take snap shots with its outstanding soft stats and gun depression.

-The T54E1 is basically a Patton with better armour and a fast-firing autoloader, but a long reload between clips and worse soft stats. Essentially, it exhanges versatility for spike damage. It excels at guerrilla warfare but fares poorly in extended brawls, much unlike the T-54.

-The Lorraine is huge and gets penetrated almost every time by anything more powerful than a T-50. It's also got terrible gun handling, but it can destroy some same-tier tanks in one clip with its autoloader, and is among the more mobile representatives in the class.

-The WZ-120 is heavily based on the T-54 and its succesors, giving a nearly identical overall design. It's a bit worse as a platform, with inferior acceleration, traverse, hull armour, and even less gun depression- however, it can mount a very nasty 122mm with heavy tank levels of penetration/alpha damage, at the cost of worse accuracy/DPM, and especially RoF/aim time.
The T-54 is highly versatile; its speed and armour allow for flexible tactics, though other tanks in tier outgun it.

Set-up Tips:

Suggested Crew Secondaries:

-Sixth Sense is probably the best overall skill, and it's especially useful for spotters and camo-reliant tanks. Get it as soon as possible.

-Camouflage is very handy for sniping from behind foliage and scouting.

-Recon and Situational Awareness allows the tank to spot enemies from farther away, this is useful both for the scout role and for spotting enemies before they spot you in the open. An important note is that the latter gives a bigger general boost, Recon is only better when your optics are damaged.

-Clutch Braking helps with flanking maneuvers.

-Smooth Ride's bonus to OTM dispersion lets you abuse your mobility advantage, as you have to stop less often/for shorter periods of time to get a shot off.

-Repair skills + T-54 = the tracks barely hit the ground before they are back up again. Makes those mad dashes at the enemy much more survivable.

-Safe Stowage is more or less the only loader-specific skill that isn't highly situational. Might as well get it.

-Brothers in Arms gives a general skill boost, and gets more use out of the loader with the shortage of important secondaries.

I recommend this order. Note that as perks (*) aren't functional until they reach 100%, it may be worth starting off with a skill and retraining once you have enough XP to instantly activate it.

Commader: Sixth Sense* --- Brothers in Arms --- Camo/Repair --- Recon --- Other
Gunner: Camo/Repair --- Brothers in Arms ---Snap Shot --- Other
Loader/Radio Operator: Camo/Repair --- Brothers in Arms --- Safe Stowage --- Situational Awareness --- Other
Driver: Camo/Repair --- Brothers in Arms  --- Smooth Ride --- Clutch Braking --- Other

Suggested Equipment:

-The Coated Optics, with the passive 10% view range boost, is useful if you do a lot of scouting/sniping.

-The Improved Ventilation Mk I gives an all-around buff to the tank.

-The Medium-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer shortens reloads noticeably. I consider the the improved RoF irreplaceable on anythong other than dedicated scouts.

-The Vertical Stabiliser Mk I reduces dispersion from moving and traversing the turret. Most mediums, in particular flankers, benefit significantly from the ability to take snap shots more effectively, so this is rather essential.
Overall performance, view range, camo and repair take are the most important, as the T-54 is a generalist at heart.


[S] Stock module
[*]All paths leading up to this tank allow you to pre-research this upgrade (this means you should have the module in question unless you speedgrinded/skipped the previous tank, so I've left out the other annotations if it applies)
[**] Some paths leading up to this tank allow you to pre-research this upgrade
[***] Other lines allow you to pre-research this upgrade

All crew-dependent stats assume 100% relevant crew member, but disregard the skill bonus from the commander.


T-54 mod. 1946 [S]:

Turret Armour (mm): 200/108/65
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 48
View Range (m): 390
Credit Cost: 31 400
Weight (kg): 7 500
Compatible Guns: 100mm D-10T mod. 1945 -100mm LB-1

A rather good stock turret. The only major flaw compared to the second one is the inability to mount the tier IX guns. Other than that, it's good in every way- it traverses very quickly, it has good view range, and is usually very hard to penetrate frontally. However, the part of the mantlet immediately to the left and right of the gun and the turret ring are liabilities (essentially 200mm of flat armour), which may lead to unexpected penetrations.

T-54 mod. 1949 [S]:

Turret Armour (mm): 200/160/65
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 44
View Range (m): 390
XP Cost: 23 540
Credit Cost: 52 000
Weight (kg): 8 500
Compatible Guns: 100mm D-10T mod. 1945 -100mm LB-1 - 100mm D-54 - 100mm D-10T2S
Additional effects: HP +100, 100mm D-10T RoF 7.41 -> 7.69, 100mm LB-1 RoF8.33 -> 8.7

The second turret's main advantage is the ability to mount some decent firepower, but it's also even better protected than its predecessor with its thicker sides and lack of mantlet/turret ring weakspots. Tier X guns may go through the cheeks, but generally, the cupolas are the only viable targets. It also improves the rate of fire of the guns available on the stock turret.


100mm D-10T mod. 1945 [S]:

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 175/235/50
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 230/230/330
Average Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 7.41 - 7.69
Average Damage Per Minute (AP and APCR): 1 704 - 1 769
Accuracy: 0.39
Aim Time: 2.9
Elevation/Depression: +20, -5
Credit Cost: 93 700
Weight (kg): 2300

Everything about this gun sucks horribly by tier IX standards, except for the RoF. Which just helps your enemies score Steel Walls faster. Thankfully, you are never forced to use it.

