Air Game Modes Are HORRIBLE

Why has there been little to no development of the Air game modes in WT?

Aside from Sim EC, which has some thought put into it, the other game modes for Air feel like they’re from a totally different era.

Air AB and Air RB are okay at the lower tiers but they completely fall apart as soon as you get to the upper tiers.

Despite War Thunder being founded on aviation, Air just seems to take a back seat to everything else.

When you play the Ground game modes or Naval game modes, there’s at least some thought put into them. Sure they have issues but the modes allow for some strategy. Air has very little strategy.

Everything is TDM. There’s essentially one way to play the modes successfully. There’s absolutely nothing meaningful for CAS to do. Bombers are a braindead joke and the 16 vs 16 spam on tight maps doesn’t allow for fighters to do much either aside from being a passive rat.

Air arcade is okay at low tier but is a complete mess at the upper tiers with a combination of missile spam, squadrons taking over lobbies, and dead matchmakers.

Air RB has just become a ripoff of Arcade with the 16 vs 16 spam and excessive AI ticket bleed. RB just seems designed to shuffle you in and out of the match as fast as possible.

Heli PVE is a boring joke.

Assault Air Arcade is so big of a joke that Gaijin needs to give you a reward to play it.

I mean why isn’t there any effort by Gaijin to bring the Air game modes up to the standard of the rest of the game modes in War Thunder or develop something new?

Or is it purely just a mode designed to grind?

We’re literally flying around Su27’s and F-16’s in a mode clearly designed for props. I mean even the AI planes in Air are 4 BR’s lower than the plane you’re flying. Gaijin couldnt even be bothered updating the AI planes…

Why are the Air game modes in such a poor state?

Are they working on something big or is Gaijin’s intention to leave this mess as is?

Ive been here since the beta with every plane researched. Until Gaijin actually puts some effort into the air game modes, im done with them. I can’t enjoy any of the new vehicles in this mess so they could release F22’s at this point. I just dont care until we have a game mode where you can actually enjoy these aircraft.


Cause the vast majority of people who play it are fine with how things are and have no desire to see anything changed.

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!solution! Play lowtier🙂


We should note that this can be true without contradicting the title.

Top-tier air arcade is one of the most boring game modes I’ve seen in any multiplayer game ever, yet I inexplicably found people playing it when I went to try it out.


The vast majority of players just don’t know there’s anything more. They’re completely unaware that Sim EC exists and RB EC was a thing in 2017 and was abandoned by Gaijin.

It doesn’t mean the mode is okay or acceptable. I mean people bought and played The Day Before…

Again, as i said, it’s not like there’s no solution to this or the solution hasn’t been thought of yet. It has.

Gaijin has RB EC.

Gaijin has the ability to reduce team sizes on smaller maps.

Gaijin has the ability to spread out objectives.

Gaijin has the ability to add multiple airfields.

They just dont. The only logical reasoning for this is they dont want to. Maybe its because they want the air modes to just be for grinding vehicles for ground. Maybe its because they want that short attention-span gambling addiction. Idk. But either way, it’s not good for the game. It’s broken and more players are seeing that now than ever.


I completely stopped playing ARB and transitioned to ASB. I won´t touch ARB unless we get either reduced ARB player count to max 10v10 or we get ARBEC.

They made ARB 16v16 purely to save on server costs, so I am not expecting them to change anything in this regard anytime soon. Even if it means the exodus of 90% of ARB players lmao.


I will say that for all the production value in the aircraft themselves the game modes feel empty.

There’s a big limitation in that any player can bring any aircraft, but only one, and therefore each game mode needs a (currently poorly implemented in many cases) role for every aircraft type.

Something like, say, an AI bomber escort ARB feels right up WT’s alley but can’t happen because of the above. Something as trivial as a bomber/fighter/CAS slot, from which you pick one, would go a long way towards opening up the game modes.

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Top tier is beta test, thats why.

The issue im describing exists for at least tiers 6, 7 and 8. More than just top tier.

