Arcade Battles

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"Arcade Battles is a mode where a simplified flight model is used; the location and the aircraft selection are not tied to any historical events. As in Realistic Battles, players are divided into teams, but aircraft from any country can fight with either side." - War Thunder Encyclopedia

Arcade is the most simplified mode in regards to Physics. Vehicle's statistics are boosted and anti-performance features are disabled (e.g. Thermodynamics).

Air Arcade Battles

As stated above, Arcade Battles are somewhat of a watered down version of realistic aerial combat. Certain facets of the performance of all aircraft are altered by the AB flight model. In general, all aircraft are easier to maneuver, feature unlimited ammunition, and have a reticle for both ground attack and air combat. Every aircraft with forward-facing guns has a "lead indicator" which is a series of white circles that appear in the direction an enemy aircraft is flying. Because of bullet drop, the speed of the enemy aircraft, and muzzle velocity it is crucial to "lead" enemies instead of firing directly at them in order for successful hits. Thus, Arcade Battles teaches many players to lead their shots by utilizing the aiming reticle. In Realistic Battles, this indicator is removed and players must rely on a general knowledge of their aircraft and its weapons to destroy enemies in this way. Arcade Battles are best suited for the "casual" player looking for a quick and fun alternative to the monotony often associated with Realistic and Simulator Battles.

Arcade Battles, in general, feature smaller maps which allow for quick and relatively simple games. Similar to the other game modes, players flying outside of the map borders will be teleported back inside the map. Arcade Battles also features multiple game modes within itself - Ground Strike, Domination, and Air Domination.


In order to win in Ground strike, one team must destroy all enemy ground units, shoot down all enemy aircraft, or destroy the enemy bombing points and airfield. Destroying the enemy's AI tanks, pillboxes, and ships will slowly drain their "tickets" whereas once the enemy airfield is destroyed they will go down rather quickly. Bombers and Attackers are essential for victory in this game mode. Whichever team's tickets reach zero first loses the match.

In Domination, players try to control the greatest number of airfields possible in order to wane the enemy team's tickets. Some maps feature three airfields whereas others feature only two. Generally, at the start of a Domination match players land on their "home" airfield, the one closest to their spawn, and also attempt to land on the center airfield. This is often where the most battles take place, as both teams need it to gain the advantage. Once one team controls the majority of the airfields, the other team tries to take them back by landing. However, landing is not an easy task, especially if targeted by enemies. Having air superiority will also often dictate the winner of the match, as players will be able to take and retake airfields without the threat of enemy fighters attacking. Bombers and attackers still play a pivotal role in Domination matches as both teams have AI tanks and vehicles that will slowly drive towards the center airfield. If they get too close, they will occupy the airfield making it impossible to retake unless they are destroyed. The team whose tickets reach zero first or lose all of their aircraft loses.

In Air Domination, players try to fully expel the enemy from an "air point" - a wide area high up in the sky which one team must control to win. Unlike Airfield Domination, Air Domination has no ground targets making bombers and attackers quite useless unless being used as a "gunship". A good strategy is to fly directly into the air point and engage the occupied fighters with your turrets. Planes such as the IL-28 and G8N1 Renzan are perfectly suited for this task. Once all enemy fighters have been removed from the air point, their indicated "tickets" will slowly go down. Fighters are essential in order to win an Air Domination match.

Air Arcade Assault

The main objective of Air Assault is to defend your team's base from growing waves(15 presently) of enemy AI controlled bombers, figters and howitzers. In Air assault the same rules as in arcade apply to flight and damage models and in flight rearming. What is different is that this mode is for either random or premade team of 8 players and requires at least some teamwork. There is also an unlimited number of respawns at 50% AB Silver Lion cost. The bomber’s gunners are active but most of the fighters and howitzers do not pose a direct threat to the player. This mode is good training for new players as it teaches them aircraft damage mechanics and cooperation.

Matchmaking Explained

For Arcade Air Battles, a formula is in place that calculates your overall Battle Rating, aka the Battle Rating that the Matchmaker will use to match opponents against you, based on the three highest aircraft in your lineup in regards to their individual BR. That said, the important thing for you to know are three short facts: The overall BR can be lowered by a maximum of one BR step (e.g. 5.0 to 4.7, or 3.7 to 3.3) based on the aircraft in your lineup Lowering your overall BR only works if you have only one aircraft with the highest BR in your lineup (e.g. one on BR 5.0, all others are at least 4.7 or lower) The formula takes aircraft of up to 2.0 difference in BR into consideration (e.g. for 5.0, 3.0 is the maximum difference)
What does that mean for you, as a player? As you progress through the research trees, it may happen that you unlock a new aircraft of considerably higher BR than the other aircraft in your current lineup. This system, to a certain extent, will allow you to use this new aircraft, while keeping your overall lineup competitive against other players you may face.
The maximum amount that you can lower your overall BR is one step . So, as an example, a 5.0 maximum BR based on your highest aircraft can at best be lowered to 4.7, but only if there are no other 5.0 aircraft in your lineup. The same is true for e.g. a 3.7 lineup, which can be lowered by one step to 3.3 at best. Thus, while this system is helpful to stay competitive with an otherwise ‘weaker’ lineup, you will still be better off equipping multiple aircraft of similar BR (e.g. several 5.0 ones) to maximize the combat effectiveness of your overall lineup - if you have such aircraft available.

You can find out more about matchmaking here.

