War Thunder Tank Tech Tree

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Sweden is one of three nations featured in War Thunder that thus far lacks a naval tree. In this article, we'll be taking a look at what that tech tree might look like and how it would stand out in the crowd.

  1. War Thunder Russian Tank Tech Tree
  2. War Thunder Tank Tech Tree
  3. War Thunder Japanese Tank Tech Tree
  4. War Thunder Italian Tank Tech Tree
  5. War Thunder French Tank Tech Tree

All Swedish light and medium tanks up until the Lago 1 feels like br 1.0 if they're stock. I don't want to make this post about the grinding issue though, I just want to point out how messed up some parts of the Swedish tech tree is. Introduced in November 2020’s New Power update, many have called the West-German Leopard 2A6 the best tank in War Thunder. And with good reason. Impenetrable turret cheeks and upper front plate armour, swift gun rotation speed, improved gun optics from its predecessor the Leopard 2A4, and access to the highest-penetration shell in the game – the DM53 – make this tank a guaranteed killing machine. Update 1.85 is here on 17 December 2018, introducing two new aspects into War Thunder The Italians now have their own ground forces tech tree! Supersonic jets are now in the game for Rank VI aircraft! Starting with the F-100D in the Americans, MiG-19PT for the Russians, and the Javelin for the British! The Swedish Strv 103-0 in War Thunder is a Premium Tank in the Swedish Tech Tree. It's a very unusual but super iconic vehicle. Today, we play it in Ground.

With the arrival of the Italian Navy - the Regia Marina - in War Thunder update 1.89 ”Starfighters” yet another Naval tech tree was added to the game. This leaves the game with three nations that lack a naval tech tree, France, China, and Sweden. France’s naval history and power is relatively well recognised in the modern day, with ships like the famous Dunkerque-class battleships and Charles de Gaulle-class aircraft carrier. But the role of the remaining two nations in naval strategic terms during the last 100 years is less well known. As such, this post will aim to discuss the potential of the Swedish Navy in War Thunder.

The Swedish Navy played an important role in supporting the rise and consolidation of Swedish power in the Baltic sea during the 16th and 18th centuries. With multiple internationally recognised events and ships such as the Vasa, Kronan and Mars ”Dane Hater”, this period during the age of sail dominated by ship-of-the-line tactics is likely what the Swedish Navy is most well known for. So what then could this tech tree look like in War Thunder, and what notable vessels are potential candidates for the tree?


A dramatisation of the fate of Mars at the hands of a combined Danish-Lübeckian fleet in 1564. Her proportions are exaggerated in this portrayal, but research and records indicate that she may well have been the world’s largest ship at the time of her sinking.

For this purpose, I have put together a suggestion for a Swedish tech tree in War Thunder earlier this year, one which is being continuously updated as new features are being added to the game. The potential vessels presented in this tree stretch from the late 1800s to the 2010s and include some vehicle types that would be oddities to War Thunder, including missile armed vessels and coastal defence ships. This suggestion can be seen on the War Thunder forums and is called ”Independent Swedish Naval tree” (https://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/477423-independent-swedish-naval-tree/). Below I will go through this tree tier by tier in order to give insight into what might be, detailing both general trends and particular oddballs.

Rank 1 begins, unsurprisingly, with motor torpedo boats. These have significant Italian influence, some being purchased vessels, and others being Swedish developments with Italian engines. The armament of these vary from heavy machine guns to 40 mm autocannons, but none of them are armed with more than two torpedoes. One of these would be a premium boat which the Swedish prince Wilhelm served aboard during the First World War. This rank also features two lightly armed support vessels intended for general support duties, as well as a premium minesweeper of the Arholma-class equipped with two 75 mm guns, a ship type which is also featured at rank 2.


T101 Perseus and T38 during a torpedo boat exercise during the Cold War.

