MatchUp: War Thunder vs World of Warplanes


For our latest MatchUp we take to the skies as we check out World of Warplanes ( and War Thunder (Gaijin Entertainment), two of the most popular World War II flight simulator style MMO’s on the free to play market. When War Thunder was initially released it was often compared to World of Tanks, due to the game having both flight and tank simulator gameplay, but now that World of Warplanes is out is easy to make that comparison once more as we compare the flight side of the MMO.

As a pre-face of this entire article we should point out that War Thunder has been out for a year longer than World of Warplanes, and is Gaijin Entertainments primary MMO that they have released (the game is still labelled as being in “open beta”), whereas have also been focusing on publishing World of Warships. That said, both games are being taken on their individual merits and will do our best to keep opinion out of the feature, focusing only on the facts. Any opinions shared are primarily from the collective general feedback we have seen on the various websites and forums during our fact hunting for the article.

It’s clear to see that there are many similarities between the two games, hence this type of infographic being made, however it is the details that great the separate these two free to play MMO’s is the details that have completely divided the community. First and foremost is the access ability of the game where War Thunder is available on both PC, Mac and PS4 and actually offers cross-platform between the console and PC, in comparison to World of Warplanes where the entire has so far been PC focused for a long time (though World of Tanks is now on console we can only predict we’ll see the same for World of Warplanes in the future).

The available nations that players can access is relatively similar, taking the major players from the era both games give access to Great Britain, Germany, USA, Japan, USSR whereas World of Warplanes also includes China as a playable nation. Planes are available from all nations, with the addition of French planes being included in both games and War Thunder giving access to Italian and Australian warplanes as well. The number of planes and also their type could be said to be misleading, World of Warplanes have focused on three base classes (Fighter, Heavy fighter and Attack Aircraft) whereas War Thunder, on their wiki, have identified 11 different types of planes though we’d argue that many of these could promise fit into the same three base classes that WoWP have used.

As for the actual number of planes that players have access to, and this is definitely a one-sided battle with WT having almost 200 more planes than WowWP (357 vs 159), enough to initially put War Thunder in the Guinness World Record books for having the most aircraft in a simulation game (303 as of 22nd Jan 2014 when the record was first made). As mentioned initially the game has been out for a year longer than World of Warplanes, and we dare say that both games are going to continue to push out the number of available planes and constantly try to compete with each other.

The added bonus that War Thunder has is that players can also play as ground vehicles, from tanks, AA guns to Jeeps in comparison to the completely air focused gameplay of World of Warplanes. Whilst Wargaming have World of Tanks at the moment and in the foreseeable future there doesn’t appear to be any plans to try and combine the games to create a direct comparison with War Thunder, as much as players might like to see it the mechanics behind it do not make an easy task as the three games under the franchise are vastly different.

When it comes to options in gameplay War Thunder has it in the back again with more than double the number of available maps to play (23 vs 11), as well as the four different game modes ranging from Arcade to Simulator (and an “Events” mode) in comparison to the standard Arcade style mode of World of Warplanes. The damage systems in the game are relatively similar in that planes in both games have multiple hit locations that when damaged will affect the manoeuvrability and combat effectiveness of the plane, the main difference being that in WT a plane can be destroyed if one location takes too much damage (either from a small number of direct hits) whereas in WoWP each plane location adds to the overall hit points of the player itself and once it is reduced to 0 the plane will then be destroyed. If your plane is destroyed in WoWP then it’s game over, resulting in short of match times with an average of seven minutes per game (with a 15 minute cap), whereas in WT players have three lives and once destroyed can jump back into the game in a different plane.

From a comparison we noticed that most of the features in the game are very similar, both games allow levelling up to earn points that are put into a tech tree to unlock new planes, the possibility of earning various achievements through in game actions, companion apps, and plane customisation.

It’s hard to make a judgement on which game is the most popular, though our findings were that the majority of people and public feedback weighed heavily in War Thunder’s favour. Actual player number comparisons are quite hard to calculate, in no major part due to the fact that World of Warplanes playbase are collectively spread across the platform with the extremely popular World of Tanks. As to success, both games seem to be doing well, though from our own talks with at GamesCom this year it’s clear that the game hasn’t been quite as well as the company wanted, sparking a number of changes that are due to be released, and in no small part we would bank that this is due to War Thunder.

Check out our infographic:

War Thunder v WoP - Infographic 640

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2 Comments - "MatchUp: War Thunder vs World of Warplanes"

  1. Madra September 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM -

    This appears incredibly one sided, but having played both, War Thunder definitely has much more going for it as it stands.

  2. Hmm March 24, 2015 at 8:40 AM -

    If by China tree you mean WoWP has two premium planes which one has to pay real money for, then sure, whatever. War thunder typically has 100 to 1000 times as many players online as WoWP at any given time (at any given time, the most players I’ve seen online on WOWP is about 700 or 800, at least on the US server. I’ve seen 70,000+ on War thunder. There’s no comparison.)

    There’s no real change in maneuverability from damage to different areas of the plane in WOWP, and there aren’t separate HP pools for each area of the plane. Rather, wowp has only a single hit point pool, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (there’s no way to rip off a wing or a tail in WOWP).

    All in all, there’s simply nothing wowp has over war thunder. At all.

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