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How to play smart!


I make this thread because I am tired of losing fight after fight in Realistic Battle mode do to that people fail to play the planes right, or simply lack the knowledge of air combat maneuvers, it often seems to me like they treat the game as a FPS game where strategy and tactics doesn't matter.

They do matter and it's simply something you have to learn to do in order to have a chance to win in this game.

 

And so I make this thread in the hopes that some will learn from it and start using the thing between their ears known as a brain and play smart. But also in the hopes that other players will use this thread to post tips and tricks that might help others.

I will only talk about mono wing single engine propeller planes here, but what I will talk about applies to twin engine and jets as well.

As many players have discovered... As you get higher up in tiers it get harder and harder to get results. Especially for those that fail to adapt to how the the flight characteristics of the planes change, they get faster and less maneuverable and so the technique in how to use them change as well, and so.. Many players struggle to get kills and stay alive long in the battles.

Air combat maneuvers, or ACM is an art-form and it can often be a struggle to overcome your opponent, but if you use your plane as it is best suited you will soon learn that you can overcome enemies that you have only won against before on pure luck. ACM is about getting the advantage over your enemy and keeping it. Everything comes down to one thing in air combat and that's energy. Air combat is essentially a fight over who has the most energy and the one that can conserve it and use only what he needs for each maneuver he does is the victor.

Air combat consists of mainly two types of fighting, horizontal and vertical.
The horizontal turn fighting is mostly used by planes that are agile, meaning the turn fighters, like the Zero, early Spitfires, I 16's, F2A's and many early tier fighters. Turn fighters are slower than their energy fighter counterparts, but what they lack in speed they make up for with good turn rate, light weight,  good acceleration and good climb rate at low/medium altitudes. Their wings give them good lift and combined with their light weight and large control surfaces they can turn very sharply and accelerate out of the turn faster than an energy fighter at low speeds, regaining the energy they lost in the turn fast. But these planes doesn't do well at the altitudes where energy fighters thrive.
The Vertical is mostly used by energy fighters, like the Bf 109, Yak's, FW 190's, P 47's, P 51's, F8F's late Spitfires, Typhoon/Tempest's, Ki 61/84's. Most of these doesn't preform well at low altitudes where the turn fighters are excellent, they do better at medium/high altitudes. Energy fighting comes in two types, Boom and Zoom, also known as BnZ and the one that is more true to the concept "energy fighting", where you have energy fighters competing over energy. The typical BnZ planes are heavy planes with low/medium acceleration and climb rate, but with excellent dive ability, like the P 47 and the  FW 190. Planes like the Bf 109, F8F's, Yak's, late Spitfires, Ki 61/84's fit better for competing over energy than BnZ planes because they have better acceleration, turn rate and climb rate than the BnZ planes.
I highly recommend that you read this Wiki about Basic Fighter Maneuvers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_fighter_maneuvers It will give you a better understanding of how it works.

This play list by RamJB was made in War Thunder and it might help you.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzUWGPCQJmpiI-D-s6oOe9xu3CTfhw19z
I found this one informative too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_iW1T3yg80&list=PLedxK8OvHBJVePrkeCJIfx4jN0K07Z8W0  
And this one is about energy fighting and with WW1 planes and so you just have to scale it out with the faster and less maneuverable WW2 planes to make it work for you. It also shows how team tactics comes into play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhYaRX8plzU&list=PLAAB1C86EA6EE133A
The one who last one explain very well and you can see the maneuvers at a distance too so you get a better perspective on how the maneuvers are preformed.
Be aware that the instructor can make combat maneuvers hard to preform and it even make a few of them next to impossible to preform correctly, like the Hammerhead. Because as you climb and enter stall speed the instructor tries to correct the stall and so when you try to use rudder to preform the maneuver it flips you plane up side down.

 US planes start off at tier 1 with fairly good turners, but as they move into tier 2 they start to rely more and more on speed and energy and you start seeing more and more energy fighters and planes that do rather well for boom and zoom. As you move into tier 3 you have no turn fighters left. When you hit tier 4 you will find one plane that turns rather well, the F8F, but I still would call it an energy fighter, because the F8F need speed to preform well.

