Battlestations: Midway – Japanese Warships Guide

List of all IJN warships in the game, and few words from my own experience about each one of them.

Guide to Japanese Warships


I will group ships into classes, then present you each ship from it’s class in game in this manner:

  • Name of unit with photo.
  • It’s weapons.
  • Types of units it’s strong against, which you can attack with confidence.
  • Types of units it’s weak against, if possible don’t engage them.
  • Rating: for example 1/5 – second number indicates total amount of ships of that class in the entire game (including both sides), and the first number is place that described warship holds in this gruop (in my opinion). The lower the first number the worse the ship and vice versa. If First number is equal to the second number – that means it’s the best unit in it’s class.
  • Quick description.


PT Boats, in Fact There Is Only One



  • AA: 5” flak x1, 13mm machine gun x1
  • Artillery: 5” cannon x1
  • Torpedoes: torpedo tube x2
  • Depth charges: rack x1
  • Strong against: Submarines, Cargo ships
  • Weak against: Warships, fighters, PT boats
  • Rating: 2/2

The Gyoraitei is suprisingly a very useful asset thanks to it’s onboard cannon. First of all – it’s a nightmare to every american submarine. NIGHTMARE. Fast, cannot be struck by torps cause it’s too shallow, and when sub is on surface it can strike him with torps and his massive cannon. Those who played Crucial cargo mission know what I’m talking about. Elco is much less a threat to submarine than Gyoraitei. Next thing is that Gyoraitei’s cannon is also a flak gun- meaning that in numbers they can serve you as AA backup, which is effective and fast to re-position where it is needed the most. That’s all it’s useful for- lack of torpedo attacking power (only 2), and lack of armor renders Gyoraitei useless against warships, but still it has more use in real battle than it’s american counterpart.

Destroyers (DD)

Minekaze Class


  • AA: 13mm machine gun x2
  • Artillery: 4,5” cannon x4
  • Torpedoes: torpedo tubes
  • Depth charges: Rack x1
  • Strong against: Submarines, PT boats, Transports (AK), LST’s
  • Weak against: Aircraft, every bigger warship
  • Rating: 2/5

Minekaze is non playable in base game, but don’t worry it’s not impressive at all. Basicaly it’s just japaneese clemson, a little bit better because it’s cannons are arranged in superposition – meaning all 4 can fire when broadside, compared to clemson’s 3. Exept that little difference it controls, behaves, and fight like clemson which means – it’s trash. It will lose every 1vs1 with anything other than a Patrol boat, clemson class or barely armed cargo ship. AA defence while sligtly better than clemson’s it’s still basically non existent and even when we take it into consideration – it consists only of two machine guns. That means high-flying dive bombers are more than happy bombing the living sh*t out of minekaze. Since minekaze is non-playable you only encounter it as an adversary- and sinking one isn’t especially difficult.

Fubuki Class


  • AA: 13mm machine gun x2, 25mm triple machine gun x2, 5” flak x6
  • Artillery: 5” double turret x3
  • Torpedoes: double torpedo tube x3
  • Depth charges: Rack x2
  • Strong against: Destroyers, Submarines, Aircraft
  • Weak against: Heavier warships
  • Rating: 4/5

Fubuki is very good destroyer, and it’s in fact superior compared to it’s american couterpart : the Fletcher class. This is thanks to it’s one extra cannon, better AA suite and more convenient turret placement. Only thing it can suffer from is that destruction of one of his turrets knocks out 1/3 of his firepower instead of Fletchers 1/5, but weapon repairs are quick so who cares. Best options to utilize Fubuki is as an AA screen and as escort or sub hunter. Fighting bigger warships is unadvised, unless in great numbers but it will result in huge losses, use it for direct combat as last resort. And that’s pretty much it – good as an escort and AA protection to your more valuable vessels.

Shimakaze Class


  • AA: 13 mm machine gun x2, 25mm triple machine gun x2, 5” flak x6
  • Artillery: 5” double turret x3
  • Torpedoes: double torpedo tubes x3
  • Depth charges: rack x2
  • Strong against: Submarines, Destroyers, Aircraft
  • Weak against: Heavier warships
  • Rating: 5/5

Shima is hands down best Destroyer in the game, and it’s a shame it only appears in Battle of Sibuyan Sea multiplayer map. It’s the only destroyer that sails at 45 knots, which is almost as fast as PT boat! The rest is almost identical to the Fubuki class, but speed buff alone makes it more capable sub hunter than any other destroyer in game, and those 5 knots may seem like nothing, but it’s significant boost. Utilize it exactly the same as you utilize Fubuki.

