[Development] Testing out the Severe Damage mechanic

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Severe Damage mechanic which was first announced last year.

Back in the first Roadmap, we spoke about a new aircraft destruction mechanic and made an article asking for your feedback. Ever since, we’ve been thinking through this idea and have been carefully designing it. Let’s take a look at what we’ve been up to, and when and where the testing of this new mechanic will take place.

The Severe Damage mechanic

Briefly, the severe damage mechanic simplifies the system for scoring an aircraft destruction and makes it more understandable and transparent: as long as an aircraft can theoretically continue to fight, it’ll not be considered as destroyed.

To destroy a plane you’ll need to hit its pilot or inflict enough damage so that its tail is torn off. For helicopters, the conditions for destruction are similar: knocking out the pilot or inducing a large accumulated amount of damage to the fuselage, which emulates the destruction of the main structure, in aircraft it usually leads to the tail being torn off.

All damage that significantly reduces the performance characteristics of an aircraft and can be formalized falls into the category of severe damage. Inflicting this damage means that you have most likely damaged the enemy to the point where their combat effectiveness is critically reduced. The enemy can still fight on, but their effectiveness depends on their skills, aircraft model, control method and the nature of the damage.

Severe damage to a plane is considered to be: destruction of all engines (or destroying one engine if there is only one left), destruction of all elements of the control system (or the remaining controls left), which makes impossible to control the ailerons, elevators and rudders, separation of more than half of at least one wing, and destruction of all horizontal stabilizers (or the remainder of the horizontal stab).

Severe damage to helicopters is considered to be: destruction of all engines (or destroying one engine if there is only one left), tail separation (except for helicopters with coaxial rotors), damage to the tail propeller’s control rod or shaft, which makes it impossible to control it (except for helicopters with coaxial rotors), destruction of any propeller shaft, and destruction of any transmission.

How rewards will work with this new mechanic

When you deal severe damage to an enemy aircraft, you’ll receive a new “Severe damage” reward. This reward is 80% of the reward for a destruction. At the same time in the statistics window, the number of enemy aircraft destroyed will be supplemented with a “+” symbol by the number of current severe damages. For example, the entry “3+2” means that 3 vehicles were destroyed, and 2 more were severely damaged and are still alive. When a severely damaged enemy is destroyed or they repair themselves, they’ll disappear from this column.

If you continue the attack and achieve the destruction of the enemy, you’ll receive the remaining 20% of the reward. Accordingly, the reward for severe damage and subsequent independent finishing off the enemy is equal to the reward that’s given for destroying the enemy without the severe damage mechanic (80% + 20% = 100%).

If you didn’t manage to finish off a severely damaged aircraft and they flew away, this status will remain assigned to them. If your ally finishes them off, the following will happen: they’ll receive a new message saying “Aircraft finished off” or “Helicopter finished off”, 40% of the reward for destroying the enemy and an increase in the number of destroyed aircraft in the statistics window.

When this happens, you’ll be shown the “A kill of a severely damaged aircraft / helicopter counted” message and the destruction of an aircraft will be counted in the statistics window, but without occurring an additional reward, since you did not play any role in finishing off this enemy, and had previously received a reward for your action. The overall reward when two players play a part in the destruction of an enemy is higher with the severe damage mechanic: 80% to the player that caused the severe damage, and 40% to the player who got the finishing off. As a result, both players will receive a kill in the statistics window for defeating the enemy, which is taken into account when unlocking camouflages and completing tasks.

An aircraft can only receive severe damage once: all subsequent damage by the same or other players can only be normal or critical damage, or will lead to the destruction of the aircraft. Therefore, the destruction of one aircraft can only be counted towards two players: the one who inflicted severe damage and the one who finished off the aircraft.

A new “Severe Damage” item will also appear in the summary at the end of the battle if you received at least one of these rewards in battle. In the detailed table for the tooltip for the “Destruction of aircraft” statistics item, a new column will be shown: “Finishing off”, which can take the following values: “Own target”, if you destroyed an enemy who was previously severely damaged by yourself (20% reward), “Ally’s target”, if you destroyed an enemy who was severely damaged by an ally (40% reward), or “—” if you destroyed an enemy without severe damage (100% reward).

Aircraft crashing with Severe Damage

If a severely damaged aircraft crashes, its destruction is awarded to the player who caused the severe damage. As soon as this occurs, they’ll receive the rest of the award.

Repairing severely damaged aircraft at an airfield

After successfully repairing an aircraft with severe damage at an airfield, the player who caused the severe damage will have this severe damage subtracted from their statistics (the issued reward will not be taken away). They’ll also not receive an increase in the number of destroyed enemies in their statistics, if after the repair, the battle ends and the aircraft crashes or is destroyed by allies.

