War Thunder - Best Nations (2020 Edition)

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Enemy aircraft inbound, which nation will fly with?


War Thunder is one of the many games I have spent countless hours on. I want to share my thoughts on the various countries that are available to virtual pilots. My review of these nations are my own opinion and experiences may vary from user to user, based on flying skill, technique, and style.

#9 Sweden

Saab J-29D

With the recent addition of Sweden as a playable option as of October 2019, their aircraft has only received minor attention, and rightfully so. I am not too impressed with the overall quality of the attack possessed by Sweden’s aircraft. 

There are very few options available to pilots in terms of aircraft type, with only classes of fighters, jet fighters, and dive bombers. I find that even my favorite aircraft from Sweden, the Saab J-29D, has its issues: it is only a premium vehicle, does not respond well to control input, and a lengthy reload time on the cannons. 

However, I truly believe this nation has tremendous potential with its dive bombers, like the T18B-1. It can carry up to 18 50kg bombs that can be incredibly useful in long straits of ground attack. Yet, as only a rank IV aircraft, its battle capacity is not exactly what I am looking for, especially when it comes to air-to-air combat.

What Sweden Excels In:

  • Ground attacks
  • Dive bombing

Pick Sweden If You Like:

  • Reliable bombing runs
  • Fast and agile fighters

Sweden’s Overall Power Score: 40/100

#8 Italy

C.205 serie 1

Italian aircraft has had a significant role in the country’s military history. With one of the largest fleets of unique aircraft, the Italian Air Force was a power to be reckoned with in the 1930s. However, this strong history did not translate well into War Thunder.

The Italian aircraft I used most was the C 205 series 1. This fighter has been extremely reliable in terms of speed and maneuverability. Yet, the armament consists of 12.7 and 7.7 millimeter machine guns, just like the country’s bi-planes.

This results in an aircraft that can survive long battles but cannot destroy the opposing team. For that reason, I would stick to the lower ranked bi-planes in terms of research worth. Bi-planes like the CR. 42 Falco and the CR. 32 Quater can be very useful when starting out in War Thunder.

What Italy Excels In:

  • Lower-Tiered Battles
  • Air Maneuverability

Pick Italy If You Like:

  • Sturdy Bi-Planes
  • Comfortable beginner aircraft 

Italy’s Overall Power Score 49/100

#7 China

IL-10

Chinese aircraft are the most mediocre aircraft in War Thunder. They are neither helpful nor detrimental to a battle. In my experiences, I have gotten the most kills in their aircraft with the IL-10.

The IL-10 is a Rank IV Attacker aircraft with powerful 23 millimeter cannons. I enjoy taking this aircraft into Air Arcade battles to mess around with. Like I stated before, even this aircraft is not the go-to option when looking for kills. The fact that its battle rating is 5.0 is beyond me.

I would continue to progress through the Frontline Bombers/Attackers research tree. But, I am not too comfortable with the way these aircraft handle themselves when in consistent combat.

What China Excels In:

  • Frontline bombers

PIck China If You Like:

  • General flying for newbies
  • Strong attack bombing

China’s Overall Power Score: 54/100

#6 USSR

MiG-17

At this point in my comprehensive review, things start to pick up. The Soviets have several ‘good’ aircraft of which I have had multiple killing frenzies in. My first option would be either an Interceptor or Fighter class.

The aircraft that stands out to me the most is the MiG-17. This Rank VI aircraft has 37 and 23 millimeter cannons. As a Jet Fighter, speed is an important factor in the battle strategy for this aircraft. It is nearly impossible, in my opinion, to not come out of a battle without several kills with the MiG-17 alone.

However, the reason it sits so high on this review is the maneuverability issue. Turn times are rather tediously long  and response to control input is somewhat lacking.

What USSR Excels In:

  • Speed versatility
  • Durable aircraft

Pick USSR If You Like:

  • Powerful armament

USSR’s Overall Power Score: 68/100

#5 France

M.B.175T

France has a rather specialized fleet on War Thunder. The most powerful of the three trees (Fighters, Naval Aircraft/Dive Bombers, and Bombers) is the Bombers. Whether you want dive bombing, long-range bombing, or all of the above, there is one particular aircraft you may like.

I have found that I enjoy taking the M.B.175T into ground attack missions and arcade battles. With an armament of 20 millimeter cannons and 12 rockets (!!!), it is extremely easy to take out tank convoys and airfields.

