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A Guide to Squadron Battles!


Hi guys. These forums and the in-game general chat are full of questions about squadron battles. So I thought I would take some time to describe what squadron battles are, how they work and how you access them. It's in the best interest of the War Thunder Community that all squadrons know how to participate in these events. The teams that do know how to do them are often left waiting in the que for someone to fight. So hopefully this guide get more squadrons interested. Once you know how to do squadron battles you will discover an entirely new side of War thunder that you never knew existed. For many, it's the best part of this game.


Squad - 4 people that are grouped together. This has nothing to do with squadron battles and is often a major source of confusion. You do not have to be in a squadron with someone to invite them into a squad.

Squadron - This is a "guild" or a "clan" as many of you have come to know in many other games. Squadrons in War Thunder cost real life money to create (2500 Golden Eagles). The maximum number of members in a squadron is 128. You have to be a member of a squadron in order to participate in squadron battles.

What exactly are "Squadron Battles"?

Squadron battles are squadron versus squadron matches. Both squadrons get to use any combination of vehicles they want to. This includes all tanks, planes ground vehicles and bombers. You must be a member of a squadron in order to participate in a squadron battle (SB). The winning squadron wins points that contribute to their world wide ranking; also known as the "Duel Rating" as seen in your MENU > SQUADRONS option in game. Duel rating and SB's are currently the only way to increase your world wide ranking. The world wide top 3 teams actually get golden eagles as an incentive to be the best, as seen in the top right of the below picture. Highlighted is the "Duel Rating". Squadron battles are available twice daily, for 6 hours at a time.


Do I earn Lions and Research points doing squadron battles?

Yes! You earn the exact same amount of research points and Lions as you would in any regular match in War Thunder. So even if you lose the match, your time was well spent and you walk away with something.


Example of a squadron battle. This is LED versus PUMA. Notice there are both planes and tanks.
I intentionally use this video because I feel it best demonstrates the mechanics of a squadron battle very well. The Arcade mode squadron battles gravity is a cross between what you're use to in arcade battles (AB) and realistic battles (RB). It takes some getting use to. Notice in this video I crash, twice. That's because I had spent all day doing arcade battles and threw myself off.  Think of arcade mode squadron battles as a hybrid realistic battle. More gravity, less response and tanks are invisible unless marked, like in a realistic battle, but a reticule and visible air targets, like in normal Arcade mode. So if you opt for Arcade mode squadron battles, keep this in mind. Otherwise, Realistic squadron battles are exactly the same. Simulator squadron battles have been removed.


Can I do Squadron Battles in any tier vehicle?

Yes and no. Tier 5 vehicles are currently excluded from squadron battles. Other than that, there are no restrictions on tiers; put whatever vehicle you want in you lineup. You can also all be in tier four vehicles and bring along a new recruit that's in tier 2 vehicles if you want. Once in the que, you will see there are tiers next to your squadrons name. Each person in the que will show what their top tier vehicle in their lineup is.  BATTLE RATINGS ARE COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT IN SQUADRON BATTLES! A bullet is a bullet and a bomb is a bomb. A tier 1 biplane can kill a tier 4 plane. Tanks, not so much. You can use tier 1-2 tanks for their speed however. Even the best tankers out there, with the best tanks in game, still utilize those tier 1s when they need speed. Example of tiers as seen in the squadron battle window:


So we can have both tanks and planes in our lineup?

Yes! Hence the reason these are so darn fun! Every map requires a different strategy. Some require more tanks than planes. Some require more planes than tanks. As a general rule of thumb, always have two tankers on the ground at all times. Again, it changes depending on the map. Click Pentastealz Strategy Guide for more information.


We did a squadron battle but could not see the enemy ground vehicles!

That's a recent change. Arcade squadron battles become an integrated version of arcade meets realistic battles. Your ground vehicles have to "mark" enemy ground vehicles in one of two ways. The most common way is by pushing T17 (in that sequence). Once selected, the enemy tanks will be visible to all planes in proximity to that vehicle (note: planes too far away will still not see the ground vehicles that's marked, depending on crew stats). They can now bomb it. The other way is proximity marking. GET CLOSE to enemy vehicles, aim your barrel toward them, and they will light up like a Christmas tree for your team to bomb. But beware, pilots and tankers alike, tanks can shoot back, and they will!

Our squadron is interested in squadron battles, now what?

