war-thunder-tanks-1608-10My Ranking of this game: Eight Warrior Shields out of ten.

To start out, I downloaded my War Thunder through “Steam”. If you don’t have a Steam account then you need to sign up for one. I highly recommend this for managing PC games you will be playing in the future. Because I used Steam to get the “Free to Play” War Thunder, when I start the game I login through Steam. A better cleaner way to enter this game. This is a buffer between me and the things added by the outside world. As the game was loading up and checking for updates, there are a few, I noticed my “Malwarebites” having spasms doing its job blocking what it called malware from War Thunder. I am not saying it is bad malware but I like to have control of what is added to my computer and not someone on the outside. My guess is…and only that….a guess, there was an attempt to mine some information which is done by every software company, online store etc.

When you get the game downloaded and opened you will come to the “Hanger”. Hanger? Yes the Hanger. At the Hanger you can choose from Aviation and Army. For this article’s purpose you choose Army. This will take you to the Tanks. If you see planes just click on the plane and it will give you a drop-up menu where you can choose your first basic tank. You can activate two tanks to start. The game allows three tanks per battle…but you only get two. From this point on, it can be complicated for some…those of us over 20 years old…so visit the War Thunder Game. Keep this site handy as you will be returning to figure out what to do to move forward in the advancement of your tanks.

war-thunder-tanks-1608-03My War Thunder experience

I played War Thunder Tank Arcade three or four times a week for about two and one half months. In this game, from your point of view, there are the bad-guys and the good guys. War Thunder mixes up the teams so you may be using American tanks and your comrades are using Russian, German or British tanks. The guy who blew your turret off last game is now blowing the turret off the dirt-bags you are fighting on the hilltop across the valley. I like this better than teams made up of players from certain countries. The reason is time and cheats. When I play a War Thunder Tanks game at 23:00 hours (11pm cst) most of the kiddies in the USA are in bed. The players left behind are older USA players, European and Russian players who work evenings or don’t work at all. Adult players seem to be more even handed and spend less time shooting and ramming their own players. I believe, but don’t know, Gaijin Entertainment does its best to keep the cheats codes out. I have found few times when cheats were used. The last time I found another player cheating was when they spawned in an area very close to my teams spawn. He spawned right in front of my eyes and my 105 mm killer gun. He didn’t last long enough to say “Howdy”. As I am writing this article, the schools in the USA and most of Europe and Russia, are back in session which dropped the number of players by two thirds.

Ruger Firearms

war-thunder-tanks-1608-14At about this time, I found out a lifelong friend, an x-cop and Warrior, who is much more engaged in this game than I was. He had played the air battles and tanks but prefers, as I do, the tank wars. So my War Thunder gaming went to five or six days a week. It is much more fun to play with friends, than go out into the game doing the Lone Ranger among players of various skills. We use “TeamSpeak” to communicate while battling. As a team member, the game allows you to invite friends to make up a team. You aid each other by coming close to your team mates and help them repair their damaged tank much quicker. When the game offers, you can go to a combat airplane and located the enemy and report what you see to the team mates. More about the airplanes later.

Some of the things I think need mentioning about this game.

While starting out with “Rank-I” tanks, the game shows “1-Rank”, once you start moving up the food chain you will notice you will be playing with and against Rank-II tanks. In this game if you have Rank-I tanks you will play against Rank-II as well. How do you as a competitive player adjust for this imbalance of power? You have to buy Gold-Eagles to accelerate your tank building or purchase a “Premium” tank. If you don’t you will have to deal with being blow to all four corners till you save up enough Lion-Heads to upgrade you tanks with greater armor piercing rounds for your tanks. Because when starting out, the first two tanks you get are free to repair and replace. This is true throughout the four different country tanks. The Japanese Icon has only planes and not tanks. Just remember the other more advance players have gone through this as well. I suggest you take your time in the lower ranks to develop your skills and use the free tanks to build your war chest of Lion-Heads. The game automatically researches higher rank tanks you can “Order” but I would stick to the faster free ones till you are ready to move forward to face stronger opponents.

war-thunder-tanks-1608-13I am still learning how this game works. War Thunder is not a simple run and gun game. In some games I have been killed by a round coming from the sky from another tank. When blown up by a round coming from the sky, sometimes there is no slow motion video of where this round came from. Many players experience this, so be ready for a mystery round coming from nowhere and blowing you up. This does not happen that often. There is an answer but I don’t know what it is as of this writing. In the Arcade mode you are warned before the artillery comes raining in. When your tank is destroyed, the offending tank is shown with the slow motion of the round being fired and striking your tank. Yes, from time to time you will see the round pass through buildings, hills and mounts of rocks. I am not sure why but of late this is not been a concerning issue.

