I’m not much of a pilot. My piloting endeavors are often met with disastrous results and usually consist of my plane’s flaming carcass charging towards the ground. So you can understand why I usually shy away from any game that requires a joystick. All of this changed when I got a taste of Gaijin Entertainment’s World War II combat MMO War Thunder.

War Thunder seemed to understand that there are those who enjoy the high flying acrobatics and complexities of WW2 fighter games but suffer from the “I’m terrible at flying” syndrome. The game was able to grab my attention right off the bat with its friendly beginner interface coupled with incredible depth. Suddenly I could enjoy a very “realistic” fighter sim without having to feel like I couldn’t use a keyboard and mouse to be competitive. Plus War Thunder offers realistic modes for those seeking a much more accurate sim, complete with managing engine fuel mixtures and even pilot fatigue.

It’s no wonder then that over 600,000 players participated in over 60 million matches during the game’s closed beta. Players spent literally millions of hours competing in historically accurate WW2 battles involving dozens of planes along with Naval and AA ground support. With the update to Open Beta, War Thunder is now open for everyone to enjoy. The closed beta saw over a thousand updates and open beta is no exception. The open beta comes coupled with the latest major update which includes:

· Updated interface: All menus, hangar elements, planes, stats, and achievement screens were changed and upgraded with additional data to be more informative and user-friendly.
· Communication functions: General game chat was added, as well as all necessary communication functions such as private channels, friend lists, and blacklists.
· Team play: The long-awaited combat wings formations are now available. Teaming up into groups of 2 or 4 pilots, players will be able to join regular battles together and use team play tactics to bring victory to their brothers in arms.
· Realistic battles: This new third mode of War Thunder’s regular PvP battles includes cockpit view only, no markers on enemy ground targets, a simulator difficulty preset, and specifically designed levels and combat scenarios.
· New flight models: More than a hundred flight models were completely reworked and fine-tuned. Gaijin has also introduced several new aircraft in the British and German beta technical trees, and added a number of bomb, rocket, and fuel modifications for dozens of planes.

As you can see, War Thunder has something to offer for pilots of all experience levels. If you’re interested in checking War Thunder out you can download the game now from the official site here.

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. PLaying it now! Great game! Best flight sim F2P! and I will say battle sim as well, it is not tanks, but what it is offering is better than WoT in my oppinion. Quick things I like: 1) PC friendly for me. Running HD5470 Radeon laptop, and this game, shadows off, and reflections (aint no one got time fo dat) runs at 40FPS easy.
    2) Tutitorial super easy and rewards points after each segment. Doesn’t last long. Keyboard controls are perfectly fine.
    3) Game has great selection of planes and builds. You played WoT you know that adding pilot crew etc aides in stats and performance etc..They break the game into 3 battle modes – Instant arcade; it is basic flying, and attempt to destroy each others base. You have “3 lives”, or 3 different plaes to burn through before your out of action. Like WoT, you can quit and get mission rewards later after everyones done fighting, or you can spectate. – There is a Historical Battle Mode that lets you re fight classic battles and a difficulty turned up. Basically: You have to chose between one of two warring factions (in arcade your team can be mixed with whatever, so that is the difference) and difficulty up a bit like limited fuel and wings break off at high velocity falls. – And then full Sim mode where you must account for all the flight details.
    – ALL modes have working ground targets to take out, vehicles, and it is not easy tag and spray…it is aim; and come back later to finish the job,,,,and they shoot bacK… You can land anywhere…if you do it right…
    There are TWO tabs in the hanger one PLANES – TROOPS – FLEET: Planes are your plane selection, and the other two are ‘coming soon” – omg…I want to be a troop! LOL

    What I did not like: Troll crashes head on into 3 of us on own team…then threatens to report us (in game report function). –
    Trolls lose a few trucks start of game so they LEAVE the match…
    – Some movements not really felshed out well. When you rudder turn left and right, the camera is like angled in a weird arc. The tail guns camera is super wonky and ultra fast making it hard to move.
    – The biggest complaint is the match selection. Not allot of people playing the other modes, everyones in arcare XD. Instant battle is like league of legends log in. You wait an estimated 50 seconds and it takes 2 min to go in. Not a bad thing, and I prefer it over lobby. But no map selection so far, I played all morning and same rocky map thing, but there is so much to do and allot of open space that it doesnt matter.

    Those worried is to complex, the easiest it gets in the basic piloting is Crimson Skys for Xobox…BUT it is not limited to that. If you want to enhance your game, you can. You are useful no matter how you play… Ramming is hard to do so it is not abused to much. However, if this game REALLY is difficult for you, then it might turn you off, as no one likes flying for 3 min shooting nothing, then suddenly slam into a rock wall… So for sure not for all. Sorry ZhaoYon, youll have to not log in if you dont like flying. But if they add playable ground support, you can come be artillary support XD

    • Last comment here in this section: It just hit after half a day of playing…The cash shopper. 2 hit and down. If you are not paying cash, prepare to stay far back – circle and try to stick in a formation with a friend, and group attack, otherwise pew pew game over. Kind of lame but oh well. Still can try and ram/troll the payers.

      • War Thunder is quite different from World of Warplanes. Too bad wargaming.net didn’t have this setup. Either way, even in a total lvl 0 planes in War Thunder I managed to score 2nd highest on the team while watching MiGs flying around on my first freaking match. Right there and then, it proved to me, you don’t need fancy joystick or controls to be effective, and you don’t need to be walletwarrior either. I still have a blast, instant action, CONTINUES action unlike WoT/WoWp 1 life per match mentality. Much more hanger space for free than WoT/WoWp combined.

