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|Engine||Dagor Engine 4.0|
The game is modeled with the ability to get almost every feature of the game without paying; though premium-accounts and micro-transactions are available. Getting free content may require players to complete certain challenges (such as shooting down a certain number of enemy aircraft or destroying a certain number of ground targets), or submitting user created content such as skins, or camouflage for vehicles. There may also be other celebratory events throughout the year such as commemorating historic figures in aviation or famous battles allowing players to win premium currency and premium vehicles without any expenditure.
There is also a referral service, whereby players can invite people to the game, earning both themselves and the new player an in-game bonus.
War Thunder uses four main currencies: Silver Lions, Golden Eagles, Research Points, and Convertible Research Points.
Silver lions are the main currency used in War Thunder, and can be obtained freely. They are used for obtaining modifications, buying vehicles, repairing, and rearming. They are obtained through performing various tasks, such as defeating another player, completing an objective, or completing single player or co-op campaigns.
Golden Eagles are a premium currency used for buying premium vehicles, premium research boosts, buying modifications, and for buying premium account time. They can only be obtained by paying money in game, inviting a friend to the game, or completing a special event.
Premium vehicles purchased using Golden Eagles are mostly captured vehicles from other nations or prototype vehicles. They typically do not hold a notable advantage over vehicles ranked in the same tier, except them giving more Silver Lions and Research Points.
Research points are a free currency, primarily used for researching modifications or vehicles before they are bought. They are obtained by performing various tasks, such as defeating another player, completing an objective, landing, taking off, winning a battle, etc.
Convertible Research Points
Convertible research points are nearly identical to research points, but cannot be used without paying Golden Eagles, thus making them essentially a premium currency.
The game contains a variety of aircraft, and armoured vehicles such as tanks from the Spanish Civil War to Korean War period with an emphasis on World War II. The full game contains more than 450 aircraft from the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, the United Kingdom, the Japanese Empire and the United States. The game also features ground based vehicles for the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia. Smaller nations such as such as Italy and Romania are also featured.
In this mode, the game draws two teams of players (of up to 16 players on each side) with vehicles from different nations of similar level. It is possible to see vehicles of the same type on different teams, and different countries on the player's own team. Damage and physics are greatly simplified (e.g. in very high speed dives planes do not have their wings ripped off and are still controllable, unless they pass Mach 1), but retain some realism (e.g. bombers are not as maneuverable as fighters, aircraft have limited ammunition available but are able to reload midair).
Arcade Mode games are played in either "Ground Strike," where in order to win players must destroy all enemy ground units, shoot down all enemy aircraft, destroy the enemy airfield and bombing points, "Domination", which consists of seizing enemy airfields by touching down on them for about five seconds, causing the enemy team to lose points, or "Air Domination", which requires players to have total control over an area of airspace for long enough to capture it. Also, to help simplify aiming, a 'leading marker' appears when an enemy plane is in range. This shows a prediction of where the enemy plane will be by the time the bullets of the smaller calibre weapon arrive if the plane continues its current trajectory, greatly improving user accuracy.
Previously called "Historical Battles," this mode is designed for more advanced players. Fighters will have to takeoff from the airfield. Interceptors will start airborne. Attackers will also start airborne but higher than Interceptors. Bombers will start at about 2000m off the ground. More realistic damage models makes long-range "sniping" difficult, and there is no 'leading marker' to assist with aiming. Also, due to realistic G-forces, making tight maneuvers at high speeds can cause pilots to black out or their planes to rip apart, and the views available are the same as in Arcade Battles. Once ammunition is used up, players will have to return to their airfield to reload and repair. For the majority of matches in this mode, players are selected for each team's nation, making it possible to recreate a real scenario, such as the Battle of Stalingrad between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich.
This mode used to be called "Full Real Battles" and is based on more realistic simulation settings; only the first-person view in the cockpit and external turret gunner views are allowed, and "Full Real" controls (there is no 'instructor' to limit the aircraft stalling). Players have the option to have flaps, trim and engine controls automatically controlled in Simulator mode. No player tags are given for the enemy team and friendly player and AI-controlled entity tags are provided within 0.9 kilometers so the players often need to fly close to identify other aircraft, particularly when dealing with specific aircraft and tank types that are available to multiple nation tech trees and vehicles that can use different roundels other than their own default through personal customization. Attackers cannot see the tag of enemy ground vehicle, the tag will only appear at the beginning of each battle. Heads Up Display is available to display speed, alt, heading, engine and throttle settings, oil and water temperatures.
The development of the game as World of Planes began in 2009. Gaijin Entertainment used its experience with its previous flight games such as IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, Apache: Air Assault, and Birds of Steel in its development. The name was later changed to War Thunder due to confusion with the similar competitor World of Warplanes, as well as other reasons such as Gaijin wanting the game to not just be focused on aviation anymore.
Although naval forces are not available for player control, players can take off from carriers in certain 'Arcade' and 'Realistic' mode battles. Naval Forces are in development, and the closed beta is set to launch late 2016. Naval forces will start with torpedo boats, artillery and missile boats, coast guard vessels and submarine chasers.
- "War Thunder is now available on Linux!". Gaijin Entertainment.
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- "free combat MMO game | ABOUT". War Thunder. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Sethisto (1 April 2013). "War Thunder Adds the Pony Nation". Equestria Daily. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "New Japanese war machine in War Thunder!". warthunder.com. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Reahard, Jef (2012-01-25). "World of Planes renamed, evolves 'beyond pure aerial combat' | Massively". Massively.joystiq.com. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Naval Aviation" War Thunder. Retrieved:2014-5-12
- "[News] Naval Battles in War Thunder: Closed Beta test - later this year!". warthunder.com. Retrieved 2016-08-12.