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GOL Cast: Tank Warfare And Dogfights In War Thunder

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Though we already knew about War Thunder's Linux port back in June the release was still quite sudden and unexpected. So, let's find out if it's worth our time and how the F2P model works.

War Thunder from Gaijin Entertainment is an MMO vehicle combat game in which you get to drive and fly over 500 tanks and planes from all the major nations in World War 2 and the Korean War into battles against other people on various battlefields.

After installing the game I was genuinely surprised how well the game worked from performance standpoint. The game picked a nice preset and ran at well over 60 FPS from the get go and even after maximizing the settings the game runs just fine except on tank maps with a lot of foliage. It has also been very stable and so far I've only seen one crash.

In the beginning you have a very limited number of planes and tanks you can use and you need to unlock more vehicles by either playing the game in order to research them or by paying for premium currency with which you can boost the research. The currency system consists of three different currencies: premium eagles, non-premium lions and research points. The system in my opinion isn't quite clear and I still haven't quite figured it out but basically you gain lions by simply playing the game and eagles by completing the tutorials, inviting friends and by buying them from their store. Most of the vehicles in the game are unlockable by simply grinding your way through the game but it's going to take a while to do that. You can quite easily unlock some of the tier I and tier II planes and tanks but the higher tier you go the more you have to grind. Using a higher tier vehicle is going to give you a small boost to your rewards for the matches though so once you unlock one it should be easier to grind for another.

Skill plays an important role in the gameplay, which is good for an F2P game. Especially on the plane side you can get kills and enjoy your time even on the low tier biplanes you are given. The beginning airplanes are totally usable and it seems a lot of the other players are using them so most of the time you'll be quite evenly matched with your opponents. With the tanks the situation is a bit different though, as the first German tank is quite weak. It's agile and can deliver a barrage of deadly 20mm rounds fast but it's not suited for open-field battles which are quite common. This meant that at first the tank battles were a bit dull and even frustrating at times but eventually I figured out how to use my tank's agility to flank enemies and making quicker hit-and-run attacks at the enemies or by ambushing them in the urban maps. Naturally I also got a new tank ASAP that was a bit better at fighting on open areas.

One thing that has bothered me is the lack of variety regarding the game modes. I can count on getting into a Ground Strike match when playing the air missions and getting into a Conquest on the tanks. There are more of the game modes but it seems the only times I've been able to get into them was when I played on the realistic difficulty and joining a realistic session seems to take ages. And because I don't want to wait for the queue process I often tend to go for the arcade difficulty.

Overall War Thunder has been one of the best MMO experiences I've had. The F2P model IMO is acceptable and though it does encourage paying for progress it doesn't force it. The gameplay works fine and even the tank battles that I initially had trouble with have gotten more and more enjoyable. I can see myself playing this game every now and then and unlocking more vehicles. I might also throw a couple of euros at the devs at some point.

You can download War Thunder from their website:

Correction: the game seems to be available on Steam as well. I haven't tried the Steam version but it downloads nicely.

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About the author -
I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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Mohandevir 13 November 2014 at 5:02 pm UTC
I'm a big fan of World of Tanks but it's not available on Linux so I switched to WarThunder. Anyone knows when the Steam Launcher for Linux will show up?
Maokei 13 November 2014 at 5:06 pm UTC
MohandevirI'm a big fan of World of Tanks but it's not available on Linux so I switched to WarThunder. Anyone knows when the Steam Launcher for Linux will show up?

Linux client is on steam now, dunno if it has a tux icon yet though.
Mohandevir 13 November 2014 at 5:15 pm UTC
Last time I tried, it didn't work... Not supported.
Going to try it when i'm home.

Thanks for the quick answer.

Used to play it through wine and it worked well at the time. I got little doubts about the quality of the port.
KDGNOR 13 November 2014 at 5:59 pm UTC
it run good but what spec do you have :-/

why no info on what hardware you have...
Mohandevir 13 November 2014 at 6:27 pm UTC
KDGNORit run good but what spec do you have :-/

why no info on what hardware you have...

At that time, it was a NVidia GTX650 with I7-2600 and 16bg DDR3-1333.

What I meant it's that I've seen games loosing much more in term of performances because of Wine, with the same rig.
n30p1r4t3 13 November 2014 at 6:35 pm UTC
Locked at 60 fps on Ultra for me (Vsync) on my i5 4670K @ 4Ghz and a GTX 980. ;)
Mohandevir 13 November 2014 at 6:36 pm UTC
n30p1r4t3Locked at 60 fps on Ultra for me (Vsync) on my i5 4670K @ 4Ghz and a GTX 980. ;)

How much for that GPU?
n30p1r4t3 13 November 2014 at 7:51 pm UTC
n30p1r4t3Locked at 60 fps on Ultra for me (Vsync) on my i5 4670K @ 4Ghz and a GTX 980. ;)
How much for that GPU?

Mine was $550
Mohandevir 13 November 2014 at 8:12 pm UTC
GTX-650 is more like 120$.
Many of us have rigs with a total price equal to the price of your GPU.
Avehicle7887 13 November 2014 at 8:48 pm UTC
I never played the Windows version but this Linux port is pretty good, runs at 60fps with most settings set on High-Ultra.


i5 2400
8GB Ram
GTX 760
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