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 350 aircraft from five important different nations and a number of ground vehicles from the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States. Ships, additional aircraft and additional ground vehicles are to be implemented at a later date. Most maps in-game are either directly or indirectly based on real battles of the era such as in Stalingrad, Russia or Peleliu, an island in the Palau chain, though there are exceptions. The size of maps in the game ranges from approximately 65 km x 65 km to 200 km x 200 km, although the engine powering the videogame is likely to achieve much larger map sizes in the future. Estimates are said to be about 300 km x 300 km
Welcome to the WAR THUNDER
Arcade battles 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 your 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). Multiple views are available, from third person view, virtual cockpit view, cockpit view (if the aircraft has an available model else virtual cockpit is used instead), gunner view (if the aircraft has a gunner), as well as bombsights for bombing accuracy. 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.
Realistic battles Previously called "Historical Battles," this mode is designed for more advanced players. 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 game mode also does not simplify aircraft flight models. For Ground Forces battles, the aim assist mechanism (showing where the shell fired will hit the target and the ability of the selected shell type to penetrate the armour of the enemy ground vehicle) is removed. Players are also unable to see the silhouette of enemy vehicles through bushes.
Simulator battles 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 and the user must manually set their trim control on his or her aircraft for cruising), however the flight physics are largely the same as in Realistic Battles. 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.
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