 German and Russian planes start off on tier 1 with good turn fighters, but they also get energy fighters at that tier, planes like the M.C. 200 and the LaGG 3's and as you move into tier 2 you start getting more energy fighters, for Germany it's only energy fighters from tier 2, but Russia still have a couple of good turn fighters on tier 2. After that it's energy fighters only for both of them on tier 3 and 4. Some of the Russian tier 3 planes turn quite nice, but they are far from what I would call turn fighters as they still rely heavily on speed to perform well. And the good climb rate that you got used to on German tier 3 planes fades at tier 4, especially on the FW 190's, the Bf 109's do climb well, but some of the British, Russian and US tier 4 planes out climb them. But.. Don't panic just yet, German planes retain their energy rather well.

British planes are a bit different, they are from tier 1 to tier 4 a mix of both turn fighters and energy fighters. As you advance in Britain you get planes like the Spitfire's and the Typhoons, then later you get Tempest's. Both the Typhoon and the Tempest are more suited for low/medium altitudes, but I advice to get up to at least 5000m anyway. The Spitfire's are very good turn fighters from low tier and up to tier 3, then it slack off and as you go into tier 4 they start to become faster and they climb better, losing a little of their maneuverability as they do so. And with the Griffon Spits you have almost a pure energy fighter and very little remain of the good old great turner the Spitfire was. The Griffon Spitfires out climb and out turn most of their rivals and they are quite fast too. Though Spitfire's may turn well they still can't beat the Zero's. The Typhoon's are very good climbers, but they doesn't turn well. They need speed just like all the other energy fighters to preform well, because that's just what they are. The Tempest's are very good energy fighters like the Typhoon's but they don't like it at high altitude, the Tempest's have very good medium/low altitude preference, but I will still recommend that you gain altitude.

Japanese planes... Most of the tier 1 and 2 fighters easily out turn nearly anything thrown at them. Japanese fighters were made to be agile, but that doesn't mean that they don't have energy fighters too. Planes like the Ki 61/84, the 61 was built on drawings of a Bf 109, but unlike the 109, the Ki 61 is built the Japanese way.. Meaning using light materials to make the plane light and so it turns a bit better than it's German kin, but it's not a turn fighter. Nor is the Ki 84, though it turn quite well both carries the characteristics of the typical energy fighters. They accelerate quite nice, they are fast, climbs quite well and retain their energy quite well too, the Ki 84 is quite a bit better than the Ki 61 on the energy rotation. The Ki 43 and the Zero's are however turn fighters and there's very few planes that can challenge them in this. Though the Ki 43's FM have been hampered a bit after I saw one dance with three biplanes and win, it still turn rather nice. The issue seems to me to be with the butterfly flaps since they don't work fully on the Ki 84 either. But even though they are better at turning at lower speeds, they rely on energy as well and when their speed drop too far down and they will suffer from it the same way as all other planes.

It's very important that you learn how to use your plane, how well it turns, what it's maximum/minimum speeds are, it's climb rate, what it's best climb angle is, it's energy rotation. You will also need to know what your enemy can do and what he can't do so that you can apply the right tactic against each plane. You will have to learn this through trail and error, but when you know the plane you will be able to take on enemies that you before thought unbeatable. I have seen a tier 2 Yak 1B in a tier 4 match with more kills than anyone else in the match, why? Because he was lucky? NO! Because he was a very skilled pilot that knew his plane very well and he knew his opponents too. And so he gained the kills by playing smart, but also because of something that many tend to do.. They underestimate their opponents and so they lose. NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE your opponent! Awareness is very important too, look around often for enemies that can be a threat. But also when attacking, follow your target, watch what your target does and plan your attacks accordingly.
 So.. How do we play smart with the knowledge we have now?
Well.. It of course varies a bit from plane to plane, but the key for all is energy, how good you are at conserving and using it. The big tabu is not to bleed too much energy.

