Pros and Cons
- Good armor (for a Tier 1 tank).
- Powerful and fairly accurate top gun in the 45 mm mod. 1932, with the best penetration of all the Tier 1 tank guns.
- Decent hull traverse and excellent turret traverse speeds.
- Small size and good camouflage values, making it easy to hide and difficult to detect and hit.
- Lowest HP of all the Tier 1 tanks.
- Fairly slow.
- Long aim time.
- Poor view range.
The MS-1 is a very capable Tier 1 tank, and also quite beginner-friendly, making it an excellent starter tank. Stock, it is slower and weaker than the American and German starter tanks, but it has the thickest armor. The frontal armor is almost twice as thick as the T1 Cunningham's (although 18 mm of armor is not going to stop much incoming fire). Against this, the MS-1 has the lowest HP of all the Tier 1 tanks, and cannot take too many hits.
The starting gun, the 37 mm Hotchkiss, is decent enough against other Tier 1 tanks, but is very inaccurate. The 37 mm B-3 is a great improvement, offering superior penetration, damage, and accuracy to the Hotchkiss gun, while the 45 mm mod. 1932 is the probably best single-shot weapon available to any Tier 1 tank. It has the highest damage and penetration for its tier and will have no problem penetrating all but the most heavily armored tanks the MS-1 faces. Sniping with this gun can be very effective. The high damage per shot also makes it excellent for taking "snap shots" while playing "peek-a-boom" (moving out of cover, taking a quick shot at close range, then moving into cover again). All the single-shot guns have very long aim times (2.5 s), with only the QF 3-pounder on the Medium Mk I having a longer aim time. The MS-1 is not particularly well-suited to the playstyles that autocannons demand, especially since it is one of the slower Tier 1 tanks. Despite this, the 20 mm TNSh and 23 mm VYa are still viable if the MS-1 can close the distance.
The MS-1 has the lowest horsepower of all the Tier 1 tanks, and is one of the slowest for its tier. It is decently maneuverable, with fair hull traverse and excellent turret traverse speeds, but can have trouble climbing steep slopes. Combined with the excellent single-shot guns it has access to, this makes the MS-1 well-suited to a more careful and deliberate playstyle, as opposed to the more aggressive playstyles of the Leichttraktor or T1.
The MS-1 is also one of the smallest tanks in the game, making it much more difficult to both detect and hit, compared to the other Tier 1 tanks. With a Camouflage Net, it is nearly invisible until it fires.
Please note the Map Restrictions for tier 1 tanks when purchasing a camouflage skin/paint job for the MS-1.
- Camouflage is highly recommended on both crew members as their first skills. It turns the MS-1 into a near-invisible tank.
- The combination of Snap Shot (Commander/Gunner/Radio Operator/Loader) and Smooth Ride (Driver) is probably the only other viable option for a first skills, allowing the MS-1 to get its shot off faster after coming to a halt. The other skills and perks are not particularly useful for the MS-1.
- Upon reaching 100% on the first skills, dropping the commander's skill for Sixth Sense is highly recommended.
- Brothers-in-Arms is a good perk to have on any tank, but requires all crew members to have it at 100% before it works. The bonus to crew skills is particularly noticeable when combined with Improved Ventilation.
- The 37 mm B-3 is required to unlock the modernized turret, which in turn unlocks the 45 mm mod. 1932 and T-26.
- Upgrading to the GAZ-M1 engine is very helpful since it is both more powerful and weighs less.
- The T-18 suspension provides a welcome increase in the fairly low load limit, and is required to unlock the SU-18.
- The 45 mm mod. 1932 is required to unlock the AT-1 tank destroyer, and is highly recommended.
- The 20 mm TNSh and 23 mm VYa autocannons are not required to unlock anything, and are not necessary except to provide the MS-1 with elite status, or if a more aggressive close combat playstyle is preferred.
- The AMO-3 engine does not provide much significant benefits over the GAZ-M1, and can be saved for last. It is required to unlock the BT-2.
- The 71-TK-1 radio is unlocked automatically on the BT-2, T-26, AT-1, and SU-18 as their stock radios, so researching it on the MS-1 is completely unnecessary.