The Multipath Problem

Disclaimer for the sim players: This is aimed primarily at air realistic battles, but the way Gaijin has coded multipath is that they can only enable or disable it on a gamemode basis, but the altitudes are on a radar/missile basis for all gamemodes.

I’m sure you all know what multipathing is what at this point - but to reiterate quickly for the few players that do not know: Multipath propagation is the effect where at a low enough altitude the actual radar target merges with the ground because of two radar returns from the ground. In War Thunder, presently on the live servers the altitude where this effect begins taking place is 100m, which allows you to just “hug the ground” and eliminate all* threat of radar missiles. In the dev server, this was set to 50m.

* as long as the radar missile isn’t launched at a 45deg vertical angle or higher relative to you, in which case it’ll just hit you in the forehead

This mechanic is one of the best mechanics in the game from a gameplay perspective and the only reason it retains some sort of resemblance of an actual game at high tier with our current level of missiles. With more advanced active radar missile homing missiles being added this patch and more to come in the future air RB will become extremely unenjoyable for many players and will lead to many of the current playerbase who already hardly tolerate the current state of top tier to just leave altogether.

Currently, I believe that this will not be a popular change with most of the playerbase and most of the complaints stem from a small fraction of players, most notably from the sim community, that a sizeable portion of the community that is sick of the current IRCCM meta has unfortunately has begun to parrot not unlike the fiasco with the economy changes some time ago where an unnamed individual swindled most of the playerbase with colourful pictures to vote for an objectively worse economy for anyone that’s not a Chinese bot with a 30% winrate. I don’t like the way ARB plays currently either with the whole IRCCM meta, but there’s worse alternatives. We’re looking at one right now.

The current multipathing changes are simply not good for the health of the game. Some points to consider from a gameplay perspective:

  • Conventional methods of dodging missiles are not fully feasible in a multiplayer game with this kind of 16v16 format in ARB, you cannot perform the 3-9 maneuver against multiple people from multiple angles. Sure, you can say you can turn around, but then this begins a cycle where all gameplay is going in circles until someone hits the other person or runs out of missiles - more likely the latter with good enough play.

  • You cannot outplay someone if your plane is without missiles, if they have more than you, you will lose by default if they are not extremely bad.

  • The current effect with multipath allows for close range dynamic fights that will disappear without it.

  • A reduction to 50m will have nearly the same effect as removing it entirely. Many trees are taller than 50m, many canyons and ridges are unusable at 50m, and when missiles detonate on the ground there is a good chance that they will critically damage the aircraft at these altitudes, where you only have 10 meters of relatively safe altitude where you will usually only receive minimal damage.

  • With the reduction of multipathing’s effectiveness, gameplay will inherently become passive. Not everyone wants to sit and cycle with the enemy team for 25 minutes.

  • Multipathing actually enables different playstyles - aircraft that are not missile buses can actually perform in their intended role of short range combat, rather than limiting all gameplay for every aircraft to sitting 15-30km away from the red team and going in circles and launching until you run out of missiles, which you can already do within the current meta. And on top of that, you can still launch ARHs on the foreheads of people that are lower than you that are trying to go for you in multipath.

  • Multipathing enables stock aircraft to actually be playable.

“your just bad lol you just want brainless and skilless gameplay where u can bomb and refuse to learn how to notch and chaff”
Chances are you’re just as bad as the players you’re trying to insult. The “skilled” gameplay you ask for is gameplay where the skill ceiling is doing a 360 to defeat all the missiles going for you and doing this on loop until one of you dies.

“But this offers more realistic gameplay!”
Realism isn’t conducive to good gameplay. If we had realism, we’d have aircraft that you wouldn’t be able to take off because of random technical failure. If we had realism, we’d have chances for your missiles or avionics to malfunction. If we had realism, you wouldn’t be able to pull more than 9 G because it’d be a headache for your crew chief. You get the point by now.

“i’m sick and tired of this irccm meta, i just want something new”
Sure. Me too. But this will lead to worse overall gameplay. And if you’re not deterred by this - be careful what you wish for.

