Reduce Multipathing for Active Radar Homing (Fox 3) Missiles in Air-Simulator Game Mode

The current multipathing feature in Air Battles negatively impacts gameplay, particularly for top-tier jets involved in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. Multipathing causes radar missiles to miss medium to low-flying targets, leading to an unrealistic, frustrating and dull experience. The Multipath effect is exaggerated by as much as 20x realistic levels with the Fox 3’s we have in game, this is just as much an issue of balance, as it is realism.

How does Multipathing work in game?

Spoiler
  • Multipathing in game begins at 100 meters and significantly affects missiles at around 95 meters, causing them to fly into the ground instead of hitting the target. Me @warthogboy09 and @skilz2kil have conducted a few tests to demonstrate how the current Multipathing works and affects missiles.

  • Video demonstration in SB: https://youtu.be/6yBV7QTuqZk
    At 0:03 you can clearly see the multipath layer at 100 meters AGL, the radar cue (Where the missile is tracking) dips sharply into the ground, at ~95 meters and below, missiles begin missing their targets.
    There are timestamps in the description if you’d like to see the results of the R27ER and AIM7M testing, they all missed when fired at varying altitudes and loft angles, even from directly above.
    This effect is the same across all gamemodes. I’ve included a clip of RB below.
    Video of R27ER missing at 94 meters above the water in RB: https://youtu.be/lLS77bliNJU

Impact on Gameplay?

Spoiler
  • This mechanic allows players to evade radar missiles incredibly easily by flying low, thus nullifying any BVR advantage and forcing close-range engagements. This “tree-hugging” meta completely diminishes the strategic depth of modern jet combat and leads to repetitive and unengaging gameplay. It also massively intensifies the disruptiveness of OP flight models such as the JAS39 Gripen, since they can approach you with complete invulnerability by sticking to the deck and popping a few flares right before the merge. It completely negates the standoff capabilities of ARH missiles altogether, leaving you helpless.

Reasons for Reduction of Multipath in Air-Simulator Mode:

Spoiler
  • Unrealistic Gameplay: Modern jets are designed for BVR combat, and the multipathing feature undermines this aspect, making gameplay feel unrealistic and overly simplified. Considering various balance issues at the lower tiers, the addition of Fox 3’s in the game would be a perfect opportunity to introduce reduced ground effects for top-tier.
  • Gameplay Balance: Reducing multipathing will encourage diverse and strategic combat scenarios, reducing the reliance on low-altitude flying and promoting more dynamic engagements. At the moment, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage by flying high and playing BVR.
  • Using Air-SB as a Play-test: Since the nature of Simulator battles is to bring a more realistic experience to RB, additionally with the EC format (Enduring Confrontation), and with the majority of the SB community being in favour of this change, I think it would be an excellent place to reduce the Multipath effect.

Counterarguments:

Spoiler
  • Spawn-Killing Concerns: While some fear that removing multipathing could lead to increased spawn-killing, this is unlikely to be a significant issue in SB. Players have multiple airfields to spawn from, reducing the risk of consistent spawn-killing near active areas. Additionally, top-tier jets have great acceleration and don’t need much time to get up to speed to get into a defensive position. I’d even argue reduction of the Multipath effect will lead to less spawn-killing, since the meta will no longer be to fly in a straight line on the deck at M1.2 towards the enemies airfields as the more dynamic gameplay will make it more difficult to advance forward on the map, areas near enemy airfields would also be extremely hazardous due to enemies being able to engage you right off one of the 3 runways around you.
  • Adaptation Period: Historical concerns over new mechanics (e.g., 30G all-aspect missiles, Phoenix, 27ER) have shown that the player base adapts over time. Similarly, reducing Multipathing for ARH missiles should be seen as a natural evolution, enhancing the game’s realism and strategic complexity. It would likely even reduce the IR slinging fur ball meta that no-one even likes in the first place.

Solution?

Spoiler

We do NOT need to completely remove the ground effect. To achieve the more dynamic gameplay I’ve proposed, we simply need to make the ground-skimming invulnerability less consistent. Making the player think twice about an engagement or an approach and promoting other, realistic missile-evading tactics such as cranking, notching and going cold, as advertised by Gaijin.

