Hello everyone, or rather good evening, because as you’ll see, most of this tutorial will take place at night.
Tired of not being able to see anything when it’s dark?
I’m going to show you the different night vision systems that are present in the game (even though night battles are currently disabled).
Follow the guide!
!! Detail !! that tutorial are a traduction with Deepl of my work in french section. Images are in french, copy/past form the original topic.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, here’s where to find the commands for using NVGs:
Let’s take a closer look at these controls:
Night vision mode: Activates or deactivates the night vision system. If you start a battle at night, the NVDs will be automatically activated when you switch to sniper view.
Infrared projector: Activate or deactivate the tank’s IR projector(s) (see the chapter on IR projectors below).
Change thermal sight colour scheme: Change the contrast of the thermal sight (see the chapter on thermal sights below).
A little further down, you’ll also find a rather useful command: change the colour of your sight (the basic colours are black and red, but some custom sights have different colours).
-2) How do you know if a vehicle is equipped with NVD?
To find out if a tank is equipped, or not, with NVD, (IL or IR), you need to look at the modifications. One or two symbols with a tank in the middle, coloured green or white, indicate the type of night vision equipment available. If a vehicle is equipped with both systems, select the system you want to use for the gunner (and the commander, depending on the vehicle). Move your mouse over the module in question to see which equipment is available for the different crew positions (see the screenshots in the spoiler).
-3) Light Intensification ( LI ) systems?
Unfairly referred to as “Infrared”, this equipment allows ambient light (stars, moon, headlights, lampposts, etc.) to be increased considerably, up to 30,000x. Because they need light to work, these sights are useless if the weather is overcast or the night is very dark with no moon. They are useless during the day. They are also fitted with a safety device that cuts out in the event of overexposure. If the ILs are activated in the game in broad daylight, the result is an intense light-green colour with virtually no detail.
In almost all cases, vehicles fitted with IL NVDs are also fitted with infrared headlights (also known as IR headlights). These are normal headlights, but fitted with a filter (usually removable) that only lets through certain ranges of infrared rays that can be picked up by the NVD LI. You can see below the difference with the first images when the projector is switched on.
!!! WARNING !!! While these searchlights are very effective for seeing your targets or possibly blinding them if they are themselves equipped with NVD IL, they are also perfect for making you spot from very very far away by an opponent who is precisely equipped with IL. It’s therefore advisable to use this searchlight sparingly for short searches or to cast doubt on something.
-4) Thermal camera imaging systems ( IR )
Commonly referred to as “thermal”, these cameras truly deserve the name “infrared”. These systems capture sources of infrared radiation and heat, then render an image visible to the user. Far more effective than night vision ILs because they offer much better contrast, these systems can be used both day and night.
There are 3 generations of IR cameras in the game, often referred to as Gen1, Gen2 and Gen3 (for generation 1, etc). As you might expect, the quality of images from the second generation is much better than those from the first generation, which nevertheless make it easier to spot targets, and Gen3 thermals reproduce virtually all the details filmed by the camera.
While most high-ranking MBTs and IFVs have an IR NVD, some are limited to Gen1s for the gunner, while others have no thermal camera for the commander’s optics. Below you can see the difference in quality between the 1st gen (on the Leopard 2A5) and the 2nd gen (on the Leclerc).
However, while the Leopard 2A5 only has a 1st gen camera for the gunner, the commander still has a 2nd gen thermal camera on his optic, which is very useful when you consider that some tanks don’t have one.
Finally, it’s time to use the colour scheme change command. While most people are comfortable with the basic colour scheme (white on a black background), some may find it easier to change the contrast of the thermal imagery. Below is a preview of the second colour scheme.
And for those who are still not comfortable with black and white (I’m thinking in particular of colour-blind people), it is possible to change the colours of the thermal imagery (to red or green in addition to white).
This change is made in “Options => Tank battle settings”.
!! detail !!! When you activate your IR NVDs, be careful not to change views too quickly, as activation stability is not ideal. So make sure that the thermal imaging is properly activated so that you don't get a nasty surprise when you need it.
!!! WARNING!!! To operate all these systems (both IL and IR), energy is required. Also, if your battery falls to 0% charge (due to a destroyed motor, for example), the NVDs will switch off. Once the engine has restarted, you’ll have to reactivate them manually.
!! Tip! Don't hesitate to use your IR systems to scan the area. Bushes do little to mask heat signatures and, more importantly, exhaust plumes are often visible over a hill or low obstacle.
-5) NVDs on other vehicle types
NVDs are also available on recent planes and helicopters. For pilots of both planes and helicopters, only LI NVDs are available.
Shooter cameras (for recent helicopters) and certain target designation systems (pods or integrated cameras) have an IR NVD.
This last tip brings this NVD tutorial topic to a close. I hope I’ve taught you something useful, and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or make any comments.