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Getting to Know War Thunder: Online Tank Arcade Sim PvP Shooter

Itching to blast away rival players using the gun of a tank? How about shooting them down from the skies with planes? Or even firing on the move that hits the mark in a huge battleship? Then this game is for you, but you need to learn the basics first in order to win.


For those uninformed, War Thunder is an MMO game that focuses on various types of vehicular combat, wherein 30 players face off against each other on two opposing sides. It is both developed and published by Gaijin Entertainment and was released worldwide in 2013.

It was released for PC desktops (Windows, macOS, and Linux) and various generations of consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and even on the Shield Android TV platform.

Before you jump into action on the fighting vehicle of choice, let’s check first the system requirements needed to run this game smoothly.

Before Anything Else… System Requirements!

Official system requirements

You might be thinking that this kind of game demands a lot when it comes to system requirements. But even with a “potato” (low-end) PC, you can still play it albeit in the lowest settings possible. One example is my own PC, as it is a Dell WYSE mini desktop CPU, and is primarily meant for office work.

However, thanks to the AMD GX-424CC soc with Radeon™ R53 Graphics paired with 8 gigs of RAM, I can still play with relative ease without suffering from loss of details (i.e. draw distance) and frame rate drops. The only time I’ve experienced graphical issues is when there are too many smoke/fire effects at the same time on the screen, although it rarely happens as I always move into different places in the map during gameplay.

But if you really want to experience the full graphics capabilities of the game (i.e. high-quality detail models and damages, further draw distancing, 60 frames per second), I highly advise you to meet the recommended settings or at least be halfway through it.

Gameplay Experience as a Ground Forces Player

Main lobby screen

NOTE: I will be focusing on the Ground Forces mode or the tank combat part of the game in this mini-review.

As a player who started playing this game in 2014, I can say that the game has changed quite a lot over the past few years since its launch. Notable changes to the game were an increased number of nations, from the starting four (USA, Germany, USSR, and Great Britain) now up to 10, and up to the changes (both minimal and majors) done in the game over a number of applied in-game patches.

If you are new to the game and specifically wanted to play Ground Forces, remember that each nation has its own specialty, traits, pros, and cons when it comes to its armored vehicles, both tracked and wheeled (some are even amphibious). For starters, stick with the three major superpowers, namely the USA, Germany, and USSR.

You can see even at the lowest graphic setting, the game still looks nice and detailed

The USA tank line is known for its speed and gun handling, having the best gun depression (the ability to lower or raise the main gun) in the game. Meanwhile, Germany is well known for its great tank designs, especially from the WW2 era such as the Tiger, Panther, and Panzer IV. Lastly, the tank line of the USSR is known for their high-caliber guns and the armor thickness of their tanks that can take a serious beating before going down.

But aside from choosing the right tank line for you, there are other things that you need to know when it comes to armored vehicular combat, such as how armor works and ammo penetration mechanics. Learning those is essential if you want to master this game.

How Both Armor and Armor Penetration Works

Even though the game is classified as a Tank Arcade PvP shooter, Gaijin Entertainment has still incorporated physics-based gameplay (with some RNG factors in it) that makes every game round you’ve played unique.

Each armored vehicle in the game has its own armor stats that are shown in its description when viewed in the lobby. Take note that in order to fully utilize your vehicle’s armor, you will be needing to learn the art of angling your armor against your enemy.

Some tanks such as the T-34 have sloped armor in which can fend off high-caliber rounds from other tanks bigger and better than it when used properly. Meanwhile, tanks with flat armor such as the Tiger I can benefit from heavy armor angling when in battle, increasing their armor thickness significantly when angled against an enemy.

But do remember that the angling of armor can be useless if you are facing an enemy with a gun that has a greater penetration value against your vehicle’s armor value. For example, if the opponent you are facing has double the penetration value (i.e. 200mm penetration) than your armor value (100mm armor thickness), your opponent will surely heavily damage you or outright destroy you in battle. Therefore, it is highly advised to check the specifications of the enemy tanks you are facing so that you can learn how to deal with them in-game.

Still, those two mechanics mentioned above are also affected by other in-game factors, such as the distance of your target, shell drop/trajectory, type of shell used (i.e. HE, AP, APCR, etc.), the condition of your gun, and gunner, shell range, etc.


Experiences From Battles Will Make You Smarter

Although there are explanations on how the game works when played, the best teacher still is actual gameplay experience. Hone your skills on the virtual battlefield countless times in order to master armored vehicular combat on your end. Having basic knowledge on how tanks work can be only put into use in an actual battle.

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