War Thunder – Preview
Follow Genre: Free to Play, MMO, Simulation
Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Platform: PC, Mac, PlayStation 4

War Thunder – Preview

Good: huge amount of vehicles, good graphics
Bad: little explanation, poor interface and menu's
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

War Thunder is a next generation MMO combat game dedicated to World War II military aviation, armored vehicles and fleets. You will take part in many of the major combat battles fought during World War 2 and the Korean War, fighting with real players form around the world.

war thunder

So the game takes place in and around the same period of World War 2. Planes and tanks in the game are also from around this time and you can even fight battles which have happened in real life like the Battle of Britain and the attack on Pearl Harbour. Playable countries are the USA, USSR, Germany, Britain and Japan. Each of these countries have their respective vehicles as they were used in the World War.

War Thunder

The game is currently in open beta and features over 350 types of planes and over 100 types of tanks. New vehicles and aircrafts are still being added almost every patch, so there is still loads of content being added!

When you first start the game, you are greeted with motivational music and you have to immediately choose which country you want to play without getting information on any of them. When in the main menu, there is an obvious “To Battle!” button which can get you right into action. However, the rest of the menu is kind of complicated and poorly explained. For example: there are 3 types of currency but it’s never really explained what they do or how they are earned. After a few games of flying or driving around, it starts to make sense what these currencies do. There’s the “Lions” which can be spent on vehicles, armament, repair, etc. Then there are the “Golden Eagles” which are the premium currency. This can be used to the same extent as the Lions, but you can also unlock some premium content with it. At last, there is the “Convertible research points”. Now let’s get more into detail on researches!

War Thunder

Researches are probably the most difficult to figure out. Each game awards you with some research points, filling a progress bar on your current research. This can range from an engine upgrade to researching a new vehicle or aircraft. The Convertible RP can be used to speed up this process. But since there are so many researches you can do and without a proper tutorial for them, it’s hard to figure out what you’re doing. For all I know, most research takes quite some time, which makes this game kind of a time sink if you want to achieve those high rank bombers and tanks. However, this is not a bad thing if you enjoy playing the game!

The game currently has a few game modes: custom battles, single missions, dynamic campaign and “To battle! (quick play)”. Custom battles are set up by the community, selecting their own maps and rules. The variety of maps and game modes are huge, from 4v4 air combat to all out mixed ground control battles where aircrafts try to help their tank team by taking out enemy tanks and aircrafts. Single missions are iconic battles that were fought during the World War, where you fight a solo mission against computer controlled aircrafts and tanks. All of these missions require certain researches to be done or a certain vehicle rank to be unlocked, so it might you a while to unlock some of these. Dynamic campaign are huge and complex operations which require careful planning and execution. You will have to manage your army and choose which battles you want to fight in order to win. Multiple battles can be played, and your success in these small battles will determine your overall success in the main mission. Finally, the quick play option quickly allow you to join a PvP battle and get right into action!

War Thunder

The quick play itself is divided into another 3 game types: Arcade Battles, Realistic Battles and Simulator Battles. For airplanes, these types come with drastic changes in map objectives, flight physics and maneuverability. Tanks aren’t affected this much because there’s not much you can change except for movement. In Arcade and Realistic Battles, the planes are steered with the mouse, just point the mouse where you want to go and you’ll go! The main difference between these 2 is that in realistic battles, you’ll have to take off and land. Also, the physics are more punishing and you can run out of fuel. In Realistic mode, it’s also easier to get your plane into an uncontrollable spin or having your wings ripped off because of high speeds. Simulator Battles take it even a step further, it’s pretty similar to Realistic Battles. However, third-person view and hit markers are not available, making it even harder to zero in on your target and destroy it! Controls are realistic too, meaning that you can’t just point and fly anymore, it’s a real flight experience. For this mode, a joystick is recommended if you’re flying planes.

War Thunder

Tank battles don’t have a huge difficulty gap like plane battles do. Your tank is simply a bit slower and physics are more present. For example, your bullets can ricochet off another tank if you fire at its side with the wrong angle and ammo type.

The game is won depending on the game type. Some games will require you to destroy an enemy convoy of vehicles faster than the enemy team, others are all-out battles until nobody is left. This diverse game mode system will keep surprising you and all of the different maps will require constant adaptability of the players, ensuring that nobody will ever get bored of a certain game mode.


As far as World War 2 simulators go, War Thunder is one of the best. It has a vast amount of researchable vehicles and upgrades and will keep you busy for hours in order to get that plane or tank you want. The interface and researches might be a bit complicated at first, but once you get used to it, it all starts making sense. And since this game has a great free to play model, why not try it out?!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
War Thunder - Preview, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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