War Thunder

Dreamtree15’s Guide To Avoiding Missiles (1.91)

warthunder 7 - Dreamtree15's Guide To Avoiding Missiles (1.91)
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Got SRAAM'ed again? Aim9E you didn't see coming? Or maybe you didn't even know that funky Chinese premium had missiles. No worries, always room to improve. Lately I've been having an increasing number of teams outright die to missiles, and it's probably due to the fact that it's really no secret that missiles are currently the best they've ever been in War Thunder, with some sitting on the fence of overpowered. In this guide I'll go over a brief basic guide showing common universal ways of dodging missiles while also minimizing speed loss, and afterwards detailed guides to dealing with individual types of missiles. I view missiles in War Thunder as a tool to get opposing aircraft to bleed speed. That is not to say you shouldn't be using them to get kills, but keep that in mind as you read.

If I miss anything or you feel the need correct me, please do! This is my first post/guide like this and I'd like to improve if I decide to do another.

First off, there are a few prevalent bugs that affect missiles you should be aware of…

The first one is the "invisible missile" bug that is fairly well known. Missiles can be invisible from any range, however, this bug happens most commonly when a missile is launched from under 1km, as it has little time to render in the current engine. There are no current known fixes to this bug.

Another is the "false warning" bug that occurs when a player locks a missile, but doesn't actually fire. This one is rare but is actually quite frustrating because when the missile actually launches you won't get a warning. Be aware of the aircraft behind you to confirm that it is in fact an actual missile, and not another delusion from Gaijin's flawless (TM) engine. There are no known fixes to this bug.

Thirdly is also fairly common, but I'm not sure this can really be classified as a bug… this is of course the "missile sparking" issue that has been in the game since missiles have been released. As I said before I don't believe this can be classified as a bug since it's the same with guns sparking. Projectile impacts are registered client side, while actual damage and hit reg is server side. This is all variable depending ping, packet loss, server lag, and so on.

OK enough bullshit from the below average montage maker, lets hear how to actually dodge these things!

  • Maintaining good situational awareness

Having good situational awareness is one of the building blocks of being good at jets. If you know where you are in relation to where your teammates and enemies are, you'll be able to make much better decisions to keep yourself out of bad situations in the first place. Constantly be aware of who's behind and around you, even teammates. Avoid getting into places where you're within 2km of launching distance. This is especially crucial with SRAAMs, (which we'll get to later). Even when out of that range, a lot of players will still launch their missiles from over that range. Anything that has aim9Es will do this a lot, and they are actually quite deadly at this range. Many missiles also lose their afterburner effect after a certain range due to their fuel running out, but they are still in fact very much there and dangerous. Make sure you don't lose track of the missile even after it's run out of fuel.

  • Gentle maneuvers

Gentle maneuvers are paramount to dodging missiles in this game in many circumstances. You want to shake that thing without bleeding a ton of energy. It's no good to survive the missile if you're so slow that you just get gunned down anyway. Most missile don't have insane G tolerance, so for the most part you can get away with shallow 6-7G turns as long as you use some aileron input in there as well.

  • Vertical maneuvers

Most missiles also don't like vertical movements, so you can often do slight bits of upwards and inverted pulling. I say inverted because you do not EVER want to try Neg G'ing against a missile. Missiles will almost always track an aircraft trying to Neg G, so you always want your pulls to be positive G movements. It's also important that I clarify that you don't want full off vertical climbs or split S. That just bleeds energy and outside of specific situations you don't want to be doing these against missiles.

  • Maintaining energy

Speed is life in a battlerating where you will be jumped by 5 people the second you are slow. This continues with the mindset of gentle maneuvers, make sure you're conserving as much energy as you can get away with when dodging missiles.

  • individual missile performance

Some missiles are better than others, it's just about knowing how to deal with each.

  • SRAAM

Stats:

Speed – 1000m/s

Maximum pull – 20G

Locking range – 5km

Missile tracking range – 1.2km

Explosive mass – 4kg

Available to: Hunter F6

Oh boy let's just get this one out of the way first. I should clarify that I think this missile is overpowered and is in severe need of a nerf. To be perfectly honest, if you're within 1km of a Hunter F6 with SRAAMs, you are almost guaranteed dead. However, it isn't completely hopeless, there are still things you can do to minimize your deaths to them. SRAAMs break a lot of the norms that most other missiles have, one being that SRAAMs do not really like dealing with Neg Gs. One way of getting an SRAAM to break lock is to pull one direction and then quickly snap roll the opposite direction and Neg G. Not guaranteed to work, but it can be successful. Another method is to pull hard in any direction and then quickly pull hard upwards. But the reality is that it is simply just better to never let one of these things get a firing solution on you in the first place. SRAAMs have a very limited range, which is really their only balancing factor. If you see a Hunter F6 make sure you're keeping at least 1km of separation between it and yourself. Another thing to note is SRAAMs are probably their strongest in deflection angles. Do not flat turn in front of an F6. I cannot stress this enough, so many people attempt to turn away from an F6 like any enough aircraft, SRAAMs can and will lock and track you in deflection turns no matter how hard you're pulling. Because you also aren't flying away from it anymore, the range is increased. Instead of 1.2km range you're looking at a 1.5km range. Keeping parallel to a Hunter F6 and keeping your engine at difficult angles to lock will help a lot.