Boom and Zoom basically mean that you Boom(dive) down on your target, attack it and Zoom(climb) away. In this form altitude is key, it convert into speed in the dive that in turn converts into altitude in the climb. Just remember to watch your speed as you climb, you do NOT want to stall out, or bleed too much energy, it leaves you at a disadvantage. Many tend to forget about the last part of BnZ, they boom, attack, but get greedy, thinking that they can take him in a turn fight and so they forget to zoom-climb and so the energy they built up in the boom is wasted, it's totally useless if you can't land a crippling blow on the first attack. Others tend to zoom-climb too steeply and so, if the target has enough energy he can turn after you and get a shot off at you.

 

When I say Low altitude I mean from the deck and up to 2000m, Medium altitude, from 2000m and up to 4000, and High altitude from 4000m and up. Of course it would be a bit different IRL, but in the game 8000m is considered EXTREMELY high and yet the Ta 152 preform rather well up there.

BnZ attacks are best to use against one, or even two plane(s) that are lower than you and have an altitude disadvantage on energy. But be careful so you don't underestimate your opponents energy, because it can easily backfire and your target, or his wing-man, can turn on you for a counter attack. By climbing steeply after your fist attack, not too steeply, because you want to get a good position for the next attack as well as gain altitude, you can then loop over, or do an Immelmann and attack again, watch your target(s) as you zoom-climb to see which way he/they turn so you can predict where your target will be for you next attack. By repeating your BnZ attacks you put your opponent(s) on the defensive each time you attack and your opponent(s) will have to do sharp maneuvers to evade your attacks, bleeding off energy every time. You can keep this up for a while, but each time you do a BnZ attack you bleed off more energy than you have and so, if your opponent(s) manages to evade you every time you will eventually run out of energy and you will get into trouble, if you don't break off and renew your energy to continue your attacks. Don't forget to look around for threats. BnZ can be preformed in any plane as long as you have the advantage of altitude that you can convert into speed and make your opponent do defensive maneuvers that bleed off enough energy so that he can't counter attack.

If your target is turn fighter you need to be mindful of your targets superior turning ability in flat turns, climb rate and acceleration out of those sharp turns. Do not get greedy and over extend your turn so that you bleed off too much energy just because you think you can land a few shots on him, because as you turn sharply to follow his turn you slow down fast, it is better to just overshoot and zoom-climb to repositioned yourself for a new pass, than falling into his energy trap. If you fall for his trap, then he can easily turn on you, if you fail to climb away, or he can convert his sharp turn into a climb and follow you as you try to zoom-climb away with much lesser energy than your dive produced. To get away from a trap like this you can, either continue your dive and speed away, that is if you are fighting him at an altitude where you have altitude below him to convert into speed for the escape, or if this happens at the deck, then you will have to level off and try to escape using engine power.

The same rules apply when your opponent is another energy fighter as with a turn fighter, but here the evasive maneuvers often become vertical as well as flat turns. A turn fighter may also use vertical maneuvers to evade, but unlike the slow turn fighters the energy fighter have the ability to chase as you try to flee after falling for his energy trap, they can also choose to use their acceleration and higher speed ability to escape your BnZ attacks and it can easily turn into the other form of energy fighting. Where there are two planes that are more or less equal. In this for your knowledge of your own plane and the opponents plane really comes into play as strategy and knowledge of combat maneuvers become very important. In this you need to plan ahead and often far ahead to set up a trap for your opponent to bleed your opponent of energy while retaining your own energy for the kill. You can do just about any combat maneuver in this type of combat that can be used to force your opponent to bleed more energy than he can afford, or you can even bleed off your own energy so that you can get into a position where you can attack. But this type of fighting often takes a lot of time as both aircraft have similar flight performance. If you are playing in a squad with some one it becomes easier to set up a trap for your target, like tricking the opponent into thinking he is being attacked by another plane to try and force him  to do a defensive maneuver and bleed off energy so that your wing-man can get the advantage and take the kill.

There is a third form of energy fighting, but it is VERY risky and it requires excellent skill and you REALLY need to know the limits of your plane to preform as it is a reversal of the BnZ maneuver. I'm not going to go into this as I wouldn't use it myself. But come to think of it I have used it a couple of times where I have boomed into the clouds and then zoomed up to attack my enemy from a different direction.

