How to Use the Radar in War Thunder
In 2020, War Thunder received an update that brought radar functionality to several combat vehicles. Radar is crucial for detecting enemies, tracking them, and more. With many different features, it’s no wonder some players struggle to master them.
However, we gathered information on some of the crucial radar targeting systems in War Thunder. Keep on reading to find out how they work and their methods of operation.
War Thunder: How to Use the Radar
The aircraft in War Thunder have either target detection radars or target tracking radars. Most aircraft have both installed and working together. Higher-ranking planes tend to come with advanced radar to give players an edge over other models.
Target detection radars will add a radar display and compass on the heads-up display when you turn it on. This type of radar will only show both friendly and enemy aircraft and where they are. The compass also has an arrow showing you the other aircraft’s directions.
Some advanced target detection radars on high-ranking planes have better features, including better area scanners and a more extended range.
On the other hand, target tracking radars are better than target detection radars because they lock onto an enemy and keep you informed of their whereabouts. You have to manually lock on to a target for a green square to appear over the enemy, though. While tracking radars can lock on, they tend to have a shorter range, and a few factors can confuse the targeting system.
Some radars like the AN/APG-100 use the same radar antenna for both detecting and tracking. However, you must toggle between both modes. If you’re tracking and locking onto a target, the searching radar function is disabled.
SPAA ground vehicles also have radars, which are somewhat similar to airborne radars. These radars are also capable of detecting and tracking, depending on the vehicle.
Active radar systems are what most players often encounter on SPAA vehicles. Most of them have two separate radars, one for tracking and the other for detection. Others have combined radars like the AN/APG-100, where you must toggle between both modes wisely.
Other radars on SPAA vehicles are simply rangefinders. These don’t track enemy vehicles, but you’ll use them to calculate the distance between you and any target. You can think of them as manual search radars.
For both aircraft and SPAA vehicles, the controls to activate the radar are “Alt + R.” The key combination “Alt + F” allows you to lock onto the nearest or selected target. To select a target to lock on to, you need to press “Alt + T.”
War Thunder: How to Use Radar Gunsights
Radar gunsights are a different type of sight to the typical gyroscopic gunsights on aircraft. Not all aircraft have them, but you can which type your aircraft has.
Standard gyroscopic gunsights require pilots to dial in ranges manually, but radar gunsights will do so automatically. As long as you’re aiming at a target, the radar gunsights will handle the dialing for you.
These gunsights work the best in the first-person mode. In third-person mode, they only serve to tell you if there’s an enemy beyond the thick clouds ahead.
Here are the steps to using your radar gunsights:
- Choose an aircraft with radar gunsights.
- Get into battle.
- Press Alt+ F to turn them on if the radar gunsight is off.
- You’ll see a green triangle on your HUD when the radar gunsights are on.
- If you want to turn it off, press Alt + F again.
War Thunder: How to Use Radar Missiles
Semi-active radar homing missiles (SARH) were introduced to War Thunder in the Raining Fire update. These missiles are designed for air-to-air combat, which eliminates SPAA vehicles from equipping them entirely. While SARH missiles are pretty effective in action, there’s no perfect weapon in War Thunder.
First, we’ll talk about how SARH missiles work. As a pilot, you have to track your target manually and continuously. This procedure is necessary after you launch one at an enemy plane. The missile locks onto the mark on its own, making hitting targets a collaborative effort between both pilot and warhead.
SARH missiles will pursue their targets and maintain optimal range or speed tracking. You can rest assured that other units in the area won’t distract it and cause it to miss. However, they can miss due to reflected signals from the surface, including water.
Not all SARH missiles work the same way. Some are immune to reflected signals, and others employ different approaches to tracking. You should study its intricacies and practice your tracking technique to achieve the best results, no matter the missile.
Certain SARH warheads such as the Matra R.530 and R-3Rs rely on distance to home in on enemy aircraft. With these warheads, you can lock on before firing and safely ignore other aircraft or deflected signals. You should be at medium or high altitude to use these SARH missiles, preferably level or above enemies.
The AIM-7D/E and several others use the target’s radial speed and the Doppler effect to home on planes or helicopters. These warheads can also ignore other targets and signals. On the downside, you can only lock on to a target after launch, and the lock-on range is shorter.
It’s better to aim at enemies above you to avoid the signals reflecting off the Earth’s surface for both types of missiles. The more you practice using SARH missiles, the easier it becomes to hit enemy planes and other aircraft.
War Thunder: How to Use M163 Radar?
The M163 technically doesn’t have a radar like other SPAA vehicles or aircraft. However, it does have an AN/VPS-2 radar rangefinder equipped.
To use the M163’s radar rangefinder, follow these steps:
- Go into battle with an M163.
- Aim down the vehicle’s gunsights.
- Aim at an enemy plane.
- Press Alt + F until the rangefinder reports the distance between you and the plane.
- Repeat as necessary or stop aiming down the gunsights.
War Thunder: How to Use the F86 Radar
The F-86F-25 jet fighter comes with a rangefinding radar called the AN/APG-30. This radar doesn’t truly track nor detect enemy planes as newer plane radars do. Instead, it displays the range of the aircraft you have your sights set on.
The steps below will show you how to use this radar:
- While using the F-86F-25, aim down the sights.
- Make sure your target is within the crosshairs and scanning area.
- Press Alt + F until you see the range to your target.
The AN/APG-30 rangefinding radar doesn’t calculate the lead but only shows you where your rounds go and how far enemies are. It also doesn’t take the enemy’s movement into account.
Distance to Enemy Is 3 Kilometers
In War Thunder, radars play a significant role in targeting, tracking, and detecting enemy movement. With many types of radar, both in the air and on the ground, players must master them to fight effectively. Combat has never been the same since radar came into the picture.
Do you use radars often in War Thunder? What’s your favorite radar in the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.