A reduction of the Multipath effect from 100 meters, down to 30-60 meters would go a very long way since it would promote actual dynamic and engaging gameplay over uneven and unpredictable terrain, whilst still keeping it somewhat easy for people that decide to play on the flatter maps like Denmark. At the moment, you can consistently stay safe even over the uneven terrain of Spain and Vietnam with little practice and I see it being abused every day I step into those games.

With recent radar and chaff changes, missile-evading tactics like notching and chaffing have become very consistent, and I firmly believe the game is ready for the realistic gameplay this would promote.

@Smin1080p @Stona_WT I sincerely hope the developers can take this into consideration.

EDIT

Regarding Polls

In retrospect I probably should’ve added a poll, didn’t expect it to get more than a few replies and I was planning on making a suggestion-post anyways.

However 2 content creators have created polls regarding the issue which generated 6,880 votes so far and counting.

The first Poll created by SIM CC ¨Aeroturtle¨ with 85% in favour of the change


The second Poll created by RB CC¨Seek¨ with 54% in favour of the change.


Please note, Seek states in the poll that ¨You wouldn’t be able to fly low to the ground and avoid dying to all radar missiles¨ Which is not the intended result of this change. There’s also no mention of it changing for Air SIM. However it goes to show, even RB players are currently in favour of changing multipathing, even if it meant you wouldn’t be able to avoid them whatsoever by flying low.

254 Likes

The fact that you can simply hug the ground and immediately negate all danger from radar missiles is plain absurd; not even talking about the realism aspect of it, but also gameplay wise.

With the addition of Fox-3 missiles, more planes at top tier will finally be able to competitively fight in BVR with very reliable weapons, which means more players will be aware of the dangers of being caught off guard at higher altitudes.

So what’s going to happen? It’s very likely that players will hug the deck even more, and the IRCCM meta will basically stay the same.

What’s even worse is, we are getting new top tier planes like the F-4F ICE and Tornado F.3 Late which are absolute bricks… How are these planes supposed to negate the merge if their opponents can simply fly low and immediately negate their most reliable tool to avoid dogfights?

It definitely has to be reduced, to the point where flying low can actually be a significant risk; you will face the danger of crashing into the ground and maybe getting splashed by the missile, or you can take actual maneuvers to evade/decoy the radar missiles.

82 Likes

Maybe add a poll?

16 Likes

Yeah this is hte big part of it. No way BVR trucks are going to survive in this meta. (current and future)

30 Likes

Hugging the ground should not be your easiest and most reliable counter in air combat in a game thats meant to be “realistic”, the multipathing effect is a real thing but it’s present to a much smaller degree in modern radars, the way it’s currently implemented is too exaggerated, making missiles miss completely at a mere 95 meters altitude, it so easy to stay under this, and players are incentivized to since it completely negates radar missiles and lets them continue to advance towards the enemy instead of having to defend properly by cranking, notching, and even going cold, it should absolutely be changed to a lower value

40 Likes

I’m going to make a suggestion post eventually, for now this is just dev server discussion, posting it here to bring it to the devs attention since now is when they’re listening to feedback

23 Likes

Good plan

(i’d vote yes :P)

12 Likes

Not just for simulator, this needs to be a thing that only belongs in arcade mode.

35 Likes

could not agree more.

More than even FOX 3’s, this patch I was looking forward to (hoping for) a reduction in multi-pathing.

Multi-pathing is just plain bad for interesting gameplay in its current state. Its far, far too easy to do, simply fly low and every missiles dives into the ground. It doesn’t matter how many are fired, or what kind, they are all wasted, so what’s the point in even having them?

About a year ago, not many people knew it existed, but now, I would say the large majority of players are aware, and because of this, everyone simply hugs the deck to avoid radar missiles, and they take all flares.

I originally liked this, because with flares and chaff being bound together, it would be impossible for airplanes with 60 countermeasures to not run out immediately. but now, with the seperation of the two countermeasure types, and the introduction of ARH missiles, I feel THIS IS THE TIME. I believe the community, can, and will adapt to a multi-path nerf, and learn other ways to defeat missiles (notching and doing a 180) but more importantly with the reduction of multi-pathing, this will lead to something even more important.