Just because you get a green “crosshair” and fire, does not mean you will even be shown a miss or hit. In other words, when you saw the crosshair and fired the target possibly moved. If you are shooting at very close range in the open and this happens it is a glitch. My guess is the server cannot keep up with the action. This glitch will get you killed. I have fired on another tank within 20 meters with a solid green crosshair and no hit. Since your tank crew does not respond to a threat of certain death if they don’t get the lead out and load the damn gun, you will have to suffer damage or even being blown up. In one game I was within 80 meters of a lightweight flatbed truck which carries a tank killer type cannon. This flatbed truck mounted canon has one to seven millimeters of armor. I aimed and received the not-so-sure green cross, shot this vehicle with a 75mm round which penetrates 112mm of armor. When I hit his truck, he turned and killed me with one shot. Remember my slow gun crew. Another glitch In the Arcade game, most of the time you hear the bombs being dropped and then….there are times you do not hear them being dropped. This means you will be blown up scattering brain matter all over your fellow players. Be prepared for this event. Again this happens but not all that often.

war-thunder-tanks-1608-03Many times during the tank combat, I will be shown I destroyed an enemy tank, assisted in destroying an enemy tank and critical damage to a tank, but at the tallying of the score at the end of the game I will not get credit. In fact on occasion, you can receive zero on all scoring, losing Lion-Heads earned, but charged Lion-Heads for repair and replacement of your tanks. A major glitch. If you get out of the game in the middle of a battle you will pay for the tank you were using at the time you exited. If your Internet crashes, as my COX does from time to time, you will lose this tank and the cost to replace.

Based on how well you do in battle, you will receive “trophies” which will benefit your efforts. However, read the fine print on each trophy award to make sure you want to activate. Some are wagers which, if unlucky, will empty your “Lion-Heads” account. Some of them boost awards like Lion-Heads and will say they will expire in two days but further down you learn the 200% Lion-Heads boost lasts only two games. If you activate two boosts at one time you will be penalized. So read the fine print.


Airplanes in the tank game

As for the planes in tank game. During the battle, some player will start an air-war in the skies over the battle ground. This will cause the prompting of a limited amount of players on the ground to join. You will see an icon on your HUD of a fighter, two engine bomber/rocker fighter and a four engine bomber. When one of these light up, if you are fast, you can acquire one of these planes which causes a countdown before you magically appear in the cockpit. The offering of a chance to go to the air is given to most of not all players on your side so……first come gets the plane. However, don’t be surprised if you choose a plane and after countdown starts it just drops you like a hot potato. A caution here. If you are in an unsafe place and take to the air, you will most likely return to a burning and destroyed tank. So be in the rears or hard to hit from a distance.

So if you decide to download War Thunder and go to the Tank section and begin the War, how long will it take you to advance to Rank II tanks? Depending on your skills, but if you play say two hours a day….six days a week you can expect to play about a months before you fully earn your first tank in Rank-II. This includes your crew training. O-yea….you need to train your crews so they will see the enemy, load the guns faster, be more accurate, don’t get knocked out at the first hit on your tank. I have been playing with four crews for more than three months and staying in the top 10 in each battle, average, and I am not even close to having one third of the crews fully trained. Yes you can buy these experience points too but be prepared to pay buku dollars for Eagle- heads to train one crew to the max. One good thing is you transfer your crews from one tank to the next higher. You have to send the old tank to “Holiday” to free up the crew to be transferred.

The Game Currency

Silver Lions (Lion-Heads)
Golden Eagles (Eagle-Heads)
Research Point (free but earned during battle with that tank but can be purchased)
Convertible Research Points (pay Golden Eagles to convert them)

My recommendations to Gaijin Entertainment

This is a fun game. Yes there is much screaming and cussing but I still have fun. The one major thing I suggest to Gaijin Entertainment is “1-Rank” tanks play against other 1-Rank tanks, “2-Ranks play against other 2-Rank tanks…and so on up to 5-Rank tanks. I know why the game is set up this way. Being beat up by Rank-2 tanks would cause some people to spend money to catch up in the arms race. I know Gaijin Entertainment is there to make money so they can pay their staff and put some Rubles in the bank. After playing for free for three months I bought $25 worth of Eagle-heads. With all this I recommend you try this game if you are into Tank PC battling or want to try a new experience. By their tags, I see other players who are USA military or former military so I know many adults are playing. I know several adults who play War Thunder so you would not be alone.

Questions I put to Gaijin Entertainment

  • Will I be wasting my money to accelerate the advance tank process?
  • Are there too many cheats which gives unfair advantage to the unethical players?
  • Are there too many glitches which fail to correctly tally the number of “Lion-Heads” I should have been awarded?
  • Is this game easy to learn and maneuver?
  • Are the instructions, on game site, easy to understand?
  • Is this game free to play but in reality a pay to win?

Gaijin Entertainment’s reply and contribution to this article.

Will I be wasting my money to accelerate the advance tank process?

Accelerated Research using Golden Eagles is a shortcut for players who wish to unlock a vehicle faster than it is possible through regular participation in battle. It is one of the most prominent ways used by players to spend Golden Eagles, as it allows players to quickly catch up with friends, or to spend more time on the vehicles that fascinate them personally the most.