Rank 2 features perhaps the widest variety of vessels in terms of both type and age. The motor torpedo boats grows into the proper torpedo boats of the cold war, with more powerful artillery armament and four to six torpedo tubes. This line could lead through both German and British influences and ever increasing firepower, culminating in a corvette of the early 1980s equipped with a 57 and a 40 mm autocannon, as well as alternatively torpedoes or RBS 15 missile launchers. This line could also be branched to boats equipped with SS.11 anti-tank guided missiles adapted for naval use in the form of the Rb 52 armed T108 Altair, or HELLFIRE missiles adapted for the same purpose in the form of the RBS 17 armed Stridsbåt 90H. Further at this rank would be early destroyers of pre-WWI and WWI vintage equipped with three to four 75 mm guns and modernised anti-aircraft armament from the start of World War Two. A further line of candidates for rank 2 would be mine sweepers and frigates. These would include the previously mentioned Arholma-class in the form of Bremön and Holmön. The frigates in question are postwar modifications of destroyers that were active before and during World War Two. Compared to their original forms, these have reduced artillery armament, but additional anti-submarine and mine armament. Already at rank 2, cruisers could also be viable in the Swedish tech tree. This would be in the form of both the auxillary cruiser Hjkr 5 Warun and the torpedo cruiser HMS Örnen. The former being a repurposed cargo ship with artillery and torpedo armament, while the latter is a vessel dating back to the late 1800s with two 120 mm guns, torpedo armament, and anti-aircraft weaponry added at the start of WWII. Two potential vessels that are suitable premium candidates are the mortar armed Stridsbåt 90H and Lätt Trossbåt. These are both vehicles armed with 120 mm mortars capable of direct fire and are modern albeit experimental designs.


HMS Sundsvall, a post-war frigate which originally served as a Visby-class destroyer during the Second World War.

Rank 3 is as for other naval trees dominated by destroyers, albeit with exceptions. In total, there are ten different classes of destroyers that would be suitable as rank 3 vessels in the Swedish tech tree. At the lower end, there is the Mode-class which is a coastal destroyer by Swedish standards, only being armed with 105 mm guns despite being a WWII design. Besides this class, all other Swedish destroyers are armed with varying types of 120 mm guns and torpedo armament. At the latter part of the tech tree, the Halland-class provides a fighting chance against other high battle rating destroyers with its four automatic 120 mm guns in two twin turrets capable of a combined rate of fire of 80 rounds per minute, alongside its excellent secondary armament. In the future, this class could also be equipped with anti-ship missiles, as this is the first western vessel to ever be equipped with anti-ship missiles. Another notable high battle rating destroyer is the Östergötland-class, which besides its standard armament of four older 120 mm guns could be equipped with a Seacat short range anti-aircraft missile launcher. This would be a new type of weapon for naval forces, but a type certainly within the boundaries of War Thunder’s technological standard. Exceptions to the rule of destroyers at this rank would be HMS Clas Fleming and HMS Älvsnabben, the former being a 120 mm armed mine cruiser while the latter is a 152 mm armed mine layer. These are large and unwieldy vessels, but would be able to absorb a decent amount of damage while carrying potent armament. Potential premium candidates at rank 3 include Italian destroyers of the Puke and Romulus-class, originally known in Italy as the Sella and Spica-class respectively. These destroyers were purchased by Sweden early during WWII as a way of bolstering the strength of the Swedish Navy and were subsequently modified for Swedish service.


HMS Göta Lejon after her rebuild during an anti-aircraft exercise.

The following rank also follows the general trend of War Thunder’s naval trees, being dominated by cruisers. The cruisers available at this rank would however be quite different, ranging from HMS Fylgia which is known as the world’s smallest armoured cruiser ever built, to the seaplane cruiser HMS Gotland with her unique construction, followed by the more conventional Tre Kronor-class and its excellent anti-aircraft armament. At this rank, a type of vessel which both Sweden and other nordic countries are fairly well known, namely the coastal defence ship. The types relevant at this rank are armed with two primary 210 mm guns supported by multiple secondary 152 mm guns. While these would be older designs from the early 1900s, these types were upgraded with modern anti-aircraft armament during the Second World War, thus making them relevant for War Thunder.


HMS Gustaf V of the Sverige-class towards the end of the Second World War.

Finally, Swedish rank 5 would be dominated by a single class of coastal defence ship, the powerful Sverige-class. With its quad 283 mm guns, thick 200 mm belt and good maneuverability, this class would be able to contend with the most potent heavy cruisers in War Thunder. Additionally, as this class went through various rebuilds during its time in service, multiple different variants with varying secondary armament, fire control systems, and looks could be added.


Artillerifartyg C-1, a design from 1940 outlining the general characteristics of a potential new coastal defence ship.


RBS 15 anti-ship missile being fired from HMS Piteå, a Norrköping-class missile boat.

