War Thunder: The Best Free To Play Game Yet?

Over the years free to play (F2P) games have been somewhat hit and miss, people enjoying the fact they can play a great game for free, but easily frustrated by players who invest money into the game and give themselves an advantage, but War Thunder may be different.

War Thunder is a F2P MMO combat game dedicated to WWII military action which includes aviation, armored vehicles and fleets. The game is still in open beta at the moment so the game-play is limited to aviation, but don’t let that discourage you! The aviation capabilities in this game could be a blockbuster title on their own.

I would like to start off by saying how amazingly beautiful this game is, it is simply gorgeous! If you have a fairly good gaming PC then I would recommend downloading this game just to fly around, it looks that good! It’s the first game I’ve seen where the video renderings for the games screenshots and trailers can actually be achieved in game. This game isn’t just great looking though, it has some fantastic game-play features for everyone to get involved in.


When you start up the game you see the usual F2P login screen, make a username and password etc, but then the game loads up and you’re in a very spacious aircraft hangar, looking at the planes you have selected to fight with. I understand that to some people, the aspect of real money being used in the game can be slightly daunting, but War Thunder have done well to separate the real money features from the in game money. In the main screen of the game you have a bar running a long the top which is home to your in game friends, chat, settings, your game profile then the in game currency and the real money currency.

The Currency

War Thunder has two in game currencies, the first of which is silver ‘lions’, these can be earned through playing the game online, and are then used for buying new planes,  upgrading your current planes and buying new slots for extra planes. The second type of currency is the golden ‘eagles’, this is the premium currency which, apart from 3 tutorials, you can only posses by purchasing them with real money. Golden ‘eagles’ do give the player a slight advantage, but I wouldn’t say they will definitely be better than you if they can afford them, the ‘eagles’ allow the player to use their hard earned XP to rank up quicker, they can also be used to buy special planes, extra plane spots and more ‘lions’.

Game Features

The game has a fairly simple set up, you select the country you wish to serve for, you can play as USA, Germany, Great Britain, USSR and Japan. With each country you start out with 3 reserve planes and rank 0. Each country has a research section, this is used to look at all the available planes for that county, then once you rank up enough you can buy whichever plane you want, and the selection of planes is huge! Currently there are over 100 planes all together, with more to be included during the beta and for the final release of the game. When you play online you can pick from 3 game types, Arcade battles, historical battles and full real battles. In arcade battles you can play as any country you want, and you can also fly out in every plane you have, this game mode is extremely fun, especially for new players as you get to have a real feel for the game before playing the more serious game modes. Historical battles are centered around battles that took place during WWII, in this game mode you can only play as the two countries that were involved in the individual battle. For example, if you were in a Battle of Britain game, you would only be allowed to play as Great Britain or Germany, pretty simple right? Historical battles also include some of the games more advanced features, in this game mode the controls are more realistic, you can run out of fuel, run out of ammo and you will have to land at your base to be re-armed, and if you fly too fast your wings will get ripped off! Full real battles are basically the simulator side to the game, it is recommended you use a joystick for this game mode as you will have full control of the plane and all of its extras.

Future Features

As the game is still in development, not all of the features are there. When the game is fully released the player will be able to not only fly planes, but also command your troops on the ground in armored vehicles such as tanks, and take to the seas in the various war ships available in the game.


I have been playing this game a lot in the recent weeks and I love it, the arcade battles are so much fun and I definitely feel like it is an even battlefield despite the premium side to the game. I can’t wait to try out the army and fleet options when they are included in the game, and if this overview hasn’t persuaded you fully to try the game, why don’t you check out Mighty Jingles on YouTube who regularly uploads videos of War Thunder game-play, and he’s bloody good at it too!

Have you got War Thunder? Do you enjoy the game or feel the premium content is too much of an advantage? Let us know in the comments below.


2 responses to “War Thunder: The Best Free To Play Game Yet?

  1. Hey Chris. Nice post, I like the sound of this game and I may well have to give it a shot at some point. I think aviation games have been lacking something in recent years but I always enjoy the jets in bf3 so maybe this more multi functional war sim will prove to be a hit. Thanks for referencing our blog in the related articles section too.

    • In my opinion this is the most complete aviation combat game to date, and it’s not even finished. I think you’ll enjoy the arcade battles then, they have quite a similar flight model to bf3. You’re welcome for the reference.

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