Which is people playing at altitude, where airplanes belong. It is quite sad to fly a modern 4th generation aircraft, designed to fly high, and fast, only to hug the deck the entire time. It feels like driving a really fast tank in a 2-dimmensional plane, because using the 3-rd dimension is pointless and actually counter-productive. Reducing Multi-pathing will encourage players to climb in order to extend their missiles range, it will allow players to utilize features like radar elevation control, chaff now that its on a seperate keybind, cranking, going cold, recommitting, the TRUE BVR experience.

Please, @Smin1080p @Stona_WT , the SIM community desperately wants multi-pathing reduced to at least 20-40meters, or whatever is historically accurate for the missile/radar set. I say this as an admin in numerous discord communities, its truly what everyone is talking about. We want this more than we even want new airplanes and missiles, as it would make already existing airplanes and missiles feel entirely different. We have separate key binds for flares and chaff, that was the missing puzzle piece, we have it now, please reduce multi-pathing.

Thank you.

76 Likes

I´d love to see this in game (hopefully also for RB), right now missile trucks like the Tornado or even Su-27 get very hard to play since dogfighters like the JAS39 can just push them without needing to worry about SARH/ARH missile and force a dogfight. Reducing the height at which multipathing seriously affects a missile to 15-25 meters would make it so that doing that tactic would require some acutal skill and attention and would make BVR more feasable in general.

29 Likes

I would REALLY love to see a reduction of multipath on Sim. Nowadays, more than half the Sim lobbies you encounter are always on super flat maps like Denmark or Sinai, where players can easily stay under 100m off the ground.

Not only do you negate all incoming radar missiles this way, but you also force the merge on everyone.

Also, this is probably the most important point i want to make (for Sim gameplay at least), deck-huggers that carry AIM-9M can easily force the merge against every single player they run into. The missile is pretty much invisible, and not only that, its IRCCM requires you to actively flare it properly.

How are you supposed to decoy a missile you cannot see? How are sub-par planes with bad flight performance supposed to negate the merge against superior planes if they can simply hug the deck?

The AIM-9M performance on Sim is besides the point; i just want to finally consider radar missiles an actual threat.

30 Likes

Apollo you have a valid point. This turns the Fox 3 update into a noob hunter. The update should have been called “Seal Hunter.”

I believe that 40-50 Meters is a valid solution. This increases the skill cap and demands the pilot to risk more for the reward of closing the gap.

I support this action and thank you for starting the conversation.

Development team, please make BVR an option.

God Speed,

V/R,

Kraken

15 Likes

Where’s the poll chief, I spend my entire afternoon writing this issue in my post but if this is where it’s going to be done I’m more that happy, this is gonna be the single most important issue for the new patch, even more so than the ridiculous BR compression. I wrote my humble opinion in details, long read, but in case if you are interested
https://forum.warthunder.com/t/its-time-to-talk-about-multipath-and-this-patch-in-general-with-the-introduction-of-fox3/113208

19 Likes

if multi-pathing stays, the META will continue to be taking heat seeking missiles entirely.

VERY SAD.

23 Likes

Completely agree, it will be uncomfortable for players unfamiliar with how to fight radar missiles. But it will be excellent from a gameplay perspective!

10 Likes

I feel like the multipathing effect could vary depending on the radar or weapon.

For earlier missiles, I would actually support the idea to keep multipath the way it is currently, since it makes it easier for newer players to evade radar missiles without much trouble by using this mechanic, while they hopefully learn proper ways of evading radar missiles, by notching, chaffing, cranking to bleed the missile’s energy, etc.

For more modern missiles however, multipath cannot stay the way it is right now. If this mechanic stays, every single radar missile we get in the future will remain just as irelevant.

17 Likes

Implementing it by rank would also be a reasonable approach in my opinion, makes it easier for players to adapt since it happens progressively, and might be easier to implement than on an individual basis

5 Likes

Multipathing sounds like a good idea to protect newbies until you realise some ppl start to exploit it. Okey if I’m not killing someone flying low, but not okey if they use that exploit to kill me.

4 Likes

It does absolutely get exploited, especially in sim, oftentimes the only lobbies avaiable will be Sinai or Denmark, extremely flat maps where players can multipath almost everywhere, the supposed advantage radar missiles give just gets completely negated in these maps as everyone casually flies towards their enemies at max speed near the ground(or sea) without fear of being hit

11 Likes

i 120% agree with this post.

6 Likes