War Thunder Rolls Out Ground Forces Open Beta

Boom boom boom boom.

Everything I know about tanks, I learned from Brendan. My understanding is that tanks are big and made of metal and that some people like them quite a lot. So huzzah! After being in paid beta for a while, War Thunder‘s tank-adding expansion Ground Forces has launched into open beta. Watching the launch trailer, I am intrigued to discover that the pokey-out bit on a tank is actually a big gun, and that tanks are used for fighting.

While the ultimate idea of Ground Forces is that tanks will co-exist with planes on the same battlefield, picking at and supporting each other, right now tank battles are not fully integrated. The two will be occasionally united for testing, developers Gaijin say, until everything’s all ready for war to rage fully across land and skies. Or you can just have a go at the ‘Combined Arms’ fights in a Custom Battle. The full planned lineup of tanks isn’t place yet either, but eighty-odd wheelyguns from the USSR and Germany factions seems like a fair starting point.

The skies aren’t forgotten either. Update 1.41 also added ten new aeroplanes, including several variants, reduced repair prices for many planes, tweaked balance, and fiddled with other bits.

Tell us about tanks, dear readers. I realise that the weird compulsion of video games culture to pick sides means War Thunder and Ground Forces are often pitted against World of Tanks and World of Warplanes in hot debates to the death, but I understand Gaijin are shooting more for realism than Wargaming’s arcadeness, yes? Which is your favourite tank? If your favourite tank were a biscuit, which type of biscuit would it be? Tank you in advance for sharing, gang.


  1. Hunchback says:

    It’s great.

    Need a lot of bug-fixing and stuff, but it’s so much better than WoT that it’s not even worth it to discuss.

    • Palindrome says:

      Whereas I think that WoT is so much better its not worth discussing it.

      I really didn’t enjoy my time in the closed beta and its about as ‘realistic’ as world of tanks as well. I was expecting so much more, if only to shock Wargaming out of its complacency enough to finally fix their damn matchmaker, but alas its basically another arcade game.

      • Halk says:

        Neither game is better than the other. They have different priorities in mind.

        I like War Thunder because of the improved damage model (no tank-wide HP system thank god), improved ballistic model, and more historically accurate configurations.

        I like WoT for things like more maps, quicker games, and a more developed community (the social aspect is important for these kinds of games).

        You’re oversimplifying the differences in realism and scope between the two games.

    • Elmarby says:

      I disagree. 1.41 has all the hallmarks of a patch that was hurried out the door before it was ready.
      It is unpolished, buggy and above all has extraordinarily poor balance. I hate to say it, but the Russia bias is evident for all to see in the Tier 1 bracket.

      This game can become a good, more historical counterpart to World of Tanks. But it has a long, loooong way to go before it assume that title . Especially if Gaijin keeps patching and implementing features as erratically as they have been doing the last year.

      • sith1144 says:

        Looks more like a german bias to me, germans in the queue outnumber soviets at least 5:1, and I’ve seen it go as high as 10:1. Also, palindrome, did you only play arcade then? because I think in simulator mode it’s a lot better than world of tanks whereas arcade mode is a bit boring.

        • Palindrome says:

          I played all the modes. To be honest I didn’t really notice much difference between them aside from reduced player feedback and poorly limited vision, at least it should be restricted to vision blocks and periscopes rather than the odd system that they have at the moment.
          What Warthunder has going for it is really nice tank models and decent physics, apart from that WoT is a better game.

        • Elmarby says:

          The queue has little to do with the state of the balance. if you ever look at a store shelf of model tanks it is all German too, even though model kits of other tanks are just as interesting to put together.
          People have this annoying panzer fetish.
          None of it means the t-50 should be neigh on invulnerable to a lot of tanks it goes up against. Gaijin have apparently issued a hotfix upping its battle rating as well as that of the Premium Sherman which was admittedly quite OP too.

      • Hunchback says:

        As i said, it needs a lot of patching to fix the balance and stuff, but that’s perfectly fine, considering it just entered open beta and only has 2 nations. WoT took years to get where it is today, and apart of the balance (which is still biased towards the russians, as always), it has everything better – The physics are amazing, compared to WoT, the damage models, the number of modules on a tank, the models of the tanks and all the graphics…
        I suppose it’ll be even better once real mixed battles start happening for real, with planes and ground vehicles controlled by players.

        So yeah, i believe this is a very solid foundation for a future tank game, which is obviously still in beta and suffers from a ton of problems related to that.

        P.S. No “HP BAR” tanks FTW!

        P.P.S. I would strongly advise playing in “Realistic Battles”, it’s much much better than Arcade. I don’t like Realistic with the planes, but with the tanks it’s really much better in every way.

        • Palindrome says:

          Tanks may not have HP bars but they do have lots of critical components, it seems to me that tanks take about the same number of hits to pop in Warthunder and WoT.

          WoT isn’t balanced towards the Russians and arguably never has been. Its little more than forum chatter.

          • Hunchback says:

            Dunno how it is nowadays, it’s been about 6 months that i played it, but i got up to a Ferdi after years (literally) of farming, and in my experience it was biased towards Russian tanks and premiums, ofc… They even had to remove the Type-59 from the market cause it was so op it was retarded and we ended up having games with 3/4 of the tanks being T-59… :/

            Anyways, whatever :)

          • Eggman says:

            Type 59 was/is a Chinese tank, not Russian.
            Anyway, while WoT has some really powerful Russian tanks, it also has really powerful US heavies, French autoloaders, etc. T57 HT and pre-nerf Foch 155 were at least as OP as any Russian tank had been.

