"Preparation for Swimming" - Gameplay Mechanic in Ground Battles

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
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“Preparation for Swimming”

As of writing this thread, there are 52 amphibious ground vehicles in War Thunder.

All of these fulfill the present requirement of their real-life counterparts needing minimal or no “preparation”. (For example BMP series of vehicles requiring only a button press)

There are also a number of in-game vehicles that used to be amphibious, but later had this feature removed because the real-life counterpart needed extensive “preparation” to swim (M551, vehicles based on M113, M3 Bradley etc.)

These preparations ususally involve the crew exiting the vehicle to close valves, check for leaks, seal certain mechanisms, and in some cases install air intakes or erect flotation screens.

Vehicles such as these made significant weight related sacrifices (such as being less armored) specifically to maintain ability to swim, and that’s why I think they deserve this capability in-game.

This can be achieved by the addition of a new mechanic called “preparation for swimming”

How this would work:

  1. Add a new keybind called “Preparation for amphibious operation”
  2. Upon activating this keybind in an eligible vehicle, the “preparation” process starts. Depending on the specific vehicle this “preparation” could simply be a short timer (like repairs) and/or a full fledged animation.
  3. Certain vehicles will have restrictions in their “prepared” state, such as inoperable armament or limited field of fire.
  4. After amphibious operation is concluded, the player can “unprepare” their vehicle with the same keybind. This step would also involve a short timer and/or animation.

The various types of “preparation”

Flotation screen

m551 amphibious

Some amphibious vehicles are too heavy to float on their own, and can only swim with the help of a flotation screen. The screen and internal air volume displaces water for the required extra buoyancy. Installation method varies, but usually entails simply erecting the screen. Examples of in-game vehicles that had this feature: M3 Bradley, M551 Sheridan, Strv-103, M4 Sherman (DD variant), FV721 Fox

Protective Screens


Some amphibious vehicles sit very low in the water, meaning the waterline and waves may come over the hull. As such, screens to block out water from flooding the engine and other spaces is required. Pictured above: Ikv-91

Inflatable pontoons

k21 amphibious

A variant of the South Korean K-21 IFV can open it’s side panels and deploy two inflatable pontoons for extra flotation. (Not yet in-game)

Miscellaneous preparations

M113 swimming

Other vehicles may require miscellaneous preparations such as closing valves, sealing certain mechanisms, activating bilge pumps, and extending trim vanes. Depending on the specific variant the M113 family of APC fits into this category.

This mechanic would not only add a new dimension to existing vehicles, but also facilitate unique additions in the future. For example, I could easily see the next year’s D-day reward being a DD Sherman or Valentine. With this mechanic, the flotation screen would not only be cosmetic, but an actual functional part.

Sherman DD

What do you think? Also, if I have missed any notable vehicles or means of preparation, please let me know. Cheers!


+1 yes please.


If you’ve ever wondered why the FV721 Fox has this “frame” all around, that’s where the flotation screen goes.


The screen would be carried on the vehicle in collapsed state, taking only 2 minutes to raise it. Handling in water was not acceptable, as the only source of propulsion was it’s wheels. As such the screen was only carried early in it’s service.


1 Like

though i think this would be cool to see
what would the real ingame use of this be?
there are very few deep bodies of water that cant be crossed by bridges, and the ones that cant are usually in the open and trying to cross them makes you a sitting duck

There used to be quite a few spots but gaijin removed them with map reworks

You are right, sadly. I wish that maps allowed amphibious vehicles to use their ability more often, and in a way that was relevant to the gameplay.

Right now I can only think of these examples.

European Province



Huge Tunisia

Red Desert

red desert



As for this suggestion, I made it with the future in mind, and not necessarily as things stand now. Existing maps could change, new maps with more waterways could be added. I don’t expect this mechanic to make it into game anytime soon.

I plan to write another suggestion about map design, specifically relating to how bridges, waterways, and other obstacles could provide more nuances to gameplay.

For example destructible bridges, or bridges that have weight limits (only allowing vehicles under a certain tonnage to cross). The mechanic exists in game (the plank bridge on Tunisia) but is not utilized to it’s full potential.

If bridges cannot always be depended on, that makes amphibious ability more relevant.

we can only dream for “Levolution”

it would be neat to see a map where you can destroy the enemy’s bridge and force them to take a longer way to the objective or be amphibious

Yup. Would certainly be more interesting than holding “W” to the nearest cap zone, across a map comprised entirely of easily driveable terrain.

Also, there’s some historical precedent for this. Photo: British troops crossing the Rhine in LVTs.


This pic goes hard, ngl