To me, it seems like the whole idea of BVR and automated weaponry just takes all the “game” completely out of it . . I mean what’s the point. Tone, Lock, Fire! . . … . zzzzzzzz . . . I mean yeah, the jets look cool and all and they go fast, zoooooom. But faster doesn’t mean better, it just means faster, that’s all.
I understand that they kinda hit a gold mine when they started implementing these things into the game, and you can tell they did some heavy marketing towards younger players(who apparently have no problem dropping large amounts of $$ to get what they want) as you can see it regularly . . "how do I get jets!?!?! - level 6 or something like that. And with the implementation of high tier premiums . . . oh lord . . . can’t get that toothpaste back in the tube on that one. But also, from Gaijin’s point of view, why would they want to? Game is making really good money and has been since just before the covid/lockdown mess. And you can’t really blame them, I mean why go to a ton of extra effort to make better modes, improve game play or tweak things if there is no revenue to be made from all that work? From a business perspective . . . it’s kind of a sink hole.
I have been here 10 years, playing daily that whole time except for moving a couple times. I have the Russian air tree finished, had Sweden as well until they added 2 - 3 more. The rest of the nations(except Israel) I am well into tier VI or VII with plenty of high tier jets to field decent line ups(albeit mostly stock . . . eek!) for just about anything I might wanna do. But as for the reasons I listed above . . I just don’t.
I’m not a pilot irl, have no desire or intention to either. I’m a gamer, I like shooting stuff . . pew pew pew. I play Air AB. I enjoy the constant action, fast pace and thinking on your feet(so to speak . . .lol) but that’s just me. I tried Air RB early on but just couldn’t . . . . to slow, long waiting and boring for my tastes, but I also tell everyone to play what is fun for them.
Early on when I tried RB, the players were friendly & helpful, same for Sim guys . . even tho I was a total noob, they didn’t look down on me and were cool about the whole thing. We don’t really have that too much these days . . . if at all. I have a joystick(I got a cheap one to fly helis, it didn’t help so I don’t fly them either . . .lol). I play 4.3 - 5.3 almost all the time, to do Daily & Special tasks for the BP, I don’t really grind specific vehicles anymore. I have 1881 vehicles … . I can’t play the ones I have & almost everything air related I have left is just the high tier jets.
I’m old, like really old but I can still hang pretty well. Honestly, I can’t be bothered with all the extra keybinds and stuff required to go out in the jets at top tier for all that missile clicky stuff. Live by the Skynet, Die by the Skynet . . that is the way. I just enjoy lining up an enemy plane, out flying or out thinking them for the kill. Nothing better than a 1 on 1 dogfight on equal grounds where whoever makes the first mistake takes the fall(Usually . . lol) . . . it’s just too rare. And yeah, to me tiers VI - VIII are “top tier” . . I just don’t play it for reasons given . . . but to each their own.
Just have to find what is fun for you and do that . . . it’s the search that can be agonizing I guess . . I wish you luck and hope for improvements as well . . . but yeah, it’s been pretty much a “tanky” game for a good long time now. C’est la Vie I guess


Because instead of 200k players we could have had already 2m players.

The game has been flapping about like a fish on dry land for the past 6 years. All because new players come, play for a bit, realize what it is and leave. Only a fraction of players stick. Player retention should be key, not this get rich quick scheme. You get player retention only 2 ways. If they can work towards a goal (the goal should be realistically obtainable) and with fun game modes.


I spaded my bombers there and if I have to do it again I rather kill myself lol

My last hope is that theyre working on the game mode for the release of active radar missiles. If nothing changes then i think im done for a long time with air game modes. I only played air last year to grind the planes to then use in ground battles or sim


Yeah, I understand, and I didn’t say I approve . . . just the way it is. And I agree, the game could have a much larger player base if some things were different. But as always, all that we can do as players is make suggestions and hope for the best. We cannot change the company, they way the do business or develop their game . . C’est la Vie. I try to be pragmatic and look at things from as many sides as I can think of . . . lol, for all the good that does me. But I’d rather do that than complain about every little thing I do not agree with. Most things they do are not that hard to figure out the reasoning or understand, while many others . . . you just have to scratch your head. And no matter what they do, they can never please everyone, this is the way . . . . imagine 10x - 15x MOAR players complaining about everything under the sun!?! . . . . lol . . . eek


200k is the player count at one time. Most players play for a couple hours, so multiply the number by 12 and you’ll get a better idea of how many players WT actually has in a day.

During the winter holidays it was consistently in the top 20 or top 30 of multiple Steam charts. Even more remarkably, while being one of the most played games on Steam, it also has a lot of players that don’t play it through Steam.

These are the simple facts. One can have many objections to specific things in the game, I certainly have mine. But on the whole Gaijin’s strategy has been mega successful.

A fraction of a very big number is clearly still a very large number.

I started playing in Feb 2022. Game has certainly retained me. I see new players all the time. Some have become friends I squad up with to show them the ropes. In my time in WT I’ve only seen the player count go up.

Another broad issue is outside of the skinner box grind for RP/SL, it’ll be difficult to ever make flying a B-17 (as an example) engaging gameplay wise. You can plug away at fighters with the turret but otherwise it just ain’t there.

More AI bombers should probably be on the table.

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Drop bombs then dog fight for the giggles. Bombers can always be used (badly mostly of course) as a fighter, sure you will die but you might keep more brain cells active!


Why was this moved to the Realistic Battle subsection of Game Discussion?

The post includes a critique of ALL Air game modes.


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I usually flew the B-17, this way…
…one battle of airstart, climbing and bombing bases…
… the second battle ground launch, 500lb bombs and although I got shot down almost every time managed to destroy some bunkers but mostly I was about training the crew…
Obviously a premium account, without that, it’s no longer worth br 5.0…

The things I can’t stand in ARB are the maps that are the same as AAB with the units positioned in a symmetrical and mirrored way, when it should be the opposite, the 16 vs 16 games, and the fact that the bombers have become useless for the final result of the matches. The old maps that no longer exist were more fun, like destroying the enemy airfield which gave sense to the bombers, instead they gave credence to those who complained about it.