Differences to Air Realistic

Air Arcade Battles differ from Realistic Battles and Simulator Battles in many ways.

  • The aiming reticule is enabled
  • Respawn is limited by the number of hangar slots
  • Allows for mixed nation teams consisting of 16 Vs 16 which equates to 32 players on the same map
  • Features a much more basic damage model; it is impossible to rip off a plane's wings by exceeding the speed limit or pulling too hard of a maneuver
  • There is no historical accuracy in the matchmaking whatsoever, as German and Japanese jet aircraft could be fighting over Spain
  • It is impossible for wings, rudder, flaps, aileron and landing gear to rip off at high speeds
  • There is unlimited ammunition in the sense that once the guns run out of ammo or you press the "reload" button the empty set of weapons will reload. Pressing the "reload" button will only work if at least one round has been fired. In addition, the crew skill "reload speed" dictates how fast the aircraft's weapons will be reloaded.
  • Take off from an airfield or carrier is not required, albeit possible
  • There is a simplified flight model where planes do not follow their historical performance characteristics (all aspects of an aircraft's performance are extremely exaggerated)
  • It is possible to use "backup aircraft" which allow the use of that plane even after it has been destroyed in a match
  • Under-wing weapons like bombs and rockets will reload over time
  • The entire player's "line up" of all their current selected planes will be taken into account when deciding the map and battle rating of the enemies he or she faces
  • Aircraft have different battle ratings in AB than in RB
  • Players are not limited to only one aircraft; they can choose from any in their current "line up"
  • Arcade Battles feature maps that RB and SB players can't fight on, such as Pacific Hidden Base and Green Ridge
  • Bombing reticules are available to all planes equipped with a payload, not just bombers
  • Generally, the rewards for both Silver Lions and Research Points (RP) are smaller in AB than in both RB and SB

However, Air Arcade and Realistic battles do share some similarities, most notably how fuel runs out and how it is possible to destroy all of the enemy's mini-bases and finally their main airfield to win the game. This strategy, however, is much more difficult in RB due to the limited bomb capacity of many aircraft and the need to re-arm at an airfield in order to be able to continue to bomb. In both game modes Bombers also receive an air spawn above the fighters and attackers.

Arcade Battles
Arcade Battles

Ground Arcade Battles

Like Air Arcade Mode, Ground Arcade Mode is a much simplified and easier-to-play version of ground forces. While there are small boosts and differences here and there, the most prominent feature in Arcade Mode is the aiming reticule and "penetration marker" that allows the player to know whether their shot can penetrate their enemy's vehicle armor or not. A small boost also noticeable in Arcade Mode is a 10% increase in a vehicle engine power, this causes the vehicles in Arcade Mode to accelerate and move faster than it would be able to in Realistic or Simulator Mode.


Domination is the most common game mode for Arcade Mode. The objective of this game mode is to capture the most capture points and drain the enemy of their tickets to claim victory.

Break is a game mode similar to Domination, but with a different game style. The objective is still to capture the points, but each team starts with one point. After one point is captured completely, that point is lost and another point opens up deeper in the map. Depending on how large the map is, an additional spawn area is granted to the capturing team on the first or second captured point.

Team Deathmatch is a new game mode about to be implemented into the game. As of 4/15/2016, it is not in-game, although several events have been done testing the mode.

Tank Assault

Similar to Air Assault, Tank Assault features players withering wave after wave of A.I. enemies.

More information can be found here.

Differences to Ground Realistic Mode

  • The aiming reticule is enabled
  • Rangefinder is enabled
  • Engine have 10% more power
  • Only three respawns

Air forces in Arcade Battles

Although dedicated aircraft units are not allowed in Arcade Mode, Air forces are still in play in Ground Forces mode. They are usable after a player obtains a set number of kill before able to use them. Fighters require the player to get one kill to use, the attack aircraft require two kills, and bombers require three kills. Learning these aircraft's specifications can help improve your performance when you play them in arcade mode. (Table work in progress)

Match Battle Ratings Fighters Attack Bomber
1.0 - 3.0 A7He1
He 112 B-0
SBD-3 (3 bombs)
Ju 87 B-2 (1 bomb)
I-153 M-62 (8 rockets)
D3A1 (1 bomb)
TBF-1c (4 bombs)
Ju 88 A-4
Ki-49-I (4 bombs)
3.3 - 4.3 P-400
Bf 109 E-3
Spitfire Mk IIb
Boston Mk I (4 bombs) He 111 H-6 (3 bombs)
4.7 - 7.0 Bf 109 F-4
Fw 190 D-9
Spitfire Mk Vb/trop
Tempest Mk V
Ki-84 ko
P-47D-25 (10 rockets)
PBJ-1H (4 bombs)
Fw 190 A-8 (2 rockets)
Fw 190 A-5/U2 (2 rockets)
IL-2M type 3 (4 bombs, 4 rockets)
IL-10 (1946) (4 rockets, 2 bombs)
Mosquito FB Mk VI (8 rockets)
Do 217 E-2 (4 bombs)
Do 217 E-4
Lancaster B Mk III
Wellington Mk III (8 bombs)

Air Force Roles

The fighter's job is to protect the attack aircraft or bomber that the players call in to assist the battlefield. Defend the main aircraft against incoming enemy fighters and SPAA's on the ground.

Attack aircraft/Bombers
With rockets and bombs as your arsenal, these plane's job is to attack the ground force vehicles. Drop bombs near them or aim your rocket true, these are the ways to destroy enemy vehicles.