Battle ratings are used by War Thunder to determine matchmaking in-game. Battle ratings are calculated by examining how well an aircraft or ground unit fares in different game modes, and they may differ for each game mode for the same vehicle (for example, an aircraft or ground unit may perform considerably better in arcade mode than realistic battles mode, and so will have a higher battle rating in the former). This allows for a balanced game at all ranks and using all vehicles, meaning that certain nations having technological advantages at different periods in the game's timeline is not an issue when playing, and planes that are too powerful do not ruin gameplay for those flying less effective aircraft.
In Arcade mode
Comparison sheet of fighter aircraft's BR in Arcade
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.
Basically, that is all you need to know. If you are interested in the calculation itself, however, here we go:
A is your aircraft with the highest BR, B and C are the two aircraft following A in regards to BR.
If the difference between A and B (the same goes for A and C) is greater than 2.0, the value of A will be used instead of B (or C, respectively).
If the difference of A and B (the same goes for A and C) is smaller than 2.0, but greater than or equals 0.6, the value "A - 0.6" will be used instead of B (or C, respectively).
If the difference of A and B (the same goes for A and C) is smaller than 0.6, B will be used (or C, respectively).
After our variables have been established, the following formula applies:
Overall BR = A/2 + B/4 + C/4
An example to show how the calculation works:
A = 6.0; B = 5.7; C = 5.0
At first, we check if the difference between A and B or C is greater than 2.0 - if that would be the case, we would use the value of A instead. Neither the difference of A and B (0.3) or A and C (1.0) is greater than 2.0.
Now, we check if the difference between A and B or C is smaller than 2.0 but greater than or equals 0.6 - if that would be the case, we would use the value of "A - 0.6" instead. This is not the case for A and B (0.3), but for A and C (1.0) it is true. So for C, we use the value of "A - 0.6", which is 5.4.
As the difference of A and B is smaller than 0.6, we use the regular value of B, which is 5.7.
So, for our formula, we use:
Overall BR = (6.0 / 2) + (5.7 / 4) + (5.4 / 4) = 5.775
Our value will be rounded to the next BR step. For clarification: Values like 3.15 will be rounded to 3.3, or 3.85 will be rounded to 4.0, while e.g. 3.45 will be rounded to 3.3. If the calculated value results in a number right in the middle of two BR steps (e.g. 3.85, which lies between 3.7 and 4.0), it will always be rounded up.
As a result, our overall BR for our Arcade Air Battles lineup of "6.0, 5.7 and 5.0" is now 5.7.
Some more lineups as an example:
|Aircraft example||BR Effect on lineup|
|Aircraft with Highest BR|
|Top aircraft's BR -0.3|
|Top aircraft's BR -0.6 to -2.0|
|Top aircraft's BR #<-2.0|
|Aircraft 1||Aircraft 2||Aircraft 3||⇒||Result|
In Realistic and Simulator battle modes
In these two modes, the battle rating system works the same, however as the player is only using one aircraft or ground unit, the battle rating system will not take in to account the other aircraft in their lineup, and they will only fight enemies with aircraft or ground units within the battle rating range of the one they have selected.
Arcade and Realistic Battles
In Arcade and Realistic Battles only the highest battle rating vehicle decides the matchmaking. So the highest ranked vehicle in the lineup will only fight other vehicles with +/-1 battle rating difference.