War Thunder – RNG is here after all

A bit late to the party, but it’s still a good post nevertheless. In a post on r/warthunder, redditor Scout1Treia has discovered that not everything about the penetration mechanics in WT was so clear as we thought it was…

Let me preface this by saying the penetration indicator is actually really fucking accurate – In fact, it knows more about how the game works than we do. Because it’s built into the engine.

I’m not going to go into why it’s accurate and how I’ve proven it, because that involves dozens of previous tests and built-upon knowledge that I cannot simply summarize here. So please just take that at face value. Regardless, I’ll have some “live testing” examples afterwards.

Now, want to see something wicked? Blink and you’ll miss it.


(Recommended watching speed: 0.125x)

This HESH shell penetrates 240mm of armor. It should penetrate this 200mm surface every time.

It turned red for a moment. Why? Because at that moment, RNG rolled against you.

Let’s watch it roll many dozens of times. Here’s a shell with 201mm of penetration.


This is not a bug. This is not a visual error. Half of the shots to the front will not penetrate. It is rolling a new value multiple times per second, and giving you constant feedback on whether or not that shot would penetrate.

I repeated these tests by stripping all the unrelated values from the shell and modifying values until results changed. Nothing changed the results except changing the HESH’s penetration value. Caliber was irrelevant. Slope and angle are irrelevant.

Don’t believe me? Okay.


tldr? HESH varies by up to +-20% from its listed penetration value. A HESH shell that normally penetrates “100mm” of armor can pen anywhere from 80-120mm, depending on how lucky you are.

All other types of shells seem to have +-10%. We world of tanks now.


21 thoughts on “War Thunder – RNG is here after all

  1. Thank you for this. i do not play WT so normally skip over them but this had solid specifics about game mechanics, and was well done, thank you. Its nice to see Wt posts that are just data and analysis, not commentary or criticism.


  2. Opinion here – HESH is actually plastic explosive, so 20% RNG seems reasonable. 10% RNG for other shells? You know that sometimes ruskie tanks came out of the tractor factory a few centimeters on one side, right?)))))))))))


  3. Wow what a huge revelation….i’m shocked.

    In all seriousness now, a low RNG number is acceptable but i would prefer it if it took effect only after you have fired a number of shells.

    Heat is something that’s missing from the game and it plays a huge role in real life.

    When the gun barrel overheats the performance will change (accuracy,muzzle velocity etc.). Not by much, but a 5-10% for sure, especially for those old tech weapons what were mass produced with little refinement.

    As for ammunition specific RNG….it’s bullshit. If the gun can shoot straight and with maximum velocity, the ammunition should have maximum performance, not a close “estimation”.


    1. “As for ammunition specific RNG….it’s bullshit.”

      It’s not bullshit, the same reason those “those old tech weapons that were mass produced with little refinement.” have RNG is the same reason their Ammo does, worse quality manufacturing processes, no two shells were exact to each other even though they went though the same processes… not to mention things like Air Density, and cross winds which have a real world effect on the performance of these rounds, a shell flying through a less dense air pocket will hit the target with more penetration due to less air resistance than a shell flying through a dense pocket of air…

      You say it’s bullshit, I say it’s an easy way to code in all the real world effects on gun performance without having to literally code every possible effect individually on every shell and gun and armor combination which would then eat up a shit ton of GB’s in code…


        1. High Pressure and Low Pressure areas, IE Good or Bad Weather… And yes they can have an effect on the performance… But this is still not the main reason a shell has RNG, just as guns have RNG because they were made with (What would be considered today) substandard processes, the shells were made with these same substandard processes…


    1. That’s because crew members in WT are considered to be 11mm of steel.

      And WT ricochet are literally random.
      And WT servers are crap, so hit detection is laughable.


      1. no, it is totally random, I’ve seen both crew members being killed by a single frag hit on the foot as well as certain crew members stop shell frags with their knees


  4. I have a question, is this test in AB or RB mode?
    I don’t know but there is probably possible for players to enable the penetration indicator in RB/SB using a custom made mission with SDK but if he did this test in AB then there’s no real reason to complain since it has been known for a long while that WT ARCADE BATTLES are RNG based like any other arcade game
    from simplyfied flight/damage models, unrealistic performance (mobility, etc…) and many other things such as more durable armor
    it is known you can survive hits in AB that you would need a miracle to even be left with 1 or 2 crew members alive and the tank burning in RB/SB, of course there are also some proofs of RNG in “realistic” modes but not has blatant about penetration (ghost shells, stalinium fuel tanks, etc…)
    if this test is purely AB oriented than there’s nothing to be shocked about, they claim there’s no dispersion and RNG but everyone knows it’s there (well, in the case of dispersion is once again RNG since it’s usually too accurate), I am much more shocked from claiming the game is realistic with friendly fire turned off for direct hits in RB ground forces, rockets and arty strikes can still teamkill

    if the test used SDK to enable the indicator in RB and it still happens then I have to say it is one more “nail in the coffin”, but then again it is too little for such thing as RNG being in the game for me to be surprised now after so many other things that came from gaijin


  5. Real life historical AP bomb penetration test shows a +-15% variation in penetration from formula AKA indicated value.
    This is not bullshit but merely realistic RNG.


  6. I’d fucking pay for 10 % rng in WoT.
    That’s almost nothing compared to the 25 % we have now. 10 % is reasonable, more than this makes the game a slot machine that has nothing to do with skill.


    1. That new american guy in charge in wot (with the long hair,cant remember his name),doing a Q+A about a month ago live,when asked about RNG admitts its all about noobie-protection and not about realism.He said something luke:”Would you like to see only the same 5% if old experienced players winning over and over?”.
      So remember that the next time you bounce on a 500-WN8 scrub in his tier 8 light with your tier 10 260-pen gun,while he shoits on the move and pens your heavy tank frontally….cuz hey his fucking 180-pen gun might as well roll as high as 220-pen,and your fucking 260-pen gun might roll as low as 200-pen……F U !

      Liked by 1 person

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