War Thunder is a tricky game to learn the ropes for, and even more difficult to master. As such, all of us at one stage have fallen under the umbrella of a newbie pilot, falling foul to amateur mistakes, dogfighting against superior planes or plunging into the ground during an ill-fated dive bombing run. We’ve all been a newbie at some stage, so there’s no shame in admitting it.
However, after you’ve poured hours into War Thunder, rising through the ranks and becoming an accomplished pilot, you start to spot things in the ability of your comrades and enemies. Sometimes they’re innocuous blips, other times, not so much. And more than often, the most offensive maneuvers that spew forth from the newbie pilot are downright unforgivable, irritating and hair-pullingly frustrating.
As such, here’s 5 quintessentially newbie tactics to spot while you're in the skies.
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The no.1 pet peeve for any self-respecting pilot, rammers are the perpetual ugly stain on War Thunder’s otherwise immaculate canopy. To put it simply, it’s a cowardly tactic that costs both the attacker and victim their aircraft, all for the point of smashing into your opponent without dogfighting, or anything remotely approaching a modicum of skill for that matter. Whether it’s born out of laziness or the fact they feel they are incapable of defeating you in a one-on-one battle, rammers will do anything to ruin your day. As such, be on the lookout for going nose-to-nose with other aircraft, or those who are hovering dangerously close to your plane. This is a sign that they’re ready to ditch their plane right on top of yours.
BOMBING AT LOW LEVEL
Another newbie mistake can be attributed to heavy bombers, specifically the likes of HE-111s, B-17s and Lancasters. These flying behemoths are highly vulnerable to enemy aircraft and flak alike, and taking them down to anything below 2,000 feet is a death sentence. Bombers like those detailed above should be placed 3500 - 4500 feet above the unfolding dogfighting below, where they can approach their target, drop their payload, and evacuate the area without too much hassle. Yet, you frequently see players trying all sorts of dodgy tactics, from dive-bombing B-17s to precision bombing in a Wellington from a mere 1,000 feet. Can it be done? Yes, at least in arcade mode where the flight model is more forgiving. Does it work well? Nope, not one bit. Usually, I see gamers either hit the deck outright or are shot down by swarms of enemy fighters. Do yourself a favor: bomb at high level and safe yourself the repair costs.
While nose-to-nose can be considered a genuine tactic to employ against a lone enemy, they’re too ubiquitous among new pilots to be considered anything less than an annoyance and carry little strategic value. Simply, fly your plane to meet your adversary nose-to-nose, open fire, and hope for the best. Usually, this ends in both planes eating machine gun or cannon fire, ramming each other, or both. The more skilled pilot faints a head-on attack before pulling or diving out at the last second, allowing them to gain the advantage and catch their opponent as they are recovering from the attack.
DOGFIGHTING IN ANYTHING THAT CAN FLY
Dogfighting is a multi-layered tactic and requires far more technique and knowledge of your aircraft than you may initially perceive. Not only do you have to know what your own plane is capable of to use it successfully in a turn-based skirmish, but also what your opponent is packing. As such, many newbie pilots learn things the hard way and end up getting whopped by a skilled opponent in a dogfight. For example, many times you’ll see players taking boom-and-zoom fighters such as the BF-109 against Spitfires, the latter of which is among the most maneuverable aircraft in the game. Even if you know how to manipulate your flaps, it’s unlikely you will come out on top against a skilled Spitfire pilot. Even more bizarre, some gamers believe they are able to take twin-engine fighter-bombers such as the P-38 Lightning or Junkers JU-88 into a dogfight with the more dexterous single-engine planes and come out on top. It’s all about knowing your advantages and disadvantages, and applying them to a given situation. If you are in a plane that excels at turning, then a dogfight is a good idea; if not, gain some altitude and dive down on them without getting into a turning battle.
One of the biggest pet peeves War Thunder players have - and justifiably so - is the application of friendly fire. Sadly, Arcade Mode is full of unsympathetic pilots who are determined to put down an enemy plane regardless of who may happen to be in their line of sight -- even if it happens to be a member of their own team. More than often, they’ll fire nonchalantly in the direction of an enemy plane, hitting friend and foe alike, without any regard for their own teammates. Failing that, they’ll ram you in mid-air in their tenacity and determination to get the kill. It’s a classic newbie trait, and results in you having to cough up completely unnecessary repair costs. As the old saying goes, with friends like this, who needs enemies?
Got any other classic newbie pilot mistakes from War Thunder to share? If so, then let us know below, and read our review here.