        Things may change of course since it is still beta. But so far I am having a blast. Only downside… more grindier than World of Warplanes especially when War Thunder has 20 tiers!

        • I have never played Ware planes…where did you decide to make that connection in a reply to my response…any ways……..
          I am doing a final update after a week fo playing this game. It is garbage after the first tier. It is so pay to win it is OUT OF CONTROL!
          So far, I get 1 shot by a german tier 3 (somehow mixed in tier 1 and 2 matches) and he is unbeatable.
          LOOK at the average score in statistics…average kills are like WoT, where half the team has 0, then the top 10 have maybe 3 or 4 and then 2- 2 – 2 – 1 until the it is game over, you see a descending rank and skill of kills… NOW THE PROBLEM: This game in level 1 is balanced, after, it gets ugly you will see in the score ONE GUY (depending o who cashes, but so far they allow around 1 casher in early matches) that has 7 or 10 kills (the entire team) at top…wow, ok, click his profile…TOTAL CASH PLANE. THey do not hide this…look to the FAR RIGHT in the plane tier selection…there is a list of planes ONLY PURCHASABLE by CASH. They are all OP. And this throws the game off.
          I am currently uninstalling. I would like to point out another flaw:
          MINDLESS DRONE CONSUMERS creating the game: Here is how it works. There is a match called ARCADE: Flashy, hop in, duke it out, like WoT style, with the payer advantage. – Historical mode, same except you get more real ‘phyics” and you fly LONGER with out ACTION for longer so therefore it is “historical” (well they justify it by forcing you to play only two nations).
          Now, no one playes the last two modes: (full realism and historical) or it is about 5 matches max vs 1K in arcade. So, the FEEL of these games are based on the noob population that belives, not in grouping, or strategic fighting, but just “enter game – max engines – get to objective- shoot, whoever has stornger plane wins – RINSE AND REPEAT”
          IF you try to coach these guys and say, “hey, how did that happen, how about bombers fly low and take right flank to nearest enemy vehicles and I a fighter escort them..” you get ignored and no one cares, they just unlock, roll a class and GO! this leaves lack of bombers and strategy. To compensate, Snail has added bombs (max of 2 usually at a cost of 20 lions (in game currency) to fighters…it feels odd, it feels cheap, it is odd, it is cheap.
          I give hats off to SNAIL, they know how to lasso in the nooby brainless consumers thinking they are doing something THEY ARE NOT….playing a strategic flight sim for FREE! I DARE any one of you to post a top kill chart in a peak hour. You rank 0 or 1 kill. The top guy is a casher with all kills 99% of the time.
          SNAIL has learned to add false “complexity” to mask the advantage and give the illusion you are usefull. The only time, like all these games, you are useful is if in OP guilde and 10 friends in same server (hence you screen shot is questionable if you do post it here)…
          At the end of the day, I have to retract with what I said about this being better than WoT…it is WORSE as fat as payment and what you get… they just mask it oh sooo damn good. I am uninstalling today. There is no reason to log in. It is that broken. I do not expect others to see it this clear or have the same experience… This is a hard one to spot, especially if you are NEW (hence me saying nooby).
          This is sort of surprising considering they COULD have an honest model, but not surprising if you know their history and see their other titles. Oh well. NOT missed at ALL, and moving on to hopefully the next best thing. Going to try out some warframe at OB (way to repetitve and sketchy in CB atm, and path of exile – making top spot on almost all other mmorpg sites game list, howerver 2 points scare me: BAD hit box for mele anything and grouping for quests)

  2. Just hope they fixed the matchmaking problem.

    Oh boy that was frustrating to start with the reserve plane and get OS because the game match you with the high tier xD

  3. nice finally more people will get the chance to try this game unfortunatelly though i am not 1 of them i am not tryin this cause i simply am bad at flyin

    • lol dude i am too but ill still try it i mean could be easy flight controls, if you do try it see if we cant battle or somthing… Always MaxxSin

  4. For me definitely better than World of Warplanes.

    Population has picked up a lot over the last couple of weeks so for Arcade Mode you should only be waiting in the queue for 10 secs to maybe a couple of min max.

    Ass bomb for a small portion of the playing community whom deem it offensive for you to shoot them down and therefore like to send expletives your way via the ‘all chat’ function. Highest rank plane I have is 5, regardless of me even using a rank 0 plane, it seems I’m not allowed to shoot down or attempt to attack some of the opposition as I’m a Noob or an ‘Expletive…expletive’……otherwise it’s good fun.

  5. This one is lot better than World of Warplanes, i play this game since the beginning of the closed BETA an the gameplay feels realistic and also fun and this is epic combination.

    • Didn’t had the luck to play War of Warplanes so can’t tell but the main problem of war thunder is that it take ages to rank up and get new planes and when you are facing plane of higher tier than your (plane that one shot the reserve one) the progression is annoying.

      • i’ve played both wowp and wt and imo wowp sucks on all aspects. and on warthunder ranking up is pretty fast once u get out of rank 0-1 and u need to use you advantages flying a biplane u CANT go on a face on u need to turn (biggest advantage on biplanes) and get on their tail once u do that they will not be able to lose you untill the ran away faster.

  6. You know…I’m starting to get tempted to download and try this one. After my sore experience with World of Warplanes I kind of passed this one but it seems to be quite an enjoyable experience.

    • I don’t remember when i seen this, but i remember they were planning to allow players the control AA guns. Anyone knows if that’s gonna be implemented soon? or after launch?

      • Doubt it’s this game, so far it’s plane only and if you play plane such as bomber etc or plane with rear gun you can control the rear gun

        • It is this game. That’s why under the plane choosing tab there is written ground and navy… they are planning to allow you to control both navy and ground


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