          • battles_atlas says:

            Its statistical fact that, based on win rate, the US tree is strongest. The “Russian bias” only really applies to the stupid kv-1s, the least balanced tank in the game, which has survived in that state because it is WoT frontman SerB’s personal favourite

    • vopperough says:

      Having played loads of WoT and spent alot of time in the closed beta of Ground Forces i can say that i love both equally as much.

      I play WoT when i feel like playing something quick and arcade-ish, and i play Ground Forces when i want something more advanced and tactical.

  2. Gap Gen says:

    The green cross of truth shall determine who shall be smote and who shall be saved. Only the righteous can stand before its pinpoint gaze.

  3. Koozer says:

    The t-34/Rich Tea biscuit. They’re simple with an understated ability to get the job done. They also don’t do well when dipped in hot drinks.

    • Gap Gen says:

      The T-26 in the game is probably a ginger snap, given the bottom half of it is entirely made of rust.

  4. Lacero says:

    They’re like angry houses Alice.

  5. tigershuffle says:

    StuG III – Finland -Winter War = Bourbon
    Achilles – Custard Cream

    Usual beta wonkiness…..but enjoyable all the same.
    I suppose its on a par with WOT when it was in beta a couple of years ago, but the added dimension of having the rather lovely aeroplanes makes it potentially a brilliant game.

    Hopefully they will steer clear of wargamings mistakes.
    If they implement historical gun sights/reticles then ill be even happier.

    If youd rather play a decent WW2 tank sim then check out Steel Fury with all the mods and whistles.

  6. Synesthesia says:

    I entered war thunder waiting to try my new joystick, only to get my ass handed to me repeatedly by M&K users. They have such an advantage its not even funny. They basically have a sort of fly-by-wire system, where the aircrat automatically tries to center its nose to where you are aiming your mouse, by automatically moving the control surfaces. Very, very arcadey.

    Which is a shame, because the simulated bits of it are actually pretty nice. And its beautiful. More good looking than any other flight sim i know of. Anyone tried the new sturmovik?

    • Dominic White says:

      If you don’t want to play a more arcadey game, then don’t play arcade mode, duh. In Full Simulation mode, proper flight-sticks rule supreme, and those lucky bastards with head-tracking setups have even more of an advantage.

    • Stuka_JU87 says:

      Just get Il-2 BoS, it is excellent. War Thunder is horrible for joystick users.

      • All is Well says:

        How is BoS at the moment? I understand it’s partly done, but it’s sort of hard to get an overview of just how done by reading the devblog. Are there systems missing or is it more or less feature-complete?

  7. All is Well says:

    I decided to try my hand at the ground war yesterday, and while I feel quite competent up in the air I am apparently awful at tanking. Everyone around me were firing at stuff I couldn’t see, and stuff I couldn’t see was firing at me as well, so I quickly clambered back into my trusty Zeke.
    It didn’t help that the viewpoint (at least in the highest realism mode) is awkward as hell, it’s neither really third-person nor really first-person.

    edited for grammar

    • BrotherCabbage says:

      It’s meant to seem like you’re the commander standing in the commander hatch, without the danger that implies. If you look down, you’ll see that your viewpoint is always where the commander hatch is. It’s different for every tank.

      • All is Well says:

        I gathered as much, but for some reason it was still very awkward. Maybe something to do with the FoV, or the camera being too high above the turret? I wish I could explain it more clearly but I can’t – all I can say is it seemed off to me, and that I’d greatly prefer it if Simulator Battles had a true internal view. Maybe with switching between driver/commander/gunner viewpoints.

    • Asurmen says:

      Pretty much my take of War Thunder’s tank mode.

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    “Boom boom boom boom” says the image caption, which immediately made an old song by Vengaboys play in my head, which after the booming goes “I want you in my room, let’s spend the night together from now until forever”. Damn you RPS, damn you brain for making me associate booming to eurodance/pop songs.

    • flippet says:

      If your mind jumps to Vengaboys before Blackadder then you need to reassess which cultural influences have gained priority within your psyche.

  9. Balanuir says:

    Maybe it’s time to give them another shot. Last time I tried to play, the Mac client was so broken that it didn’t even install correctly, and after manual fiddling it crashed when it tried to update. Never even got into the game. Not a good sign for their code quality.

    • Balanuir says:

      Yeah, still crappy code quality. On high detail settings it crashes when loading the first menu. But at least it’s playable on low details now. If they can get their arses out of the piles of money and get someone to write code that doesn’t suck, this might be worth another look.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, support for Mac/Linux can be wanting sometimes for software in general. The Windows client works fine, just in case that’s of any use to you.

  10. Richard Burton says:

    “Tell us about tanks, dear readers.” Hi, Alice. Can I just say that I feel so sad about the dumbing-down of gaming? I mean, we have an article about tanks and gaming and no mention of ‘Steel Beasts’ (www.steelbeasts.com). Granted, it has the modern focus, not WWII, but still? And I how so wish we had an equally high-fidelity simulation of WWII Pacific carrier ops where we can fly Zeroes and Hellcats around with such gorgeous visuals. All us naval aviation fans can do is fire up old IL-2 Pacific Fighters and dream of such lovely gfx. The closest I will get to these nice gfx is my copy of Birds of Steel on the PS3. For me, the most fun in a flight-sim has always been carrier landings, either modern jets or WWII. How I wish we had more realistic simulations of this, with rolling and pitching decks in a storm, rather than dumbing the fidelity forever down for everybody so it’s easier to fly than old F/A-18 Interceptor on the Commodore Amiga…