There is one downside to this powerful class of aircraft: speed. Like the M.B.175T, most of the French bombers’ max speeds do not exceed more than 310 mph. This is relatively slow and leaves these aircraft especially prone to being taken down before they even drop their bombs.

What France Excels In:

  • Long-range bombing
  • Ground attacks

Pick France If You Like:

  • Taking out several ground targets
  • The art of long-range bombing

France’s Overall Power Score: 73/100

#4 Japan

Ki-61-I-hei

Japan was the first country I tried to thoroughly progress within War Thunder. However, I stopped shortly before rank IV in order to get to the countries below. In those beginning experiences, I found the Fighter class to be lethal.

One example of that is the Ki-61-I hei. With a battle rating of 4.7, this aircraft has shown true air-to-air combat reliability. The 20 millimeter cannons, along with 12.7 millimeter machine guns, possess a stockpile amount of ammo. I never have found myself unprepared in a combat situation due to a shortage of ammo.

With that being said, it sits at the #4 on this review because of two things. The first thing being the lack of force that comes with their frontline bombers. The second is the amount of research it takes to get to the higher-tiered aircraft. In the end, I thought it would be wise to use those research points on the countries I deemed were better.

What Japan Excels In:

  • Air-to-Air Combat
  • Reliable fighters

Pick Japan If You Like:

  • Dependable aircraft during high-intensity situations
  • Excellent aircraft response to control

Japan’s Overall Power Score: 81/100

#3 Germany

Ar 234 C-3

Germany’s Luftwaffe has a strong reputation amongst the air forces of the world. Though the world knows German aircraft to be light, agile, and deadly, I believe the German firepower lies within the bombers on War Thunder.

The Ar 234 C-3 is an all-in-one jet bomber that I have loved to fly in and complete ground attacks with. With an excellent rate of climb and versatile velocity, you can fly this aircraft like a fighter with the armament of a long-range bomber. Its 4,750 kilograms of bombs provides a tremendous advantage to the virtual pilots who choose to take this aircraft into battle.

I have also enjoyed progressing through the fighter classes and would recommend any of the rank IV or V German fighters to those looking to dive into a specific tree of research.

What Germany Excels In:

  • Attack aircraft, whether light or heavy
  • Air-to-ground support

Pick Germany If You Like:

  • Versatile dive bombers
  • Rewarding aircraft from consistent research

Germany’s Overall Power Score: 92/100

#2 Great Britain

Lightning F.6

The British Air Forces have had a long history of honest, sturdy aircraft. Protection of the British Isles has been consistently backed by air support. This has translated well into War Thunder.

My favorite aircraft that Great Britain has to offer has been the Lightning F.6. The battle rating of 10.0 rings true through all facets of flight. I am extremely comfortable with the control, power, and durability I possess in this aircraft.

Though the Lightning F.6 is a rank VI aircraft, it is well worth the amount of research that is needed. It is almost too fast sometimes but its agility and firepower makes up for it.

What Great Britain Excels In:

  • Jet Fighters
  • Maneuverability
  • Armament capacity

Pick Great Britain If You Like:

  • Guaranteed success with enough research
  • A plethora of unique fighters

Great Britain’s Overall Power Score: 96/100

#1 USA

F-86F-2

As an American, I can surely say that our Air Force has had great success with the incredible aircraft we have on active duty in our modern age. War Thunder has done a fantastic job of translating our history of air superiority into the game. As an investigative journalist and avid gamer, I can also surely say that the United States offers the best aircraft in the game.

Besides the lower ranks, I cannot find one aircraft in this research tree that I have not or am currently getting multiple kills with. No matter the type or class of aircraft, I have had tremendous success with American aircraft.

My go-to aircraft, especially for realistic battles or missions would be the F-86F-2 Sabre. With an incredible amount of maneuverability and four 20 millimeter cannons, I fly this puppy all the time. Though it requires a skilled trigger discipline due to a lengthy reload time, if you have an altitude and position advantage, this aircraft will take care of the rest.

What United States Excels In:

  • Almost Everything!
  • Jet Fighters with a load of firepower

Pick United States If You Like:

  • Encompassing control of the aircraft
  • To be rewarded for consistent research

United States Overall Power Score: 99/100

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WIth skillful tactics and fantastic control, Justus is prone to becoming too competetive and sweeping his opponents without a second thought, either with virtual cars or animated soldiers.
Gamer Since: 2010
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Top 3 Favorite Games:Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Rocket League, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


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