The best War Thunder planes

If you’re struggling to pick from the possible War Thunder planes in your hangar, our guide has all you need to be the next ace of the skies.

Screenshot of two jet planes for War Thunder planes guide

If you’re looking for a list of the best War Thunder planes, you’re in the right place. Our guide to getting around the skies in Gaijin Entertainment’s dogfighting simulator is all you need to pick the plane that suits your style of play. So what are you waiting for? It’s time for take-off!

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So, let’s barrel roll into our picks for the best War Thunder planes.

Screenshot of a P40 fighter plane for best War Thunder planes guide

P40E1

The P40E1 is one of the most approachable of all the War Thunder planes but doesn’t lack firepower for when you need it. With the iconic design including the painted jaw on the front of the plane, this pick not only functions as one of the better aircraft, but it might have one of the most ferocious designs, too.

The strength of the P40E1 can also be a weakness in specific situations – this thing is very fast. That need for speed teaches you the basics of War Thunder combat quicker than you might learn it in other planes, but it also means that you need to get your head around the controls before taking on online opposition. Providing you can deal with the breakneck speed, there are few planes better suited to a one-on-one dogfight.

Screenshot of a British Hurricane for best War Thunder planes guide

Hurricane Mk IIB/Trop

If you’re looking for something of a similar size to the P40E1 but without the intense speed, the Hurricane Mk IIB/Trop is a great option from the British roster of War Thunder planes. The lack of speed makes the Hurricane much easier to control than other options like the Spitfire, while twelve Browning guns as affixed armaments provide enough firepower to take almost anything out of the sky.

The ease of handling factor makes the Hurricane ideal for both beginners and those who prefer a slightly sluggish plane while scouting the skies. The only caveat to this steel bird is that you need to get a bit inventive in flying it, as cutting across the skies in straight lines makes you an easy target for more maneuverable aircraft.

Screenshot of a Russian LaGG plane for best War Thunder planes guide

LaGG-3-11

Sacrificing ease of control for incredible firepower, the LaGG-3-11 can light up the skies and bring down enemy planes with ease. Sure, it handles like a Boeing 737, but if you can find a way to adjust to the lack of maneuverability, this thing can get your kill count higher than your altimeter while you cruise through the skies looking for your next victim.

As far as Soviet planes go, this might be the most effective you can pilot, with its 12.7 mm Berezin UB machine gun firing rounds at a rate just short of one thousand per minute. Not only that but the bombs onboard the LaGG-3-11 can easily destroy one, or even two, tanks with a clean hit, providing you with a way to clear the ground as well as the skies.

Screenshot of a P51 fighter plane for best War Thunder planes guide

P-51 Mustang

The P-51 Mustang is a nimble nightmare for enemy fighters, with excellent handling and plenty of quickfire armaments to rapidly turn your opponents into scrap metal. With these factors, this plane is the perfect example of the ‘boom and zoom’ playstyle, dealing dangerous levels of damage before swooping out of the picture to recover and get ready to do it all over again.

The other highlight of the P-51 Mustang is that it looks just beautiful. I know that isn’t much help when you’re in the heat of a dogfight, but considering how long you have to spend looking at your chosen plane, it does play into things. However, that classic design does lack in the camouflage department, so you’re going to have to fly like a true ace if you want to keep out of the sight of your enemies.

He 112 B-0

If you’re looking for a competent all-rounder from our list of the best War Thunder planes, look no further than the He 112 B-0. This fine piece of German engineering has it all, solid controls, two 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns with a combined fire rate of over 1,200 per minute, and enough speed to get you out of a jam in seconds flat.

The He 112 B-0 can do a lot of things, but its specialty is taking bombers out of the sky. If you prefer to act as ground support and leave the dogfighting to the others, there are few better options than this pick, with all you need to take planes like the TBD-1 Devastator or Fw 189 A-1 out of the skies for good.

Screenshot of two MiG-29 fighter jets for best War Thunder planes guide

MiG-29 (9-13)

If you want to see fire in the skies, and not from your own engines, the Soviet MiG-29 (9-13) is an absolute beast. This plane arrived with the Apex Predators update, and it’s no surprise when you look at its specifications. Simply put, they made this thing to take other planes out of the sky and turn battlefield buildings into rubble, with a whole host of rockets and bombs on board to unleash your dreams of destruction on unsuspecting soldiers.

I got so carried away highlighting the sheer firepower of the MiG-29 (9-13) that I forgot to mention how fast this thing is. Oh boy, is it fast. That is, in a straight line anyway. Even the best of the best War Thunder planes have caveats, and the big issue here is handling. Still, most bombing runs take place in a straight line, so you shouldn’t have to worry about maneuverability too much.

Screenshot of a Wyvern fighter plane for best War Thunder planes guide

Wyvern S4

Following on from the MiG-29 (9-13), the Wyvern S4 is another all-rounder that can easily disperse both ground and air units if used correctly. This is what I like to call a “get in and get out” plane, serving as an ideal contender for fans of the boom and zoom or boom and run playstyles that require you to drop your payload and get out fast. Still, that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own in a dogfight.

Four 20 mm Hispano Mk.V cannons make the Wyvern S4 just as much of a threat to other strike planes as it is to ground units. That is if you’re approaching from behind. Due to the sticky controls of this aircraft, it isn’t the best for turning around and retaliating. However, it can get up to some serious altitudes, so if you’re coming under heavy fire, the only way is up.

Screenshot of a Buffalo fighter plane for best War Thunder planes guide

F2A-3 Buffalo

While not ideal for beginners, few can hold a candle to the raw power of the F2A-3 Buffalo. This American fighter might look unassuming, and isn’t exactly the most camouflaged of the available planes, but it sure can pack a punch. With four 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun armaments on hand to decimate the wings of your enemies, there aren’t many good options for facing the F2A-3 Buffalo in a one-on-one dogfight.

The only issue with this plane is a slightly sub-par engine, which means you’re going to have to rely on sustaining energy wherever possible to stop from stalling. Still, all this really means is that the Buffalo isn’t ideal for turning and facing an enemy plane. If you flip the situation, and you’re approaching in this American aircraft, you can almost guarantee taking whatever your target might be out of the skies.

There you have it, our list of the best War Thunder planes. For more high-altitude experiences, be sure to check out our picks for the best plane games you can play now.