Let's be realistic, to survive in War Thunder you need to have a good set of skills and a decent team pulling their weight, it also helps to recognize certain areas of the game that are often overlooked, yet these small but useful tips can turn the tide of the battle for you and your team.

So if you're just starting out in War Thunder or a regular player looking to sharpen their knowledge, the tips and tricks below will help you become a better team player overall, so in no particular order here's some tips:

1. This is NOT a Single-Player FPS Game, Teamwork Goes a Long Way

We all see it, fully committed beginners jumping head first into an arcade tank/air game hoping to score multiple kills and instead get picked off first and complain of cheaters... So if that sounds like you, stop. It never ends well.

Whenever you enter a battle, hold back 10-15 seconds and see where's best to go on the map based on how many of your team mates are heading to each objective (A, B, C, D, Bases etc). Try not to go where half of your team are heading to start with as you'll want to spread out a little bit in the first push to capture as many objectives as possible.

image displays teamwork with 4 blues killing 2 reds.

2. Use in-game Radio Messages To Spot Enemies And More

Have you ever seen teammates in chat say 'somebody attack -players name-' or 'commencing an attack on...'? These are just about the most important radio messages to use especially in realistic games, there are many more quick commands you can use in battles depending on what you need to tell your teammates, but try not to spam too much.

  • To spot players "somebody attack..." you would press T-1-7 on the keyboard when they're highlighted.
  • To say you are "commencing an attack on..." a player you would press T-4-7.
  • For any other radio message press 'T' and take a browse through what's available such as asking players to attack or defend points A, B, C etc.

3. Training Your Crews and Skills

This is an area of War Thunder that's overlooked but will provide a clear advantage to your Pilot / Tank and Boat Crew. So to train your crew simply navigate to your vehicle list and right-click the crew slot then click 'Crew' (1 in the screenshot below).

You can then train different crew members which change based on the type of vehicles (2 in the screenshot below) and finally with the available Crew XP Points you will be able to apply them for each crew member using the '+' and '-' buttons.

Training your crew in War Thunder

It's recommended to train up your Crew for at least 2-3 crew slots on each of the nations you plan to play, keep note that you should train the following 2-3 slots for different vehicles (for example 1-2 for planes, 1-2 for aircraft) however if you only plan on playing realistic and simulator battles you will only need 1-2 trained crew slots.

4. Play Realistic? Train Qualifications On Your Favourite Vehicles

Following on from the last tip, on the Crew Training page navigate to 'Qualification', once here you can train your crew to have accelerated crew boosts for that vehicle. You must hit a certain level before you can use the qualification tab and then the stages go from Expert to Ace (which does provide a 5 point reward for each crew skill), so as you work through each crew level you'll find that firepower, maintenance, repair and mobility of vehicles will improve gradually too. So why does this matter in realistic game modes? it's simple, the best advantage.

Crew Qualification Tab in War Thunder, showing icons for qualifications earned, price and Ace/Expert upgrade option.

5. Unlock ALL Vehicle Modifications For A Better Fighting Chance Against Your Opponent.

Let's face it, a vehicle without modifications can REALLY be a pain, when looking to research modifications you should always work on firepower first then structure/engine which ensures you focus on DPS whilst you grind all of the other modifications out. We'd highly recommend not playing Realistic battles if you don't have the basic mods unlocked first and to play arcade for a little bit until you have tier 1-2 mods unlocked as seen highlighted in red below.

vehicle modifications tab in War Thunder

6. DON'T RAM! It's a Horrible Way To Die and Serves NO Purpose Unless You're Trying To Obtain The 'Rammer' Title.

In aerial battles more than others, you always find a deliberate Rammer who can't help but to head-on and ram people as a genuine tactic, this fiery death is something that can cause a few heated words to exchange via private chat after a match... and let's be honest was it really worth it in the end? Let's say you decided to play chicken and loop back on the enemies tail at the last second - if you have a half flyable plane left you'll most likely have the chance to pop a few rounds their way to nib a cheeky kill before falling to your death.. just something to consider.

However, there's also another reason that people ram others too, you can actually obtain a Title for ramming 60 players. So long as that's the purpose of you ramming the enemy all the time OR.. you're sacrificing your fighter plane for a heavy bomber that's about to blow up your bases then go for it!

New title 'Rammer' in War Thunder

7. Keep Losing To A Particular Tank or Aircraft All The Time? Do Your Homework On Them!

This is mostly helpful in tank game modes as you're always up against tanks with various specifications with regards to the thickness of the armour in certain areas, ammo racks and even their turret traverse speed in case you wanted to be a bit more daring and quickly flank enemies.

The same applies for aircraft and naval too, you will have the ability to find out key facts about that vehicle's performance and firepower so you can structure a better plan the next time you face that vehicle.

when hovering over a vehicle, you can see useful stats which can work in your advantage.

8. In Air Battles (Arcade Especially) Farm Those Ground Targets

Not only is this an important factor to win most battles but it also helps to greatly improve the number of silver lions you gain each game. Ground units from armoured convoys, tanks, AAs, pillboxes and bases, all contribute towards gaining more Game Points and achieving objectives set by the map/mode.

You might even find air targets in some battles and these are essentially free points, it takes little effort to take them down but just remember to NOT focus fire on them all the time as enemies will see you as easy pickings.

It's highly discouraged to attack air targets in realistic battles unless the majority of their team are dead and you're trying to find the last one.

9. When playing Tanks, Angling Your Tank Might SAVE Your Life

With so much armour it's only wise to put it to good use, depending on the tank and how much armour it has you can use angling as a way of deflecting the enemies shots, especially the shots that come from a long distance... as it's harder for the enemy to determine a kill shot straight away and gives you time to angle your tank slightly so that any rounds have more potential to hit corners and angled edges causing a deflection shot and potentially saving your life in the process!

10. Like to Dogfight in low/mid-tier aircraft? Make use of Flaps as much as you can.

Flaps, flaps, flaps... used for landings by Pilots, used to get on the enemies tail by Aces. Works especially well when you lower your throttle to 80% - 90% to get a shaper turn on the enemies tail who has decided to take you for a loop-de-loop. A simple tactic of using flaps once you've engaged the enemy in a one-on-one can make a massive difference and should only be applied if you're fully committed and there's no flying away.

Don't confuse Flaps for Air Brakes / Speed Brakes used mainly on jet aircraft, these do serve a similar purpose and only when using Jets you should swap from Flaps to Air Brakes - this way your flaps won't break off if you try to enable them at high speeds.

image showing flaps deployed.

We hope these Beginners Tips and Tricks help you become a better player in War Thunder, even if it helps remind you of things you may of forgotten about. If you found this helpful please drop us a comment to let us know that you want more tips and tricks on how to play War Thunder better.

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Contributor

Everything War Thunder
Published May 22, 2021

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