100mm LB-1

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 175/235/50
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 230/230/330
Average Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 8.33 - 8.7
Average Damage Per Minute (AP and APCR): 1 916 - 2 001
Accuracy: 0.35
Aim Time: 2.3
Elevation/Depression: +20, -5
XP Cost: 19 100
Credit Cost: 130 750
Weight (kg): 2 400
A huge improvement over the ”IDIOT”, the top gun of the T-44 has significantly improved RoF/accuracy/aim time- but the damage output is still poor, and the penetration is unacceptably low because of the huge increase in firepower between tiers VIII and IX. The APCR is also closer to ~200-220mm of effective penetration against well-sloped plates due to the reduced normalisation. Sadly, you will have to use it until you have the turret and D-10T2S or D-54 are researched and mounted.

100mm D-10T2S:

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 201/330/50
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 320/320/420
Average Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 7.69
Average Damage Per Minute (AP and HEAT): 2 461
Accuracy: 0.35
Aim Time: 2.3
Elevation/Depression: +20, -5
XP Cost: 59 300
Credit Cost: 221 000
Weight (kg): 2 300

Mediocre penetration and alpha damage, but otherwise good to excellent in every way. The accuracy and soft stats allow for on-the-move fire comparable to the Patton, and the rate of fire is very useful in brawls. And while HEAT spam no longer turns it into an unstoppable death ray as it was prior to 8.6 (which reduced the penetration by 20 and made spaced armour/external modules more effective against HEAT), it can still punch through the strongpoints of beasts like the T95 and E-75 about half the time, and it will more or less always penetrate weakspots. This also eliminates its only weakness compared to the D-54 (as the two guns have equal HEAT penetration), though I consider it better even with AP.

Sadly, as the D-54 is a prerequisite to unlock the T-62A, getting this gun essentially requires you to ”waste” nearly 60 000 experience points if you are going for the tier X of the line.

100mm D-54:

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 219/330/50
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 320/320/420
Average Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 7.32
Average Damage Per Minute (AP and HEAT): 2 342
Accuracy: 0.39
Aim Time: 2.9
Elevation/Depression: +20, -5
XP Cost: 59 300
Credit Cost: 221 000
Weight (kg): 2 557

The only tier IX gun of the T-54 before patch 8.0, the D-54 provides good penetration in exhange for slightly worse RoF and much worse accuracy/aim time compared to its "little brother". I personally dislike long aim times on mediums- especially if they don't have good gun depression or accuracy to compensate- so I prefer to use the D-10T2S, as it's much easier to fight with low exposure that way.


T-54 [S]:

Load Limit (t): 38.70
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 46
Credit Cost: 4 230
Weight (kg): 7 200

Doesn't restrict what you can mount at all, but the top tracks do bring some worthwhile improvements.


Load Limit (t): 39.80
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 33
XP Cost: 5 100
Credit Cost: 12 470
Weight (kg): 7 200

Improved hidden stats and maneuverability, basically. The upgrade is on low prority, however.


V-2-54 --- V-14

Horsepower: 620 --- 700
Type: Diesel --- Diesel
Fire Chance (%): 12 --- 12
XP Cost: <stock module> --- 27 200
Credit Cost: 79 290 --- 82 300
Weight (kg): 700 --- 700

Both engines give the tank a great power-to-weight ratio, and have low fire chances. The upgraded one gives a substantial performance boost.


9RM [S] --- R113

Signal Range (m): 310 --- 415 --- 700
XP Cost: <stock module> --- 1 360 --- 4 500
Credit Cost: 630 --- 8 160 --- 27 000
Weight (kg): 50 --- 70 --- 250

Even the stock radio is manageable, but there's really no reason why you shouldn't have the best one anyway. Really, once you get to tier VIII, all tanks other than the premiums (of which some have ghetto radios) have comparable performance here.

Upgrade path:

I recommend the order turret -> gun -> engine -> tracks, as the vastly improved firepower compared to the previous tier is why the MM weight is equal to all the other classes- you really want one of the good 100mm guns as soon as possible, and mounting them requires the turret. Since the stock tracks aren't needed to carry any modules or equipment you may want, the extra horsepower from the best engine is more important (though the tracks do improve accel indirectly through less terrain resistance, just not as much, on top of track HP/accuracy on the move/traverse).


[1] 8.3 Camouflage tables: http://forum.worldof...ouflage-tables/

[2] T-54 module layout:

The frontal fuel tank is nowhere near as bad as a frontal transmission (mainly German tanks, most American ones with frontal transmissions have extra armour covering them) because if it gets damaged, the tank's performance isn't directly affected- only the fire chance increases. The fires aren't a major problem as the damage is negligible with an extinguisher and decent reflexes (or an automatic premium extinguisher), unless you catch on fire twice, which is extremely improbable. Furthermore, the fuel tank effectively acts as a shield for the ammo rack- it means that shell needs to go through *two* dice rolls, as well as fully depleting the fuel tank's HP, in order to pass through and damage the ammo rack. Even a ~150mm gun will carry over a very small amount of damage to the ammorack if the fuel tank is on full HP, the same applies to ~100mm guns when the fuel tank is damaged but repaired as far as it goes.

TL;DR: While the T-54 has a frontal ammo rack, it more or less only gets hit from the side.

Originally written by Platypusbill

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