War Thunder beginner; s guide: the best tier 1 planes

Get off the ground with our recommendations for the perfect launch pad

War Thunder beginner&’s guide: the best tier 1 planes

War Thunder planes

It takes a few minutes to learn the flying game in War Thunder, but master it your whole life (not literally, so please don’t try). With a few tutorials behind you and time spent selecting ground targets and having fun duels, you’ll quickly find out that each plane has its own strengths and weaknesses. There are over 90 planes in Level 1 alone, so you can save yourself a lot of time grinding by selecting the correct plane and working on it.

Whether you want to dominate the skies with feather-light fighters or cover the battlefield with bombers, War Thunder covers every aspect of aerial combat. So for those looking to get wings in one of the best airplane games, these are tier 1 planes to get your hands on.

So you know, we’re not including any premium planes or packages in this list, figuring out that most beginners probably don’t want to dive into their wallets just yet. And if you’re looking for endless action but don’t want to break the bank, check out the best free PC games.

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Beginner’s Guide to War Thunder – Which country should I play in? There are no terrible choices when it comes to choosing a country to play War Thunder, each of them has strengths and weaknesses.

A Beginner&’s Guide to War Thunder – Which Country Should I Play?

There are no terrible choices when it comes to choosing a country to play War Thunder, each of them has strengths and weaknesses. If you feel like a patriot you can choose your own country (if it is in the game) or if you have a specific favorite plane, choose the correct country and work on it (or enjoy it right away if you happen to be particularly interested in the P-26 Peashooter) . It’s not like you have to religiously stick to one country, playing two or three (or all five) countries is good for mixing game styles to keep it fresh, learning about the strengths and weaknesses of different planes and allowing planes of one country to repair in time while playing others. The information below is for airplanes only, I’m afraid I’m not really keeping up with the relative powers of the tanks.



Unless you have strong preferences, starting in the Soviet Union isn’t a bad idea; you get a bonus premium plane for the first country you fly and the I-153 the USSR gets is a great plane, very handy to put into service without researching and unlocking it. The Soviet tech tree is extensive, with some decent fighter lines and good end-game jet options with the MiG-17 fighter and Il-28 bomber. They have a wide range of light bombers / ground bombers, including the iconic Il-2 Sturmovik, as well as medium and heavy bomber options. The only area they really lack is heavy fighters, the Pe-3 series is quite weak, but the Yak-9T / K with 37mm and 45mm guns respectively are brutally effective against bombers.

The UK

Great Britain

Britain is another good option for novice players, with some great fighters once you pass the biplanes. Hurricanes are early workhorses, Spitfires are very maneuverable and well suited to aerial combat (except for Japanese combat), and Typhoons and Tempests have good speed and firepower. Their jets had some problems at the top end when only Meteor was available, but Venom and Hunter are more powerful post-war options. They are good for the bombing of Blenheim and Beaufort in rank I, but in rank II and III the Wellington gets a little complicated, which are rather vulnerable to cannon fighter attacks that they almost always encounter, and then return with bombs again two Lancasters, which thanks to In update 1.43, they can now carry some of the heaviest bomb loads in the game, as they did in the past, and the Canberra jet bomber. You also have many options for torpedo bombardment, starting very early with the venerable Swordsman, but without being able to choose specific maps with sailing targets it is a dice roll, can you really use them – at least until the naval option can take place!



The United States takes a while to get started. In Arcade mode, the particularly preferred American .50 caliber machine gun armament is slightly inferior to everyone else equiping 20mm cannons; while the 50’s can certainly be effective, especially with later incendiary rounds, you’ll generally need to land more hits to get something down, increasing the likelihood of someone else “helpful” jumping on your target. The 37mm gun in the P-39/63 may overcompensate, however, but is devastating when it hits, but the low rate of fire and high recoil make it a little more difficult to use, better suited for bomber hunting than for high-speed air combat. The United States has some strong later fighters and a good selection of jets, including several F-86 Saber variants at the top of the tree. They are a good choice for heavy bombers with three variants of the B-17 and B-24, sacrificing a bomb load compared to the British Lancasters in favor of more defensive turrets, followed by the B-29 with the highest bomb load in the game, though reaching Medium Age III and it will take some time to start researching them; on the way the A-20 and B-25 are decent medium bombers / strikers with loads of machine guns to fire at. The F6F and P-47 fighters also stand out for the amount of armament they can carry for a ground attack if you like the role of a fighter / bomber.



