War Thunder Air Combat Maneuvering

Knowing how to fire your primary weapons on an aircraft in War Thunder is insufficient.

You must learn the ins and outs of combat maneuvering to dominate the skies truly. The more you know about the game’s functions, including how your favorite airplane operates and controls, the better you’ll perform in each match.

The following War Thunder Air Combat Maneuvering strategies will help you dominate the battlefield and earn a top spot on your team!

What is air combat maneuvering in War Thunder?

As its name would suggest, air combat maneuvering in War Thunder revolves around maneuvering your aircraft into a proper position before engaging a target.

In most cases, this means flanking your foe or coming up on their rear to attack with your primary weapons.

Sometimes, you’ll pull a dive or climb to gain a better position before pulling off an attack.

The key to air combat maneuvering is learning your airplane’s basic mechanics and movement.

The more control you have over your vehicle, the better you’ll be at combat maneuvering in the game.

Furthermore, it involves offensive and defensive maneuvers, with the end goal being winning the fight—usually one-on-one.

Combat Spread

The combat spread maneuver requires two players to work in tandem.

One goes high, one goes low, and then both come together in the final moments to attack a single target.

The low fighter acts as a defensive measure, and the higher-altitude fighter acts as an attack measure.

The defender lures in an opponent, providing a false sense of security, and then the attacker swoops in from above in a head-on dive bomb against the foe.

Defensive Split

Once more, this technique requires two fighters.

It works best when dealing with multiple targets, and it’s the easiest way to separate your foe into more manageable encounters.

Once two or more friendly airplanes approach the enemy team, two of you will split off in opposite directions, forcing the opponents to disengage the group and follow.

From there, it’s essentially a one-on-one, making the combat encounters more manageable overall.

But, this one comes down to skill more so than trickery. If you can’t win your encounter, your teammate must deal with two enemies again.

Barrel Roll Attack

You’ve likely heard of the barrel roll due to pop culture and movies.

It’s a maneuver in which you will roll and loop your aircraft to come around behind the enemy chasing you.

When done correctly, the enemy aircraft will either stall in an attempt to chase you, or you’ll outflank them and win the encounter.


You may have the fastest airplane in an engagement, but the Immelmann sacrifices your top speed for maneuverability.

You will enact a half loop, invert your plane, and then roll upright.

The goal is repositioning to attack an enemy player flying in the opposite direction.

Split S

The Split S is a War Thunder air combat maneuvre that involves rolling until your airplane is inverted in the sky, pulling back on the controls to reduce airspeed, maneuvering backward, and diving into a half loop.

The goal is a complete 180-degree spin to face an enemy passing below your position at high speeds.


The Pitchback is similar in nature to the Immelmann, but you’ll pitch and turn, then angle into a half loop and roll the airplane toward your opponent.

Theoretically, this maneuver will utilize less energy overall, and your opponent may find it challenging to track. But so will you.

It’s not an easy one to commit to.

Low Yo-Yo

Even as a new player, the Low Yo-Yo is likely the one maneuver you can grasp and use often.

You’ll sacrifice altitude to increase overall speed by rolling with your nose turned down, then drop into a quick turn.

The idea is to save energy by moving vertically, then decrease your range and get the drop on an enemy.

High Yo-Yo

Alternatively, the High Yo-Yo follows a similar end goal.

Still, it slows your approach toward a fast-moving player, conserving energy, then reducing your angle and banking into a turn before pulling back.

Finally, you’ll roll into a steep pitch turn, climbing above your opponent and launching your assault.

Lag Displacement Roll

When you have a bogey on your tail that just won’t quit, the Lag Displacement Roll comes in clutch.

You’ll roll up and away, then align with the opponent. Pull back on the controls and return to the initial turn and pitch before forcing your opponent to overshoot.

Ideally, you’ll wind up behind the foe, ready to attack.

Snap Turn

You can pull off a Snap Turn when facing an opponent head-on. It’s like a game of chicken you want to win, forcing your opponent to break away after their initial burst of fire.

If you’re the one to pull away without dealing critical damage, you become the defender, and a barrel roll might help you regain control.

You’ll note that, as a new player, joining the fray and learning War Thunder air combat maneuverst hat help players win matches feels overwhelming.

It’s a lot of jargon, oddly-named maneuvers, and twists and turns that might make some players feel ill.

Like with most of the game, the more you practice and play, the more you’ll grasp the basics and, in time, the most advanced techniques to win!

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