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  • Aim9E

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Maximum pull – 10G

Locking range – 6-7km

Missile tracking range – 6km

Explosive mass – 4.5kg

Available to: F-100D, F-4C, Mitsubishi T-2

A very common missile as some very popular aircraft carry it, the Aim9E is the definition of an above average missile. Great range, lock distance, and pull all make it very good in almost every situation. The Aim9E is most dangerous when launched at longer ranges. This is due to how the missile runs out of fuel. The Aim9E will run out of fuel at about 2.5-3km but will still track you upwards of 6km, so you need to be very aware of this when dodging. Mild maneuvers will usually shake this missile at closer ranges, but at longer ranges more intensive maneuvering may be needed as the missile has room and time to correct itself and require it's target. Aim9Es are also known to be spammed, as both the F100 and F4 carry 4 of them.

  • Aim9B

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Maximum pull – 6G

Locking range – 4.5km

Missile tracking range – 4km

Explosive mass – 4.5kg

Available to: F-86F-40, F-86F-40 JASDF, Mitsubishi T-2, F9F-8, FJ-4B, FJ-4B VMF-232, F-100D, F-4C, Sea Hawk Mk.100, CL-13B Mk6, G.91.YS, F-86K, Super Mystere B-2

The younger brother of the Aim9E, the B variant is rather easily dealt with. Encountered on a wide variety of subsonic aircraft, it is simply dodged by gentle maneuvers. Really not much to say about this one, it is the definition of average.

  • AA-20 Nord

Stats:

Speed – 563m/s

Maximum range – 8km (It's worth noting that if an aircraft is coming at a headon approach, you can fire these missiles from 15-18km away, but since the aircraft is coming at you, it's lessening the distance the missile has to travel, so it's still within it's 8km range).

Explosive mass: 8KG

There is no listed max pull listed on the statcard, but it can't be any higher than 8Gs from my experience.

Available to: Super Mystere B-2, G.91 R4

These are fun ones. Nords are the most unique missiles in the game, as they're the only air to air missile in game that are manually guided. Nords take a fair deal of skill to be used, and very few players are able to get kills with them. This is a rare missile to encounter as only two planes have them, and both are sub par at best in the current match maker. However these missiles can be difficult to see and can be guided from any angle, they also do not give off a "rocket is launched" warning, so you have to rely 100% on visuals to know if they're coming. After about 5km of travel Nords will run out of fuel, but can still be guided for another 3km before it completely runs out of range. They become extremely difficult to spot during this period, as all that is visible is a small white strand in the sky. Nords also have a proxy fuse similar to S21 rockets, the missile doesn't need to directly hit to kill you, only get close enough. Dodging Nords may require more intensive maneuvering due to them being player controlled. Nords also aren't hindered in any direction or angle, so you can use maneuvers of all kinds and directions to dodge them.

  • Shafrir

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Locking range – 4km

Maximum tracking distance – 3km

Maximum pull – 10G (The statcard lists these missiles at 6G, but from personal experience this is incorrect.)

Explosive mass – 4KG

Available to: Vautour IIA IDF/AF

Exclusive to one aircraft, Shafrirs are among the best close range missiles in the game. Inside of 1km they are deadly, with an incredible ability to pull tight turns and hold hard angles. This missile doesn't take well to vertical movements, but does track very well in turns. It's performance is also lackluster at longer ranges.

  • PL-2

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Locking range – 3.5km

Maximum tracking distance – 3km

Maximum pull – 6G

Explosive mass – 11kg

Available to: Shenyang F-5, J-6A, J-7II

Newly added in the most recent update, these are exclusive to the the Chinese tree, and fall somewhere between an aim9E and aim9B. They have decent close range performance, but nothing spectacular. But their long range performance is actually quite bad. Treat it like an aim9E at close range.

  • Firestreak

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Locking range – 5km

Maximum tracking distance – 4km

Maximum overload – 8Gs

Explosive mass – 22.7kg.

These are quite similar to the Aim9Es, but just about worse in every way, same rules apply. Although they are quite good for 8.7, there really isn't much to say about them.

  • R-3S

Stats:

Speed – 800m/s

Locking range – 3.5km

Maximum tracking distance – 3km

Maximum pull – 6G

Available to – Mig19-PT, Mig-17AS, Mig-21 F-13

These are what I'd consider some of the worst missiles in game. Just overall meh performance. Treat it like an Aim9B.

  • R-13M

Stats:

Speed – 600m/s (The statcard lists these at the same speed as R-3s, but they are certainly slower).

Locking range – 3.5km

Maximum tracking distance – 3km

Maximum pull – 7G

Explosive mass – 5.5kg

Available to – Mig-19PT

A clear upgrade over the R-3S, the R-13M is a decent close range missile that suffers from poor range and sluggishness. These missiles are not anything to be worried about, but they can take you by surprise at low speeds, so make sure you're ready for it.

If you've made it to the bottom, thanks for reading! I hope it's been some help and any questions are welcome in the replies.

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