Germany also has strong mid- and late-game fighters, but their Tier I options are rather slow, lightly armed, or Italian (all three in some cases); I suggest you get used to playing with other countries first. In rank II, the situation clearly improves with the introduction of the Bf 109 and Fw 190 series, and they have the widest range of rocket and jet fighters. Initially there is a selection from WWII (Me 163, Me 262, He 162 and Ho 229 “flying wing”) which are in a somewhat awkward matchmaking spot where they outperform their propeller powered Allied peers but are inferior to post-war planes In order to provide Germany with a viable end-game option, Update 1.39 added the Canadian-made Saber and MiG-15, operated by Western and East German air forces in the late 1950s, respectively. The Germans also have a good selection of heavy fighters from the Bf 110 to Me 410 as well as many early bombing options with numerous Ju 87 Stuk variants for diving bombing, as well as the He 111, Ju 88 and Italian series S.79 medium bombers. There are no heavy bombers afterwards, although the Do 217 series medium bombers can carry quite heavy payloads when upgraded and deliver them with precision when diving; At the top of the tree, the Ar 234, the first operational jet bomber, has a somewhat negated historical speed advantage as it usually encounters resistance.



Japan has the most agile fighters in the game with the agile Ki-43 and the A6M Zero line, though they are a bit brittle. The later Ki-84 and N1K are good all-rounders, there are also heavier options with heavy Ki-45 and -102 fighters with large cannons, useful for destroying enemy bombers. In terms of bombing, the H6K is a pretty cool early bomber to start with, has a large payload for a first rank aircraft, can absorb a lot of incoming fire (especially from small caliber machine guns), and has multiple turrets including a 20mm cannon to fend off attackers; The downside is that it drives like a wing boat, possibly because it * is * a wing boat. When climbing the tree, the later bomber line is a bit poor in terms of payload, but the 20mm turrets give them at least some defensive option. The Japanese tree is a bit rare, the smallest in the game, and rank V needs to be completed a bit with prototypes and experimental designs due to the lack of competing end-of-war historical planes, although at least update 1.39 gave them a real end – another saber option to play out of post-war service.

Choosing between mountains of War Thunder planes can be difficult – here’s our guide to the best


An instantly recognizable RAF classic, the greatest strength of this British fighter is its speed. Equipped with the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, which not only provides incredibly high agility and rapid ascent to altitude, but also brings style to battle, opposing planes fight to free the Spitfire, and its high acceleration is perfect for bangs and flying – diving on an enemy and opening fire from a great height before returning to a higher level for safety.

Ground attack: Read our guide to the best War Thunder tanks

Stay at high altitudes where you can harness the power of your engine and keep your speed at all costs. Slowing down will reduce its amazing turning speed and bank rate, making you vulnerable to the greater firepower of other planes. A well-played Spitfire Mk 24 is a regular scourge of the sky.

Find out which nations are best for airplanes here.


The USA is a very powerful nation, we are talking especially about aviation. They have some of the most durable, well-armed planes in the game and arguably the best CAS, with loads of rockets and bombs from the lower tiers to the highest.

America doesn’t necessarily have the most agile fighters, and some are a bit sluggish. They don’t rise as fast as German planes, but they can shoot down planes in seconds. American planes, especially bombers, can also take a lot of hits before descending, which is always a big plus.

American bombers enjoy unflagging popularity. However, they are very expensive with repair costs going through the roof, but you should be able to deal with enemy planes well enough not to pay for the repair too often.

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