5 June 2020

New detection system for missile launch

Changed as a result of the last open test:

  • The MSL symbol has been removed. Only the “◇” missile marker, and the distance to it, will remain.
  • The range of the smoke trail for missiles has been increased.

Thank you for your feedback! 


In high ranked aircraft battles, the main weapon type is now guided air-to-air missiles with infrared homing heads. The missile itself emits nothing at launch and the only means of detecting the fact that it has been launched in reality is visual detection - i.e. observation of the missile from a pilot’s eyes. 

Previously we implemented the simulation of missile launch detection through a text warning regarding the fact that it had been launched, but this implementation wasn't very satisfactory to players and also us. We have received numerous requests to disable this system in aircraft RB similar to aircraft SB in order to increase the realism and importance of the player's actions by evading attacks. In addition it would increase the effectiveness of early air-to-air missiles with low maneuverability making it easier to dodge them after the appearance of a text warning. 

Also there is some inconsistency in the current system: for example an aircraft would receive a warning about the launch of a guided air-to-air missile but didn’t receive a warning of a launch from an anti-aircraft missile system (not equipped radar warning system which isn't capable of detecting radar operation).

The detection of guided missiles

This is why we’ve decided to improve the game’s missile warning mechanics, making it more realistic preserving the interest in gameplay. Messages on the screen about the detection of the launched missiles will be disabled. 

  • In aircraft AB and RB (marker-enabled game modes) a special “◇” marker will be added on all enemy guided missiles within the pilot’s detection range. The range of the marker’s appearance will depend on the skill of the crew, namely, an “Awareness” skill which will be also responsible for the new parameter “Range of missile detection”. Markers will appear when the missile engine is turned on and disappear after a short period of time after it stops.
  • In the SB game mode the warning detection system will not be changed. The warning system still depends on the aircraft being equipped with the appropriate electronic ballistic missile defense systems.
  • In markerless gaming modes missile markers will also be hidden, as well as text warnings on launched missiles. Missile detection will be visual, or automatic for aircraft and helicopters that have the appropriate warning systems on board in reality. 

In these gaming modes, you won’t simply wait for a text warning - you will need to observe your enemy to detect missile launch. An attacking player, in their turn, will have an opportunity to approach undetected into missile launch range amidst a battle to inflict a sudden strike on the enemy. The new mechanics will allow us to implement the potential realisation of missile combat beyond visual range and also, multi-angle missiles in future.


The War Thunder Team

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