War Thunder – Pro Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

First Rule of War Thunder

Don’t throw money at it right away. Play the game for a bit and see if you enjoy its gameplay loop before deciding if it’s right for you.

Buying one of the starter packs isn’t a bad idea and they have some pretty good value to get you started, but ultimately not necessary.

Second Rule

Money saves you time in grinding progress, but it’s not going to give you a notable advantage, or any advantage in most cases.

Wait until you’ve played the game for a bit before considering investing. At most, Premium Account is an easy buy, especially when it goes on sale which happens a few times throughout the year.


HOTAS is not ideal for War Thunder’s more arcadey game modes, which are Arcade Battles and Realistic Battles. These are primarily dominated by Mouse and Keyboard inputs. You can get away with HOTAS in Realistic Battles, but you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage in precision with aiming. You will have more relative control over your aircraft though so you can more easily pull off some pretty cheeky maneuvers.

Though you’re much more likely to stall and require a lot more knowledge on managing engines and trim (if available for a given aircraft) compared to a mouse and keyboard user.

Sim Battles are where HOTAS shine and gives you a pretty decent immersive experience as the view is restricted to Cockpit only. It’s not DCS levels of immersive, but it’s good enough. Highly recommend some sort of Headtracker in Sim or VR headset if available.

Gameplay Tips

War Thunder has a very steep learning curve. You’re probably going to suck. I wouldn’t even consider someone out of the “training” phase until they’ve put in at least 100 hours into each vehicle category (Air, Ground Forces, Naval).


As previously noted, War Thunder can be frustrating because you’re probably going to suck. If you have experience with other flight/vehicle based games, you’ll probably be on a better starting point than most, but it’s important to keep in mind: Death is an opportunity to learn from mistakes you made. You can potentially face a Day 1 Newbie or a 10 Year veteran in your matches when you play. If you run into someone that knows what they’re doing and die, pay attention to them.

Knowledge is 90% of the battle in War Thunder. What can your vehicle do? What can’t your vehicle do? What can your opponent’s vehicle do? How should you exploit the weaknesses of your opponent while maintaining your advantages? Did you maintain situational awareness through this whole thought process because there’s someone creeping up behind you while you’re tunnel vision’d in on the potential target you’re currently looking at to engage?

And most importantly

Have fun. If you play to grind War Thunder, you will burn out of the game very quickly. Gaijin’s primary economic scheme to incentivize you to pay is to slow down your grinding progress. You will not progress quickly if you do not pay. Does that mean you can’t get anywhere without throwing boatloads of money at the game? No, but that F2P grind will grind you into dust if you try to race through it. Once you get out of Rank IV in a given tech tree, the grind becomes progressively harsher. Air battles are much easier to grind than Ground and Naval, but it can still be unfun at times.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 796 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips and writer on Game Cheat Codes. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game series was and still is the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. And the third part of HOMM is his favorite! He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games / indie games. When not immersed in games, Egor plays guitar, enjoys cooking and fishing.

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