That generally covers what a naval tree consisting of purely Swedish naval vessels within the framework of War Thunder’s current meta would look like, but what about the future? What about potential for adding heavier naval units, long range missiles, submarines, and other nordic nations to the tech tree? As for heavier units, the Sverige-class is the most heavily armed and armoured type of ship ever built for the Swedish Navy. However, there are candidates from the 1930s and 40s which were never built in the form of improved coastal defence ships, heavy cruisers, and even a modern monitor. Gaijin has previously stated that such paper designs may be allowed for naval forces due to the difficulty of producing prototype ships, provided that sufficient data can be made available. This can partially be seen in the coming update 1.101 ”Raining fire” with the Commandanti Medaglie d’oro, a ship which was laid down but never launched. In regards to further features like long range anti-ship missiles and submarines, there are also various candidates with good variety and easily able to stand up to other classes. Sweden was the first western nation to equip naval vessels with anti-ship missiles and was also one of the first to operate and produce submarines. Finally, as for other nordic countries, we’ve already seen that certain Finnish vehicles have been included in the Swedish tech tree. As such, some units with Swedish influence like the Väinämöinen-class coastal defence ship or Turunmaa-class gunboat may be relevant additions, particularly as premium vessels. Overall though the vessels of other nordic aren’t of types which a potential Swedish naval tech tree would lack and therefore, these nations would not fill a central role in enabling a Swedish tech tree.


Finnish coastal defence ship Väinämöinen photographed with her Swedish-built primary and secondary battery in 1933.

No one can dispute that War Thunder provides a lot of choice. From nippy armoured cars, to hulking heavy tanks, to cloud-gazing anti-aircraft vehicles, the sheer volume of vehicular offerings can appear a little daunting. Whether stepping into armour for the first time or picking a new tank after having mastered advanced techniques to become a regular peril of the battlefield, it can be difficult to know which tanks are right for you.

Well, quiver in fear no longer. We’re here to provide a quick rundown of the best tanks available in War Thunder. No more wasting research points on obsolete unlocks or poorly performing tanks that pale in comparison to your existing armoury, you’ll know which tanks to beeline on the tech tree and what flavour of combat they offer. Some of our picks opt for supreme firepower, others prioritise speed and agility, while more place endurance and hardened armour above all else.

It’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of the tank you drive into battle. The best tanking is approached slowly, with caution, and an overriding plan of attack. Plunge headfirst into the fray with no regard for your tank’s capabilities, and you’ll soon be left a burning heap of metal. With that in mind, choose a tank that sounds appealing and suitable to your playstyle.

So, adjust the rangefinder and open the breech, as dive into…

The best War Thunder tanks

  • Tiger H1
  • Challenger 2
  • Leopard 2A6
  • M50 Ontos
  • T-80U
  • ZTZ96A
  • T-50
  • Panther A

TIGER H1

Infamous from the battlefields of history and infamous in-game, the German Tiger H1 is a jack-of-all-trades and competently suited to nearly any firefight. Its 88mm cannon, compatible with a range of shells, makes quick work of all enemy vehicles that are likely to cross its path, and its side armour will glance incoming shells if angled appropriately. A 650-horsepower engine makes it one of the faster heavy tanks, and a reasonable gun depression angle keeps it fighting in undulating terrain.

Jack-of-all-trades suited to nearly any firefight

The Tiger H1’s weak side armour is also its Achilles heel. If not angled properly, weaker tanks will penetrate its skirting, and more powerful opponents will one-shot it with ease. Position the tank carefully and make sure your sides are covered. If a defensive position is untenable, rely on its high firepower to get a shot in, before whatever is hustling up to you.

War Thunder Tank Tech Tree

War Thunder Russian Tank Tech Tree

Slow acceleration provides little opportunity for daring escapes or heroic pushes, but in a straight-up gunfight, in which enemies are located and targetable – you’ll be the star of the show.

Challenger 2

Hang behind your front lines, sit snuggly in a covering bush, wait for an enemy prevaricator to try their hand at flanking, before launching a shell with pinpoint accuracy into their side. The British Challenger 2’s extremely high accuracy, fast reload time, and competent optics lend it perfectly to a sniping playstyle. Sit comfortably away from the central melee and engage the enemy from afar.

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A low top speed and sub-par acceleration limit the Challenger 2’s capabilities to lead frontal assaults, better suiting it to staying behind the central offensive column, picking off enemies before they can flank the main batch. Unremarkable armour makes it easy pickings for anything meting out high damage, but a decent reverse speed enables the Challenger 2 to duck out of the fray when caught in a tight spot, while keeping its cannon targeted on incoming threats.

Leopard 2A6

Introduced in November 2020’s New Power update, many have called the West-German Leopard 2A6 the best tank in War Thunder. And with good reason. Impenetrable turret cheeks and upper front plate armour, swift gun rotation speed, improved gun optics from its predecessor the Leopard 2A4, and access to the highest-penetration shell in the game – the DM53 – make this tank a guaranteed killing machine. The effectiveness of its gun cannot be overstated.

