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DownloadingEdit

War Thunder can be downloaded for free through the Steam Client.  Once installation is complete, ensure you open the game to run the launcher, which will likely install additional files to patch the game to the current version.  For whatever reason, many users report higher download speeds if they change the launcher language to Russian during the download process.  During this download, graphics and sound settings can be adjusted, and if you haven't already created an account now is the perfect time.

ConfigurationEdit

Starting NationEdit

Once the game has finished patching, you can log in to your account.  If this is the first time playing, you will be asked to choose a starting nation.  The only real effect of this choice is what premium aircraft you will be gifted, and what nation you will have to play initially. As games are played, other nations will be unlocked, and after ten games all nations will be available for play.

It is generally recommended to choose the Soviet Union, as they are regarded as having the best reserve (starting) aircraft as well as the best starting premium aircraft.

Starting Premium Aircraft
United States Thach's F2A-1 Buffalo
Germany Marcolin's CR.42CN
Soviet Union Zhukovsky's I-153-M62
United Kingdom Tuck's Gladiator Mk II
Japan Hagiri's A5M4

ControlsEdit

War Thunder is extremely conducive to mouse and keyboard controls through a mode known as "mouse aim".  Mouse aim offers the highest precision and insulates players from most of the more technical flight elements like engine torque and control surface trimming.  Manuevers are performed by simply pointing the mouse to the desired facing and letting the instructor pilot the plane there.  Manual override can be made using keyboard keys to force certain control inputs.

To set up controls, click on the Menu button in the upper left of the interface and select controls.  From there, ensure you hv

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