Light Cruisers (CL)

Kuma Class


  • AA: 13 mm machine gun x4
  • Artillery: 5,5” x7
  • Torpedoes: torpedo tubes x6
  • Strong against: Destroyers
  • Weak against: Cruisers and anything bigger, aircraft
  • Rating: 1/4

I present to you the only IJN light cruiser in the game and simultaneously the worst one. Kuma is in fact a pathetic excuse for a light cruiser, being obliterated by anything other than a destroyer. Artillery is just a few destroyer grade guns. AA suite consists of sailors armed with bows and arrows – it does nothing. And on the bow it has an AA blind spot which is like a huge entrance for aircraft with the bright glowing neon sign “ATTACK ME”. Aircraft do whatever they want to with Kuma, just like other warships. Kuma can only reliably take out destroyers, but when outnumbered let’s say 3 to one, Kuma is the one receiving a*-whopping. The only redeeming fact about it may be it’s armor, which is suprisingly thick for a light cruiser, but who cares if you don’t have any serious attacking power. Kuma also has torpedoes but forget about them – with their ridiculous arrangement you will hit nothing.

Heavy Cruisers (CA)

Tone Class


  • AA: 5” flak x8, 13 mm machine gun x4, 25 mm triple machine gun x6
  • Artillery: 8” double turret x 4
  • Torpedoes : torpedo tubes x12
  • Strong against: Light cruisers, carriers, destroyers
  • Weak against : Battleships, subs, anything behind it
  • Rating: 2/4

Let’s start IJN hevy cruisers section with the weakest one. Being the worst japaneese CA doesn’t mean Tone is weak warship – unless you approach it from behind, then it’s attacking power is equal to that of a commercial cruise ship. Tone is known for it’s blind spot on the stern, because it is the only ship in game that has this weakness. Originally that space was designed to carry seaplanes, but since you can’t launch seaplanes in Midway – you get what you get. AA is average, nothing special, nothing to rely solely on. Cannons are good, but lacks numers other japaneese cruisers has to offer. Torpedoes might come in handy in close encounters. Good armor. That’s it, it will serve you well but do not let anyone sail behind you.

Mogami class

  • Weapons: 5” flak x8, 13 mm machine gun x2, 25 mm triple machine gun x12
  • Artillery: 8” double turret x5
  • Torpedoes: torpedo tube x12
  • Strong against: Anything except battleships and submarines
  • Weak against: well… battleships, submarines
  • Rating: 4/4 (ex aequo with the Takao)

These bad boys together with the Takao class are the best heavy cruisers in game – heavy armored, armed, and reeeeallly fun to play. Again as with all Japaneese heavy cruisers AA is average, it’s nothing good in general. Care is needed to be taken to be positioned with our broadside to the incoming air raids because on the bow we have only 2 small machine guns which- you guessed it- does nothing. We have one extra barrel compared to our American counterpart Northampton, which gives us edge in 1vs1 battle. The powerful torpedo armament allows these cruisers take out battleships in certain circumstances, and gives upper hand in close ranged combat against any allied warship.

Takao Class


  • AA: 5” flak x8, 13 mm machine gun x2, 25 mm triple machine gun x12
  • Artillery: 8” double turret x5
  • Torpedoes: torpedo tube x12
  • Strong against: Anything except battleships and submarines
  • Weak against: did i really need to tell you that again?
  • Rating: 4/4 (ex aequo with the Mogami)

Takao is almost identical to the Mogami- only differences are different ship model and slightly different turret arrangement on the bow, but this changes nothing. Use it exactly the same as mentioned cruiser.

Battleships (BB)

Kongo Class


  • AA: 13 mm machine gun x4, 25 mm triple machine gun x6, 5” flak x8
  • Artillery: 14” double turret x4, 5,5” cannon x14
  • Strong against: All warships
  • Weak against: Subs, aircraft, Battleships
  • Rating: 3/7

Being a demo version of the Fuso class, Kongo is a very nice warship. It’s the weakest japaneese battleship, because it’s historically a battlecruiser- but still can make allied ships cry. In terms of armament it’s just Fuso without 2 turrets and 2 secondary cannons, AA is also sligtly worse. Care should be taken to never leave Kongo without escort when there is risk of an aerial attack. Due to large number of secondaries it is advised to engage at closer ranges to bring these barrels to play – Kongo is a nice brawler, but it’s not so good in long range fights being outgunned by most Allied warships. Still Kongo is a very useful asset and will serve you well, just think about it as very, very jacked heavy cruiser, not exactly a battleship.