Unremarkable mobility means solo flanking is an impossibility, so keep to hull-down positions and make optimum use of that unmatched main cannon. The Leopard 2A6 need only be wary of Soviet HE shells. A shot to your tracks might leave you immobilized and desperately hoping to fight another day, but a bludgeoning hit to your turret will likely send fragmentary shards through your fuel tank and crew, and that’s a dead tank.

Some have called the Leopard 2A6 overpowered, and many have begged for a nerf. But make no mistake, a quality tank will amount to nothing in the hands of an amateur tanker that doesn’t know how to leverage its strengths. Learn the tank, and learn it well.

M50 Ontos

Hard-hitting, stealthy, and capable of unexpectedly decimating enemy flanks, the US M50 Ontos brings a totally novel playstyle to War Thunder. Kitted out with six recoilless rifles that can be fired within less than a second of each other to launch high-explosive anti-tank and squash head shells. Its recoilless rifles eliminate the need to reposition between shots, allowing you to fully exploit a weak enemy position after finding the perfect angle.

War Thunder Tank Tech Tree

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Its primary drawback is its paper-thin armour. This is not a tank that wants to be taken into the main fray, but one to stealthily push around the enemy’s side and ambush with an unexpected barrage.

Its unforgiving playstyle can also be off-putting. Miss your shot and you’ll be waiting over a long reload time, and an even longer manual targeting time, before getting back in the fray. With an 18-shell ammo capacity, it can be tempting to unload salvos quickly in a blanket offensive, but temper a high rate of fire with accuracy for the most effective offensive load.

T-80U

Few sights strike such tangible fear in the hearts of enemies as the Soviet T-80U bounding over the hills, surrounded by a sturdy regiment of supporting allies. An exceptionally well-armoured front that can generously glance incoming shells, a durable rear-end that can soak up shrapnel, and a low profile complete its defences, making it a difficult target to spot and near-impossible to destroy in sufficiently flat bushland.

Difficult to spot and near-impossible to destroy

The auto-loaded 125mm cannon on its top also makes a particularly painful thorn in the enemy’s side, capable of launching regular volleys of shells to wear down enemy combatants.

Although the T-80U shines in a momentous forward attack, it’s left wanting when retreat is preferable. A slow reverse speed means you’ll have to remain keenly aware of your surrounding points of exit and implement a quick getaway plan if things go sour. And keep the enemies at length. Poor side armour and a large ammunition carousel means its chances of survival following shell penetration are all but nil.

ZTZ96A

There are few better options for straightforward tank-busting than the Chinese ZTZ96A. Sporting a 125mm main cannon with fantastic angling, and firing the most powerful HE shell available to any main battle tank, it can reliably destroy most armoured targets in one shot, both angled and flat. Wrapped in strong armour, its roof-mounted heavy machine gun can also be usefully deployed against light aircraft.

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With a poorer reload speed than some of the equivalent tanks at its tier, you’ll be relying on your own instincts to draw the most out of the ZTZ96A, especially given is poor mobility, which throws any ideas of tasteful flanking operations out the window.

T-50

Even the lowest-tier tanks can carve out a masterful space on the battlefield. Agile and well armoured, the Soviet T-50 scout tank is excellently suited to nipping around enemy armour, relying on its high speed to perform flanking manoeuvres, before quickly returning to safety amongst allied forces. Thick, sloping armour sets it apart from other beginner tanks, and forgives the faux-pas of new players when they’re frantically racing to slide past enemy lines.

War Thunder Japanese Tank Tech Tree

The T-50’s handling will take some getting used to, and its slow turning speed makes it unsuitable for extreme adrenaline manoeuvres. Be careful not to damage its tracks when driving at top speed across rough terrain, but, ground allowing, leveraging its high speed to evade enemies or shift them from your weak side armour will keep the T-50 in the game.

A fantastic beginner choice that demonstrates there’s more to look for in a tank than big shells and monstrous firepower.

PANTHER A

High mobility, respectable gun rotation, ammunition options suitable for crippling most any opponent tank – these make the Panther A one of the best medium tanks in the game. Like most German offerings, it comes kitted with heavy, sloping front armour, offset by poor sides, but its agility allows quick getaways and subtle defensive anglings. Its range and firepower outdo tanks of a similar battle rating, punching through armour from moderate distances.

War Thunder Italian Tank Tech Tree

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War Thunder French Tank Tech Tree

The Panther A’s ubiquity is its downfall: everybody knows its weak spots. Enemies will be firing directly at your soft gun mantlet to cripple you, so avoid head-on confrontations and make quick work of those you encounter. Best move with a pack of others, utilise speed to take the enemy off-guard, and make sure every shot counts. With a high profile, subtlety isn’t the Panther A’s speciality, so quickly get stuck into the thick of battle and make the most of its punishing main cannon.