Aerial combat fans should really only be  looking at one free to play title right now and that’s Gaijin Entertainment’s War Thunder. It’s is still in open beta testing but has been solid in the gameplay department for some time now.

Today Gaijin unleashed what can best be described as a mega-patch bringing a stack of new features to the game, and thankfully an improved interface which was one of the game’s few flaws.

Added in this update are new bombers for each country, improved graphics and air brake animations, there’s now support for the headset-tracker Gametrix vTrack MKI, interface improvements, improved load times and more.

This is a pretty bug update from Gaijin and I do recommend checking out War Thunder, it’s free after all so what have you got to lose? All the new features are highlighted in this video…


New Login, Hangar, and Loading windows

Players may see new interface elements right as the game starts — starting with a new login window with an animated background.

The main window of the hangar was also changed as well, as was the «To Battle!» button. Now you enter the fight with just one click on the «To Battle!» button. If you need some parameters to be changed, just hover your cursor over it.

Also you may now choose an aircraft for HB/FRB before entering the battle.

Damage Model

War Thunder’s damage model (DM) was significantly improved in Update 1.29. We’ve added circa 10 new parts and specified and tuned all existing parts for all planes. Along with introducing the correct ammo types for all types of weapons, these changes make the air fight fiercer and much more interesting. And more historical, of course.

Damage from bombs, rockets and torpedoes was also tuned according to the performance of their real counterparts.

Ammo belts options

Update 1.29 brings a new feature; customizing fighters’ ammo belts. Separately, for cannons and machine guns, you may now choose from several types of ammunition: universal, for air targets, for ground targets, and for stealth attacks (without tracers).

New Aircraft

Four nations get new bombers in their development trees:

  • Japan gets 2 new top-tier bombers — Nakajima G5N and Nakajima G8N. The first one is the biggest plane in War Thunder, and takes up to 4 bombs of 1 ton each. It’s elder sister, the G8N, takes only 3 tons of explosive cargo, but has three turret cannons to protect the delivery.
  • United States gets several modifications of the legendary B-25. This famous bomber blends into the US tech tree right between A-20 and B-17, having 6 machine guns and up to 1.5 tons of bombs.
  • Germany is granted the multi-role Do.217 in several modifications; from Do.217E-2 with up to 2 tons of bombs to night interceptor Do.217N-1 armed with four MG 151 cannons.
  • Soviet line of Tupolev Tu-2 bombers now include several late modifications of Tu-2 with heavier armor.

Great Britain is not disregarded at all with brand new top tier Meteor Mk. 8 jet fighter, capable of bearing both bombs and rockets.

New Economy

Read the details of the new economy model here.


  • New option available in Settings to display the fuel amount
  • Now you can see any player’s profile
  • Checkboxes in the Research window to turn on/off the repair costs in different game modes
  • Now you receive one award message both for Lions and experience points
  • Default nonlinearity is changed to ‘1’
  • Fixed: wrong message when feathering the propeller
  • Fixed displaying of the axis nonlinearity in the interface
  • FRB mode: huge pop-up notifications of experience gains are hidden now. Small notifications at the bottom of the screen remain.
  • ‘Markers on/off’ option for replays
  • You may see your squadron member’s exact plane selected before entering fight
  • Achievement descriptions are added into the Event Log
  • Achievements progress bars are added
  • All achievements now have the correct terms of gaining
  • Achievements now shown in the Logbook
  • Gaming interface now available in bomb-follow camera
  • New layout and images for Medals in profile.
  • Multi-staged challenges now shown correctly in the debriefing window
  • Notification ‘No flaps’ is added when pressing flaps button for the planes with no flaps


  • Animation of the radiator added for some planes. The number of planes with animated radiators will be increased in upcoming updates.
  • Better animation for air brakes.
  • Propeller bending added for some planes. The number of planes with bendable propellers will be increased in upcoming updates.
  • Improved effects of shells hitting ground units and the ground
  • Added ricochets from the ground
  • Shadows for pilots and infantry added
  • More realistic camera effects when shooting
  • Fixed artifacts in reflections
  • Improved distant land drawing in cloudy weather
  • Fixed pilots’ lightning
  • Fixed wrong collision effects when hitting into airstat
  • New airfields for many missions
  • Fixed visual models for Me.262, Ju.88, Me.410, A5M, A6M3, and P-26,
  • Fixed the visual of the British torpedo


  • Improved explosion sounds
  • Improved engine shutdown sound
  • Improved sound of hitting the player’s aircraft.
  • Added sounds for flaps and air brakes
  • Added sound of propeller windmilling
  • Improved sounds of cannons and machine guns


  • Realistic bomb dropping. Some aircraft now may have a limited angle for bomb dropping.
  • Adjustable aerobatics smokes
  • New flight models for La-5, La-7, Wirraway, Tempest, TBF-1c, SM.79, Me.410, Ki-49, Ju-87B, Ju-87D, Ju-87G, F1M2, D3A1, Boomerang, Beaufighter, Me.262 and Me.163
  • Separate engines control buttons added
  • New award model for airfield destruction: now you get award not only for destruction, but also for damaging
  • Bug fixed: kills not counting, when shot down plane been repaired.
  • Improved turret gunners efficiency in HB and FRB.
  • Bug fixed: in some situations camera still follows the target even after target is down.
  • Minimal amount of fuel changed: 20 min and not less than 30% of the fuel tank
  • Squadron leader can’t start the fight when someone from his squadron has unrepaired aircraft of the selected nation
  • Bots became smarter: now they takeoff and land properly
  • New player can’t enter HB or FRB flights before he completes takeoff/landing tutorials
  • Bug fixed: no penalty for friendly bot kill
  • Bombs added for P-26
  • The order of getting pylons is changed for some planes
  • Awards for logins


  • GameTrix tracker is supported automatically now
  • Reduced client size
  • Significantly reduced time of the initial loading (from log-in screen to the hangar)
  • Bug fixed: in some missions of the historic campaigns the plane was not changing after scenario cutscene
  • Bugs fixed in tutorial in full aircraft control mode
  • Bug fixed: discounts are not showing for the group of planes
  • Bug fixed: Typhoon could get up to 700 km/h in tree-top flight using propeller pitch
  • Cargo ships have lost their 127mm cannons which were given by mistake
Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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