 

I advise players to side climb instead of climbing directly into battle. Gain at least 4000m, this goes for all planes, even the turn fighters. I say this because if you climb directly into the battle area you will find yourself directly under those planes that did the same and climbed better than you. By side climbing you find yourself under the planes that climbed better, but you have distance to them as well and you have a better chance of both picking target and defending yourself.

Edited by Skeptical_Bunny
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With jets the fighting area gets bigger because the speeds are higher, but the same rules apply to them as well.

 

But.. Be aware of the fact as the speeds get higher on the planes so do the risks of making mistakes that bleed energy that you do not want to lose. All planes bleed energy when preforming combat maneuvers, the faster the planes become the more costly that energy become as it cost more to regain that energy that you lost, the heavy planes feel this cost the most.

Edited by Tviking
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Mate, you are wasting your breath, most of the people who are not playing RBs to win.

 

Only thing realistic about RB, it is just its name.

 

People jump to one plane try to kill somebody as quickly as possible then die and go to the other plane to speed up the grind.

 

Do you think in real air battles people were taking that many head ons, now look how the RB works, did you see low bomber check, dive on it check, kill one or two of them check then die check, go to next plane start over check.

 

Now you spent 20 mins to climb 6000m and cruise the guy killed 3 planes and jumped to the other one and doing it again.

 

So don't spend to much time winning and loosing, people playing this game for grind sake not to enjoy it.

 

I enjoy it doing all the right things and being untouchable so most of the people get the thrill from other things.

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To the guy above ^^ i like to play for the victories :kamikadze:

 

To OP: Very nice post but the sad thing is the people who need read this don't even come to the forum, anyway nice stuff +1

 

Extra: This post is bigger than my.... ehrm... 57mm cannon.... :secret:

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Unfortunately by the living sample of people joining to the RB proves that, you, I and OP are the minority.

 

Other then daily x2, winning doesn't have too much meaning in this game, you get %50 more rewards, so you fly 45min for one match to win and get your %50 the other guys flies 3 matches in 45 mins and get more XP then your %50 win bonus.

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Can already tell this is a good thread even if i haven't read it all. 

 

I need to go back to bed (had a half sleep for some reason last night) but I'll be watching the videos while i fall asleep on my smartphone. 

Edited by Ottobon
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I go through the same pain of having awful games because of teammates with zero strategy, null awareness and absolutely no regard for their own safety. Seems the Summertime Madness event did leave a mark on the gameplay after all.

 

I approve your guide and I really hope it helps to a certain degree, but as many stated above the essence of this game is progression. And such progression comes from kills, not wins. It becomes logical that in order to progress faster you need to rush into a killing spree, which explains why the common solution is going head on with anything.

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Mate, you are wasting your breath, most of the people who are not playing RBs to win.

 

Only thing realistic about RB, it is just its name.

 

People jump to one plane try to kill somebody as quickly as possible then die and go to the other plane to speed up the grind.

 

Do you think in real air battles people were taking that many head ons, now look how the RB works, did you see low bomber check, dive on it check, kill one or two of them check then die check, go to next plane start over check.

 

Now you spent 20 mins to climb 6000m and cruise the guy killed 3 planes and jumped to the other one and doing it again.

 

So don't spend to much time winning and loosing, people playing this game for grind sake not to enjoy it.

 

I enjoy it doing all the right things and being untouchable so most of the people get the thrill from other things.

So what?! It's my time to waste!

This thread is aimed at those that do read the forum and are struggling to get kills. As I said in my original post, I did this in the hopes that some would learn from it. This thread is for people that want to share their experience with others and not for peoples with pessimistic views like yours.

 

In most of the matches I play I see more people without kills than people with kills, those that get many kills are either playing their planes right or just snatching others rightful kills.I don't hate the kill stealer, I hate the stupid kill system, but that's a discussion for another thread, so let's not do that here. I have had matches where I, and/or the ones that I play with have been the only ones with kills. We have had matches where most of our teammates have had no kills and we have been left to fight nearly the entire enemy team alone and we have won. Why? Because we were lucky? No! Because we used our planes to right and used the right tactics on the enemy, the tactics best suited for the planes we were flying and by working closely together, covering each other and bating the enemies so that the other could strike.