First thing you need is Teamspeak or some other form of voice communication. You need to be able to talk and communicate as a team! See below for some "pro-tips".
You need to start with 8 people, one being the Commander, Officer or person leading the battle. Of the 8 players, pick 2 as your primary tankers. Depending on the map, you might want to select a couple to only bring planes with bombs and the rest in fighter planes like the Yak 9 (example). Squadron battles are all about skill and strategy; more so than vehicle tiers and battle ratings (although they are valuable). Bring your A-Team, the squadrons that are doing this now are very good at it.

Once you have your 8 member team in Teamspeak (or in-game voice chat, Mumber, Raidcall, Skype, etc.) follow the directions below to que in. Also, open up Pentastealz Strategy Guide. It will give you more info on what vehciels to use on what maps and a little about victory conditions.

Step 1: Click the grey "Events" button in the top right corner.


Step 2: Pick Squadron Battles. Gold is Arcade Battles (the top one) and Silver is Realistic Battles (bottom one). I highly recommend Arcade Mode until you are more comfortable in squadron battles. Simulator battles use to be available on Saturdays only, but I believe they recently removed them completely.


Step 3: Pick your server. As a golden rule always pick the nearest server to the bulk of your players doing the squadron battles. The Russian and SA servers are something you may want to avoid if you can read this. Remember the time zones too. US will be populated at night in US eastern time and the same goes for all the servers (after everyone eats dinner in their time zone).


Step 4: Click "Take Part" in the bottom right corner. Verbally confirm everyone made it in the que and is on the same server. Do this in Teamspeak. Currently there is no way to know who is in and who is out. Next to your squadron name you will see how many people are in each tier vehicles. But it doesn't tell you who they are. There's always THAT ONE GUY! You know, the one that ninja afk's to let the dog out or grab a Hot Pocket. If that happens just have a ninth person que in. IMPORTANT NOTE: Right now there is a bug with squadron battles. It will give each person 2 points in the que, per server. So if all 8 of you are qued on EU for example, you will see 16. If you guys que on both the EU and US server, you will see 32. You get the point.



Step 5: Go kick some azz! Sometimes you'll have to wait in the que for another squadron, hence the purpose of me writing this guide. We need more squadrons to participate. This will reduce or eliminate our wait times. For the most part, Russians own squadron battles right now because most english speaking WT players have no idea how to do squadron battles. So I hope this changes things.

Pro Tips

Always balance your planes and tanks. This takes practice! Keep your most proficient tankers where they're happy, in tanks!

Keep good notes about maps and what the enemy did to win. That's the only way to get good.

The only way to get good is to lose, learn and remain resilient. We all got our butts wooped when we started SB's. Remember that it's just for fun. You earn the exact same amount of Lions and research points as you would have doing normal battles. So just hang in there, your day will come and you'll learn which teams not to fight.

Watch for spawn campers and never spawn camp, it's frowned upon. By spawn camping I mean flying near their spawn point and killing them as soon as they spawn. Same goes for tanks. Don't do it or squadrons will stop queing when your in the que because they don't want to play people like that. Russian squadrons are infamous for doing this. Spawn camp the heck out of them to even the odds!

Use your tanks to cap. Protect them from bombers while they're on the cap.

Have a couple people get really good at dropping bombs with fighter planes. Don't bring heavy bombers like the B-17 because they will be dead in a matter of seconds.

Organize your 8 people team. Find out what they like (Russian fighters, German tanks, etc.) then assign them a perma spot. From now on that's their job. Have them focus their time in game at getting their vehicles spaded out and being proficient at using them. Also, slots play a huge role. Encourage your members to purchase more slots in the country they plan on using for SB's. Some battles are battles of attrition and you'll use every vehicle.

Tanks - Never bring heavy tanks, only light and medium. They are too slow to get to cap. That could mean a loss.

Tanks - You get two of every tank (except heavy tanks). It's only when you use the second tank that you lose points in the match. So rotate your tanks if possible.

Some maps can be won by simply bombing minibases or an airfield. Watch for bombers! Again, take good notes so that you can form both an offense and a defense.

Landing craft fill the map with AI tanks. Take them out with guns (no bombs needed).

Never ever, ever, ever spawn camp another squadron! Remember that we are all there to have fun. When you remove the fun factor they may never play you again. That translates to less points and more time waiting in the que. It's hard sometimes and you'll often find yourself near their spawn point, Commanders make sure you manage your team as to maintain a gentleman's match.

