World of Tanks vs War Thunder – All Similarities and Differences

Wargaming can be confusing when choosing which title to play.

by J.R. Waugh
War Thunder World of Tanks Similarities Differences
Images: Wargaming, Gaijin Entertainment, Remixed by Attack of the Fanboy

Some players simply don’t find satisfaction in military first-person shooters. Sometimes you just want to get into the latest modern armor and blast your opponents into oblivion. This is a sentiment we totally understand, and thankfully, there is a niche for that in the online gaming community. What’s even better is, they’re totally free to play. But when you see the ads for World of Tanks and War Thunder, you might wonder if they’re the same game, and if not, what the differences are.

World of Tanks Vs. War Thunder Differences: Clash of the Wargames

World of Tanks and War Thunder are cut from the same cloth and feature very similar gameplay, so it’s understandable if they get mixed up. Some key similarities might explain the confusion, from the gameplay to the featured vehicles, to even the marketing. Here are some key similarities and differences between World of Tanks and War Thunder:

World of Tanks Vs. War Thunder Similarities

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Right away, you’ll note that these games both feature a broad range of military vehicles you can control in multiplayer or co-op combat in a realistic 3D environment. Beyond this, the similarities include:

  • The name: War Thunder was supposed to be called “World of Planes” despite Wargaming Minsk having already made World of Warplanes.
  • The vehicles: both have tanks with sophisticated, intense battles where you must fight other vehicles.
  • Both are free to play.
  • Tank turret aiming is very similar, forcing you to aim carefully and ensure the turret aligns with your crosshairs.
  • Both feature typical multiplayer modes such as capturing strategic control points on the map.
  • Both feature in-game currencies to buy other vehicles to use in battle.
  • Both have similar loadout options, currency systems for acquiring new vehicles, and modifications.
  • Both will play on most modern consoles and PC.

Related: 10 Best Skins in War Thunder, Ranked

The common elements between these games can make them easy to distinguish. But there are some clear and present differences as well, between War Thunder and World of Tanks.

Differences Between World of Tanks and War Thunder

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War Thunder and World of Tanks might share a similar free-to-play model, but their differences begin to show once you complete their decidedly similar tutorials (featuring tanks.)

The differences are as follows:

  • War Thunder is a combined arms game, allowing you to pilot a warplane or fight naval battles at sea as alternatives to tank gameplay, which it also features. World of Tanks, however, is a specialized game, with World of Warplanes and World of Warships being other options.
  • World of Tanks prominently displays itself as more of an arcade tank shooter, with more intense tank battles at a faster pace.
  • War Thunder is decidedly more realistic and feels more current-gen with its visuals, even at the risk of sometimes having less exciting (or even more tedious) gameplay as a result.
  • World of Tanks is made available to practically any modern platform including mobile, while War Thunder is not on the Switch.

If you’re looking to obliterate your opponents with reckless abandon and still enjoy mildly tactical gameplay akin to Battlefield or Call of Duty, World of Tanks is your best bet.

If you’re looking for a wider variety of vehicle types and gameplay options as well as greater realism and more intense strategic battles, War Thunder is the choice to make.

- This article was updated on March 31st, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a content creator with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. also manages his local movie theater.