 

As for climbing.. I rarely spend more than 10 minutes climbing and I usually get to 6000m in less than 10mins in the planes I play, the Spitfire Mk IX can reach 6000m within 5min, that goes for both the British and the Premium versions... But I rarely play with it. I use the P51 on US, the Tempest on Britain, the FW190 D12 on Germany, the I-185 (m71) on Russia, the Ki 84, or the A6M5 of Japan and all of them can get pretty close to 6000m in less than 10min.

 

Sorry for calling you a pessimist.. I just can't stand people that comes with silly remarks like that. It is my time to waste, not yours, so.. Please keep remarks like that to yourself.

Edited by Tviking
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Had a game today on Britain flying my G-2.

 

It was the end of the game, me and another G-2 had just landed and taken off together.  There were two enemies left.  We start climbing and get to about 2km when we see a Wellington cruising at about 500m.  Then shortly after we see a Typhoon at 3000 - 3500m.  I look back at my friendly whose been following me very closely, and he's still there.  I fly under the Typhoon and notice my friendly attempt a prophang to finish off the Typhoon.  I immediately turn around to come back into the fight just as my friendly stalls out of his Prophang, but I'm there to deter the Typhoon from attacking him.

 

So, expecting and good 2v1 here, I tunnel vision on the Typhoon and begin maneuvering with him as best I can, just trying to keep pressure on him for my friendly to possibly get some good shots.  This goes on for a solid 10-15 seconds or so and then the Typhoon is on my tail.  I'm thinking, "alright I should have some assistance here pretty quick to get this guy off my tail."  However, in my tunnelvision I've failed to notice that there actually hasn't been any assistance from my friendly this whole time. 

 

I xxxx look behind me and this idiot team mate is xxxx 8km away, and 2km below me squirting his load on the Wellington........................

 

[Spoiler]  WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKCKCKCKCKCKKCUCCCCCCCCCCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKKUUUUUUUUUCKCK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?[/Spoiler]

Edited by xBromanx
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So what?! It's my time to waste!

This thread is aimed at those that do read the forum and are struggling to get kills. As I said in my original post, I did this in the hopes that some would learn from it. This thread is for people that want to share their experience with others and not for peoples with pessimistic views like yours.

 

In most of the matches I play I see more people without kills than people with kills, those that get many kills are either playing their planes right or just snatching others rightful kills.I don't hate the kill stealer, I hate the stupid kill system, but that's a discussion for another thread, so let's not do that here. I have had matches where I, and/or the ones that I play with have been the only ones with kills. We have had matches where most of our teammates have had no kills and we have been left to fight nearly the entire enemy team alone and we have won. Why? Because we were lucky? No! Because we used our planes to right and used the right tactics on the enemy, the tactics best suited for the planes we were flying and by working closely together, covering each other and bating the enemies so that the other could strike.

 

As for climbing.. I rarely spend more than 10 minutes climbing and I usually get to 6000m in less than 10mins in the planes I play, the Spitfire Mk IX can reach 6000m within 5min, that goes for both the British and the Premium versions... But I rarely play with it. I use the P51 on US, the Tempest on Britain, the FW190 D12 on Germany, the I-185 (m71) on Russia, the Ki 84, or the A6M5 of Japan and all of them can get pretty close to 6000m in less than 10min.

 

Sorry for calling you a pessimist.. I just can't stand people that comes with silly remarks like that. It is my time to waste, not yours, so.. Please keep remarks like that to yourself.

 

I didn't say don't waste your time, waste as much as you like :)

 

I am just saying you will not change anything, only %1 player base come to forums and only %1 those care what you wrote there.

 

So your public is 0,0001 of the player base, if anybody was interested, there was resource to teach people how to fly right much earlier then your thread (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzUWGPCQJmpiI-D-s6oOe9xu3CTfhw19z) but as I said nobody cares.

 

And if you can't take positive/negative/optimistic/pessimistic answers in your threads you should not post to forumthunder.

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You can energy fight in the horizontal.  The direction of your path of travel doesn't matter when it comes to energy fighting.  Whether you're doing it horizontally, diagonally, vertically, all of that is immaterial as long as you are taking the approach of working to secure and maintain an energy advantage of some sort to be able to exploit and kill your enemy with.

