War Thunder Historical Battle Mode Guide

War Thunder Historical Battle Mode Guide by Cpt_Flashheart

I know many arcade players who want to try HB, but are a bit scared of it.
So here is a quick guide to explain HB, so we can have more people to play HB with!

You choose 1 plane in the hangar before joining matchmaker. This plane cannot be changed so select well!
If you are spending a lot of time in queue, it is because you are playing a very populated nation. So why not try another one.

What plane to use:
You can enter even with a biplane. But I recommend at least a rank 4-5 plane that can give you a good chance to win an air kill.
At the start I do not recommend any plane with more than 2k HB repair cost. Some great planes to start with are:
US: F2A3, P40, RUS: Lagg-3, SU-M82, GER: MC202 Folgore, UK: Spitfire I, Hurricane II, JP: Ki-61la

Controlling your plane in HB:
Can you use mouse aim in HB? Yes, many people do. In fact, maybe the majority of HB players use mouse aim.
Though joystick is fine too. The mouse aims better, but controls the plane worse (you have to use the keyboard to stabilize it).
In HB the plane wobbles more in turns because of more realistic FM.
You can overcome this by using the keyboard roll and rudder keys to stabilize the plane.
Also, you have to take less extreme turns and maneuvers before firing to achieve a stable shot opportunity.
This is frustrating at first, but after you get used to it, it is actually a nice challenge and gives a sense of achievement.

How do I climb well:
At the start of HB, usually a lot of time is spent climbing to get an altitude advantage. Planes climb the fastest at their minimum stall speed around 150kph. Just angle your plane up as much as you can, while keeping the altitude just above 150kph so you do not see the “Critical Speed” message.

Limited Ammo:
Unlike in Arcade, you cannot simply reload your plane in the air by pressing Y. You have to return and land at the runway to reload so its not practical to reload often.
This means that you have to really conserve and take only sure shots.
You may want to pick planes with a decent amount of ammo and avoid low-ammo planes like some of the Yaks.

Fuel is limited in HB. Switch on the fuel indicator in options so you can see the fuel time left.
Also, dont forget at the start of the game to select your fuel amount.
Usually 45 mins is enough. More will just weigh your plane down and make it move like a turtle.

No target recticle:
Unlike Arcade Mode, there is no nice target recticle circle telling you where to shoot. You have to guess where to shoot.
Just imagine where the target recticle would be and fire there. Shoot where the plane will go, not where it currently is.
The best way to practice is to switch off Leading Indicator (thats the recticle) in Arcade and practice there.
Once you get used to shooting without a recticle in Arcade, you can easily switch to HB.

Longer distances and speed:
Having a fast plane is a much greater advantage in HB than in Arcade Mode because the speed difference is modelled better and the distances are longer. It means you can run away from fights and quickly go back to runway for repairs and reloading.
It also means you can catch fleeing planes rather than see them escape back to base to repair.

Altitude is king:
Altitude and boom and zoom fighting is much more effective in HB than in Arcade due to better FM in HB.
It is very important not be low and out of energy unless you are a turnfighter or stallfighter such as the zero.
You will see 190s boom and zoom and almost be untouchable.

Teamwork is more important:
It is very important in HB to stick with teammates for safety in numbers.
Use the T key to communicate who is the main target or to ask for cover.
Usually it is best to wipe out the fighters 1st, before the bombers.
And it is best to wipe out players before the AI.

Watch out for the killer AAA at base runways:
The AAA at runways is OP. Do not chase hostile aircraft to their runways! You will almost certainly be downed by AAA.
If there are 2 or more teammates also around the enemy runway, it may be safer, because the AAA fire is being split up between the 2-3 of you, so it is less dangerous. Your team could destroy the AAA first, then camp the runway.

Victory conditions:
Each map has specific victory conditions.
But you can also win by wiping out all the hostile aircraft.
If there is only one hostile left, it is usually faster to win by getting that aircraft than to complete the map objectives.

Feel free to post your own tips to help beginners at HB.

HB is not only for pros. (That is FRB!). You can pick it up very fast and really enjoy War Thunder more.
What a brilliant game, good work devs.
See you guys in the skies.

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