Fuso Class


  • AA: 5” flak x8, 13 mm machine gun x6, 25 mm triple machine gun x6
  • Artillery: 14” double turret x6, 5,5” cannon x16
  • Strong against: All warships
  • Weak against: Subs, aircraft
  • Rating: 5/7

Fuso is a formidable opponent in ship-to-ship combat. With the largest amount of guns in the game it can wreck havoc on basically anything. It’s good for long range engagements thanks to it’s powerful 12-cannon broadside, and with rich secondary battery compliment it is often very rewardind to short the distance between you and enemy. Secondaries also works great as a destroyer repellent. Also worth noting is that because Fuso’s main battery consist of 6 turrets- it’s extremely hard to disable significant amount of his firepower. Homever Fuso has disadvantages and the first of them is thin armor- this is especially a problem during fights with battleships. Second issue is weak AA suite- Fuso is very vulnerable to air attacks, Avengers can easily torpedo the living daylights from it with little to no effort. When there are enemy aviation – Escort. Always. Have. An. Escort. Fuso alone is a sitting duck.

Yamato class


  • AA: 5” flak x12, 25 mm triple machine gun x24
  • Artillery: 18” triple turret x3, 6” triple turret x4
  • Strong against: All warships
  • Weak against: submarines, aircraft
  • Rating: 7/7

Best warship in the game. This short sentence tells more than a thousand words about what Yamato is. This monster has upper hand against every single warship in the game, even Iowa class. With biggest avaiable gun caliber, 18,1 inches there is no warship Yamato is afraid of. In terms of firepower, Yamato is like a Bermuda Triangle – something sails into it’s range, and disappears. Destroyers are sinking just because they see you, cruisers melts in bright light of your glory, and battleships, even when they can put some hurt on you – finally also falls down to their knees begging for mercy. Armor? this thing swallows bombs and destroyer shells like it is nothing, while cruisers just leave few bruises on it’s hardened hull. Only battleships have enough firepower to put hurt on this leviathan. Yamato looks truly like an unstoppable force, but stopping him is possible. Only reliable ways of doing that are: sustained air raids, multiple battleships or coordinated submarine strikes, or all above simultaneously for the best result. AA is the achilles heel of the Yamato – especialy attacking it from the bow meets with little to no resistance. Yamato is often your most valuable asset, and great care should be taken to give him AA cover of fighters or destroyer escort. It cannot stand it’s own against air raids – keep that in mind that Yamato is strong only against surface vessels. Overall, this ship is a true joy to play, and a nightmare to fight against.

Aircraft Carriers (CV)

Soryu class


  • AA: 25mm triple machine gun x18, 5” flak cannon x12
  • Strong against: Aircraft
  • Weak against: Everything
  • Rating: 4/5

Use standard carrier tactics when commanding this unit. In fact all carriers operate the same, the only differences between them is armor and AA suite. Stay away from direct combat, send aircraft into battle, maintain escort around.

Akagi class


  • AA: 25mm triple machine gun x18, 5” flak cannon x12
  • Strong against: Aircraft
  • Weak against: Everything
  • Rating: 5/5

While carrying the same AA armament as Soryu class, Akagi has little more armor. This is because Akagi is builded on the base of a battlecruiser. Same tactic as with all carriers, stay away from combat. Always. Even single destroyer can take you out when you are left alone without escort. Sailing into battle is just very stupid method of commiting suicide.

Submarines (SS)

Type-B class


  • AA: 13mm machine gun x1
  • Artillery: 5” cannon x1
  • Torpedoes: torpedo launcher x6
  • Strong against: Battleships, carriers, cargo ships, cruisers
  • Weak against: Destroyers, PT Boats, seaplanes, aircraft
  • Rating: 2/2 (ex aequo with the Narwhal class)

Type B is identical in almost every single way to it’s american counterpart – Narwhal class. The only difference is that an artillery cannon is mounted on the stern, not in the bow. Same as with american sub – AA is basically non existent, single cannon is a joke and the only weapon that really matters are torpedoes.



  • Torpedoes: torpedo launcher x2
  • Strong against: cargo ships
  • Weak against: everything
  • Rating: 1/2

Weakest submarine in the game, there is some use for Type-A but it’s very limited. First of all these things deployed solo are worthless. Only in numbers they can do something useful. Use them to soften warships before finishing them off with other warship, or finish off heavily damaged ships utilizing it’s high speed. Command them using orders via tactical map, commanding one personally is a waste of time. Being much smaller they move considerably faster than a full sized subs, and sinks faster- they have literally no armor, on the surface quick bust of machine gun fire quickly sinks them. Armament of 2 torpedoes is too weak to single handedly take out anythink other than a cargo ship. Oxygen reserve also depletes much quicker than in normal sub. Overall these miniature subs are more like a trivia in this game than a valuable resource.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6965 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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