After repairing an aircraft with severe damage, it can receive new severe damage again, as if it was a new aircraft having just spawned in.

Written off aircraft with severe damage at the end of the battle

At the end of a battle, all severely damaged aircraft will be considered destroyed — players in this state will receive the following message: “Written off due to severe damage”. A death in the statistics will be credited, and the player who caused the severe damage will be credited with a destroyed aircraft, where the rest of the reward will be given. This is done so that players with a severely damaged aircraft don’t try to hide and avoid combat in the hope that they’ll not be finished off.

Test this new mechanic and share your impressions!

So that you can familiarize yourself with the changes described above, we’ve prepared a special event for testing this new mechanic. These are available in the “Events & Tournaments” window. There are 3 events in total: initial ranks, Arcade Battles (Battle Rating 1.0 to 1.7), average ranks, Arcade Battles (Battle Rating 4.3 to 5.3), high ranks, Realistic Battles (Battle Rating 11.0 to 12.0). All events follow the normal rules of the specified game mode with the economy and achievements enabled (except Battle Pass tasks, challenges, and stages for the Sword of Justice event in order to avoid match-fixing battles as this test would be sparsely populated).

Events are available from February 20th (11:00 GMT) until February 23rd (11:00 GMT).

We welcome all of your feedback on the Severe Damage mechanic in this forum thread.


Damn, no 7.0-8.7 testing? I’d love to see how post-war / korean war jets do against this mechanic, as they are the most susceptible to this type of damage.


Surely this wont have any mayor repercussions that will affect player behavior and the economy in any negative way and lead to a backlash to revert the feature.


Will Severe Damage count towards the (2, 3, 4 Kill) Skill Bonus?


What aircraft would you think of with that configuration?

Losing 1 engine on an Su-25 constitutes severe damage.

A certain amount of “help”?

For example: F-82E

There are many photographs and videos where the same Su-25 flies calmly with one engine


I mean the tasks for the achievement “help in shooting down planes”

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“Mission Kill” is a much more accurate and better way to describe the mechanics of this new system. Aircraft that is so damaged, leading to a crash (fully destroyed) or needing to return to base. Therefore, unable to complete/perform its mission.


This sounds, overall, a positive.


I’d assume, since it’s operable by both pilots, just a critical hit.

That isn’t an Su-25 “flying calmly”, that’s an Su-25 that landed with severe damage.

I’d hope so.

I love this mechanic as presented! At last, the final solution to “kill-stealing”.

QUESTION: Would you consider implementing a similar system for Ground Battles? For cases where, for example, you destroy both the mobility and firepower of a tank, thus rendering it incapable of fighting or escaping, but a teammate finishes him off.


Getting 80% of the credit for a kill, even if you didn’t fully kill it? Hell yeah, now that plane that’s in a fiery flatspin that my teammate just stole from me can actually reward me.


To land, you first need to get to the allied airfield, right?

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So there will be no gliding back to base, no trying to return to base with 1 wing or maybe even just half a wing and no trying to get back to base using flaps/engine throttle controll when your tail is messed up? We’re already having to deal with the “to damaged to be repaired” after struggeling to get back to the af and now this? Doesn’t that mess up the hole dynamic of air rb for example?


I don’t see a reason to, and it’d likely flop like the recent scouting addition.

A gun or engine is easily repaired. Simple as. With a good crew, it might take 10-15 seconds with no crew members knocked out.
As for aircraft, a dead engine can only be fixed after flying 30km+

I can see an addition of a higher reward for assists while an enemy tank is damaged, and thinking about it that may be what you meant.

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Nothing was mentioned about the lack of ability to return to base, and it should not change any aspect of repairs.


Why did you take away the favored killer mechanic? It was such a good addition which kinda reduced call of duty like gameplay which severely relies on ping. Add it back

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Bro, if the SU-25 in War Thunder isn’t a “flying tank” then what is?

Speaking from my experience playing SPAA, you need like 3-4 stinger hits to kill it, and even then it will likely retain control long enough to suicide crash into you. The SU-39 is even worse, my record against it was 7 stingers.

In Air RB I regularly see SU-25 tank 2x sidewinder hits, and keep on flying just long enough to allow someone else to snatch the kill.

If there’s an aircraft that doesn’t live up to reputation it is the A-10


This is the question. The company wants to do this way, that equipment that actually lives for a long time goes into the hangar because of one missile and frivolous damage

That is if the stinger tracks, I love my Su-25T because of the IRCM.

It’s able to eat stingers pretty easily, though it’s a pretty low-tolerance airframe. Give it any guns or large missiles and it’ll crumble.

Looks good so far… Guess we’ll see how it plays