Currently, the path forward regarding this problem and retaining a semblance of some sort of gameplay from my point of view is either removing splash damage from missiles, reworking any assets (i.e. trees) that are over 30m tall and adjusting multipath so it actually scales with objects rather than just terrain, OR just keeping multipath at 100m. Keep in mind, I’m keeping my scope narrowed to this specific multipath issue, rather than the gamemodes at large.

I’m not ignorant enough to not consider what the people in the forums think, so here’s the obligatory polls, on a gamemode basis:

Multipathing for ARB
  • I agree, keep multipath as is on live
  • I agree, but multipath needs to be adjusted
  • Don’t know/Want to see results/Other
  • I disagree, multipath should remain as is on dev
  • I disagree, remove multipath
0 voters
Multipathing for ASB
  • I agree, keep multipath as is on live
  • I agree, but multipath needs to be adjusted
  • Don’t know/Want to see results/Other
  • I disagree, multipath should remain as is on dev
  • I disagree, remove multipath
0 voters

Full agreement. The videogame should have game mechanics and making the game a flying in circles sim is not condusive to good gameplay.


Check out my write-up regarding why I think excessive multipath is bad for the game.


Going to say what I said in the other thread about multipath changes should they come to air realistic:


I did and you told me my points were irrelevant as they had nothing to do with sim and were only for fox 3 missiles, guess what bud monkey’s paw curls.


It’s insanely easy to dodge ARH. Literally turn around, get low (like 1km altitude, if you were already flying at that altitude you are doing something wrong), fly on afterburn for 10 seconds and turn back in and you’ve dodged any ARH in game.


Absolutely not.

It is far too excessive and it’s been proven for the past year to be far too easily abusable. The point of a change is to promote more dynamic gameplay. Consenting to radar missile combat should not be a thing.


Ok but you have to deal with 16 players shooting fox3s at you at a million angles potentially.




And then what? Assuming you didn’t also fire an ARH at where it’s coming from the enemy plane is just gaining more and more positional advantage on you. At some point you’re gonna have to fight, and you won’t be able to unless you have more missiles than they do.


And…? Literally fly away from them for 10 seconds and you have defeated infinite fox3s


You know they can just keep fox3s right?


There’s a neat little thing called your team (they will also mindlessly fire missiles without getting kills but at least will let you re-engage)

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ah, so rather than hoping that I have more missiles than my enemy, I am hoping that my team has more missiles than the enemy team, very nuanced


Unless the 16v16 ARB dynamic is changed significantly, 95m multipathing has to be kept to keep the game playable at top tier.


I didn’t bomb my way though the ranks just to be forced to actually play the game and dogfight at top tier. I only want to launch MISSILES.

Remove multipath completely, do it now


Plays modern weapons with modern jets

Complains you cant use vietnam tactics of hugging the deck to avoid radar missiles with modern weapons on modern jets

What are you supposed to do when you get a MICA fired at you headon from 4km? I don’t know, what are you expected to do when a magic 2 is fired at you from your six at 0.8km? What are you expected to do when you’re in a p47 on the deck going 250 and a spitfire is above you diving on you and going 600?

You don’t do anything because you already messed up. If you’re in that situation you did something wrong

With multipathing how it is right now even mediocre players can hug the deck and completely avoid having to the think about, deal with or engage at all with a huge part of the game, a part of the game many planes like your favourite plane the F15C rely on to be effective.

Yes, you will no longer be able to play modern jets like props and get into a massive furball in the center of the map like you have been complaining about for years. Boo hoo.

I agree with 16 vs 16 this could be problematic, but 16 vs 16 is already hellish with all the irccm missiles being fired at you in a massive furball that makes the game look about as realistic as ace combat or battlefield 2042. Arguing not to nerf multipathing because 16 vs 16 might make it frustrating instead of arguing harder for 16 vs 16 to be changed makes no sense. Arguing not to nerf multipathing because all these various issues like chaff/notching sometimes not working when executed perfectly or radar missiles sometimes not tracking or whatever makes no sense, why not argue for those systems to be improved instead?

What we have in game is the equivalent of giving us F1 cars but saying no one can go over 150 km/h. It makes no sense and is stupid. We’re getting modern planes. With modern weapons. Why shouldn’t we use modern tactics and stop taking every fight like props?


There should be a game mode like arcade battles to achieve the kind of game discussed in this thread.