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.