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There are tons of player who never even visit the forums. I am sorry OP but nothing will change. 

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As I said... My hopes are that some one will learn from it, nothing more.

 

I can take positive/negative/optimistic/pessimistic in my threads, but I'm not interested in reading about how much this will or will not change. This thread was meant to be a guide, so if you have some helpful tips to add that can help other players, then do so. That is what this thread was meant for.

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You can energy fight in the horizontal.  The direction of your path of travel doesn't matter when it comes to energy fighting.  Whether you're doing it horizontally, diagonally, vertically, all of that is immaterial as long as you are taking the approach of working to secure and maintain an energy advantage of some sort to be able to exploit and kill your enemy with.

True.. Just be very careful with your energy here, you want to force your opponent to bleed his energy and conserve your own so that you can get the upper hand and shoot him down.

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The game needs [b][i]in-game, unavoidable, easy to find and bloody [u]mandatory[/u][/b][/i] tutorials.

 

 

Only with that will 95% of the playerbase maybe move away from the constant head-ons and helicoptering. 

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Even though i agree that only 3% of the actual player base will actually go to the forums and read tutorials like these, I have to be thankful for the OP for such a constructive post. Some players will actually take the time and read helpful posts like these and take what they have learned into consideration. I was one of these players before i made the switch from AB to RB and it definitely helped me significantly, learning ACMs and tactics from posts like these made me the decent player i am today. 

 

:salute: to OP, need more posts like these

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True.. Just be very careful with your energy here, you want to force your opponent to bleed his energy and conserve your own so that you can get the upper hand and shoot him down.

 

Agreed.  I simply posted that because a large number of people seem to have the misconception that energy fighting is only done vertically.  The fundamental of energy fighting is to make the most efficient use of your energy irregardless of anything else.  It's not about conserving energy, it's not about building and having energy.  It's about knowing how and when to use your energy.

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Agreed.  I simply posted that because a large number of people seem to have the misconception that energy fighting is only done vertically.  The fundamental of energy fighting is to make the most efficient use of your energy irregardless of anything else.  It's not about conserving energy, it's not about building and having energy.  It's about knowing how and when to use your energy.

Energy fighting is not just BnZ, it's a part of all forms of air combat. As a plane turns, climbs, dives, or whatever, it either use, or gain energy. Everything you so with a plane has to do with energy. With BnZ you convert altitude to speed when you dive and then the other way around, speed into altitude when you zoom-climb. When doing turn fights in planes like the early Spitfires and Zero's you also use and gain energy, but.. here you often use engine power to regain energy. It is all energy fighting.

 

As I said earlier.. I want people to give tips here so that others can learn from them. So.. Here's one..

This is kinda like the "Rope-A-Dope" but here you gain energy instead of bleeding it.

When you have an enemy coming at you from the side(3/9 o'clock) and below you, or you have a plane chasing you that is lower than you and far enough away from you that you can pull off a 90deg turn without him gaining too much distance on you to be a serious threat. You dip your nose slightly down and fly straight and in so doing you force him to constantly turn you follow you so that he can pull lead pursuit(keep his sigh ahead of you) and in so doing he bleed more and more energy while you gain speed. As he start to move into your 5/8 o'clock you start to slowly turn to the side he's coming from, slowly increasing the turn and in so doing he has to turn sharper and sharper to keep his sights on you, bleeding energy and if he don't break off he risk bleeding too much energy to the point that he doesn't have enough to zoom climb away and at that point you have a chance to turn on him and attack, or climb above him and gain enough altitude to attack him from above. To counter a maneuver like this the chase plane will have to pull lag pursuit(turn to follow, but with sights behind the enemy.) This allows him to conserve his energy and can give him an opportunity to strike at you.

 

 


The game needs in-game, unavoidable, easy to find and bloody mandatory tutorials.

 

 

Only with that will 95% of the playerbase maybe move away from the constant head-ons and helicoptering.

Another thing that could help players is tips on how to fight/use planes come up on the load screens.

Edited by Tviking
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