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Play OverviewPlay Overview

War Thunder (2016) 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.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked War Thunder 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 2 years ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to War Thunder. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Shooting and Traversal game with Simulation and Strategy elements. You can play this by yourself or as a 16-player online game. Cross-Platform: You can play cross-platform between PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

You can play this game in the following styles:

This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:


Play Time: 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.


This game is good if you want to:

This game has helped players develop their Skill as part of the following pathways:

This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:
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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.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Mild Violence.

Skill Level

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it’s important for parents and guardians to ensure they understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up.

Our Game Pathways reveal how 11-year-olds play this game:

Account Rating

  • You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
  • You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.


War Thunder

Steam Store PC Free
Steam Store Mac Free
XBox Store Xbox X|S Free
XBox Store Xbox One Free
PlayStation Store PS5 Free
PlayStation Store PS4 Free
Steam Store PC Free
App Store Mac Free
This game is free to play, but there are other costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
  • You need a subscription to play online:
    • You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.
    • You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription 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 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.

DetailsGame Details

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

Price: Free

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Players: 1 (16 online)

Genres: Shooting, Traversal (Simulation and Strategy)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Developer: Gaijin Ent (@GaijinEnt)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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