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War thunder beginners tutorial

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War Thunder beginners tutorial

Hi, welcome to my tutorial for beginners at the game War Thunder!
In this guide you will find information about certain key elements in this game that make the difference between being alive or getting shot down.
What I cover in this tutorial mainly applies to fighter aircraft, one part will be for bombers.
Please do keep in mind that English is not my native language, thus it being possible I make grammar mistakes and such.

The subjects I will be covering in this guide are:
  • General knowledge and mental state
  • Situational awareness
  • Know your plane
  • Know the enemies plane
  • What nation to start out with
  • When to shoot enemies
  • Gun convergence
  • Manouvers to keep in mind
  • High altitude bombing

General knowledge and mental state

General knowledge and mind of state can determine if you win or lose an engagement.
Something you should know is that adjusting your speed and using flaps in fights can help you outturn a person in the same plane as you are in.
The best tip I can give you is to just have a look at the controls, and see if there are keys you feel that should be changed based on your preference. One key in this game is really important, this being the X key, this targets your enemies.
Your mental state is more important than most people think, as soon as you get mad you will play worse, as in any game, but even the more so in war thunder.
Why is it so important? You have to know what is going on and are not allowed to make mistakes, mistakes means getting an enemy on your tail which is near impossible to shake and you getting shot down.
Something you should keep in mind is to NEVER EVER GO HEAD ON. Even though many players do this it will get you killed or badly damaged almost always or result in a crash, which is a bad trade.

Situational awareness

Situational awareness is another key feature in this game that determines the difference between failure and success in an engagement. As soon as you spot an enemy you want to engage you have to know what advantages you have over the other plane and the best way to engage an enemy. Examples of such advantages are: you are behind the enemy, you are above the enemy, you are faster than your enemy.
An enemy unaware of your presence is a dead enemy, if possible take advantage of this!
An enemy below you that is aware of you can notice you are diving on him if that is your way of approach, do keep in mind to not directly climb again as that gives the enemy a clear shot on you and will get you killed.
If you are faster than your enemy and have to run, then run like the devil is behind you, or if you are chasing an enemy, predict where he is going and aim for that, rather then where his aircraft is at that moment.

Know your plane

Having knowledge of the plane you fly is another key element in this game, if you don’t know the advantages of you aircraft you will either be hugely disappointed by it, or constantly die.
What I’d suggest you do is whenever you get a new plane to take it for a spin in a test flight, this allows you to test the armament and movement of the plane without having any enemies shooting at you.
Things you should know about your plane are the following things:
  • How well does it climb
  • How fast is it
  • How fast can I pull up from a dive
  • How well does it turn
  • Does the nose pull down when turning
If you are unaware of these factors you might crash your plane when after an enemy, or get an unlucky crash when after an enemy. If you aware of what your plane can do, you can change engagements in such a way that you can use your advantages instead of disadvantages being used against you.

Know the enemies plane

This seems pretty self explanatory to me, if you look at Know your plane you will probably understand why you need to know this.
What you have to know is:
  • How well does it climb
  • How fast is it
  • How fast can I pull up from a dive
  • How well does it turn
  • Does the nose pull down when turning
  • What armament does it have
Why do you need to know the armament? To know how much mistakes you could potentially make, if you are flying against something with heavy armament you would want to avoid flying in front of it for even a fraction of a second, lightly armed planes could take some shots at you but not damage you as badly heavily armed planes would.


What nation to start out with

Personally I’d recommend to start out with the Russian or American planes, just because of their high firepower in the start of the game, the German and Japanese planes are a bit harder in my opinion and the Brits are a bit in between.
If you enjoy bombing the definitely start with Germany as they have a lot of low tier bombers.
For fighters you want to start out with all of the remaining except Japan.
Japan has one of the least fleshed out tech trees there currently is, and is difficult to master as they have low armament and fragile planes.

When to shoot enemies

Even though this boils down to preference, this is for me the most effective way of engaging enemies.
When an enemy is climbing straight up, or going for a loop is the perfect time to strike, you get a nice flat surface to shoot at, and they usually explode in front of you.
Another great moment to open fire is when someone is turning, again will you be presented with a nice flat surface. Even though you are behind someone does not automatically mean it is an easy kill, you should not trust too much on the lead indicator circle as it is determined by the input of the player, and can thus be manipulated to show a wrong lead making you miss.


Gun convergence

Does this matter? Yes definitely. Gun convergence is at what points your bullets will come together as one point of fire, making your guns most effective at that range. It is advised to not set your gun convergence too high since engagement range is often between 500 – 100 meter, personally I use 300 or 400 meter as a max convergence.
Does this affect every plane? No, it only affects planes with wing mounted guns, because they are off-set so much they need it, nose mounted armaments always fire in a straight line and don’t need gun convergence. Example of a plane that does need it is the P-40 Kittyhawk, the BF109 line does not need gun convergence most of the time, unless you have gun pods mounted under the wings.


Manouvers to keep in mind

A basic survival manouver is to fly close to the ground, people overestimate their plane sometimes and will smash into the ground. Another thing that is neat when flying low is that often the lead indicator will not appear, making people have to aim themselves, and you will often find people will just miss or not even shoot at all.

When in a turn fight, don’t follow up on the turn, but fly straight up and fly into the rear of the enemies turn, to get on his tail and shoot him.


High altitude bombing

This is one of the safest and also the most dangerous way of bombing possible, if you manage to get to a high altitude you can almost always escape with a dive and power away from your enemies, what makes it so dangerous is that you will most likely be alone and will get picked off by heavily armed fighters.
What I’d recommend you to do is when you are going for high altitude bombing is to select the biggest bombs you have and fly over to the targets, when you are nearly there drop the speed down to 0% to decrease the aircraft thrust and allowing for more accurate bombing, also use Z to zoom in for a better view on your target.
Vehicles such as tanks and armoured cars will move out of the way of your bombs, so it is best to go for AA guns and howitzers and pillboxes or the ground targets.

Thanks for reading my guide, I hope this helped you get on the way a bit with War Thunder!
Happy fragging and good luck!

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