AI gunners

Is it me or has anyone else noticed that your AI gunners tend to not open fire (even when they are expert) until your plane has taken damage even when they are within range?


All about crew skill.

Sometimes, other times they are snipers. Part of it is that the fields of fire on a lot of planes are very restricted. Only a few 10s of degrees from directly aft. They can’t shoot at what you can’t. And its easy to over-G them. Can’t shoot when you are being squashed to the floor or thrown around.

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I have quite a few maxed airplane crews with the qualification purchased for my bombers, but the gunners never fire at enemies I encounter in Air RB. That is beside the fact that they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if they did fire. Best thing is to take manual control of your gunners and get used to fending off targets yourself. Works much, much better most of the time.


The Devs messing about again? I have noticed the effectiveness of Gold crew reduced

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Crew maxed and aced, AI gunners on the bombers don’t open fire until the enemy plane is about to land on you.

I’d love to get some of those Naval AI gunners into my bombers.


They only shoot when enemy is in close range

Yes, they are and always were useless. Fighters attack on ~700m range but most skilled gunners dont open fire until ~400m (check in crew skill window for exact number) and even then they dont do much.

Dont put any XP into gunners that affect targeting. When enemy approach, switch to gunner control and shoot for yourself.

Agreed, always better to use manual control of the gunners. Good aim with even 7.62 defensive guns can be lethal with good aim, especially against earlier props.

Ive dont a 2k pilot snipe with a lancaster 😆

I know this from other perspective. Kingcobra chopped my tail off from 1,5km

That is funny

I dont know about this advice my gunners got me 3 kills in SB in 1 flight as i was getting ganked

Not always. When the game was still new, the gunners were pretty accurate and opened fire on targets as far out as a kilometer. From those times the Japanese G8N1 got its nickname “deathstar”.

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Do fighters attack closer in SB?

Idk, i only played it a few times and did not know i was being attacked… I was like WOW, kill after kill.

but i do, do my gunner skills last though, i guess it depends how you play though, some players just play bombers

It strongly depends on angle of attack of the incoming enemy, the positioning of the barrels relative to the attacking fighter, the approach speed of the enemy and the qualification of the ai gunners.

  • During the time when we had up to 4 premium B-25 bots per match i tested various approaches to deal with ai gunners whilst spectating (via dozens of server replays) the ai gunners of my victims doing their jobs. Have in mind that they all has maxed crew levels and aced crews due to thousands of bot matches.

  • Their top turret shows in standard configuration the barrels backwards - so whilst attacking at high speed from 12 o’clock high they reacted way too late and they had to perform a 180 degree turn to fire on you - best way to get not even a scratch whilst killing them.

  • The misconception of firing at too low distances is based on the reading of the respective crew skill values - 0.21 km. Relevant is the 0.66 km value. After watching dozens of replays it looks like that the ai gunners were even able to hit me up to 0.8 km on my attack ruf - but only if i came from from direct above and behind diving on them.

  • Some years ago i flew more than 5.000 Ju 288 missions (after the first major nerf) with an inactive account - and with an ace crew all you had to do was to get behind and enemy fighter and to stay slightly above and the ai gunner sprayed them down - also about 0.8 km.

  • Similar was the experience flying P-61s. But in this case the ai gunners were actively kill stealing in chase situations.

  • All in all you need to be able to dodge incoming fire whilst using your gunner manually. I use HOTAS to fly and a mouse for the gunners. So u have to turn autopilot off.

  • But the key to survive was always to keep them as long as possible inside your, but outside their gun range.


  1. If an enemy fighters approaches undetected - something went wrong.
  2. I scored several thousand kills in bombers on this account - but ai gunner kills were extremely rare (10-20?) happend mainly by accident - so either whilst turn fighting or whilst trying to escape at extremely low alt - mostly damaged and unable to use manual gunners.
  3. The players above are right - ai gunners were nerfed several times, even manual gunners lost accuracy over the years.
  4. But this thread is just like CAS for fellow tankers - it pops up frequently and all was said years before…

Just 2 examples dealing with the same topic:

Pretty sure they are broken and or don’t do anything anymore. Bombers are supposed to be free kills anyway

Dont let the bomber squad hhear you say that, they will hunt you down 😆

That may be, but the ai gunners still suck. They have a laughable firing range of 200m with an expert crew.