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War Thunder Review

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Posted: 8 months ago, last updated 3 months ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


War Thunder is a shooting game where you drive a range of vehicles in warfare combat. Similar to Wargaming's World of Warplanes it creates realistic battles on air, land, and sea. The attraction of the combat is that each vehicle or craft’s constituent parts can be targeted and damaged. Rather than having one energy bar for each vehicles you need to aim for weak spots or positions where pilots and drivers are exposed.

Each battle is divided between aviation, ground forces or fleet, rather than mixing these elements. This includes vehicles from different eras: pre-World War I naval vessels, tanks and aircraft from the Spanish Civil War and even the Iraq war and beyond. As you progress game brings in more elements fromWorld War II, Vietnam and the Cold War. You can control aircraft, ground vehicles and warships from USA, Germany, Russia, Britain, and Japan. You can also play as nations with smaller militaries or less prominence in conflicts, such as Italy, France, China and Sweden.

The land, air and sea are divided into different game modes:
  • Arcade Battles has two teams of up to 16 with vehicles from different nations. Damage is simplified although still aims to be realistic.
  • Realistic Battles are more advanced, simulating realistic physics and damage modelling. With this comes more rewards and upgrades as well as more strategic encounters. This mode can recreate historic battles.
  • Simulator Battles add more restrictions to create a believable experience, with no head up display or exterior view of the action.

A single player mode is available focusing on historical settings as well as a cooperative mode against waves of computer controlled ground vehicles and aircraft.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/12/2016, updated in 2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @GaijinEnt


Duration: It takes between half an hour and 45 minutes to play a round of this game. The length of each battle varies depending on the type of battle.
Players: You can play this with 16 players online. Cross-Platform: You can play cross-platform between PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


War Thunder

XBox Store Xbox Series X|S Free
XBox Store Xbox One Free
PlayStation Store PS5 Free
PlayStation Store PS4 Free
Steam Store PC Free
Steam Store Mac Free
This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.  

You will need PlayStation Plus (must be 18 to subscribe, then create sub-accounts for younger players who need be set as 13 or older) to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.
You will need Xbox Live Gold (must be 18 to subscribe, then configure family accounts for younger players) to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. You can buy the game and some content to get started:
  • Beginner's Bundle - M3A1 Stuart, Rasmussen's P-36A Hawk, Premium for 7 days, 500 Golden Eagles, 120 000 Silver Lions.
  • T-72AV (TURMS-T) - Premium for 15 days, 2000 Golden Eagles.
  • Full Alert Bundle - T14, BTD-1, Elco 80 ft PT-556, 1000 Golden Eagles, Premium for 7 days, 120 000 Silver Lions.

You can buy packs of Golden Eagle and Silver Lions currency which enables you to access new vehicles and speeds research. You can also buy packs of content:
  • US Beginner's Pack
  • German Starter Pack
  • USSR Starter Pack
  • USA Pacific Campaign Pack
  • Japanese Pacific Campaign
  • T-55AM-1 Pack
  • Super AMX-30 Pack
  • AV-8A Harrier Pack 
The following in-game purchases are available:

War Thunder: Apache Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £41.74

War Thunder: Beginner's Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £3.99

War Thunder: Early Access Advanced Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £44.99

War Thunder: Early Access Starter Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £15.99

War Thunder: Full Alert Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £37.49

War Thunder: Prinz Eugen Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £49.99

War Thunder: Strv 103-0 Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £41.74

War Thunder: T-72Av (Turms-T) Bundle

XBox Store Xbox One £49.99

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 due to occasional scenes of mild violence. Game features combat in the 1st and 3rd person using WWII aircraft and engaging in dog fights and missions against ground targets. In some of the missions it is possible to fire upon enemy soldiers and allies alike , however the violence is not realistic. The game features online playing capability which may involve real-time interaction with other players.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Rating

This game is enjoyed by 12+ year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our War Thunder Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@GaijinEnt) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

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Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to War Thunder or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to War Thunder, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB TEEN games.

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