Establish and maintain discipline in Teamspeak! Your tanks need to tell bombers where to drop bombs. Tell your people to cut the chit chat. A fighters job is situational awareness. They should not be talking about planes unless it's a bomber. Tanks should only be talking about capping ("protect me, I'm capping") or "tank marked" to let you guys know to drop a bomb. For the most part, whoever wins the ground wins the match (on most maps). But failure to communicate and have discipline will result in an ineffective team. So tell them to be quite and only state relevant information.

I hope this information is helpful for you squadrons wondering how to climb the leaderboards or discover the "end game" of War Thunder.

Go have fun and kick some butt!

Edited by SHRAP
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Added some stuff that I missed...

What does "Personal squadron rating" mean in my squadron window?

Personal squadron rating points are only earned by doing squadron battles. Think of them as your personal contribution to your squadrons Duel Rating score. The total of the top twenty players is your squadrons "Duel Rating" as seen in world wide Squadrons window. After the top twenty scores are calculated, only about 5% of every of every other members Personal squadron rating is tallied into the overall Duel Rating score. So in short, only your top twenty players count.


How many Personal squadron rating points can I earn?

Once you have reached 1500 points you have reached the cap. You will no longer earn points for your squadron unless you beat a squadron that is very high ranked. And even then, you only get a few points per victory; and often times you'll get none at all. On average, every time your squadron team of 8 players achieves a victory you each get 30-32 points. But this amount varies based on the difficulty rating of your opponent and where they sit on the leaderboards. So when you're just starting out you guys should get about 240 points, per victory, for your squadron and 30-32 points individually.

What if my squadron loses a match, do we lose points?

Yes! Every time you lose a match you lose points (unless your squadron has zero points). The amount of points you lose depends on your opponents place in the leaderboards. Each member that lost may only lose 15 Personal squadron points (for example). So it does set you back and you can fall in world wide ranking by losing. So if the world wide ranked number one team lost to a squadron that's doing their very first battle, they may lose 100 points each, or 800 points total in their Duel Rating. But if two squadrons battle that are low in the leaderboards the losing team might only lose 20 points total in their Duel Rating score.

What if my players are away from game?

War Thunder penalizes players that are not active. Each week players that have not participated in squadron battles will lose points. I've seen it but I can't tell you how many they lose per week. I know that after twoo weeks they lose more than they lost in the previous week. I'll come back and edit this when I do know the exact amount.

What if one of our members leaves the squadron, do we retain their points?

Nope. When they leave so do their points that they have earned while in your squadron. So retention is very important! Pick your top 20 players based on their reliability and interest in War Thunder.

Can we do 7 versus 7 or 9 versus 9 squadron battles?

No. SB's are 8 versus 8 only. All 8 members have to be qued on the same server at the same time in order to participate in a squadron battle. There are rumors of Gaijin increasing this amount to 16 versus 16 in an upcoming patch.

If we want a Tier 1 squadron battle will we get a match with a squadron in Tier 4 vehicles?

Yes! You will get destroyed. So be careful about who is in the que. Have an officer or one person enter the que and check all servers before having everybody que in.

How can we meet another squadron (an ally or friendly squadron) in lower tier squadron battles?

Just que up on an mutually agreed to server. But again, make sure there are no higher tiered teams ready in the que at the time you all join. Either wait for them to battle someone else or pick another server. If there are higher tiered teams that you don't want to fight communicate with the squadron (that you want to challenge to a lower tier match) by sending them a message and invite them to another server.

Do we have to be in two squads to compete in a squadron battle?

No. As the matter of fact, if any of your 8 members are in a squad it will not activate the match. Have all 8 of your players disband their squads and just que into squadron battles by themselves. That's the only way to activate a squadron battle.

My squadron does not have Teamspeak but we want it!

Fear not my friends! Gaijin provides it to you for free! Go download Teamspeak at www.teamspeak.com. Once you have it, click Connections, Connect and type in ts.gaijin.net (no password). Bam! Now you're in Gaijins mass Teamspeak server. Squadron Commanders go ahead and create a room for your Squadron. Password it if you like, it's up to you. But it is available and it is free. I should also mention that there are other voice services available like Mumble, Raidcall, Skype and in-game voice chat (it's already built into War Thunder).

Attention Squadron Commanders and Officers! If you need help.... LET ME KNOW! I can come to your Teamspeak and talk to you and your officers. We are a cooperative community and our focus is to get as many squadrons as possible into squadron battles. We don't want nothing in return. Just seeing more teams que up is reward enough. We have less wait times and you learn a whole new part of War Thunder that you never knew existed. I am in direct contact with many, many Squadron Commanders and can help facilitate a match against someone in Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 or any combination you feel comfortable with. If you're just starting I can also match you up with someone that has never done a squadron battle.