Using the shortcut offers, by design, no unfair advantage over players who decide to unlock a vehicle the traditional way. In the contrary even, players who rush too fast to the more advanced machines may find themselves at a disadvantage on the battlefield, as they may not have the experience yet to take on the veteran players on those ranks.

Are there too many cheats which gives unfair advantage to the unethical players?

Absolutely not. While there are various examples of scammers promoting the success of supposed ‘cheat software’ offering endless Golden Eagles, invulnerability, increased damage, speed hacks and other things, the reality is entirely different. Usually, those attempts are either to trick people into purchasing the software at a hefty price, or to get their credit card information and steal money from them that way.

By default, War Thunder is an extremely difficult software to crack, given that all calculations and interactions are either done or double-checked server-side. This makes it impossible to apply “classic” cheats that influence the physical reality of the game in any way, including the aforementioned invulnerability and any other modification of such kind.

There are, however, some minor client-side interface exploits that are almost impossible to prevent preemptively, like displaying a marker over enemy units. For the great majority of players, this is an irrelevant addition (e.g. everyone that plays in Arcade mode) but can affect game modes such as Realistic and Simulator. It doesn’t help a poorly-skilled player to become a better one, anyway. Regardless, War Thunder employs proprietary Anti Cheat technology to detect any – even meaningless or inefficient – attempt to alter or influence the client in any way. Still, in War Thunder’s entire history, it was only necessary to permanently block less than 300 accounts out of millions created, which speaks volumes for the game’s safety against cheaters.

Are there too many glitches which fail to correctly tally the number of “Lion-Heads” you should have been awarded?

Whilst an enormous project with complex game mechanics such as War Thunder will always have minor problems to tackle, we are currently not aware of any technical issues regarding the correct calculation of Silver Lions accrued in battle.

Should players encounter any issues of such kind, we’ll be thankful for a bug report on our technical forums to be able to resolve them as quickly as possible.

Is this game easy to learn and maneuver?

War Thunder is a game that revolves around authentic vehicles and a realistic experience of combat, even in the Arcade mode. Real-life combat is a complex thing, and so is combat in War Thunder, which is one of the prime reasons why so many players enjoy it.

However, depending on the game mode, War Thunder offers various ways to make it easier for new players unfamiliar with aircraft and tank combat to learn the game, e.g. through interface markers, popup information, hints and more.

Additionally, there is an array of tutorials available in game, ranging from basic interface tutorials to in-depth tutorials on the controls and mechanics e.g. of aircraft. Additional tutorials are available by means of player guides on the game’s forums, Wiki and the many YouTube channels dedicated to it.

Are the instructions, on site, easy to understand?

The team behind War Thunder is constantly identifying new ways to make sure the game is as easy to access as possible. If there are any hindrances, we are happy to receive reports and suggestions e.g. on the technical section of our forums.

Is this game free to play but in reality a pay to win?

‘Pay to Win’ describes a situation where players can gain an unfair advantage over other players e.g. by purchasing a very powerful item that is otherwise inaccessible. In War Thunder, there is no way for players that decide to purchase Premium content to gain any such competitive advantage in battle over players who are enjoying the game entirely for free.

Items such as Accelerated Research and Premium Account allow players to increase the speed of progress in game, e.g. of unlocking new ground vehicles. But as more advanced vehicles are matched against other, more advanced vehicles, there is no unfair advantage to gain from this in battle.

Premium vehicles, as another example, offer players to explore less common types of vehicles, such as prototypes, that offer interesting and different gameplay. These vehicles provide more Research and Lions, but again offer no unfair advantages against players on regular vehicles. Additionally, all players are able to gain Premium content by playing actively, e.g. through the War-Bonds system that allows unlocking Premium vehicles and other items entirely for free.

There is no possibility to use Premium content to purchase an advantage, e.g. by means of improved ammunition or vehicle improvements inaccessible to regular players.

I would like to give a big thankyou to Gaijin Entertainment for their prompt reply to my inquiry. Their answers to my questions line up with my experiences, mostly, in playing this fun game. I and my gamer warriors will help them to keep this game as even as possible and report bugs. Bugs such as at the end of a game there are no stats, all zeros, but Lion-Heads are deducted for damage and destroyed vehicles. I found this to be rare but I was in a game with a fellow warrior who experienced the same bug as I had. So warriors and sheepdogs, report any bugs you encounter.

Final Word

All in all, I like this game in the arcade mode. The arcade battles can be frustrating and then comical. I have laughed and cursed in the same game. I have seen players who are not ethical or courteous by ramming and pushing their own players. I had an opponent in the Normandy map who was about 500 meters (547 yards) to the north on the beach. He had a very fast smaller tank and I had a “Heavy” Brit tank. When he or she saw me setting there, they started driving back and forth on the beach, much like a shooting gallery target. So I started shooting and he kept going back and forth. I was laughing so hard I could not hit my target. But finely I lucked out and hit his tank. This player has to be a fun loving sportsman. I wish we would see more honorable players in War Thunder-Tanks. I rate this game with eight out of ten Warrior Shields.


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