War Thunder

SL / WT economy guide — why you are broke and Gaijin wants to keep you broke

warthunder 2 - SL / WT economy guide -- why you are broke and Gaijin wants to keep you broke

Very often I come across posts in this sub about people asking "how to make SL". Answers come in many forms, but there is one that bugs me the most:

"buy premium and you will be good!"

This could not be further away from the truth! People have to realize Gaijin did +100% RP and +50% SL boosts in premium for a reason; it's not mere coincidence the boost values are different, and in the end, they play against us. The game economy is fine tuned for an equal RP to SL % gain ratio, and fact is, we can only advance in the game as fast as the lowest of these values!

Here is a best-to-worst scale on how to stay SL positive in War Thunder. Please note this scale doesn't take into account time to play to research the latest toy out there. Playing in this mindset will set you back, and can only be done if you have the SL reserves to back up the SL to RP deficit you build up:

1) The best proven way to keep your head above the water in SL gains: Use premium vehicles

Premium vehicles provide an equal boost to both RP and SL generation (+100%), and on top, they are generally much cheaper to repair, come with 30x free repairs, and all modifications are already researched and paid for.

2) The most SL to RP neutral way to play WT: be a F2P warrior

As in 1), this keeps the SL to RP gain ratio equal, so you aren't making more RP than you can spend with SL. It's slightly worse than 1) because tree vehicles are more expensive to repair, and you will have to pay for the modifications you research in these.

3) 50% deficit on SL on the long run: use a premium account

As mentioned before, this game is carefully tuned for a true neutral economy as described in 2). Gaijin's gambit with premium is "if a player pays for premium, he might pay again for SL, or at least he will be forced to spend +50% of time in game to make up the SL to cover his research". Playing with premium might make your research go 2x faster, but in the end you are only going as fast as your SL allows you to go.

4) 100% deficit on SL on the long run: use talismans

Same as 3), but now with double speed at RP without any extra gain in SL.

5) 150% deficit on SL on the long run: use talismans and premium

Read:  Update 2.0 - Return of the Russian Bias!

This might seem obvious, but some people can't grasp simple maths. By putting 3) and 4) together, you only make things worse. You are now researching at +200% RP, but with only +50% SL gains; thus putting you deeper in the hole.


As you see above, Gaijin is stingy with SL boosting, and greedy on repair/ammo costs, because they know this is the best way to keep people in their game. People get kind of happy by getting RP fast, but ignore the fact they aren't making SL as fast to buy all the crap they research.

Another thing you might have noticed which is NOT A COINCIDENCE: we all get more RP boosters in the daily trophies than SL boosters. This is not lucky, on the contrary; Gaijin keeps you happy on the RP generation, but knows they can control you on the SL.


Cost of ownership is higher than the stick price:

Many people don't even realize how much top vehicles truly cost. People look at the entry price of the US Phantom and think "1M is enough to play this baby", but the ownership value is much higher:

  • 1M to buy it
  • 390K to crew it
  • 1M to expert crew it (you don't want to have your pilot falling asleep at each 5G turn, right?)
  • 5-30K repair bill every crash (minus the first 10 crashes, but lets face it, you will get them often when you are learning a new plane)
  • Around 16 modifications at an average of 50K SL each: 800K (feel free to correct me on this)
  • TOTAL: 3.2M SL

How to compensate for SL loss:

Because we are all humans, and don't want to only play with premium planes or F2P to ensure we are SL positive or at least neutral, we have to find ways to pay back some of that SL deficit we start building up when we play using premium or talismans.

a) Play to make SL : What Gaijin wants from you. If you don't have anything more to research, all your SL now goes to your reserves or to buy all those researched vehicles / parts.

b) turn off auto repair: This is a simple way to save some SL. When you stop playing and go to bed / school / work, your damaged lineup for each nation gets a bit repaired during your time away from the game. You only save some thousands of SL here and there, but it can compound to millions of saved SL in the long run.

Read: (Dev) - Changes in JSON Files

c) wait for anniversary / Christmas sales to buy vehicles / modifications: a very effective way to fight back SL deficit from playing with a premium. You stockpile vehicles and modifications throughout the Summer and Autumn, and then buy everything you unlocked so far during the sales. I have been using this method so far with premiums, and it keeps me SL neutral while using premium (I have always been able to buy and crew everything I want, as long as I am patient enough to wait for these sales).

d) use GE to buy expensive almost researched modifications: some mods cost over 80K SL to buy. If you start researching them and buy them with GE when close to completion, you don't have to pay SL to unlock them. For example, the Me262 C2 engines cost 80K RP to unlock and over 80K SL to buy. If you research around 76K RP for these, it will cost some 20GE to buy them off. If you buy them with the 20 GE, you won't have to pay the 80K SL to get them.

e) use backup coupons on your expensive vehicles: simple technique to get the best out of your repair bills. by using a backup coupon on an expensive vehicle, you "erase" the repair cost. Even if you use it and get back to hangar right after because the battle ended, you get your vehicle repaired back in the hangar.

Source: Original link

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