Contact SHRAP in game for more details.

Squadrons that are cooperating with this project and agree to train new squadrons are (but not limited to):

Act of War (AOW)

Contact any one of their Commanders or Officers to set up a training match. Every one of them is world ranked and can help train you and even put their teams together and meet you in a custom match if you prefer. Also Commanders, we have a private, invitation only, chat channel that is shared amoung english speaking squadron commanders and officers that form squadron battles ONLY. Contact SHRAP or any 50+ world ranked english speaking squadron Commander for an invite. Again, it will only be handed out to Commanders and Officers of squadron's doing or wanting to get involved in squadron battles. It's a drama free environment and violators WILL be removed.

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Thanks for the guide! Our squadron is definitely planning to take part in squadron battles!

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Looking for a fun and competitive Squadron to join? TlTAN is a fast-growing international squadron looking for new talent! If you are Tier 4, have a microphone, and play regularly, apply today!


Also make this thread popular, once this becomes more popular, more English speaking squadrons can participate in squadron battles

This is a really good guide for people that don't really participate in squadron battles. It will really help the people just starting squadrons and wanting to participate in squadron battles.

Edited by NigeIThornberry

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Thanks guys.

JoJohnson : Any nation, any vehicle. As long as it's Tier 1 - Tier 4. There are no restrictions for you or your opponent.

Edited by SHRAP
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WWA has not been contacted yet. Thanks for the reminder. TAWA did their first two matches last night and won both of them. I was helping them in their Teamspeak when they were doing them. They did great! RAF1 leadership thinks it's a scam and has refused to be part of it. One of their Commanders is very nice though and has been invited to our private chat channel in case they change their mind or wants to request a match.

As I contact squadrons I sometimes get flak. They think I'm a snake oil salesman and that I have something to gain by helping them. They fail to realize that just by getting them more involved in squadron battles we are all winning. I'm without a squadron right now and would never join one that didn't do squadron battles. So that's my motivation. The more that do them the more I have to choose from. :good:

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Great article!!!!! I really appreciate you doing this because I remember when SiB came out we were in squads of 4 QUEING and we never got in for a 3 days.... Wish we knew that! A truly great piece of writing and I agree with it 99 percent. My only issue is with what you term as "spawn campers" altitude and the fight to control it, Is the number one determing factor to gain air superiority in my opinion and last time I checked gaijin has never set an altitude restriction. So I feel instead of making it an "Ethical or moral" issue you should adjust your tactics accordingly if you realize that your about to lose air superiority adjust your tactics to compensate. I.e. "tell your tankers to j out, grab fighters and regain the air initiative." I personally feel that the term "spawn camping" is a misunderstood term, I feel that it translates that your squadron just lost the initial battle for air superiority and therefore the initiative. Personally it is the most important thing to be successful in SB.

Just my opinion! Great article. Extremely well written and covers all major issues. Appreciate It!

Thank you
G0D RobTron
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Cheers for the guide, good to know we can also use Tanks in Arcade, as most of my clan are Arcade players (and the ones willing to have some fun in Squadron Battles).

Quick Question, if we have a line up of all Rank 3 planes and tanks, with a max BR of 6 (Panther D) will we just meet another Squadron with the same rank and BR, or will we face a Rank 4 Squadron?

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Hi Flynn617. Battle rating is completely irrelevant in squadron battles. You can bring anything you want. The highest tier vehicle in your lineup will determine what tier you guys enter the que as. In it's present form, a Tier 1 team can que against a Tier 4 team. It's a topic of debate. You're welcome to leave your feedback here: Nevermind, they removed the topic.

Edited by SHRAP

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so no match making as of yet then, not good for encourageing newly formed Sqaudrons with low rank players in to join  in then. I saw on another post that some players belive it should be Tier 4 and above only, but they have to remember not all squadrons will have fully maxed out players, and with the current state of the game, a lot of players prefer rank 2 planes or there abouts.

But we will give it ago and see what happens

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  • 2 weeks later...

You forgot to mention that glitch where your squadron can earn more than 30k points

it's the Top 20 player score and 5% of the remaining players in the squadron. It's very easy to get to 30k points if a majority of your squadron has points.


The glitch is people not playing for a week, waiting until they lose points, and then playing for a day straight and rocketing past 1500-1600 points because the soft cap of 1500 no longer applies when you start losing points for some reason.


Russian teams have been exploiting this glitch constantly right before the gold payout to max their points. We do not do so.

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